October 23, 2008

MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Set Review

I wonder who Carmine is?


Hey MAC,

The Muse was wondering who’s Carmine and why do you adore him so much?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Love ya!
the Muse

You know when the Muse was about 15 she knew a guy named Carmine who was about mmmm 6 or 7 years older than herself (Actually come to think of it I probably know more than one Carmine considering my mother is Italian!). I can still recall sitting on our front porch and watching him mow my parent’s front lawn while my best friend at the time, Maria-Teresa (don’t mind the name all Roman Catholic Portuguese parents think it’s a swell idea to name their kids elaborate saintly names! Look at my name and you can totally understand what I mean! I’m a mix of an Italian mother and a Portuguese father…see whatI mean?) and I sat on the porch gawking at him. Needless to say he’s married now with 3 kids, a pot belly, and a receding hair line…..He kinda still looks alright aside from all that!

Since MAC wasn’t quite specific with who Carmine was I’m officially announcing that they mean “adoring Carmine Giovinazzo” because he’s hot and stuff!

I prefer the geeky CSI Carmine but you can have the Italian Stallion one if you prefer! The Muse isn’t picky!

Adoring you Carmine! Kizzie!


What was I saying?

Oh yes MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Gift Set! You know you wants it! Go on admit it!

I can never truly resist the evil temptation of MAC brush sets as they are such a fabulous deal! I stopped at Nordies a few nights ago to pick up Chanel Gold Highlighting Powder and right next door was the gorgeous MAC Holiday Collection staring at me and twinkling under the glaring department store florescent lights. I think I heard angels sing but I can’t be too sure as sometimes the voices in my head overpower everything else!

I was shocked too notice that Nordies had these marked as $35 USD so I suggest getitng your butt in gear and heading over to snatch some up as the price is nearly $15 USD off retail from MAC directly and other department store counters.

Granted, $49.50 for the set is not a bad price at all however if you can save $15 why not right!?

I get quite a few emails and comments daily asking after the quality of the brush sets which is why I choose to do a feature review on one of the three brush sets available. I think they are a fabulous deal for the price, I said it last year and I’ll say it this year, they are truly a good deal.

Breaking down the original cost of $49.50 USD for four brushes evens out to around $12.50 per a brush in the face brush set and even less if you purchase the other sets which have five brushes instead of four. If you break it down from $35 USD you’re getting an even bigger break at $8.75 USD per brush.



The number one question I get asked about brush sets is if these mini versions are as good as the large size and personally I feel like they are about the same as if you’d purchase a larger size in them. I like the mini size as they travel very well and are easier on storage, especially if you have a large stash of brushes already plus the quality far surpasses the inexpensive price tag! So yes, the Muse feels like the quality is great and very, very similiar to full size brushes!

The brush set I have here is the MAC Adoring Carmine Face Brush Set which contains four brushes, a mini pouch, and a barrel makeup pouch. Normally these sets only come with one bag and I thought it was rather random to include the mini pouch but hey cool beans an extra case is always welcome!

The two main brushes that thrill me in this set are the 187, commonly known as the skunk brush and the 168 which is a contouring blush. 187 offers soft and expert application for blushes and it also works a treat for highlighting powders or shimmering powders that need a light touch! The 187 is ideal for buffing foundation onto the skin as well and creating a flawless look to foundation! The 168 works great with contouring powders or applying blush. I also use the 168 for a light application of powder under my eyes as it fits the contour of my under eye area perfectly!

Also included with this set is the 190 and the 194. The 190 has a nice wide, flat head to use with powder, liquid, or cream foundation. This glides beautifully around the T-Zone to apply foundation with ease. It works best with cream or liquid but can easily double up to brush a light dusting of powder around the face if you so desire. Although I’ve always felt the 194 was a complete waste, I admit to having a new found liking for it as it works very well at applying concealer with ease minus tugging and pulling on the delicate eye area!

All the brushes feature a true red handle and a shiny metilliac red base to match the bag they come tucked into!

All in all if you don’t own a ton of brushes and you’re wanting to get some good quality brushes at an affordable price the Muse says look no further then the MAC Adoring Carmine Collection! These are a steal and a deal plus they make a wonderful gift. If you’re new to MAC it’s a great way to get some good solid brushes for great makeup application!

Do check them out at your MAC counter or online!

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About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

Leave a Comment


  • Shari

    oh, I’ll have a Carmine for Christmas puleeze! Either geeky CSI Carmine or the Italian Stallion one…I ain’t picky either! LOL

  • Paige

    Hugs and kisses to you!!! I just saved $30usd because you are the best at giving us addicts the good word:) Thank you so much! I picked up from Nordie’s on-line the face and eye brush set. This is my first ever MAC Holiday brush set! I have a couple of their brushes and love them, but not their price. So excited! *giggling at myself for being such a dork* Thank you Ms. Muse!!

  • winnie

    Carmine is a type of red. It is fairly neutral but in my mind leans a bit toward blue. I’m an illustrator/painter/designer…..so carmine does not refer to a person….Actually i think it is also a mineral.

