Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Amazon Princess Blush Duo
MAC Amazon Princess Blush Duo

MAC AMAZON PRINCESS BLUSH DUO ($24.00 for 0.38 oz.) is described as a bright yellow pink and deep blue pink with gold pearl. The official descritpion baffles me, honestly! The blush itself is super-sized, being about the size as a Beauty Powder. A normal blush is 0.21 oz. ($18.50), while this is almost double the quantity. In comparable terms, the normal size is $88/oz. and the mega size is $63/oz. Despite the larger size, the way they split the blush still makes it a little difficult to use the smaller shade alone (I tried using the 116–you have to be careful, not a lot of room).

The larger side of the blush is a cool-toned, blue-based magenta pink with a satin finish, which is very pigmented and easy to over-do, so use a light hand. The smaller side of the blush is a dark berried pink with soft gold sheen, and it is also nicely pigmented.

final thoughts: This will suit cooler skin tones, because of the stronger blue-base in the magenta shade. Because of the intensity of the colors, it will work beautifully on darker complexions.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Penultimate Eyeliner
MAC Wonder Woman Penultimate Eyeliner

MAC Wonder Woman: Penultimate Eyeliner

MAC RAPIDBLACK PENULTIMATE EYELINER ($18.50 for 0.08 oz.) is super-sized for Wonder Woman–the original (and permanently available) Rapidblack is $16.50/0.03 oz.–making this over twice as much for $2 more. This feels and looks a lot like a marker; even holding it feels like I’m getting to write a note rather than line my eyes. Personally, I think it may be too large to be of great use for most people, and if you have smaller eyes–forget it!

my thoughts on the formula: I really like the original Penultimate eyeliner for something quick and easy that doesn’t dry out and gives you a medium black eyeliner (though it photographs brown with flash–it is definitely black). The tip is thin enough and flexible enough to glide across the eye without skipping. It wears all day for me, and I like that you can do thin or thick eyeliner with it. You can see photos of the permanent Rapidblack here.

Also worth noting, but the outside packaging felt and seemed like a sticker to me. I couldn’t exactly get it to peel or slip off, but it was something that caught my eye.

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  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 1/5

final thoughts: Way too large. This is probably the least useful jumbo-sized product of the launch; it’s not just an increase in overall product quantity, but it really changes the effectiveness of the product itself. I’d recommend their Superslick eyeliners over Penultimate in general (better overall), and certainly over this shade. The formula itself is nice, but the packaging gets a major thumbs down for me–fine, be jumbo, but at least work as well as the original.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Opulash Mascara
MAC Army of Amazons Opulash Mascara

MAC Wonder Woman: Opulash Mascara

MAC OPULASH MASCARA ($15.00 for 0.38 oz.) is a thickening mascara that also lengths and helps with holding a curl, and it is a “long-wearing formula” designed to work for up to fifteen hours. Wonder Woman sees the release of these shades; Army of Amazons (green), Bad Bad Black (black), Themyscira (blue), and Victorious (purple). The Bad Bad Black shade is available permanently but in permanent packaging.

  • Army of Amazons is a muted emerald green.
  • Bad Bad Black is a deep black.
  • Themyscira is a violet-tinged blue.
  • Victorious is a medium purple.

my thoughts on the formula: I liked the soft, feathery look Opulash gave my lashes along with some very nice length! I’m actually surprised I didn’t see length pushed in the marketing write-up for Opulash, because I look at the before/after photos, and I see longer, slightly blacker lashes, but not necessarily a ton of volume. I found two or three quick coats was all you needed to get the feathery lash effect going. More than that resulted in a bit of clumping, but if you don’t load up your lashes with the product, it’s a nice, full and feathery lash that’s clump-free. You can see my full review of Opulash here.

I have only trialed Army of Amazons on my lashes (well, and the black shade, many months ago, when Opulash first released), but I was impressed with the amount of noticeable color it delivered. I did not use any primer, but my lashes definitely have that green tint. Colored mascaras usually look rather dull and muted (if they show at all) on my lashes, wihch are naturally a soft black. As I work through the other shades, if I find that any of the others perform less, I will revise this review at that time.

