Monday, April 25th, 2011

MAC Big Bounce Shadow
MAC Black Diamond Big Bounce Shadow

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Review

MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a brand new product launching with MAC’s Flighty Collection (which will hit counters/stores on May 5th). I don’t have all sixteen at this time, and I will, of course, purchase the remaining shades as soon as they are available, but for now, I hope these five shades will suffice: Black Diamond (black with gold pearl), The Cool Elite (white with silver pearl), Count Your Assets (rich blue purple with multi-color pearl), Reward Yourself (bright peach coral with gold pearl), and Spread the Wealth (dirty olive with gold pearl.

Updated @ 6:00PM on 4/25: (Consider re-reading the review, as I changed up about 60% of it!)  The hardest part about evaluating these new shadows is trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do (and conversely, what one shouldn’t expect them to do).  After obtaining more information (see this Q&A), these are supposed to “last for hours” along with “luminescent washes that build from sheer to medium easily.”

Once you throw that little piece in, however, it really does change the efficacy of these, because they do not wear for hours on their own.  I tried four of the five shades alone on the lid, and I spent three days working through them trying to find techniques that would make them work.  I couldn’t find a way to make these work well all alone or as a wash.  Over primer, they still creased (just less creasing than if they were applied to bare lids), but the real zinger is how quickly they crease.  It’s not creasing after four, eight, twelve hours but within an hour.

To achieve the best wear alone, a brush (like the 242) seems to work the best for applying the product without sliding it all over the place.  Just like with any really slippery product, you’ll want to work a little slower and pat the product on and gently smooth out the color or else it will slip and slide and result in uneven color coverage.

  • Black Diamond is a dark charcoal black with teal and silver shimmer.
  • The Cool Elite is a brightened white with a shimmery finish.
  • Reward Yourself is a muted copper with a golden champagne shimmer-sheen.
  • Count Your Assets is a cool-toned purple with silver and gray.
  • Spread the Wealth is a dirty olive green with multi-colored micro-shimmer and metallic sheen.

The texture is very wet and more like a liquid than a cream or mousse–it has a watery feel, though not runny, but a bit like a gel. Initially, I tried applying it to the lid with my finger (but first getting product out with a metal spatula), but I found it did not work well to create a smooth, even layer of color. It’s so very emollient that it glides on easily, but the color slides around and looks rather messy.

The collection does promote the 242 brush (which is part of the permanent range), so I figured I’d try that, and it did work much better. I used other brushes (194, 239, 249), and the 194 and 249 didn’t work as well as the 239 and 242, so the key seems to be some fluffiness in the brush shape (as the 194 and 249 are flatter and firmer) and a patting motion.

Worn alone: I couldn’t wear the Big Bounce Shadows alone without experiencing creasing. I tried three different shades alone (Black Diamond, Reward Yourself, and Spread the Wealth), and Reward Yourself was the only one that didn’t crease immediately. Based on working with the formula for a few days, I think it’s the long dry down time that makes these difficult to wear alone. Unless you keep your eyes closed and lids perfectly taut, the product will settle into any creases while it’s drying down. The dry down time for me was about 45 seconds to a minute. Once they dry down, they do seem to hold on fairly well, but there is some shimmer fall out that occurs.

Worn over a primer: When worn over a primer but with nothing to set it on top, I still experienced creasing within the hour. I found that using it over more opaque primers like MAC Soft Ochre or Urban Decay Eden helped to avoid creasing as soon as it was applied, because the creaminess of the opaque primer helped to fill in some creases, but I still had creasing after an hour of wear.

Set with shadow: They work much better as eyeshadow bases–I had the nearly the same wear regardless of using the Big Bounce Shadow as a base or using an eyeshadow primer, then applying Big Bounce Shadow, and finally setting with eyeshadow. I would say that those with oilier lids may find that the primer, Big Bounce, and powder shadow sandwich would work better for them, as I have normal lids. After twelve hours, I noticed very slight creasing on the inner lid when used without a base, but used with a base, there was none of that slight inner lid creasing.

BOTTOM LINE

SET WITH POWDER. Like most cream products, to prolong wear, set with a powder product.  USE A BRUSH. Fingers seem to create very uneven finishes, and it’s difficult to build up color that way–the color always seems sheer.

Pigmentation varies from shade to shade, and so does the buildability. For instance, Reward Yourself applies semi-opaque from the get-go, but Spread the Wealth needs two to three layers to achieve the same result. I found Spread the Wealth to be the most finicky shade of the five I tried, because it was difficult to apply evenly (even when using a brush!) and build up color.

