Sunday, October 28th, 2012

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit
MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit

Golden, What Happened to You?

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit ($49.50) contains seven products: Golden (Bronzing Powder, muted golden tan-beige with shimmer), Hearts-a-flutter (eyeshadow, warm pink with silver pearl), Romance Me (eyeshadow, warm plum with gold pearl), Shadowy Lady (eyeshadow, blackened plum), Barely Lit (lipstick, neutral pink withgold pearls), Headturner (lipstick, mid-tone cool cream plum), and a dual-ended 275SE/316SE brush.

Each Eyeshadow is approximately 0.033 oz. (total weight is 0.10 oz.), while the Bronzing Powder is 0.10 oz., and each Lipstick is 0.03 oz. There is a dual-ended brush that has the 275SE on one end and the 316SE on the other end. The kit contains $30.00 worth of eyeshadow, $6.86 worth of Bronzing Powder, and $9.00 worth of lipstick, for a total value of $45.86. You do get the dual-ended brush, but it really feels like a typical applicator that gets thrown into a lot of high-end palettes; the quality felt less than the usual SE brushes. The kit itself is packaged in a peach satin, but it’s smaller than the Divine Desire kits ($70.00), and it isn’t reusable from what I can tell–it’s more like the packaging used for the eyeshadow palettes.

Golden is a golden peach-brown with a peach shimmer-sheen. The texture was of this was very, very dry. It was so stiff, I had to jab layers of product off of it with a metal spatula. It was hard as a rock–I almost thought it was fake (this happened once, I received a MAC product that had a *plastic* replica of the powder in the compact). I’m not sure what happened, but the last time I swatched and reviewed Golden Bronzing Powder, I did not have the payoff and texture problems that I had with this one. This shade is part of the permanent range, so if you like how it looks in the pan, you might want to check out the full-sized version. MAC Nude on Board is a bit darker.

Barely Lit is a rosy beige with a little gold micro-shimmer to give it that “lit” effect. It has semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage. It has a lustre finish. In the pan, it almost felt and looked more like a gloss–it was very squishy. It wore for two hours. Laura Mercier Sandcastle is more subdued. MAC Viva Glam V is pinker. MAC Martha is similar, less shimmery.

Headturner is a berry red with a purple-tinge. It is mostly opaque on lips, and it has a Cremesheen finish. It lasted for four hours on my lips. NARS Afghan Red is redder. MAC Rebel is richer, brighter. Guerlain Guet-Apens is redder. MAC Red Dwarf is a bit darker and more subdued. MAC Positively Dashing is similar, less shimmery.

Hearts-a-flutter is a pale pink-tinged white with a satin finish, so there is a noticeable sheen but nothing too frosted. It had so-so color payoff. It looks quite a bit like MAC Radial Pink from the eye kit! Chanel Harmonie du Soir is pinker. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is similar, slightly cooler-toned. Bare Escentuals Muse is less frosty. MAC Defiance is more iridescent.

Romance Me is a gray-tinged medium-dark brown with sallow brown undertones. It has a lustre finish, but it didn’t look or feel like one–seemed more like a frost, really. It didn’t have the loose sparkle that is a telltale sign of a lustre. It had decent color payoff, but the texture was a bit dry. MAC Earthly is lighter. Bare Escentuals Vow is darker. theBalm Celebrational is a smidgen grayer.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened purple with a matte finish. It’s dry, stubborn in texture, and the color is a bit uneven. When I applied it to the lid, it wasn’t as blendable as a really good matte eyeshadow is. This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s an often-included shade in holiday palettes. MAC Spellcaster is more purple. MAC Indian Ink is more purple, richer.

It is interesting that the pink shade has such a strong resemblance to Radial Pink, which is in the duo alongside Shadowy Lady! I’m also surprised to see Shadowy Lady repromoted twice in two different products, since it’s already a permanent shade as well. Golden was a complete miss here, unfortunately. It’s one of the more wearable bronzers across complexions, though I think MAC would have made this palette more appealing by including a blush rather than bronzer (maybe something pinky-plum).

I know there is a split on Lustres and Cremesheens–some find them drying (this is where I am) and others love them. Barely Lit was somewhat drying, and Headturner was just a wee bit drying over time. I didn’t have any fall out with Romance Me, in spite of its lustre finish, which was great news. The eyeshadows did have to be applied over a primer, because they were not pigmented enough to be used alone.

P.S. — This is the last of the MAC reviews until Guilty Pleasures launches (which is next week), so for the non-MAC fans, there is a reprieve on the horizon. :)

The Glossover

palette

MAC All for Glamour Gorgeous Bronze Face Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
The two lipsticks help to keep the pigmentation score from falling totally flat, but they were slightly drying on me, which tended to neutralize their effect on the total palette. The bronzer was a huge let-down, and Shadowy Lady wasn't easy to work with.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, October 25th, 2012

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish
MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish

So Superb, It’s Been Reviewed Twice!

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “soft peach nude with multidimensional shimmer.” It’s a soft, medium champagne-shimmered peach-brown. It has a high-shine finish that’s almost metallic, depending on how heavily you apply it. Guerlain Terra Inca is similar, more metallic. Bobbi Brown Beach is lighter. MAC Redhead is pinker. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold is a bit more frosted.

I reviewed Superb when it originally launched earlier this year in March. For a more in-depth review, I’d encourage you to read this post. I wanted to roll out improved photos, since I know this is a rather anticipated repromote. All of the photos and swatches are of the most recently released version (that came out with Glamour Daze), which is exactly the same as the originally released version. I re-tested the wear, and it lasted around eight hours with some minor fading along the edges (same as when I tested it before).

If you want to tone down the finish, I suggest using a stippling brush (like MAC’s 188) and lightly dusting it over the areas you want to highlight.  There’s enough color that it can be used as a blusher or bronzer (depending on your skin tone), but you’ll definitely get a greater sheen that way.  If you want a really metallic look, try applying it with a damp brush.

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MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
If you love shimmery, high-shine highlighters, you'll like enjoy MAC's Extra Dimension Skinfinishes. They are comparable in formula to Estee Lauder's Illuminating Gelees as well.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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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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