Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer
MAC Al Fredo Nail Lacquer

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Nail Lacquers

The collection features three limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These include: Al Fredo (bright acid green), Kid Orange (coral), and Salad Dressed (mid-tone dirty aqua).

  • Al Fredo is semi-sheer dirty yellow. Honestly, it looks a lot like Deborah Lippmann Yellow Brick Road on me, with the same sheerness, but with a less jelly-like finish. The bottle looks a bit green-tinged, but the polish just looks yellow against my skin tone. It is a bit difficult to work with some streaking, and the consistency was a little thick. I did two coats for swatches, and it was clear that there was going to be visible nail line even with three coats.
  • Kid Orange is a orange-coral with a cream finish. It was opaque in two coats, and it had the best formula of the three shades. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it applied evenly and easily without bubbling or streaking. MAC Oriele is a bit lighter. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is a bit redder. Essie Braziliant is pretty close. China Glaze Life Preserver is redder.
  • Salad Dressed is a medium teal-blue with a cream finish. It was mostly opaque in two coats, but I did have some issues with it being streaky. It had a longer drying time, and it would benefit from patience–you really need to let each coat dry. The consistency is on the thicker side as well. MAC Ocean Dip is greener and darker. Essie Turquoise & Caicos is greener. China Glaze For Audrey and Chanel Nouveau Vague would be the closest dupes, though they seem perhaps lighter.

The formula on Al Fredo and Salad Dressed left something to be desired, and MAC did not indicate that Al Fredo was going to be as sheer as it turned out to be.  It wasn’t just slightly under-pigmented; it was the type of sheerness that I would expect to be called out explicitly.  Kid Orange applied beautifully and had good color payoff, though.  Salad Dressed had better pigmentation but still had some streaking and formula issues.  At this price point, MAC really needs to fine-tune their lacquer formula so it’s consistently good.  Keep in mind, the rating is an average of the three shades, so while Kid Orange is higher than a C+, Al Fredo is lower.

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MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C+
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

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Kissable Lipcolours
MAC Kissable Lipcolours

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Kissable Lipcolours

The collection features five limited edition shades of MAC Kissable Lipcolour ($19.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.). These shades include: Enchantee (light blue pink), Flaunting It (grey mauve), Scan-delicious (blue fuchsia), So Vain (muted dirty coral), and Woo Me (light pinky nude).

  • Enchantee is a pale milky pink with blue undertones. It has a slightly streaky appearance, because of the glide and slip of the formula combined with the light color. It delivers mostly opaque color, though. MAC Infinitely Likeable is slightly darker, less blue-based. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is also similar but lighter.
  • Flaunting It is a plummy purple with a little bit of pink. The color coverage is mostly opaque and even, and it looks rather creamy applied. MAC Real Posh is much redder. Illamasqua Move is pinker.
  • Scan-delicious is a pink-red with fuchsia shimmer. The color coverage is mostly opaque and even. Milani Photo Flash is a bit darker, less pink. MAC Wicked Ways is redder. NARS Strawberry Fields is slightly lighter.
  • So Vain is a soft coral-orange with a glossy sheen. The color coverage is opaque, but the lightness of the color means you can see slight streaks. Dior Pink Veil is pinker. Chanel Genie is lighter, peachier. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is darker. Benefit Spiked Punch is a touch lighter.
  • Woo Me is a light beige nude with subtle shimmer. It has opaque color coverage and mostly even color, though some streaking is apparent. MAC Perennial High Style is slightly warmer. Chanel Bikini Peach is similar but less opaque.

Kissable Lipcolour is a formula that’s designed to have the comfort of a lipstick with the shiny finish of a lipgloss. MAC describes it as feather-resistant, that it wears “for hours,” and it has a lightweight feel. These came out with Peacocky just over a year ago, where I reviewed them in full. This collection see five shades repromoted from the original set released.

They are vanilla-scented, come in long, skinny tubes, and have a doe-foot applicator. Some shades wear better than others; shades like Scan-delicious wear for six hours or so, while shades like Woo Me tend to disappear after four hours. They have the glide of a liquid lipstick with the shine of a more traditional gloss, though that glossiness disappears after two or so hours of wear.  Fun side note: these went up $1 since they were initially released.

