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MAC Illustrated’s Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated - Smoky Eye Plum Kit
MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

New from MAC – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit ($49.50) includes three eyeshadows, two travel-sized brushes, Technakohl Eyeliner, and a travel-sized Zoom Lash mascara. It’s a Nordstrom exclusive set and available both in-stores and online. There is another palette available, but it contains all permanent shades, so I only purchased this one for review.

  • Creative Whim is a pale lilac with subtle cool undertones and a soft white frost. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was just so-so–there was obvious sheerness. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 is similar but more metallic in finish, slightly less pink. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is paler, cooler-toned. MAC Silverwear is lighter.
  • Drawn to Drama is a darkened violet purple with a blue shimmer-sheen. The texture was on the dry side, which you can even see in the swatch, which resulted in decent pigmentation but nothing to get excited over. Urban Decay Ransom is lighter. MAC Pink Union is brighter, more red-toned. MAC Parfait Amour is lighter. Urban Decay Frigid is nearly the same. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is more subdued.
  • Moody is a brown-tinged medium-dark gray with a satiny sheen. It is a veluxe pearl, and it is also a repromote. The texture of this is not at all like your typical veluxe pearl, because it lacks the buttery, dense feel. The color payoff is lacking, and it’s not usually the case with veluxe pearls that pigmentation is a problem. Instead, Moody feels dry and applies that way, making it difficult to blend out. Shocker of shocks! — it’s from an old nemesis, Evil Eye, where I actually made the same observations then as I did today. MAC Hint of Sapphire and Inglot #434 are most similar to this.
  • Purple Dash is a red-toned plum with subtle shimmer-sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Make Up For Ever #4L is just like this shade.  Technakohls tend to wear between six and eight hours on me.

All three eyeshadows are full-sized ($45.00 value), and the eyeliner is also full-sized ($14.50 value). The travel-sized mascara is half the size of a full-sized one ($7.50 value), and it’s hard to put a value on the travel-sized brushes. The brushes were scratchy when I tried using them, and I’m not a huge fan of the 212 as a good multi-purpose/general brush. It’s more of a specific action brush, so I don’t think it makes sense to include it in a set like this (you’d probably one brush to apply eyeshadow and another to blend it out). Though Nordstrom lists the value at $100, I’d put the value around $67 realistically.

While I personally like the collection’s illustrations, this palette is unwieldy. It’s just unnecessarily large, and it really does so in order to hold the brushes, eyeliner, and mascara. This might be something that would have worked better if they had made it a double-decker palette and hidden the brushes and eyeliner underneath the eyeshadow and mascara.  Too bulky to be a great travel palette!

I tried wearing the three shades together, and the nice thing about them is they coordinate well with each other.  The downside is that none of them are good eyeshadows; they’re all disappointing in some way or another.  All three shades suffer from lack of pigmentation, and Drawn to Drama and Moody are very dry and are difficult to blend during application.  Without a primer, they wore seven hours before looking a bit faded. With a primer, they lasted a full eight hours without creasing or fading.

MAC Illustrated’s Smoky Eye Plum Kit

D+
6.5
Product
7
Pigmentation
6.5
Texture
8
Longevity
3
Application
69%
Total

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MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Freehand Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated: Freehand, Totally Fab, Must Be Red!

MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Freehand Cremestick Liner (new and exclusive), Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme (repromote), and Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This set is limited edition and exclusive to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale, but it is available in-store and online.

Freehand Cremestick Liner is a medium yellow-based red that’s not too blue-based. It has good color coverage. The Cremestick Liner formula is fairly creamy without being something that would slip and slide–it will stay in place on its own or help your favorite lipstick last just that much longer. When I tested Freehand on its own, it lasted for an impressive eight hours, but my lips were noticeably parched after that.

Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme is an ornage-red with pink and white sparkle. Chanel Triomphal is blue-based and darker. MAC Russian Red is more opaque and blue-based. MAC Sonoran Rain has mor gold shimmer. YSL Golden Red is comparable but the gold shimmer is larger. MAC Wonder Woman is similar. Dior Little Red Dress is also comparable. It has semi-opaque color coverage. It wore for four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. There was some settling into lip lines, but the color coverage helped to hide it.

Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick is a subtly yellow-toned red with barely-there gold micro-shimmer. MAC Ruffian Red is a little more orange-toned. MAC Red Racer less yellow-toned, but they are similar. CoverGirl Hot is similar but more opaque. Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood is also comparable. It’s mostly opaque, but you can still see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through. This applied more easily than a lot of other Cremesheen lipsticks–it seemed a bit creamier. It wore for six hours and was slightly drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!).  Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag

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

MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Pink Treat Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated Collection: Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Pink Treat Cremestick Liner (part of the permanent range), Julia Dazzleglass Creme (new and exclusive), and Vivid Imagination Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This is a Nordstrom exclusive and is available both online and in-store now.

Pink Treat Cremestick Liner is a medium-dark neutral-cool pink. It comes in a twist-up mechanical pencil, and it contains 0.009 oz. I think Pink Treat was the first lip liner I ever bought (for sure, the first mid-range/high-end one). I don’t have that many lip pencils in my stash, so I don’t know what may or may not be dupes for this particular shade. It is significantly darker than the lipstick included in the set, though. I like Cremestick Liners, because they’re a lot more forgiving during application and when worn than other lip pencils. The only downside is, like most mechanical pencils, there isn’t a whole lot of product in ’em, and if you use it regularly, you’ll find yourself going through it relatively quickly.  This lip liner wears about six hours on its own.

Julia Dazzleglass Creme is a rosy beige-brown with soft pink and gold shimmer. There’s not a lot to the gloss–it’s really on the sheer side and adds mostly shimmer rather than color. It seems to bring out the redness in my natural lip color. It looked and acted a lot more like a regular Dazzleglass than the Dazzleglass Cremes (which typically have more color payoff). You could easily dupe this with any sheer, shimmer-filled gloss. Here’s a whole gallery of options. When I wore this, it lasted a mere hour and there was some traveling glitter particles.

Vivid Imagination Cremesheen Lipstick is a light-medium yellow-toned pink with a creamy finish. Le Metier de Beaute Fiji is darker. Bobbi Brown Orchid PInk iis lighter, less opaque. MAC Please Me is extremely similar–at most, marginally darker! It yields mostly opaque color coverage, and the consistency is thin for as creamy as this looks. It does pull and tug a little bit, though not like a particularly dry, hard-to-apply lipstick, but it doesn’t glide-on. I tested the wear on this shade, and it managed four hours (which is average), but it was a bit drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  I’m not over-the-moon about this set, unfortunately.  The best part about it is Pink Treat as far as quality goes, and if you like the design, then the bag might take the prize. (I dig it!)

MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

B
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
84%
Total

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MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Mineralize Eyeshadows
MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Eyeshadows ($20.00 for 0.06 oz.) features nine shades: Aurora (peach, green, brown melange), Bright Moon (grey, silver, icy green melange), Earthly (beige, peach, cool brown melange), Invincible Light (icy white, lavender, warm gold melange), Magnetic Attraction (orange, pink, gold melange), Neo Nebula (cream, warm amethyst, warm pink melange), Sky (green-gold, turquoise, cobalt melange), Universal Appeal (gold, bronze, violet melange), and Water (yellow, lime green, blue melange).

  • Aurora is a warm, golden medium-dark brown with a soft champagne sheen. It has swirls of light yellow-toned pink, dirty olive brown, and red-brown. It’s on the sheer side when applied dry, but it’s more opaque when applied wet. Dior Aurora is slightly darker. Buxom Golden Retriever is a touch darker, more red-toned. MAC Heavenly Bliss is a bit lighter, less warm. MAC Love Connection is more frosted, so it looks a bit lighter and more metallic. Milani Fusion is slightly more metallic.
  • Bright Moon is a cool-toned silver-shimmered gray-blue. It has swirls of gray-blue, silver, and aqua-blue. When applied dry, it has good color payoff, and when it’s applied dry, it has better pigmentation and applies more smoothly. The metallic finish is more apparent when it is used wet. It looks just like MAC Frozen Blue, which might be a smidgen more silver, but they’re really close. Urban Decay Crystal is less blue.
  • Earthly is a gray-tinted medium-dark brown with a pearly metallic sheen. The swirls are gray-beige, copper, and dark brown. It has good color payoff both wet and dry. MAC Caviar Dreams is a bit darker. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is warmer, darker. MAC Magical Mist is similar but more subdued.
  • Invincible Light is a pale warm pink with a subtle golden shimmer. It’s pretty sheer when applied dry and better when applied wet, but it isn’t as smooth as I’d like–slightly gritty. It has swirls of ivory, copper, pink, and lavender. MAC Star Crystal is grayer. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby is pinker.
  • Magnetic Attraction is a coppery coral-red with subtle golden shimmer. It has decent to good pigmentation when used dry (it looks more orange), and great color payoff when used wet. It has swirls of raspberry pink, golden yellow, and coppery orange. MAC Spicy Smoke is more intense. Milani I Heart You is redder. MAC In the Sun is darker, browner. MAC Red Hot Copper is similar but darker. MAC Coppering is more intense.
  • Neo Nebula is a slightly mauve-y pink with a metallic finish. It has swirls of light pink, medium warm pink, and mauvy plum. When used dry, it’s very sheer, but when used wet, it’s smoother and more pigmented. MAC Rose Light is slightly pinker. Inglot #399 is pinker and darker. Giorgio Armani #7 is more muted. MAC Pink Union is slightly more purple and darker. MAC Circa Plum is darker, grayer.
  • Sky is a faded blue with a hint of green with a green-gold shimmer. It has swirls of light-medium green, electric blue, and cobalt blue. The color payoff is sheer when used dry, and it’s better when wet, but it’s still not fully opaque. Urban Decay Shattered is a bit more teal. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit doesn’t have the same gold shimmer.
  • Universal Appeal is a smoky eggplant purple with golden shimmer. It has swirls of yellowy green, dark brown, orange, and purple. When applied dry, it’s very brown and on the sheer side, while when wet, it takes on a purple hue. MAC Azuki Bean is a smidgen darker. theBalm Curvy Cami is purpler.
  • Water is a dark but muted blue-green. It has swirls of yellowy chartreuse, chartreuse, mint green, and navy blue. The color payoff is atrocious when used dry, and it’s decent when used wet. Illamasqua Android is much more opaque and intense. Urban Decay Hijack is more opaque and intense. Urban Decay Loaded is more intense, more blackened in base color.

Whenever I have Mineralize Eyeshadows to review, I think it’s important disclose that I generally do not have a lot of success with them. They always look absolutely phenomenal in the pan; they’re amazing products to photograph, but application tends to be disappointing.  I know that there are readers who, on the other hand, enjoy these eyeshadows immensely and look forward to the mineralize-themed collections that MAC puts out.  The reasons I don’t like these is:  lack of color payoff, fall out, and poor wear (fading/creasing, mostly fading). Not all shades perform the same; some are better, some are way worse.

I did three looks, where I used three shades for each one.  When I wore Bright Moon, Sky, and Earthly together, they held up so-so over time.  There was noticeable fading, slight creasing with Bright Moon after six hours, while Sky was less faded and no real creasing to speak off. Earthly was fairly faded.  I had about the same results whether I applied over bare lids or over a primer (NARS Smudgeproof). Sky stains the lid, even when used over a primer.

When I wore Magnetic Attraction, Aurora, and Water in a look, they, too, held up okay but not well.  Magnetic Attraction was the best, with only minor fading but no creasing after eight hours.  Aurora was looking faded after eight hours, while Water was barely visible–not to mention it was such a pain to apply and to get to show up at all from the very beginning. The texture and feel of Water just didn’t work well; it was a little gritty and dry.  The wear didn’t seem to improve with or without a primer; both were in the same state after eight hours.  Water also stains the skin, just as a heads up.

The last trio I used included Invicible Light, Neo Nebula, and Universal Appeal.  Invincible Light is very prone to fall out, and it can accentuate any texture on the lids, because it doesn’t apply smoothly. I was able to get plenty of color out of it by using it wet, but it did have some of its own problems.  Neo Nebula and Universal Appeal were easier to use on the lid.  However, the whole look lasted about five hours and had nearly disappeared after eight hours–and the photos are of the shades over primer (and the eye without primer looked the same).

It’s a shame that there were wear issues with these. I thought a lot of these were more blendable this time around than in previous releases.  Some shades had decent to good color payoff when dry, as well as wet.  None of it lasted a full eight hours, though, and some were nearly gone entirely after eight hours.  I don’t know if there are many products that I’m as desperate to fall in love with as MAC’s Mineralize Eyeshadows. They look gorgeous in their pots. They’re absolutely stunning to behold.  I know people love them. I want to love them, but I just can’t.

MAC Heavenly Creatures Mineralize Eyeshadows

C
7
Product
8
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
4
Application
76%
Total

MAC Heavenly Creatures Cremesheen Glasses

MAC Astral Cremesheen Glass
MAC Astral Cremesheen Glass

MAC Heavenly Creatures Cremesheen Glasses

MAC Heavenly Creatures Cremesheen Glasss ($19.50 for 0.09 fl. oz.) features five shades: Astral (bright yellow pink), Celestial Kiss (pale cool peach), Galaxy Rose (mid-tone violet pink), Meteoric (mid-tone vibrant coral), and Strictly Plutonic (mid-tone pink brown).

  • Astral is a bright strawberry pink with yellow and red undertones and a fine smattering of micro-shimmer. MAC Dare to Dare is a bit lighter. NARS Mexican Rose is pinker, darker. MAC Radiant Jewels is more fuchsia. Lancome Electric Pink is darker and more fuchsia.
  • Celestial Kiss is a pale peach with white micro-shimmer. Despite the lightness of the shade, it doesn’t settle too noticeably into lip lines (especially from a normal viewing distance) and applies evenly without bunching up in places or looking really milky on lips. MAC Rich & Witty is very similar but has more shimmer. MAC Passing Fancy is a little more peach. MAC Poetic License is paler.
  • Galaxy Rose is a deepened raspberry pink with the barest hint of plum. It has a creamy consistency and finish. MAC Just Add Color is similar in color but has fuchsia shimmer. MAC Radiant Jewels is bluer-based and has shimmer. NARS Mexican Rose is bluer-based.
  • Meteoric is a coral-pink with golden orange shimmer. It’s semi-opaque in color coverage and applies evenly and smoothly. MAC Star Qaulity is much more vibrant–almost neon in comparison–without any shimmer; warmer in tone. Revlon Strawberry is much, much darker and redder. Chanel Nakkar is slightly sheerer and lighter.
  • Strictly Plutonic is a rosy brown with no shimmer. It’s semi-sheer but definitely changes my lip color. Korres Natural Purple is more orange. YSL Pure Watermelon is warmer, lighter. MAC Viva Glam Cyndi is brighter and more opaque. MAC So Vain is slightly more coral, lighter. MAC Over Indulgence is browner, darker.

Cremesheen Glasses are vanilla-scented (but no discernible taste), not too thick or too thin (almost gel-like in consistency to me), and non-sticky. They come in large, clear plastic tubes with a doe-foot applicator. The tube is a bit misleading, because it seems rather hefty, but inside is a mere 0.09 fl. oz. (Lipglass has 0.17 fl. oz.)–and it’s always been a sore point with me.

I spent most of today testing out the wear of these five:  Astral wore for three hours, Celestial Kiss for two hours, Galaxy Rose for three and a half hours, Meteoric for three hours, and Strictly Plutonic for two and a half hours. The wear time is a little off-putting, especially when coupled with the lesser amount in the tube, since frequent application is required.  I usually get around four hours of wear with gloss, and I will say this batch of Cremesheen Glasses performed better (on the whole) than a lot of other shades I’ve tried.

I think they feel really nice on the lips, and though I wouldn’t say super moisturizing, my lips weren’t cracked by the end of the day.  While many shades released in this formula have been pale and milky or else so sheer there is difficulty distinguishing one from the other, these sit and lie well on the lips–they have a really juicy, natural look. They enhance and play well with one’s natural lip color. There wasn’t a lot of settling into lip lines, except some minor settling with Celestial Kiss (which is also the lightest shade in the launch).

MAC Heavenly Creatures Cremesheen Glasses

B+
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7.5
Longevity
4
Application
88%
Total

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