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MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Sahara Dust (light neutral beige), Cactus Thorn (mid-tone brown bronze), Desert (shimmering warm taupe), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Sand Storm (soft sheer warm caramel).

Sahara Dust is a pale beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a satin finish, officially. The color payoff is decent, and it works well as a highlighter on the brow bone or inner tear duct. Illamasqua Slink is similar, slightly frostier. MAC Brule is more matte. Giorgio Armani Madreperla has a frostier finish. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Vanilla is a touch lighter.

Cactus Thorn is a softened bronze-shimmered medium-dark brown. It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is good, though the texture was a bit dry. Dior Golden Savannaha is darker, browner. Giorgio Armani #26 is more shimmery. Urban Decay Chase is warmer and more metallic. theBalm Schitzo is very similar, but more pigmented and slightly more golden-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is richer.

Desert is a gray-tinged brown with a hint of plum. It has a satin finish. It has decent color payoff but had a dry, stiffer texture. Bobbi Brown Slate is softer, more matte. MAC Aurora is lighter, more frosted. Dolce &G abbana Jewels is grayer. Inglot #360 is similar but matte.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. I feel like every time I swatch Carbon, it gets worse. And I’m not swatching the same one! This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt! Because I happened to also have a really rich black that I was swatching (completely unplanned!) that was insanely pigmented, I took a comparison photo, just so you can see why Carbon is such a disappointment.

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Sand Storm is a warm, orange-tan with a soft, barely dewy finish (it read mostly matte when it dried down and set). There’s a yellowy-orange undertone that comes through. MAC Lush-Light is darker, browner. MAC Refined Golden is browner. MAC Tan Tint is a smidgen darker. It can be used sheerly with ease, and it can be built up a bit, though I’m not sure it will show up well on darker complexions–it just barely shows on mine (I’m about NC30 at the moment). It may add warmth without adding noticeable color. Yesterday, when I was testing the wear, my cheeks were slightly dry, and this wasn’t forgiving, unfortunately. I was hoping that the creamy consistency would help and was happy that I was testing a cream blush instead of a powder one, LOL! After six hours, it had separated and faded noticeably.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

It’s a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole.  The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with.  Sand Storm didn’t have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially.  These eyeshadows were less stellar without a primer–they were less blendable and faded after six hours. Over a primer, I saw some minor fading of Desert and Carbon.  

It’s hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal. I keep hoping for a stellar launch from MAC, but they aren’t making it easy at all.

I’ll have my review for the Jungle Camouflage palette up soon, but as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more shimmery, while Jungle Camouflage is more matte.

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

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MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer
MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer clear nude.” It’s a sheer light beige with a cream finish. Why does MAC describe this one as “sheer” and “clear” but that nearly colorless lipstick as “sheer” and “translucent.” The descriptions would be better if switched – as this polish is definitely not clear (sheer, yes!). Chanel Beige Petale is similar. MAC Sandpiper is darker, more opaque. Essie Kisses & Bisses is iridescent.

Unfortunately, this was a pale cream that was definitely streaky to work with. It wouldn’t self-level for me, and I attempted three different applications to get it to be even, but I didn’t have any luck. It levels out just slightly but not enough to be even and smooth. I think this is a color that works for a sheer shade, and it’s very work-friendly. It gave my nails a brighter, cleaner look–but it was streaky. The formula was slightly thick, but two coats didn’t feel too heavy. I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with MAC’s polish formula.

MAC Nail Lacquer Undercover Nude
7
Product
8
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
3
Application
79%
Total

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer
MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep blood red.” It’s a dark, brown-based red with a cream finish. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is much darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow is several shades darker. Essie Size Matters is lighter, less brown. China Glaze City Siren has less brown. MAC Sly as a Fox is browner. Chanel Rouge Fatal is a smidgen browner. Essie Limited Addiction is very comparable.

It is mostly opaque after two coats, but there’s a small level of translucency–almost because it doesn’t look quite even.  The consistency was thin but not watery; each coat seemed to deliver a fair amount of color payoff, but there was some streakiness that impaired the overall result.  I don’t have problems with the wear of MAC’s polish formula (I get a week with minor tip wear but no chipping), but a lot of the shades don’t have stellar formulas.

P.S. — I didn’t think MAC polish could get more expensive this year, but I was wrong.

MAC Nail Lacquer Underfire
Underfire
Underfire
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
3.5
Application
87%
Total

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MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sheer translucent nude.” (I will also note that MAC’s website only describes it as “nude,” which is more misleading than the press release’s description.) It’s a wash of warm beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a lustre finish. For all intents and purposes, it looks like I put lip balm on, because it looks completely colorless on my lips. As far as dupes go, any lip balm that has more of a sheen than a glossy shine would substitute.

It was hard to judge how long this worn on me, truly, because the only thing I could see visually was that lustre-like finish, kind of frosted but barely. Instead, I took a napkin and pressed my lips against this after two hours (at which point, it seemed like it was gone), and there was nothing on the napkin.  I repeated this experiment twice more – the second time, after an hour and the third time, after three hours. There was a little bit of product visible on the napkin after an hour, and again, none after three hours. The fact that color is coming off shows that it’s not 100% clear or invisible, but because your lips are not invisible or clear, they tend to “absorb” the color so it’s less noticeable on. I’m not a big fan of lustre finishes, as I tend to find them drying, and Tropical Mist was no exception, as it was somewhat drying after wearing it for six hours (back to back).

It’s sheer. It’s translucent. It’s pretty much exactly as described by MAC, except it’s nearly invisible. Sheer doesn’t mean clear, right? Translucent is the adjective more likely to suggest clear, though after reading about ten definitions across various dictionaries online, it suggests something that allows light to pass through but in a slightly diffused manner (e.g. frosted glass).  On that note, I’m going to go with this needs a wee bit more color to give it a more diffused quality but only take off one point.  Since it’s somewhat drying, it’s not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that’s going to look virtually colorless and not hydrating. I imagine some will expect a lower grade, but remember: MAC said this was sheer and translucent, so that’s the starting point for discussion.

MAC Lipstick Tropical Mist
7.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
4.5
Application
80%
Total

MAC Styleseeker Mattene Lipsticks

MAC Styleseekers Mattene Lipstickes
MAC Styleseeker Mattene Lipsticks

Why Aren’t Mattenes Permanent?

MAC Styleseeker Mattene Lipsticks ($15.00 for 0.08 oz.) includes five shades: Camden Chic (rich brick red), Delectable (orange-beige), Eden Rouge (bright blue-red), Fashion Nomad (bright red orange), and Fun Finds (light nude pink). All five shades are limited edition.

  • Camden Chic is a brown-red with a natural sheen. The color is opaque on. NARS Amsterdam has less brown in it. MAC Extended Play is more red than brown. MAC Unknown Pleasures is several shades darker, less brown. MAC Legendary is a smidgen darker. Shiseido Mystery is very comparable.
  • Delectable is a peachy orange with opaque color and a natural sheen. This shade, while still creamy, was a bit less forgiving on the lips. MAC Peachstock is lighter, less orange, more beige. Bobbi Brown Bare Pink is more beige. Cle de Peau Calliope is similar but not quite as orange.
  • Eden Rouge is a blue-based medium bright red with opaque color coveage and a natural sheen. Edward Bess Midnight Bloom is very similar. MAC Red Racer is similar, not quite as bright. CoverGirl Hot is also close. MAC Russian Red is a bit darker.
  • Fashion Nomad is a bright medium-dark orange with red undertones. The color coverage is opaque, even, and finishes with a natural sheen. We have seen this color over and over again by MAC. MAC Morange is similar–perhaps jsut a smidgen darker. MAC Booyah!!! is a bit more subdued. MAC Good to Go is close. MAC Neon Orange is also similar. Illamasqua Flare is more matte but close in color.
  • Fun Finds is a pale pink-beige with a mostly matte finish. This was the least creamy of the five, and it was definitely the least forgiving. It tended to emphasize any imperfections on the lips (and I actually swatched this first out of the Mattenes–I go light to dark if there are any potentially staining shades, like Eden Rouge, in the line-up). MAC Ruffian Naked is pretty similar, perhaps a little more gray-toned. MAC Myth is a bit pinker. MAC Innocence, Beware! is lighter, less pink.

