Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: The Sneak Peek Begins!

With unveiling parties happening across the country tonight, I thought I’d share a little sneak peek of the MAC Liberty of London Collection that will release, officially, in-stores on March 11th. Today, I’ll share with you photos, swatches, and reviews of the products I’ve been able to try so far. Please keep in mind that I am missing a few pieces (Give Me Liberty of London Eyeshadow; Peachstock Lipstick; and Frankly Fresh & A Different Groove Lipglasses) and will have photos, swatches, and reviews of those items on the in-store launch date.

First, before we get to the good stuff, I thought I’d share some fun facts and insights on how the collection came to be.

The MAC Give Me Liberty of London design is based on William Morris’ Strawberry Thief print, which dates back to 1883. Because MAC wanted exclusivity, Liberty reworked the original print while MAC collaborated on colours and design to modernize it.

On the packaging, James Gager, Senior Vice President and Creative Director for MAC Cosmetics, says, “I’m particularly proud of the packaging… White [packaging] speaks to a reawakening of everyone’s sensibilities for spring. [It] has a remarkably fresh, springy look to it. Even if you don’t know what Liberty is, you want to own these pieces because they are so unique and special. It’s evident that something original has taken place here in terms of the collaboration.

On the promotional imagery, Gager says, “The inspiration was all Liberty and all London.” Miles Aldridge, photographer, shot the visuals in London, with Charlotte Tilbury, makeup artist, created the look. (Both Aldridge and Tilbury are English!) Gager goes on to say, “The idea was to capture the spirit of the famous Brit wit, bohemian chic girl. Katy England, another famous Brit, styled the shoot. She also designed the outfit worn by the model, using many Liberty prints and turning them into an over-the-top ruffled dress. With the MAC Give Me Liberty of London collection, we aspired to capture the spirit of this dreadfully chic, cool English girl, sitting on a chair, decked out in all the British regalia. She’s a Liberty freak and a MAC addict; she can’t get enough of either brand.

Give Me Liberty of London launches March 11th, 2010 at all North American MAC locations, 1.800.588.0070, and www.maccosmetics.com (expect online to put it up a day or two earlier, though!). The collection will launch April 2010 for international MAC locations.

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

MAC Tabloid Beauty Collection
MAC Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour: Jazz-Y-Razz, Night Rose, Lishious,
Boss Brown, Betwixt, Sappho

MAC Tabloid Beauty: Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour Reviews, Photos, Swatches, Lip Swatches

Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolours only vary from the regular PLWs in one way: they have a shimmery gloss on the end. However, you can actually purchase replacement gloss ends (just alone), and you can always opt to swap it for the regular clear gloss or replace it with the shimmery one. I’d recommend the same application technique with these as I did in the previous post. Oh, and while I’m remembering, last I checked, you can B2M for these as well… (Hopefully, someone who has done B2M more recently than I–it’s been many months for me–can confirm or deny!)

Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolour ($21.00)

  • Jazz-Y-Razz is a shimmery, almost frost finish shade of muted pinky-beige. MAC describes this shade as “dirty plum with pearl,” but I really didn’t see much plum in it myself. Despite its frostiness, it applies well and looks even on.
  • Night Rose is a beautiful shade of rosy pink with a soft shimmer (which is emphasized by the shimmery gloss coat). This has always been one of my favorites, because it’s so wearable and looks good on a variety of skin tones.
  • Lishious is a peachy-brown with champagne shimmer. It looks a little creamy once applied, but it has that shimmer to it as well.
  • Boss Brown is a warmed-up brown with a copper/orange tone to it and gold shimmer. Nice, full color coverage.
  • Betwixt is a coppery red with copper-bronze shimmer. This is a nice mix of red without being overwhelmingly red. It applies smoothly and gives opaque color.
  • Sappho is a plummy berry that really doesn’t have much shimmer in its color coat, but the shimmery gloss coat adds it. This one blends really well with the lip, because it seems to meld with your natural lip color.

See more photos, swatches, & lip swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

MAC Tabloid Beauty Collection
Pro Longwear Lipcolour: Durashell, Clingpeach, Unchanging, For Keeps, Loyal;
Stuck on You, Passion Preserved, Lasting Lust, Perennial Rose, Commitment

MAC Tabloid Beauty: Pro Longwear Lipcolour Reviews, Photos, Swatches, Lip Swatches

Tabloid Beauty is a “collection” of sorts, but all of the products included in the collection are permanent products. MAC is showcasing some of their products that have some stellar results that are scientifically proven (according to the website). I’m only reviewing and showcasing the Pro Longwears — also included in the launch is Penultimate Eye Liner ($16.50), Plushlash ($13.00), Prep + Prime Line Filler ($19.50), and Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone ($19.50) — all of which I’ve reviewed previously.  Tabloid Beauty launches in-store on February 25th!

Though the Pro Longwears are permanent, since I’ve never done lip swatches for the majority before, I thought this was a good excuse to do so. Pro Longwears are one of the longest wearing lip products I’ve ever put on my lips. No, seriously. I could only manage to swatch four or five at a time, because they cling onto lips, which makes removal more grueling than typical lipstick/lipgloss. You’ll need an oil-based makeup remover to get this guy off, and you’ll likely want to blot and smear the oil-based makeup remover around to let it “sink” in and break down the product.

Pro Longwears are really great… once you know how to apply them.

A half hour before you apply, slather on lip balm, then blot off prior to application. I like to apply from the tube using the included doe-foot applicator and start on the bottom lip, smoosh lips together gently, then round out the top lip color. You have to be patient and use a steady hand, because this stuff dries fast and doesn’t budge after it dries, so you need to make sure to stay inside your natural lip line.

Next, let your mouth hang open a bit to dry. I like to wait about a minute to a minute and a half for it dry. After all of that, top with gloss. You’ll need to reapply the gloss every few hours as that part will fade away–the lip color itself stays on pretty well. It will breakdown if you eat really greasy/oily food, but it holds up decently through that, in my experience.

Just for clarity, I purchased 10 of the 16 featured here (six were press samples). I’m actually going to bestow most of these on my Mom as a little surprise gift when I see her next! (She loves PLWs–her favorite is Night Rose!) Also, for reference, if you purchase during the Tabloid Beauty collection is up (and “while supplies last”), they come in specially printed sleeves (they slip around the normal black box packaging).

Pro Longwear Lipcolour ($21.00)

  • Durashell is a milky pink with a golden, frosty sheen. Application with Durashell wasn’t as smooth or even as the other shades–it has a tendency to emphasize every flaw on your lips and can look a little streaky since it’s not quite as opaque as the other shades as well.
  • Clingpeach is a peach shimmered coral. This is one of my favorites, because it applies evenly and is totally opaque.
  • Unchanging is a pinky-nude with icy pink shimmer that looks pretty creamy once applied.
  • For Keeps is a reddened berry with multicolored shimmer. It has full color coverage and doesn’t settle into lip lines as much as some of the other shades.
  • Loyal is a milky-looking browned nude with no real shimmer. It looks creamier once you apply the gloss on top.
  • Stuck on You is a beautiful shade of berry-red with a gilded gold sheen. This one is such a stunning shade–you have to check it out in person to really see how it glows.
  • Passion Preserved is a brownish red with a little plum thrown in. It has a very creamy, opaque look when applied.
  • Lasting Lust is a retina-burning creamy red. It’s almost a neutral red, but it seems to lean orange-red just a smidgen. Super bright, opaque, and lush. This is a show-stopping red for sure. (Though, to be honest, Perpetuate is/was my favorite red PLW.)
  • Perennial Rose is a subdued, rosy red with golden shimmer. This has a shimmer, frost feel in the finish, but it still goes on opaque.
  • Commitment is a reddened brown with gold shimmer. It’s a very intense, bold shade when worn. It’s dark, vampy, and dare I say it? sultry!

Love or hate Pro Longwears?  What are your favorites?

