Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection:  Photos & Swatches

MAC Baroque Boudoir Collection: Lipsticks

Every year, MAC presents us with a very limited edition, small-sized collection that’s decked out in more luxe packaging accompanied by equally more luxe prices. This year’s collection is Baroque Boudoir, which is in matte silver with shiny silver and black filigree overlay. This year’s collection contains a whopping nine items to covet: three lipsticks, three lipglosses, two shades of Sheer Mystery Powder, and a clutch.

The lipsticks are creamy, contain no shimmer, tend to be a little more pigmented, and apply more opaquely on lips, though this year’s are less pigmented than some of the previous years’ launches. Like the Lipglosses, I felt like these shades weren’t particularly special or standout. I’m am surprised, yet again, to not see a really excellent holiday red launched. And again, the price on these? Really obscene. They’re definitely not better than MAC’s lipsticks at $14 a pop; you could say these are, perhaps, a little more moisturizing, but not any more so than MAC’s Amplified Creme finish.

P.S. – I will do lip swatches this afternoon!

Baroque Boudoir Lipstick ($22.00 U.S. / $26.00 CDN)

  • Prive is a blue-based medium pink with a light sheen. It’s creamy, and it goes on so-so, not totally opaque, but still adds plenty of color to my lips. It reminded me of a more subtle Speed Dial Lipstick.
  • Baroque Boudoir is a plummy brown with a light sheen. It’s semi-opaque (you can kind of tell in the swatch) both on the skin and on the lips. I think it’s similar to Spice It Up! (a little redder) or Sheer Plum (a little browner) Lipstick.
  • Treasured is a creamy, semi-opaque neutral beige. MAC says it’s warm, it seemed neutral on me. It really didn’t jump out at me as warm (I almost wanted to say it was cool!). It reminded me of Jubilee! or even a more pigmented Fresh Brew Lipstick.

Let me also give you a quick run-down of the Sheer Mystery Powder, which I chose not to spend solely for the sake of photographing it. My bottom line is I don’t think it’s a particularly good pressed powder, and therefore not even close to being worth the $60 price tag attached to it. The compact is very similar to the Hello Kitty Kouture compacts, just with different embellishments. It’s also similar to Monogram’s from last year. It has some heft to it, but it’s not too heavy (unlike Couture and Stylistic’s compacts).

Sheer Mystery Powder is an extremely lightweight pressed powder. I find it a little too dusty and chalky to really enjoy it, and the shade range is incredibly limited. As NC30, I felt too dark for Light Medium and yet too light for Medium Plus. If you love the packaging, there’s no shame in purchasing it for the compact alone! If it makes you happy, it makes me happy! (Please note, the rating below is only for the lipsticks. For the compact, I’d give it an overall score of C for an average product housed in an overpriced compact.)

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 6/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 5/5

Recommendation: Like the Lipglosses, if you’re a big fan of the packaging, you might find it’s worth picking up one or two!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See more photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

MAC Mischief Makers Collection:  Pigment/Glitter Sets

Alongside the lipglass/lustreglass sets are three pigment sets. Each set includes four vials of pigments and one vial of glitter. MAC has them priced at $32.50 a pop, but they denote the value of the set as $39. Again, each set is housed inside a holiday box, so they’re easy to give away as gifts.

I always like the holiday pigment sets, because I think they give people a chance to try out pigments without investing $19.50 per shade (not to mention, you’re very unlikely to ever finish a jar–I never have… not even have I come close!). The only part I don’t love is the vial of glitter, as none of MAC’s glitters are eye-safe, so I just never find myself using them often. However, people do ask what can you do if not use them on the eyes, and my answer is: try them in your hair (e.g. mix with hair spray), mix into a nail polish, dust on your body, or pat onto your lips. Each vial is smaller than a full-size jar, but I really think you get more than you’ll probably need–certainly enough to last you years.

My favorite set was 5 Cool Capers, because I think they brought together some very bold, but perfect for fall/winter, shades. Running a close second was 5 Haute High Jinks, because I am always a sucker for earth tones. I think they’re flattering on a variety of skin tones and they tend to be easy to use (particularly the shades they chose–they all have excellent texture). 5 Sexpot is so-so, but it consists of mostly permanent shades, and I think I’d have liked to see the addition of a gray or silver in it, just for a little more kick.

See swatches and shade breakdownsContinue reading →

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

MAC Mischief Makers Collection:  Lipglass/Lustreglass Sets

Every year, MAC offers up holiday kits and sets for giving and receiving.  This year, there are three lipglass/lustreglass sets, each with three lipglasses and two lustreglasses, and all of them are in miniature sizes.  MAC has them priced at $29.50 a pop, and they denote the value of the set as $35.  (Yay, they did the math for me!)  Each set is housed in cute, giftable packaging (as pictured above), so they’re incredibly easy to give as holiday gifts.

The majority of the sets contain a mix of permanently available shades, repromoted shades, and the occasional brand-spankin’-new shade.   Long-time collectors may want to take a quick glance at their stash to see if they already own a lot of the shades (or need to replace some of their old favorites).  I did notice that they repromoted quite a few shades from 2005, which is about four years ago, and I imagine some of those lipglasses may be in need of an update.

Don’t forget — if you like one of the shades that’s permanent but aren’t sure about the rest, consider purchasing it by itself and in full-size! ;)

Overall, I really did like the way these came together. My favorite set was the 5 Models Misbehaving, but I’m also often attracted to bolder lip colors, even if I seldom wear them!  5 Sexy Shenanigans was the lightest/sheerest of the three sets, while 5 Frisky Business was a good mix of soft, medium, and bold.

See swatches and shade breakdowns Continue reading →

Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection: The Round-Up

MAC Holiday is always a bit of an overwhelming event, just because of the sheer size of the offerings. Each year, MAC puts out a holiday colour collection, but they also have several separate, yet related, launches of more giftable items. From eyeshadow and lip palettes to mini-sized sets (which are due out November 5th), MAC has you covered. There are also some store exclusive sets, too.  To help make sure you haven’t missed anything, here’s a compilation of all of the reviews for holiday:

Colour Collection

Kits & Palettes

MAC also released lip, eye, and brush gift sets, which I won’t be reviewing in detail (if you’re looking for a review, this is all you’re going to get–sorry!), because it includes mostly repromoted or permanent products. Each lip bag does feature one new, limited edition lipstick. They’re all good bang for your buck — you’re probably getting more than you would if you purchased the items separately, so they make good gifts or opportunities to pick up permanent items you may have skipped over in lieu of something limited edition.

On MAC Holiday Brush Sets: The holiday brush sets are machine-made rather than man-made (or handmade) as the full size brushes are. This is primarily what accounts for the difference in quality between brush sets and full size brushes. I do recommend the brush sets inasmuch as you’re on a budget and you think you’ll use the majority of the brushes included in the set. I started off just owning a holiday brush set, but I’ve since gone on to replace all my brushes with full sized versions. I’m disappointed that the eye brush set doesn’t contain the 239, which I think is one of the most vital, must-have eye brushes ever. The brushes themselves are sleek handled and look really nice, though they do feel a little scratchier/rougher than the full size versions do.

Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows

A good smoky eye palette is never a bad thing to have on hand. It’s useful, easy to travel with, and it’s classic. I’m not loving this year’s version of the smoky eye palette, because it’s more of a brownish eye, and I’ve always felt the classic smoky eye is monochromatic. I still hold that last year’s was better. (And I still contend that you can make your own smoky eyeshadow quad with permanent MAC eyeshadows just as well.)

6 Smoke & Mirrors Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Fire In Her Eyes is a super soft, slightly sheer beige with a light frost finish. In the swatch, you can tell it hardly shows up on my skin without a base. It’ll make a nice highlight, though.
  • Wide-Eyed Wonder is kind of a taupe-y brown with a reddish touch. There’s nothing about this shade that makes it jump off the page for me.
  • Black Magique is a velvety smooth deep dark black with brown tones. It has slight gold shimmer, but it’s hardly noticeable.
  • Spell No. 9 is a satiny neutral pink. It’s sheer, and it doesn’t do much for me.
  • Deception is a sheer, glittery copper bronze. Even though it’s a frost finish, it had more of a lustre feel to me.
  • Smoke & Mirrors is a cool-toned chocolate brown with a little gray sheen.

I”m not sold on this year’s. It reads more like a neutral eye palette than a smoky eye palette to me. It’s useful, and the colors are easily worn by many, so in that aspect, it’s a solid choice for those looking for a go-to palette.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

See photos and swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, October 16th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: 6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows

MAC’s Warm eyeshadow palette usually gets me. I’m warm-toned, and I naturally gravitate towards warmer shades. Give me gold and I’m a happy lady! This year’s warm eyeshadow palette isn’t my favorite, but I like half of it a lot. The other half is just so-so, but I’ve been known to purchase a palette for just one color… so I suppose half isn’t bad! I think the reason I don’t love half of the palette is that it doesn’t feel very “warm” to me.

6 Devil May Dare Warm Eye Shadows ($36.00 U.S.)

  • Oh My Darling is a soft, slightly warmed up beige with a frost finish. I like that this color is included, if only because it’s a very nice shade for a highlight. It’s not too frost or white, so it will work well on the brow bone.
  • Dare Ya! is a medium pink with kind of a peachy tone to it. It went on a bit sheerly on me, though.
  • Sorcery is a reddish-toned eggplant purple with a soft finish.
  • Gold Tease is a gorgeous shade of gilded gold with a metallic sheen. It reminded me of the Rushmetal pigments a bit, actually.
  • Prankster is an antique gold; kind of like a green-gold that’s played down. Again, gold, so of course I love it. I told you – three shades rocked my world!
  • Devilishly Dark is a warmed-up light chocolate brown with gold shimmer.

I would have bought this palette just for the two gold shades, but I have an unhealthy obsession with gold eyeshadow. (Particularly if they’re antique golds!)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

See photos and swatchesContinue reading →