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MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Kissable Lipcolours Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
These feel really nice on, so they're very comfortable to wear, but the coverage isn't always even and sometimes streaks, depending on the shade. Total color coverage tends to be opaque, but the unevenness can make it patchy in places.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, February 3rd, 2012

MAC Dish It Up Lipstick
MAC Dish It Up Lipstick

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Lipsticks

The collection features six limited edition shades of MAC Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.). These shades include: Dish It Up (berry pink), Innocence, Beware! (light yellow pink), Naughty Saute (bright pepto pink), Quick Sizzle (bright pink), Runaway Red (rich red-blue), and Watch Me Simmer (bright pink-orange).

  • Dish It Up is a muted, medium-dark fuchsia-plum with semi-opaque color coverage and a natural sheen. It has a lustre finish, so it’s supposed to be semi-sheer and moisturizing. I don’t find the finish to be hydrating; I actually find it a bit drying. The color coverage is actually much more than anticipated based on the finish. MAC Plum Bright is much, much darker and less pink. MAC Hot Gossip is lighter and pinker. MAC Love Forever is brighter, pinker, bluer-based. MAC Something New was the most similar but still pinker and more vibrant.
  • Innocence, Beware! is a pink-tinted pale, fleshy beige with subtle pink micro-shimmer and a natural sheen. It has a cremesheen finish and yields mostly opaque color coverage. MAC Naked Bliss is a few shades darker and less pink. Maybelline Born With It is a bit less pink. MAC Hue is less pink-toned.
  • Naughty Saute is a vibrant blue-based light-medium pink with a good amount of sheen. It really does resemble Pepto Bismol. It has a cremesheen finish. It has a lot of glide and slip, so it doesn’t always apply evenly around the edges. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is much lighter. MAC All Styled Up is much lighter, less blue-toned. MAC Pink Friday is just as blue-based, but it’s lighter.
  • Quick Sizzle is a bright blue-based fuchsia pink with opaque color coverage. It has a matte finish. It’s not one of the dry-type of mattes; it’s creamy and applies evenly without pulling at lips. Make Up For Ever #203 is slightly pinker, less blue-based. MAC Show Orchid is less pink, iridescent. Milani Rose Hip is slightly lighter. NARS Schiap looks about the same. MAC Candy Yum Yum is more magenta, less pink. OCC Pretty Boy is darker. MAC Rare Exotic is darker, pinker. MAC Pink Pigeon is more fuchsia.
  • Runaway Red is a medium-dark blue-based red with a subtle fuchsia sheen. It’s mostly opaque on lips, but there is a hint of translucence. It has a satin finish. Make Up For Ever #48 and MAC Dark Side are browner. Guerlain Gwen is closer but not quite as dark. MAC Digna is similar but not as opaque.
  • Watch Me Simmer is a vibrant coral that leans just a tinge pink but comes across as a truer coral. It has an amplified finish. MAC Ultra Darling is pinker and less vibrant. Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink is pinker. OCC Trollop is slightly pinker. Make Up For Ever #37 is a bit darker. Chanel Phoenix is a touch darker. Bite Beauty Rose is slightly more orange. MAC Full Speed is very similar. VS Be Mine is pinker.

MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented and tend to wear three to four hours on me on average.  Finishes like lustres tend to disappear within two hours, but I suspect the more opaque Dish It Up should get to around three hours.  Matte, satin, and amplified finishes tend to wear four to five hours, and some of the darker and more intense shades, like Quick Sizzle and Runaway Red, tend to last six hours or longer and typically stain the lips a little.

P.S. — If you’re worried about not being able to snag some of the lipsticks, because some have sold out on MAC’s website, the collection is still due to launch at other retailers, like Nordstrom, Macy’s, etc. as well as in-stores.

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MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
The two shades that sold out so quickly were the two shades I found most dupeable, so hopefully that's good news for those of you who were disappointed to see them sell so quickly! These are pretty much on target with other MAC lipsticks; no real discrepancies (good or bad).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, February 3rd, 2012

MAC Restores Dazzle! Cremeblend Blush
MAC Restores Dazzle! Cremeblend Blush

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Restores Dazzle! Cremeblend Blush

MAC Restores Dazzle! Cremeblend Blush ($20.00 for 0.19 oz.) is described as a “rich plum.” It’s a gorgeous darkened raspberry with a subtle cool undertone and natural sheen. Bobbi Brown Plum is somewhat similar but pinker and lighter. MAC Vintage Grape is darker, less pink.

