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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

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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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MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes (Part 2)

MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Stay By Me Pro Longwear Blush

Still Powdery, but Better Color

This review focuses on three new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Blushes ($23.50 for 0.21 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Stay By Me (light peach coral), Stay Pretty (light bright blue pink), and Whole Lotta Love (light blue pink).

Please see part one for a more in-depth review of the formula. I echo those sentiments overall. Stay Pretty and Whole Lotta Love had better color payoff compared to the other five I’ve reviewed. Stay By Me lasted for three hours well, then had disappeared by the sixth hour. Stay Pretty started to look a smidgen faded around the edges after four hours and had disappeared after seven hours. Whole Lotta Love didn’t look faded until five hours, and there was still a glimpse of color after eight hours. It’s less wear than I typically get out of a MAC blush (normally, I’d see six to eight hours with some fading but the majority of the color is still there).

Stay By Me is a pale peach with a barely-there shimmer. It looks mostly matte on the skin. This shade was noticeably powdery and dusty, so it did not look natural against the skin (kind of cake-y). I needed to apply four layers of product to get the color to show up in the swatch (my forearm is around NC20 in color; I did the same on cheeks, but my face is darker (around NC30), so it didn’t really show up. NARS Sex Appeal is slightly lighter.

Stay Pretty is a light-medium blue-based pink with a subtle golden shimmer. This shade wasn’t quite as powdery as the other six shades I tried. I applied three layers of product to get it to show up on my arm and four layers of product on my face. MAC Lovecloud has a stronger sheen. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is bluer-based. NYX English Rose is similar, perhaps a bit lighter.

Whole Lotta Love is a brightened pop of medium-dark pink with a subtle sheen. I only needed to use two layers to get the color to show up on the arm, and I layered it three times on my face. The texture was a little drier compared to the other six shades, which actually was good, because it wasn’t as powdery. MAC Full Fuchsia is slightly darker. MAC Her Blooming Cheek is more fuchsia, more blue-based. Tom Ford Wicked has a smidgen of plum in it. MAC Supernova is darker, redder.

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes (Part 2)

D-
5
Product
7
Pigmentation
6.5
Texture
6.5
Longevity
3
Application
62%
Total

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes (Part 1)

MAC Baby Don't Go Pro Longwear Blush
MAC Baby Don’t Go Pro Longwear Blush

Where’s Your Blush?

This review focuses on four new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Blushes ($23.50 for 0.21 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Baby Don’t Go (light cool beige), Blush All Day (light dirty rose beige), Eternal Sun (warm brown), and Rosy Outlook (light yellow pink).

This is a new product that has been added to the permanent range. MAC describes it as, “A lightweight blush with extreme colour perfection and non-fading, eight-hour wear. Ultra fine, silky powder glides on and blends easily to provide a moist, flawless, natural finish or with layering, a brighter, more dramatic look.”

Baby Don’t Go is a light beige brown with a barely-there sheen. It’s sheer when applied, and I can only see this showing up on very fair-skinned individuals–even that you may require some layering! In the full face photo of me, I applied about four layers of blush–and I’m not even sure you can really see it on. The texture is so soft, but it is powdery. Tarina Tarantino Neopolitan Lane is slightly pinker. Burberry Russet is a bit darker, browner.

Blush All Day is a soft pink with subtle yellow undertones and a golden shimmer. On the skin, the shimmer isn’t very noticeable. This shade is on the sheerer side and required layering, but it wasn’t as powdery as Baby Don’t Go. I did have to apply four layers of product to get noticeable color on my skin tone, so again, this is a color better suited for someone with very fair skin. MAC Brit Wit is grayer. Chanel Pink Cloud is lighter. MAC Pet Me has a stronger yellow undertone.

Eternal Sun is a subdued orange with a satin-like finish. It looked more matte on the skin. This one seemed to swatch better than the others, but when applied to the cheeks, it still took four layers of product to achieve noticeable color, so it’s a shade that would suit very light complexions. MAC Worldly Wealth is browner, less orange. MAC Sun Power is very similar.

Rosy Outlook is a pale pink with subtle yellow undertones and a gentle sheen. Even though I see there’s shimmer in the product, it doesn’t translate onto skin. I think that’s because these have a powdery texture, that it tends to look more matte on the skin. Illamasqua Naked Rose is darker. MAC Crew is very similar. Chanel Brompton Road is more blue-based. Chanel Horizon de Chanel is darker. MAC Stunner is comparable.

The texture of these is very different from their regular blush formula. It’s incredibly soft and feels silky, but all four shades were also incredibly powdery. There was just a lot of excess powder that billowed in the wind and sat upon the skin. If you have oilier skin, it might not be as noticeable on, but on my normal cheeks (at least, when swatching and testing these), they looked almost caked on and visibly powdery. Part of that is undoubtedly due to how much product I have to apply to get any color to show up on my medium skin color. If you have really fair skin, you should be able to get away with (somewhat) less product.

