Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC In the Dark... Purple Nail Lacquer
MAC In the Dark… Purple Nail Lacquer

MAC Reel Sexy Nail Lacquers

MAC Reel Sexy Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include these three shades, all of which are creams: In the Dark… Purple (vivid violet), Screening Room (bright mid-tone teal), and Vivid Effect (vivid orange coral).

I’m still recovering from the shock of MAC polishes now being–permanently–available at a whopping $16 a pop.   They were $14 just a year ago.  A lot of brands increase prices every 12-18 months, and the increase can be as little as $0.50 to as much as $4-5, depending on the base price of the product.  MAC has historically raised prices on just about every product once a year, and on products at this price point, it has been $0.50–e.g. lipsticks, eyeshadows, and the like have gone up $0.50 a year, not $2 a year.  There’s only 0.34 fl. oz. of polish in the bottle!  C’mon!  Price aside…

In the Dark… Purple was streaky; it was still a little streaky with a thicker second coat yet not fully opaque after that either.   Screening Room was also on the streaky side, though it recovered mostly by the second coat.  Vivid Effect was not streaky, and it was opaque in two coats, so that was the best performer of the three shades.  It is the most dupeable, though.  I don’t have wear issues with MAC’s polish formula; I usually get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

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MAC Reel Sexy Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B
MAC needs to make sure their formula is on point if they're going to increase their polish prices by $2 every year. These are not the worst offenders in the past year, but they do not apply flawlessly and do take some patience and effort to ensure a streak-free finish.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish ($29.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “soft candlelit beige with multi-dimensional shimmer.” It’s a pale, white-beige highlighter. Something worth noting is that the color of a mineralize skinfinish can dramatically change based on the veining–look at Lightscapade from September 2011–there is so much more veining! They did end up swatching similarly, though this one seemed a little less pigmented. theBalm Promiscuous Pearl is more frosted, a slightly darker beige. MAC Snowglobe is rather similar, more of a sheen than a shimmer. Chanel Beiges Ombres Tissees is more frosted. MAC Truth & Light is more golden. MAC Too Chic is similar but paler.

The texture is soft, and the powder is finely milled with very subtle shimmer, so it’s not glittery or metallic when applied like some mineralize skinfinishes can be. It is fairly sheer, though, so you could use a denser blush brush if you so desired.  You could also use a stippling brush like the 188 or a more tapered/angled brush like the 168 to highlight the planes of the face more easily.

As much as I want to be, I’ve never been in love with the mineralize skinfinish formula. They really just don’t wear very well–many of them seem to accentuate any skin imperfections as well as pores, and they wear off quickly. Lightscapade is one of the better finishes, because it does not emphasize skin texture or pores much at all, but it does have wear problems. I applied Lightscapade as a highlighter this morning, and it was patchy and faded after four hours. After eight hours, it’s barely there.

The Glossover

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MAC Lightscapade Mineralize Skinfinish Review, Photos, Swatches

B-

Lightscapade is one of the better finishes, because it does not emphasize skin texture or pores much at all, but it does have wear problems. I applied Lightscapade as a highlighter this morning, and it was patchy and faded after four hours.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Pink Cult Blush
MAC Pink Cult Blush

MAC Pink Cult Blush

MAC Pink Cult Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “mid-tone neutral pink” with a matte finish. Now this is a neutral pink, unlike yesterday’s Pink Tea. It is a neutral-cool, light-medium pink with a slightly gray cast. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink looks similar on, but it’s definitely pinker. Illamasqua Chased is also similar but a touch less neutral. This is like a paler, more neutral version of Coygirl.

I’ve been wearing Pink Cult since early this morning (so it’s been around seven hours now), and it looks surprisingly fresh and intact. The texture of this blush is soft, slightly powdery due to its matte finish, but very blendable and easy to use. It’s one of those everyday shades that you can’t overdo–you can as heavy-handed as you’d like with this shade! Because it has more of a neutral undertone, even though it does read a bit cool-toned in the pot, it will be a shade that adjusts against your natural skin tone in a very flattering way.

The Glossover

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MAC Pink Cult Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It's one of those everyday shades that you can't overdo--you can as heavy-handed as you'd like with this shade! Because it has more of a neutral undertone, even though it does read a bit cool-toned in the pot, it will be a shade that adjusts against your natural skin tone in a very flattering way.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Heroine Lipstick
MAC Heroine Lipstick

MAC Reel Sexy Lipsticks

There are four MAC Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) debuting with the Reel Sexy collection that will hit stores on April 5th. They are: Heroine (bright violet plum), Pink Popcorn (lavender), Reel Sexy (light bright coral), and Watch Me Simmer (bright pink-orange).

  • Heroine is a magenta purple with a near matte finish–there is just a hint of sheen in the finish. It applies opaque and smoothly, despite being a matte finish. It looks a lot like MAC Violetta, which is a smidgen darker and has shimmer. Milani Magenta Madness is quite pinker.
  • Pink Popcorn is a soft petal pink with a very subtle blue undertone. It has a lustre finish, though the color payoff is semi-opaque, actually. MAC Naughty Saute is paler, more opaque, and bluer-based. Revlon Carnation is a bit darker, less blue-based.
  • Reel Sexy is a peach-orange with a little hint of coral, but it looks more peach/orange than anything else. It has an amplified finish, but it’s a bit streaky when applied and tends to settle into lips to some degree. The color coverage is opaque. MAC Gotta Dash is similar but sheerer. Bobbi Brown Soft Coral is more orange and darker. Illamasqua Brink is very similar. YSL Peach Passion is similar.
  • Watch Me Simmer can be seen here, as it was just released in February of this year!

MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.  They typically last between three and four hours on the lips, but it largely depends on the finish. Lustre finishes wear off a little faster, between two and three hours, depending on the richness of the shade. Amplified and matte finishes tend to wear better, sometimes lasting as long as six hours. I tested out Heroine, and it lasted for over six hours and stained my lips for hours after that. Pink Popcorn only wore for three hours, and it did leave my lips feeling chapped, as lustres often do.

Because Watch Me Simmer was in such high-demand when it first launched this past February, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of the first lipsticks to sell out.  Heroine may also catch peoples eye, because it is purplish.

The Glossover

LE
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Pink Popcorn

B+
Because Watch Me Simmer was in such high-demand when it first launched this past February, I wouldn't be surprised if it was one of the first lipsticks to sell out. Heroine may also catch peoples eye, because it is purplish.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Eye Kohl
MAC Eye Kohls

MAC Reel Sexy Eye Kohls

There are four MAC Eye Kohls ($15.00 for 0.048 oz.) in the upcoming Reel Sexy collection debuting on April 5th in-stores. They are: Heirloom (highly metallicized greyed lavender), Hyacinth (mid-tone blue), and Resort (deep amethyst plum), and Smolder (intense black). Smolder is not included, because it’s a permanent shade that’s been long-standing.

  • Heirloom is a lilac-tinted light gray with a silvery sheen. It doesn’t deliver the greatest color payoff, and it doesn’t seem to layer as well as I’d like. I can’t think of a similar shade to this.
  • Hyacinth is a medium-dark muted blue. It’s not a full-on medium blue, but it’s not a navy blue–it’s right in-between–and there’s a softened quality to the color. The color payoff is so-so in a single pass. It doesn’t skip so much as it just doesn’t deposit an even, opaque layer of color. MAC Marine Ultra is more intense. Make Up For Ever #15L is a bit lighter. YSL #03 is a bit darker.
  • Resort is an eggplant purple with red undertones. It has decent pigmentation in a single go, but again, it’s not fully opaque, and it doesn’t seem to get there even with layering. Make Up For Ever #4L is a bit darker, more burgundy. CoverGirl Violet Voltage is a bit darker.

With the amount of eyeliner formulas out there, MAC’s Eye Kohls are not on my list of favorites.  They’re soft but not creamy, so they don’t glide on effortlessly.  Luckily, they’re not dry, so they don’t tug and drag painfully across the lash line, but I can never get a really great, opaque line of color.  Even after going back and forth one or two times, it just doesn’t look right.  It seems to fold over itself and bunch up in places, so it does look nice and even.   What is applied, though, does wear well.  I was able to wear Heirloom for eight hours without any problems–it looked a little faded after ten hours.  Some of the shades in the range are creamier than others, but these just didn’t have enough give.

The Glossover

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MAC Reel Sexy Eye Kohls Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B-
There are too many better eyeliner formulas on the market (even with MAC's own line) that make these seem like under-performers--especially when it comes to delivering rich color payoff.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, March 30th, 2012

MAC Magenta Blush
MAC Magenta Blush

MAC Magenta Blush

MAC Magenta Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “bright magenta” with a matte finish. This is a dark berry red with maybe a hint of magenta–it looks a bit more magenta in the pot but goes on rather reddish on my skin tone. MAC Restores Dazzle is darker and not as bright but appears similar on the cheek. MAC Amazon Princess is darker, less pink.

I’m not a fan of the texture; it is very, very dry. It tends to tug and pull and drag, so the color is a pain to get even and blend out. It just wants to sit there, looking bold and unblended! In order for it to even look halfway acceptable, I had to use flesh-toned powder to help blend out the edges, which is really cheating. It wears for about seven and a half hours, and after eight, there is some fading that’s noticeable but not too bad.  I think what makes this blush at all interesting is that clearly it can be a very, very intense shade, so if you love your bold cheek colors, you may find the poor texture is worth dealing with.  It’s unfortunate that something as bold as this is so difficult to blend, because when it’s not, it can look so terribly wrong.

The Glossover

LE
product

Magenta

C+
I think what makes this blush at all interesting is that clearly it can be a very, very intense shade, so if you love your bold cheek colors, you may find the poor texture is worth dealing with.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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