Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Video Review: MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Collection

First impressions and swatches for the MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC collection that will launch in-stores on the 9th.  Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! :)

Monday, February 6th, 2012

MAC Hot 'n' Saucy Tendertone
MAC Hot ‘n’ Saucy Tendertone

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Tendertones

In the collection, there are four limited edition shades of MAC Tendertone Lip Balm ($15.00 for 0.20 fl. oz.), which are: Hot ‘n’ Saucy (soft cherry red), Hush, Hush (sheer gold with yellow gold pearl), Purring (sheer tangerine with pearl), and Tread Gently (soft lime green with yellow pearl).

  • Hot ‘n’ Saucy is a watermelon pink once applied. It looks cherry red in the pot, but when it’s applied, it really just provides lips with a tint of red. Hourglass Primal looks similar when applied. Urban Decay Red Light is a bit similar but settles into lines more.
  • Hush, Hush is a golden beige with gold shimmer. There’s no real color, but it adds champagne and gold shimmer and a glossy sheen. A warm sheer gloss will provide similar color, so there are lots of dupes.
  • Purring is a sheer tangerine orange. I have no idea why MAC Described this as having pearl, because it doesn’t appear to have any shimmer–it has the same shimmer-less look as Hot ‘n’ Saucy. On my lips, it adds warmth and gives them a peach tint. MAC Kumquat looks a bit similar but more pigmented and it has orange-gold shimmer.
  • Tread Gently is a sheer green-shimmered balm. Like Hush, Hush, there’s no real color, just pastel green shimmer. I think the only shade that’s really going to be similar that I can think of is MAC Spring Bean, which may be a little more yellowing.

Tendertones have SPF 12 and are supposed to combine the glossiness of a gloss with the moisture of a lip balm. MAC describes their scent as “strawberry-kiwi.” It’s very, very sweet, and a little too synthetic for me, but it’s a sweet, fruit-based scent. The texture is like a gel-like balm that glides across lips easily and smoothes out if you press your lips together. It’s non-sticky, and these wore for three hours or less on me. I tried wearing some of these to bed, but they didn’t wear long enough so I woke up with slightly parched lips. They feel good when they’re applied, and they aren’t drying; they’re hydrating while they’re on but don’t seem to have prolonged benefits from the past few days I’ve been testing them.

I’m not a big fan of lip balms that are packaged in pots–it’s better than a dysfunctional squeeze-tube that splits in your pocket–but application on-the-go is more difficult. This is a product I’d only use at home, where I could use a clean spatula or brush to take the product out and then apply it. It’s housed in a glass jar with a screw-top lid (very much like Paint Pots).

I’ve been holding off on this review, because I really wanted to give this product a few days of testing, since it’s not a formula I’ve used in years. The way I review products today is ten-fold better than I did before; the process is much more systematic and technical. They’re good, and if they were in a tube, they’d be something I’d consider using more often. Lip balm is a tough category to crack with me–it’s hard for me to get enthused about a lip balm that’s good, or even really good, because I’ve found a holy grail lip balm that keeps beating out the products I try.

One thing I do really like about these is that they’re really comfortable to wear, are moisturizing for the time they’re on and maybe a wee bit after it wears away, and they provide a little extra oomph, whether it’s a tint of color or a hint of shimmer. They’re a good, solid product.  I’ll reach for something else when I want my lips to be totally hydrated and pillow-soft, but when I want a little extra color or shimmer, I’ll definitely keep it in mind.

The Glossover

product

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Tendertones Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
One thing I do really like about these is that they're really comfortable to wear, are moisturizing for the time they're on and maybe a wee bit after it wears away, and they provide a little extra oomph, whether it's a tint of color or a hint of shimmer. They're a good, solid product. I'll reach for something else when I want my lips to be totally hydrated and pillow-soft, but when I want a little extra color or shimmer, I'll definitely keep it in mind.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.21 oz.) has four shades: Moon Rose (bright dark pink), Rose Light (metallic yellow pink), Star Crystal (pink champagne), and Strawberry Patch (light blue pink).

  • Moon Rose is a bright medium-dark pink. There’s a subtle red base to it, so it does not turn fuchsia. Urban Decay Woodstock is brighter and cooler toned. MAC Bright Fuchsia is redder and brighter. Inglot #450 is a bit more burgundy.
  • Rose Light is a light-medium rose pink with yellow undertones. It looks very different from the pot–it almost looks like a coral in the pot. Definitely a shade you have to swatch! Inglot #399 is fairly similar. Giorgio Armani Sweet Fire is less pink.  This shade is a repromote from holiday.
  • Star Crystal is a peach-tinted white. It’s a bit darker compared to MAC Pearl. MAC Snow Season is darker. Urban Decay Midnight 15 is cooler-toned.
  • Strawberry Patch is a light-medium pink with lilac shimmer-sheen. This was really, really chunky and harder to work with compared to the other three shades in the stack. Urban Decay Hot Pants is a bit similar though the finish is very different. MAC Swish is not as blue-based.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience.  The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

The Glossover

product

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience. The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Aloha (dirty cocoa brown), Campfire (rich copper), Lantern Light (metallic gold/bronze), and Shifting Sands (metallic champagne).

