Friday, August 27th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines Dupes
To Pamper vs. Call My Bluff

MAC Fabulous Felines: Comparisons & Dupes

Here are just some comparisons/dupes I did when I filmed the video review for the collection :) They’re really just the dupes I talked about in the reviews.  I wish I could do things like this more often, but it’s usually all about getting photos/swatches of the collection up as quickly as possible since I’m doing it either the afternoon before the launch or on launch day.

I figure it’s more important that you see everything swatched and reviewed, so at least you might be able to use it before everything sells out!  I try to call out possible dupes in the review itself and link to past swatches when they’re available instead–I just want everything to be done when the collection is relevant, not a week later when several things have sold out!  Trade-offs, trade-offs… sigh!  Wish it wasn’t so.

Ironically, to me, most of these aren’t dupes, but to me, a dupe is something about 99% similar, not 80 or 90%!  The term dupe definitely seems to mean something different depending on the person.  What does “dupe” mean to you?

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010
Nail Lacquers: Concubine, Imperial Flower, Earthly Harmony, Ming Blue, Jade Dragon, Rain of Flowers

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010 Review, Photos, Swatches

Wait, you thought it was JUST Fabulous Felines today? You must be new to MAC ;) Indeed, MAC had a short and sweet launch of six nail lacquers (which might account for why there were none in Fabulous Felines!), all of which are Asian-inspired. nail expert Jin Soon was inspired by the “Forbidden City,” and she created shades inspired by the sculptures, architecture, fabrics, and decorative papers of Imperial China. Each shade has “pearl essences for subtle dimension.”

All of these need a top coat (but how many of us go sans top coat anyway?!), because they dry to a rather flat finish–a little shiny but not at all glossy; I used MAC’s Overlacquer top coat on all of these. The formula was on the thinner side overall, but the majority of shades were very rich in pigmentation. Having only purchased these this morning, I haven’t exactly been able to wear these long term, but I did notice that Jade Dragon and Rain of Flowers are shades that may stain (for sure Jade Dragon).

You can check out official information and promotional imagery as well.

Nail Lacquer ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Concubine is a darkened red with ruby and scarlet shimmer flecks. I used two coats in the swatching, but there’s still a bit of nail line showing, so a third coat would probably be best. It’s pretty, but if you already have a lot of shimmered reds, you could easily skip this shade.
  • Imperial Flower is a brightened medium orange with flecks of gold and orange shimmer. This is one of my favorites out of the launch, because it practically glows on nails. It is similar to China Glaze’s Orange Pacific, though Orange Pacific has more obvious shimmer. Just two coats — it was nearly opaque in one coat.
  • Earthly Harmony is this concrete greige taupe shade. It is a difficult shade to describe! It has faint flecks of yellowed gold shimmer. I needed two coats here, and this is the kind of shade that made me think of Chanel’s Particuliere–but it’s not a dupe–just in that same vein of ugly shades that are rather pretty. I found the formula of this one to be on the watery side, and it made it a little harder to apply.
  • Ming Blue is a brightened medium-dark ocean blue with softer blue shimmer. I used just two coats in swatches, and there’s my nail line faintly visible, but a third coat would definitely eliminate that. I didn’t see any immediate staining, but I could see this staining after a few days of wear.
  • Jade Dragon is a deep forest green with flecks of green-teal shimmer. It’s quite pigmented and applied the nicest out of the bunch (but I only found Earthly Harmony troublesome)–two coats was perfect. This one, however, stained my nails just during the time I swatched it.
  • Rain of Flowers is a deep, darkened black-purple base with flecks of violet shimmer. Two coats and I had opaque results, and I suspect this one might stain a little bit as well. I originally thought it might be similar to Illamasqua’s Baptiste or NARS Purple Rain, but it’s a lot more violet and less fuchsia.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like ‘em, and some shades do seem different than the norm.  It’s a nice collection overall, and I haven’t had any issues with MAC polishes myself!

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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Thursday, August 26th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines

MAC Fabulous Felines: Overall Review & Recommendations

OVERALL, Fabulous Felines has a lot of tones and shades perfect for autumn and certainly a plethora of products to choose from. Despite some of the darker and deeper tones, the collection feels rather sheer, muted, and tame. It doesn’t feel like a bold, rich mix of colors once you actually start to swatch through some of the products. Burmese Beauty is a set of products that easily work for both cooler and warmer skin tones, while Palace Pedigreed complements cooler skin tones best and Leopard Luxe for warmer skin tones. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you can’t wear cooler-toned products on your warmer skin!

Edited @ 8/26All products have now been added with full reviews, swatches, and photos.

Product Photos, Swatches, & Reviews

The SUPERSLICK LIQUID EYE LINERS have a very watery, thin consistency that’s soaked into a long, narrow-tipped pen. The applicator is soft against the skin, and it has enough give to allow you to maneuver around the natural curves of the eye lid. With a light hand, you can get a very thin, precise line, but you can more easily get a thicker line. They’re incredibly smooth to apply, because the consistency is so thin, but it also makes for a very long drying time. The liner was still a bit sticky five minutes after application, though it wasn’t smudging or budging (just sticky to the touch). If you want to use these as a base, I would suggest using a brush or your finger to thin out application so it will dry faster–otherwise it will just crease and dry creased (and then not budge!).

