Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme: Part 1

Once I’ve been able to test out the wear of these a bit longer, I will post an overall/recap post to talk more about how these feel, wear, etc. (as well as give you a product rating).  So far, I’m on hour three!  I’m splitting these up into two posts, to help cut down on loading time and demand on the server.  Plus, it means you can read this post while I write up color descriptions and put together part 2! :)

  • Extended Play is a deepened red with a subtle blue base. It has a subtle ruby micro-shimmer, so it looks and reminds me of a holiday red. It does seem reminiscent of Queen’s Sin but glossier, not as frosty. This is a cream finish.
  • Faithfully Yours is a plummy wine with neutral-cool undertones. It seems a bit like Amorous but darker, a little cooler. This is a cream finish.
  • Goes and Goes is a brightened red-toned purple. This one reminded me of Up the Amp (I have no idea why I do not have a swatch of this lipstick up–must remedy that at some point), significantly less fuchsia/bright in comparison to Violetta. This is a cream finish.
  • Good to Go is a vibrant neon orange. It reminded me of Neon Orange–it’s hard to tell the difference between the two; Good to Go seems a little lighter but just as bright. Morange is also similar, but I would say it’s a touch lighter. All three are fairly similar, so unless you dig bright orange, you don’t need ‘em all. This is a cream finish.
  • Love Forever! is a cool-toned darkened fuchsia pink. It’s a little darker than Pink Nouveau, but they seem quite similar. This is a cream finish.
  • Made to Last is a plum-touched brown with subtle micro-shimmer. Though I don’t have them to compare directly, it seems similar to Retro (but darker) and Del Rio (but seems darker). This is a frost finish.

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Friday, August 27th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines: Video Review

As promised, here is my video review for the new MAC collection.  I tried to get through it as quickly as possible, and yet it still ended up being 32 minutes long.  Whew!  Grab lunch, coffee, carrot sticks… and maybe a merit badge if you actually watch the whole thing :)

Friday, August 27th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines Dupes
To Pamper vs. Call My Bluff

MAC Fabulous Felines: Comparisons & Dupes

Here are just some comparisons/dupes I did when I filmed the video review for the collection :) They’re really just the dupes I talked about in the reviews.  I wish I could do things like this more often, but it’s usually all about getting photos/swatches of the collection up as quickly as possible since I’m doing it either the afternoon before the launch or on launch day.

I figure it’s more important that you see everything swatched and reviewed, so at least you might be able to use it before everything sells out!  I try to call out possible dupes in the review itself and link to past swatches when they’re available instead–I just want everything to be done when the collection is relevant, not a week later when several things have sold out!  Trade-offs, trade-offs… sigh!  Wish it wasn’t so.

Ironically, to me, most of these aren’t dupes, but to me, a dupe is something about 99% similar, not 80 or 90%!  The term dupe definitely seems to mean something different depending on the person.  What does “dupe” mean to you?

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Thursday, August 26th, 2010

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010
Nail Lacquers: Concubine, Imperial Flower, Earthly Harmony, Ming Blue, Jade Dragon, Rain of Flowers

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010 Review, Photos, Swatches

Wait, you thought it was JUST Fabulous Felines today? You must be new to MAC ;) Indeed, MAC had a short and sweet launch of six nail lacquers (which might account for why there were none in Fabulous Felines!), all of which are Asian-inspired. nail expert Jin Soon was inspired by the “Forbidden City,” and she created shades inspired by the sculptures, architecture, fabrics, and decorative papers of Imperial China. Each shade has “pearl essences for subtle dimension.”

All of these need a top coat (but how many of us go sans top coat anyway?!), because they dry to a rather flat finish–a little shiny but not at all glossy; I used MAC’s Overlacquer top coat on all of these. The formula was on the thinner side overall, but the majority of shades were very rich in pigmentation. Having only purchased these this morning, I haven’t exactly been able to wear these long term, but I did notice that Jade Dragon and Rain of Flowers are shades that may stain (for sure Jade Dragon).

You can check out official information and promotional imagery as well.

