MAC Black Grape Pressed Pigment
MAC Pressed Pigments ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) are back for fall with a few limited edition shades, some repromotes, and then a few permanent additions to the existing shade range. The formula is described as “an intensely creamy highlighter offering extreme pearlescence and versatility of finish.” It can be applied dry for a sheerer, high-shine finish or applied on damp skin for a more dramatic, wet look.
The Pressed Pigments are incredibly pretty with their sparkling, light-reflecting ways. They’re seductive at a glance for anyone who gets excited about all things shimmering and glimmering. If you use an adhesive base and don’t mind some fall out, they’re an interesting product you may fall in love with (these seem to very much be a love it or hate it kind of product). Applied dry, the fall out is never-ending and horrendous. In the past when I’ve tested, my eyes have been irritated throughout the day when I’ve worn these without some sort of extra base/adhesive product to minimize the fall out.
That being said, I wore Vanilla Diamond (inner lid), Summer Honey (middle of lid), Pink Pepper (outer lid), and Damson (outer crease) yesterday. There was fall out during application, which is as expected, and is the reason I would apply these first, then foundation, so you can really clean up underneath the eyes. I applied all four shades damp with MAC’s 249 brush to the lid, and after eight hours, there was noticeable fall out, but the sparkle used in the those four shades was much finer than previous shades in the range (though there has always been some variance), so it didn’t look like big bits of glitter (that can sometimes look like dirt, when it’s not catching the light). My eye didn’t feel all that irritated either, which was a very, very happy surprise, so all in all, I would definitely say there was less fall out than previous shades I’ve tried. So yes, I think these are improved–to a degree–with the fineness of the shimmer/sparkle used as well as the texture. These all felt creamy and slightly wet, but if you nick at them, they dislodge like a powder product. The biggest improvement was that, generally, you didn’t need to crush up the product as much to get it to smooth out on the skin.
If you’re not into fussy eyeshadows, adhesive bases, and the like, I would continue to skip these. If you already own an adhesive base like Fyrinnae Pixie Epoxy, Too Faced Glitter Glue, etc., and you love yourself some glittery fun, you may want to consider trying a shade or two. I’ll be testing these a bit more over the next few days (the other four shades, specifically, as well as trying a few over an adhesive base). They just don’t work well on their own due to major fall out. There’s definitely a part of me that loves these. I swatch them and go, “ooh, ahh!” and then I wear them, and I’m always less impressed.
Black Grape is described as a “deep aubergine with multi-pearl.” It’s a medium-dark, silver-shimmered purple with plummy-mauve undertones. The base is lightly warmed-up, while the shimmer is cooler-toned, which gives it an overall cooler color. Applied dry, it’s semi-sheer, and applied damp, it is mostly opaque. The consistency isn’t chunky, but this is not the finest shimmer of the new shades. theBalm Lavish Latoya is less shimmery. Milani Purr-fect Purple is less shimmery, slightly lighter. MAC Grand Galaxy is cooler-toned. bareMinerals Encore is similar in color but not as sparkly. See comparison swatches. (This shade is permanent.)
Damson is described as a “deep brown with gold pearl.” It has a plummy-brown base color with a muted, golden bronze shimmer/pearl that gives it a warmer, golden bronze coloring overall. Applied dry, it was semi-sheer, and applied damp, it was semi-opaque. Blended out, it looks more and more plum and less and less bronze. MAC Smokeluxe #3 is darker but very similar. Urban Decay Nevermind is similar to the golden bronze coloring but doesn’t have a plum tone to it at all. MAC Universal Appeal when applied sheer actually looks similar, as it is a mix of brown and plum, but applied wet it is much more plum. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition.)
Lime Ice is described as a “seafoam green.” It’s a pale, lightly yellowed green with a metallic finish. Applied dry, it was very sheer, and applied damp, it was semi-sheer. The consistency of this one was chunkier, more like past Pressed Pigments, so I would expect this to be more prone to fall out. It doesn’t smooth out as nicely and should be “crushed” with an applicator (whether fingers or brush or something else). Chanel Delicatesse #1 is darker, less metallic. MAC Fresh & Mint #1 is darker. MAC Lucky in Love is less warm-toned, darker. MAC Zestful is warmer. Lancome Fashion Forward is less sparkly. Chanel Promesse #4 is less shimmery. bareMinerals Sensational is less sparkly. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition.)
Moth is described as a “mauve with silver pearl.” It’s a soft, muted pink-mauve with a frosted, metallic finish. The consistency is slightly chunky/gritty, and it is quite sheer applied dry and then semi-sheer applied damp. MAC Tendersmoke is much darker, as is MAC Circa Plum. See comparison swatches. (This shade is permanent.)
Pink Pepper is described as a “deep coral with gold pearl.” It’s a warm-toned, coral-orange with a gold sparkle and metallic finish. This was one of the more pigmented shades in the bunch; still semi-sheer applied dry, but mostly opaque applied damp. MAC Caribbean is darker, more orange. L’Oreal Cherie Merie is darker, more orange, less sparkly. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition.)
Rock Candy is described as a “mid-tone fuchsia.” It’s a light-medium pink with a very frosted, glittery finish. This was the chunkiest shade out of the new shades that I tried. It seemed to have faint yellow undertones. It applied semi-sheer dry and then more opaque damp, but it does really need to be buffed, pressed, and worked into skin to get a smoother look. MAC Pinkluxe #2 is similar, not as bright. MAC Supersweet #2 is cooler-toned in the base color. MAC Cheryl Chic is less sparkly, a bit lighter. MAC Love Power is lighter, cream. MAC Rose Light is more muted. See comparison swatches. (This shade is permanent.)
Summer Honey is described as a “pastel coral.” More like a soft, peachy-beige with a frosted, metallic finish. It is very sheer applied dry and then semi-sheer applied damp. This one had finer shimmer/sparkle. MAC Pastelluxe #2 is more golden and metallic. Disney Midnight Hour #2 is darker, less sparkly. Urban Decay Sellout is a smidgen lighter. NARS Delphes #1 is less sparkly. MAC Light Touch is more beige, lighter. Chanel Raffinement #2 is less sparkly. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition.)
Vanilla Diamond is described as a “warm yellow beige.” It’s a pale, champagne with subtle warm undertones and a frosted, metallic sheen. It was sheer applied dry, and then semi-sheer applied damp. It has a finer sparkle/shimmer compared to the formula overall. MAC Smokeluxe #1 is smoother. Disney Sea Shells is more opaque. MAC Dazzlelight is less sparkly. Bobbi Brown Bone is similar. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition.)
* Note: Midnight is another new (and permanent) shade that is listed as “coming soon” online, so I haven’t been able to purchase it. I will review it when I am able to do so.