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
product

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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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Modern Pewter Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Modern Pewter Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 2)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula that’s coming out in-stores April 5th.  It’s a hybrid powder that can be used wet or dry, with buildable color coverage, and wear for up to six hours.  If you’ve seen Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee eyeshadows, these are very similar in texture–but at least there is very little overlap in the shade range.

Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Modern Pewter (dirty olive gold), Rich Core (dirty aubergine), Sweet Heat (bright peach champagne), Warm Thunder (dirty silver grey), and Young Venus (pale white pink).

The good news is that these all felt and wore fairly consistently.  There weren’t major discrepancies from one shade to another.   Rich Core had one of the best textures–it felt extra smooth compared to the other shades–while Young Venus had a slightly grittier texture, though it would not be described as gritty.  Young Venus also had one of the frostier finishes.   Warm Thunder was the least pigmented (at least, when applied dry) of this set of five, while both Rich Core and Sweet Heat were quite pigmented both dry and wet.

From the previous review:  These are the shades that I have worn and tested for wear: Blue Orbit, Dark Dare, Havana, Modern Pewter, and Rich Core. I wore them alone over bare skin, over a primer, and used them both wet and dry.   Without a primer, they do hold up fairly well for six to eight hours when applied damp (with water), but if they are applied dry, they do seem to fade after three to four hours, with it looking rather sheer at the sixth hours. The worst thing is that when they are applied dry, they don’t stick as well, so if you rub your eye even briefly (oops!), it wipes away instantly.  Over a primer, they do very well; no fading or creasing even after ten hours of wear. I was definitely surprised at how well they held up over bare skin when used damp–there was only a little fading after six to eight hours, but it was not really noticeable from afar. My eyelids are normal-to-dry, but they’ve been closer to normal these past few days.

The texture of these is that same unexpected combination of dry, soft, and smooth. There’s just this inherent dryness to it and then a real softness so it ends up applying really smooth. These can be used wet or dry, so all swatches are dry and then wet (using just water). These will look more intense, opaque, and smoother when applied damp, but overall, they were fairly pigmented when used dry. Over a primer, you can get closer to the damp results, but I still liked using these damp best. I also liked that it retained a lot of the intensity even after it dried on the lid.

The Glossover

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MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 2)

A-
If you want to wear these without a primer, I strongly recommend using them damp during application, because when they are applied dry, they do fade within a few hours and are mostly gone by six, but damp, the results are much, much better. The payoff is a similar story--always more intense when applied damp.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Blue Orbit Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Blue Orbit Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 1)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula for the brand, but it may seem and look familiar! Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula is very comparable to this one. Since Estee Lauder is the parent company of MAC, I’m not surprised! MAC says this is a buildable formula that can yield sheer to heavier coverage, and they state that it lasts up to six hours. These are ten shades in total, and this post looks at the first five (and the next post will cover the remaining five).

Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Blue Orbit (light iridescent purple), Dark Dare (charcoal black), Grand Galaxy (dirty mid-tone violet), Havana (dirty copper brown), and Lunar (royal blue).

  • Blue Orbit is a violet purple with blue undertones and a soft silvery-purple sheen. This was one of the sheerest shades out of the ten–it was fairly sheer when applied dry, and there was still some underlying sheerness when used damp. I tried to test this one dry, but it was difficult to get it to show up! MAC Wintersky is bluer, less purple. Urban Decay Blue Bus is darker.
  • Dark Dare is a medium-dark black with brown undertones and a very subtle silver and teal micro-shimmer (hardly noticeable, looks almost matte from afar). It has a slightly dry look when it is applied dry to the skin, but it takes on a smoother result when applied damp. This one has a “glow” finish, and though I don’t know what that means in MAC-speak, it has a low-level sheen compared to the other shades. It’s similar to a lot of other black eyeshadows.
  • Grand Galaxy is a medium purple with red undertones and a silvery metallic sheen. It is less metallic and almost redder-toned when applied dry, while when it is applied damp, it takes on a more metallic quality to the finish. theBalm Lavish Latoya and Urban Decay AC/DC are similar to the dry swatch of Grand Galaxy. Bare Escentuals Encore is in-between the dry and damp swatch.  Estee Lauder’s Cyber Lilac is not a dupe!
  • Havana is a medium-dark warmed-up amber brown with subtle orange undertones (but it doesn’t read red at all). This is one of the more pigmented shades, as it is opaque both dry and damp. The damp swatch makes the color appear a little darker, but there’s a very low-level sheen in the finish either way. MAC Buckwheat is very similar. MAC Make Your Mark is a touch red-toned. Laura Mercier Cedar is a little yellow-toned.
  • Lunar is a midnight navy blue with a subtle violet purple shimmer over a blackened navy base. The blackened base is most apparent when it is used dry, while it takes on a very smooth blue result when applied damp. It is rather sheer when used dry as well. MAC Naval Blue is purpler. MAC Blue Flame is similar but has a more intense black base. MAC Shop & Drop is darker and more purple-tinted. MAC Blue Storm is slightly purpler.