Nail Lacquer ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Concubine is a darkened red with ruby and scarlet shimmer flecks. I used two coats in the swatching, but there’s still a bit of nail line showing, so a third coat would probably be best. It’s pretty, but if you already have a lot of shimmered reds, you could easily skip this shade.
  • Imperial Flower is a brightened medium orange with flecks of gold and orange shimmer. This is one of my favorites out of the launch, because it practically glows on nails. It is similar to China Glaze’s Orange Pacific, though Orange Pacific has more obvious shimmer. Just two coats — it was nearly opaque in one coat.
  • Earthly Harmony is this concrete greige taupe shade. It is a difficult shade to describe! It has faint flecks of yellowed gold shimmer. I needed two coats here, and this is the kind of shade that made me think of Chanel’s Particuliere–but it’s not a dupe–just in that same vein of ugly shades that are rather pretty. I found the formula of this one to be on the watery side, and it made it a little harder to apply.
  • Ming Blue is a brightened medium-dark ocean blue with softer blue shimmer. I used just two coats in swatches, and there’s my nail line faintly visible, but a third coat would definitely eliminate that. I didn’t see any immediate staining, but I could see this staining after a few days of wear.
  • Jade Dragon is a deep forest green with flecks of green-teal shimmer. It’s quite pigmented and applied the nicest out of the bunch (but I only found Earthly Harmony troublesome)–two coats was perfect. This one, however, stained my nails just during the time I swatched it.
  • Rain of Flowers is a deep, darkened black-purple base with flecks of violet shimmer. Two coats and I had opaque results, and I suspect this one might stain a little bit as well. I originally thought it might be similar to Illamasqua’s Baptiste or NARS Purple Rain, but it’s a lot more violet and less fuchsia.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like ‘em, and some shades do seem different than the norm.  It’s a nice collection overall, and I haven’t had any issues with MAC polishes myself!

AVAILABILITY: MAC

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Thursday, August 26th, 2010

MAC Fabulous Felines

MAC Fabulous Felines: Overall Review & Recommendations

OVERALL, Fabulous Felines has a lot of tones and shades perfect for autumn and certainly a plethora of products to choose from. Despite some of the darker and deeper tones, the collection feels rather sheer, muted, and tame. It doesn’t feel like a bold, rich mix of colors once you actually start to swatch through some of the products. Burmese Beauty is a set of products that easily work for both cooler and warmer skin tones, while Palace Pedigreed complements cooler skin tones best and Leopard Luxe for warmer skin tones. Keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you can’t wear cooler-toned products on your warmer skin!

Edited @ 8/26All products have now been added with full reviews, swatches, and photos.

Product Photos, Swatches, & Reviews

The SUPERSLICK LIQUID EYE LINERS have a very watery, thin consistency that’s soaked into a long, narrow-tipped pen. The applicator is soft against the skin, and it has enough give to allow you to maneuver around the natural curves of the eye lid. With a light hand, you can get a very thin, precise line, but you can more easily get a thicker line. They’re incredibly smooth to apply, because the consistency is so thin, but it also makes for a very long drying time. The liner was still a bit sticky five minutes after application, though it wasn’t smudging or budging (just sticky to the touch). If you want to use these as a base, I would suggest using a brush or your finger to thin out application so it will dry faster–otherwise it will just crease and dry creased (and then not budge!).

See more of my thoughts on the liners, must-haves, recommendations, and the whole nine yards… Continue reading →

Sunday, August 22nd, 2010

MAC Viva Glam Lipglass - Gaga and Cyndi
MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass

MAC Viva Glam Lipglass — Cyndi & Gaga

Coming at you on September 2nd, MAC will launch corresponding lipglasses to February’s roll out of Viva Glam Cyndi and Gaga Lipsticks. Like the lipsticks, the lipglasses are only around for a limited time (six months) — both the lipsticks and lipglasses will be available until February 2011.

Just like the same-named lipsticks, Cyndi is a coral with very subtle white micro-shimmer, while Gaga is a light pink with blue undertones and nearly imperceptible white micro-shimmer. Surprisingly, Gaga [lipglass] seems more wearable than its lipstick counterpart–it’s not as cool or blue toned, so its more flattering across skin tones.   Cyndi feels like there’s just a little less red to it–maybe a touch more coral, more orange, but certainly feels at least a smidgen brighter.  Both glosses are incredibly opaque for a gloss, which is nice–but they can, of course, be worn sheerly by simply using less.  It doesn’t take more than two or three swipes (depending on how big your lips are!) for a nice, opaque look.

When you’re looking for a lipstick/lipglass, Viva Glam is always a good way to go!

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