Thursday, July 21st, 2011


MAC Happy Hibiscus Sheen Supreme Lipstick

MAC Seasonally Supreme Swatches – Sneak Peek

MAC Seasonally Supreme introduces more shades to the permanent range of Supreme Sheen Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.12 oz.). The formula is designed to have “the colour impact of a lipstick with the shine sheen of a lipglass.” It’s described as “lightweight, non-sticky, slick to apply, and comfortable to wear.” The collection debuts in full on August 4th across North America, but for now, I do have five shades to share with you. They are: Fashion City (neutral coral pink), Happy Hibiscus (creamy white pink), Korean Candy (bright orange-red), Royal Azalea (bright mid-tone pink), and Tea Ceremony (neutral pink beige).

Once I’m able to purchase the rest, I will certainly have those swatches for you. Please note, you can find photos and reviews for Bare Again, Insanely It, and Supremely Confident from the initial launch. The shades I do not have at this time are: Asian Flower, Blossom Culture, Sheer Mandarin, and Supreme Style.

  • Fashion City is a darkened peach with opaque color coverage and a slightly milky appearance. It has subtle white shimmer and a glossy sheen. MAC might describe this as a pink coral, but it looked peach in the tube and when worn. It’s a touch pinker than Gotta Dash!, while Chanel Delicieuse is a bit darker.
  • Happy Hibiscus is an ultra-pale, pink-white with a creamy finish and opaque color. This color is extremely unflattering against my skin tone. MAC Mlle appears more lilac and darker, while MAC Playing Koi is darker and pinker. MAC Overtime is much darker and pinker. MAC Pretty Please is similar but less opaque. Supremely Confident, MAC Innocence, Beware, MAC Fleshpot, NARS Madere are less pink, more beige, but similar in lightness.
  • Korean Candy is a rich orange-red (more red than orange) with a glossy shine and opaque color coverage. It is redder than Giorgio Armani #405. MAC Strut Your Stuff is a bit more orange, while OCC Stalker is similar. Urban Decay Revolution is a little darker and redder.
  • Royal Azalea is a light, cotton candy pink with blue undertones and creamy, opaque color coverage. It is bluer in tone and lighter compared to Behave Yourself. It is a little paler compared to MAC All Styled Up and MAC Viva Glam Gaga. It is pinker than MAC Pink Friday. I imagine Snob will be quite close, too.
  • Tea Ceremony is a darkened peach-brown with a creamy finish and opaque color coverage. Korres #36 is a little browner and darker. MAC Mocha is a little pinker and darker, but it is similar.

The formula is lightweight overall, but some of the creamier shades are thicker when worn (think Happy Hibiscus). I get an average of three hours of wear on lighter shades and up to six hours with really rich, bold shades (think Korean Candy). The color coverage is semi-opaque to opaque. These are vanilla-scented, but I did not detect any taste.

I find the lighter shades have a tendency to settle into lip lines and the effect becomes more noticeable as they wear and fade.  Some of the creamy but pale shades have a chalky look on lips, because the consistency is just not quite even.  The finish of these is definitely glossier than the traditional lipstick. They are somewhat moisturizing, but after four or so hours, my lips could use more moisture. To read my original review (and more in-depth review, as well as a comparison against Slimshines), check out this post.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Seasonally Supreme Swatches - Sneak Peek

B
There are some inconsistencies in the formula, like unevenness and chalkiness appearing the lightest shades, while medium to dark shades highlight the formula in the best way. The lighter shades require more precision and time to apply to ensure even color coverage.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos

MAC Colourizations: Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes (Part 2)

MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos ($25.00 for 0.09/0.10 oz.) are pre-filled with nameless eyeshadows. Some of the duos contain 0.09 oz. while others contain 0.10 oz. From the ones I have, Double Feature #5 and #8 contain 0.10 oz., while the others contain 0.09 oz. The four featured in this post are:  Double Feature 5 (pale frosty peach / dark brown with green pearl), Double Feature 6 (light grey taupe / mid-tone bronze), Double Feature 7 (bright fuchsia / cool black), and Double Feature 8 (mid-tone orange / deep navy).  Once I can purchase #7, I will update this post with a review and photos/swatches for it.

Edited @ 7/11:  Added photos, swatches, and review for Double Feature 7.

