Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Nude Lip Bag
MAC Stroke of Midnight/Nude Lip Bag

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Nude Lip Bag ($39.50 for 0.198 oz.) features a full-size lipstick and Cremesheen Glass, plus a miniature-sized lip pencil.  Each lip bag contains $15.00 worth of Lipstick, $20.00 worth of Cremesheen Glass, and $5 worth of Lip Pencil, bringing the total value of the set to $40–plus there is a zippered bag that comes with the products. Note, Creme d’Nude and Boldly Bare are both part of the permanent range, while the Cremesheen Glass is a new, limited edition shade–but MAC has released many peachy-beige glosses in the past. The lip pencil drastically changes the way the gloss or the lipstick look, as it is significantly darker and browner than either (this is just a note, whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to you!). I’m not really enamored over this set (or the value proposition of the lip bags this year), and you can consider buying two of three separately.

Softly Lit is described as a “soft beige with pink frost.” It’s a pale, warm-toned peach with pink and white micro-shimmer. It had semi-sheer color coverage, and it applied evenly for the most part (and quite well for such a milky, pale gloss). It lasted an hour and a half on me, which is pretty short on me. MAC Flair for Finery (LE, $20.00) is slightly pinker, less shimmery. MAC Calypso Beat (LE, $20.00) is darker. Chanel Zephyr (377) (LE, $29.50) is similar. MAC Boundless Beige (P, $19.50) is similar. MAC Fashion Whim (LE, $20.00) is less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Creme d’Nude is described as a “pale muted peach beige [with a Cremesheen finish].” It’s a pale, pink-tinged beige and a faint sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but it can sometimes show “lines” of color if you press your lips together. It wore for three and a half hours on me and was neither drying nor hydrating. MAC Antonio’s Girls (LE, $15.00) is warmer, darker/ MAC Pret-a-Pretty (LE, $16.00) is pinker. Tom Ford Beauty Blush Nude (P, $48.00) is pinker, darker. MAC Luxe Natural (P, $22.00) is warmer. MAC Ruffian Naked (LE, $15.00) is lighter. MAC Myth (P, $15.00) is lighter, pinker. MAC Innocence Beware (LE, $15.00) is pinker. MAC Woo Me (LE, $19.00) is darker. Buxom Nudist (P, $21.00) is similar. MAC Flair for Finery (LE, $15.00) is a little pinker. See comparison swatches.

Boldly Bare is described as a “dirty red brown.” It’s a pink-tinged, medium brown with a matte finish.  It had opaque color coverage.  It lasted six and a half hours on, and it wasn’t really drying, though it felt dry (the way lip pencils often do). MAC Staunchly Stylish (P, $19.50) is browner. MAC Have to Have It (LE) is a touch darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Stroke of Midnight/Nude

B

Note, Creme d'Nude and Boldly Bare are both part of the permanent range, while the Cremesheen Glass is a new, limited edition shade--but MAC has released many peachy-beige glosses in the past. The lip pencil drastically changes the way the gloss or the lipstick look, as it is significantly darker and browner than either (this is just a note, whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you!). I'm not really enamored over this set (or the value proposition of the lip bags this year), and you can consider buying two of three separately.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Softly Lit

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Creme d'Nude

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Sunday, October 20th, 2013

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Violet Lip Bag
MAC Stroke of Midnight/Violet Lip Bag

MAC Stroke of Midnight/Violet Lip Bag ($39.50 for 0.198 oz.) features a full-size lipstick and Cremesheen Glass, plus a miniature-sized lip pencil.  Each lip bag contains $15.00 worth of Lipstick, $20.00 worth of Cremesheen Glass, and $5 worth of Lip Pencil, bringing the total value of the set to $40–plus there is a zippered bag that comes with the products.

