Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) may sound new to some, but it originally debuted way back in 2007 (see my original “review” here–and I called that a review? For shame!) and were repromoted in 2008 as “Brushed Metal-x.” I kind of think the shades from the first launch were more fun–I still have Plum Electric (vibrant grape purple), though I don’t think I used it but a couple of times, because it looks nearly new. Cyber, Fusion Gold, and Virgin Silver have been relaunched as part of this year’s offerings.

In two separate posts, I will go through the individual shades regarding their pros/cons, possible dupes, and so forth, but I did as much testing as I could in time that I’ve had these, which is about 24 hours by the time this post is published. Lucky for me, because these crease nearly instantaneously, it was easy to test multiple shades.

Worn alone, none of the shades I tested (two are photographed below–Palladium and Venetian Tarnish–but I also tested Fusion Gold, Rusty, and Vintage Coin) could make it from application to camera (and I hurried!) without some creasing, and then, after fifteen minutes or so, significant creasing. Worn over an eyeshadow base (I used MAC Paint Pots and NARS Smudgeproof), it didn’t seem to make much of a difference–still creased within minutes and worsened by fifteen.

I did, however, have luck when I wore a single shade layered over an eyeshadow base with several powder eyeshadows on top. I used all MAC products, for the sake of giving MAC the best chance it could, and for me, everything managed to wear well enough for five hours. There was some fading of the colors overall, but I didn’t experience creasing up until that point. By eight, though, it had faded a bit more and had some noticeable creasing. However, a word of caution, I have drier lids, and I really packed on the powder products.

I also tested the wear on both cheeks and lips. They had a funny taste, so I don’t think I’d wear them again as a lip product, and they are very drying. They’re like a matte frost finish–the drying, clingy feel of a matte coupled with a really high frost finish. On the lips, I tried Red Hot Copper, which only lasted for an hour (no eating/drinking) before fading unevenly.  It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t wear well.

On cheeks, I used Rusty to highlight and Red Hot Copper to add color. Because of the higher frost content, it does emphasize pores somewhat, and depending on the temperature of your workspace, these may be difficult to apply evenly. I found fingers to be the best applicator with these in general, because the cream surface is very hard and almost powdery–it balls up and takes the warmth from your fingertip to be able to work it out into a smooth, even finish. The wear was so-so; it was noticeably faded and, unfortunately, patchy, after three hours of wear without a setting powder and five hours of wear with a setting powder. Of all the ways I tried it, I liked it best on the cheeks, just because I didn’t have to worry about creasing.  It wears similarly on the brow bone and decolletage.

This is really not a consumer-friendly formula; it will take some effort, work, practice, and the right skin type to get these to work well. In 2007, maybe it was acceptable, maybe other brands hadn’t created technology to yield this kind of finish and color payoff, but in 2011, I don’t think it is. If you have drier lids or tend not to have problems with your cream products creasing on you, these may work out for you. If you have oilier lids, I really do recommend–if these are just tempting you beyond belief–to try one and see how it works for you or else buy from a store with a good return policy. These weren’t well-received in 2007, so I’m kind of baffled as to why MAC would bring thes back without some reformulation. Sure, they bring back a product that seemed to receive mostly negative reviews, but last year’s Mega Metals (just as metallic as these) were a complete homerun and those remain a one-time wonder.

At $20 a pop, if the only way I can use it is as an eyeshadow base, it’s not the most useful product in my stash. When you use a translucent powder on top, while you retain some of the original shade, you do mute it a bit and definitely tone down the frosted/metallic finish, so it seems to defeat the purpose of these–which is that really high-shine, metallic-like finish (though some of these read frosty, less metallic).  I could see picking up one or two for editorial work, though I think MAC’s Metal Pigments have a much better metallic finish and work better, plus some of their pigments that have more of a frosted/metallic shine.  Like Big Bounce, I don’t know why these are marketed towards consumers, because realistically, I’m not sure how one would wear it except if you 1) wanted your eye makeup to crease or 2) you were only going somewhere for an hour or so.

We’ve seen MAC put out metallic fluidlines and paint pots, which work fantastically alone or as an eyeshadow base. I’d much rather put my money towards products with similar textures, finishes, and even shades, that perform better like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, Bare Escentuals Stay-There Eyeshadow, or L’Oreal’s Infallible Eyeshadows (which finally hit the states!)–the latter two don’t wear as well as the first two, but they’ll manage to six hours to eight hours or so without an eyeshadow base.  Even Estee Lauder’s new eyeshadows have a really cool, metallic-like finish, but they’re powder (and I suspect we’ll see something similar by MAC in the next six months).

