Friday, September 16th, 2011

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: Basic Red, Process Magenta, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple

MAC Fall Colour: Chromagraphic Pencils

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils ($15.00 for 0.04 oz.) are part of the MAC Fall Colour Collection, which debuts in North America on September 29th, 2011 and will roll out internationall in October. Though there is a full range available at PRO stores permanently, we’ll see a limited launch of four shades roll out to all MAC locations, including: Basic Red (primary red), Process Magenta (matte magenta), Hi-Def Cyan (cyan blue), and Rich Purple (dense purple).

I’m a HUGE! fan of the Chromagraphic Pencils! I reviewed them all here when they first debuted at PRO stores in May 2010. They do come with safety recommendations, and for the sake of ease, I’ll repeat the warnings for the four shades featured in this collection.

  • Basic Red is an orange-toned red with good color payoff in a single pass. It is not to be used in the eye area or inner rim of the eye.
  • Process Magenta is a bright, medium-dark fuchsia pink. It has nice color payoff in a single pass. It is not to be used in the eye area or inner rim of the eye.
  • Hi-Def Cyan is a brightened medium-dark sky blue–not quite as bright as true cyan, I’d say. It has great glide and color in one stroke. It is not to be used on the inner rim of the eye.
  • Rich Purple is a medium-dark purple with red undertones. It’s kind of the bum of all the Chromagraphic Pencils; it has a glossier finish and goes on rather unevenly. It is not to be used on the inner rim of the eye (oops–I did this earlier!).

The reason I like the Chromagraphic Pencils so much is they wear well on the water line (though only a few are safe for that area, like Black Black and the flesh-toned shades) in addition to the lash line. They’re creamy enough to glide on effortlessly and the majority of the shades deposit solid color in one pass.

The Glossover

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MAC Fall Colour: Chromagraphic Pencils Swatches, Photos, Reviews

A
Creamy, pigmented (well, not Rich Purple, which will take a couple of passes to get solid color out of), and long-wearing -- hard not to like these!

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, September 16th, 2011

MAC Ash Violet Fluidline
MAC Ash Violet Fluidline

MAC Fall Colour: Ash Violet Fluidline

MAC Ash Violet Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described simply as a “blackened purple.” It’s a new and limited edition shade from the MAC Fall Colour Collection, which debuts in North America on September 29th, 2011 and will roll out internationall in October. There is another fluidline, but it’s the ever-permanent Blacktrack. It’s housed in a small glass jar with a black rubberized screw-on lid. Fluidlines are a gel eyeliner formula that works a treat; I’ve always had great success with the formula over the years. It’s creamy and blendable, but it sets and stays in place all day long.

I’m surprised MAC did not include any word to indicate this is a shimmery fluidline–maybe the word pearlized or shimmer should have appeared. Nonetheless, it’s a blackened purple with very subtle red undertones flecked with silver and burgundy-red micro-shimmer. I was concerned it would have fall out issues, but I’m pleased to report that all was well. I wore it all day on the lower lash line and didn’t find that shimmer traveled at all.

I find it has good pigmentation when I used it as an eyeliner (and I used the new 211 brush), though it looks slightly sheer even in the heavier swatch. I will say the shimmer doesn’t translate much on the eye; it just looks like purple-tinted black.  It seems like it’s a slightly redder version of Waveline (which I don’t think I own) but darker than Non-Conformist (which I don’t own).

The Glossover

LE
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Ash Violet

A-
I wish the sparkling effect you see swatched translated better when it is actually applied as eyeliner. If you used it as an eyeshadow base, you would definitely get more of that effect.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC In the Abstract Highlighter

MAC Art of Powder: In the Abstract Highlighter

MAC In the Abstract Highlighter ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is the last of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). Like the other products, there is a good amount in the palette.

MAC describes the highlighter as a “soft pink base with yellow gold lines and lavender and mid-tone pink dots.” It’s mostly a very pale, barely-there pink-beige, especially once you’ve worn away the gold, which does not go all the way through. I have a video review we’ll have up later today, which will show that with more detail (along with the other two products). By just using a small eyeshadow brush, I was able to brush the gold away shortly–it’s thinner than the pink striping on the Optical Bronzer but has more of an effect on the product until it’s worn away.

You might find it works better as a finishing powder or an all-over highlighter because of its subtlety. It has a finely-milled texture that’s soft and silky against the skin. It wore for around eight hours on my cheek before it seemed to fade a bit. With the gold lines intact, it works nicely as a glowy highlighter on cheeks, and the warm gold shimmer translates more into a lovely sheen that’s not too much at all (and does not emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin). Once it is gone, it’s more like a finishing powder – the slightest sheen that’s barely visible. It has more of matte appearance at that point, which is why it can work as a finishing powder–at least on light to medium skin tones.

The Glossover

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In the Abstract

B
It's a soft, subtle highlighter--seems like a running theme in the collection--best suited for paler complexions. It worked well as a highlighter with the gold shimmer/lines but it seems to lose a lot of the sheen once that disappears.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC Optical Bronzer

MAC Art of Powder: Optical Bronzer

MAC Optical Bronzer ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). It contains a good amount of product, and it will take quite some time to get through it.

If you’re not feeling the neon pink, you’re in luck: it doesn’t go all the way through. It’s thicker than your typical overspray, but it definitely does not go all the way through (video is forthcoming with much excavation!). The product is the golden tan you see protruding from the compact. I gouged a chunk out of the corner, and you can see how the pink is only on the surface I also used a small shadow brush to brush back-and-forth against a line of pink and eventually it disappeared and revealed pure golden tan underneath.

