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MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush Review & Photos

MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush
MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush

Congratulations 214 and 227! It’s a Boy 215!

MAC 215 Medium Shader Brush ($25.00) is a new, limited edition (I believe, at least) brush designed to be used for shaping and defining the eye with both powder and cream eyeshadows. It has natural bristles. This brush is like a bigger 214, or a stumpy version of the 227. The 215 is wide, dome-shaped brush that’s packed with bristles. For me, it felt a little rough on the eye. It was less rough when I used powder eyeshadows than when I used cream eyeshadows, which seemed to emphasize the pointy, blunt edges of the bristles.

This brush is a larger eye brush, so if you have a smaller eye area or smaller lids, you may find it too large to use often. It’s a bit large against my eye lids, but I like it for applying one-and-done eyeshadows–which are more or less a wash of color on the lid.  It picks up pigment easily and deposits it well without it getting lost within the bristles.  For more multi-colored looks, it’s too big for me.  It’s softer than the 214 but not as soft as the 227.  The 227 also blends more readily, but this is easier to blend with than the 214.

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MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush Review & Photos

MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush
MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush

Defined Contouring Made Easy with the 163

MAC 163 Flat Top Contour Brush ($35.00) is a new and limited edition brush designed to be used with MAC’s Pro Sculpting Creams, but they are noted as a multi-purpose brush, so they can be used however you find it works.  The brush is not MAC’s softest face brush, but I wouldn’t describe it as scratchy.  I think the blunt edge gives it a harsher feel against the skin, but when I run it back and forth against my face or arm, it feels fine.  It’s tightly packed with bristles, making it a very dense brush.

It was good for placing the Pro Sculpting Creams on the face, but it wasn’t so good at blending them out. I needed to use my fingertips or another brush to do that.  I think this brush is fairly purpose-specific, and as a result, it’s not a must-have brush for everyone.  It may work well in professional kits or for anyone who does more intense, dramatic contouring.  I did not like this for foundation, blush, or powder products in general.  It worked best with liquids and creams, mostly for initial application.  It had a tendency to drag products in noticeable streaks when used to blend.

Again, this is a brush that seemed to be more of a one trick pony than a great workhorse of a brush.  It’s great if what you’re looking for is a way to apply cream/liquid products in defined lines. There’s also a Sonia Kashuk brush that’s supposed to be a dupe, but I only just bought mine so I can’t weigh in quite yet!

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MAC Pro Sculpting Creams

MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream
MAC Accentuate Pro Sculpting Cream

If It Matches, Sculpt Away!

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams ($20.00 for 0.17 oz.) are described as a “cream-to-powder formula for sculpting and shaping key features … [s]ilky-smooth, easy-to-blend and neutrally-shaded.” It’s supposed to have sheer-to-medium buildable coverage.

  • Accentuate is a pale white beige with mostly neutral undertones–it almost pulls a smidgen pink on me.
  • Coffee Walnut is a gray-ish medium-dark brown with subdued, orange-tan undertones. It has a slight green-cast.
  • Copper Beach is a medium-tan with strong orange undertones. If anything, this shade seemed more appropriate as a bronzer.
  • Naturally Defined is a light-medium beige with mostly neutral undertones–perhaps a smidgen warm.
  • Pure Sculpture is a softened tan brown. It’s not as orange as Copper Beach–more subdued.
  • Richly Honed is a dark brown with warm, reddish undertones.

I think the shades in MAC’s Sculpting powder range (which is permanent at PRO stores) are better-colored for contouring, because they’re much more shadowy, and these tended to be rather warm-toned. When you contour, you’re emphasizing or adding shadows, and when you highlight, you’re shaping and sculpting by adding light/sheen. If one of these shades is the right color, it can be a really great product. I’m just not sold that this is the right set of shades–I would have loved to have seen them take the existing Sculpting range and make them into cream form.  Accentuate, Coffee Walnut, and Naturally Defined are the closest to neutral, while Copper beach, Pure Sculpture, and Richly Honed are very much warm-toned.

The texture is lightly creamy, not too thick or too thin.  I’d almost describe it as a stiff cream, but in the best way.  All six shades had buildable coverage, so you could get sheer-to-light color easily, but you could layer just once or twice for more intensity.  While I did try using the new 163 brush that came with the launch, I preferred the 193 or finger tips (using a clean spatula to remove product, then warming it up between finger tips and blending it out on the skin).  It dries down and has a natural finish.  I tested all six of the shades (though used together, not individually), and I had no problem getting a full eight hours of wear with no noticeable fading.

