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MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcremes

MAC Dirty Blonde Fluidline Brow Gelcreme
MAC Dirty Blonde Fluidline Brow Gelcreme

MAC Stylish Brow: Fluidline Brow Gelcreme

MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcreme ($15.00 for 0.10 fl. oz.) is a new, limited edition brow gel that’s supposed to be long-wearing, waterproof, and sets quickly. It comes in three shades: Dirty Blonde (soft taupe brown), Redhead (muted golden brown), and Deep Dark Brunette (rich brunette).

  • Dirty Blonde is an ochre-toned brown with a gray cast; it’s a bit yellow-brown to be a true taupe, but there’s a definite grayness to it that give sit a taupe-like coloring.
  • Redhead is a warm, yellowed, medium tan-brown.
  • Deep Dark Brunette is a dark brown with subtle, warm red undertones.

Ooh–I really like these.  They have the same consistency and feel of MAC’s Fluidlines, which is a fantastic formula.  It’s creamy, pigmented, smooth, and it sets efficiently–not so quick that you have no time to fix mistakes, blend, or the like, but not so long that it has time to move around.  I used Deep Dark Brunette to fill in my brow using the 208 (which is the brush promoted with this launch), and it was lovely.  The creamy consistency allowed for a really crisp line and edge along the upper and lower edges of the brow.  The color wasn’t too harsh against my skin tone and with my brow color, so on dark brown (with a bit of black) brows, it’s an appropriate color.

All three shades had incredible pigmentation; the color payoff in a single pass was opaque and didn’t skip or drag.  When I tested the shade closest to my brow color, it lasted all day long.  I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear, and even after twelve hours, 90% of it remained.  Mere water did not smudge or cause it to run, either, so it holds up to the waterproof claim as well.  I will be curious to see how suitable Dirty Blonde and Redhead are for those with lighter brows.  I wish this formula was permanent, and I could see a few more shades being added to round it out more.

MAC Fluidline Brow Gelcremes

A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
10
Longevity
5
Application
100%
Total

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MAC Pressed Pigments Part Deux

MAC Amethyst Pressed Pigment
MAC Amethyst Pressed Pigment

MAC Pressed Pigments Part Deux

MAC Pressed Pigments ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) includes nine new shades: Amethyst (purple with silver undertone), Angelic (off white), Blonde Streak (light cream), Blue Willow (light icy blue), Enlightening (deep silver), Flicker (pastel yellow), Jet Couture (charcoal black), Smoky (deep silver blue), and Sweet Acting (mid-tone pink). There are three repromoted shades: Day Gleam (high pearl powder in NC30 shade), Deeply Dashing (high pearl powder in NW55 shade), and Light Touch (high pearl powder in W10 shade). I reviewed those three shades just three months ago when they originally debuted.

Amethyst is a pale lavender with a metallic, sparkling finish. It’s sheer when used damp, more opaque when used wet. Dolce & Gabbana Jewels has a similar coloring but appears darker, as it does not have a metallic finish. MAC Light Violet is a darker lavender.

Angelic is a cool-toned white with a hint of silver. It has a frosted, metallic finish. It is a bit smoother and more metallic than it is sparkly–compared to other shades. The payoff dry is fairly sheer, while damp is better but not fully opaque. MAC She’s Got Class is very similar. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #3 is also similar.

Blonde Streak is a silver-shot off-white; it almost looks creamy at one angle, then looks silvered at another. It has a frosted, metallic finish. shu uemura Smoky Velvet #3 is whiter. MAC She’s Got Class is less metallic. Bobbi Brown Bone is yellower.

Blue Willlow is a bluish-green tinted white with a frosted, metallic finish. This one had a chunkier finish, and it never quite smoothed out, even when applied damp. The payoff was about the same whether used dry or damp. Giorgio Armani #10 is very similar in color.

Enlightening is a light-medium silver with a bright metallic sheen. This had a chunkier texture, so it did not lay down as smoothly as other shades did. Tarte Silver Burst is lighter, less metallic. Bobbi Brown Tinsel is lighter. MAC Misty is a touch lighter. Giorgio Armani #12 is a bit lighter.