The color this bronzer is a warmed-up, medium tan with a very subtle golden sheen. The sheen is almost too faint, actually! It doesn’t impart much of a glowy sheen applied, because the sheen is so subtle–which may be a good or bad thing, depending on your preference. The pigmentation is decent, but the color is on the lighter side. On my medium skin tone, it’s subtle and soft. I expect this is better suited for lighter skin tones. It does have an orangeness to it that may not work well with pinker or naturally red complexions, because it may turn ruddy.

It has a really finely-milled, soft texture, which makes it extremely easy to blend on the skin but there is some powdery dust because of the overall softness. The subtle sheen means it doesn’t emphasize pores or imperfections on the skin. The texture is almost as soft as the Studio Careblend Pressed Powder Bronzers but I find those to be softer overall (but more pigmented, and if you want something foolproof, Optical Bronzer is that).

I wore it on one cheek (had the highlighter on the other–that’s called multi-tasking!), and it wore well for about six hours before starting to fade, which is shy of good (eight hours). It’s decent but not better than MAC’s regular bronzing line-up or various limited edition releases they’ve done every couple of months. The mix of pink and tan could have made for an interesting mix or take on bronzer in general (think Chanel’s Soleil Bronzers) but was not the case here.

The Glossover

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Optical

B-
It's a little powdery, but it may suit lighter skin tones who are looking for a very subtle, barely shimmered bronzer--the only potential issue is it does have an orange tone to it, which may not work with those with pink undertones. The wear is below average (and I have normal to dry skin).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, September 15th, 2011


MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Art of Powder: Street Art Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Street Art Eyeshadow Palette ($38.00 for 0.31 oz.) is one of three limited edition specially designed compacts from the Art of Powder Collection, which launches on September 29th, 2011 (North America) and October 2011 (International, at select locations). The palette contains a hefty amount of product; an eyeshadow quad retails for the same amount but contains 0.20 oz. on average.

After testing this palette, I just can’t say the quality is there. It’s the design that will sell this product; it’s more for collectors than it is for someone who is after quality eyeshadow. There are six different shades (tan, beige, periwinkle, orange, turquoise, and pink) but I was only really able to grab distinct swatches of five (the beige was difficult to get individually and then to get to show up was another story!).

The tan shade is a gold shimmered orange-tan that applies very sheerly and not as smoothly as I would like (or expect). One of the better performing shades was the periwinkle shade which is more purple than periwinkle, but it depends on the lighting; it reminded me a fair amount of Digit. Despite the appearance of intensity in the palette, the turquoise shade is incredibly sheer with a slightly roughened texture (it’s not rough or gritty, but it’s not smooth); it’s like the palest teal with silvery shimmer. The orange shade was better, as it was much more pigmented but was dusty; it’s a slightly muted orange with a subtle satiny sheen. The pink shade worked the best, as it applied smoothly and with good color payoff; it’s a yellow-toned light-medium pink with a near metallic finish. There is also a beige shade that disappears against my skin and suffers from sheerness and some powderiness.

Undeterred, I wore this on my eyes (it’s what I wore in several of the photos for the Posh Paradise Mattene lip swatches), and the fall out was incredible. I went with something short and sweet, so I used the purply-periwinkle shade on the lid with the turquoise shade in the crease. The texture is rather dry and doesn’t work well on its own (I figured I’d test it with a base on one eye, without on the other). Even with a base, I had a ton of glittery fall out and really had to pack on the color to get decent color payoff and evenness in color. I tried twice with a base – once with NARS Eyeshadow Primer Potion and the second time with MAC Nubile Paint Pot (using the pink, tan, and orange shades). The second combination had less fall out (but the shades had less shimmer) but took a fair amount of color-packing to get the vibrancy in the palette.

It’s a shame to see such a design-intensive palette perform so poorly. It really is art, because the best thing to do with it is to admire it from afar. Undoubtedly, it will still sell out because of the design alone. The good news is all of the colors go through to the bottom based on digging around each shade to see how deep it went. The only part that is an overlay is the silvered shimmer-sheen that goes across the middle.  You just can’t have problems with wear (fall out, minor fading, unevenness), pigmentation, and texture and come out on top.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Art of Powder: Street Art Eyeshadow Palette Swatches, Photos, Reviews

F
It's a shame to see such a design-intensive palette perform so poorly. It really is art, because the best thing to do with it is to admire it from afar. Undoubtedly, it will still sell out because of the design alone.

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer
MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer

MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Immortal Gold Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.34 oz.) is described as a “pale gold” with a frost finish. Honestly, nothing about this screams “pale gold!” This is more like liquid, molten gold. It’s full-on gold to me with a rather metallic finish. It’s a yellowed gold with a burnt antique gold base color. It has depth, because it’s not all yellowy, but the formula was less impressive.  I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade, except China Glaze Tarnished Gold, which is a crackle polish, so it’s not much of a dupe at all. Would love to hear from you if you have a dupe! :)

The formula is thick, almost goopy, so it’s easy to get far too much polish on the nail than is appropriate for one coat. I only needed two coats for opaque color, which was great, but the thickness of the coats acted to emphasize the brush strokes in the finish. I really tried to even them out, but this shade also has a rather quick drying time (reminded me of how glitters dry so quickly). When you get it just right, it’s great (my ring finger looked the best, while my middle finger looked terrible).  I generally have good luck with MAC polishes (I haven’t had a bad experience with wear that I can remember) – they wear a solid week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

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Immortal Gold

C+
The color is more unique than not, so for some, that alone may be worth the more troublesome application. At least it has a quick drying time!

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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