Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer
MAC Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer

MAC Cham-Pale: Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer

MAC Very Important Platinum Nail Lacquer ($13.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a a metallic pewter with silver micro-shimmer strewn it. It has a frost finish, and MAC officially describes it as a “dirty platinum.”  Like Soiree, I found the finish to be much more metallic than that of a typical frost, and it has the brush strokes to prove it!  Shown here with two coats, I found it impossible not to have far too many brush strokes messing up the overall look of the polish.  I was disappointed in the consistency, too, which was thick and gloppy.  The color is gorgeous (I love pewter anything!), but the formula itself is one of MAC’s worst in the past couple years–and I like MAC’s lacquers in general.

MAC Cham-Pale is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 21/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Only if you have the patience of a saint!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Saturday, December 18th, 2010

MAC Soiree Nail Lacquer
MAC Soiree Nail Lacquer

MAC Cham-Pale: Soiree Nail Lacquer

MAC Soiree Nail Lacquer ($13.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is a is a bright, light bronze metallic-frost with flecks of copper shimmer-glitter. It has a frost finish, and MAC officially describes it as a “sparkly light bronze gold.”  While it’s a frost finish, it is also a bit metallic.  This is really pigmented–swatches are shown with just one coat–and really easy to work with.  It dries down quicker than most MAC polishes.  It initially reminded me of Dior’s Timeless Gold, but it’s nowhere near it–warmer, darker, bronzer.  Zoya’s Austine is the closest dupe I could come up with, but the finish is quite different, and Soiree is darker.

MAC Cham-Pale is a limited edition launch (official information and photos here) that is set to launch in-stores on December 26th in North American, January 2011 for international MAC locations. The approximate launch date for online is December 24th. It features color products as well as a few skincare items.

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This was so easy to work with, and the pigmentation was incredible. Very festive, too!

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics on December 26th (U.S. stores), January 2011 (International)

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Monday, November 29th, 2010

MAC False Lashes Mascara
MAC False Lashes Mascara

New MAC Mascara:  False Lashes

MAC False Lashes Mascara ($18.00 for 0.28 oz.) is the newest mascara to MAC’s line-up, which will be added to the permanent range in regular black packaging on December 26th. It was, however, released in limited edition Marcel Wanders packaging with the MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection launched on the 24th. The price is the same either way (that was a surprise!), and it is available in just one shade: False Black (black).

From MAC: “False Lashes Mascara adds dramatic volume, the rich, creamy, volumizing formula magnifies and multiplies the look of each lash, creating dramatically thick, long, curled, exaggerated lashes. The lush brush applies a deluxe dose of heavy pigment to the lashes and works in combination with the product to create incredible volume, length and density. The pigments in the formula are treated to allow for maximum colour payoff that remains true, deep, uniform and wears all day long. It’s flake- and smudge-resistant, ophthamologist-tested and safe for contact-wearers.”

Mascara is always an interesting product to review, because every description reads like a miracle product, so it can be difficult to determine what exactly what one should (reasonably) expect it to do. False Lashes is a volumizing mascara first, but it should also boast a dramatic result, from thicker, longer, more curled lashes. “Heavy pigment” leads me to expect a very rich black, dense and heavy in its darkness.

False Lashes excels in delivering longer lashes that are sky-high with a natural lift (all images are without aid of an eyelash curler). It’s a solid black mascara, though I didn’t think it was the deepest, darkest black I’ve experienced (Plushlash and Zoomlash seem darker to me). I did not notice a significant increase in volume; the results I achieved were really dominated by the length and curling power of the formula. There is certainly a volume increase from the standpoint of just thicker, longer, generally improved lashes overall, but my lashes do not appear much fuller.

The formula did not clump easily; you really had to wait for it to dry (20-30 seconds drying time) and be on the third or fourth full coat to find yourself is spidery territory. I was easily able to apply two full coats back-to-back without clumping issues. It dries pretty quickly but not too fast–you do have time to work it from base to tip and go back for more if necessary. When it dried, my lashes didn’t feel dried out or crunchy–they were still pretty soft and felt lightweight. After wearing this mascara for a few days in twelve-hour bursts, I did not have any fall out, smudging, or budging. It came off easily with makeup remover, but it lasted all day and never gave me raccoon eyes.

The brush was fairly large, so if you have smaller eyes, it may be a concern, and it may be unwieldy to use on lower lashes in particular.  It looks much like a normal mascara wand, and it has a slightly more tapered tip.

Overall, it’s a nice mascara, but I’m not sure it’ll make it into my regular rotation of mascaras. It does length amazingly, so it may work wonders on those with shorter lashes, and it does give nice lift on its own (and it holds up well throughout the day), too. If you have naturally long lashes, though, I think this may be too much lengthening power to work well for you.  It is a bit pricey for a MAC mascara, though–unlike Haute & Naughty (which was also $18), which had the crazy packaging, I’m not sure why this merits the $18 price tag.