  • Double Feature 5 is a pale pink-peach with a frost finish / red-toned brown with a green-teal duochrome and a frost finish. Both shades were had good color payoff, and they felt really smooth when applied. The pink-peach shade is a bit like Urban Decay Scratch but lighter, and it is also comparable to Inglot #354 is similar but matte. The brown shade is like a much improved MAC Club or in line with Urban Decay Lounge and MAC Blue Brown pigment.
  • Double Feature 6 is a light-medium gray-taupe with a matte finish / medium coppered-bronze with a veluxe pearl finish. The light taupe was a touch sheer but wasn’t powdery, while the bronzy shade was better in terms of pigmentation and very smooth. The light taupe is like a darker, grayer MAC Brule. I suspect is a much lighter version of Omega. The bronzy shade is similar to Inglot #405 but less intense. It is a lot like MAC Amber Lights, just softened.
  • Double Feature 7 is a brightened fuchsia-purple with fuchsia sheen and a frost finish / muted black with a satin finish. The pink shade is a more intense with a stronger and pinker base than MAC Stars ‘n Rockets (and also Urban Decay Fishnet). It ends up more similar to Romping. The black shade is a soft black, so it’s less intense than MAC Carbon, but it is very dry and almost chalky–it was a pain to work with./li>
  • Double Feature 8 is a medium-dark, rusty orange with a frost finish / cool-toned purple with a satin finish. There was good color payoff for the orange shade, but the purple shade was sheer and very stiff/dry to use. MAC describes it as a “deep navy” but it ends up rather purple on me. The orange is much lighter and more orange than MAC Coppering. It’s most like MAC Red Brick with a shimmery finish. The purple shade seems like it would be similar to MAC Contrast as well as MAC Indian Ink but shimmery (not quite as dark, either).

The only duo that gave me cause for concern was Double Feature 8, because the purple/blue shade was rather hard to work with from both a texture and pigmentation standpoint. It was dry, stiff, and color payoff was low. In Double Feature 6, the light taupe was slightly sheer but that is me being nitpicky–it still had good color payoff.

The Glossover

palette

Double Feature #5

B+
Of this set, Double Feature 5 had the best overall quality--texture was soft, smooth, while color payoff was great. I would skip Double Feature 8 because the purple shade just lacks quality.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 11th, 2011


MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos

MAC Colourizations: Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos Swatches, Photos, Reviews, Dupes (Part 1)

MAC Double Feature Eyeshadow Duos ($25.00 for 0.09/0.10 oz.) are pre-filled with nameless eyeshadows. Some of the duos contain 0.09 oz. while others contain 0.10 oz. From the ones I have, Double Feature #5 and #8 contain 0.10 oz., while the others contain 0.09 oz. The four featured in this post are:
Double Feature 1 (bright yellow gold / pinked-up chrome purple), Double Feature 2 (bright lime / frosty deep grey), Double Feature 3 (mid-tone teal / deep chocolate), and Double Feature 4 (deep forest green / mid-tone ochre brown). Once I can purchase #3, I will update this post with a review and photos/swatches for it.

Edited @ 7/11:  Added photos, swatches, and review for Double Feature 3!

  • Double Feature 1 is a brightened banana yellow with a veluxe pearl finish / red-toned grape purple with a frost finish. The yellow shade is right on the border of yellow and gold, and the frosty finish makes it look more gold than yellow. It had good color payoff, and it seems a touch darker than MAC Going Bananas. The purple shade has good color payoff, but it could be a little more pigmented. It is slightly darker (and has a different finish) compared to MAC Vibrant Grape.
  • Double Feature 2 is a neon, chartreuse-lime with a veluxe pearl finish / dark gray with a silvery shimmer and satin finish. The lemon-lime shade had good color payoff, and the finish felt very smooth. It is lighter and brighter than MAC Lucky Green–it’s more like MAC Bitter with better color payoff and a shimmery finish. Inglot #343 is comparable in color but matte. The gray shade is on the sheer side and doesn’t apply very smoothly overall. It seems like a shimmery MAC Print.
  • Double Feature 3 is a brightened teal with a matte finish / muted, gray-tinted brown with a satin finish.  The color payoff of the teal shade is lovely, while the brown shade was harder to work with and felt very dry.  Just the poor quality of the brown shade makes this duo rather expensive for one good color.  The teal shade is very much like Inglot #372; it’s like a matte version of Surf USA.  The brown shade is very similar to Urban Decay Shakedown.
  • Double Feature 4 is a medium-dark teal with a veluxe pearl finish / muted, orange-toned brown with a matte finish. Both shades had nice color payoff and smooth textures. The teal shade was one of the better textured shades out of the six duos I tried. The teal is seems comparable to MAC Teal Pigment (but likely less frosted in the finish). I can’t think of a real dupe/comparable shade for the brown shade. I thought maybe Ochre Style (limited edition from many years ago), but it seems lighter from what I can tell.

The color payoff was decent to good overall, but notably, the purple shade of Double Feature #1 was a little sheer while the gray shade of Double Feature #2 was sheer and uneven in color payoff. The best duo (in terms of quality) was Double Feature #4, because both shades had good color payoff and smooth textures. I can see each duo being worn on their own, though I think they may be better used in conjunction with other shades you may own at home. They tend to be rather strong, bold combinations if you stick with just the duo compact.

