Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Freehand Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated: Freehand, Totally Fab, Must Be Red!

MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Freehand Cremestick Liner (new and exclusive), Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme (repromote), and Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This set is limited edition and exclusive to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale, but it is available in-store and online.

Freehand Cremestick Liner is a medium yellow-based red that’s not too blue-based. It has good color coverage. The Cremestick Liner formula is fairly creamy without being something that would slip and slide–it will stay in place on its own or help your favorite lipstick last just that much longer. When I tested Freehand on its own, it lasted for an impressive eight hours, but my lips were noticeably parched after that.

Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme is an ornage-red with pink and white sparkle. Chanel Triomphal is blue-based and darker. MAC Russian Red is more opaque and blue-based. MAC Sonoran Rain has mor gold shimmer. YSL Golden Red is comparable but the gold shimmer is larger. MAC Wonder Woman is similar. Dior Little Red Dress is also comparable. It has semi-opaque color coverage. It wore for four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. There was some settling into lip lines, but the color coverage helped to hide it.

Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick is a subtly yellow-toned red with barely-there gold micro-shimmer. MAC Ruffian Red is a little more orange-toned. MAC Red Racer less yellow-toned, but they are similar. CoverGirl Hot is similar but more opaque. Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood is also comparable. It’s mostly opaque, but you can still see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through. This applied more easily than a lot of other Cremesheen lipsticks–it seemed a bit creamier. It wore for six hours and was slightly drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!).  Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

The Glossover

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MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!). Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Pink Treat Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated Collection: Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Pink Treat Cremestick Liner (part of the permanent range), Julia Dazzleglass Creme (new and exclusive), and Vivid Imagination Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This is a Nordstrom exclusive and is available both online and in-store now.

Pink Treat Cremestick Liner is a medium-dark neutral-cool pink. It comes in a twist-up mechanical pencil, and it contains 0.009 oz. I think Pink Treat was the first lip liner I ever bought (for sure, the first mid-range/high-end one). I don’t have that many lip pencils in my stash, so I don’t know what may or may not be dupes for this particular shade. It is significantly darker than the lipstick included in the set, though. I like Cremestick Liners, because they’re a lot more forgiving during application and when worn than other lip pencils. The only downside is, like most mechanical pencils, there isn’t a whole lot of product in ‘em, and if you use it regularly, you’ll find yourself going through it relatively quickly.  This lip liner wears about six hours on its own.

Julia Dazzleglass Creme is a rosy beige-brown with soft pink and gold shimmer. There’s not a lot to the gloss–it’s really on the sheer side and adds mostly shimmer rather than color. It seems to bring out the redness in my natural lip color. It looked and acted a lot more like a regular Dazzleglass than the Dazzleglass Cremes (which typically have more color payoff). You could easily dupe this with any sheer, shimmer-filled gloss. Here’s a whole gallery of options. When I wore this, it lasted a mere hour and there was some traveling glitter particles.

Vivid Imagination Cremesheen Lipstick is a light-medium yellow-toned pink with a creamy finish. Le Metier de Beaute Fiji is darker. Bobbi Brown Orchid PInk iis lighter, less opaque. MAC Please Me is extremely similar–at most, marginally darker! It yields mostly opaque color coverage, and the consistency is thin for as creamy as this looks. It does pull and tug a little bit, though not like a particularly dry, hard-to-apply lipstick, but it doesn’t glide-on. I tested the wear on this shade, and it managed four hours (which is average), but it was a bit drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  I’m not over-the-moon about this set, unfortunately.  The best part about it is Pink Treat as far as quality goes, and if you like the design, then the bag might take the prize. (I dig it!)

The Glossover

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MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I'm not over-the-moon about this set, unfortunately.  The best part about it is Pink Treat as far as quality goes, and if you like the design, then the bag might take the prize. (I dig it!)

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

MAC Nightmoth Lip Pencil
MAC Nightmoth Lip Pencil

MAC Nightmoth Lip Pencil

MAC & Beth Ditto also includes four lip pencils, three of which I knew I reviewed fairly recently (December ’11). You can find Embrace Me, Entertain Me, and In Synch reviewed previously. :)  Even though it was permanent, I wasn’t sure if I reviewed MAC Nightmoth Lip Pencil ($14.00 for 0.05 oz.), which is described as a “blackened plum.” It’s a really deep, dark wine burgundy with strong red undertones. This will work well with shades like MAC Soulfully Rich, MAC Prince Noir, and MAC Smoked Purple.

This is a classic color. I remember hearing about it for nearly as long as I’ve been buying MAC products. I so rarely wear lip liner (usually only for special events or when I’m going to be out all day and can’t touch-up at all), and thus, have never been compelled to pick this one. I want to make sure to mention that Nightmoth was applied after I had already applied over ten other lip products, so my lips do show some of the effect of that many swatches when combined with the drier formula of the lip pencil.

MAC’s Lip Pencils work best on freshly hydrated and exfoliated lips, which is true for most long-wearing lip liners. Nightmoth wears and wears and wears. I get eight hour wear, minimal transfer, and while it doesn’t look so pretty on its own (not many lip pencils do!), it doesn’t actually dry out my lips. It absolutely will prolong the color of anything you put on top of it.