The packaging is similar to Paint Pots, and the Big Bounce Shadows contain the same amount of product as Paint Pots as well (0.17 oz.).  Big Bounce Shadows come with a thin, plastic insert, but I don’t know if you’d want to dispose of it, even though it is rather flimsy.  The shadow does move around and lots of gets stuck to the insert, so it’s probably better to keep it than to toss it.

I just think the texture of these gives to more uneven application, and the dry down time is too long.  I might consider grabbing shades that really appeal to you to use as a colored eyeshadow base, because they work well for that purpose, but with some of the texture issues, I wouldn’t necessarily feel driven to grab ‘em all.

These wear well if set with powder and made to last all day (8-12 hours).  Are they worth the effort?  Personally, I don’t mind, because they work well enough as a colored base, which is how I would use them myself, but it’s not how I need/want them to work that plays into the actual rating but whether it works the way it’s supposed to.

At the end of the day, these seem to take more work/experimentation that most customers will want to put in.  If you don’t mind some layering and really wanted to like these, buy from a retailer with a generous return policy–if they work for you, I’m a happy camper, and if they don’t, you can return.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Reviews, Swatches, Photos

D-
It's really too bad that there is so little wear time when worn alone (Reward Yourself had maybe a half hour of nice wear, but the others I tried were done in fifteen minutes), because I feel like these don't deserve such a low score. If you intend to set with powder shadow, these perform much, much better and would see a B- rating instead.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, April 24th, 2011

MAC Honey Rose Magically Cool Liquid Powder
MAC Honey Rose Magically Cool Liquid Powder

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powders

Relaunching on May 5th, Magically Cool Liquid Powders (each $29.50 for 0.84 oz.) will join MAC’s permanent range with three shade offerings: Honey Rose (sheer rosy beige with multidimensional shimmer), Cajun (sheer bronze shimmer with reflects gold), and Truth & Light (sheer shimmer that reflects silver and pink). Honey Rose is new, while Cajun and Truth & Light are repromotes from Venomous Villains.

  • Honey Rose is a pink-tinged champagne with a metallic-frost finish. It has very subtle cool undertones but should work well on warmer skin tones. On extremely pale skin tones, it might work as a blush, but overall, it is much more likely to be a highlighter.
  • Cajun is a medium tan with soft golden sheen and warm undertones. It gives my cheeks a tanned look.
  • Truth & Light is a soft, beige nude with a peach sheen. Like Honey Rose, this is best as a highlighter or possibly all-over powder. It’s more sheen than color.

Magically Cool Liquid Powder is a cool product–it does feel like liquid when you initially apply it, and it quickly transitions to a powder finish within mere seconds. It’s certainly a fun product to play around with and swatch. Personally, I find it more difficult to apply and blend out, because once it dries, it doesn’t like to move or diffuse. It’s less concerning with lighter shades like Honey Rose and Truth & Light, but with a more color-loaded shade like Cajun, yields a blotchy look.

I found the best application method was with a stippling brush and using a very feathery touch, because it gives you more room for error. Since they do not like to blend out once dried, they do wear well (eight hours).

When these are brand new, there is a black sticker that covers the entire inside portion of the jar, which keeps all of the product locked in. For photography purposes, I removed the entire label, but I would recommend only lifting it to reveal a few holes (perhaps 5 or so), and cutting the lifted area, but keeping the majority of the lid still sealed. The sifter just allows far too much powder to come through, and a lot of it will puff and disperse in the area each time you go to open it (my jeans were covered in micro-shimmer after opening Cajun, which I’ve had since September).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Magically Cool Liquid Powders Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B
These are permanent, so there is no need to rush on these! You can try them at your leisure. All three are rather versatile shades, so they should suit many skin tones. Honey Rose and Truth & Light are best used as highlighters or setting powders (if used lightly), while Cajun is more of a bronzer.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, April 22nd, 2011


MAC Flighty Collection – Preview Swatches

It’s really important to me to really test out products in full before reviewing them, which is why I will not be posting my reviews for the new Big Bounce Shadows until tomorrow or Sunday (depending on how today’s testing goes).  I’m trying to test them for a full twelve hours today, which is why I can’t get a review up immediately.

I do understand, of course, the desire to see things right away, so I have included a group shot of the five I received for review and swatches for them. The full review will have more photos. I’m still trying to get an official description of what these eyeshadows are supposed to do or how they are supposed to be used.

I will, as always, purchase the remaining products as soon as I am able to.  I apologize in advance that I do not have all of them to show you.

Initial Thoughts

  • They really do work about a billion times better applied with a brush (the 242 specifically, which is launched with this collection).
  • They remind me of motor oil in their pots (not a compliment!).
  • They have a long dry down time.
  • I wore one as a base underneath eyeshadow, and it lasted without creasing for 8 hours (I had planned to sleep in it, but I just couldn’t!).

Swatches… Continue reading →

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

MAC Aqua Eyeshadow
MAC Aqua Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Flower: Eyeshadows

The collection features six shades of Eyeshadows (each $14.50 for 0.05 oz.) — three are limited edition, while three are available in the permanent range; though, all of the editions in this launch are imprinted with the flower design, while permanent editions will be normal. The six shades include: Aqua (aqua blue), Bows & Curtseys (metallic hunter green), Free to Be (bright true coral), Fresh Daisy (frosty white yellow), Groundcover (mid-tone warm grey), and Lucky Green (frosted mid-tone lime).

  • Aqua is a bluish aqua with a matte finish. This is a permanent shade but I felt like it was a little less pigmented here than my permanent pan.
  • Bows & Curtseys is a blackened forest green with bluish shimmer. It looks nearly black when swatched on my arm with the green being hinted at as the color plays with light. When I wore it in a look (albeit with a sheer green base), it seemed to pull out the forest green more. This has a satin finish.
  • Free to Be is a medium-dark coral-red with a matte finish. This is a permanent shade, but I felt like it was a little less pigmented here than my permanent pan.
  • Fresh Daisy is a very bright white with only a hint of warmth. It has a frost finish, but it really looks rather metallic. I tried to wear it as a highlighter, but it’s too frosted and stark on me–I imagine it would be more appropriate on someone with a lighter skin tone. It is, however, very pigmented.
  • Groundcover is a matte, taupe-ish brown gray. It is nicely pigmented but lacks the buttery texture that makes mattes easier to use.
  • Lucky Green is a bright, chartreuse-shimmered grass green with strong yellow undertones. It has a veluxe pearl finish. This is a permanent shade. It’s one of my favorite colors, because it is so pigmented and soft.

The Glossover

product

MAC Fashion Flower Eyeshadows Swatches, Photos, Review

B+
I took an average of each eyeshadow to get actual scores for each characteristic, so while shades like Fresh Daisy and Lucky Green are much better than shades like Aqua and Free to Be, it rounds out to the scores seen here. I'd recommend reading through the individual review for each shade!

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, April 22nd, 2011

MAC Light Sunshine Beauty Powder
MAC Light Sunshine Beauty Powder

MAC Fashion Flower: Light Sunshine Beauty Powder

MAC Light Sunshine Beauty Powder ($25.00 for 0.35 oz.) is described as a “pastel neutral pink with soft gold and pink sparkles.” This shade has a lot more of a sheen in its finish compared to Alpha Girl, which looks nearly matte on skin. The color is a very pale, light pink. It’s more like a white-washed pink, because it is quite light. It is, however, rather pigmented, but also noticeably powdery because of the paleness of the base color.
It doesn’t work well on my medium skin tone, because it lightens my cheeks instead of brightening them. I think those with light and pale skin tones would like it as a subtle highlighter or finishing powder (if used with a light hand), but it may be ashy on deeper skin tones.

Light Sunshine definitely reminded me of Play It Proper (Stylishly Yours, ’10), though Play It Proper is a smidgen lighter and more cool-toned, but on, I think those differences are downplayed. It also seems comparable to Flower Mist Dew (Emanuel Ungaro, ’08) but more pigmented.

The Glossover

LE
product

Light Sunshine

B
I could see those with lighter skin tones liking this best. I would recommend those with deeper skin tones check it out in person before buying, because it looks like it would turn ashy.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Friday, April 22nd, 2011

MAC Alpha Girl Beauty Powder
MAC Alpha Girl Beauty Powder

MAC Fashion Flower: Alpha Girl Beauty Powder

MAC Alpha Girl Beauty Powder ($25.00 for 0.35 oz.) is a pale pinky coral with a very subtle satin sheen. I found it was more pigmented when I applied it to cheeks (I used MAC’s 116 brush) than when I attempted to swatch it on my arm. My “heavy” swatch was rather dismal, but it was better on cheeks. Alpha Girl was a touch powdery, and I felt that it made my cheeks look a little dry.

The powder itself is very soft, so it blends out easily, and the softness of the color makes it difficult to overdo. Beauty Powders typically wear eight hours or so on me, but it is often hard to tell since the majority are so subtle!

I’ve always loved how much product you get in a beauty powder, though, because it’s nearly double the size of your average blush, but it’s not double the price!  These beauty powders are packaged in traditional all-black MAC packaging and include a mirror inside the compact.

This shade debuted in the Heatherette collection (back in ’08), so long-time MAC fans will want to peruse their stash of beauty powders to check if they already have this one.

The Glossover

LE
product

Alpha Girl

B
It's still rather subtle, though, and for that reason, it's not a color I'd recommend for medium-dark to dark skin tones.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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