Cook MAC – Tendertone Lip Balm: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

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New Tendertones! Yippee!! These are one of those super popular MAC products that are not released often enough. I don’t know if it’s the hint of color, awesome kiwi-strawberry flavor and fruity scent, ease of use, perfect amount of moisture, SPF 12, or all of the above, but people go absolutely CRAZY for these. I am one of those people. Keep in mind, as these are super bright in the pot, they do not show up like that on the lips. They’re a thin, moisturizing formula so the color is quite sheer, though still slightly visible. I like the packaging on these… It’s easy to get a little blob on your fingers and swipe it onto your lips. Personally, I find it difficult to squeeze every last drop of lip balm out of tubes, so I’m happy that these come in a pot that I can dig every bit of product out of!

I had Hot ‘n’ Saucy when it came out a long time ago, stocked up on it then, and I still have one so fortunately I didn’t have to purchase that one this time. They  are limited edition (boo) disappeared pretty quickly, so if you are trying to hunt these down, good luck! If there are still any for sale, you can get them at any MAC counter, store, or from

I have discovered ONE location in the Los Angeles area that still have ALL of these in stock in limited numbers! It’s the freestanding MAC store in the Plaza El Segundo shopping center, just south of LAX airport off of PCH/Sepulveda!!


Clockwise from top left: Hot 'n' Saucy - Purring - Tread Gently - Hush, Hush
Hot 'n' Saucy shown with the label from the last time it was released.
Swatches on NC15 skin in bad, cloudy, outdoor lighting (sorry, it was raining) Hot 'n' Saucy - Hush, Hush - Tread Gently - Purring
Hot 'n' Saucy

Hot ‘n’ Saucy:   This is the brightest of the Tendertones in this collection, being a “soft cherry red”. It’s more of a sheer, pinkish-red when applied. It’s a great color to carry around with you if you. I like to wear this on on my minimal makeup days to give my lips a sexy pop of glossy color, especially in the summer!

Hush, Hush

Hush, Hush:   Hush, Hush is a “sheer gold with yellow gold pearl”. It’s kind of a sheer nude-ish tan with golden shimmer, but it doesn’t show much color on the lips. Don’t get me wrong, it’s lovely and it’s great for a totally natural look but it doesn’t exactly pop. I like to use this one for moisture, SPF and a bit of shimmer when I am wearing natural makeup, or layer it over a lipstick.


Purring:   MAC describes this as a “sheer tangerine with pearl”, although I don’t really see much, if any pearl, in this Tendertone. It’s more like the plain glossy finish that Hot ‘n’ Saucy has, but it IS a gorgeous color! It gives your lips a bit of a coral-ish tint to them, which once again, is perfect for that natural but sexy looking, glossy pout.

Tread Gently

Tread Gently:   Mkay, this one has a bit of a tricky description on MAC’s website… This is supposedly a “soft lime green with yellow pearl”. I actually don’t see much lime to this at all once it’s applied to the lips. Like Hush, Hush, it’s more of a yellow shimmery lip balm with not much color payoff. Definitely good if you just want some shimmer or want to make a lipstick look more glossy and add some SPF.

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