Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

What is MAC PRO?

MAC PRO is a separate range of colors and products designed with the professional makeup artist in mind. MAC describes the products as “more pigmented and [with] more versatility in their use.” Additionally, “PRO products are perfect for everything from body art to beauty shots, to work in film, television, fashion or theatre – M·A·C PRO is the industry professional’s makeup of choice.” There are PRO products, which are product types not available at regular MAC stores or counters, but there are also PRO colors, which are shades of existing product lines (like lipsticks) that you will only find at PRO stores.

PRO Only Product Lines: Airbrushing, Chromacake, Chromagraphic Pencil, Chromaline, Creme Liner, Gloss, Lipmix, Lip Erase, Mixing Medium, Paint Stick

You don’t have to be a makeup artist, and you don’t need to have a PRO card to buy MAC PRO products. It’s better to think of the two as separate — the PRO card allows industry professionals to get a discount on the products they would use in their line of work. You can read more about the requirements here. Similarly, you can always peruse the PRO website–you won’t be able to see prices, but you can see the product range.

How can I buy PRO products?

Unfortunately, only PRO members can order online, but anyone can order by calling the PRO phone number, visiting their nearest PRO store, or calling their nearest PRO store and doing a phone order.

To order by phone…

U.S.: 1-800-387-6707
Canada: 1-800-387-6707 ext 8555

My Must-Have PRO Products

  • Eyeshadows: Bio-Green, Blue Calm, Bottle Green, Bright Sunshine, Indian Ink, Kelly, Naval, Sky Blue, Sour Lemon, Vellum
  • Lipsticks: Show Orchid, Violetta
  • Mixing Medium (Water Base)
  • Pigments: Blonde’s Gold, Chartreuse, Emerald Green, Pink Pearl, True Chartreuse

List of MAC PRO Locations… Continue reading →

Monday, May 31st, 2010

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010 for Fall 2010

U.S. Launch Date: August 2010

More information as it becomes available. :)

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Nubar Sparkles Collection

Nubar Sparkles Collection

Nubar Sparkles Collection ($49.95) includes eight shades of glitter nail lacquers, most of which have a clear base but a few have a tinted base. I had some really good luck with some of these shades, but I definitely need a little more practice in applying glitter polishes like these.

They are incredibly dense as compared to other glitter finishes I’ve tried, but I did have some unevenness with a few shades and not completely opaque results with others. I think this is more to do with my application technique than the shades themselves–definitely need to be patient and let each coat dry completely before applying the next one. I think also thicker, rather than thinner, coats work better, too. I’m used to laying down a thinner initial coat followed by a thicker secondary coat, but I found it was better with two thicker coats.

The most foolproof shades were definitely Fire Sparkle, Night Sparkle, and Violet Sparkle (these three were my favorites, too –but because of their intense glow!).   The shades I had the most trouble with were Sky Sparkle and Hyacinth Sparkle.

  • Star Sparkle is a clear base with silver and holographic glitter. I did three coats, and you can still see some of my nail beneath it, but it’s considerably opaque given it has a clear base.
  • Fire Sparkle is a sheer red base with red and darkened red glitter. In sunlight and flash, you’ll also catch glimmers of the molten amber flecks of shimmer, too — it really comes alive when the light hits it. Just two coats were needed here.
  • Petunia Sparkle is a magenta purple with red undertones and fuchsia-purple and lighter pink glitter. It’s a clear base–would you believe it–and three coats gave me complete, opaque coverage.
  • Meadow Sparkle is a pale spring green glitter suspended in a lightly tinted green base. To be honest, I didn’t see much tint in the base–I thought it was clear myself. I couldn’t quite get a completely opaque look, but I think I moved a little too fast on this one.
  • Night Sparkle is a deep true blue with flecks of blue and gold glitter. Just two coats for a completely opaque look.
  • Sky Sparkle is a medium blue with a slight aqua lean glitter suspended in a clear base. Personally, I had some trouble getting this one to apply evenly and opaquely.
  • Hyacinth Sparkle is a sheer lavender base with darker and lighter lavender glitter. It took me three coats to get a nearly opaque look, but it was a bit uneven.
  • Violet Sparkle is a deep violet purple with flecks of lighter, brighter violet and purple strewn through a clear base.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation:  If you’re a fan of glittery polishes and have been on the hunt for ones that are better alone than layered as a top coat, you may enjoy Nubar’s Sparkle Collection.

