Thursday, May 19th, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Nail Lacquers
MAC Surf Baby Nail Lacquers

MAC Surf Baby:  Nail Lacquers

MAC Surf Baby is right around the corner–the full collection hits stores on May 26th (PRO stores should put it out a week earlier) and should start popping up online as early as the 23rd. There are two Nail Lacquers ($13.50 for 0.4 fl. oz.) coming out: Hangin’ Loose (dirty pink nude) and Ocean Dip (mid-tone creamy aqua).

  • Hangin’ Loose is a pale, peachy nude with soft white shimmer. It looks more peach, less nude in natural light than it does in brighter light. I used three coats and was able to achieve opaque color, but two coats does get close to opaque. Formula flowed easily over the nail and applied well.
  • Ocean Dip is a creamy bluish teal. I used two coats to get opaque color coverage. Even after I rolled it a few times, the formula was on the watery side.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC polishes always wear a full week for me, with no chipping, and minor tip wear.  The formula isn’t as consistent as I’d like, though, as some shades are thin, some thick, and a couple of them are watery.  Though recently I’ve had some issues with splayed applicators, both were perfect in these two bottles.

The Glossover

LE
coming-soon

Ocean Dip

B+
I found Ocean Dip to seem like a less dupeable shade, just because of the intensity of the color and the way it leans bluer, rather than green, as many teal/aqua shades do. Hangin' Loose has a better formula, though.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Friday, May 13th, 2011


From top left: This & That, Sage & Wisdom, Heaven & Earth, Mix & Switch, Pretty & Prim, Thunder & Rain

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos (2011) vs. In the Groove Mineralize Eyeshadow Trios

As speculated in my review, the new duos (which I’m still waiting to get official word on re: release date for in-stores, how long they’ll be available for, etc.) are definitely reincarnations of the trios from In the Groove. Five of the six duos correspond with a trio, while one duo requires taking a shade from two different trios to match–but for the most part, they are all quite similar. All swatches are applied wet (using water to dampen).

  • This & That is a duo that I had to take a shade from two different trios. The ivory side in This & That is warmer than the ivory in Cool, Calm, Collected. The beige side in This & That is indistinguishable from the beige (middle strip) in Making It Easy.
  • Mix & Switch compares closely to Making It Easy. The lighter peach side looks about the same in both. The coppery shade in Mix & Switch is more orange-based than in Making It Easy, which is a little browner and redder.
  • Sage & Wisdom is incredibly similar to Cool, Calm, Collected. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two in terms of color. The darker shade swatches slightly better in Sage & Wisdom than in Cool, Calm, Collected.
  • Heaven & Earth is a near perfect match to Blue My Mind. The blue in Heaven & Earth is slightly more pigmented and looks a little deeper, but they are very much the same, as are the two black shades.
  • Thunder & Rain matches Togetherness well–the purples are indistinguishable from each other, while the silver in Thunder & Rain applies smoother than the one in Togetherness, but the colors are about the same.
  • Pretty & Prim is quite similar to Fresh & Easy. The lighter pink seems a little yellower in Pretty & Prim compared to Fresh & Easy, but the darker berry shade seems the same. I had several readers ask how Pretty & Prim compared to Band of Roses, but the two are from different planets – not at all similar.

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Thursday, May 12th, 2011


From top left: This & That, Sage & Wisdom, Heaven & Earth, Mix & Switch, Pretty & Prim, Thunder & Rain

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos: New for 2011

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos ($19.50 for 0.07 oz.) sees a limited edition release of six new duos: This & That (frost beige rose/satin light beige), Mix & Switch (frosty dirty copper/satin beige), Sage & Wisdom (frost light green/satin deep green), Heaven & Earth (frost deep teal/satin black), Thunder & Rain (frost blue purple/satin grey), and Pretty & Prim (frost rosy burgundy/satin yellow pink).

  • This & That is a combination of a beige champagne with soft champagne sparkle and a yellowed ivory white with a satin sheen. Dry, the beige shade seems a little darker, because when applied wet, it has more of a metallic sheen, giving it an illusion of being lighter through reflection. The ivory shade has a flatter finish when used dry than when used wet. The closest dupes in the permanent line would be Arena (slightly more peach) and Blanc Type (not as yellow in undertone).
  • Mix & Switch consists of a vibrant copper with strong orange tones and a soft peach with subtle orange tones. Both shades applied about the same whether wet or dry. The closest dupes in the permanent range would be Coppering (redder) and Arena (less orange). The deeper orange is also similar to Paparazz-she.
  • Sage & Wisdom is a mix of a lightened forest green–it has this feeling of seafoam green but it’s not aqua enough and too dark to be really a seafoam green shade–and a blackened green with a pearly finish. The softer green shade applies a little sheerly when used dry, while the darker green shade doesn’t apply well regardless of being used wet or dry. This duo was the worst of the six, because the darker shade didn’t have much color pay off. The lighter shade is most comparable to Pastorale pigment (long ago limited edition shade), while the darker shade is a darker version of Flourishing–not quite as yellow-based as Femme Noir.
  • Heaven & Earth pairs a silvered sky blue with a satin finished black. The sky blue appears bluer and brighter when applied wet than dry, and it’s a little sheer when applied dry. The black shade applies about the same whether used wet or dry. The closest permanent shades would be Moon’s Reflection (less blue, more iridescence) and Carbon (matte finish, though).
  • Thunder & Rain includes a rich violet purple with a pearled sheen and medium-dark silvery gray that has a really subtle mauve cast to it. Both shades applied nearly equally wet and dry, though the purple shade was a touch softer when used dry. The purple shade is most comparable to Violet pigment, while the silvery shade is a lighter, frostier version of Scene.
  • Pretty & Prim has a berried red with a metallic sheen paired with a light-medium, yellow-toned pink with a bright metallic sheen. When used dry, the berry shade is slightly sheerer than when used wet. The pink shade seemed about the same either way. The closest permanent dupes would be Cranberry, which is a little less pink, and Da Bling is a bit darker than the pink shade.

