Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

MAC Barelash Pro Longlash

MAC Nude: Barelash Pro Longlash Mascara

MAC Barelash Pro Longlash Mascara ($13.00) is a nude-beige shade in the Pro Longlash formula. I definitely got length without spikiness, but the formula is on the drier side, so it has a tendency to clump if you don’t work quickly. On my lashes, it seemed to give me beige tips, but the root and most of the lash length was only a muted gray or else still a black-brown.

I have Pro Longlash in the black shade, so I’m definitely going to make sure to do an official review of that soon, but the formula can be difficult to work with such a short drying time.  It lengthens well, and it doesn’t clump unless you work slowly.  I also experienced no smudging, budging, or flaking while wearing this over eight hours.   The brush is also small enough that it’s very easy to get to all the lashes from root to tip, including lower lashes.

Official description: Goes the distance. Makes lashes luxuriously long and silky: no spikes! Luxury and longitude in a pro-proven formula. Accelerates lashes into length, smooth and fast. Smooth silky finish. Wears long (all day!) Go the distance: bat-a-lash!

I tried to layer mascara on top of it, and it seemed to amp up colored mascara a bit, but it doesn’t work so well, since it dries quite quickly. I’ve had better results with a mascara primer, because they stay wetter longer and don’t require as many coats to mute your natural lash shade.

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

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: Barelash gives decent length and stays on without smudging or flaking off during the day, but the shade itself is a bit odd to work with (particularly since it’s hard to work with colored mascara on top of the dry formula), so I don’t think most customers would have a good use for it.

Availability: MAC PRO

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Thursday, May 27th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection: Overall Review & Round-up

To the Beach debuts in-store on May 27th, 2010 in the U.S./Canada, as far as I know. There are preview parties at select locations on May 18th. Otherwise, it should be available online around May 25th.

EDIT/UPDATE: Just moving this post up for all those who went to an unveiling party tonight! :)  I hope you got everything you wanted.  Shout outs to Tatiana & Olivia for saying hello to me @ Hillsdale!  Can you believe that the unveiling had already pre-sold the majority of the Marine Lifes?  There were literally three available.  I was customer #2 and only ended up with one.

ANOTHER EDIT/UPDATE: Just moving this post up since it’s officially out now, though goodness knows it’s been one crazy launch.

This is quite the launch, with 31 products releasing all at once. You can think of the collection in two parts — the traditional color collection and a secondary bronzing collection. The packaging doesn’t do anything for me either way; I don’t find it particularly cheap or tacky, but it doesn’t blow me away either. I like the mixture of products in this launch–there are some bright pops of color, subtler, more wearable colors, and everything in-between. I think it’s well-rounded collection that’s perfect for summer (with the color selections), but it’s pretty wearable.

I do recommend purchasing Marine Life if you think you want it. It’s just not going to be a product you’ll have the luxury of time with. Again, I fully believe it will sell out shortly after it becomes available online. I’ve heard some stores have received less than ten! I also anticipate Sweet & Punchy, Thrills, Life’s a Breeze, and both brushes to sell quickly. I would not be all that surprised if In the Buff, as oddly received as it has been, goes fast as well.

P.S. — I will try to get brush reviews up shortly. I’ve had them since whenever they originally launched, but I never reach for them, so I’m going to play around with them this weekend!

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Marine Life High Light Powder, Sweet & Punchy (if you have nothing like it), Thrills Lipstick, Fun Bathing Lipstick, Life’s a Breeze Lip Pencil

Nice-to-haves: Float on By Eye Kohl, Life’s a Breeze Lip Pencil, Hipness Blush, Get-Away Bronze Blush

Skip: Beachbound, Sand & Sun

Skip if…

  • Skip SWEET & PUNCHY if you have RATED R, SOUR LEMON, or EYEPOPPING (all previous limited edition shades).
  • Skip BEACHBOUND if you have MELON (pigment–use it sheerly with balm), ARCHETYPE (from Pret-a-Papier), or TANARAMA (permanent).
  • Skip the EYE KOHLS if you eyeliners are prone to smudging and migrating on you (e.g. the majority of eyeliners you’ve tried do so).
  • Skip FUN BATHING if you have “O” (permanent) — unless you adore and wear it all the time–though Fun Bathing has the copper-metallic-bronze thing going on that’s less apparent in “O.”

Don’t forget to…

Check your stash for SHIMMERMOSS (permanent), HUMID (permanent), THRILLS (from Rushmetal), ROSEMARY & THYME (permanent), HIPNESS (from Fafi), PINK REBEL (from Style Warriors), SUN RUSH (from Style Warriors), GOLDEN (permanent), and REFINED GOLDEN (permanent).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: Firecracker Eyeshadow, Lazy Day Lipstick, Easy Lounger Lipglass, Splashing Lipglass, Float on By Eye Kohl, Life’s a Breeze Lip Pencil, Hipness Blush, Golden Bronzer
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: Sweet & Punchy Eyeshadow, Shimmermoss Eyeshadow, Thrills Lipstick, Fun Bathing Lipstick, Float on By Eye Kohl, Marine Life High Light Powder, Refined Golden Bronzer
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: Sweet & Punchy Eyeshadow, Shimmermoss Eyeshadow, Humid Eyeshadow, Thrills Lipstick, Fun Bathing Lipstick, Splashing Lipglass, Marine Life High Light Powder, Get-Away Bronze Blush

Product Photos, Swatches, & Reviews

What are you loving? What are you looking forward to?

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

MAC Nude Collection

MAC Nude Collection: New Pigments

MAC’s Nude Collection is a PRO-only release (much like the Chromagraphic Pencils) and there really isn’t much to it. I will review Barelash Pro Longlash separately (probably next week), and I already covered the nude Chromagraphic Pencils here. This leaves us with two new PRO pigments — Naked Dark (medium beige with pearlized pigments) and Naked Deep Dark (dark beige with pearlized pigments).

  • Naked is a light, flesh-toned beige-pink. it’s almost like a nude champagne pink with a slight golden shimmer-sheen.
  • Naked Dark is a medium tan with a beige-nude tone with subtle gold sheen.
  • Naked Deep Dark is a darkened brown with an almost taupe edge when used wet. It also has a slight golden sheen.

There’s not much to say about these, to be honest!  They’re three variations of flesh-toned (or nude, ha ha) colors in pigment form.  Naked has always been around, but it’s always been a great highlighter and natural highlighter for those with lighter skin tones.  These could also be mixed into moisturizer for a little shimmer and sheen on decolletage, too.  All three shades were well pigmented when used wet, and they have very soft, finely milled texture–no chunky pigments here, no glitter, no frostiness.

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’ve been looking for neutral pigments, the new PRO pigments are perfect for that. For those with medium or darker skin tones who have wanted a pigment highlighter, these might work, too.

Availability: MAC PRO

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 130 Brush

MAC 130 Brush: New Cream Blush Hero

The MAC 130 Brush ($38.00, supposed to be permanent now) is described as, “A short, round, flat-topped brush ideal for the smooth, easy application of foundations, creams, emulsions, and select powder products [and] features a blend of natural bristles and synthetic fibres.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: I think those who normally use the 187 will find the 130 a welcome addition to the duo fibre line-up. Though the brush head is much, much smaller (think like a stumpy 188), the compact, dense brush head allows for greater control and blending as well as it’s small enough to get into the nooks and crannies (like around the nose). The shorter fibres also provide for significantly less streaking and clumping of the bristles (huge reason why I’m not a big fan of the 187 for foundation). If you liked the application of the 109 but found yours shed unbearably, I think you’ll also like the 130. I still prefer my 109 a little bit over the 130.

CREAM BLUSH: I’ve been finding that the 130 is better than the 188 for cream blushes lately. I like the firmer, stiffer brush head, rather than the more springy fibres of the 188. It gives me more control, precision, and helps to blend out the color in small, buffed circles. You can see me demonstrate how to applying cream blush using the 130 in this video (along with the 131).

POWDER BLUSH: Really not a big fan of this brush in powder products — I just don’t find that it delivers the soft, natural, and effortless color and finish that traditional blush brushes do, like the 116.  It’s better for buffing out blush than so much for applying it.

The 130 is definitely a must-have brush for those who wear cream blush or bronzer on a regular basis. The stiffness (it still has give, though!) makes it so easy to apply and the circular brush head makes it easy to buff into the skin. The bristles themselves are as soft as you would expect from MAC.

The only thing I noticed is the brush has a tendency to have some splayed bristles if you aren’t extra careful to reshape it perfectly after washing. (I re-washed the 130 brush last night, and it’s much tighter, with only 3-4 bristles pulling away.) It doesn’t affect the utility or the application of the brush, but it’s something I noticed when photographing.

What do you use the 130 for?  Is it a must-have for you?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you’re in the market for a brush to apply liquid foundation or cream blush, the 130 excels at both tasks. It’s better than the 187, arguably as good as or better than the 109 (depends on who you talk to, ha!), and beats out the 188 for cream blush.

Availability: Nordstrom

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC 131 Brush

MAC 131 Brush: A Duo-Fibre Multi-Tasker

The MAC 131 Brush ($40.00, limited edition and available with To the Beach) was originally released with Colour Craft (July ’09), and I’ve owned it since and used it once. I spent the past couple of weeks testing it out for the first time and seeing what it works best for. MAC describes it as, “Flat, tapered brush that contains a combination of short and long fibres … [i]deally suited for Mineralize Skinfinish Powders.”

How does it work for…

FOUNDATION: When it comes to liquid foundation, it does the job. I liked the application and finish better than the 187, because it seemed a lot less streaky (which is why I moved past the 187 to the 182 and now use the 109). The application with the 131 is quite a bit different, given that it’s a flatter, slightly tapered and angled brush–you don’t blend in a circular motion here. It’s more about soft sweeps and pulls to get the product blended on your face.