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

RECOMMENDATION: It lengthens lashes quite dramatically with some lift, so for shorter, straighter lashes, it might be a worthwhile mascara.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

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Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

MAC Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Lipstick
MAC Pink Friday Lipstick

MAC & Nicki Minaj Pink Friday Lipstick

Oooh, you are SO lucky! FedEx JUST dropped of a little black box that could only mean MAC… and inside was MAC & Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday lipstick. I say you’re lucky because I have to head to class in about fifteen minutes–I had just enough time to snap photos, swatch, crop, and upload.

Pink Friday is described as a “bright creamy pink lipstick,” and it has a satin finish (which means it has a creamy, semi-matte finish–no shimmer). It is a a creamy, medium pink with a noticeable blue undertone. It is pretty opaque on lips, and it almost has a chalky look, because it’s paler than it looks. I thought it was going to be a deeper pink, even based on seeing in the tube (in person), but it goes on paler.  I also recommend prepping lips as satin lipsticks can often emphasize dryness or any flakiness on lips!

It is bluer-based (veers on purple) in comparison to All Styled Up. It is totally different from Chatterbox and Sweetie. Fun Fun looks washed out and muddy when swatched next to it. Lavender Whip is significantly glossier and purpler. Saint Germain and Snob are actually the closest to Pink Friday; both are just a hue lighter, but the colors are very, very similar. Funny enough, Viva Glam Gaga looks less blue-based against all of these stronger, bluer-based pinks (see swatch).

DUPES:  Saint Germain, Snob

I apologize in advance — I do not have Pink Nouveau to compare this to. I was actually planning to purchase it along with Pink Friday on Friday but this press sample arrived this afternoon. I have a skin swatch of Pink Nouveau here, and you can tell it is similar–not quite as bright, probably not quite as blue-based.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: The texture is a little off — it doesn’t apply as smoothly or as cleanly as other satin finish lipsticks. If you have either Snob or Saint Germain, this is close enough that you could skip.  This is a shade that looks best on cooler skin tones because of the strong blue base.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, November 18th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders:  Video Review/Swatches

For my audio learners! :)  Please note that this video is part review, part first impressions — if you are interested in specific dupes, check out the individual posts!  Thank you! :)

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders Lip Gloss
Lipstick: Catharina, Digna, Gesina, Martha

MAC Marcel Wanders: Marcel Wanders Lipstick

MAC Marcel Wanders Lipsticks ($22.00 for 0.15 oz.) include four new, exclusive, and limited edition shades: Catharina (fuchsia), Digna (blackened red), Gesina (red with slight pinkish undertones), and Martha (golden champagne with pearl).  All of them are cream finishes except Martha, which is a frost.

These do not feel a whole lot different compared to MAC’s regular line of lipsticks–the biggest difference is these four seem creamier and glide on more smoothly than the typical MAC Lipstick.  They are a nice lipstick, but I like MAC’s Lipsticks a lot myself. I’m just not sure that I can tell the difference between these and other MAC lipsticks.  The ingredient lists are different but nothing stood out as being, “A-ha!”

  • Catharina is a brightened medium fuchsia pink with a creamy finish. It’s opaque with little product, and it hugs lips without being drying. It is a touch lighter than Full Fuchsia; also very similar to Girl About Town.
  • Digna is a berried red that’s semi-opaque. It has a glossier feel than the other lipsticks, but it also seems to pull into lip lines. I would expect it to bleed a bit around the edges of lips. MAC’s Dark Side is very similar–a little more pigmented.
  • Gesina is an opaque, bright, nearly neon, pinky-red. It reminded me of Illamasqua’s Follow but in lipstick form. It’s also a redder version (and lacks the fuchsia sheen) of Fusion Pink.
  • Martha is a peach-nude with soft golden shimmer. The golden shimmer is not as pronounced on the lips as I expected. This lipsticks is a less pink version of Strange Potion lipglass. It’s a little pinker than MAC Freckletone, peachier than Smashbox Splendid.

Surprisingly, each lipstick contains 50% more than the average MAC lipstick! MAC Lipsticks are $14.50 and contain 0.10 oz., which makes them equivalent to $145.00/oz. MAC Marvel Wanders Lipsticks are $22.00 and contain 0.15 oz., which makes them the equivalent of $146.67/oz. So even though it’s a higher investment cost, the price is proportional. Of course, if you have many lipsticks at your disposal, you may be more concerned over pure price.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: These shades are dupeable, which is the biggest drawback for them.  At $22, if there is a $14.50 option, that may be better–unless you see yourself using up a whole tube!  Despite the higher price tag, you get a proportional amount, so if you are a lipstick fiend, check ‘em out.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

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