Monday, July 5th, 2010

MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara
MAC Haute & Naughty Mascara

The Tale of Two Mascaras

MAC Haute & Naughty Lash Mascara ($18.00) is the latest in mascara innovation from MAC, and though the formula itself isn’t the key innovation here, it’s actually a nice formula.

I’m personally a big fan of MAC mascaras — Plushlash is my favorite MAC mascara (and second favorite mascara–Chanel Exceptionnel being the first), with Zoomlash and Opulash coming in second and third, respectively. Haute & Naughty Lash is as two-in-one as they lead you to believe, but I don’t love the fuller, more dramatic part nearly as much as the softer, more defined half.

The daytime end (the smaller opening) really cleans off the brush so that there really isn’t much mascara on it, but it keeps all that actual mascara in the tube–so you’re not wasting it, like you would if you blotted off excess with a tissue or the like. The smaller opening has a fairly large mascara wand with a tapered end, and the effect it gives is longer, fuller lashes with definition and great separation. It doesn’t clump at all, and it gives a nice full-lash look with nice length and blackness. All it doesn’t do it thicken lashes. It also seems to lift lashes a bit, too, and it held a curl well for me.

The evening end (the larger opening) allows for more mascara on the brush, even though the brush itself is essentially the same. It thickens quite a bit, but it also has more of a tendency to clump if you get too much on the brush (much like most mascaras). It lengthens, but I think because it tends to clump, it looks like there is less volume and length.

The way this mascara works is when you open using the smaller end (the first opening – the pink ring), the entire brush pulls through the opening of the larger mascara. There are actually two handles, not so much wands (the brush itself is the same) — when you open with the small tube, the skinnnier handle pulls through the larger, hollow handle of the dramatic opening. It’s kind of hard to describe, but I took a photo for you.

I don’t recommend playing around too much with it to see how the technology works (once should be sufficient!), because it does show how much mascara is removed from the brush itself as you pull it through the smaller opening–but you get it all over the larger wand when it’s outside of the tube, so you end up having to wipe it off with a paper towel rather than keeping it in the tube for later use–aka wasteful!

I dig the separation technology they’re using here, because it’s not so much in the formula as it is in the packaging itself, which is nice, since they did up the price by $6 just for it. You’ll need to comb through your lashes, and you may even need to blot the brush, if you’re going to use the more dramatic end of it, because it has a tendency to clump a bit on lashes.

Both mascaras held up well during all-day wear–no smudging, budging, or flaking. My lashes also felt soft, never crunchy, which was really nice. I also felt like I could put on a quick layer of additional mascara in the evening without much fuss, just in case you want to refresh your mascara without removing all of your eye makeup.

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

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you like longer and defined lashes, Haute & Naughty Lash does this amazingly well. It also gives you the option for thicker lashes, too, which is kind of convenient to have in one mascara.

AVAILABILITY: Nordstrom

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC Nail Lacquers: Morning.After., So Rich So Pretty, Military

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Nail Lacquers

Alice + Olivia included three new and limited edition nail lacquers.  I wanted to fall in love with these, but I just wasn’t blown away. Morning.After. was my favorite of the three, because of the way it seems to take on a different tone depending on the lighting, but it’s not as opaque as I’d like. Military reminds me of every other black + silver matte polish out there–I guess I’m just over that shade!

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $14.50 CDN)

  • So Rich So Pretty is a fuchsia-purple with red undertones and red and purple microshimmer. I found it needed three coats to be opaque, and the formula was on the thinner side (though it didn’t feel runny).
  • Military is a light black with silver sparkles and a matte finish. It’s like a blacker version of Studded. It dries really fast, as many mattes do, and it was incredibly pigmented–you could almost get away with just one coat.
  • Morning.After. is a pain in the butt to photograph, because it looks bluer in natural light and tealer in more direct light. It’s more of a dusty blue-teal with heavier blue tones than green/teal tones. There is a little bit of visible nail even with three coats, though.

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
Pigments: Partylicious, If it Sparkles…, Later.

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Pigments

Pigment fiends–I don’t know if I’d pass on these new shades from Alice + Olivia. They have excellent textures, and both Partylicious and Later are beautiful.  If It Sparkles would be the only one I’d think about skipping, since it’s less unique.

Pigment ($19.50 U.S. / $23.50 CDN)

  • 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.
  • If It Sparkles… is an iridescent icy pink with a frosty finish.  It reminded me of a smoother–but frostier–version of Pink Opal, actually.
  • Partylicious is an aqua-teal with flashes of pearly green and green-teal.  This is ridiculously lovely.  If you’re even remotely a fan of aqua/teal, this is a total must-have.  Like don’t let this one pass you by!  It almost feels like a duochrome.  At first, I thought it was similar to Parrot–except it’s greener, lighter, and tealer.  It’s not nearly as blue as Parrot.  It is GORGEOUS!

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
Dazzleglass Creme: I.Want.Candy., Sparklicious, If It’s Pink…

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Dazzleglass Creme

Three new and limited edition dazzleglass cremes launch on July 8th with the Alice + Olivia collection.  My favorite was If It’s Pink, just because it’s the most wearable on its own, but it would lovely over pinks, corals, and nudes.  I.Want.Candy. is fun, but it’ll take some playing around to find the right combos to use it with.  I would also say that it is a lot more colored than Springbean, which is also a chartreuse-y shade.  Sparklicious is another shade that’s better layered than alone (but more wearable on its own than I.Want.Candy.)

Edited @ 4:10PM:  Added lip swatches & review! :)

Dazzleglass Creme ($18.00 U.S. / $21.50 CDN)

  • I.Want.Candy. is a semi-sheer yellowed chartreuse green with green-gold shimmer. It does, actually, impart significant color, given both that it’s green (even though a brand may put an unusual shade out, they often mute it) and a gloss. I don’t find it particularly wearable alone, but perhaps over pinks or corals. Because of the yellowness in the shade, it will pull the yellow tones in your teeth.
  • Sparklicious is a sheer silver and pink shimmered shade. It almost has a milky white-pink base, but it’s hardly noticeable. It’s super sparkly, so it lives up to its name. It kind of reminded me of She Loves Candy Lipglass from Hello Kitty.
  • If It’s Pink… is a semi-sheer brightened fuchsia pink with softer pink shimmer. It delivers plenty of color without being full-on color.

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Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC In the Groove Collection
MAC In the Groove Collection

Sneak Preview: In the Groove Collection

Time’s up — will post everything else as soon as I can! This is not the full collection — I’ll be buying the rest when it launches in-store on Thursday, July 8th.

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC Alice + Olivia Collection

Sneak Preview: MAC Alice + Olivia Collection

How exciting!  These just arrived this afternoon, and I’m so happy to be able to share with you.  And secretly?  I was anticipating Alice + Olivia more than In the Groove!

Packaging photos! Continue reading →