Sunday, January 2nd, 2011


MAC Mickey Contractor: Overall Review & Recommendations

OVERALL, Mickey Contractor offers a good selection of neutrals along with a few pops of color, but it doesn’t do so with as much excellence as I expected. I found the quality to be lacking on the single eyeshadows, and there were a few too many repromotes of permanent shades or otherwise easily duped (by permanent products).  The collection is more neutral in tone, rather than too warm or cool, so these are colors that can be worn with a fair amount of ease.

Both lipglasses were more opaque, which is always refreshing, but because of the creamier finishes and the thickness of lipglasses (which are also sticky), the colors both had a tendency to settle into lip lines and apply a bit unevenly. The lipsticks were easily my favorites, because they were lovely in texture and the colors themselves are infinitely flattering on a variety of skin tones. However, they were also very easy to dupe, so from a quality standpoint, they may be excellent, but you should definitely check your stash for possible dupes before buying.

I also liked the fluidlines, but I was disappointed when Ivy applied semi-opaque and needed a second layer to become opaque. Siahi was a lot better and went on beautifully, though. I found three of the four single eyeshadows to be on the sheer side, while Saffron was beautiful, nicely pigmented, and easy to work with. The Athma Eyeshadow Quad has a nice color scheme, but there is some fall out (but not terrible) with the two lustre shades, and it also includes two permanent shades (Carbon and Folie).

Both of the blushes were nice and had a smooth, soft texture without being powdery. Sur should flatter a good amount of skin tones (might not work on the darkest ones, though), while Gana will work if used more as a highlighter than a blusher. I like them together–Sur as a blusher, Gana as a highlighter.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

Check out my recommendations, what to check your stash for, what to skip, and recommendations by skin tone! Continue reading →

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011


MAC Peacocky: Overall Review & Recommendations

OVERALL, I was really impressed by the texture of the Mega Metal Eyeshadows, so much so that I gave them my highest grade.  There is a reason why I don’t give out many A or A+ grades, and I think that it how it should be–these grades should be reserved for extraordinary products and ones that really knock it out of the park.  The texture is smooth, buttery (almost creamy, but it is for sure a powder), and blends like a dream.  Excellent color pay off, and these can be used wet or dry (without leaving any “wet” spots behind).  I have several of these on my must-have list, but please understand that the formula is what makes them must-haves, and so when it comes to colors, it is really more about what colors you want.

I couldn’t think of anything wrong with these, and even though they are more expensive than the smaller MAC eyeshadows, these are over double the size–a tremendous value.  But you must consider value vs. price; just because you get a lot of product doesn’t mean you’ll ever use it all, so then price should be more important than whether you get a truck load or a thimble full!

Of course, personally, I prefer uniformity, and love that I can depot my single eyeshadows and put them into palettes to save space.  These are too big for the eyeshadow palettes but too small for the blush palettes.  You can remove the insert on the MAC palettes, however, or use other brand’s empty palettes. They are similar in size to the Tartan Tale eyeshadows, mineralize eyeshadows, and Cream Colour Bases.

The Kissable Lipcolours are nice–the lighter shades, like Super, seem to fade faster (about three to four hours of wear, but quicker if you eat/drink), while the darker shades, like Scandelicious, last six to eight hours and can make it through eating/drinking.  They’re lightweight, comfortable to wear, and don’t dry out lips at all.  They have MAC’s signature vanilla scent, and nearly all of them are opaque with others being semi-opaque.  I’m just not impressed with their $18 price tag.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

Check out my recommendations, what to skip, and recommendations by skin tone! Continue reading →

Saturday, January 1st, 2011


MAC Peacocky: Kissable Lipcolour Dupes & Comparisons, Part 2

Part one of two for the Kissable Lipcolours! :) The biggest concern regarding finding similar shades is the fact that these are a lipstick/lipgloss hybrid. By comparing it to a lipstick or lip gloss, you are really not getting the same thing. I would say using a lipstick dupe is more similar, because these have the dry down that looks more like a particularly creamy lipstick (think perhaps an Amplified finish) with some slip. This is why I looked more for dupes within similar product types.

