I’m not your usual person, obviously! These days, I keep brands that make sense for archival reasons–like MAC and going back to compare formulas/shades that get re-released–and for brands where I don’t think (and the past has shown that) I’ll need to revisit for comparison purposes AND I don’t like a product, I’ll usually get it ready to donate/give away (depends what it is and how it was tested).
-- Christine

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MAC Neutral Eyeshadows (Part 1)

MAC Omega Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow ($6.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “highly pigmented powder” that “blends well.” They recently dropped the price of the pan eyeshadows from $10 to $6. In general, MAC’s formula is strongest when it comes to their more shimmery (Frost, Veluxe Pearl) shades–I think they tend to be the most consistent–while they have hits and misses across the rest of the finishes. Their permanent line has less misses than their limited edition releases, though, and I think the majority of their matte shades are very buildable and workable in practice, even if they don’t always swatch well on skin. Lustres are the weakest finish, as they are sheerer, often chunky with glitter, and have little adhesion on their own. Most of their eyeshadows last seven to eight hours on me without primer, some even as long as nine hours, but a few as short as six hours and/or have substantial fall out (Lustres, I’m looking at you).

I swatched them all a couple of months ago, and I have been trying to test shades here and there during lulls in limited edition/new product releases. I’m nowhere near finished, and I don’t have a set posting schedule for getting through reviews, so they will be posted as I can but not necessarily soon!

MAC Omega Eyeshadow ($6.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “soft muted beige-taupe [with a Matte finish].” It’s a light-medium, taupe brown with warmer undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft, smooth, and blendable–definitely a MAC cult favorite for good reason–and adheres well to the skin without sheering out. It lasted well for eight hours on me before creasing slightly. bareMinerals Trench Coat (LE)(100% similar). Kat Von D Sage (Contour) (P) is lighter (95% similar). Smashbox Sable (P) is lighter, cooler (95% similar). theBalm Score (LE, $16.00) is warmer (95% similar). Kat Von D Strutter (LE) is lighter (95% similar). Tarte Party Favored (LE) is less shimmery, lighter (90% similar). Urban Decay Primal (P, $19.00) is lighter (80% similar). Urban Decay Naked 2 (P, $19.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). LORAC Brown (LE, $19.00) is darker, warmer (90% similar). Smashbox Taupe (P) is darker (90% similar). Urban Decay Rewind (LE, $19.00) is lighter (80% similar). Sephora + Pantone Universe Burro (LE) is lighter (85% similar). Kevyn Aucoin Medium (P, $44.00) is lighter, cooler (80% similar). Laura Mercier Stone Taupe (LE, $23.00) is lighter (80% similar). theBalm #44 (P, $6.50) is cooler (95% similar). Kat Von D Renholder (P) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Laura Mercier Cappuccino (LE, $23.00) is darker (95% similar). Marc Jacobs Beauty The Lover #7 (LE) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). LORAC Brown (LE, $19.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Too Faced Fawned of You (LE, $16.00) is warmer (85% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC Era Eyeshadow ($6.00 for 0.05 oz.) is described as a “soft golden beige with shimmer [with a Satin finish].” It’s a light-medium brown with warm, golden undertones and a soft, pearly sheen. The texture was slightly stiffer to work with, which resulted in more semi-opaque payoff, though it seemed buildable in practice. It was still blendable and sat well on the skin. This shade wore well for eight hours. Chanel Mystere #3 (LE) is less shimmery, cooler (95% similar). Too Faced New Romantic (P, $16.00) is warmer (90% similar). NARS Bonifacio (LE, $25.00)(90% similar). Clarins The Essentials #5 (LE) is more shimmery, lighter (90% similar). theBalm Stand-offish (P, $16.00) is darker, more muted (90% similar). MAC Arena (P, $16.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Plunge (DC, $5.00) is warmer (90% similar). MAC Sweet Satisfaction (DC, $21.00) is less shimmery, darker (85% similar). Rouge Bunny Rouge Bohemian Waxwing (P, $19.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Anastasia Belize (P, $12.00) is more shimmery, darker (85% similar). NARS Oaxaca (P, $28.00) is more shimmery, cooler (85% similar). Tarina Tarantino Fantastical #4 (P) is darker, more muted, cooler (85% similar). Burberry Pale Barley (102) (P, $29.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). Tarina Tarantino Agate (P) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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MAC Eyeshadow Omega
A-
Product
9
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
8.5
Application
5
Total
92%
MAC Eyeshadow Era
B
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
8.5
Application
5
Total
86%
MAC Eyeshadow Honesty
F
Product
5
Pigmentation
6
Texture
4.5
Longevity
7.5
Application
2.5
Total
57%
See All Glossovers