I find it odd that there is no information about the finishes within the palette (thank goodness the press release listed them!), and even odder that none of these shades are named. MAC regularly gives names to the shades they include in various eyeshadow quads and palettes, so why skip the duos?

I’m happy to say these are infinitely better than the last time MAC attempted eyeshadow duos–Suite Array. If you remember Suite Array, you’ll know what I mean! To this day, those are easily some of the absolute worst products MAC (or any high-end brand) has ever put out. They were the kind of product that made you wonder where QA was that day.  These are actually better quality than many of the recent eyeshadow quad releases have been (which have felt rather inferior to many of MAC’s permanent eyeshadows).

Generally, MAC eyeshadows are 0.05 oz. except for veluxe pearls, which come in at 0.04 oz., and I think this is why some of the duos are 0.10 oz. and others are 0.09 oz. as all of the duos that are 0.09 oz. have a veluxe pearl eyeshadow in it.)  I tried to remove some of the eyeshadows from the duo, but I wasn’t able to, so I believe they are glued in.  MAC eyeshadows are normally $14.50 (in the pot) or $11.00 (pan), while an empty quad is $6.00 (they do not sell empty duos at this time).  The pricing on these is as expected ($22 for eyeshadows + $3 for compact), except that since you can’t choose your own shades, they could have made these more of a value deal (like pre-filled quads are $36 vs. $49 to fill it yourself).

The Glossover

palette

Double Feature #1

A-
Double Feature 4 is the highest quality duo, while Double Feature 2 is the least (because of the gray), and Double Feature 3 is good but not perfect. Keep in mind if you don't love both eyeshadows, it's like you're paying $25 for one!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Monday, July 4th, 2011

MAC Semi-Precious Collection: Overall & Recommendations

Each summer, MAC’s mineralize-themed collection is one that seems highly anticipated, but ultimately, I’m more let down than excited over it after trying it all out. This year is, ultimately, not very different. I find this launch overwhelming–is it necessary to launch twelve, limited edition eyeshadows all at once?–and I think that might show with the inconsistencies in color payoff, texture, and quality.

The five Cremesheen Glasses and four lipsticks are consistent with past launches and formulas for all of those. The lipsticks are surprisingly wearable and seem like they should work across skin tones, which is owed to the sheerness of the color. Though Musky Amethyst is labeled frost, it feels more like a lustre (which the other three are). I do find lustre lipsticks drying and that they only last two to three hours (a little below average). I wish Cremesheen Glasses were either less expensive or contained more product, because they’re a miss in terms of value (and always will be).

In my experience, mineralize products do not seem to wear as long as regular, pressed powders. I find this to be true in the mineralize blushes, skinfinishes, and eyeshadows. I typically get around six hours of wear with the blushes and skinfinishes, and the wear with the eyeshadows seems to depend on just how much work I put into them and the color payoff when dry, because they can fade within two to three hours or last closer to five or six.

The mineralize blushes seem to be the best products out of the collection, because they have soft, natural finishes and blend easily against the skin, though their softness can make them too easy to sheer out. I did find Warmth of Coral did not show up well on my NC25/NC30 skin tone. With the mineralize skinfinishes, they seem a little less glittery than past variations. Crystal Pink seems to be the most unique, just because it has a certain cool undertone running through it.

No matter how much I want to love mineralize eyeshadows, I just can’t. For $20 a pop, I really shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to make them work. The way they look in the pan doesn’t translate to the eye–even from swatch to lid, I never see the depth show up on the lid. The majority of this batch of mineralize eyeshadows need to be used damp/wet in order to get good color payoff. However, the problem is that they don’t stay wet and the dry down is somewhere between dry and wet, but the result is a little faded.  The best results are using a sticky base or something like MAC Water-Based Mixing Medium (which has a slight adhesive quality) and/or a colored base, then you need to pat on, avoid blending as much as possible, and cross your fingers.

My experience with reduced wear time (as compared to the average wear of these types of products) makes me hesitant to list anything mineralize as a must-have.  I think Gem of Roses offers something that MAC’s permanent range doesn’t have and is not a color we see launched every few months by MAC, and for that reason, it is the only item on the must-have list, even though it is a little drying to me.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

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Monday, July 4th, 2011


Inglot #414, MAC Dark Indulgence, MAC She Who Dares, MAC Greengrease

MAC Semi-Precious Mineralize Eyeshadow Dupes & Comparisons

Here are some comparisons for the mineralize eyeshadows from Semi-Precious! :) I will have an overall/recommendations post up later today.  All mineralize eyeshadows were swatched wet for comparisons.

  • DARK INDULGENCE is closest to She Who Dares (limited edition), but I wouldn’t call them dupes, because Dark Indulgence is clearly green, while She Who Dares appears blacker. Both Inglot #414 and Greengrease (limited edition) are similar but lean almost teal in comparison.
  • FAUX GOLD is closest to Milani Fusion, but it is significantly lighter and less red-based. Urban Decay Shag and Amber Lights don’t compare.
  • QUARTZ FUSION is a touch lighter and pinker compared to Cranberry.
  • JADE’S FORTUNE is a sheerer version of Inglot #451.
  • GOLDEN GAZE isn’t like any of the shades I tried to compare it to (Giorgio Armani #5 and #6, Gilt by Association (limited edition)).
  • HINT OF SAPPHIRE is a sheerer version of Giorgio Armani #3, and a sheerer and slightly more purple version of Inglot #434. I also compared it to Midnight Madness and Giorgio Armani #1.
  • MINERAL MODE is a darker version of Urban Decay Scratch and a less pink version of both Giorgio Armani #7 and Inglot #399.
  • RARE FIND is most comparable to theBalm Curvy Cami, which is just more pigmented. Inglot #445 and Azuki Bean (limited edition) were more purple.
  • SMOKED RUBY is closer to Centre Stage (limited edition) than Sexpectations (limited edition), but it is really a mix of both.
  • UNSURPASSABLE is a dirty version of Urban Decay Urb.
  • BLUE SHEEN is a little bolder and deeper than the blues I swatched it against, but I think they are all similar enough for most readers. It’s a brighter blue comapred to both Blue Flame and She Who Dares. It’s deeper than shades like Deep Truth, Make Up For Ever #308, and Inglot #428.
  • CLARITY is grayer and has multi-colored shimmer than Inglot #444, but it was the closest thing I could think of to compare it to.

See comparison swatches!  Continue reading →

Sunday, July 3rd, 2011


MAC Fold & Tuck, MAC Geo Pink, MAC So Bad

MAC Semi-Precious Lipstick, Cremesheen Glass, Blush, and MSF Dupes & Comparisons

Phew – this took me all day to do!  It’s already 10PM here, so I don’t think I will be able to get the eyeshadow comparisons up until 2 or 3AM but will work as quickly as possible to get those up for you.

  • GEO PINK is closer to So Bad (limited edition) than Fold & Tuck (limited edition), as it’s more orange but obviously has much more glitter in it.
  • PURE MAGNIFICENCE is more muted (almost gray) in comparison to Urban Decay Peroxide, while Boy Bait looks peach next to it.
  • NATURAL FLARE doesn’t compare that well with any of the shades I pulled when swatched, but they look much closer when worn (on my lips). Part of that is based on the sheerness of Natural Flare. Utterly Posh seemed the closest but it looks noticeably redder and isn’t much of a brown. I also compared it to Burberry Cameo, Light That Fire, and Kumquat, but these were not comparable.
  • LUSH AMBER is closest to Freckletone, which is just a little warmer. I also compared it to Martha, but it was not comparable.
  • GEM OF ROSES is a lighter version of Chanel Mademoiselle, which appears a little redder in comparison. I also compared it against Naughty You, but it was not close enough.
  • ONE OF A KIND is a lighter, sheerer version of both Estee Lauder Plum Fizz and Guerlain Galante.
  • MUSKY AMETHYST is slightly darker but sheerer than Odyssey, while Make Up For Ever #13 is brighter and more opaque.
  • FEELING FLUSH was closest to Band of Roses (limited edition), which appears slightly cooler-toned. I also compared it to Her Blooming Cheek, Full Fuchsia, Over Dyed, and Amazon Princess–none of these were simila.
  • PRESSED AMBER was closest to Korres #15. I also compared it to Peachtwist, Darkly My Dear, and Eversun (none of them were very comparable).
  • WARMTH OF CORAL ended up being comparable to Peaches, which is perhaps slightly less peach in comparison.
  • PEARL is not as rosy as Honey Rose.
  • ROSE QUARTZ is similar to Rhapsody in Two (limited edition), which is a little lighter. Petticoat was much, much too dark.
  • GOLDSTONE might be dupeable with either the Golden Lariat or Pink Power mineralize skinfinishes (both limited edition) from Wonder Woman, depending on how you mix the trio of shades. Golden Lariat is more likely to get you there.
  • CRYSTAL PINK didn’t turn out to be much like other MSFs that I have. The closest was Porcelain Pink, but it is significantly pinker and warmer in comparison. I also compared it to By Candlelight and Perfect Topping.

See comparison swatches!  Continue reading →