  • Aloha is a medium-dark bronze with almost neutral undertones; it’s not quite your typical warm bronze, but it doesn’t seem like a genuine cool-toned brown either. This one had a really smooth, soft texture that was easy to work with and apply. MAC Seasonally Cool is similar but more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #15 has a warmer base. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is similar.
  • Campfire is a warm copper with a golden copper sheen. This shade also had a soft, smooth feel that made application easy. It’s a lot like MAC Amber Lights, theBalm Meep Meep, Make Up For Ever #12, and so on and so forth. This is a shade that we see often.
  • Lantern Light is a yellowed gold-shimmered copper-orange. It looks darker in the pot, but the gold sheen really lightens the color when swatched. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Louder with a weaker golden sheen.
  • Shifting Sands is a soft champagne beige with a metallic sheen. It’s similar to MAC Summer Haze. Make Up For Ever #13 is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Sin is pinker.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones–which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

The Glossover

product

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones--which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Butterfly Party (bright lilac), Desert Cloud (deep blue purple), Moss Garden (metallic silver green), and Rain Drop (metallic teal). FYI, none of the stacks from this collection are safe for lip use.

  • Butterfly Party is a red-toned violet with a lilac shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is blue-based. MAC Violet is similar but not quite as red-toned.
  • Desert Cloud is a dark blue-based purple with a silver sheen. This one has a slightly grittier texture compared to Butterfly Party. It’s kind of like MAC Parfait Amour with a cool-toned sheen. MAC Imaginary is darker.
  • Moss Garden is a dirty green with a bright metallic sheen. It has a yellowy brown base with a cool-toned green-teal color that dominates. MAC Cake Shop is a warmer green. MAC Lady Grey is also a little warmer.
  • Rain Drop is a darkened blue-teal with a minted teal shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of Urban Decay Aquarius, which is a bit lighter. theBalm Bossy Bobbi is a bit darker but similar.

These really need to adopt some kind of stopper a la Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, because it needs to come with some sort of device so you can press and “crush” the pigments here. I tried doing so as I was applying, but it wasn’t working out as well as I’d like.  I usually try to use from the plastic insert when I swatch (because I then throw it away), since the product on it is already fairly loosened and not in a large chunk.  These all have a highly metallic sheen, so if you like your frosts and metallics, you’ll like the finish on these as well.

Because these are a loose formula, they can be used both wet and dry.  When applied dry, it actually tends to apply smoother–at least more easily–as it tends to clump together when it is applied wet.  There’s a fine line where it becomes too wet (which isn’t sopping, by the way, it’s still more damp than it is wet) and leads to clumping.  The metallic sheen will become more pronounced when it is applied damp/wet, though.

Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”  The wear of the formula is surprisingly good–with as much shimmer, chunkiness, and the like, you would think these wouldn’t hold together on the lid, but they do.

So long as you apply a solid, smooth layer of product (so no clumping!), it wears about the same whether used alone (no primer) as it does with a primer (I typically use MAC’s Mixing Medium, which is an adhesive base).  It’s just vital that you really press and crush those pigments before applying to ensure the best results.  There’s very little fall out after it’s applied; I do tend to get more fall out than normal when initially applying these, because they are a loose formula.  If you have a metal mixing palette, you may want to mix and crush it there before applying, which will minimize application fall out.

The Glossover

product

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's an interesting product, and if you've never tried it, it's worth checking out in-store. It takes a little more technique and patience than your average product. This particular set felt a little chunkier overall than past iterations of the formula.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Midsummer's Dream Nail Lacquer
MAC Midsummer’s Dream Nail Lacquer

MAC Vera: Nail Lacquers

This collection features two new and limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These shades include: Midsummer’s Dream (pale pink lilac) and Play Day (pale milky coral).

  • Midsummer’s Dream is a pale, milky pink with subtle cool undertones. It’s not quite opaque in two coats, but it’s more coverage than semi-sheer. It’s a little thick, and it is rather streaky on the initial coat. It’s very similar to China Galze Something Sweet. Nubar Pink Lily is warmer and brighter.
  • Play Day is a peachy orange with a cream finish. Like Midsummer’s Dream, it is a bit streaky and takes awhile to dry, and it will pull if you apply a second coat and it hasn’t had enough time to dry down. It’s not quite opaque after applying two coats of polish, so you may want to do three if you dislike visible nail line of any kind. Chanel Peche Nacree is lighter and pearled. Essie Haute as Hello is more coral. Essie Tart Deco is a few shades darker. Barielle Blossom is a little more coral and darker.

MAC nail lacquer usually leaves me underwhelmed. I haven’t had issues with wear, such as chipping, but not much does chip on me, so it’s rarely a problem. I tend to have difficult with the formula, though, which is terribly inconsistent. Sometimes it’s beautifully fluid and opaque, and other times, like here, it’s thick, halfway to goopy, and streaky. Funny enough, neither color description seemed to fit the actual shades.

The Glossover

product

MAC Vera Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →