Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

MAC Just a Wisp Mineralize Blush
MAC Just a Wisp Mineralize Blush

MAC Just a Wisp Mineralize Blush ($27.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “pink.” It’s a light, cool-toned pink with a frosted, slightly metallic, finish. The highly reflective finish is actually what makes this less similar than other pale pinks I’ve come across. Makeup Geek First Love (P, $9.99) is more muted, more matte. Surratt Beauty Guimauve (P, $32.00) is more matte. Hourglass Ethereal Glow (P, $35.00) is more matte. MAC Well Dressed (P, $21.00) is darker, less shimmery. MAC Pink Buttercream (LE, $30.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

This is another new (and permanent!) shade that’s been added to the Mineralize Blush range in the new, updated packaging. It had semi-opaque coverage in one layer, but it was buildable to full coverage in two layers or easily blended out for sheerer color. If you use a fan brush and a light hand, it becomes more of a pink-tinged highlighter. The high shimmer content makes it more wearable on darker complexions as well, as it doesn’t appear chalky at all, but it would make for a nice, soft pink blush on fairer complexions as well. The finish is quite reflective but seemed to only emphasize pores very, very slightly–something I only noticed when I looked exactly for that but felt like you couldn’t really tell at a distance. The texture was soft, lightly powdery, but smooth and silky to the touch. This shade wore well for seven hours before it turned a bit patchy.

The Glossover

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product

Just a Wisp

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer
MAC Studio Nail Lacquers — Rebel, Sour Cherry, Shirelle

MAC Studio Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is the brand’s latest nail polish formula that is supposed to be brand new. The bottle looks the same as before with a black, rubberized cap and clear glass bottle in a cylindrical shape. MAC has widened the brush that uses what seems like (at least to me) finer strands, because I definitely noticed an improvement in application across the board. I didn’t have any wear issues with MAC’s formula in the past, but the polishes often looked streaky and uneven, and the bristles of the brush just seemed too sharply cut or too thick, contributing to streakiness. The brush is wider but not too wide; it fits well on the nail, even my pinky nail, and you can press and flatten it across the nail so that it splays out and you can get almost coverage across the entire nail in one stroke. (This, of course, will vary depending on the width of your nail bed.) I’ve tested seven shades for wear, and they all lasted seven days with minor tip wear for me, which is the norm for me–almost nothing chips on me.

MAC Rebel Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “midtone rich plum [with a Cream finish].” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned berry purple with a cream finish. It was fully opaque after two coats, and it wasn’t too thick or too thin. The consistency was easy to work with, and I didn’t have issues with the polish streaking or pooling along the edges. In the previous formula, Rebel was somewhat streaky, so there was a definite improvement here (which I owe a lot to the brush, as it is wider, better cut, and seems to use much finer strands). MAC Dayflower (LE, $16.00) is a touch darker, warmer. Rescue Beauty Lounge Bruised (LE, $20.00) is slightly warmer. China Glaze Traffic Jam (LE, $7.50) is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Sour Cherry Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “dark berry red [with a Cream finish].” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned red with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but in brighter lighting, there was a very faint hint of visible nail line. The finish came across as almost a jelly-cream hybrid that leaned towards cream. It applied beautifully, though, and it dried down to a smooth, even, high-shine finish. This shade wore well for seven days and had only minor tip wear. Revlon Bordeaux (P, $4.99) is cooler-toned, darker. Tom Ford Beauty Trophy Wife (LE, $32.00) is slightly brighter. NARS Lost Red (LE, $19.00) is brighter. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Stage Red (LE, $16.00) is darker. Illamasqua Throb (P, $17.00) is similar. Chanel Suspicious (P, $27.00) is cooler-toned, pinker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