MAC Barbecue, Riot House, Intoxica, Sweet Venom Lipsticks

MAC Barbecue Lipstick

MAC Barbecue Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “vivid orange-red [with a Matte finish].” It’s a bright, medium orange-red with warm undertones and a satin finish. It had mostly opaque color payoff with a creamy consistency that applied with smooth, even color. This shade lasted for over six hours,, left a stain behind, and was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS Annabella (P, $32.00) is darker (95% similar). MAC Strange Journey (LE, $17.00) is darker (95% similar). Kat Von D Countess (P, $21.00) is lighter, warmer (95% similar). Tarte Mai Tai (P, $22.00) is warmer (95% similar). Dior Trafalgar (844) (P, $34.00) is warmer (95% similar). Maybelline Craving Coral (P, $7.99) is darker, more muted (95% similar). Colour Pop Bootie (P, $5.00) is warmer, less glossy (95% similar). MAC Scarlet Ibis (LE, $17.00) is less glossy (95% similar). MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus 2 (LE, $17.00) is darker, less glossy (95% similar). Bite Beauty Blood Orange (P, $24.00) is lighter (90% similar). Chanel Arthur (440) (P, $37.00) is cooler (90% similar). Bite Beauty Persimmon (P, $26.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Bite Beauty Mimosa (LE, $24.00) is darker, more muted, cooler (90% similar). NARS Marlene (P, $32.00) is darker, glossier (90% similar). Charlotte Tilbury 1975 Red (LE, $32.00) is more muted (90% similar). NARS Carmen (P, $32.00) is glossier (90% similar). MAC Dangerous (P, $17.00) is less glossy (95% similar). Bite Beauty Candied Maple (LE, $24.00) is darker, cooler, glossier (90% similar). MAC Lady Danger (P, $17.00) is lighter, warmer, less glossy (90% similar). NARS Rita (P, $32.00) is darker (90% similar). Top 20 dupes listed, see the rest. See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC Riot House Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light vivid orange [with a Matte finish].” It’s a light and bright, peachy-orange with warm undertones and a semi-matte finish. It had good color payoff, but the texture was a little thicker and drier. I found it particularly hard to apply around the edges without it looking more feathered (not normally something I have a problem doing). It applied fairly evenly, though, and lasted for four hours, though some color pulled into lip lines over time, and the formula felt drying. Too Faced Melted Sugar (P, $21.00) is lighter, cooler (85% similar). MAC She's a Peach (LE, $17.00) is darker (85% similar). MAC Nearly Nude (LE, $17.00) is darker (85% similar). Colour Pop Precocious (LE, $5.00) is darker (85% similar). Colour Pop Vice (P, $6.00) is darker, cooler, less glossy (85% similar). MAC Close Contact (LE, $17.00) is darker, more muted (85% similar). Maybelline Barely Bloomed (700) (P, $7.49) is lighter, glossier (85% similar). Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics Hollywood (P, $18.00) is more shimmery, lighter (85% similar). MAC Salute (LE, $17.00) is cooler (85% similar). MAC Peachstock (P, $17.00) is darker, cooler (80% similar). Anastasia Pure Hollywood (P, $20.00) is darker (80% similar). Too Faced Melted Nude (P, $21.00) is darker, warmer (80% similar). Kat Von D Noble (P, $21.00) is darker, cooler (80% similar). MAC Sweet & Sour (P, $17.00) is darker (80% similar). Milani Adore (LE, $8.99) is darker, less glossy (80% similar). Kat Von D Agatha (P, $21.00) is cooler (80% similar). Kat Von D Noble (P, $20.00) is darker, more muted (80% similar). Tarte Namaste (P, $20.00) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC Intoxica Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “bright raspberry red [with a Matte finish].” It’s a rich, medium-dark red with a hint of cooler, pinky undertones and almost imperceptible micro-shimmer, but it managed to retain most of its matte finish. It had opaque color coverage with a slightly drier texture, but it didn’t tug too much. This shade was still going strong after six hours of wear, but it was somewhat drying. Tarte Lovespell (P, $20.00) is darker, cooler (95% similar). MAC Dangerously Red (LE, $17.00) is lighter (90% similar). Colour Pop Cougar (LE, $5.00) is lighter, brighter, cooler (90% similar). Chanel La Merveilleuse (347) (LE, $36.00) is more muted, warmer (90% similar). Colour Pop Mars (P, $6.00) is lighter, brighter, less glossy (85% similar). MAC Pleasure Bomb (LE, $17.00) is lighter, brighter, cooler (85% similar). MAC To Matte with Love (P, $20.00) is lighter (80% similar). Guerlain Provocative (863) (LE, $55.00) is lighter, brighter (80% similar). NARS Greta (P, $32.00) is lighter, brighter, glossier (80% similar). MAC Relentlessly Red (P, $17.00) is lighter, brighter, warmer (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

