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
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Dupes
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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Added Goodness Fluidline
MAC Added Goodness Fluidline

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Fluidlines

This collection features three new and limited edition shades of MAC Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.). These shades include: Added Goodness (blackened mauve), Midnight Snack (soft black), and Wholesome (blackened brown). Fluidline is a gel eyeliner that’s supposed to be long-wearing and is housed in a small glass jar.

  • Added Goodness is a blackened-brown mauve that almost looks taupe in some lighting. There’s mauve, black, brown, and gray all mixed into a very interesting, complex shade that does retain some of that complexity even once applied. It’s dark and lines well, but it’s softer (and yet still has some intensity) compared to full-on black. It’s a lot like Bobbi Brown Black Mauve. Stila Starry is also similar, in liquid form, with more of a mauve look.
  • Midnight Snack is a deep, dark gray with silver shimmer. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this one — a lot of the gray eyeliners I have are much lighter.
  • Wholesome is a intense blackened brown with a natural sheen. It seems like it’s deeper, darker compared to Dip Down–more like if you mixed Dip Down and Blacktrack together.  MAC Avenue is cooler-toned, not as dark.

The majority of Fluidlines perform really well and live up to the brand’s claims. MAC’s form of gel eyeliner is easily one of the best on the market from my experience. The price point makes it very attractive, too. I’ve had many for years, and I haven’t had any problems with the product drying out over time. It’s a smooth, creamy formula that applies well with a stiff eyeliner brush to the upper lash line. I’ve also worn it as an eyeshadow base and on the lower lash line without problems.

The Glossover

product

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Fluidlines Review, Photos, Swatches

A
Fluidlines are one of MAC's cult favorite products and for a good reason, because they work--they're long-wearing, creamy, pigmented, and apply seamlessly across the lid with an eyeliner brush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Call Me Bubbles (light tan), Fresh Daily (orange), Full of Flavour (coral), and Brash (frosty reddish copper).

  • Call Me Bubbles is a light beige with a shimmery finish. The color payoff is decent but there is some underlying sheerness. It has a satin finish–it has more of a frosted look than your average satin. This shade will be a nice highlighter on light-medium to medium skin tones especially. It’s a bit like the shade in Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla. Urban Decay Skimp is similar but lighter. MAC Bisque is a touch darker and matte.
  • Fresh Daily is a medium orange with a tangerine shimmer-sheen. It has a frost finish that looks a little bit like a satin, too (not quite as shimmery as most frosts). The pigmentation is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa has a similar orange but matte and slightly darker. MAC Rule is similar but matte.
  • Full of Flavour is a brightened coral-pink. It has a matte finish. The texture is soft, just the tiniest bit powdery, and delivers good color payoff. It’s very similar to MAC Early Bird but a tiny bit darker. MAC Free to Be is also similar.
  • Brash is a molten copper with a frosted metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture is so soft and smooth, and the resulting color payoff is excellent. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy has a shade that’s a bit more orange, less red. Shades like Urban Decay Baked and MAC Bronze aren’t similar because they’re more gold and bronze, while this is distinctly copper without being too red. This shade is a repromote.

It reminded me a bit of MAC Spring Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad, which has the same really warm, sunset-ish feel, but it’s definitely different.  This is the warmest palette out of the three.  If you don’t like the way orange tends to look on your skin tone, this is the quad you could easily skip, since two shades have a fair amount of orange in them.  Like the other two quads, the shades included really mesh well.  I like the inclusion of different finishes so you can get more depth out of a look if you only wanted to use the shades included.  You should be able to make a pretty sunset-like eye out of this, though it will have a fair amount of brightness out of it.

 

The Glossover

palette

Call Me Bubbles

A-
The quality of this eyeshadow palette is much more in line with the quads of yesteryear, and it is the best quad out of the three. None of the textures are dry or stiff, and the color payoffs are good or better overall.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Sugar Snack (light pink), Hypnotizing (frosted greyed mauve), Power Boosted (violet), and Shop & Drop (deep blue).

  • Sugar Snack is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a matte finish. It’s a really soft, almost buttery, matte so the color payoff is good without being powdery. It reminded me of MAC Pen ‘n’ Pink, which is a touch lighter. Inglot #356 is lighter. MAC Paradise Island is similar, perhaps darker, with inferior color payoff.
  • Hypnotizing is a dark mauve-brown with high shimmer. It has a frost finish. It’s soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. It’s similar to a fair amount of shades, including Tarina Tarantino Fantastical, MAC Winterized, Bare Escentuals Romp, and MAC Tendersmoke.
  • Power Boosted is a fuchsia violet with a pearly sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It has decent color payoff, though it is a little sheerer and drier compared to other shades in the palette. NYX Violetta is similar but less iridescent. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is pinker. Urban Decay Purple Haze is similar in color, but it has a matte finish.
  • Shop & Drop is a deep smoky blue with hints of purple with a pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is decent to good, but the texture is a touch dry. Inglot #321 is similar in color but matte. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar but a touch purpler. MAC Blue Storm is brighter.

This is a good palette–none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC’s eyeshadow quads).  Both Sugar Snack and Hypnotizing are really nice and easy to work with, while Power Boosted and Shop & Drop are decent to good but could be more pigmented or softer.  Shop & Drop looks less nuanced when worn, especially if you’re using a neutral base, because it does have a blackened-blue base.  Hypnotizing is a shade we’ve seen before, but the other three are new and exclusive to this palette.

The Glossover

palette

Shop & Drop

A-
This is a good palette--none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC's eyeshadow quads). If you've been looking for a purple eyeshadow palette, this might be one to check out.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19. oz.) includes these shades: Laundry Daze (light yellow), Colour Added (bright yellow), Pre-packaged (muted turquoise), and Self-Serve (deep grey).

  • Laundry Daze is a pale white-yellow with this faint hint of green. There’s just something slightly green in it, but it doesn’t cast or really look green. Whatever it is, it actually works really well with the rest of the shades because it coordinates and blends into them. This shade has a satin finish and has good color payoff. It’s, perhaps, a much, much lighter version of Dior Garden Pastels. I couldn’t think of any other potential dupes.
  • Colour Added is a brightened yellow with a kiss of chartreuse. It had excellent color payoff and felt very smooth. It has a veluxe pearl finish. NARS Rated R is greener. MAC Double Feature 2 is noticeably greener but not as green as Rated R. MAC Bitter is closer but a touch greener. MAC Three Ring Yellow is pretty close.
  • Pre-packaged is a darkened navy blue with a hint of teal. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The color payoff is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Bare Escentuals Water is a bit like it, but tealer and more matte in finish. Guerlain Les Gris has a similar blue but a little muted.
  • Self-Serve is a medium-dark gray-brown with a subtle pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is horrendous–it’s like a trick eyeshadow! The swatch I managed to capture is a layered swatch; that’s the color built up as much as I could muster. The texture is dry, stiff, and loathes to be blended. Guerlain Les Gris has a similar grayish-brown kind of shade with better color payoff, though it has more of a matte finish. MAC Scene is a bit similar but less brown. MAC Moody is darker and browner but seems to be kind of what they were going for.

Everything was looking SO promising until I swatched Self-Serve, and then the eyeshadow loving part of me died a little inside. I was like, “What? How could you be such a tease?” Of course, a mere swatch on the arm only tells a partial story, so I went to test it in a look. It doesn’t apply much better over bare skin with a brush, but it is slightly better. It definitely needs a primer to yield truer color payoff, but here’s the rub: it’s just as dry, stiff, and difficult to blend applied as it was swatched. This lack of blendability made it a really frustrating shade to work with.

I was loving the quad until I tried Self-Serve.  It has potential, and depending on your level of patience and whether or not you have similar shades to the other three eyeshadows, it may or may not be worth it.   The quality of the other three is much, much higher; the two veluxe pearls feel soft, smooth, and deliver so much color. If we ignore Self-Serve, the quad would have received an overall rating of an A. Unfortunately, Self-Serve is not just a little bad but really bad, which resulted in scores of 1, 4, 1, 9, and 1.5. (Packaging is a single score that isn’t averaged across the four shades since it’s not impacted by the individual shade’s performance.)

The Glossover

palette

Colour Added

C+
It has potential, and depending on your level of patience and whether or not you have similar shades to the other three eyeshadows, it may or may not be worth it.   The quality of the other three is much, much higher; the two veluxe pearls feel soft, smooth, and deliver so much color.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Vera Plushglasses
MAC Vera Plushglasses

MAC Vera: Plushglasses

The collection features four limited edition (and one permanent) shades of MAC Plushglass ($19.50 for 0.14 fl. oz.). These include: Butterfly Dream (mid-tone violet with blue pearl), Confetti (bright orange coral with soft pearl), Fashion Fanatic (creamy pale pink), On a Holiday (bright pink with blue pearl), and Pretty Plush (extra soft pink with white pearl).

I can’t wear the Plushglass formula. It’s a brutal product for me to swatch, let alone do a wear test for, because my lips simply cannot handle it. I haven’t done a wear test for these in many years, and you won’t see me doing one any time soon. Even just doing the five lip swatches was difficult to endure; I swear, the stinging factor of the Plushglasses gets higher with each release! My lips get splotchy, swollen (but not in the cute, pouty way), and if I wear these for too long, eventual peeling and bleeding. Today was a little reminiscent of the first time I tried any lip plumper, and it was DuWop’s Lip Venom. I remember being in my first apartment freaking out going, “Is it supposed to be like my lips are on fire or should I remove this?!?!”

Plushglass is non-sticky, fairly thin, and sheer. The formula is supposed to deliver sheer color with a high-gloss finish, feel comfortable to wear, while moisturizing, soothing, and visibly plumping lips. I can attest that these are non-sticky, feel thin (like Cremesheen Glasses), and deliver sheer color. They are vanilla-scented, but it is a different scent compared to the rest of MAC’s lip products; it is extremely sweet and food-like. It’s cloying and lingers. I haven’t worn these for a wear test in a long time, so it’s hard to say just how long-wearing and whether or not the formula is moisturizing. It’s definitely not soothing on me!

Since I feel like I really can’t make an accurate assessment of the product on two major factors for the rating, I’m just not issuing a rating.  I suspect that wear will be a little below average given how sheer, thin, and non-sticky the formula is, based on the hundreds of lipglosses I’ve tested over the past five years.  I know that on my lips, given that the end result is peeling, bleeding lips, hydration is probably not happening.  But realistically, my reaction is just that, and it’s certainly a more extreme one.  I mentioned it on Twitter earlier today, and several others commiserated with me, having experienced something similar with these, but since they’ve been on the market for years, I imagine the majority doesn’t have that reaction to them!

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