Mineralize Eyeshadows tend to work better wet than dry, because the product will bind together better and produce smoother and richer color. Overall, a lot of these shades work as well dry as they do wet, which is nice.  When used wet, they will dry down and fade a little–they won’t quite retain the intensity they have when they’re initially applied (we’re talking you’ll see the dry down result in a few seconds, not hours later or anything!).  The textures seem smoother, slightly less powdery than mineralize products typically are.

According to MAC, the mineralize eyeshadow duos will be available everywhere for 12 months, and then permanent only at freestanding/PRO stores. Available May 19th in North America in-store, June 2011 for International.

These all remind me a great deal of the In the Groove Mineralize Eyeshadow Trios: This & That is reminiscent of Soften the Mood; Mix & Match is a lighter version of Making It Easy; Sage & Wisdom is reminscent of Cool, Calm, Collected; Heaven & Earth is reminiscent of Blue My Mind; Thunder & Rain is reminiscent of Togetherness; and Pretty & Prim is reminiscent of Fresh & Easy.  Please see comparisons here.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos: New for 2011 Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Each year, MAC's Mineralize Eyeshadows seem to get better and better, and I think these seem a little more refined and smoother in texture than previous editions. These shades aren't necessarily unique, but fans of mineralize eyeshadows should enjoy them.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, May 12th, 2011


From top left: This & That, Sage & Wisdom, Heaven & Earth, Mix & Switch, Pretty & Prim, Thunder & Rain

MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos ($19.50 for 0.07 oz.) sees a limited edition release of six new duos: This & That (frost beige rose/satin light beige), Mix & Switch (frosty dirty copper/satin beige), Sage & Wisdom (frost light green/satin deep green), Heaven & Earth (frost deep teal/satin black), Thunder & Rain (frost blue purple/satin grey), and Pretty & Prim (frost rosy burgundy/satin yellow pink).

I’ll have full reviews up later this afternoon, but for now, here are a few group photos and swatches! :)

According to MAC, the mineralize eyeshadow duos will be available everywhere for 12 months, and then permanent only at freestanding/PRO stores.  Available May 19th in North America in-store, June 2011 for International.

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Sunday, May 8th, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Collection: Overall & Recommendations

Surf Baby is a really fun collection with several high-quality products and shades, which makes it a really nice follow-up to Flighty, which left some disappointed.  The eyeshadows are fantastic–great smooth textures with excellent color pay off make them all worth having, but it’ll depend on your personal preferences and what you may already have at home.  I think the lipsticks and lipglasses are on par with what one would expect; not necessarily anything out-of-the-box but no significant texture issues.

I’m not much for bronzer, but I really loved the way the two shades of Studio Careblend Pressed Powders looked and felt on the skin–so natural.  The Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks are also a nice way to incorporate bronzer in your routine, and they, too, look natural against skin (though Gilty Bronze has shimmer and doesn’t!).  It’s hard to choose between the two.

Oddly enough, My Paradise and the Suntints are least impressive.  My Paradise is a little dusty; it’s just not a really finely milled, refined finish.  I think the drastic difference between the color with the overlay and the actual base color is going to make it easier to resist it.  Marine Life was better, because even though the gold was an overspray, there are two separate colors that go all the way through.  I don’t find Suntints to be a good lip balm at all, and of all products to splurge on for higher-end, lip balm is not usually one of them so it had better be good.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

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Saturday, May 7th, 2011


MAC Surf Baby: Dupes & Comparisons (Part 2)

Here are some possible dupes/comparisons for a few of the lip and cheek products from Surf Baby.

  • GIRL ON BOARD is a little beiger than Almondine (limited edition), while it’s a little whiter than A Quiet Roar (limited edition). Outer Space (limited edition) is too pink in comparison (it looked similar in the tube!).
  • KRAZY KAHUNA is closest to is much browner than Temper Tantra (limited edition).
  • STRANGE POTION is a little lighter than both Tarlette (limited edition) and Splendid (limited edition). Pink Lemonade (permanent) may make a good dupe, but I don’t own it.
  • BUST OUT! is closest to Up the Amp (permanent), which is a touch lighter and purpler. Playtime (limited edition) is far too light and purple, while Style Curve (limited edition) is lighter and pinker. Spitfire (limited edition) is pinker and a little brighter. Violetta (PRO) is nothing like it.
  • NATURALLY ECCENTRIC is pretty much lighter than the nudes I tried to compare it to. Innocence Beware (limited edition) is darker and pinker, while Hue (permanent) is a little darker and pinker (but lighter than Innocence Beware). Creme d’Nude (permanent) looks dark and beige-pink compared to it. Fleshpot (permanent) is darker and pinker, while Myth is darker and more beige.
  • MY PARADISE (base color) is not at all like either Bite of an Apple (limited edition) or Marine Life (limited edition). It also does not compare to either NARS Taj Mahal (permanent) or NARS Exhibit A (permanent), the latter being the closest dupe, but it’s very, very red.
  • MY PARADISE (mixed) is closest to NARS Luster, which is a little pinker (it doesn’t look as apparent in the swatch, but when I initially swatched the two, it looked pinker to me). NARS Taj Mahal is so much more pigmented and deeper that there really is no comparison.

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