Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale

MAC Tartan Tale Collection (Chapter 1): Overall, Round-up, & Recommendations

OVERALL, Tartan Tale is both overwhelming and underwhelming–the sheer size makes it difficult to focus on individual products and starts to feel more like an explosion of products. It’s underwhelming in that a lot of the kits/sets aren’t as value-driven as palettes and sets often are, but some of the quality is lacking in the palettes, as well.

For this part of the holiday collection, I have no must-haves. There are some nice colors within the palettes, but I don’t feel that the entire palette/kit is a must-have. These were some of the individual shades I thought were worth noting: Endless Fun (Happily Ever After Lip Kit), Baron’s Rose (Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag), Mellow Mood (Vain & Glorious Lip Bag), and Rolled Gold (Twists of Tartan Palette.  I liked Rockers & Reelers the most out of the palettes and sets, but I didn’t love it.

I also like the Face Kits, and I think they’re worth checking out if you don’t have any of the permanent blush shades included in each. It’s a more affordable way to try three cheek products at once, and at least, if you love the blushes, they’re available in the permanent range, too.  I do always recommend the MAC Viva Glam holiday products. If you love the color of either the gloss or lipstick, but not the bag or both, they are available year-round for purchase.

The one item I specifically do not recommend are the brush sets.  I think the quality is significantly below MAC brushes (full-sized), but worse yet, below more affordable brush options.  Buy one or two full-size brushes and add to your brush collection over time.

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: None

Nice-to-haves: Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Reelers & Rockers Palette, Happily Ever After Lip Kit

Skip: Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette (MAC has better permanent neutrals), Brush Sets

Skip if…

  • Skip ENDLESS FUN if you have OYSTER GIRL; it’s a little less milky but very similar.
  • Skip BARON’S ROSE if you have FUN BATHING; they’re incredibly close–Baron’s Rose is a touch redder.
  • Skip SMOOTH HARMONY if you have GOLDEN BRONZER;
  • Skip CROWN & SCEPTRE if you have ANTIQUED; slightly less metallic but similar enough color-wise.

Don’t forget to…

Check your stash for MOTH TO FLAME (permanent), BABY SPARKS (permanent), IN SYNCH (repromote from Too Fabulous, ’10), MELLOW MOOD (repromote from Electroflash, ’08), MELBA (permanent), PEACHTWIST (permanent), SMOOTH HARMONY (repromote from Heatherette, ’08), DAME (permanent), PLUM FOOLERY (permanent), OH SO FAIR (repromote from Venomous Villains, ’10), SILVERWEAR (repromote from Holiday, ’07), HOLD MY GAZE (repromote from Holiday, ’09), ALTERED STATE (repromote from Holiday, ’09), BRONZE (permanent), BUCKWHEAT (repromote from Naked Honey, ’09), SHOWSTOPPER (repromoted endlessly), WHITE RABBIT (repromote from Holiday, ’09), CARBON (permanent), VAINGLORIOUS (repromote from Venomous Villains, ’10).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: Happily Ever After Kit, Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette, Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Twists of Tartan Palette, Hark the Heraldry Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: A Fabulous Fantasy Kit, Happily Ever After Kit, Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Reelers & Rockers Palette, A Triumphant Blush Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag, Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: A Fabulous Fantasy Kit, Reelers & Rockers Palette, Twists of Tartan Palette, A Triumphant Blush Face Kit, Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Happily Ever After Kit, Dashing Lassies Eyeshadow Palette, Beauties Play It Cool Palette, Twists of Tartan Palette, Hark the Heraldry Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: A Fabulous Fantasy Kit, Reelers & Rockers Palette, A Triumphant Blush Face Kit, Vain & Glorious Lip Bag, Dazzle the Lads Lip Bag

What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, October 28th, 2010


MAC A Tartan Tale: Link Roundup

PHEW!  It’s been a grueling week!  We’re finally done reviewing and sharing MAC’s A Tartan Tale with you, and since it’s been a long ride, here’s a quickie round-up of all of the coverage.  To follow, there will be an overall review along with recommendations and all that jazz, per usual.

MAC A Tartan Tale Collection: Colour

MAC A Tartan Tale Collection: Palettes & Sets

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

MAC Highland Honey Blush
MAC My Highland Honey Blush

MAC Tartan Tale: Highland Honey Blush

MAC Highland Honey Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a rich shade of peach-orange with a very subtle satin sheen.  It can be built up for a more intense, more orange-y look or used lightly for a lit-from-within kind of glow.  I love that it’s pigmented without being straight-up orange, but it’s also buildable; you can easily apply it lightly or pat more on for a more intense look.

