Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer
MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer

MAC Jeanius: Frayed to Order

MAC Frayed to Order Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “white matte with soft pink duochrome pearl” and has a matte finish. As hard as I try to only provide accurate photos, Frayed to Order was a tough shade to capture. The photos are definitely accurate in terms of color and all that, but they really miss the way the duochrome sheen plays with light. It is a semi-sheer pale white with pink iridescent sheen strewn through it. If you have Vanilla pigment, Frayed to Order is just like that, but in a matte polish form.

It dries down as fast as any matte does, but it does show brush strokes quite easily, so you’ll want to do wider strokes and one pass, rather than multiple ones, if you can help it. I did three coats for swatches, to see if it would go opaque, but as you’ll see, it never quite gets there. The formula was a little thinner than medium but not watery at all.

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  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: If it applied a little smoother, I could give it a better quality score. As I mentioned in the Biker Blue review, MAC’s nail polish prices are coming far too close to high-end brands, while many of MAC’s other products have not.  For me, the “cool” factor of this polish is enough for me to want it, even if it does have streaking problems.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Biker Blue Nail Lacquer
MAC Biker Blue Nail Lacquer

MAC Jeanius: Biker Blue

MAC Biker Blue Nail Lacquer ($14.00 for 0.40 fl. oz.) is described as a “black base with purple and blue pearl,” and it has a frost finish. I did find I needed a full three coats in order to get a really solid, opaque look, but it was very pretty and rich once I finished there. Luckily, the formula is thin without being watery, so three coats doesn’t feel thick at all.

Overall, it looks likd a midnight blue polish, but it does have that inky bluish black color base with flecks of brighter blue and navy blue shimmer-glitter. Nubar’s Night Sparkle is similar but has a brighter blue base, as is Rescue Beauty Lounge’s Under the Stars, which is less blue and the finish looks different (less shimmer).

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The $14 price tag does bring down the product’s overall score in a noteworthy way; at that price range, MAC is inching its way up to compete, far too closely (given the differences in prices on many other products still) with polishes from Estee Lauder, NARS, and Dior.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

MAC Jeanius Eyeshadows
MAC Diva in Distress Eyeshadow

MAC Jeanius: Eyeshadows

MAC Jeanius Eyeshadows ($19.50 for 0.10 oz.) are larger, over-sized eyeshadows (think Tartan Tale or Peacocky-sized, or else the size of Cream Colour Bases) embossed with shading and overspray detailing to mimic the look of jeans. This is an overspray/sheen, which will disappear after the first use or so (all swatches are of the product underneath, after the overspray was wiped away). The four shades include: Diva In Distress (mid-tone gray with silver pearl), Motorhead (mid-tone blue with copper pearl), Stovepipe Black (black with copper pearl), and White Jeanius (white with silver pearl).

  • Diva in Distress is a sheer icy blue-tinged white with a frosted finish. This one was both sheer and a little gritty–not gritty as in huge chunks of glitter, but it didn’t stick. Lots and lots of fall out and the color itself did not bind well.
  • Motorhead is a brightened navy blue with a satin sheen. This shade was more pigmented but not richly pigmented. It’s comparable to Deep Truth, which is part of the permanent range.
  • Stovepipe Black is a taupe-tinged charcoal gray with a metallic-frost finish. This was the nicest of the four; pigmented and smooth, and the color itself a bit unlike the permanent range.  I can’t think of a permanent dupe for this shade; Satin Taupe would be the closest but not as black.
  • White Jeanius is a bright, frosted white. It has good color pay off. It’s comparable to Gesso but with a frosted finish.

my thoughts on the formula: The formula is hit or miss, it seems.  It’s very consistent across the four within this collection, and they do feel similar to the Tartan Tale eyeshadows from 2010.  They have a slightly powdery feel, but for the most part, apply smoothly and don’t have a powdery consistency once applied.  Diva in Distress suffers from both poor color pay off and fall out, while the other three didn’t have fall out issues.

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  • Product: 24/30*
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: *There is a reason why I prefer and often do review products individually, even if they are from the same formula, because there can be enough variance in the quality that the grades would differ individually than they would as some kind of group grade. Diva in Distress’ quality is 15/20, which gives it an overall D rating. Stovepipe Black, on the other hand, is the best of the four, and the quality is 27/30, which moves it to a B+ rating.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics, March 3rd, 2011

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “light warm beige.” It’s a peach-tinged pale beige-nude with an amplified finish. The amplified finish gives is a creamier consistency, more color pigmentation, and a semi-matte finish. I did find this shade a little on the drier side, so I would recommend prepping lips accordingly (keep the moisturized, exfoliate prior).

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four, but with lighter shades like Viva Glam Gaga 2, I expect around four.

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The warm undertones are very slight and subtle; they’re not overwhelming, so this nude will still work on cooler skin tones. It’s like a peach version of Creme d’Nude; lighter version of Peachstock. I wish it was more forgiving on lips–perhaps less dry–because it tends to show imperfections on the lips.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass
MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Gaga 2 Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “light neutral pinked beige.” In reality, I found it more of a neutral light-medium beige with subtle white micro-shimmer. The finish was creamy, not quite milky, but as such, there was some settling into lip lines. It is a thicker gloss, too, so be careful when applying it to ensure an even finish (also avoiding smooshing your lips together too much, as it will push around the gloss and making it look uneven).

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipglasses are vanlla-scented, and they are typically thick and sticky. However, because of their tackiness, they do tend to wear better and longer (four hours for me).

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  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: The color itself is a great neutral nude; I do see it working for most skin tones and under tones, assuming you like nudes. It’s not too pale, not too deep that it’s more brown than beige. Surprisingly, I couldn’t come up with a great MAC dupe for this shade; it is closest to Illicit but it’s less orange.  C-Thru would be your closest within the permanent range but much paler.

where to buy: Nordstrom

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Friday, February 4th, 2011

MAC Spirit of Truth Nail Lacquer
MAC Spirit of Truth Nail Lacquer

MAC Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth

MAC Spirit of Truth Nail Lacquer ($15.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is a creamy is a deep navy blue. It has a cream finish, but when it dries down, it looks almost like pleather, because it loses a lot of its glossiness. (If you want it shiny, just add a top coat, like Seche Vite). MAC describes this shade as a “navy blue,” which is a fair assessment. Like Obey Me, this shade was plenty pigmented; it was nearly opaque in one coat, though I did two. The formula was equally as impressive as Obey Me with its creaminess and how evenly and smoothly it applied on the nail.

my thoughts on the formula: Historically, MAC doesn’t have a great reputation for their nail lacquers; in fact, some of the feedback I’ve seen on MAC’s nail lacquers mirror Chanel’s! Often interesting and different colors, but many complain of chipping or poor wear. I haven’t experienced this with MAC’s nail lacquers (or Chanel’s). MAC polishes always wear a full week for me, with no chipping, and minor tip wear. Sometimes the formula itself doesn’t lend itself to the most beautiful application, but their creams are most consistent. Spirit of Truth, however, is an exemplary shade from MAC’s polish range.

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

final thoughts: This blue will flatter both cool and warm skin tones, because of its deep hue. It is a richly pigmented shade, too, which is always a nice find.

where to buy: MAC

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