Flicker is a yellow-tinged white, but it almost has this silver-ish sparkle. The color payoff was semi-sheer both wet and dry. This didn’t have a really gritty texture but did have a lot of sparkle. Bobbi Brown Bone is warmer. Too Faced Spun Sugar is darker. Tarina Tarantino Elektron is more metallic, less sparkly. Dior Khaki Design #4 is less metallic.

Jet Couture is a dark black with brown undertones and coppery-gold sparkle. It had fair pigmentation when used dry, and it was more intense when used damp. It applied more smoothly than some of the other shades. The only similar shade I cuold think of was Cinderfella, which has a silver sparkle instead.

Smoky is a muted, darkened blue with lots of silver sparkle. It had good pigmentation both dry and wet, though the wet version was smoother. MAC Love Cycle is darker, richer. theBalm Sensational is richer, deeper. MAC Moon’s Reflection is slightly brighter. Urban Decay Mary Jane is more metallic, darker.

Sweet Acting is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones. This one felt the grittiest/chunkiest in texture to me out of the nine new shades. It had decent color payoff both dry and wet, though, with wet making the pink appear darker. MAC Rose Light is a bit darker, less sparkly. Dior Fairy Golds #4 is lighter. MAC Love Power is darker, pinker. Giorgio Armani #7 is darker, more mauve.

I double-checked my press materials, and these are listed as “limited edition,” but the MAC website indicates they are permanent. I did a Live Chat with MAC online, and I was told that the Pressed Pigments are permanent. More interestingly, both the press release and the description online says, “Gorgeous eyes, from sheer and ethereal for day to intense and illuminating for evening.” It is further described as an “intensely creamy highlighter offering extreme pearlescence.” It can be applied dry “for a high shine” or dampened “for a dramatic wet look.”

They’re less of an utter and abject failure as a for-eyes-only product, than when they launched as the highlighter counterpart to MAC’s contouring Sculpting Creams. Some of these shades work better than others, and ultimately, it comes down to how smoothly they can be pressed into submission. The grittier, sparklier the shade, the worse it performs. With a really tacky base, you can absolutely get these to cooperate better. Dry, they’re a catastrophe of glitter fall out. I’m pretty sure more ends up below my eye than on it, no matter whether I’ve taken the 215 brush (which is what is sold alongside these shades) and done my utmost to “crush” and “press” the pigments on a separate stainless steel palette. The only way I can get the color to apply and transfer to some degree is with a fairly damp brush.

For testing, I used Blonde Streak on the inner lid and (lightly) on brow bone, Smoky on the middle of the lid, and Jet Couture on the outer lid. These are definitely products to be applied prior to foundation, because clean-up is absolutely necessary! I found that the fall out really need to be fully wiped away (I used Lancome Bi-Facil on a cotton round), rather than lightly dusted off. Throughout the day, over the course of eight hours, there was fall out. My eye was watering a lot while I wore these to test, because the fall out was getting into my eyes (or onto my lashes, and then into my eye). By the time I removed these, my eyes were bloodshot and a bit irritated.

If I use a glitter adhesive, it will hold on better and help to minimize the fall out, so if the finish of these is up your alley, I’d recommend doing something like that, rather than wearing it as MAC states–dry or damp–because neither work well. (But that is the criteria that I am rating on.) This is the type of product that is more specialized and will be loved by some, hated by others; I think they could be marketed better–and now would be a great time to make Mixing Medium available across counters and stores as a great side product. (Even with MAC opening Pro products online, it is not actually available to regular customers online at this time.) Though, Mixing Medium, from my experience, isn’t tacky enough with these guys–I like Lit Cosmetics, LA Splash, or lash glue better. You really need something wet and tacky that says, “COME TO MAMA!” to holds that glitter tight.

Loose glitter is rarely designed to be applied all on its own–this product just needs help in the form of major adhesion. A lot of glitter is like that but let’s call a spade a spade! But as is, these remain on my naughty list.  I love glitter and sparkle, especially on the eyes, but I want it to remain there!  I don’t want to find sparkle in my nose. The better performing shades were Angelic and Smoky, as they bound better and applied more smoothly; Jet Couture was the most unique.