  • Paopao

    Hi again!

    This collection is so beautiful! I love the shade of red they’ve chosen for the bags πŸ™‚

  • EbeautyBlog.com

    WOW!!! THanks for the heads up. That’s such a good deal compare to MAC.

  • the Muse

    hi shari!

    LOL ok you can haz the italian staillion and I’ll have the geeky one πŸ™‚

    I wrap him up in red paper and put a bow on his head and under your tree he’ll be come xmas!


  • the Muse

    morning paige!

    Big hugs back! I am so so so happy you nabbed such a steal!

    I’m really excited that you’re a mac brush virgin πŸ™‚ I think you’ll really be super happy with these πŸ™‚

    I know the price is a bit obscene which is why nabbing five for this price is super!

    LOL you’re too cute paige! You’re most welcome!

    Thanks for your comments, they make my day!

  • the Muse

    hi winnie!

    Yea, I know, I was just being really stupidly funny in my own strange way.

    I realized it wasn’t a person but a color πŸ˜‰ It’s just my sense of stupid humor shining through!

    You’ll see that alot around here πŸ˜‰

    If anything I’m all for goofy references πŸ˜‰

  • Samara

    Muse, I did find this deal at Nordstrom online yesterday when I was about to check out at MACcosmetics and I couldn’t believe they were so cheap, I bought the face and the basic and too bad they didn’t have the eye kit because I would have bought too. Thanks for the reviews, I was wondering if you had already reviewed them.

    Have a great weekend.

    Ohhh, falas portuguκs, musa? πŸ™‚

  • the Muse

    morning samara!

    Great! Glad you scored them at a good deal πŸ˜‰ Seriously a great price…sad they didn’t have the eye kit as that’s a fav set of mine!

    You’re most welcome my pleasure to review for ya!

    pouco menina πŸ˜‰

    Are you Portuguese?

    Happy Weekend darlin’!

  • Samara

    YAYYYYY, just checked Nords and YES they do have the eye kit and YES I did purchase that too, such a good deal and I still got to add to my previous order which was not shipped yet, which means I am not going to pay for another shipping fee. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Little brazilian doing the happy dance.

    P.S.: Obrigada Musa πŸ˜‰

  • Its.Selma!

    Hi all πŸ™‚
    i have a little question:
    I think I’m going to get de basic brush set, but is it really super soft? just as soft as the bigger brushes?
    have a nice day

  • cibicco

    Hi there, if I remember correctly, you’ve expressed interest in the brand Clio on Cozycot before. You can now find Clio on sasa.com

  • the Muse

    hello Samara!

    Fantastic!!!!!!!!!! πŸ˜‰ Good on you darlin’!

    Fantastic πŸ™‚ I’m so glad you nabbed these, what a great deal!

    LOL you’re too cute πŸ™‚

    Aw you’re most welcome *hugs*

  • the Muse

    hello selma!

    Actually, they are softer πŸ™‚ I always find mac brushes a bit dense until they have been washed a few times! These don’t have that coarse feel..they feel nice and soft to me πŸ™‚

    Hope this helps you!

  • the Muse

    hello there cibicco!

    Thanks so much. Yes I know sasa has clio now πŸ™‚ they actually always did but never restocked much which was rather sad but they now have quite a fair bit! Wahoo!

    Thanks so much for dropping by to mention it!

  • alyssa

    Hey girl,

    Just wanna clarify does MAC only releases SE brush sets once a year which is the holiday collection or there will more releases for every year? I know they have lotsa lotsa collections within one year but wasn’t sure about SE brush sets.

  • the Muse

    morning alyssa

    happy monday!

    Twice a year actually. Once when Nordies gets there exclusive MAC collection (like this year it was called Colour Forums) and once for the Holiday collection.

    Aside from that it’s unlikely you’ll see brush sets again!

    I hope this helps πŸ™‚

    They sell out fast so get ’em while they are hot πŸ˜‰

  • alyssa

    Thx girl =)

    Which means we in Asia have only one releases that is the holiday collection since we do not have nordstrom here.

  • the Muse

    hi alyssa

    I didn’t know you were in Asia? Where in Asia?

    Well it depends I know that Singapore gets the Nordies releases…which I always find interesting πŸ˜‰

    but yes it’s 1 a year sadly!

    If you need a set from here let me know! I’ll happily cp!

  • alyssa

    Aww..you are so sweet girl =)
    Thx in advance! I haven’t decided on anything though. Will let you know if i have anything in mind.

    I’m from Malaysia by the way. Wow i didn’t know singapore get Nordies releases. Interesting.

  • the Muse

    my pleasure lovie πŸ™‚

    Sure thing!

    I dunno why but I thought you were in the US!

    They do indeed…I’m unsure about the rest of Asia but ‘pore def gets ’em!

    Interesting right?!

  • claudia

    i guess they are refering to the color carmin which is a rich red but i do prefer adoring carmine G. from CSI hahaha!=)