Whether you want a really dramatic, intense cheek color or a softer, subtler hue of pink-berry, you can easily achieve both here. The product is incredibly pigmented, so a little will go a long way–use a stippling brush and/or a light hand when applying if you desire sheer to medium color coverage. I applied with light-medium application in mind so it would be easily seen in photos.

Cremeblend Blush has an interesting texture that’s creamy but slick; it’s not thick like a traditional cream blush; it almost feels like a gel or cheek stain in feel, but it applies and looks like a cream blush.  I wasn’t able to test the wear of this specific shade for wear, but I’ve tested five or six of the various shades in this formula, and I typically average seven hours of wear.

The Glossover

LE
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Restores Dazzle

B+
I like the lightweight texture of Cremeblend Blushes, and the natural slip they have makes these very easy to spread across the skin. It dries down to a soft sheen, so it doesn't look oily or dewy once applied.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, February 3rd, 2012

MAC Optimistic Orange Cremeblend Blush
MAC Optimistic Orange Cremeblend Blush

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Optimistic Orange Cremeblend Blush

MAC Optimistic Orange Cremeblend Blush ($20.00 for 0.19 oz.) is described as a “bright orange.” It’s a medium-dark orange with a natural sheen. It looks lighter in the pan, but after you swipe the first layer off, it looks a bit darker (truer to the swatch). Make Up For Ever #12 is similar but a little more tangerine. Make Up For Ever #5 is redder and darker.

This shade has plenty of color payoff, so you do not need much product to get a pop of color on the cheeks. I find it’s easier to build up the color than it is to blend it out. It’s blendable, but it’s only so blendable. I recommend using a stippling brush or a light hand when applying. I went with a medium application of color so you could see it in photos and get a better grasp of what the color looks like on skin, but it can be more both more intensely as well as more subtly.

Cremeblend Blush has an interesting texture that’s creamy but slick; it’s not thick like a traditional cream blush; it almost feels like a gel or cheek stain in feel, but it applies and looks like a cream blush. Like Florida, I also re-tested the wear of Optimistic Orange earlier this week (since it’s a repromote), and it wore for seven hours before it began to fade.

The Glossover

LE
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Optimistic Orange

B+
I like the lightweight texture of Cremeblend Blushes, and the natural slip they have makes these very easy to spread across the skin. It dries down to a soft sheen, so it doesn't look oily or dewy once applied.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, February 3rd, 2012

MAC Florida Cremeblend Blush
MAC Florida Cremeblend Blush

MAC Florida Cremeblend Blush

MAC Florida Cremeblend Blush ($20.00 for 0.19 oz.) is described as a “bright coral” on the press release, but between you and me, that’s completely wrong. When it was originally launched in MAC in Lillyland, it was described as a “bright fuchsia,” which is so much more accurate. It is a brightened, light-medium fuchsia pink with strong blue undertones. MAC Overdyed is similar but slightly darker. MAC Amazon Princess is also very similar, perhaps a touch less pink. MAC Her Blooming Cheek has a bit more of a sheen but the color comes close.

Unlike the permanent range of Cremeblend Blushes, this is a much more intense color, so while those neutral shades were easy to use and impossible to overdo, I recommend a light hand and/or a stippling brush with this shade! It’s intensely pigmented, so a little goes a long way–use less than you think you’d need. It’s easier to build up the color than it is to tamp down the intensity once it’s applied.

Cremeblend Blush has an interesting texture that’s creamy but slick; it’s not thick like a traditional cream blush; it almost feels like a gel or cheek stain in feel, but it applies and looks like a cream blush. Once applied, it has a natural sheen but no shimmer. I re-tested the wear of Florida earlier this week, and it wore for seven hours before it began to fade.

The Glossover

LE
product

Florida

B+
I like the lightweight texture of Cremeblend Blushes, and the natural slip they have makes these very easy to spread across the skin. It dries down to a soft sheen, so it doesn't look oily or dewy once applied.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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