Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) are a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.”

  • Bright Forecast is a soft peach with subtle orange tones. The peachy tones of this shade are good for brightening and lightening dark under eye circles without creating a green cast (that yellow-based correctors can cause). I found this one did the best to minimize my dark under eye circles while still looking natural.
  • Light Boost is a pale beiged yellow. Yellow is good for lightening darkness. This would work well as a subtle cheek or brow highlighter on those with yellow undertones.
  • Radiant Rose is a soft, pale pastel pink. Pink helps to brighten the skin tone. It can also be used to brighten the under eye area, like Benefit’s Eye Bright. This shade felt more opaque than the other two, and when I used it underneath my eye (without concealer on top), it was a little pale on me. I loved it more as an eyeshadow base and brow highlighter.

The Prep + Prime Highlighters come in a click-type brush pen that takes several initial twists to release the product, but after that, you should only need a couple clicks to dispense the product. Over time, I’ve become less of a fan of brush-type products, just because I hate the way the brush feels and looks as you use it and the product seems to just sit in there. I’d much rather use a separate brush that you can wash without fear of getting water back into the product. I did find that while it can be easily applied onto the skin with the applicator, blending and application went better using a fluffy brush like the 217 for small areas (or fingers).

I applied each shade over my cheeks and under eye area, because I really wanted the effect to stand out. I felt like when I just did the under eye, it was difficult to really see what was going on. I wouldn’t normally use these as I did for the swatch photos, but I figured what good are photos if you can’t spot the difference? These have a subtle effect, and if you layer concealer over them, the effect is even harder to pick up–not necessarily in a bad way (like, ooh, so subtle it’s not worth it), but it’s a subtle, natural effect that works well and looks lovely. More like, “Oh, you look pretty today, did you cut your hair?” kind of way.

These wore really well for me, and I even used Radian Rose as an eyeshadow base.  It looked really beautiful as a brow highlighter and lid brightener by itself, but it also held up as an eyeshadow base, too.  I didn’t notice any fading and certainly no creasing or settling into fine lines over eight hours of wear.

There are numerous brands with highlighter pens, including:

  • Dior (Sun Beam may be comparable to Bright Forecast; Roseglow to Radiant Rose)
  • Fresh (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Fusion Beauty (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Givenchy (Moon Light seems most comparable to Radiant Rose)
  • Guerlain (nothing seems comparable in color–these are skintone shades)
  • Sephora (#01 seems like Radiant Rose, #02 seems like Light Boost; #06 seems like Bright Forecast)
  • YSL (Light Peach seems comparable to Bright Forecast, Luminous Ivory to Light Boost, and Luminous Radiance to Radiant Rose)

These can help correct and brighten but they won’t necessarily conceal on their own. Bright Forecast can help a good deal with under eye circles, but it’s not opaque, so for some, it may be enough on its own. They’re definitely comparable to cult-favorite YSL Touche Eclat. Sephora also seems to offer a very comparable color range in their variation on the highlighter pen, and at $12 a pop, it might be worth trying (overall Sephora ratings show it to be good, though I have not tried it myself, so I cannot weigh in).

MAC is roughly half the price of the higher-end highlighter pens, and they seem to provide double the product (I saw many listed at 0.05 oz., a couple closer to 0.10 oz.), so the product seems to be priced in line with quantity and MAC’s price range.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These are easy to use, difficult to mess up or go overboard with, and work well to brighten, lighten, and add radiance for brows, eyes, or cheeks (depending on your skin tone!).

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 25th, 2011


MAC Lustre Drops in Pink Rebel and Sun Rush

MAC Lustre Drops Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Lustre Drops ($19.50 for 0.60 fl. oz.) are being welcomed into MAC’s permanent range this summer. They will debut and stay in the range beginning April 7th with the Bronze Everyday Collection, which also features Bronzing Powders (most, if not all, already in the line), Skinsheen Leg Spray (now permanent), two Mineralize Skinfinishes (already permanent), and two new bronzing shades of Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (now permanent).

Pink Rebel is described as a “blue pink with gold pearl.” I really don’t see blue-pink when I swatch it (or even just looking at it). It’s a peached, pink champagne with a soft bronze metallic shimmer and sheen.  Sun Rush is described as a “peachy bronze with gold pearl.” This is a medium-dark golden bronze with warm undertones and rich gold shimmer and sheen.

Lustre Drops are packaged in small bottles that resemble puff paints that you’d find at any arts and crafts store. To dispense the product, you simply squeeze the bottle and it will push out through the narrow nozzle. In the past, Lustre drops have come in specially colored packaging but this time around, they have the classic black cap. A little goes a long way, especially if you intend to use it only on smaller areas, like the face, squeeze out as little as you can.

P.S. — I’m only reviewing the Lustre Drops and new Mineralize Skinfinish Natural shades (the rest has been permanent or reviewed previously).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Lustre Drops Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Lustre Drops are, essentially, liquid highlighters. You can use them on your cheeks, brows, decolletage… whatever. You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over sheen.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 24th, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters Preview

MAC Prep + Prime Highlighters ($23.00 for 0.12 fl. oz.) is a new and permanent product that will release in-stores on April 7th. There are three shades: Bright Forecast (mid-tone peachy coral), Light Boost (soft yellow cream), and Radiant Rose (light shell pink). They come in a twist-up, pen-type applicator. These highlighters are designed to provide a “sheer wash of color to highlight, brighten, and perfect.” Since it is a new product, I can’t review it without actually testing it — so I ask for your patience while I spend the next day or two testing out the wear.  Please hold all questions until I’ve had a chance to actually test these out!