CREAM BLUSH: I prefer the 130 (also available with To the Beach but appears to be permanent) or the 188 (permanent) over the 131. The 131 is nice for blending out the color initially, but I find that being able to buff small circles is one thing I really find preferable in technique that the 131 doesn’t make so easy. You can see me demonstrate how to apply cream blush using a stippling brush like the 131 in this video (along with the 130). It is better with more emollient/thinner cream blushes than thicker consistencies.

MINERALIZE BLUSH/SKINFINISH: Like the 187, using the 131 to apply mineralize color products like the blushes, blush duos, and skinfinishes helps to soften the color and diffuse some of the glittery particles. It gives a very soft, subtle color and deposits a light layer of the sparkler/shimmer. I think it’s nice on some of the more pigmented, dirtier, or glitter-heavy shades, particularly for those with more visible pores. I think if you have the 187 or 188, you may not find the 131’s application far superior. I like the 131 a bit more, but it’s a close race. It’s also smaller than the 187, so it may be more manageable on cheeks in comparison.

MOISTURIZER: I actually found myself liking the 131 more to apply moisturizer than anything else. I spritz the brush with a little water, and then I apply my moisturizer–very clean, sanitary, and soothing. Of course, whether it’s vital to have a single brush for this purpose is debatable!

My personal feeling about the brush is that it’s a nice, high-quality brush that certainly is useful and can be used with different products, but if you are an avid brush collector, it may not be a must-have brush. I just didn’t and still don’t find myself reaching for it very often. I just want to repeat that there is nothing wrong with this brush–it has the same excellent standard of quality from the softness to the construction to the ability to multi-task as MAC brushes. It hasn’t reinvented the wheel for me, since I already own the 187 and 188.

I did an entire series of reviews on all of MAC’s Face Brushes, so definitely check that out if you’re looking for a particular brush.

What do you use the 131 for? Is it a must-have for you?

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

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you already own the 187 and 188, you may not find this brush revolutionary. You may not even find it’s worth it, if you’re on a budget, and you own those two. It’s better suited for blush and mineralize products from the testing I did.

Availability: May 25th online at maccosmetics.com, May 27th in-stores

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Monday, May 24th, 2010

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils
Pure White, Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow,
Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple, Black Black, NC42/NW35

MAC Chromagraphic Pencils: Review, Photos, Swatches

Last week, MAC PRO launched a full collection of Chromagraphic Pencils. Each retails for $14.50, and all the shades are permanent at PRO stores. This collection is only available at PRO stores, but anyone can shop at a PRO store. You can even call up your nearest PRO store, and you can place a phone order for a flat-rate shipping cost. Keep in mind that these are PRO products, which means they were designed with the makeup artist in mind, not necessarily consumers.

These may seem familiar because MAC released two of the flesh-toned shades with Pret-a-Papier (NC15/NW20 and NW25/NC30). The other eleven shades are new. Chromagraphic Pencils are creamy pencils that glide on easily and smoothly. According to PRO, they are meant for lining and defining, which makes sense as they have other products (like Chroma Cakes and Paint Sticks) more suitable for larger areas.

I do really like the flesh-toned shades for use on the lower waterline to open up the eye. I find that the NC15/NW20 achieves that the best (the others being a bit too dark on me) myself, and I’m about NC25. Black Black is really intense, and it is safe for usage everywhere but the lips, and that’s the one I chose to test-drive first. It stays pretty well on the waterline and lash line – it looks intense and dark from a normal viewing distance, but up close, I can see that it looks a little faded–but it hadn’t faded any more after the initial inspection and stayed on for about six hours for me (on the waterline, over eight on the lash line).

The following shades are not to be used in the lip area: Black Black, Marine Ultra, NC15/NW20, NW25/NC30, NC42/NW35
The following shades are not to be used in the eye area: Basic Red, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta
The following shades are not to be used in the inner rim of eye: Basic Red, Process Magenta, Genuine Orange, Primary Yellow, Landscape Green, Marine Ultra, Hi-Def Cyan, Rich Purple

The darker, more pigmented shades will stain the skin a little if worn for prolonged periods of time. I did not wear the swatches of these for very long, but it took quite a bit of elbow grease to remove them entirely.  I think these are certainly a quick and easy way to put detail on body/face painting efforts.  I’m not necessarily sure how much use most of us would get out of these, though (which is just fine–these weren’t made for us!).

  • Pure White is a crystal clear creamy white.
  • Basic Red is a primary red, subtle orange undertones.
  • Process Magenta is a brightened pink, not quite fuchsia, definitely magenta.
  • Genuine Orange is a rich, almost neon tangerine orange.
  • Primary Yellow is exactly that–bright yellow.
  • Landscape Green is a medium grass green.
  • Marine Ultra is a darkened medium sea blue.
  • Hi-Def Cyan is a creamy sky blue.
  • Rich Purple is a darkened, red-toned purple.
  • Black Black is an intense, almost wet-looking black.
  • NC15/NW20 is a light beige/fleshy shade.
  • NW25/NC30 is a darker version of NW15/NC20. Almost looks like a darkened peach.
  • NC42/NW35 is darker version of NW25/NC30. It looks a bit peachy/orange on me.

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