Availability: Nubar

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Illamasqua Temper Intense Lipgloss
Illamasqua Temper Intense Lipgloss

The Summer Season: Illamasqua Temper Intense Lipgloss

Illamasqua Temper Intense Lipgloss ($19.00) is a fiery orange red with a creamy, glossy finish.  It’s a wickedly bright–but neon–orange-red.  I can see this working really well with deeper skin tones and warmer complexions in particular.  I love the pigmentation of this lipgloss, because it makes no bones about what you’re wearing.  Intense Lipgloss isn’t for the fainthearted!  It’s long-wearing with the gloss wearing off after about an hour and a half, but the color itself clinging on for three to four hours and leaving behind a decent stain that wears on for another hour or two.  It’s scent- and taste-free, too, for those with more sensitive senses.

Is this the right orange lipgloss for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

The Glossover

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Monday, May 31st, 2010

NYX Blonde Pearl Eyeshadow

NYX Ultimate Pearl Eyeshadow in Blonde Pearl

NYX Blonde Pearl Ultimate Pearl Eyeshadow ($7.00) is a brightened yellow gold with a soft frost finish. It’s nicely pigmented, and it has a very smooth, silky finish. Blonde Pearl is part of a new eyeeshadow formula packed with more shimmer for “a soft, shimmery, iridescent look.” The last NYX eyeshadows I tried were among their Trios, and the Pearl formula definitely has a smoother, more finely milled feel to it. It doesn’t have any powdery-ness. I did find that when used with a brush, it will diffuse a little, but it stays true-to-color for the most part.

It’s a good eyeshadow, and for the price–as compared to high end alternatives–it’s a bargain. Compared to other NYX eyeshadows, I’m not sure they’re significantly better than their singles ($5.50). The $7 price tag for a single eyeshadow seems a little steep for a brand known for their affordability. Blonde Pearl reminds me a lot of MAC’s Goldmine eyeshadow, though, so it’s a nice, slightly more affordable alternative.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: For a more affordable alternative to high-end eyeshadow, NYX’s Pearl formula is still worth checking out, but it may not be significantly better than other NYX shadows.

Availability: NYX

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Dior Ultra Gloss

Dior Ultra Gloss in Little Red Dress, Twin Set Pink, & Satin Peach

Today, I’ve got three more shades of Dior Ultra Gloss ($26.50 for 0.21 oz.) to show you! I reviewed these in full detail here, but to recap:

PROS: Non-sticky, moisturizing, glossy, dazzling shimmer (not gritty glitter)
CONS: Lasts less than two hours, so you’ll need to reapply

For the most part, Ultra Glosses definitely run on the sheerer side, but Little Red Dress is much more pigmented than the other six shades I’ve tried.  Satin Peach is a better version of NARS’ Orgasm lipgloss in my opinion, as it’s more moisturizing with a glossier finish.

  • Little Red Dress (856) is a brightened, cherry red with golden shimmer. It’s nearly opaque on my lips, and it’s impressively opaque for a lipgloss.
  • Twin Set Pink (157) is a semi-sheer champagne-nude with champagne and gold micro-shimmer.
  • Satin Peach (236) is a sheer milky beige with a slight pinkyness to it and golden-peach micro-shimmer.

Check out other shade reviews…

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If love sheer, non-sticky lipgloss, Dior Ultra Gloss is exactly that. And if you don’t mind reapplying every two hours or so, I think you’d really like these.

Availability: Sephora

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

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