This is a revision and update on my MAC Grand Duos swatches/initial thoughts. I deleted that entry to integrate everything into one entry.
I should be in love with the Grand Duos because I am such a sucker for mineralize cheek stuff. I collect mineralize skinfinishes (I have every MSF MAC has released except for Pleasureflush), and I have all but a couple of the mineralize blushes released last year. That deluge of products however has kept me from loving the Grand Duos as much as I want because they are practically dupes of many of the mineralize blushes/skinfinishes that I already have.
However, this is a review of the Grand Duos, so I will focus on them. They are basically mineralize blush/highlighter/bronzer rolled into one compact. There are two sides to every compact - one in solid color and the other a melange of marblelized confection of colors. These are by no means matte in finish - they give a shimmery, frosty glow to the skin, an illusion of youthful glow. The finish is just like mineralize skinfinishes from MAC, and if you love MSFs, you will definitely love the Grand Duos. Most of the colors are beautiful - and would make great addition to one's makeup collection if one doesn't have these colors yet. I will let the swatches speak for themselves at this point.
As you can tell from the swatches, these babies are pigmented, richly-hued, and some have metallic finishes. The best brushes to apply these with are either the MAC 187 brush or a fluffy blush brush like the 129 with a light hand. These would give the prettiest glowy cheeks ever. The darker ones can also operate as bronzers or contouring shades. I think the most sellable one is Love Rock- a gold violet melange/bright blue pink solid color. It is your average blue-pink shimmery blush, and if you don't have that color, this would be a good buy. I already have Pleasantry and Gentle from the first release of mineralize blushes which are strikingly similar to Love Rock, so this is not a must-have for me. Grand Duo is a copper pink melange/plum solid that is one of my favorites as the combination is really pretty. Light Over Dark is an orange yellow melange/deep brown that would make a great bronzer with the marriage of the gold and brown tones. Earth to Earth is another one that caught my fancy. It is a purple bronze melange with yellow brown solid. It would be gorgeous to warm the complexion, and the purple bronze side would make a great crease shadow color (yes, these products are multi-purpose). However, this is similar to Nuance mineralize blush so again, this is not a must-have for me. Hot Planet is a copper yellow melange/deep brown that didn't attract me that much because I didn't like the coppers in this product. Intenso is an orange yellow melange/deep brown solid that is close to Merrily mineralize blush that I have. My ultimate favorite, though, is Moon River, a blue pink melange with pale yellow pink solid. The melange looks a lot like Lightscapade mineralize skinfinish which I have, but I prefer Moon River because the pink side lends a very soft, feminine, romantic ethereal glow which Lightscapade lacks.
Here are some of my mineralize blushes so you can see how similar some of the colors are to the Grand Duos:
All in all, the Grand Duos are beautiful multi-purpose products that lend a soft ethereal glow to the complexion. Depending on the shade, they can be amazing highlighters, blushes or bronzers. The downside is that the colors are not that unique and are easily dupe-able especially if you have many of the mineralize blushes and skinfinishes. However, for those who are just starting with mineralize cheek products, these are definite good buys and are great complexion enhancers as well.
NOTE: Do NOT depot these - the Grand Duos are very fragile and they are domed, which means they cannot fit the standard MAC blush palettes.">