Is The MAC x Stranger Things Makeup Collection Worth It? Seventeen Editors Put It To The Test

·7 min read
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned


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No matter if you're walking through the halls of Hawkins High School or taking on real-life monsters from the Upside Down, you can do it while serving major ~lewks.~ MAC Cosmetics recently teamed up with Netflix for the release of a two-part Stranger Things collection that allows you to tap into Hawkins' human world or get spooky in the Upside Down.

With pigmented eyeshadow palettes that reference important landmarks from the series (RIP to the *iconic* Starcourt Mall from Stranger Things 3), Lipglasses, vivid 80s-inspired blushes and brushes, this limited-edition collection offers Stranger Things fans the best of both worlds. There's even a Hawkins High School-inspired fanny pack available exclusively to those who purchase two or more MAC x Stranger Things products.

Products and Pricing

Photo credit: MAC Cosmetics
Photo credit: MAC Cosmetics

Seventeen's Editorial Assistant Sam Olson, and Assistant Editor, Jasmine Washington created two looks in honor of the dual dimensions. Check out their in-depth reviews of the stunningly strange collection below.

Hawkins High

Photo credit: MAC Cosmetics
Photo credit: MAC Cosmetics

Jasmine

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

Nowstalgia is always going to be a definite yes for me. The Hawkins High part of this collection instantly transported me back to the classic era of leg warmers and cut-off sweatshirts through its rich, highly pigmented shade ranges.

For this look, I used the shades "Hawkins High" and "Benny's Burger" from the Hawkins High Class of 1986 palette to create a daytime smokey eye. The color payoff is so intense and it blends effortlessly. "Starcourt Mall" is my favorite hue, and would you believe me if I said I hit pan already because I've been using it almost daily? LOL!

The MAC x Stranger Things 217 Synthetic Eye Brush helped seamlessly blend the shade "Benny's Burger" in my crease, and the Powder Blush in "Friends Don't Lie" served classic 80s vibes with its bright pink tint. "Eerie El" is my ultimate favorite Lipglass from the collection — it goes on smooth and is the *perfect* nude for my complexion.

Sam

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned



If you've been following me for quite some time — or even for five minutes, frankly — then you know that I love me a good blush. The 80s era redefined pop culture through many avenues, including fashion and beauty. In fact, the blush draping technique that was popularized in the age of Madonna and Whitney Houston is making its comeback. The MAC x Stranger Things Powder Blush in the cool-toned pink shade, "Friends Don't Lie," captures the true essence of the 80s look with one swipe. The color payoff is seriously impressive for a powder blush, especially when applied with the 140 Synthetic Face Brush. And, despite being a powder, the formula is hydrating and doesn't look chalky at all.

On to the Hawkins High Class of 1986 Eye Palette — the Ochre shade "Benny's Burger" serves as the perfect transition shade. It comes off a little lighter than it appears in the pan, but I truly don't mind it. However, that may pose issues for those with darker complexions. I also spot-tested the bright purple Dazzleshadow Extreme shade, "Palace Arcade," on my hand with a liner brush and some setting spray to see if it had a rich color payoff.

It, unfortunately, didn't wow me on its own, so I first created a wing with a plum pencil liner on my waterline before setting it with eyeshadow. That's what I found worked best for me — but it did require some extra work. I also experienced a little bit of fallout, but that tends to be common with darker shades. At this point, I'm no longer thrown off by fallout but end up being pleasantly surprised when I don't experience it. And, to be fair, this was the only shade I had issues with. The rest applied smoothly with a seamless blend.


The Void, A.K.A The Upside Down

Photo credit: MAC Cosmetics
Photo credit: MAC Cosmetics

Jasmine

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

I wanted to do the most for my trip to the Upside Down, and that's exactly what I did using products from The Void Eye Palette. It was an emergency when I added "Code Rode" to my lid. To make things even scarier, I blended "Demogorgon" into my crease and smoked it out using the bold black hue of The Void. Not to mention, I added "Creel House" on my lid for the perfect pop of color. Black Lipglass may seem intimidating, but "Skull Rock" is a nice opaque black tint that goes on smoothly, and nope, it doesn't leave a thick film either. The only downside is that because it's so thin, it may take a few layers to make sure the color is distributed evenly.

Sam

Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

When I first previewed the MAC x Stranger Things collection, I was immediately drawn to the grittiness (and dare I say, glamour) of the Upside Down with The Void Eye Palette. A sultry, cool-toned smokey eye is one of my go-to looks, and since I was headed to a concert that evening and going for "Bitchin'" Eleven vibes (IYKYK), it was time to get glam with all the creatures of the alternate universe. After priming my eyelids with concealer and a bone-colored shadow, I swiped the smokey taupe shade, "Demogorgon," in my crease with a fluffy crease brush. To create some dimension, I softly blended the black shade, "The Void," up into the crease with the 217 Synthetic Eye Brush. Then using the same brush, I tapped the black shadow in an outer-V shape to elongate my eyes and deepen the shade. What I like about MAC's Powder Kiss eyeshadow formula is that it's buildable, and that's always ideal for me when working with intimidating black shades.

Something MAC consistently gets right is the Dazzleshadow Extreme formula for their lighter shimmer shades — unlike the trouble I faced with the rich purple shimmer, "Palace Arcade," in the Hawkins High Class of 1986 Palette, The Void's lighter shades glided on with ease. It could also be because of the technique I used to apply it and the product placement — I gently tapped "Mind Flayer" and "The Mothergate" onto the inner third of my eyelids using my finger, which gave a strong, shimmery color payoff. With a flat detailed brush, I applied the shimmery white shade, "Spores," to my inner corners and brow bones for an extra highlight. Of course, I brought the grungy look together by applying the "Eerie El" Lipglass over a nude liner. MAC's Lipglass formulas may be a little sticky for my personal preference, but the opacity of the brownish rose shade almost makes it worth it.

The Bottom Line

The MAC x Stranger Things collection gives fans a chance to get their very own taste of the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, and the Upside Down world that wreaks havoc on the neighborhood. Each of the products is customized so perfectly, and some of them even have Easter eggs hidden from the show's fourth season (once you watch the first episode alone, you'll catch these references in MAC's packaging!). The attention to detail — down to the Hawkins High emblem and creepy black vines from the Upside Down — on each component not only tells a small part of the Stranger Things story but serves as a playful, creative vessel for each shade. Even shade names like "Friends Don't Lie" and "Marvelous Max" call back to iconic moments of the sci-fi series. Whether you're a beauty buff who loves a creative challenge or one of the biggest Stranger Things fans of all time, there's truly something for everyone to appreciate in this collection.

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