Mac softening lotion review

Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion

M.A.C. Cosmetics At-A-Glance

What more can one say for this long-standing makeup line whose products have spoken eloquently for themselves for years? In many ways, M.A.C. Cosmetics is a pivotal line not only for makeup artists but also for any in-the-know cosmetics consumer. Although M.A.C. has several singularly outstanding products, they generally excel by virtue of the range of choices offered. The color selection for everything from lipsticks to foundations is exceptional. Most of the makeup brushes are beautiful, full, and soft, as well as properly sized to fit the contours of the face and eyes.

When it comes to skincare you may be tempted to dismiss the small assortment M.A.C. offers and skip right to their makeup with its well-earned positive reputation. But doing so would mean missing a handful of beautifully formulated products that are worth trying. By no means is M.A.C.’s skin-care line one-stop shopping (at least not if you have blemishes, skin discolorations, or require more than a couple options per category), but you’ll find more than just the color products impressive here, and the prices aren’t unreasonable either!

M.A.C.’s salespeople are often trained makeup artists, too. This is especially true in the freestanding M.A.C. boutiques, where the staff tends to be true makeup artists.

Note: M.A.C. sets itself apart from other beauty brands by staying ahead of the curve by launching a seemingly-constant rotation of impressive limited edition products, usually with fashion-forward themes. Though it’s impossible to review every limited edition product, many of M.A.C.’s are as impressive as those in their permanent collection.

Strengths: Some impressive moisturizers; praiseworthy foundations in a mostly gorgeous range of shades; good concealers; several great powder-based products including blush, bronzer, and eyeshadow in various finishes; dizzying array of lipstick shades in mostly sumptuous formulas; several very good mascaras (regular and waterproof); top-notch makeup brushes; many of the Prep + Prime products work as claimed.

Weaknesses:A few products with high levels of potential skin irritants.

For more information about M.A.C. Cosmetics call (800) 588-0070 or visit

MAC has reformulated its Lightful line to incorporate Vitamin C into these brightening products. Because Vitamin C has been clinically proven to benefit skin, I couldn’t resist trying out a few products to see how they feel. This is not uber-luxury skincare, or even luxury skincare in my opinion. But I’ve had surprisingly good results with the Marine Bright formula in the past, and who doesn’t love some good bang for their buck in the mid-price category? I decided to try out the new MAC Lightful C Softening Lotion ($35), the Vibrancy Eye cream ($35), the Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Essence ($44), and the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Cream ($44). The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources (except for an SPF 30 tinted cream, which is due to become available this April and, just like Magnum in Zoolander, will blow us all away).

I’ve used the prior version of the MAC Softening Lotion, and can confirm that this MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion provides the same toning, softening effect on the skin to leave it feeling soft, woken-up, and baby-fresh. This is one of those products that you think you’ll never use and then, when your glowing skin looks back at you in the mirror, you realize that it does, in fact, make a daily difference.

I splash a little bit of this clear, water-like liquid on, using fingers or a cotton pad, to get the effect. This is a softening toner–a separate cleanser is necessary to truly clean the skin.

I have to admit I’m a fan of spray toners, and this top is designed to splash or swipe on. Still, I appreciate the no-spill guard.

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

For me the magic item in the collection is the Mac Lightful C Marine Bright Essence. I had good luck using the former version to fade darker marks/spots. I’m delighted with the addition of Vitamin C to the line. The non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly is the same.

Nice no-spill, locking, travel-friendly packaging.

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

I took a chance and ordered the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Creme. I’m happy with my current stock of moisturizers, but I find a mid-priced gel moisturizer hard to resist. The problem with having oily skin (and now combination skin) most of my life is that I tended to avoid moisturizers as too heavy and adding “too much glow” toward the end of the day.

After I discovered the lightweight, fast-absorbing properties of gel moisturizers, my skin is much more balanced and doesn’t over-produce oil anymore. If anyone is in the same boat, this MAC is a nice one to try because of the addition of Vitamin C and the lightweight feel. It absorbs, is very lightweight, and doesn’t add “glow” to already oily skin.

This is housed in a lightweight plastic jar. The texture of this product is much lighter and featherweight compared to Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Moisturizer.