See more of my thoughts on the liners, must-haves, recommendations, and the whole nine yards… Continue reading →

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

MAC Viva Glam Lipglass - Gaga and Cyndi
MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Lipglass — Cyndi & Gaga

Coming at you on September 2nd, MAC will launch corresponding lipglasses to February’s roll out of Viva Glam Cyndi and Gaga Lipsticks. Like the lipsticks, the lipglasses are only around for a limited time (six months) — both the lipsticks and lipglasses will be available until February 2011.

Just like the same-named lipsticks, Cyndi is a coral with very subtle white micro-shimmer, while Gaga is a light pink with blue undertones and nearly imperceptible white micro-shimmer. Surprisingly, Gaga [lipglass] seems more wearable than its lipstick counterpart–it’s not as cool or blue toned, so its more flattering across skin tones.   Cyndi feels like there’s just a little less red to it–maybe a touch more coral, more orange, but certainly feels at least a smidgen brighter.  Both glosses are incredibly opaque for a gloss, which is nice–but they can, of course, be worn sheerly by simply using less.  It doesn’t take more than two or three swipes (depending on how big your lips are!) for a nice, opaque look.

When you’re looking for a lipstick/lipglass, Viva Glam is always a good way to go!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Leopard Luxe
Lipglass: A Quiet Roar, Schemer

MAC Fabulous Felines: Leopard Luxe Review, Photos, Swatches (Lips & Cheek)

Here is part two! Be sure to read part one.

Lipglass ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • A Quiet Roar is a very pale white gold on lips. It looks a little off to me when I wear it alone, but it could be used to layer over other shades. It reminded me of Almondine (Spring Colour Forecast).
  • Schemer is a sheer orange base with flecks of copper and ambered gold shimmer. I found it applied pretty unevenly, and even though I tried to make it even, I couldn’t quite get there. I’d use it as a layering gloss rather than alone. This is very, very similar to Gold Dust (Spring Colour Forecast). This one seems a little more pigmented.
  • Wildly Refined is a pinky brown with multicolored shimmer–lots of pink and peach shimmer.  It’s semi-opaque and has a very frosty/shimmery finish.

Lipstick ($14.50 U.S. / $17.50 CDN)

  • Drive Me Wild is a reddened coral with gold sheen in a cremesheen finish. Like the other cremesheen finishes in this launch, it doesn’t feel like the typical cremesheen–creamier, smoother, more moisturizing. It reminded me of an orange version of Rose Maiden (Spring Colour Forecast).
  • Out Minxed is a sheer whitish shade with lots of multicolored glitter/shimmer with slight yellow undertones in a glaze finish. It’s similar to Liquid Lurex except less glittery and multicolored.
  • Powerful is an orange-y copper shade with lots of gold and copper glitter in a dazzle finish. As far as I can tell, it’s pretty much a dead ringer for Infused with Glam. Maybe a smidgen darker, but I don’t think so.
  • The Prowl is a semi-sheer red-tinged brown with a glossy, lustre finish. It has flecks of copper and amber shimmer in it. I did find that I had to be careful about pressing my lips together, because the color would look blotchy/streaky easily.

Mineralize Blush ($21.00 U.S. / $25.00 CDN)

  • Utterly Game is a peachy orange with very subtle sheen and no real shimmer (maybe a couple flecks here and there).  It can be built up for a more intense look quite easily, so I’d actually use a light hand if you’re on the fairer side.  I saw this on an artist at the store and thought she looked lovely, and she was very pale, but I didn’t love it on me – just made me look a little burnt, ha!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines - Leopard Luxe

MAC Fabulous Felines: Leopard Luxe Review, Photos, Swatches (Eyes)

Here’s part one of Leopard Luxe — part two coming soon! :)

Leopard Luxe Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • Wild By Nature is a medium-dark nude brown with a matte finish, though it seems like it has just a bit of satin to it.  Reminded me of a lighter Soft Brown.
  • Notoriety is a slightly sheer dirty brown with cool undertones and flecks of gold shimmer with a velvet finish. I really hate the pay off of Notoriety, even though it’s an interesting color. This is a repromote from Makeup Art Cosmetics.
  • Style Predator is a gold-shimmered medium orange base with a veluxe pearl finish. It reminds me of a darker version of Straw Harvest (Spring Colour Forecast) and more of a gold sheen than Off the Page (Makeup Art Cosmetics).
  • Furiously Fabulous is a deep, dark brown-gray with a veluxe pearl finish. This is the best textured eyeshadow of the three quads–it’s smooth and pigmented. I thought it was going to look like Knight Divine from an initial glance, but it’s very different. It’s like Brun and Satin Taupe had a baby.

Superslick Liquid Eye Liner ($17.50 U.S. / $21.00 CDN)

  • Pure Show is a true gold, and it seems a little less pigmented than the average Superslick liner — it’s more shimmery with a sheerer color base. It can be layered for a more intense, opaque line, though.
  • Marked for Glamour is a darkened gray that almost looks taupe when used lightly.
  • On the Hunt is a very deep, dark black.  It has a very semi-glossy look even when dried, but it’s not wet looking (but not 100% matte/flat).

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • Lithe is a lightly shimmered peach-nude. It reminded me of Dazzleray and Jardin Aires pigments (both limited edition)–the texture is much smoother and finer than either of those pigments, and Lithe isn’t as frosty.
  • Old Gold is a green-based gold with touches of reddish brown. It flashes a green-gold overall. It’s a very interesting and complex shade; definitely worth a look if you haven’t acquired this previously. This is a permanent shade.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →