Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC The Family Crest Pigment
MAC The Family Crest Pigment

MAC Tartan Tale: Pigments

For the color collection, there are three new and limited edition shades of MAC Pigments ($19.50 for 0.15 oz.). These shades are: The Family Crest (blackened bronze with pearl), Later (black with transforming purple pearl), and Moonlight Night (blackened teal with teal pearl). All three pigments have frost finishes. Later is a repromote from this spring’s Alice + Olivia Collection.

  • The Family Crest is a darkened, plummy brown base with flashes of gold and violet shimmer. It’s a very fun and complex shade! It’s actually a little similar to Style Clan nail lacquer (which you can’t wear on your eyes, LOL!). I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.
  • Later needs moisture to look amazing. Do not just swatch it dry and forget about it, because you’re really not giving it a chance then. When applied wet, it’s a blackened-gray base with flashes of violet and deep blue-purple shimmer and sheen. About a million times prettier wet than dry. It is similar to My Dark Magic Mineralize Eyeshadow from Venomous Villains. It could also be replicated by layering Violet pigment over a black base.
  • Moonlight Night is a darkened charcoal gray base with flashes of deep forest green shimmer and soft frosted sheen. I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.

Even when swatched dry, both The Family Crest and Moonlight Night swatched smoothly, but Later definitely needs to be used wet or patted over a sticky base to get the true color. I personally find MAC’s Mixing Medium (Water-Based) to work really well when using pigments wet, because it is slightly tacky, which makes the pigment hold together and wear all day.  I’ve often used pigments as bases for other eyeshadows with this method.

Though I like the look of the new pigment jars, I do find them a lot messier.  I don’t know if it’s perhaps that I open these over a white table, but I feel like I get some smeared on the photo station every time I open them, which is quite annoying.  I haven’t spilled or toppled any of the jars over, at least!

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

  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of pigments or enjoy using loose color, then yes on all three. I think they’re great shades and nothing feels like, “Wow, I’ve seen this twenty times!”

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Viva Glam Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: ‘Tis Noble to Give Viva Glam Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: ‘Tis Noble to Give Viva Glam Lip Bag

This year’s Viva Glam item is ‘Tis Noble to Give Viva Glam Lip Bag ($36.00), which includes full-sizes of Viva Glam V (lipstick) and Viva Glam V (lipglass), both described as a “neutral pink with pearl.” The set comes with a red-dominated tartan-patterened bag, the same as in the other Lip Bags (just a bit bigger than my hand).

  • Viva Glam V (lipstick) is a pinky nude-brown with soft champagne shimmer. It’s semi-sheer on lips, and it’s incredibly flattering. This is the kind of shade that looks good on both warmer and cooler skin tones.
  • Viva Glam V (lipglass) is a peachy nude with soft golden shimmer. It has a milky quality to it, and it’s not nearly as pink as its lipstick counterpart. This is warmer, but I don’t think it’s unduly warm that it wouldn’t work on cooler skin tones.

For all the Bravehearts and beautiful souls that keep the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund flowing, we say, ’Tis Noble to Give… and with every purchase of this gorgeous, grandiloquent world-clan collectible, you are helping to keep the coffers confident – because every cent from every M∙A∙C VIVA GLAM purchase always goes directly to the women, men and kids affected by HIV/AIDS everywhere. It’s our heritage, our proud moment…and yours too. Keep the VIVA GLAM clan alive and thriving!

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: I always recommend buying Viva Glam when the colors appeal to you–it is such a fantastic cause.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Happily Ever After Lip Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: Happily Ever After Lip Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: Happily Ever After Lip Kit

Happily Ever After Lip Kit ($22.50) is a trio of lip products, featuring one sheer lipglass and two lipsticks. This is a very pink-themed lip palette that does run a bit cool-toned, but it’s very wearable for both cool and warm skin tones.  Lip palettes tend to be a hate it or love it kind of product; either you love the utility and portability of them or find them impractical and frustrating. I belong to the latter camp, so I’ve always leaned towards MAC’s Lip Bags during the holidays!

The lip palette includes: Endless Fun (sheer frosty pink), Cheers All Around (bright candy pink), and To Joy (medium pink). All three shades are new and limited edition to this palette.