MAC Pro Sculpting Creams

A-
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
91%
Total

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MAC Pressed Pigments

MAC Beaming Pressed Pigment
MAC Beaming Pressed Pigment

De-Pressed About These Pigments

MAC Pressed Pigments ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) were recently launched as an “intensely creamy highlighter offering extreme pearlescence and versatility of finish.” It can be “[applied] dry for a high shine, or on damp skin for a dramatic wet look” with “sheer-to-moderate buildable coverage and natural dimension finish.”

These had me at a loss of words. I spent the past week trying to figure out how these could be used for something that wasn’t purely editorial or only needed to last about five minutes. I was hopeful about MAC’s recent Face & Body launch, as I love highlighting/contouring–I was hoping for something a little more shimmery than the Shaping powders (PRO) that launched a few years ago. Well, these aren’t shimmery; they’re like a disco ball exploded and fractured all over your face, eyes, body, or wherever you happen to put them.

I tried using two shades as a highlighter on the cheek (one on each cheek), and it looked like dirt/sand/grit. It travels to parts unknown within an hour of wearing it on the cheek–I found glitter on my lip, on my ear, and on my shoulder, and I had only applied it to my cheek bones. It’s not a product that applies well with face brushes; it really needs to be applied with fingers or a sponge and really pressed/crushed. The texture really reminded me of MAC’s Crushed Metal pigments, because without grinding them down, they are so loose and chunky.

I tried using them on the body (collarbone/decolletage), and it looked the same – like flecks of brown dirt rather than a luminous sheen or even glittery dazzle. I tried using them on the brow bone, inner tear duct/lid, and on the eyelid in general. The glitter is really, really chunky, and the fall out is tremendous, not just during, but after application. I was getting a ton of glitter in my eye for the six hours I managed to wear these. After six hours, at least half of the glitter on the eye had transferred to my cheeks, nose, or got lost in my eye ball. I even used MAC’s Mixing Medium to see if it would help these adhere better but no luck. Frankly, these were painful to use on the eye – both of my eyes were red and irritated for the rest of the day/night.

I tried using these both wet and dry with numerous brushes (215, 228, 231, 242, 116, 130, 188, and 193) but nothing yielded a result that did anything flattering. On the lid, it’s sparkly and pretty–but the fall out is over-the-top ridiculous. It’s some of the worst fall out I’ve seen. It makes Urban Decay’s Midnight Cowboy Rides Again seem like a dream to work with. It’s funny, too, because they actually swatched beautifully. They looked stunning on my arm!

As you can see, this review is all about “I tried,” but I failed. I couldn’t highlight my brow bone, eyelid, cheekbones, or collarbones with this product.  I have used lots and lots of highlighters in the past ten years, but this is a product that left me grappling for any use that might possibly work.  The texture is rough, gritty, and dry (not actually creamy as described), and the fall out is something to behold; some of the worst I’ve seen in a glittery product that wasn’t loose to begin with. I’m honestly surprised these are eye safe (there wasn’t any warning to the contrary on the box), because they were so irritating from the fall out.

MAC Pressed Pigments

F
4
Product
6
Pigmentation
6
Texture
2
Longevity
2.5
Application
46%
Total

Video: Mid-Week in Review – MAC Office Hours

Video: Mid-Week in Review, Vol. 004

We spent the majority of the beginning of the week taking a look at MAC’s Office Hours Collection, which hits stores today. Don’t forget to subscribe! 🙂

Products mentioned:

Makeup Breakdown

On eyes: Hourglass Suede Eyeshadow Duo (beige), Hourglass Gypsy Eyeshadow Duo (burgundy), Inglot #452 Eyeshadow, Burberry Trench Eyeshadow, Tarina Tarantino Ultraviolet Eyeliner, Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Waterproof Mascara. On face: Guerlain Parure Gold (02 and 03), Guerlain Les Voilettes (03), Buxom Swept Away. On lips: Guerlain Bee Rouge G Lipstick.

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Lipglasses

MAC Boundless Beige Pro Longwear Lipglass
MAC Boundless Beige Pro Longwear Lipglass

The Goldilocks of Long-Wearing Lipgloss

MAC Pro Longwear Lipglasses ($19.50 for 0.06 oz.) sees the introduction of six new shades and two repromoted shades: Boundless Beige (light warm beige with pearl), Driven by Love (red-blue with slight pearl), Everlasting Nude (mid-tone warm nude), Forever Rose (mid-tone neutral rose), Long Love Love (light cool pink), Next Fad (mid-tone cool pink), Patience Please (light pink-blue), and Persistent Peach (light warm peach). The only shade that is limited edition is Everlasting Nude.