P.S. — Does anyone else wonder what makes MAC decide to make a new formula permanent? Sometimes you’ll hear almost nothing but major raves for a new formula but you’ll never see it again… then a product like this, which is polarizing, is made permanent three months after it first launches (which likely means it was decided earlier on, though).

MAC Pressed Pigments Part Deux

D-
6
Product
8
Pigmentation
7
Texture
4
Longevity
2.5
Application
61%
Total

MAC Apres Chic Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Fireside Mineralize Eyeshadow
MAC Fireside Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Apres Chic: Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Apres Chic Mineralize Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.07 oz.) includes five new (and limited edition) shades: Fireside (deep plum with purple veining), Frost at Midnight (deep blue/grey with grey veining), Ice (light peach base with white veining), Silver Birch (grey base with peach veining), and Winter Pursuit (copper base with grey veining).

Fireside is a reddish-brown base with a bluish-teal duochrome. The color payoff dry is lackluster, so I’d recommend using it with a damp or wet brush, where it is more pigmented. This color is one of the more popular shades that brands seem to have–MAC has two within the permanent range (Blue Brown pigment, Club eyeshadow). Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone #8 has a very similar shade with a stronger duochrome. bareMinerals Mirage is a bit darker but similar. MAC Double Feature #5 included a similar shade. Urban Decay Lounge is very similar–same amount of red in the base color as well as duochrome. Of all of those, I prefer bareMinerals’ formula with Urban Decay’s as a second-place finish.

Frost at Midnight is a navy blue with a purplish tint. It has a frosted finish, and the pigmentation is better wet than dry, where it is rather sheer and faded. This shade had the worst pigmentation out of the five; it was still lacking in intensity when used damp. MAC Hint of Sapphire is darker, grayer. Inglot #434 is more muted, less blue. Cinderella Midnight is darker.

Ice is a warm, pale champagne-shimmered peach with a very high-frost, high-metallic finish. It had so-so pigmentation when used dry, but it has some powderiness and fall out problems if you use it wet, compared to damp, where it binds together better. MAC A Natural Flirt is warmer, pinker. NARS Ramatuelle is less metallic. bareMinerals Mixologist is very similar–more metallic than frosted.

Silver Birch is a dirty pewter; it has gray, gold, and brownish-black in it. This shade had the most nuance to it, out of the five, but the payoff was weak when used dry. When applied damp, it was nicely pigmented and applied more smoothly. MAC Modern Pewter is lighter, warmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is lighter, more golden.

Winter Pursuit is a warm, medium-dark copper that has a rosy-red tint that gives it a more muted appearance–not so orange-copper. It has a very frosted, metallic-like finish. This shade had the best color payoff of the five–it could be used both wet and dry, though dry is so-so in payoff. MAC Star Myth is more orange. MAC Magnetic Attraction is redder. MAC Mythical is a bit redder.

Long-time readers will know that I LOVE looking and photographing Mineralize Eyeshadows, but I’m not a fan of them in practice. They tend to have fall out problems, and they usually fade more quickly, with or without a primer. The Mineralize Eyeshadows we’ve seen over the past couple of years are definitely improved compared to the initial release, but I still have both problems. These shades gave me the same two problems, though fall out was less than usual. When I use these wet, as I did with all of the shades I wore (Ice, Silver Birch, and Frost at Midnight), there was noticeable fading within three hours. Frost at Midnight looked mostly gray by eight hours, while the lightest shade, Ice was barely visible.  Finally, Silver Birch had faded but was still visible.

Silver Birch was the most interesting/unique out of the five. At a glance, Fireside seems really interesting, and the color is beautiful and lovely, but it’s a commonly produced shade by a variety of brands. As always, if you don’t have the wear problems I encounter with the Mineralize Eyeshadows, then the biggest drawback of these becomes the weak color payoff when used dry (so omitting wear, these would be more like a B-rated product). The texture was soft but some shades were less smooth, as the sparkle was more noticeable.

MAC Apres Chic Mineralize Eyeshadows

B-
8.5
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7
Longevity
4
Application
80%
Total

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MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliners (Apres Chic)

MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eyeliner
MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eyeliner

MAC Apres Chic: Pro Longwear Eyeliners

MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a new formula that has launched with Apres Chic, which is limited edition as far as I know–but they are not marked as limited edition on MAC’s website. The new formula is available five shades: Black Ice (rich black), Mountain Air (vibrant teal), Night Trail (deep navy blue), Rich Experience (true brown), and Snow Shadow (purple violet).

  • Black Ice is a dark black with a modern matte finish. It had good color payoff in a single pass.
  • Mountain Air is a medium-dark blue with a very tiny hint of green/teal. It had good color payoff in one stroke. It is similar to Stila Peacock.
  • Night Trail is a blackened navy blue with a subtle sheen. It had so-so pigmentation in a single pass, but it was noticeably sheer. There are several navy blues that are similar.
  • Rich Experience is a medium-dark brown with neutral undertones. It was surprisingly not that pigmented in one stroke, and it wasn’t as buildable for full opacity.
  • Snow Shadow is a dark purple with subtle cool undertones. This shade had the weakest color payoff–it was very sheer in one pass, and it was difficult to layer/build the color. It always just looked jagged in color. The color is similar to MAC Rich Purple, which is a bit lighter.

MAC made some lofty claims for their new eyeliners: “creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly” along with a “12-hour waterproof formula [that] stays put and [is] smudge-free.” I tried Black Ice, Mountain Air, Rich Experience, and Snow Shadow for wear over the past two days. I tried Black Ice and Rich Experience yesterday, and I tried Mountain Air and Snow Shadow today, all four on my lower lash line.

I’m sad to report that these don’t last 12 hours nor are they waterproof. After eight hours of wear, all four shades were still mostly there, but it was clear they had faded slightly–you know, where the line is thinner but you don’t see bits of it in your outer corner? (Kind of like your eye ate the eyeliner…) Yesterday, I took a late shower after eight hours of wear, and both Black Ice and Rich Experience were quick to run. I had the same thing happen just moments ago with Mountain Air and Snow Shadow. I splash water on my eyes, let it sit there, and I don’t rub anything away, instead I try to see if the droplets (like tears) will cause any eyeliner to bleed or smudge, and then I pat dry to see how much lifts off. And if it’s still there after that–then that’s when I try to rub a little.

The consistency is lightly creamy but more waxy than anything else, so they glide across well enough, but some colors are better than others. Snow Shadow was the worst performer; it actually dragged and applied unevenly. I tried to go back and forth to build the color coverage up, but it was fairly pitiful–you could see it bunching up in places.  Black Ice was the best performer, as it was most pigmented and didn’t require layering to achieve full color coverage on the lash line.  These wear around eight hours without smudging, but there is some fading at the eight/nine hour mark. I definitely don’t get to 12 hours with these.  My eyes watered while wearing two today, and the eye that watered a lot, was missing about half a centimeter of eyeliner entirely.

I have good luck with MAC’s Powerpoints, Chromagraphic Eyeliners, Kohl Powers, and Pearlglide Eyeliners–so I was definitely very surprised to see these fall so short.

MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliners (Apres Chic)

C-
4.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
6
Longevity
4
Application
70%
Total

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) consists of three new shades and one repromote: Lithe Spirit (palest white pink), Inner Strength (light cool mauve taupe), Fabulous Fit (mid-tone cool grey), and Heatherbelles (deep charcoal).  This is a rather cool-toned quad, more so than All Woman, with the only warmth coming from Inner Strength, which isn’t all that warm, so if you like cooler tones, you’ll be in luck with this color composition!

Lithe Spirit is a cool-toned white with a matte finish. It is listed as a satin finish, but I didn’t see much sheen in it (or any). It had good pigmentation, but it was a touch powdery. Urban Decay Venus is a touch warmer and more shimmery. MAC Vanilla is warmer.

Inner Strength is a warm peach with subtle pink undertones and a barely-there sheen, though it is listed as a matte. It had good color payoff, and it was soft to the touch. Too Faced Peach Fuzz has gold sparkle. Urban Decay Freestyle has less pink. MAC Nubile is similar in color but is a cream product.

Fabulous Fit is a light gray with blue undertones and has a matte finish. It was a bit weak on pigmentation, and it had a drier texture that made blending harder. Estee Lasuder Modern Mercury is more metallic. MAC Scene is darker. Chanel Gris Exquis is also darker. Inglot #339 is somewhat darker but closest with respect to its cool undertone.

Heather Belles is a dark gray with a mostly matte finish but there’s a touch of sheen; the sheen becomes more apparent when blended out. It has a satin finish, and the color payoff is so-so–it is a stiffer, drier shade. Urban Decay Ace is more shimmery. Guerlain Les Gris is matte. Estee Lauder Black Chrome is darker.

The quality of Inner Strength as a quad is below-average to average.  It’s not impressive, and it’s not the most heinous release we’ve seen from MAC.  It’s middle-of-the-road.  The problem with this palette is in the textures, which tended to be a bit dry and stiff (in the case of Fabulous Fit and Heatherbelles).  Lithe Spirit was somewhat powdery, which can have a tendency to make such a pale color look chalky on darker complexions.  Inner Strength was the best-performing shade here, as it wasn’t so soft that it was powdery, but it wasn’t too dry or firm that you couldn’t get color payoff out of it.  The shades lasted for seven and a half hours and looked just a smidgen faded after eight hours.

MAC Strength: Inner Strength Eyeshadow Quad

C
7
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
8
Longevity
3.5
Application
73%
Total

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad
MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.19 oz.) consists of four new shades: Flawless Figure (pale warm shimmering white), Brains & Brawn (mid-tone taupe), All Woman (greenish dark grey), and Black Magique (deep, dark black with warm tones).  The color composition reads cool-toned to me, both at a glance and when applied, though it’s not overly cool-toned–closer to neutral-cool.

Flawless Figure is a bright white with a high frosted sheen. It has a veluxe pearl, officially, and it had great color payoff. Cinderella Midnight Hour is similar but warmer-toned. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very similar. Maybelline Too Cool is a touch more metallic, and it is also a cream product.

Brains & Brawn is a medium-dark taupe; a mix of gray and brown for a rather balanced taupe. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff was decent to good. It seemed to apply best with a fluffier brush. It is grayer than Urban Decay Naked 2. MAC Omega is browner, warmer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is similar but a touch purple.

All Woman is a green-tinged dark gray with a dusting of shimmer, though it is mostly matte. This shade had rather weak color payoff, as the texture was dry and stiff. Tarte Stiletto almost looked a bit like this, just darker because it had more pigmentation. bareMinerals Earth is a bit lighter.

Black Magique is a brown-based dark black with a mostly matte finish, though it is officially a velvet finish. It reminded me a lot of Urban Decay Crave. Le Metier de Beaute Fin is darker, richer.

I think the inclusion of the ultra-shimmery shade Flawless Figure doesn’t make the most sense; it’s just very, very shimmery and ended up detracting from the overall composition of the palette. My gut was, “Don’t use it! Don’t use it!” but it’s a quad, so I really wanted to try and incorporate all four shades–and no, I should have went with my gut there!   A better use for it would be to lightly mix it with one of the other shades to create varying levels of shimmer/sheen and lightness.  It performed well, but it seemed out of place in this quad.  

All Woman was disappointing with its drier, stiffer texture, which made it difficult to blend as well as apply. Brains & Brawn is the kind of color I see anyone who wears neutrals getting a lot of use out of, and it’s a shame we don’t see more of these matte taupes in permanent, core ranges (across all brands).  It will work nicely for sculpting and defining the crease on light to medium (possibly medium-dark) complexions.  The eyeshadows wore for just under eight hours without creasing or fading.

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

B
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
86%
Total

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