It feels lightweight, even though it doesn’t look that way on. The finsh is more matte than natural on; the powderiness contributes to giving it a mostly matte appearance. Though MAC says you can layer these, I did not find them very buildable, because they disappeared so readily. When you applied the product and went to layer on more product, it just swept away what you originally put on, so despite going through the steps, the result looks about the same as when initially applied.  I have to emphasize:  every swatch (whether on the arm to on the face) is layered three or four times for visible color payoff–this is three or four times the amount of product I use for 95% of swatches.

I’ve been testing the wear on these for a few days now, and the wear was disappointing. I had similar problems with the blushes that I did with the eyeshadows. Baby Don’t Go wore visibly for three hours and was gone by six; Blush All Day managed not to fade until the fourth hour, but by six, it, too, had disappeared. Eternal Sun started to fade after five hours, and it had gone into the ether after seven hours (best-wearing so far!). Rosy Outlook started to fade after four hours and was totally missing after six hours.

Not every color is going to be as wearable on every skin tone, which isn’t unexpected. What’s odd is that some of these colors I’ve come across before (by other brands) and have been able to get those to show up on my skin tone (which is medium, around NC30), but you can’t really see any of these on me except Eternal Sun.  Even in cases of lighter shades (including other blushes by MAC), I can get the same color payoff in one sweep of color as I did with four sweeps of color of these. For all of the swatches, I had to pile on the product; it’s not just a normal swatch but a swatch of desperation. The first round of swatches I took, you couldn’t even see, so I had to re-do them and really pack each one on.

I can only see these working (as far as payoff goes) on very pale skin tones (NC/NW15 or lighter)–again, Eternal Sun was more buildable, so light to light-medium complexions could get it to show up with enough packing on of the color.  And that’s assuming that you’re able to get a better wear-time out of them than I did. Unfortunately, they wore consistently poor and faded faster than many other blushes I’ve reviewed. I usually find blushes last between six and eight hours to varying degrees, but so few of them actually disappear entirely.

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Blushes (Part 1)

F
4
Product
6
Pigmentation
6
Texture
6
Longevity
3
Application
56%
Total

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Eyeshadow (Part 2)

MAC Bloom On Pro Longwear Eyeshadow
MAC Bloom On Pro Longwear Eyeshadow

Three Pinks to Think Twice About

This review focuses on three new shades of MAC Pro Longwear Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) from the latest launch, Office Hours: Bloom On (light burnt rose), Endless Passion (mid-tone rose), and More Amour (mid-tone red).

Bloom On is a pale rose-beige with neutral undertones and a matte finish. The color applies rather sheer; I had to layer it just so the swatch would show up. It requires a lot of product on the lid, and I had to use it over a primer to boost the impact (or else it wasn’t visible). It was very dusty. MAC Pink Frontier has a stronger yellow undertone and a shimmery finish. MAC Hush is lighter.

Endless Passion is a pinky-mauve with a soft, satiny finish. It had so-so color payoff when layered, but it was on the softer side, so it was prone to disappearing if you made any sweeping motions. It just didn’t sit well on the lid–imagine a “Do Not Disturb” sign hanging off your lid when you wear this. This shade also darkened when it was applied (compared to how it looked in the pan). NARS Douce France is lighter. Wet ‘n’ Wild Bright Idea is more shimmery. MAC Rose is a smidgen lighter and more shimmery.

More Amour is a muted pink-red with a matte finish. This was the most pigmented shade out of all the ones I’ve seen so far. It was also the least powdery, though it still had a fair amount of dustiness. MAC Passionate is a bit brighter. MAC Sushi Flower is quite similar.

Here’s how MAC describes these: “A unique longwearing Eye Shadow with a silky, creamy texture formulated for maximum colour impact. Easily blendable and buildable; lids are visibly smooth no matter how intense the application. Lasts 8 hours.” These should have a great texture, be nicely pigmented and blendable, while wearing for eight hours.

Out of these three shades, More Amour was the only one that was visible after six hours of wear (both over a primer and directly on bare lids); Bloom On and Endless Passion both looked faded after three hours and were missing in action after six hours.  These three had the same dusty, powdery texture that makes them difficult to use.  When you apply the color, it’s barely there, and when you attempt to layer or build the color up, it disappears very easily. The more you attempt to build the color, the more powdery it looks, which resulted in lids looking kind of dry.  More Amour may have been the best out of a bad hand, but it’s still just a so-so eyeshadow. It was somewhat powdery, and it faded substantially after six hours.

To reiterate:  when MAC released this formula originally (about a year ago), it was a lovely formula that was nicely pigmented, blendable, and long-wearing (seriously, they lasted 12-hours without a primer). The texture of these doesn’t feel like the ones from last year. They feel like different formulas entirely.

MAC Office Hours Pro Longwear Eyeshadow (Part 2)

F
4
Product
6
Pigmentation
6
Texture
5
Longevity
3
Application
53%
Total

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