See more photos, swatches, & lip swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

MAC Riveting Collection

MAC Riveting Collection: Overall Review, Thoughts, & Round-up

Note: This hits stores today :)

OVERALL, Riveting is an interesting collection, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a must-have kind of collection. It’s definitely going to appeal to some, while others will skip it because it’s not as wearable as other collections have been in the past. I think with Spring Colour Forecast just launching, that might be where more are going to put their money, rather than Riveting. Luckily, Riveting is a small and easy-to-swallow collection, unlike Spring Colour Forecast, which would make even the most seasoned MAC addict’s head spin!

I think with the mix of shades in this collection, it’s hard to make recommendations. I found that the product with the highest quality (e.g. good pigmentation, nice feel, etc.) was Show Orchid Lipstick (but it’s PRO, though I think everyone needs to own it… and dance around at home, if you don’t want to rock it to the grocery store!). The blushes are both pigmented, but I think it really depends on if you prefer your blushes intensely pigmented or not (I don’t, actually–I like medium intensity!).

Bubbles and Metal Maven lipsticks are funky shades, good for layering, but it just depends if you’re willing to mix it or if you want something you can wear alone, too. Lipglasses are both cute but pretty dupe-able. The only product that didn’t thrill me, in terms of quality, was the matte nail lacquer. Just not on par with other brands’ matte releases. I’d go OPI or Zoya instead. Studded was the only one I’d consider!

P.S. – Remember, Riveting launches in-stores  next Thursday, the 18th.  It’ll probably pop online either Monday or Tuesday.  (Likely Tuesday, given the Monday holiday.)

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

What are your must-haves? What are you skipping?

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

MAC Riveting Collection
MAC Studded Nail Lacquer

MAC Riveting Collection: Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

Finally, there are three matte-finish nail polishes. They are: Wham, Bam, Glam (officially described as a matte cool dark taupe), Studded (officially described as a matte true silver with pearl), and Black Enough? (officially described as a matte black).

Surprisingly, it feels like MAC was late to the party on this. They do, normally, seem to be fairly timely with their trend-based products. The formula on these is too thick for my taste–they’re almost kind of goopy. You might need to thin these polishes down a bit to make them easier to use. Even though matte nails are kind of cool, I do find they accent any flaws you have in your nails (like I have some vertical ridges/lines on mine, shh). Like other matte lacquers, these dry incredibly fast, which is probably my favorite aspect of matte polishes in general!

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

  • Wham, Bam, Glam is a dark taupe with a matte finish. Read the second paragraph in the post about texture/feel–it’s consistent across all three shades. Two coats to get a fairly even look and feel.
  • Studded is a silver shimmered gray with a matte finish, but it looks almost foiled or metallic, because of the shimmer. I liked this one out of the three, because it applied the best and looked the nicest afterward. It was still a bit thick in the formula, though. Two coats to get a fairly even look and feel.
  • Black Enough? is a rich matte black. Again, the formula was thick and the matte formula has a tendency to showcase imperfections in my nails. Two coats to get a fairly even look and feel.

Are you still feeling the matte look?

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

MAC Riveting Collection
MAC Full Fuchsia Blush

MAC Riveting Collection: Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

Two blushes are included in the Riveting Collection: Full Fuchsia (officially described as a very bright iridescent fuchsia) and Dirty Plum (officialy described as a deep plum). MAC lists both of these as permanent shades at PRO stores, but they’ll be limited edition at counters and stores while this collection is out. I heard that Dirty Plum was recently discontinued, though, so you might want to snatch it up anyway, if it’s your kind of shade…

Blush ($18.50 U.S. / $22.00 CDN)

  • Full Fuchsia is a vibrant deep fuchsia. It’s not ultra hot pink, but it’s nearly there. It’s just not quite as blindingly fuchsia as Show Orchid Lipstick is. It can be built up to very intense and bright, but even used lightly, it’s still a more intense blush than most. Think like a fuchsia version of Dollymix.
  • Dirty Plum is a dark, slightly muted plum. Like Full Fuchsia, it can easily be layered and intensified to its true in-the-pan color. Used lightly, you can get a softer color. This one reminded me a bit of Vintage Grape blush ombre from Spring Colour Forecast (at least, when used lightly–when used heavily, there are stronger purple tones in this one).

Have you been waiting for some pigmented blushes? Or are they too pigmented for you?

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →