Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream
MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream

If It Matches, Sculpt Away!

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20.00 for 0.17 oz.) are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features … [s]ilky-smooth, easy-to-blend and neutrally-shaded.” It’s supposed to have sheer-to-medium buildable coverage.

  • Accentuate is a pale white beige with mostly neutral undertones–it almost pulls a smidgen pink on me.
  • Coffee Walnut is a gray-ish medium-dark brown with subdued, orange-tan undertones. It has a slight green-cast.
  • Copper Beach is a medium-tan with strong orange undertones. If anything, this shade seemed more appropriate as a bronzer.
  • Naturally Defined is a light-medium beige with mostly neutral undertones–perhaps a smidgen warm.
  • Pure Sculpture is a softened tan brown. It’s not as orange as Copper Beach–more subdued.
  • Richly Honed is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones.

I think the shades in MAC’s Sculpting powder range (which is permanent at PRO stores) are better-colored for contouring, because they’re much more shadowy, and these tended to be rather warm-toned. When you contour, you’re emphasizing or adding shadows, and when you highlight, you’re shaping and sculpting by adding light/sheen. If one of these shades is the right color, it can be a really great product. I’m just not sold that this is the right set of shades–I would have loved to have seen them take the existing Sculpting range and make them into cream form.  Accentuate, Coffee Walnut, and Naturally Defined are the closest to neutral, while Copper beach, Pure Sculpture, and Richly Honed are very much warm-toned.

The texture is lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin.  I’d almost describe it as a stiff cream, but in the best way.  All six shades had buildable coverage, so you could get sheer-to-light color easily, but you could layer just once or twice for more intensity.  While I did try using the new 163 brush that came with the launch, I preferred the 193 or finger tips (using a clean spatula to remove product, then warming it up between finger tips and blending it out on the skin).  It dries down and has a natural finish.  I tested all six of the shades (though used together, not individually), and I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear with no noticeable fading.

The Glossover

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MAC Pro Sculpting Creams Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
I like the formula, but I don't think the shade range is ideal for contouring. If you're looking for good contouring shades, try MAC's PRO Sculpting powders - they are a fantastic product that I rarely hear about!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Jungle Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Jungle Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Jungle Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Jungle Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Dew (soft creamy beige), Camo (muted grayish taupe), Bad Lieutenant (blackened deep brown), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Bootcamp Bronze (soft sheer chestnut).

Dew is a light warm beige with a subtle golden shimmer-sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s color payoff is decent, but it’s a little dry and noticeably sheer. MAC Sahara Dust is less warm, less golden. Tarina Tarantino Elektron is similar but more metallic. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone has a very similar shade.

Camo is medium brown with a barest hint of gray, but it has a noticeably warm undertone despite the inclusion of gray. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was the best out of the four shades–good overall, slightly dry in texture. Burberry Pale Barley is warmer with more of a shimmery finish. theBalm Sultry is very similar, just slightly darker. Bare Escentuals Namaste is grayer and darker. MAC Era is similar but more shimmery.

Bad Lieutenant is a blackened gray with a hint of burgundy. It has a matte finish. The pigmentation is poor, and the texture dry and stiff. On the lid, it was marginally better, but it was not very blendable. Guerlain by Emilio Pucci is more intense, more of a red undertone. Tarina Tarantino Saw Dust is very similar but more pigmented. MAC Dance in the Dark is comparable. MAC Midnight Flurry is marginally lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is more cool-toned.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt!

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Bootcamp Bronze is a medium-dark orange-tan with a strong orange undertone. It’s a bit darker than the shade in the other face kit, but when you apply it to the skin, the difference is minute. While the color is buildable, it’s only to a point, and I’m not sure how well it will show up on darker complexions, as it took some layering to get it to show up on me–and when it does, it’s very faint–and I’m medium in color.  The wear with this shade was the same as Sand Storm: six hours of wear, at which point, there was noticeable separation and fading–and it did not care for having my drier cheeks under it at all.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

Again, as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more matte, while Desert Camouflage is more shimmery. I think this one has less quality than Desert Camouflage, because three shades are lacking in color payoff, and the textures across the board were dry, with some being particularly stiff (like Bad Lieutenant and Carbon).  When I wore these eyeshadows together, they wore for six and a half hours over a primer before starting to look faded.  Without a primer, they were more difficult to apply and blend, but they wore about the same length of time.

The Glossover

palette

Jungle Camouflage

D+
I think this one has less quality than Desert Camouflage, because three shades are lacking in color payoff, and the textures across the board were dry, with some being particularly stiff (like Bad Lieutenant and Carbon).

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo
Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo

Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo ($36.00 for 0.34 oz.) contains Bahama Brown (Shimmer Blush) and Pink Peony (Illuminating Bronzing Powder).  It’s a limited edition piece from Bobbi Brown’s Desert Twilight collection.

Bahama Brown is listed as “the perfect way to add a pop of color to the apples of cheeks.” It’s a muted brown with a hint of champagne shimmer-sheen, subtle orange-brown undertones, and a barely-there gray tinge. MAC Equilibrium is browner, no orange/red. Burberry Russet is closer but has a matte finish. MAC Pressed Amber is browner with subtler orange undertones. This shade had decent color payoff, but the texture was a little dry and stiff, so it wasn’t as blendable as I’d like in a powder blush. The sheen was nice–not too much, which meant it didn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. It wore for seven and a half hours before I saw some minor fading along the edges.

Pink Peony is described as a “blend of sheer powder and micro pearls.” It’s a soft, light-medium pink with a pale golden sheen. The color is sheer, as described. It’s almost coral, though the pink tends to dominate. MAC Immortal Flower is darker with no gold sheen. Tarina Tarantino Parasol is brighter, pinker. Tarina Tarantino Feather is more coral. Guerlain Blush G is similar but has a moer metallic sheen. Pink Peony was softer and more blendable on, and the sheerness of the color did help it smooth out more easily, since you couldn’t go overboard with it! This shade wore for six hours on me–it was much faster to show fading.

I like it, but I don’t love it.  If Bahama Brown was softer, more finely-milled and blendable, this would be a great combination of colors.  The brown could be used faintly as a contour shade on lighter complexions or as a way to bronze or add a glowy sheen on medium to dark skin tones.  The pink works either as a blush for lighter skin tones or as a highlighter on deeper ones.

The Glossover

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Bobbi Brown Desert Twilight Bronzer/Blush Duo Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I like it, but I don't love it. If Bahama Brown was softer, more finely-milled and blendable, this would be a great combination of colors. The wear of Pink Peony was underwhelming, though.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Refined Golden Bronzing Powder

MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “finely spun golden with soft pearl finish.” It’s a medium-dark tan brown with warm undertones–a little red, a little yellow–and gold sparkle. This is the darkest/deepest bronzer of the launch, so for more than just a warm tint on deeper complexions, this would be your best bet (though you might consider other shades within the permanent range). This is like a darker version of MAC Soft Sand. Urban Decay Toasted is more red-toned.

The texture is soft, but a little dry, but it applies smoothly and evenly on the skin. I didn’t have any trouble blending it out (not like Soft Sand), and it’s very buildable, so you can go for softer, lighter coverage or intensify it, depending on your preferences and needs. I didn’t test this specific version of Refined Golden, but I tested one I already had (as it gets repromoted often) a couple of weeks ago in anticipation of the launch, and it wore for about seven hours.

The Glossover

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MAC Refined Golden Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
This shade is the most suitable for deeper complexions from the four available in this collection. It can still be used on lighter skin tones, because it is a buildable and blendable product.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Nude on Board Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders

MAC Hey, Sailor! Pro Longwear Bronzing Powder ($28.00 for 0.42 oz.) is a new (but limited edition) formula that features two shades: Nude on Board (bronzy, yellow tone) and Sun Dipped (dirty red tone). This new formula promises to yield “sheer-low transparent coverage” with “long wear” and a “natural finish.”

  • Nude on Board is a soft light-medium golden tan with subtle gold shimmer-sheen. On my skin tone (about NC30 at the moment), it adds subtle warmth and golden glow. This would be the shade most suitable for light to medium complexions. MAC Soft Sand is darker, redder. MAC GIve Me Sun! is a little more orange.
  • Sun Dipped is a light-medium brownish tan with a subtle beige-gold sheen. This shade is a little more buildable than Nude on Board, but it’s still more appropriate for light to medium-dark than medium to dark. I think it could still add a subtle warmth to all complexions, though. MAC Soft Sand is redder. MAC Golden is a little lighter. Chanel Sable Beige is a little yellower, more golden.

Side-by-side, Nude on Board seems lighter and warmer compared to Sun Dipped, which looks a bit dirty, brown, and gray. When swatched, however, the differences get minimized. Nude on Board is distinctly golden, yellow-toned in comparison, but Sun Dipped isn’t really darker, just a little less warm and it has more of a sheen than a shimmer. As I’m writing this review, I’m looking at them side-by-side on my forearm, and in my office lighting, it’s hard to tell them apart. The same is true when they’re applied to the cheeks! Moral of the story: you don’t really need both.  I anticipate that cooler complexions may see more of a difference.

The texture of the Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders is very, very soft and smooth–these powders are incredibly finely-milled and feel like silk against the skin. They apply even better; they apply softly, evenly, and blend out effortlessly.  It’s almost a creamy feel, because of how silky the powder is.  When I tested out the wear, Nude on Board lasted for eight hours without fading or migrating.  After ten hours, it was a little faded and patchy.

The Glossover

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MAC Hey, Sailor Pro Longwear Bronzing Powders Review, Photos, Swatches

A+
Both of these are some of the best products from the collection. It's a shame that the formula is limited edition--what's the point?--but you get so much in each compact, it should last you until MAC repromotes it next summer (assuming they do).

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Hey, Sailor: Soft Sand Bronzing Powder

MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder ($24.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “golden bronze with fine gold pearl.” it’s a medium tan with subtle warm, golden undertones and a gold shimmer-sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but more pigmented, so it appears darker. MAC Give Me Sun! is very comparable but doesn’t have shimmer.

This is very sheer–I had to scrape product out with a metal spatula in order to get a “heavy” swatch. While the texture is soft, it’s a bit stiff, which I think inhibits some of the color payoff and ease of blending. It blends decently, but a lot of it is that there just isn’t very much product you can visibly see, so there weren’t any harsh lines to blend out. This would be most suitable for very pale to pale skin tones, because I had to pack it on to make it visible enough for it to show in photos.  When I wore this shade yesterday, it managed to last for about seven hours, and after eight, there was noticeable fading along the edges.

The Glossover

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MAC Soft Sand Bronzing Powder Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The stiffness of the texture was very problematic and made it harder to blend, apply, and extract color from it. Sheer products will still show up on me without having to scrape chunks of color loose, but sheer and dry products require serious effort to get any kind of color payoff.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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