It’s warmer and more orange than Melba Blush, which is a darker peach with less of an orange pull. It’s not as orange as NARS Gina nor as coral as NARS Gilda. It’s a shade lighter than Illamasqua’s Lover, but the two are similar. It’s also similar to Utterly Game, which leans a little coral but not by much.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: It’s a nice choice to warm up cheeks, especially on warmer skin tones.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Dazzleglass Cremes
Passing Fancy, Gone Romancin’, Lightly Prancing, Radiant Jewels, Soft Dazzle

MAC Tartan Tale: Dazzleglass Cremes

MAC Tartan Tale Dazzleglass Cremes ($18.00 for 0.09 oz.) feature five new and limited edition shades ranging from sheer neutrals to more opaque red. Dazzleglasses Cremes have a thicker consistency but aren’t as sticky as lipglass. I do find that they have a slightly gritty texture, which becomes more noticeable as the gloss disappears and the glittery bits are left behind. They smell like vanilla.

The shades include: Passing Fancy (bright orange coral with soft pearl), Gone Romancin’ (mid-tone lavender with multi-dimensional pearl), Lightly Prancing (light peach with gold pearl), Radiant Jewels (dark sparkly magenta), and Soft Dazzle (mid-tone peach pink with gold pearl).

Their biggest downfall is how little product you get in each tube: a measly 0.09 oz. To put that into perspective, a normal MAC Lipglass is $14.50 and contains 0.17 oz. I like Dazzleglasses for their high shine, glossy look and very dazzling shimmer, but the pitiful amount drives me batty.

  • Passing Fancy is a soft, sheer coral-nude with white shimmer. This is the least shimmer-filled of the five. I don’t know how this translates to “bright orange coral,” though. It may look it in the tube, but on the lips, not the case. Smile would be the closest permanent dupe, though it has a bit more shimmer.
  • Gone Romancin’ is a semi-opaque lilac pink with lots of light lilac and white shimmer. This one is full of shimmer! It reminds me of Negligee lipglass or a more lilac Cultured. It’s a bit pinker than Via Veneto.
  • Lightly Prancing is a semi-sheer, milky peach nude with soft gold shimmer. It is reminiscent of Sublime Shine, though less gold shimmer. The closest permanent dupe would be Bare Necessity.
  • Radiant Jewels is a semi-opaque, deep fuchsia raspberry with fuchsia shimmer. It looks very much like Creme Allure — maybe just a touch darker, but they look very, very close to me. Love Alert would be the closest permanent dupe.
  • Soft Dazzle is a semi-sheer, milky pink-nude with gold shimmer. Yes, it looks incredibly similar to Lightly Prancing–it’s just a little pink. Moth to Flame would be the closest permanent dupe –it doesn’t have as much gold sparkle.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Gone Romancin’ is fun, and I think with the amount of lilac lip fans, it’ll go over well. The others are rather similar to past or present dazzleglasses/dazzleglass cremes, though.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Lipsticks
Courting Lilac, Cut-a-Caper, Deepest Wish, The Faerie Glen, Full Fuchsia

MAC Tartan Tale: Lipsticks

MAC Tartan Tale Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) feature four new and limited edition shades and one PRO shade being promoted. There’s an interesting mix of shades here — you have the ultra bright, two more neutral/everyday, one vampy, and one that doesn’t quite fit.

The five shades include: Courting Lilac (sheer lilac mauve with soft gold pearl), Cut-a-Caper (mid-tone peachy pink), Deepest Wish (deep creamy red-brown), The Faerie Glen (pale neutral pink), and Full Fuchsia (bright blue fuchsia). All are limited edition except for Full Fuchsia, which is permanent at PRO stores.

  • Courting Lilac is a semi-opaque, pink-tinged purple with gold shimmer and sheen. It has a glaze finish. It’s not the same, but it has a similar effect as Victorian (from Spring Colour Forecast), but Victorian is a bubblegum pink in comparison. It’s closer in color to Bubblegum (also from Spring Colour Forecast), but the golden sheen is more apparent in Courting Lilac, and it’s not quite as blue-based. It’s also reminiscent of Urban Decay’s Naked but a little more lilac.
  • Cut-a-Caper is a semi-opaque, soft coral-pink with a glossy shine. It has a lustre finish. At first, I thought it might have been similar to Ever Hip, but it’s peachier. It’s actually quite similar to Smashbox’s Splendid. I’m actually reminded of Strange Potion, which was a lipglass. I gotta say that it doesn’t look very much like it does in the tube when swatched or worn.
  • Deepest Wish is a deepened red-burgundy with a glossy shine. It has an amplified finish, but it’s the weakest amplified I’ve tried–it’s a lot glossier and sheerer than other amplified finished lipsticks I’ve tried in the past. It’s a muted version of Media, less opaque version of Kittenish.
  • The Faerie Glen is a semi-sheer neutral beige-peach with soft sheen. It has a lustre finish. It’s a lighter version of MAC Cherish.
  • Full Fuchsia is a neon fuchsia with blue undertones. It has an amplified finish, and it applies nearly opaque. It is brighter and pinker than Girl About Town.

I think Courting Lilac will be the big seller within the lipsticks launched, because it’s a little different than past similar releases and not fully found within the permanent range. Both Cut-a-Caper and The Faerie Glen are wearable neutrals that should flatter both cool and warm skin tones.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The lustre finishes here actually have decent pigmentation, which is always nice to find. They’re still glossy in the overall appearance, though. Deepest Wish feels too dupeable to be a must-have.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale Eyeshadows
MAC A Wish Come True Eyeshadow

MAC Tartan Tale: Eyeshadows

MAC Tartan Tale Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.10 oz.) are new and limited edition as part of the Tartan Tale Color Collection. These eyeshadows are twice the size of regular pressed MAC Eyeshadows (0.05 oz. vs. 0.10 oz.), and they are the same size pot as Mineralize Eyeshadows or Cream Colour Bases. Given the quantity, they’re actually a better value (when you look at price/quantity) than MAC’s normal eyeshadows.

The six limited edition shades include: A Wish Come True (dirty mauve with bubblegum pink Tartan striping), Enviably Fun (grass green with dark green Tartan striping), Follow Your Fantasy (mid-tone peach with chocolate Tartan striping), Golden Crown (light gold with bronze Tartan striping), Glamora Castle (dark grey with teal Tartan striping), and Semi-Precious (aubergine with chocolate Tartan striping).

I wish MAC included a better description of the product itself, because “dressed in a playfully tartan pattern finish” doesn’t tell me how I should expect these to perform. My experience with them is that they are a very soft, silky powder with decent color payoff. All of the colors seemed just a touch more muted when swatched than they looked in the pan.

I tried to remove the top layer with the tartan striping, so the swatches are of what was beneath the striping. Doing so also showed that the colored striping is only on the top layer, and the pattern itself doesn’t go all the way through.  You can see the shadow cut in half, over at BBB — thanks @mylipsbutbetter!

  • A Wish Come True is a softened pink with light plumminess and a frosted finish. It seems like a warmer pink to me. It’s a warmer Swish and a lighter and more muted Da Bling.
  • Enviably Fun is a soft chartreuse green with stronger golden sheen and yellow undertones. It’s similar to Juxt eyeshadow, but it’s brighter and greener–think Bitter and Juxt coming together.
  • Follow Your Fantasy is a soft medium orange with champagne shimmer-sheen. MAC doesn’t have a lot of orange eyeshadows, so there didn’t seem like there was anything similar in the permanent range. Paradisco would come the closest, but it is more coral.
  • Golden Crown is a gilded champagne gold with soft sheen. This one was the least pigmented of the six and gave more shimmer than heavy color. It’s like a sheerer, less yellow Goldmine.
  • Glamora Castle is a steel blue with silver sheen. This seemed a little less frosty than the others. It’s a bluer version of Surreal (without the duochrome). It’s also a less intense version of Urban Decay’s Money (a BoS III exclusive shade).
  • Semi-Precious is a brightened red plum with soft violet sheen. This was the most pigmented shade of the six. It is rather similar to both Hepcat and Plum Dressing.

I don’t think any of these shades really jumped out as being particularly new or original, and they seem rather soft and muted for fall–like I would expect to see this kind of soft, springy palette in spring/summer. I’m lukewarm on these; they’re soft and smooth, but a little powdery, and while they’re good, they’re not excellent.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Nice but not outstanding–if there’s a color that grabs you, I don’t think you’d be disappointed. They have a very soft, smooth texture.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →