Most of my makeup collection is made up of inexpensive, discounted drugstore makeup but I have a few high end pieces here and there. Mac is one of the most raved about brands today and although they have great quality makeup, their price points aren't for everyone. The CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet) is a great way to try out Mac products as well as stuff from Estee Lauder, Clinique, Bobbi Brown, and a few other companies I'm forgetting. You can find a lot of limited edition and discontinued items as well as some permanent ones there. I got this little pigment set from a CCO for around $21 I believe. Every holiday season, Mac releases sets with five, tiny vials of pigments retailing at $32.50.
I love my neutrals and warm tones so I picked up the warm set which came with gold stroke, gold mode, reflects antique gold, gold dusk, and melon. Although the vials are pretty tiny, a little goes a LONG way so they'll still last you for ages :) These sets are a great way to try out some great colors from Mac and there are usually a few shades which are limited edition. I know for a fact that gold mode is a limited edition color as it only comes out with special collections. I have a full sized jar of this (also from the CCO) but have yet to use it since it will take me a long time to use up this mini jar :).
These swatches aren't of the highest quality but they give you an idea of how shimmery and pretty all these colors are! Gold stroke is a dark, burnt brown with some red undertones, gold mode is a champagne-y gold, reflects antique gold is pretty interesting as it has a lot of reflective sparkles as the name suggests but not much base color, gold dusk is a light yellowy gold with not much glitter but very fine shimmer instead, melon is a goldy orange color that is part of the permanent line.
I think these would make great gifts and stocking stuffers around the holiday season :) Not sure if I would pay the $30 retail price as I think there are usually many leftovers that get sent to the CCOs. If you live near a CCO you might want to wait a few months until you can find these for about $10 cheaper :D I got this set which was released in 2008 earlier this year in 2010. I originally wanted the 2009 Sexpot set but the CCO didn't have it but had the other two instead. So I guess it depends on your luck and the demand for the particular set :/