I’ve put off the writing of this post for the majority of the day for two reasons: 1) readers voted highlighters over eyeshadows first, and 2) I really wanted to test a few more shades for wear, since MAC made a very specific wear claim. These are the shades that I have worn and tested for wear: Blue Orbit, Dark Dare, Havana, Modern Pewter, and Rich Core. I wore them alone over bare skin, over a primer, and used them both wet and dry.

Without a primer, they do hold up fairly well for six to eight hours when applied damp (with water), but if they are applied dry, they do seem to fade after three to four hours, with it looking rather sheer at the sixth hours. The worst thing is that when they are applied dry, they don’t stick as well, so if you rub your eye even briefly (oops!), it wipes away instantly. Over a primer, they do very well; no fading or creasing even after ten hours of wear. I was definitely surprised at how well they held up over bare skin when used damp–there was only a little fading after six to eight hours, but it was not really noticeable from afar. My eyelids are normal-to-dry, but they’ve been closer to normal these past few days.

The texture of these is that same unexpected combination of dry, soft, and smooth. There’s just this inherent dryness to it and then a real softness so it ends up applying really smooth. These can be used wet or dry, so all swatches are dry and then wet (using just water). These will look more intense, opaque, and smoother when applied damp, but overall, they were fairly pigmented when used dry. Over a primer, you can get closer to the damp results, but I still liked using these damp best. I also liked that it retained a lot of the intensity even after it dried on the lid.

The Glossover

LE
product

Blue Orbit

A-
If you want to wear these without a primer, I strongly recommend using them damp during application, because when they are applied dry, they do fade within a few hours and are mostly gone by six, but damp, the results are much, much better. The payoff is a similar story--always more intense when applied damp.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “light, soft white gold.” It’s a soft yellowy gold with a metallic finish. Gilded, soft, glowy, with a definite yellow undertone, but it’s not orange-y at all. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City is deeper, more molten gold. Estee Lauder Opulence is very similar. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is similar but darker.

Of the three shades that were released, I actually liked the texture of this one the best–it had the smoothest feel. The texture is dry but soft, and it applies smoothly so it really enhances the metallic finish. You can see it “in real life” in this video as well. If this is your first read-through of a review on this new formula, then if you’re familiar with Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula, you’ll find this extremely comparable, if not dead-on. MAC may not describe this as a liquid, powder, and gel powder, but it’s very, very similar. There’s an $11 price difference, and with MAC, you actually get nearly twice the product.

So far, MAC’s product seems to wear a wee bit better as well. Yesterday, I tested out the wear of this shade specifically, and it held up well after eight hours with very slight fading around the edges. Even after ten hours, there was a little more fading, but it was still surprisingly intact for as long of a period as that was.  As with anything with a really metallic finish, it will emphasize the skin’s texture, but this does so very, very slightly.  MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinishes tend to emphasize pores on me, but this seemed like a fair trade off between emphasis and glowy goodness.

I see this working well on yellow-toned skin, those with warmer undertones overall, but because it lacks an orange/red undertone, it shouldn’t turn particularly orange on pinker undertones.  Between this and Superb, I don’t think I’d grab both unless you’re major fiend for highlighters or really love the finish of these.  I suspect they will all sell well, so you won’t have a lot of time to think about it, but nonetheless, I do feel you could survive with one and not both.

The Glossover

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MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

A
I see this working well on yellow-toned skin, those with warmer undertones overall, but because it lacks an orange/red undertone, it shouldn't turn particularly orange on pinker undertones. Between this and Superb, I don't think I'd grab both unless you're major fiend for highlighters or really love the finish of these. I suspect they will all sell well, so you won't have a lot of time to think about it, but nonetheless, I do feel you could survive with one and not both.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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