Thursday, May 31st, 2012

MAC Evening Stroll Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour
MAC Evening Stroll Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour

MAC Evening Stroll Lip & Cheek Colour

MAC Evening Stroll Casual Colour Lip & Cheek Colour ($20.00 for 0.43 fl. oz.) is described as a “violet cream.” It’s a red-toned purple that can look pinker when sheered out, but it’s still more purple than it is pink, no matter how sheer you go. If you’ve ever wanted a “true purple” blush, this gets you close. I couldn’t think of a comparable blush shade; MAC Azalea Blossom isn’t as purple, and MAC Sakura is much pinker. If you’re looking to replicate it as a lip color, MAC Seasoned Plum is slightly darker, MAC Playtime is pinker, MAC Goes and Goes is darker, less pink, and MAC Go For It is slightly less pink.

This is a new (and limited edition) product and shade. MAC describes the new formula as “[v]ersatile, lightweight all-in-one colour for cheeks and lips … [c]reamy, super-blendable, barely there” with vitamin E. I think the best way to think of this product is like this: you’ve spent all day at the beach, and you don’t have time to go home and get ready for an evening out, so you quickly pat on one of these on your lips and cheeks–you look a little dressed up, but it’s never over-the-top, and it’s always natural and easy-going. That’s the best way I can describe the formula in a big picture sense. (The only problem is that this scenario isn’t exactly hygenic usage of this product.)

As a Cream Blush

If you like matte and loathe words like “dewy” and “glowy,” this isn’t the right cream blush formula for you. These are rather dewy on my normal-to-dry skin, and they never seem to dry down completely for me. It feels a little “oily” to the touch; it doesn’t seem oily or greasy, but there’s some kind of slickness that enables it to be pushed and moved around even after a couple of hours after application. I was expecting it to wear off quickly as a result, and while the two shades I’ve trialed (Evening Stroll and Weekend Getaway) so far haven’t made it a full eight hours, they both wore for six hours before starting to look faded.

The consistency is soft, pliant, and creamy without being too thick (it’s not as thin as the Cremeblend Blushes, but it’s not as thick as the Blushcremes were), so it spreads and applies over the skin easily. Though it’s not sticky, there is transfer when I pressed my finger against my cheek or even just put a cloth against it (I wanted to pretend that it was clothing, because there have been many times where I’ve transferred makeup onto my fiance’s shirt). Because not a lot of product is applied to begin with, it’s not as if it all “kisses” off, but some does transfer over. It is vanilla-scented, though I didn’t notice any odd taste when using it on my lips.

I found the best application method was using fingers, because it enabled it to melt better against the skin and blend out evenly. I also liked the 188 and 130 brushes, and both achieved a similar result, they just took a little longer. It blends well over foundation and on bare skin, though I prefer the look of it over foundation, because I don’t have perfect skin, and it just seemed to make my cheeks look splotchier than usual more often than not, and I felt like my pores were beacons in the night, but I’m also more sensitive to “dewy” finishes.

The spectrum of dewy to oily is always hard to judge, because it really ends up being a matter of taste. There are times where I love the glowy, dewy finish of a product, and a reader will comment about how oily my skin looks–and there are times where I think something makes my skin look oily, and then a reader will comment about the glow! On my skin, it read slightly more pronounced than natural dewiness finish–there was a definite sheen and shine that went and went for nearly the entire time it wore.

As a Lip Color

Oddly, though, when it is applied to lips, it has a tendency to really dry down and set, almost feeling clingy without being sucked into every nook and cranny on the lips. It is incredibly lightweight and natural-looking on the lips. Despite the thin consistency on the lips, it’s not drying. It wasn’t moisturizing, but  it wasn’t drying. I recommend using lip balm prior to applying this product, and possibly exfoliating lips, because it does cling and will emphasize any flakes or roughness on the lips. It’s more forgiving than a true matte lipstick, but it can do so. On the lips, I was able to get four hours of wear out of Evening Stroll.