So while MAC doesn’t tout these as long-wearing, they still fall short of just wearing.  I thought long and hard about that one, but if it takes both an eyeshadow base, plus packing of powder eyeshadows on top, to make it more than fifteen minutes–we’re just not functioning.  I’d let it slide if it just didn’t wear to six or eight hours, because long-wear tends to be more like eight to twelve hours, but I can’t even achieve eight with all the bells and whistles without both fading and creasing on the eyes; fading and patchiness on the cheeks (after four hours) and lips (after an hour).  A C- feels generous to me, personally, but that is how the numbers worked out–I’m sure you can sense my disappointment and frustration on this product.  Did we really need two collections of crease city products this year?

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

C-
If you're really into editorial looks and you don't mind extra effort, you might still enjoy snagging one of these. The only characteristic they really nail is pigmentation--the majority of shades are really well-pigmented and buildable--but it's just not a very functional product.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Cyber Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Cyber Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Photos & Swatches

Review coming soon, please hold all questions until then! :) I spent all of yesterday and last night photographing, swatching, and testing, but I wasn’t able to get everything done before it was bedtime (midnight!). So for now, please take a gander at these eyeshadows but know two things 1) these have not been reformulated, so they have the same formula as the ones released in 2007 had; 2) they are NOT long-wearing and MAC doesn’t give any guidance on wear (read between the lines: it will crease).

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011


Blueblood, Endless Night, Hyperion

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Nail Lacquers

MAC Daphne Guinness Nail Lacquers ($15.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include three limited edition shades (all to be launched on December 26th in-stores): Blueblood (deep eggplant), Endless Night (pale gray pink with iridescent pearl), and Hyperion (light gray blue-green).

  • Blueblood is a deep burgundy with a cream finish. It’s opaque in two coats. It’s a little darker compared to China Glaze Velvet Bow. It’s similar to Urban Decay Wrecked and Zoya Anja.. MAC Purple Majesty is a little purpler.
  • Endless Night is a pale beige with iridescent pink shimmer. It’s not opaque in two coats, but with three, you’d probably get there (swatches are with two, so there is some visible nail line). It’s a bit grayer and has shimmer compared to MAC Quiet Time.
  • Hyperion is a pale aqua blue with more blue than aqua. It’s opaque in two coats, but the formula was harder to work with; it seemed to pull easily, and I think a ridgefiller might be necessary–you can see the lines of my natural nail and I rarely see those through polish. It’s more opaque and bluer compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom. China Glaze Sea Spray is darker. Chanel Riva is bluer.

Blueblood applied easily and without trouble; the formula was on the thinner side but not problematic. Endless Night was on the sheerer side, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on how you like your nudes–the iridescent shimmer makes it more interesting, though. Hyperion was the hardest to apply, as the initial coat streaked, and even though I waited between coats, the second one still seemed to pull at the first coat. MAC Nail Lacquers typically wear a week on me with minor tip wear but no chips.

The Glossover

product

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Blueblood is really dupeable, while Endless Night and Hyperion are less so. Hyperion had the most troublesome formula, while Blueblood had the best one.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, December 15th, 2011

Video Review: MAC for Daphne Guinness First Impressions/Swatches

Not the full collection but certainly covers most of it! I will have the remaining lip products and nail polishes reviewed and photographed as soon as I can purchase it :)

Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Aurora Pigment
MAC Aurora Pigment

MAC Daphne Guinness: Pigments

With the Daphne Guinness collection (due in-stores on December 26th), there are three shades of MAC Pigments ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.): Aurora (pinked taupe), Circa Plum (frosty dirty mid-tone lavender), and Nebula (dark greyed brown with pearl).