Art of Seduction is described as a “cool nude with gold frost.” It’s a light, beige-brown with light green micro-shimmer. Applied, it seems to lighten lips and added a milkiness to them. It had semi-sheer to semi-opaque color coverage.  This shade was completely gone after a mere two hours of wear. If you purchased You’ve Got It from the holiday color collection, run and skip right ahead, because Art of Seduction is the exact same color–in the tube, swatched, and applied. If I really want to play make-believe, the gold shimmer in Art of Seduction caught the light of the camera better and looked more golden than white but I had them side-by-side in various rooms in my house, and they’re the same. MAC Boundless Beige (P, $19.50) is more beige. MAC Glitter & Ice (LE, $20.00) doesn’t have green shimmer. See comparison swatches.

Dark Deed is described as a “darkened blood red [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a deepened, muted red with berry and brown tones. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but there was some settling into lip lines. It wore well for five and a half hours and was neither drying nor hydrating while worn. This is a repromote. Urban Decay Shame (P, $22.00) is browner, darker. Giorgio Armani #408 (P, $32.00) is similar. MAC Endless Drama is darker. MAC What Joy is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

Vino is described as an “intense violet purple.” It’s a blackened burgundy with strong, cool red undertones. The consistency was dry and a little stiff; I found that this left crumbles of color all over my lips so that they looked like they were covered in black specks, which I tried to remove the best I could prior to photographing. This is part of the permanent range. It wears eight hours or longer, though it’s terribly uncomfortable and fairly drying. MAC Talk That Talk (LE, $19.50) is a bit darker (seems to be more pigmented/smoother, which gives it a better payoff). Urban Decay Venom (P, $19.00) is lighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Stroke of Midnight/Violet

B-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Art of Seduction

C+

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Dark Deed

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

MAC RiRi Woo Pro Longwear Lip Pencil
MAC RiRi Woo Pro Longwear Lip Pencil

MAC RiRi Woo Pro Longwear Lip Pencil ($21.50 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “cool red cream.” It’s a cool-toned, blue-based red with a matte finish. It was opaque on lips, and I was able to apply this shade evenly across the lips. The texture was barely creamy; enough that it did not scratch my lips, but it does tug and pull somewhat.  It wore for eight and a half hours and was drying while worn. Urban Decay 69 is brighter. MAC Cherry is similar. MAC Freehand is also similar. See comparison swatches.

Talk That Talk Pro Longwear Lip Pencil ($21.50 for 0.04 oz.) is described as a “dark plum cream.” It’s a deep, dark, blackened plum. The color is interesting, because it’s really more of a berry-burgundy initially, but applying it to the lips in an effort to get more even/opaque color, resulted in the color turning into a blackened berry. The problem I had was the outer edge still looks quite berry-hued and nowhere near as dark. The consistency isn’t too creamy, but it is not the driest liner I’ve come across. It did not apply evenly. Make sure you don’t press your lips together (blot with tissue), as it can be a little tacky initially.  It lasted for nine hours but was drying on its own.  MAC Nightmoth is maybe a touch lighter, but it is similar. See comparison swatches.

RiRi Woo Lipstick doesn’t really need a lip liner, as it is so matte and clingy on its own, that it’s quite long-wearing and less prone to bleeding/feathering compared to other reds. If it does bleed or feather, then you may appreciate the addition of a matching lip liner. Talk That Talk Lipstick is better applied over the lip liner, as neither is great on its own, and together, they end up giving more even, opaque color.

The Glossover

LE
product

RiRi Woo

A-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Talk That Talk

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes

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Monday, September 2nd, 2013

MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils
MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

The MAC Retro Matte Collection also includes eight shades of Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.), and five the shades (all featured in this post) are new. The collection will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations. There is some uncertainty whether all shades are permanent or only some; the answer I received from MAC’s PR was some, which is what I’ve gone with, but the nearest counter/store are both saying all are permanent.

The Pro Longwear Lip Pencils tend to have good color coverage, apply evenly overall, but they aren’t super creamy lip pencils, so they can skip, drag, and tug.  They’re not the worst, but they’re not the most comfortable to apply or wear alone.  I like them best underneath lipstick or gloss, as you get the benefits of a lip pencil–longer wear, more even color fade, no feathering/bleeding–without the drawbacks of wearing it alone. The formula is not one I would opt to wear alone because of how drying they are by themselves, and honestly, they have a drier texture that tends to cling to lips and doesn’t look as flattering.  Even the Retro Mattes, though sometimes drying, look smoother applied.  I wish they were creamier during application with more of a set/dry down, so you could achieve really even, smooth color that still wore and lasted well. I prepped by slathering lips with lip balm while sleeping (I used Hourglass’ Lip Oil, actually) and wearing lip balm for a half hour prior to applying (blotting off immediately prior to applying the lip pencil).

On their own, I’ve found that while they wear like iron–topping in anywhere from six to ten hours–the wear can be less flattering over time, as it flakes off in areas, rather than a gradual fade.  The deeper colors stain, too, and so when they do, the fading appears more even as the product wears away.  These feel like they shrink or cling to the lips, which is why I really think they are best underneath other lip products.  I ended up wearing a lot of these two at a time (half on one side, half on the other), because after wearing one alone (and after all seven of the Retro Mattes), my lips weren’t going to make it through another four standalone tests.

Wearing them underneath lipstick adds anywhere from an extra hour to three hours, depending on the shortness of the lipstick to begin with and lighter shades always disappear faster.  How drying the lip pencil is also can be mitigated by wearing a more hydrating formula on top or patting on lip balm and/or a hydrating gloss throughout the day.

Dynamo is described as a “bright peony.”  It’s a bright, medium-dark coral-pink with a matte finish.  The consistency is slightly dry but is able to cover with even, opaque color without too dragging or skipping around.  On its own, it lasted well for seven hours.  I’m not familiar with many coral lip liners, and Urban Decay Streak is really the only one I could think of, but it is not similar to this shade.

Fashion Boost is described as a “bright purple cream.”  It’s a vibrant, medium-dark magenta purple with strong fuchsia undertones and a barely-there satin sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but I couldn’t quite get 100% even, opaque color. It lasted seven hours and faded slightly unevenly.  Urban Decay Anarchy is brighter, pinker. MAC Heroine is very similar–a touch more muted but just barely.  See comparison swatches.

High Energy is described as a “bright orange red cream.”  It’s a medium-dark, orange-red with a matte finish.  It was slightly dry in consistency but didn’t skip too badly, and I was able to get opaque color that was very even overall.  This shade wore well for eight hours but was drying on its own.  Urban Decay Bang is slightly more orange. MAC Throw Me a Line is more muted. MAC Ablaze is slightly more muted.   See comparison swatches.

Shock Value is described as a “bright pink cream.”  More like a bright–nearly neon–light-medium, blue-based pink with strong fuchsia/magenta tones.  It’s definitely pink, but it’s almost so blue-based that it looks magenta.  This one was creamier than the others, but it tended to cling to itself as applied (seemed a little tackier than others).  I highly recommend blotting with a tissue before you press lips together to avoid the product sticking and lifting from areas on the lip.  This shade wore for eight hours well, though it was painful to remove and wear. I couldn’t think of any similar lip pencils to this shade, but I have no doubt it would pair well with MAC Candy Yum Yum and its dupes.

Trust in Red is described as a “bright cool red cream.”  It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned red with blue undertones.  It’s actually a bit muted–not as bright/bold as you’d expect.  It had mostly opaque, even color coverage, was somewhat drying when worn, and lasted for eight hours and stained.  Urban Decay 69 is not as blue-based, darker. MAC Cherry is darker. MAC Freehand is darker, less blue-based.  See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Dynamo

A-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Fashion Boost

B

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

High Energy

A-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, July 20th, 2013

MAC Illustrated Pink Lip Bag
MAC Illustrated Pink Lip Bag

MAC Illustrated Pink Lip Bag ($39.50) contains a full-sized Lipstick, Lipglass, and Lip Pencil, plus a medium-sized makeup bag. The value of the color products is $45, while the bag is very similar in size and material to the recently released Illustrated bags that retailed for $36, so the total (maximum) value is $81.  The gloss merely lightens Girl About Town, but it’s very subtle, so I don’t know if it’s really the best pairing, especially as the thickness of Picture Pink gives the finished look a very thick, almost goopy, finish.

Girl About Town is described as a “bright blue-fuchsia [with an Amplified finish].” It’s a bold, fuchsia pink with blue undertones and a satiny finish. It has rich, opaque color coverage, and it wore six hours well on me and left behind a stain. MAC Pink Poodle is lighter. MAC Rare Exotic is similar. Buxom Exhibitionist is brighter/lighter. See comparison swatches. (This is part of the permanent range.)

Picture Pink is described as a “clear pink.” It’s a light, milky pink with a creamy consistency and finish. It had semi-opaque color coverage, but it settled into lines and looked uneven. It’s the type of gloss that is best applied over another lip product (like a lipstick or lip pencil), because on its own, it’s a mess. It wore for four hours on me. MAC likes their milky pinks, so there is no shortage of dupes. MAC Infinitely Likeable is more neutral. MAC The Wee Coquette is lighter. MAC Stay Sweet is very similar. MAC Pink Fade is cooler-toned. MAC Fashion Scoop is sheerer. See comparison swatches.

Embrace Me is described as a “vivid fuchsia.” It’s a vibrant, nearly neon, fuchsia with a matte finish. It had rich, full color coverage. I reviewed this in March here. Its strength is longevity and color payoff, but it’s a bit dry and is drying when worn alone. Urban Decay Anarchy is cooler-toned. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

P
product

Girl About Town

A

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Picture Pink

C

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Embrace Me

B

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, July 20th, 2013

MAC Illustrated Nude Lip Bag
MAC Illustrated Nude Lip Bag

MAC Illustrated Nude Lip Bag ($39.50) contains a full-sized Lipstick, Lipglass, and Lip Pencil, plus a medium-sized makeup bag. The value of the color products is $45, while the bag is very similar in size and material to the recently released Illustrated bags that retailed for $36, so the total (maximum) value is $81.  This set was actually quite interesting, because the lipstick and lipgloss aren’t similar in color, so they can be mixed in varying degrees to get several different variations on a warmer coral.

Naked Proof is described as a “neutral pink-beige [with a Cremesheen finish].” It’s a warm-toned, pink-tinged coral with a satiny finish and light sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage and wore for four hours. It was very slightly drying on me, which is my typical experience with the Cremesheen finish, so if you find them normally hydrating, this should be fine for you. Chanel Interlude is darker. MAC Reel Sexy is lighter, pinker. MAC Razzledazzler is similar. Burberry Devon Sunset is similar. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition and exclusive to this set.)

Drawn to Chic is described as a “bright warm pink.” It’s a warm-toned, pink-coral with a glossy sheen and no shimmer. It had opaque color coverage, and it didn’t settle into lip lines very noticeably. It lasted four and a half hours on me. The consistency was slightly thick and tacky. MAC Fever Isle is shimmery. Revlon Papaya is slightly sheerer. MAC Star Quality is pinker. Hourglass Nectar is similar. See comparison swatches. (This shade is limited edition and exclusive to this set.)

Boldly Bare is described as a “reddish brown.” It’s a rosy, peach-brown with a matte finish. It had good color payoff, and it applied fairly well–it isn’t particularly flatterong on lips alone, but it works well as a base for lipstick to adhere to. MAC’s Lip Pencils usually last five to seven hours on me alone. Urban Decay Deep is darker, browner. See comparison swatches. (This shade is part of the permanent range and can be purchased separately if desired.)

The Glossover

LE
product

Naked Proof

B+

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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LE
product

Drawn in Chic

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
P
product

Boldly Bare

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes

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