MAC Sweet Venom Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as an “intense pink coral [with a Matte finish].” It’s a medium pink with warm, yellow undertones and a satin finish. It was richly pigmented and paired with a smooth, creamy consistency that was easy to apply directly from the tube. The consistency was on the thicker side, which seemed to give it more movement and slip. This shade wore well for four and a half hours with a bit of color getting into lip lines. YSL Opera Rose (29) (P, $34.00) is lighter, glossier (95% similar). Kat Von D Jeffree (P, $20.00) is darker, warmer, less glossy (90% similar). Chanel Edith (424) (P, $37.00) is more shimmery, darker, glossier (90% similar). YSL Caress Pink (9) (P, $34.00) is darker, glossier (90% similar). Colour Pop 1st Base (P, $6.00) is less glossy (90% similar). Givenchy Rose Taffetas (201) (P, $36.00) is darker, glossier (85% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

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MAC Lipstick Barbecue
A
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
10
Application
5
Total
94%
MAC Lipstick Riot House
B
Product
8
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8
Longevity
7
Application
5
Total
83%
MAC Lipstick Intoxica
A-
Product
8
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
10
Application
5
Total
90%
See All Glossovers

Sponsored: HSN x Alice Through the Looking Glass Collection Debuts

HSN x Alice Through the Looking Glass Collection

HSN is celebrating the movie release of Alice Through the Looking Glass–in theatres May 27th–in a big way!  You’ll find Urban Decay’s entire themed collection, featuring an Eyeshadow Palette ($60) and five lipsticks ($18 each), which we reviewed a couple of weeks ago–Iracebeth Lipstick was the top-rated of the launch–along with nail lacquers by OPI ($10 each) and even a decadent compact mirror by AMEDEO ($169.95).  You can also tune in to the Beauty Report tonight at 7PM EST for a special look of these products!

Better yet, if you’ve never shopped HSN before, you can get $20 off your next order of $40 or more with code 169087.

If you dig the aesthetic of Alice Through the Looking Glass, you’ll also find tons of themed treats from fashion to jewelry to accessories as HSN has teamed up with designers like Heidi Daus, Giuliana Rancic, and Vince Camuto! Below are some highlights from the launch, but you can see the full list of offerings here 🙂

Makeup Revolution One for Playing Games Baked Blusher

Make Up Revolution One for Playing Games Baked Blusher

Make Up Revolution One for Playing Games Baked Blusher ($5.00 for 0.21 oz.) is medium-dark plum with warmer undertones and a cooler, almost iridescent lavender sheen. Makeup Revolution Bang Bang You're Dead (P, $5.00) is lighter, warmer (90% similar). Illamasqua Morale (P, $26.00) is lighter, cooler (90% similar). Tarte Embraced (LE, $26.00) is darker, warmer (85% similar). Colour Pop Sticky Sweet (P, $8.00) is darker (80% similar). See comparison swatches / view dupes side-by-side.

The Baked Blusher formula is supposed to be “highly pigmented” and have a “natural soft effect” with a “hint of shimmer.” The texture of the powder was dusty and a little dry, but it was very blendable, so that’s an upside! Despite having a drier texture, it seemed to sit well on the skin and diffuse easily. Again, one of the odder things about the formula is how shimmery it appears swatched but how subtle it looks applied to the skin once blended out. It definitely didn’t emphasize pores! The blush had semi-sheer, slightly buildable color, but it wasn’t “highly pigmented.” On me, it lasted for just over six hours before it started to fade.

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Makeup Revolution Baked Blusher One for Playing Games
C-
Product
7
Pigmentation
6.5
Texture
7
Longevity
6.5
Application
5
Total
71%
Permanent