Mattenes are supposed to deliver rich color, semi-matte finishes, and be hydrating and creamy to apply while still maintaining that semi-matte finish. These are very creamy; they glide-on and yield opaque color coverage in a single stroke–and even color at that.  Delectable and Fun Finds were the two shades that didn’t look really nice on; I think it’s the lighter color combined with the matte formula that makes it harder to really nails these types of colors–they just tend to be less forgivingo n the lips and accentuate the natural texture of my lips.  None of the five shades are particularly unique, though I liked the overall feel and look of Camden ChicEden Rouge, and Fashion Nomad (this one being the most dupeable).

Because Delectable and Eden Rouge have both been released previously, I tested those recently using the previous iterations I had, though the swatches and photos are of the most recent release.  Camden Chic wore for five hours, Delectable wore for four, Eden Rouge for six, Fashion Nomad for five, and Fun Finds for four.  While three were somewhat hydrating, Delectable and Fun Finds were just a little drying.  These are vanilla-scented and come in slim matte black tubes and contain just a bit less product than regular MAC lipsticks (0.08 oz. vs. 0.10 oz.).

MAC Styleseeker Mattene Lipsticks

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MAC Styleseeker Lipglasses

MAC Styleseekers Lipglasses
MAC Styleseeker Lipglasses

Surprise! Three Fantastic Opaque Lipglasses

MAC Styleseeker Lipglasses ($15.00 for 0.17 oz.) includes four shades: C-Thru (peachy beige with shimmer), Eclectic Edge (mid-tone clean true orange), Ready to Roam (mid-tone true blue red), and Restless (dark burnt bronze).

C-Thru has been reviewed C-Thru previously, and it is part of the original range.

Eclectic Edge is a medium orange with soft white micro-shimmer. It has a hint of red tones, but it’s mostly tangerine orange. It’s not too bright, but it’s no faded shade! The color coverage is mostly opaque, and it applies nice and evenly. MAC Riviera Life is similar but appears just barely darker. MAC Morange is darker, more orange, brighter.

Ready to Roam is a blue-based medium red with ruby red micro-shimmer–the shimmer is so subtle, I didn’t know there was shimmer until I applied it to my lips and saw it while editing photos! It’s there, and you’ll see it, but it’s subtle. This is mostly opaque and applies evenly and smoothly. Chanel Triomphal is darker with pink shimmer. MAC Driven by Love is darker but similar. MAC Totally Fab is lighter, less opaque. MAC Send Me Sailing has more blue in its base and has no shimmer. MAC Russian Red is very similar but has no shimmer.

Restless is a reddish-brown with copper and bronze shimmer–this one is shimmer-heavy. The color is semi-opaque but still applied evenly overall. MAC Purple Rage is redder, less brown, and has less shimmer. MAC Sonoran Rain is much redder. MAC Pret-a-Papier is similar but not as opaque. MAC Girls at Play has less brown, more berry coloring.

The three limited edition shades (Eclectic Edge, Ready to Roam, and Restless) are some of MAC’s best Lipglasses from recent memory. The reason is because they’re even, apply smoothly, and don’t accentuate lip lines by sinking into them.  All three shades are on the opaque side, but what’s remarkable is really just how evenly the color applies.  Lipglasses are sticky (one of the stickier formulas on the market) and have a thicker consistency, but they tend to be more long-wearing as a result of the tackiness. They’re also vanilla-scented. I tested all three shades over the past two days, and Eclectic Edge wore for four hours, Ready to Roam for five hours, and Restless for four and a half hours.

MAC Styleseeker Lipglasses

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