The Glossover

P
product

Nightmoth

A-
It applies fairly evenly and easily, even over really dry, parched lips (which mine were when I swatched it!). It will wear for hours on its own or help add a couple of extra hours to your favorite lipstick by using it underneath.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil

NARS Dragon Girl Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($24.00 for 0.086 oz.) is described as a “siren red.” This is an extremely intense, vibrant cherry red with pink undertones and a blue base. It’s very cool-toned and equally bright. It’s bluer than Maybelline Very Cherry. It’s more vibrant than Giorgio Armani #406. CoverGirl Hot has a similar brightness level but not the same blue undertones. Chanel Rouge Byzantin is darker. MAC Ruby Woo is redder and darker.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencil formula is designed to allow you the precision of a lip pencil with the ease of all-over application like a lipstick. It’s supposed to be opaque, matte, creamy, long-wearing, and non-drying. Dragon Girl wears and wears and wears; its strongest suit is in how well and long it wears–a full six hours of excellent coverage and looks good enough not to need a reapplication until eight hours. It hardly transfers, so it lasts through a cup of coffee with ease. It’s not moisturizing, but it isn’t drying; you’ll want to properly moisturize and prep lips in advance (or just have a good lip health routine), since it’s not adding any moisture over the course of the day.

Dragon Girl has to be one of my favorites within the range, because it applies evenly and easily without tugging or pulling on the lip, so there’s just enough glide and waxiness in the base to get that even, opaque color, but it clings to lips so it wears a long time (not in a bad clingy way, though). It has a matte finish, but it appears so bright that it almost has a sheen.

The Velvet Matte Lip Pencils are large, jumbo-sized crayons, and you’ll need to sharpen them periodically. You will lose some product, but because the texture of this is fairly dry and firm, there is less product loss than from the brand’s Velvet Gloss Lip Pencils. Many readers have suggested freezing a pencil briefly prior to sharpening to help minimize waste.

The Glossover

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product

Dragon Girl

A+
Everything about this product is fantastic--except for some of the waste that happens when you sharpen the pencil, which is something that occurs with most pencil packaging--the color is rich and opaque, and this shade wears six to eight hours with ease.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Saunter Pro Longwear Lip Pencil

MAC Hey, Sailor: Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

MAC Hey, Sailor! Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($19.00 for 0.04 oz.) include three shades: Saunter (pale nude beige), Shore Leave (light vibrant coral), and Throw Me a Line (bright true red).

  • Saunter is pale peach nude with a matte finish. It goes on with a good amount of payoff. It’s lighter than MAC Peachstock. MAC Naked is a bit darker and not as warm.
  • Shore Leave is a pink-coral with a matte finish. This was the most difficult one to apply–it just did not want to apply at all, and least of all, apply evenly! It just pulled and tugged on my lips. It is lighter and warmer compared to MAC In Anticipation. It’s a smidgen darker than MAC In Synch.
  • Throw Me a Line is a red-orange with a matte finish. This applied the best–it didn’t pull or tug nearly as much as the other two did, so it ended up applying much more evenly as a result. MAC What a Blast is much more orange.

One of the “problems” with lip liner is that they rarely photograph well–they tend to cling onto lips like shrink-wrap, which makes lips look dry, rough, and all-around unattractive. I like, but I don’t love, MAC’s Pro Longwear formula. They’re best underneath a lipstick or gloss, because on their own, they’re clingy, drying, and it can be a task to get an even layer of color. I would not recommend pressing lips together in an effort to even them out, because the texture is lightly tacky for a bit, so the color ends looking worse when that is done. All that said, the swatches you’re seeing here are the second attempt at swatching these on the lips.

I only tested Throw Me a Line, because the other two were just too dry to endure.  I wore it for eight hours, and it was mostly intact at that point, which did include some sipping of coffee. It clings to lips, so it doesn’t transfer as much onto things like your cup, but my lips were looking beat up after wearing it for eight hours. When these first released, MAC said they last up to 15 hours, though the website didn’t call out a specific wear time. They consistently wear long, easily eight hours, sometimes up to ten, but they do look faded and dried out at that point. I don’t think my lips could physically handle this product for that long!

The Glossover

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MAC Hey, Sailor Pro Longwear Lip Pencils Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Even though I know that coral lip liners can be difficult to find, Shore Leave's texture left a lot to be desired. Throw Me a Line is your best bet, because it balances texture with long-wearing prowess.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer
Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer

Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer

Chanel Vegas Gold Le Crayon Levres / Precision Lip Definer ($29.00 for 0.04 oz.) is an molten gold designed to line the center of the lips to add a “touch of light.” The color is similar to Urban Decay Eldorado, which is an eyeliner. I can’t think of any lip liners that I own that are similar, but NYX Gold might work (I haven’t seen it, so I couldn’t tell you for sure) as it turned in my search for “gold lip liner.”

I can imagine this working really well with reds, berries, and plums, actually. The combination of the orange-gold tone with red would be fantastic.  It applies fairly well, though it does pull and tug just a tad, and the shimmer has a slight grit to it.  It’s not the best lip pencil I’ve used, but it’s certainly one of the more unique shades I’ve come across.  It yielded good color payoff in a single pass, though on lips it’s a bit harder to get those results as the surface area is much larger! I found it was a little dry on its own.  Overall, the formula and feel leave a little to be desired, but there’s something about the color itself as a lip product that draws me in.

The Glossover

LE
product

Vegas Gold

B
Overall, the formula and feel leave a little to be desired, but there's something about the color itself as a lip product that draws me in.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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