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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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Wonder Woman: Golden Lariat Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC GOLDEN LARIAT MINERALIZE SKINFINISH ($35.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a super-mega-jumbo-sized tri-colored mineralize skinfinish. MAC describes the colors as true coral with fine gold shimmer, soft suntanned bronze, and soft gold 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” shdae, and “blushing” shade.

There is a yellowed gold with pale white-gold shimmer that seems best used as a highlighter (virtually colorless when applied with a blush on my medium skin tone), while the middle shade is a reddened brown with a pearly sheen and seems more appropriate for bronzing (should work nicely on darker skin tones in particular). The final shade is a lightened rusted orange with pale gold shimmer and sheen; it’s less shimmery than the “highlighter” but more pigmented and does best as a blush–too much color to highlight, too orange to bronze.

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 like this best for warmer, more golden complexions. It reminded me somewhat of Cheeky Bronze Mineralize Skinfinish, because of the orange-y pull of the shades.  I think this product is good but not great–keep in mind that ultimately the value metric boosts up the overall rating of this product.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, January 10th, 2011

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder
Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder

Clarins Barocco Gold Shimmering Powder ($35.00 for 1.2 oz.) looks so beautiful on the inside, it’s hard to believe that the insides did not make such a splash. Inside, there are gold “nuggets,” which are incredibly soft and delicate. Every time I opened this, there was a cloud of sparkly dust that hovered and spilled over the edges and on my desk.

I had presumed these would be more like Guerlain’s Meteorites, which are shimmering spheres that impart a soft, subtle shimmer-sheen glow–these produce a bronzy, glittery bonanza. It does impart an orange-toned bronze brown with chunky bronze and gold glitter. Even when buffed, the chunky glitter is hard to disguise. This looked absolutely disastrous on face, and I did not find it worked well for decolletage either. The only place that seemed to work so-so was on legs, but it still had to be really blended and buffed so it looked natural and used considerably more product per use than I’d like.

Given that it is supposed to be face and decolletage, going as far as using it on legs was more to see if it worked anywhere than something I’d use this as a go-to for. I can do shimmer, sheen, and even glitter; I’m not at all scared of glitter, and while I don’t need to wear it every day, I have no problem wearing even heavier glitter on face or cheeks or lips. But this powder goes beyond what I see even glitter fanatics wanting in a face/decolletage glitter.  I would also not recommend using the provided pouf unless you want to be a bronze sculpture — one pat packs far too much product!

The concept is nice but there needs to be serious improvement on execution in order to make it work.  I would have loved to see this impart a much subtler, softer micro-glitter or shimmer.

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

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: This is a product that was beautiful in concept and dressed to impress in the beautiful filigreed canister, but the product itself just doesn’t work well in real life. It’s a mess to open but doesn’t work anywhere but legs–everywhere else is just too much. From Clarins, I would have expected something subtler and sophisticated.

WHERE TO BUY: Bloomingdale’s

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Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC Gana Blush
MAC Gana Blush

MAC Mickey Contractor: Gana Blush

MAC Gana Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is new and limited edition blush from MAC Mickey Contractor. MAC describes it as a “bright white gold” with a frost finish. When I swatched, I found Gana to be a gilded champagne with a bright sheen–slightly frosty but more of a sheen. I like it better as a highlighter than a blush, just because it seems to make me look a bit washed out when used as a blusher. It has a very soft, smooth texture and plenty of pigment.

I’ll have to do a comparison to be sure, but this seems similar to Trace Gold, which is part of the permanent line; the biggest difference seems in the texture–this is smoother, more sheen than shimmer.

P.S. — On eyes, I am wearing Jaan eyeshadow on the lid, Vivah eyeshadow on the outer lid/crease, Folie in the crease, Burberry Trench to highlight, Ivy fluidline on upper lash line, Urban Decay Perversion on lower water line, Jaan eyeshadow on lower lash line. On lips, I am wearing Yash lipstick with Lust lipglass on top. On cheeks, I am wearing Gana blush.

MAC Mickey Contractor will be available on January 6th at select North American stores and January 2011 for select international stores. It will be available online on approximately January 4th but may not be available until the 6th.

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

FINAL THOUGHTS: If you sheer it out enough, it could work as a very soft, all-over-glow kind of product, but it is easier to use it as a highlighter where you need it.

WHERE TO BUY: maccosmetics.com

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Sunday, December 19th, 2010

MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder
MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder

MAC Stylishly Yours: Too Chic Beauty Powder

MAC Too Chic Beauty Powder ($22.00 for 0.35 oz.) is an ultra pale white gold with a subtle white shimmer-sheen. MAC describes this shade as a “soft peachy cream with fine shimmer.”  Just like Play It Proper, this is a very pale shade.  It is a lighter, less yellow version of NARS Albatross.  It is also a paler version of Chez Chez Lame (close enough that you could just pick one of the two, rather than both).

Beauty powders have a very finely milled, silken texture that tends to settle well on the skin without looking powdery.  I did find that the Stylishly Yours beauty powders were frostier than previous beauty powders, so I noticed it more on skin–partially due to my medium skin tone, though.  You get an amazing amount of product for just $22–way better value than the Special Reserve Highlighting Powders, actually ($28 for the same amount).

P.S. — In the full face photo, I’m wearing Too Chic on cheeks, Neon Orange on lips, and on eyes, Chilled on Ice as a base, Retrospeck and Caviar Dreams on top with Dark Diversion to line (upper lash line) and I Get No Kick (lower lash line), and then New Hue on lashes.

MAC Stylishly Yours Collection is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North America, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th.

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: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I still have concerns about this working on medium-dark to dark skin tones without looking ashy.  It will be a lovely highlighter for paler skin tones, though.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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