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

final thoughts: I like the Opulash mascara formula, and it’s a good mascara for those who have decent lashes to begin with.  It lengthens more than it volumizes or thickens for me, though.  So far, it seems like the color actually shows up surprisingly well even over black lashes.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman Pigments/Reflects Glitters
Bright Fuchsia and Marine Ultra Pigments; Bronze and Pearl Reflects Glitters

MAC Wonder Woman: Pigments & Reflects Glitters

MAC PIGMENTS ($21.00 for 0.15 oz.) and MAC REFLECTS GLITTER ($21.00 for 0.15 oz.) are also included in the collection. The shades are: Bright Fuchsia (bright magenta), Marine Ultra (vivid marine blue), Reflects Bronze (sparkling rich gold), and Reflects Pearl (white glitter with pearl sheen).

All four shades are permanent shades available at MAC PRO stores. Supposedly, for licensing costs, these are priced ta $21.00 compared to the normal price of $19.50. Unless the packaging wins you over or you don’t have a PRO store nearby (and don’t want to order over the phone), I wouldn’t get these.

  • Bright Fuchsia is a brightened medium-dark fuchsia with fuchsia-pink shimmer. It has rich pigmentation and goes on smoothly. This shade is not eye safe.
  • Marine Ultra is a medium-dark ocean blue with a matte finish. It comes together very nicely and smoothly when applied. This shade is not lip safe.
  • Reflects Bronze is a coppery bronze glitter. This shade is not eye safe.
  • Reflects Pearl is a silvery-white glitter. This shade is not eye safe.

my thoughts on the formula: Both pigments and glitters are multi-use products, though their boxes come with safety warnings if they aren’t safe for a particular area of the face (usually eyes or lips). I noted the safety for each shade above. Both products are best used wet or over a tacky base (especially glitters). Glitters can be used in hair products (for glittered hair), nail polish, and lip gloss–just to name a few non-eye usages.

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

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

final thoughts: Normally, I find pigments in the B+/A- range, but the bump in price and product quantity staying the same pushes it down to a B. I’m personally a little disappointed to see four shades from the permanent line being pushed in this collection. I’m also not sure why MAC always includes Reflects Glitters in collections clearly for regular consumers (not professional artists) if they’re not eye safe.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish
MAC Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC Wonder Woman: Pink Power Mineralize Skinfinish

MAC PINK POWER MINERALIZE SKINFINISH ($35.00 for 0.70 oz.) is a super-mega-jumbo-sized tri-colored mineralize skinfinish. MAC describes the colors as peachy rose with pink shimmer, soft rosy bronze, and soft shell pink with fine shimmer.

The oversize mineralize skinfinish does allow for easy use of each color individually, and I could see mixing and matching, though they’re wearable on an individual level. The way I looked at these mineralize skinfinishes was they included a “highlighter” shade, “bronzing” shade, and “blushing” shade.

The “highlighting” shade, which I found was best used that way (more shimmer than color when applied), is a pale champagne beige with white-gold shimmer. The “bronzing” shade is a mid-tone orange-tinged brown, but it doesn’t feel orange-y (like Golden Lariat) with a subtle satin sheen. The “blushing” shade is a peached pink with a shimmer-sheen.

my thoughts on the formula: Mineralize Skinfinishes can be used for a variety of things–from blush to bronzer to highlighter. The way you use it depends on your skin tone, how pigmented the particular shade of mineralize skinfinish is, the texture, and what you want to use it for. These are baked products, so they can be used wet or dry without fear of ruining the product. The texture is soft, but the fineness of the shimmer depends on the individual shade. Stippling brushes like the 187 and 188 are ideal for applying mineralize skinfinishes.

Normally, mineralize skinfinishes retail for $28 (0.35 oz.), so this is double the size for $7 more. To put it simply, you’re paying $50/oz. rather than $80/oz. Whether you’ll ever use all whopping 0.70 oz. of it depends on you! It does feel huge, though, and the size makes it less convenient to tote around in your bag or makeup bag. I also think that for its gigantic-size, I would have loved to see a mirror included.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 10/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

final thoughts: I thought this one actually worked well–I can see a variety of skin tones working this. Golden Lariat may pull too orange to be wearable for some, but Pink Power looks beautiful applied. It has enough warmth to work for my warmer-toned friends, but it’s not so warm that it turns orange, so it should be lovely on cooler skin tones, too.

where to buy: MAC Cosmetics

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Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

MAC Wonder Woman: Video Review (Part 1 – Eyes)

First impressions/preliminary review of the eyeshadows, mascaras, pigments/glitters from the MAC Wonder Woman Collection.  I always film these as I swatch, so it is the first time seeing the products for me in the video as well.