MAC describes these as, “A longwearing Lipglass that goes on smooth and lasts for up to six hours! Envelops lips with shine and colour and pro-longs the hours between re-application.”

Boundless Beige is a semi-sheer pale beige with gold and beige shimmer. This is the one shade out of the eight launched that doesn’t look much like the rest of the range (which is more opaque). It wore four hours on me. MAC Jana is less warm. MAC Almond Blossom is less shimmery.

Driven by Love is a rich, blue-based medium-dark red with brightened ruby red micro-shimmer. It has opaque color coverage, and it applies beautifully–even, smooth, and it doesn’t seem to bunch up on itself if you happen to press your lips together. It continues to be one of the best-performing shades from this formula. It wore six hours and still looked rather good at that point. MAC Restless is similar but doesn’t have the shimmer. MAC Russian Red is slightly less deep.

Everlasting Nude is a warm peach with a hint of beige and no shimmer. It delivered mostly opaque color, and I was able to get even color overall, but it did move and bunch up on itself if I pressed my lips together even fleetingly. This shade lasted five hours. MAC Whoops! is darker. MAC Temper Tantra is just a smidgen darker and less glossy. MAC Fold and Tuck Lipglass is shimmery. Korres Natural Purple is similar in color.

Forever Rose is a strawberry-red with warm undertones. It’s not red, but it’s not quite pink–it’s almost coral-tinged. It applied mostly evenly, didn’t settle into lip lines too noticeably, and had opaque color coverage. This shade does not have any shimmer, and it lasted for six hours on my lips with some color still intact at that point. Revlon Strawberry is more muted, sheerer, so it’s not that close even though they seemed that way in the tube. MAC Star Quality is pinker, sheerer. MAC Galaxy Rose is pinker, less red.

Long Love Love is a blue-based light-medium pink. It has opaque color, but it’s a pain to apply, because it is very streaky and has a tendency to settle into lip lines. This one was really high maintenance, as the color so easily moved around and would look uneven. This shade wore for four and a half hours. MAC Snob is similar, perhaps a fraction darker. MAC Enchantee is grayer.

Next Fad is a light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones and white shimmer. This one has more semi-opaque color coverage, as the natural lip color does come through. It lasted for four hours on my lips. MAC Viva Glam Nicki is yellower. MAC Please Me is lighter and doesn’t have the shimmer.

Patience Please is a pale beige that has a hint of pink and has a creamy finish. It settles into lip lines and does not apply as evenly as I’d like. It has a tendency to bunch up on itself if you press your lips together. The color coverage is opaque, and it wore for five hours on me. NARS Spring Break has shimmer and is more beige. MAC The Wee Coquette is similar but sheerer.

Persistent Peach is a medium peach with a hint of pink. It has a creamy finish and mostly opaque color. It settles into lip lines somewhat, and it does have some unevenness issues. It will fold over itself if you press your lips together (even briefly). This shade lasted five hours. MAC So Vain is a bit darker. Benefit Spiked Punch is a smidgen darker and has shimmer. MAC Perennial High Style is lighter.

Some people will like the formula for its long-wearing properties, but I know a lot of people already dislike MAC Lipglass for its thick, tacky consistency. These are thicker, less movable, and sticky. It’s almost gluey when worn. There’s something about the texture that’s not quite comfortable. They come with a pinched foam applicator, which worked fine for me, but it is a bit large, so those with thinner lips may find it cumbersome.

One of the problems that seems to stem from the consistency is that these do not apply evenly and are even harder to keep even. This is a problem that varies in its intensity from shade to shade. Driven by Love applies and stays even, but shades like Patience Please (so aptly named) and Long Love Love are high-maintenance. Overall, these shades were an improvement over last year’s.

These wear about as long as advertised; the light shades tend to get between four and five hours, while darker shades get the full six. The wear is impressive overall, and I really appreciate that MAC only says six hours–they don’t go nuts and say something crazy like 14, you know? I think most consumers would be pleasantly surprised and happy to see six hours of wear with their gloss. Would we love longer? Sure. But only if they can deliver 🙂

They’re vanilla-scented but don’t have a discernible taste.  A (somewhat) hidden downside is these only have a measly 0.06 oz. of product in them; Lipglass contains 0.17 fl. oz. (almost three times as much) and costs $4.50 less. They don’t appear small, as the tubes look much larger than Lipglass.

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Lipglasses

B-
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
7
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
82%
Total

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