MAC Shirelle Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “classic bright red [with a Cream finish].” It’s a medium, brightened red with subtle cool undertones and a cream finish. It’s fully opaque in two coats (almost in one!). The consistency wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied without streaking or pooling along the edges. NARS Lost Red (LE, $19.00) is darker. MAC RiRi Woo (LE, $16.00) is more muted. MAC Touch of Red (LE, $16.00) is similar. MAC Flaming Rose (P, $16.00) is pinker. Guerlain Rouge d’Enfer (P, $23.00) is similar. Cult Nails Evil Queen (P, $12.00) is more neutral. Zoya Sooki (P, $9.00) Butter London Pillar Box Red (P, $15.00) is slightly darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

The Glossover

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Rebel

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Sour Cherry

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Shirelle

A

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Monday, June 23rd, 2014

MAC New Romance Mineralize Blush
MAC New Romance Mineralize Blush

MAC New Romance Mineralize Blush ($27.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “peach.” It’s a light-medium, peachy-pink with a soft, champagne frosted finish and warm undertones. Makeup Geek Romance (P, $9.99) is warmer, more golden, darker. Makeup Geek Honeymoon (P, $9.99) is less shimmery. Becca Lychee/Opal (P, $27.00) is more shimmery, darker. MAC Perfect Topping (2014) (LE, $30.00) is lighter, less shimmery, less pink. MAC Stereo Rose (LE, $30.00) is darker. MAC Light Year (LE, $30.00) is a touch darker. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

This is a new–and, wait for it, permanent!–shade released with the packaging update on MAC’s Mineralize range. I sent in an inquiry about whether the Mineralize products were reformulated or simply repackaged, but I haven’t heard back. From what I can tell through texture, wear, and application, I think that some of the older shades have been updated to reflect some of the more recent textures we’ve seen in the Mineralize range. According to MAC, the Mineralize Blush formula is described as a “sheer and lightweight” formula where “colour builds lightly” with “luminous, pearlized shimmer.” It also looks like these increased in price to $27 (I reviewed two in February ’14, and they were $25), though the size is the same. The updated packaging is similar in size but is now glossy black, and the bottom of the compact curves inwards, which does make them more space-saving, but I wouldn’t recommend stacking these vertically, as they wobble–it is nice if you store them on their side in a container, though.

The texture of the powder was soft, smooth, and silky without being too powdery or dusty, as some of the Mineralize products can be. It had semi-sheer color payoff initially, but it was buildable to fairly opaque coverage (it is a lighter shade, though, so skin tones like mine or deeper will naturally see less wham! color than someone who is very fair) in a couple of layers. The powder blends easily once applied to the skin for a soft, diffused edge, but the high-shimmer finish does somewhat emphasize pores. When I wore this blush, the color stayed true for six and a half hours and then started to fade from there.

The Glossover

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product

New Romance

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, June 22nd, 2014

MAC Green Pearl over Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer
MAC Green Pearl over Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer

MAC Gold Pearl Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer gold pearl transformer.” It’s a sheer, gold-shimmered polish with a warm, yellow-tinged base and fine, gold pearl shimmer. It makes nails look almost metallic, because the shimmer is quite fine and creates “threads” of shimmer that are somewhat visible (depends on the angle). The consistency is slightly thick but manageable during application. I tried one coat over Impassioned, which is a bright coral, and it warmed it up, lightened the color, and added shimmer. The way the two worked together was nice–it didn’t look like an overlay of shimmer, it was as if the two were really one, which is a great effect. It’s not much of a duochrome, as it is just gold and golder, though it almost looks a bit like a duochrome in the bottle.

MAC Green Pearl Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer green pearl transformer.” This shade is much more nuanced and more of a duochrome top coat, as you can see the shimmer goes from golden green to emerald green to plum. On its own, you lose a lot of the nuances to the shift, and it seemed best layered over darker, cooler-toned polishes (I tried Nocturnelle). The shimmer is very fine, but the result is almost metallic so there are slightly visible brush strokes. The wider brush helps, as you can get it to splay out and almost cover the nail in single pull, which helps brush strokes to look even and become more camouflaged. I tested this shade, and it showed minor tip wear after seven days.

MAC Pink Pearl Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer pink pearl transformer.” It shifts from a medium gold-orange to pink to pink-red. It seemed to have less shimmer compared to the other two, but this one applied better with less visible brush strokes. It does add a slight warmth when layered over another polish as well (I tried Shirelle), though it is primarily adding shimmer/pearl. The texture was also a bit thinner compared to the other two so it was easier to work with.

I haven’t come across too many top coats like these, so I don’t have any dupes to suggest based on experience, but if you have any suggestions, please share in the comments! Thank you!

The Glossover

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product

Gold Pearl

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Green Pearl

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Pink Pearl

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Saturday, June 21st, 2014

MAC Peach Eyeshadow Swatches

Arena is described as a “soft gold-peach with pearl [with a Satin finish].” It’s a light-medium peach with a hint of beige, warm undertones, and a satin finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Bamboo is described as a “light beige with peach [with a Matte finish].” It’s a muted, light-medium peach with subtle beige tones and a matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Jest is described as a “soft peach with icy shimmer [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light, pink-tinged peach with a frostoed sheen. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Naked Lunch is described as a “minimal pink with shimmer [with a Frost finish].” It’s a light, pink-peach with a pearly sheen. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Bonus

These shades have been discontinued, but I’ve included some potential dupes for reference!

Samoa Silk is a brightened, peach-orange with a matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Say Yeah is a gold-shimmered, peachy-pink with warm undertones and a frosted finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Tete-a-tint is a light-medium, muted orange brown with a matte finish. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

What’s Swatch Saturday? I can’t always review products with full, in-depth reviews, but sometimes, I can at least give you photos and swatches, and then also provide a link to dupes and comparisons for those interested! This also helps us to build up our Swatch Gallery and add even more entries to The Dupe List, which can be helpful to readers at any point.

The Glossover

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Arena

Results
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Dupes
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Bamboo

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Jest

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Dupes
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Friday, June 20th, 2014

MAC Shadow over Instant Crush Nail Lacquer
MAC Shadow over Instant Crush Nail Lacquer

MAC Shadow Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer blackening top coat.” On the brush and in the bottle, it looks exactly as described: a sheer, black-tinted polish. I tried it over a few shades, but I honestly couldn’t really tell that it darkened any. In the photos, I went with a more medium shade, Instant Crush, and I left the middle finger without a top coat, but the difference is incredibly subtle. It would be more versatile if the effect at least darkened a half a shade to a full shade. The difference is slight enough that you’re hunting for it and hoping you see it. I don’t know of any dupes from products I’ve tried, though I’m sure there are top coats out there that may replicate the effect–feel free to share any finds you have!

MAC Texturize Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “clear leather effect top coat.” It takes down the glossiness of the underlying nail lacquer while adding a subtle texture (without being too rough), but it still has shine. There’s definitely a visible effect with one layer of Texturize applied over another shade (I used Sour Cherry). I tested this particular top coat for wear, and I had minimal tip wear after seven days (which is normal to me; almost nothing chips on me). I know there are a few leather top coats on the market, but I can’t recall trying one before, so I don’t have any dupes to suggest. As always, if you have one in mind, please share in the comments!

MAC Highlight Nail Lacquer ($12.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as “sheer blue pearl transformer.” It’s a sheer, shimmery top coat with a duochrome that goes from blue to violet. It applied fairly well, though it could have been more even overall (I tried it over Rebel). With the way the shimmer flashes and changes, any unevenness wasn’t too noticeable. The consistency was slightly thick but not goopy or too difficult to work with. I tested this one for wear, and it lasted for seven days with minor tip wear and no chipping (again, almost nothing chips on me). I haven’t come across any top coats that are duochrome in nature, only more solid colors, so I’d love to hear any suggestions for similar products if you know of them.

The Glossover

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product

Shadow

B

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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P
product

Texturize

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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product

Highlight

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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