  • Endless Fun is a shimmering pale, milky pink with champagne-gold shimmer. It is a lipglass. It’s a lot like Oyster Girl.
  • Cheers All Around is an opaque bright medium pink with blue undertones and lighter pink-fuchsia shimmer. It is a frost finish lipstick, but it’s not very frosty. This shade is a cross between Bombshell and Creme de la Femme.
  • To Joy is a semi-sheer pale peach-pink with heavy frosted shimmer. It is a frost finish lipstick. High Strung was the closest dupe I could think of, but it’s a little darker.  It looks nicer swatched than on my lips!

The palette contains one lipglass (0.03 oz.) and two lipsticks (0.09 oz.). A full-sized lipglass (0.17 oz.) retails for $14.50, while a full-sized lipstick (0.10 oz.) retails for $14.50. It also has a tiny 316SE brush. In this case, you’re getting $2.56 worth of lipglass and $13.05 worth of lipstick–so it’s just over $15 worth of product but the price tag is $22.50. Not such a hot deal in regards to quantity, but the other side of the coin is you get to try three shades for $22.50 vs. $43.50.

MAC’s lipsticks vary from sheer to opaque, and finish doesn’t always tell the story on pigmentation, so these shades seem in line with the brand’s lipstick range.  If you like pinks, this is totally up your alley; if you’re not so into pinks, it won’t make your must-buy list.  I don’t think these shades are the most unique, so if you just spot one you’re interested, try giving one of the suggested dupes a shot.

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: Though a little cooler in tone, it’s not terribly cool.  I expect that Cheers All Around will grab some eyes, as it’s a nice bright pink without being neon.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit ($22.50) is a trio of lip products, featuring one sheer lipglass and two lipsticks.  There’s a nice variety in the finishes, and they do seem to coordinate well–they are all a touch on the warm side, but not too warm.  Lip palettes tend to be a hate it or love it kind of product; either you love the utility and portability of them or find them impractical and frustrating.  I belong to the latter camp, so I’ve always leaned towards MAC’s Lip Bags during the holidays!

The lip palette includes: Heroic Tale (sparkle flesh tone), Imagine This (pinky beige), and Storybook Ending (raisin). All three shades are new and limited edition to this palette.

  • Heroic Tale is a shimmering bronzy nude with flecks of champagne and copper shimmer. It is a lipglass. It appears rather sheer on lips and looks glossy with shimmer in it but doesn’t change the lip color much, if at all. It’s a little lighter than Mad Cap and Sinnamon, but they have similar effects when worn.
  • Imagine This is a peach with an orange-brown tone with a creamy look to it. It is an amplified finish lipstick. This is very pigmented and looks opaque on lips. It’s a much more orange version of Peachstock, but it seems a bit darker than Ravishing.
  • Storybook Ending is a plum-tinged brown with gold micro-shimmer and a high-gloss shine. It is a lustre finish lipstick, so despite looking darker in the swatch, it applies very sheer. It imparts mostly a glow and light shine while adding some darkness to my natural lip color. It seems similar, but lighter, than Polished Up.

The palette contains one lipglass (0.03 oz.) and two lipsticks (0.09 oz.). A full-sized lipglass (0.17 oz.) retails for $14.50, while a full-sized lipstick (0.10 oz.) retails for $14.50. It also has a tiny 316SE brush. In this case, you’re getting $2.56 worth of lipglass and $13.05 worth of lipstick–so it’s just over $15 worth of product but the price tag is $22.50. Not such a hot deal in regards to quantity, but the other side of the coin is you get to try three shades for $22.50 vs. $43.50.

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: This is a warmer lip palette, but the shades aren’t too warm — I think some of our cooler beauties could rock it, too.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette

Reelers & Rockers Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a colorful palette with a slight cool tone running through it.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: White Rabbit (shimmer white), Melt My Heart (metallic silver), Carbon (matte black), Family Treasure (metallic bronze), Gaelic Gold (metallic gold), and Crown & Sceptre (metallic copper).