  • Aurora is a neutral-cool, rose-tinted brown with a frosted finish. It shimmers nicely, and it can be used wet or dry; when applied wet, you’ll have a smoother, more metallic finish. It kind of reminded me of how Urban Decay Tease looked like in the pan, so MAC Quarry is similar in hue but with a matte finish. MAC MaltL is like a lighter cousin. Urban Decay Toasted is a bit more bronze. Also reminded me of a less brown MAC Gold Stroke.
  • Circa Plum is a rosy plum with a frosted finish. The one I have and swatched is from when it launched previously, so it’s possible that it may vary in color compared to the new release. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is similar but less plum. MAC Tendersmoke is less pink.
  • Nebula is a deep, dark taupe with a little hint of brown around the edges, but it loses some of the brown you’d expect from taupe because of how dark it is–it’s still there, and when you apply it dry, it’s more noticeable. When applied damp, it has a more metallic finish and depth. Dry, it’s a bit like MAC Legendary Black. MAC Bloodline is lighter.

MAC Pigments are designed to be worn softly or more intensely as well as with a formulation that makes it apply to the lid.  It’s also supposed to be long-wearing.  These shades applied well whether dry or wet (and I tested Nebula on the eye, because it seemed sheer when swatched, but it was very intense–too intense, actually, for the look I was going for), as they all have good color payoff.  The textures are soft and smooth, which helps increase how blendable they are.  I don’t get perfect wear out of pigments without some sort of adhesive base (like MAC Mixing Medium) or an eyeshadow primer–after eight hours, there is some minor creasing and fading, but if I do wear some sort of base, I don’t have either issue.

The Glossover

product

MAC Daphne Guinness Pigments Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
These are really wearable shades that can be used as washes, eyeshadows, or as an eyeshadow base, depending on the look you're going for. MAC Pigments are one of my favorite loose formulas because of how well the product binds together and how little poof! there is when you open the jar.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes these four shades: Stratus (light pink), Bruised Sky (dark lavender gray), Interior Life (mid-tone gray blue), and Heather Belles (dark charcoal/carbon).  It’s new and limited edition for MAC for Daphne Guinness, which will launch in-stores on December 26th.

  • Stratus is a pale iced pink with a matte finish. I couldn’t get this product to swatch at all–I literally took a metal spatula to the pan and gouged product out to just get enough visible color in the swatch so you could see it. The swatch you see is the equivalent of swatching something five times, if not more! I later tried to apply this to the lid–over primer–and it was invisible. Maybe on the lightest and on the darkest of skin tones this will show up better, but the texture is still unforgivably dry and difficult to use. MAC Taupeless is a little warmer and shimmery. MAC Seedy Pearl is shimmery but similar in hue. Inglot 319 is more blue-based.
  • Bruised Sky is a mauve-brown with a satin finish. This shade was a little dry, but it yielded decent color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off has a more shimmery version of this shade. It’s similar to MAC Tendersmoke. MAC Shale is much browner.
  • Interior Life is a blue-tinted medium-dark gray with a veluxe finish, which means it has a mostly matte finish but the texture is different from their matte finish. This is one of the best matte eyeshadows I’ve come across by MAC, and ironically, there are only two veluxe finishes available in the permanent range (Samoa Silk and Brown Down). This feels much more like a Matte2 than a veluxe–it’s so dense and buttery that’s nearly creamy in feel. The color payoff is really good, too, though it does easily blend away so go easy on blending.  I don’t want to say this, but this fades a lot when applied.  It was half faded after five hours.  It’s a matte version of MAC Howzat. Chanel Gris Exquis is more neutral.
  • Heather Belles is a charcoal black with a satin finish. The good news is this shade is the same as it was when it launched with Tartan Tale; the bad news is that it’s still just as terrible. I got a little smarter with this shade, so I managed to scrape product off and apply it to the middle but left some parts still in their original, disappointing state. It’s sheer, dry, and nearly chalky because of how dry and stiff it is. Nehru is a little blue/teal. It’s a bit like theBalm Serious. It ended up looking a lot like MAC Black Tied, since neither works well. I tried applying this to the crease, but it just wasn’t applying or blending well, so I ended up using Nebula (pigment) instead.

I’ve been underwhelmed by MAC’s eyeshadow quads for quite awhile now, and I had some hope after Cindy Sherman, Interior Life really disappointed. Many brands come out with quads and palettes, and there are few high-end brands that seem to flop as spectacularly as MAC has in the past year when it comes to their quads/palettes. MAC can do an excellent eyeshadow, so I don’t know why this doesn’t translate into their eyeshadow quads any more.

The Glossover

palette

Interior Life

F
There are too many problems with this eyeshadow quad: poor pigmentation, drier/stiffer textures, and fading. At $38, there are so many better options out there. Build your own MAC quad of proven eyeshadows!

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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