MAC was very generous with this product; it contains four times the amount of most lipsticks or twice the amount of most blushes (for instance, this is over double the size of the Cremeblend Blushes). This is great, except, this is a tub of product that is best applied with fingers yet cream products are much more prone to inhibiting bacteria. I would use this by taking a small amount out with a clean utensil (like a cosmetic spatula), and then using your fingers at that point. Otherwise, I think this is the type of product that will easily spoil before you finish it. A little goes a long way, both on cheeks and on lips, so this oversized pot of color will last you quite awhile.

The Glossover

LE
product

Evening Stroll

A-
I think a lot of people will love these, but there will be some who will not. If you don't like dewy finishes, or if you have really oily skin around your cheeks, I'd look elsewhere for a cream blush option. If you're looking for better wear out of your blush, I'd also steer you somewhere else. I liked it best as a lip color, surprisingly.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, May 25th, 2012

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow
Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow

Bobbi Brown Gold Shimmer Cheek Glow ($39.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described simply as a “yellow gold.” It’s exactly that: a sheer, sparkling traditional gold, so it has warm, yellow undertones. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City has a comparable look but is a more opaque product. Chanel Empreinte de Chanel is more orange. MAC Sun Rush is slightly more orange. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is also similar.

According to Bobbi Brown, the Shimmer Cheek Glow is a gel and powder hybrid, and it’s supposed to give a “just back from vacation glow.” I think the brand should have done a better job describing this product, particularly the texture and the overall effect of the product. It’s very, very sparkly. It’s not really shimmer–the particles are larger than that, and the way it looks against the skin is more like Bobbi Brown’s Sparkle eyeshadows. This feels a little wetter, more gel-like compared to the Sparkle eyeshadows, but I felt like they were comparable. Also, something I noticed while photographing the compact was that the product had separated from the edges, and it will slide around. I’d describe it as shrinkage.

On the skin, I’m not sold. It’s too sheer and ends up giving a sprinkling of sparkles but doesn’t evenly highlight the area. I kept focusing on my cheeks and seeing the attention being drawn to my pores. This–to me–is that disco ball effect that some worry about with shimmery, frosted, and more metallic highlighters. It gives a certain look that does appeal, but I don’t think it’s something I’d reach for regularly; it’s a glistening, almost wet-like sparkle and metallic glow. I love that look on lips, but not so much on cheeks, because I think it emphasizes imperfections on the skin. The sparkle also travels while you wear it, so you may find sparkle on your nose, chin, or even in your mouth. It wore about four and a half hours on me before it seems to have disappeared or traveled elsewhere.

The Glossover

LE
product

Gold

C
I'm not keen on the short wear time (a mere four and a half hours), amount of traveling ("fall out" in a sense) of the sparkles, and the way it sits and lies on the skin--just seems to emphasize every pore and line on my skin!

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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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

product

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

Results
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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

product

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

Results
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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

product

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

Results
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Thursday, May 17th, 2012


MAC Launch Away! Blush

MAC Launch Away! Blush

MAC Launch Away! Blush ($21.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “true peach” with a satin finish. It looks a little pinked in the pot, but it’s more like a darkened peach–in the pot. On me, though, it turns rather pink! It’s a light-medium peony pink with warm undertones and a subtle sheen. MAC Crew is warmer and a touch darker, and this is noticeable on the cheeks, too–but Crew is also less buildable and pigmented compared to Launch Away! MAC Flower Fantasy is lighter and has a higher sheen. Chanel Brompton Road is a bit lighter and shows up less on the cheeks. Benefit Hervana is darker and sheerer. Burberry Peony is very similar but has more of a true matte finish.

It has the same drier, stiffer texture of Fleet Fast, which is typical of MAC blushes, especially of their satin finished blushes. The powder is soft to the touch and applies smoothly.  The finish of Launch Away! is very subtle–the sheen is barely there and almost imperceptible once applied.  It builds up easily and gave my cheeks noticeable color without having to pile it on, but it is a paler, lighter shade, so it would not be ideal for deeper skin tones–particularly because the drier texture paired with the near-matte finish can look chalky on darker complexions.  When I wore this one for wear, it managed just under seven hours and started to decline and fade after that.

The Glossover

LE
product

Launch Away

B+
This is another blush that is going to be best on lighter complexions, but it will work well with both cool and warm undertones. If you don't like a lot of shine, shimmer, or sparkle in your blush, you may also really like the finish of this shade.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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