For now, here are swatches… Continue reading →

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Urban Decay Urbanglow
Urban Decay Sin Urbanglow Cream Highlight

Urban Decay Urbanglows

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight ($24.00 for 0.17 oz.) is described as a cream highlight with pearl powder, weightless formula, and “adds luminescence whenever you need it.” It can be used in the inner corners of your eyes, cheeks, or brow bones. The shade range includes four but all four are sheer enough to work across skin tones. It’s supposed to dry down “instantly” and work on top of makeup. The four shades include: Brown Sugar (warm taupey brown), Moonshine (iridescent shimmer), Sin (shimmering champagne), and Wicked (radiant pinky shimmer).

I received both Brown Sugar (which I’d describe as a gilded bronze) and Sin (which I’d describe as pale golden champagne) to review several months ago (back when they first released), they did not work for me at that time. I decided to hold off on a review and wait awhile before trying them again to see if perhaps it was something to do with the state of my skin or whatever. I tested both shades on and off since these launched (September, I believe), with each shade being trialed at least five times.

For me, these look lovely–initially–but do such a disservice to my skin after two hours of wear. I think these are best for those who have naturally beautiful skin and don’t typically wear makeup. They can work for that truly no makeup look, but once you involve foundation–and, if you dare, powder–the results took a nosedive. I could not get the highlighters to stay on for more than two to three hours before there was migration that made my cheeks look like there were chunks of glitter, rather than a dusting of sheen.

This effect worsened if you set your foundation/makeup with powder, which is something I find necessary as someone who wears liquid foundation. With powder to set, the highlighters stayed on for three to four hours, but they still migrated and bulking up so that wherever there was product, it accentuated my pores (and I never thought I had large ones, but this product made me question if I was simply delusional). They just tend to look cakey after a couple of hours of wear.

My results yielded glowy cheeks for two hours but the final look was rough-looking skin with accentuated pores and chunks of glitter and very little sheen left after two hours passed. I applied with brushes, sponges, and fingertips; over and under foundation; on bare skin alone. It seems to fade better over bare skin and doesn’t give skin such a rough textured look. When I tested it on the inner tearduct and brow bone, I had the same two-hour disappearing act and migration issues I had on the cheeks. They worked best on the brow bone, though, and wore for about four hours before fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Urban Decay Urbanglow Cream Highlight Review, Photos, Swatches

F
I have only seen others rave about Urbanglow, and so I would encourage you to research and read more reviews to balance with mine. I hate being that one naysayer, you know? Urban Decay's products are usually good, so find these so disappointing has left me in a bit of a quandary.  Between how quickly the Urbanglows faded to the overall look they gave after the initial dry-down, I just can't find much silver lining in this cloud.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

3/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman: Video Review (Part 2 – Cheeks & Lips)

First impressions/preliminary review of the blushes, mineralize skinfinishes, lipsticks, and lipglasses from the MAC Wonder Woman Collection. I always film these as I swatch, so it is the first time seeing the products for me in the video as well.

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Wonder Woman: Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC PINK POWER MINERALIZE SKINFINISH ($35.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a super-mega-jumbo-sized tri-colored mineralize skinfinish. MAC describes the colors as peachy rose with pink shimmer, soft rosy bronze, and soft shell pink with fine shimmer.

The oversize mineralize skinfinish does allow for easy use of each color individually, and I could see mixing and matching, though they’re wearable on an individual level. The way I looked at these mineralize skinfinishes was they included a “highlighter” shade, “bronzing” shade, and “blushing” shade.

The “highlighting” shade, which I found was best used that way (more shimmer than color when applied), is a pale champagne beige with white-gold shimmer. The “bronzing” shade is a mid-tone orange-tinged brown, but it doesn’t feel orange-y (like Golden Lariat) with a subtle satin sheen. The “blushing” shade is a peached pink with a shimmer-sheen.

my thoughts on the formula: Mineralize Skinfinishes can be used for a variety of things–from blush to bronzer to highlighter. The way you use it depends on your skin tone, how pigmented the particular shade of mineralize skinfinish is, the texture, and what you want to use it for. These are baked products, so they can be used wet or dry without fear of ruining the product. The texture is soft, but the fineness of the shimmer depends on the individual shade. Stippling brushes like the 187 and 188 are ideal for applying mineralize skinfinishes.

Normally, mineralize skinfinishes retail for $28 (0.35 oz.), so this is double the size for $7 more. To put it simply, you’re paying $50/oz. rather than $80/oz. Whether you’ll ever use all whopping 0.70 oz. of it depends on you! It does feel huge, though, and the size makes it less convenient to tote around in your bag or makeup bag. I also think that for its gigantic-size, I would have loved to see a mirror included.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: I thought this one actually worked well–I can see a variety of skin tones working this. Golden Lariat may pull too orange to be wearable for some, but Pink Power looks beautiful applied. It has enough warmth to work for my warmer-toned friends, but it’s not so warm that it turns orange, so it should be lovely on cooler skin tones, too.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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