  • SO VAIN is much more orange than Perennial High Style lipglass, while Korres #25 and Korres #30 really don’t compare–both are significantly different. This may actually end up being closer to Vegas Volt than I thought.
  • STRUT YOUR STUFF is closest to Korres #56, which is more of a true red. Illamasqua Follow leans pink, while Illamasqua Fume is a bit darker.
  • SUPER is just slightly darker than Korres #30. Cherish lipstick is peachier and a little lighter.
  • TEMPER TANTRA is darker and less pink than Korres #25, while it is fairly different from Cosmo lipstick.
  • VANITY FAIR is a little bluer-based and darker than Snob lipstick and Saint Germain lipstick. It is also darker than Viva Glam Gaga lipglass.
  • WOO ME is closest to Cherish lipstick, with just textural differences, while Hug Me lipstick is also similar but sheerer.  Hue lipstick is pinker and lighter.

See swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, January 1st, 2011


MAC Peacocky: Kissable Lipcolour Dupes & Comparisons, Part 1

Part one of two for the Kissable Lipcolours! :) The biggest concern regarding finding similar shades is the fact that these are a lipstick/lipgloss hybrid. By comparing it to a lipstick or lip gloss, you are really not getting the same thing. I would say using a lipstick dupe is more similar, because these have the dry down that looks more like a particularly creamy lipstick (think perhaps an Amplified finish) with some slip. This is why I looked more for dupes within similar product types.

  • ENCHANTEE is similar but less blue-based as Snob lipstick and Viva Glam Gaga lipglass.
  • EXXXHIBITIONIST is extremely similar to Viva Glam Cyndi lipglass (I would say Exxxhibitionist is probably more pigmented when worn and slightly more orange-based). Vegas Volt is similar but not quite as intense. Illamasqua Temper is much, much brighter and more intense.
  • FLAUNTING IT is plummier than Illamasqua Move, while it is more opaque than Plumful lipstick. I didn’t have it on hand to swatch, but Chanel Stunt is more neutral, less pink/plum (see my original review here)–it is nonetheless one of the closer dupes I have come across for Stunt.
  • LOVE PECK is a darker, glossier version of Dark Side lipstick, while it is nothing like Illamasqua Fume (hey, it was worth a shot!). There have been several vampy-berry glosses released by MAC in the past year, but I felt that most of them lacked the opacity of Love Peck.
  • PEACOCKY is comparable to OCC Rx Lip Tar, which is a brighter, truer blue, while Peacocky appears darker and has shimmer. I’m sure it comes as a total shocker that I don’t have twenty other blues to compare this to… ;)
  • SCANDELICIOUS is closest to Korres #54, which is redder. Illamasqua Frenzy is significantly lighter, so I would not consider comparable at all. Illamasqua Petulant is a brighter pink.

See swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, January 1st, 2011


MAC Peacocky: Mega Metal Eyeshadow Dupes & Comparisons, Part 2

I’ve split the Mega Metal Eyeshadows into two parts for dupes and comparisons, and then I will also do the Kissable Lipcolours (also in two parts) so no post is overwhelming!  I think Spectacle of Yourself is the most dupable of the bunch, while Paparazz-she is a shade I don’t quite have anything like in my stash.

ODALISQUE is tealer and slightly lighter than Strike a Pose, while Birds & Berries is a sheerer, less intense version. Talent Pool is a lighter blue with a bit of a golden sheen. Parrot is just a touch darker than Talent Pool, so it is not comparable. Cool Heat is tealer.  Shimmermoss is far too light in comparison, which is so odd to think of Shimmermoss as light.

  • PAPARAZZ-SHE is closest to Orange Tangent which is a lighter, golder variation of it. The strong orange tones of Paparazz-she really make it harder to dupe. Copper Sparkle pigment is much, much darker (but an awesome shade if you don’t have it!). Amber Lights is a bronzier version (less copper pull), while Aztec Brick is merely a redder version of Amber Lights. Valet is only slightly less red than Aztec Brick–again, not comparable.
  • PEEK-AT-YOU is closest to Soft Force, which is a tinge yellower. Both Creme de Miel and Dreammaker are stronger yellow golds in comparison. Nylon and Dazzlelight are similar but more intense versions with frostier finishes–whiter, too, less champagne.
  • PRANCE is closest to Hypnotizing, which is slightly darker and more mauve. Shale is ridiculously darker, while NARS Melusine is cooler and grayer. Style Snob is significantly darker and browner, while Winter Sky is quite pink in comparison.
  • SEX-PECTATIONS is more of a mix of Coppering (much more orange) and Cranberry (stronger burgundy tones, darker). Urban Decay Last Call is berrier than Cranberry, so it’s not quite a dupe of Sex-pectations either.
  • SPECTACLE OF YOURSELF is the one shade that really has very, very close dupes. Antiqued looks nearly identicaly, but I would say it is slightly warmer. Glamour Check is slightly redder-toned.
  • TOP OF THE POSH is similar to Ego, except Ego lacks the golden sheen. Urban Decay Hot Pants is more fuchsia and iridescent. Pink Papillon is also similar but pinker, just as Da Bling is pinker.
  • TWEET ME is a slightly peachier version of Benefit Nice Melons, less metallic version of Melon pigment, and far peachier than Urban Decay Snatch.
  • UNFLAPPABLE turns out to be closest to Smut, which has the same strong dark shade and cooler tone as Unflappable, but it lacks the slightly purple cast of it. Urban Decay Rockstar has a stronger purple cast, but it doesn’t have enough brown/taupe. Satin Taupe is much lighter and less intense, while Urban Decay Hustle is too brown and not quite dark enough.

See swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, January 1st, 2011


MAC Peacocky: Mega Metal Eyeshadow Dupes & Comparisons, Part 1

I’ve split the Mega Metal Eyeshadows into two parts for dupes and comparisons, and then I will also do the Kissable Lipcolours (also in two parts) so no post is overwhelming!  It’s always amazing how things are not as easily duped as one would think.  When compared next to each other, the nuances of each shade gets diminished or more noticeable, depending on what else is swatched nearby.  Whether any of these is really dupable depends on how close is close enough for you.

  • CENTRE STAGE is richer and warmer than Urban Decay Twice Baked, while it is significantly darker than Urban Decay Smog. It is darker and more of a chocolate brown in comparison to Bronze. Buckwheat looks like a sheer, lighter imitation (not comparable!). Twinks has too much red in it, while Sable looks more taupe in comparison. Urban Decay Darkhorse has a stronger green-tinged gold pull. I think Chocolate Brown pigment would be the closest dupe, but I do not own it to do a swatch comparison.
  • DALLIANCE is closest to Urban Decay Maui Wowie, which is still a few shades darker and more golden, while Patina is too brown and Retrospeck is far too golden. Bobbi Brown Pewter is a lot cooler-toned and much darker. Warming Trend is warmer, a little more orange, while Summer Neutral is more of an antique gold. Rye is a darker variation on Summer Neutral, so it doesn’t compare to Dalliance, and neither does Smoke & Diamonds.
  • DANDIZETTE is most similar to Urban Decay Goddess, which is slightly purple-toned in comparison. Deep Truth is brighter and bluer, while
    Blue Storm is a less intense version of Deep Truth and Blue Flame is bluer and cooler-toned.
  • EGO is closest to Bobbi Brown Bash, but the latter is more of a yellow green. Similarly Humid is a yellower green than Bash, so it’s much yellower than Ego. Oomph looks like a dirty, muddy green mess next to Ego. One-off is a much brighter, cooler green.
  • MATING CALL is closest to Lotusland, which is noticeably lighter; similarly Fashion Groupie is slightly darker. Dame’s Desire is a brighter, cooler-toned purple, while Stars ‘n Rockets is a lot pinker.
  • NOIR PLUM is most similar to Urban Decay Mayhem which is a little lighter and more iridescent. Marvel has a stronger red undertone, while Violet pigment is much lighter. Grape pigment is more intense, red-toned, and a touch darker.

See swatches! Continue reading →