I find that NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer and Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (Liz’s favorite) give a more noticeable moisturizing effect. By comparison, MAC’s is lighter in texture. Ingredients for the MAC Lightful C:

Finally, I ordered the MAC Lightful C Vibrancy Eye. This one-half ounce product has a sorbet texture in a pump-top container. It’s very pleasant to use, sinks in instantly, and gives an immediate moisturizing and de-puffing effect. I’ve been using on my winter-stressed, wind-burned eye area and it’s vastly improved since last Friday when I began.

Consistent with the other products in the light, the MAC Vibrancy Eye is lightweight, non-oily, and disappears quietly very soon application. Ingredients (click to enlarge):

Skincare swatches (except the toner, which is a clear liquid):

My personal favorites in this group are the Vibrancy Eye and the Essence, however hopefully I’ve put in enough information to give you a sense of which might work for you. The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

In other news, I’m loving my little sample of Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Intense ($110) and am placing an order for the full-sized as soon as I hit “publish” on this post. It’s giving me a smoothness and glow that’s both immediate and improving with every day that goes by. Although I’ll do a full review soon, here’s a quick picture of the sample (check out your local Nordstrom, gorgeous! That’s where I found mine) and the ingredient list.

Les ingredients:

Hope you are having a lovely, ice-free weekend!

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As you all know I received quite a bit of MAC products for my recent birthday and I am here to give you the full run down on some of MAC’s new skincare line Lightful C. The two products which I received were the Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion and the Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Moisturizer. I have been using these products since only July 12th, and let me tell you these products are life changing.

Let me start by telling you my face history…for starters I have combination skin that tends to run on the more sensitive side. Oily T-zone, dry cheeks, you know the typical combo skin run down. For the longest time I never ever wore a moisturizer because I could never find one that didn’t break me out, and or actually worked on my dry patches. Overall my face had an uneven complexion and dry semi-red cheeks. I had acne scars on my chin and near my nose. After a week of using these two products I already saw a difference.

These products are to be used once a day in the morning before makeup or right before bed if need be. Lotion first then moisturizer. I was also told by the MAC makeup artist that with these two products you really don’t need a primer (even though I’m still not sold on that information). It has been three weeks and my face is completely different. The whole deal with this line is that it is brightening your skin and evening out your complexion. My face has no red spots, no acne scars, not dry spots. Nothing. My face is 100% different. The only problem area remains with my genetically prone dark circles…that is still an issue that doesn’t seem to getting solved any time soon. But overall these products have worked like a charm. The makeup artist told me that a lot of people aren’t really aware of MAC’s skin care lines, and because of that seem to look other places for skin care products. But really this formula is genius and quite affordable considering the size of the products and the prices of other high end skin care products.

Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion: This product says it is a “lotion” but in reality it is a toner. The artist told me that they have been pushing this as not a toner product, but really that is what it does. The product is designed to soak right into the skin and even out any scars or dark spots. BEWARE! This product is a liquid! It is not even close to a lotion. Why they just don’t call it a toner I have no idea. To apply you can use a cotton ball or what I do is make a cup shape out of your hand and pour a bit of product into your palm. From here dip your fingers in and apply to the face. You will see that a little goes a long way and that it soaks in immediately. Just with this product you will notice your skin getting softer with each use and fading away light scars. This product retails at MAC for $35 but will last you quite some time. You will get 5 ounces of product in the bottle.

Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Moisturizer: This product is your typical moisturizer and comes in a jar. I have heard complains online from people saying that being exposed to air will kill most of the active important ingredients rather rapidly but honestly I don’t think MAC would sell their moisturizers this way if that was to happen. They want repeat costumers, not buy once and move on. I apply this product after the lotion has soaked in. From here I wait about two minutes for the moisturizer to soak in before apply foundation. You will notice the moisturizer gets a little tacky while drying. Have no fear! This goes away once it is completely soaked in. This moisturizer also comes with the warning that a little bit goes a long long way. The smell of this product is also rather pleasant and soothing. I can’t really put my finger on the scent though, but it is not strong. You can pick this up at MAC for $44 but again it should last you an extremely long time. You get 1.7 ounces and each use I hardly dab my finger in.

Let me know if you have tried this line yet! I only have two out of the seven products in the Lightful C line, so I would love to hear what the other products have done for you. Also let me know if you use any of their other skin care products!

As always,