  • White Rabbit is a bright, shimmery white, It has a frost finish, and it was originally launched in last year’s holiday palettes. It has a very smooth texture and packs a lot of pigment without having to use a lot of product. It’s similar to White Frost or Gesso (but with shimmer).
  • Melt My Heart is a a light silver with a metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s not quite as pigmented as other veluxe pearls, but it has a smooth feel when applied. It’s similar to Forgery, except the texture is soft and smooth–lighter than Electra.
  • Carbon is a dark black. It has a matte finish, and it is a permanent shade. It works better than it swatches, but it will definitely darken anything you layer it over. It’s not the deepest, darkest black, though.
  • Family Treasure is a soft metallic peachy gold with a strong shine. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it’s as smooth and pigmented as one would expect. It’s a less yellow, more orange Goldmine.
  • Gaelic Gold is a brightened medium gold kissed by molten ore. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it’s rich in pigmentation and creamy in consistency. It’s slightly darker and deeper than Goldmine. (Goldmine would fit almost exactly between Family Treasure and Gaelic Gold.)
  • Crown & Sceptre is a medium-dark coppery brown with metallic shine. It has a veluxe pearl finish with a smooth, creamy texture and nice color payoff. It’s a little lighter than Antiqued, but they are similar.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

Like Beauties Playing It Cool, Reelers & Rockers is a little reminiscent of last year’s Devil May Dare palette, but it’s only at a glance, rather than in reality. This year’s Reelers & Rockers is actually more pigmented and brighter.

Reelers & Rockers was my favorite palette of the four, not because of colors but how true-to-pan the colors were overall. Four of the shades have really stellar pigmentation and feel incredibly smooth when used–Carbon swatches poorly but works well in practice, while Melt My Heart could be a little more pigmented, it’s decent. It’s an interesting mix of shades; the top row being on the cooler side, while the bottom row is definitely warmer!

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re jonesin’ for one of MAC’s palettes this year, this one is the best in terms of quality. The colors are also fun and festive but wearable.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette
MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

MAC Tartan Tale: Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette

Beauties Play It Cool Eyeshadow Palette ($36.00) is a purple-themed palette with a cooler tone overall.  It’s one of the more pigmented palettes of the four released for the holidays.

This palette includes six eyeshadows: Silverwear (metallic lavender), Hold My Gaze (medium grey), To the Ball (dusty lavender), Magic Moor (purple grape), Altered State (blackened plum), and
Heather Belles (dark charcoal).

  • Silverwear is a silvery white with lots of frost in its finish. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in 2007 with the holiday palettes. Digit looks a bit similar, but it has a more obvious violet tinge to it.
  • Hold My Gaze is a grayed khaki green with soft copper sparkle. It has a frost finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. This is a shade that doesn’t bring to mind any dupes, but it seemed less pigmented compared to last year’s. (You can also check out a look I did with it here.)
  • To the Ball is a grayed purple. It has a satin finish. It’s similar to Poison Pen, which was discontinued in the past year or so, but it swatches really nicely–pigmented and smooth and buttery–just lighter and more muted. Also a more muted, grayer version of Purple Haze.
  • Altered State is a medium-dark grape purple with violet sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it was originally released in last year’s holiday palettes. It had good pigmentation, and it went on smoothly. It’s not quite as soft as most veluxe pearls, though. It’s’ similar to Satellite Dreams, which is a bit brighter and lighter.
  • Magic Moor is a nicely pigmented blackened plum. It has a veluxe pearl finish, and it has the same buttery consistency and stays true to the finish. I can’t think of a great MAC dupe for it, but it reminded me of a similar shade in Chanel’s Enigma Palette.
  • Heather Belles is a darkened charcoal gray. It has a satin finish, and it’s a little hard to work with. It takes a bit of layering to get decent color pay off, and it’s not as smooth as the majority of MAC eyeshadows are. It’s like a sheerer version of Print.

The palette contains 0.19 oz. worth of eyeshadow along with a tiny 213 brush, which means you’re paying $190/oz. In comparison, if you were to buy potted eyeshadows, MAC eyeshadows run at $290/oz. and pans run at $230/oz. These palettes do offer a little more bang for your buck than if you were to buy shades individually.

This palette is a bit similar to last year’s cool-toned, purple-dominant Sorceress palette (it actually shares two exact shades: Hold My Gaze, Altered State).  Overall, the pigmentation is decent throughout the palette, with the only real disappointment being Heather Belles.  I do wish Hold My Gaze was as pigmented as it was last year, because it does seem to vary, and I’m not a fan of inconsistency!

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Worth a look if you dig purples! It doesn’t suffer from lack of pigmentation like Dashing Lassies and Twists of Tartan.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters

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