Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Marcel Wanders: MAC Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Sheer Mystery Powder ($60.00 for 0.56 oz.) is described as “an ultra-fine, super sheer, and very sophisticated pressed powder … “Mysteriously” silky-soft in texture, glides on to give skin a velvety matte, slightly luminous and altogether flawless finish.”  There are only two shades available:  Light and Medium Plus.  They used to release a shade called Dark Secret, which was more appropriate for darker skin tones.

I only picked up Medium Plus, so I only have a swatch of that one, but hopefully it will be helpful enough to show you the texture and look of it.  I would recommend Light for NC/NW15s and 20s, possibly 25s if you are definitely NC/NW25.  I would recommend Medium Plus for NC/NW30s and 35s.  I think it would be too light for any shades higher than NC/NW35.

The formula itself is a very finely milled, silky smooth powder that applies incredibly sheer.  It is best used as a setting or finishing powder, because it does not offer coverage, but it will set your foundation or help to mattify skin.  It is not completely matte in finish, but it is semi-matte.  I like it, and I think it’s a good pressed powder, but it’s not the best one I’ve ever tried.  I don’t know if it’s that much better than MAC’s Blot or Select Sheer Powders, you know?  I do like that it looks very natural, and it’s practically impossible to overdo.  It doesn’t look powdery on the skin, even on drier areas of mine.

The compact itself shares the same multifaceted look as the perfume pendant, but unlike the pendant, it is made out of hard plastic, rather than metal.  It feels very lightweight when held, which makes it appropriate for traveling but less so if you want that luxury feel.  In the past, this powder has always been housed in a heavier, sturdier compact.  It will hold fingerprints like nobody’s business, though.

I know the price tag always scares people every time MAC repromotes it, but keep in mind, it comes with a refill–each pan is 0.28 oz. for a total of 0.56 oz. for your $60.  However, on that note, MAC’s Select Sheer/Pressed will set you back $22 for 0.42 oz., while the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural retails for $26 for 0.35 oz.  After perusing through a variety of pressed powders from high-end brands, it seems like 0.28 to 0.35 oz. is the norm with prices ranging from $30 to 35.  This is certainly not a steal of a deal, but it’s like you’re paying an extra $15 to 20 for the packaging and product (since it’s not available outside of the pricier compacts).

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you are light or medium in skin tone, you may find a match here.  If you have ultra dry skin, you may want to skip the powder, but for slightly dry to slightly oily skin, it should work out.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Air of Style Scent Concentrate
MAC Air of Style Scent Concentrate

MAC Marcel Wanders: Air of Style Scent Concentrate

Air of Style ($30.00 for 0.07 fl. oz.) is a sweetened floral with a strong pull of jasmine. It has an initial strength, but it dries down to something incredibly subtle–probably too light. I’m glad it does weaken quickly, though, because it is rather cloying at first sniff. It’s not a groundbreaking scent; despite the abundance of notes, it is has a rather simple result. I have had readers in the past note that Air of Style is reminiscent of Michael Kors, but I don’t own it, so I couldn’t say for sure. I applied it two hours ago, but the majority of the scent has wafted away.

Top Notes: White pepper, dried red dates, wild peonies
Heart Notes: Tuberose, orange blossom, jasmin, ylang-ylang, orris
Bottom Notes: Touch of leather, antique woods, vetiver, amber crystals, tonka beans

The packaging is lovely. It’s a heavy, metal multifaceted pendant that hangs from a thin, black ribbon. For me, it would be too heavy to wear around my neck, but I tend to opt for very simplistic jewelry. I really enjoyed the weightiness of the pendant itself, because it feels more luxurious.  To me, this is the best packaging MAC has put the Air of Style scent in.  It was originally launched in an Italian glass vial, which while lovely, has to be stored in its box, as it will roll off your vanity.

It is rather small, as many bejeweled solid perfumes are, but inside contains more than the average ring/pendant solid perfume does. I wouldn’t say this is a value deal, but the price and quantity seem on par for MAC’s brand against higher-end brands with similar solid perfume offerings.

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: 5/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you love your sweet florals, you may enjoy this. If you prefer woodier scents, this is probably not up your alley.

AVAILABILITY: MAC on November 24th

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Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

MAC Marcel Wanders Collection
MAC Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC Marcel Wanders: Coming Soon!

Working on the reviews right now! :)

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Sunday, November 14th, 2010


Video review of MAC’s Tartan Tale Pigments + Nail Lacquer Sets!

Video Review: MAC Tartan Tale – Pigments & Nail Lacquer Sets

We split up the review for Chapter 2 into two to make each one more manageable — yay or nay?   We’re currently considering keeping to this format for future reviews that start going past 10 minutes and filming based on product type (e.g. part one is just lip products).

Sunday, November 14th, 2010


Video review of MAC’s Tartan Tale Lipglass Sets!

Video Review:  MAC Tartan Tale – Lipglass Sets

For those who prefer their reviews in audio form :)

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale: Chapter 2 Overall Review & Roundup

Of all of MAC’s holiday offerings, I do like their miniaturized sets the best, because I find them to be on par with full-size products.

The pigment sets are definitely the most value-oriented set, and I think the holiday sets are an opportunity to try out a variety of pigment shades without laying down $19.50 for a full-size pigment.  Pigments can be really hard to use up in their entirety, so the smaller vials are perfect–and still more than enough for most!   I would just caution you that each set does include either a few permanent or repromoted shades.

I’m not as gung-ho with the lipglass sets, but I do like that they included a lot of new shades in each of them, rather than the same repromotes each holiday season.   The sets are a little more economical than buying full-size lipglasses (on a per ounce basis), but I like that you get to try five shades for the price of two.  Lipglasses have a lot of variability; some are more pigmented, some are creamy, some are frosty.

The only item I did not like much was the nail lacquer set, because the shades themselves were a little finicky.  I found two of the shades had a tendency to be streaky, and four of the five needed a full three coats for opaque color coverage.  Though the shade selection did not affect the overall score of the set, I think it’s worth noting that none of the shades are groundbreaking–and MAC has done some interesting shades in the past.

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Pigment Sets

Nice-to-haves: Lipglass Sets

Skip: Nail Lacquer Set

Don’t forget to Check your stash for…

FROZEN DREAM (repromote), ELECTRO LUSH (repromote), MIMMY (repromote), REFLECTS BRONZE (permanent), GOLD MODE (repromote), GILDED GREEN (repromote), REFLECTS PEARL (permanent), SILVER FOG (permanent at PRO), SOFTWASH GREY (repromote), MAUVEMENT (repromote), REFLECTS BLACKENED RED (repromote), NAKED (permanent), BLUE BROWN (permanent), DARK SOUL (permanent), NOCTURNELLE (repromote), ASIATIQUE (repromote), BEYOND JEALOUS (repromote).

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

Light, Medium, Dark Skin Tones: I think all of the sets would work equally well across the range of skin tones.

  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Sassy Pink, Cool Thrillseekers, Smoky Thrillseekers
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: Sassy Coral, Sassy Neutral, Warm Thrillseekers

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