Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Black CCB

MAC Style Black: Cream Colour Base & Greasepaint Stick Review, Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  With it, two cream colour bases (kind of like a cream eyeshadow, but it’s really a multi-tasking product), Black and Bat Black; as well as a new product — the greasepaint stick in Black.

Cream Colour Base

  • Black is a solid, creamy black with a slight sheen but no shimmer.
  • Bat Black is a creamy burgundy-black with more burgundy than black and a glossy sheen.

Cream Colour Bases can be difficult to work with.  If you find that a lot of cream-based products crease extremely easily on you, these may require more work than you’d like to do to get these to work on you.  Be sure to read any safety precautions that may come with these, too, for areas that you shouldn’t use these products on.  I like lighter colored CCBs, because I like to use them on cheeks and lips more than I do on eyes.

Greasepaint Stick

  • Black is actually a purple-black with just a little bit of shimmer when you look at it up-close, but the shimmer wasn’t noticeable when I applied it on my eyes.   I found that the greasepaint held up better on my waterline than my lower lash line, as it actually migrated and smudged a bit on the lower lash line but is still on my lash line about two and a half hours later.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 7/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you like CCBs and need a dark base, try these two.  If you like intense black liners, you may consider the greasepaint stick, but it’s not entirely smudge proof.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 21st, 2009


MAC Nocturnelle Nail Lacquer

MAC Style Black: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Style Black is a deep, dark collection with the rich tones of black as inspiration.  In the launch, there are three nail lacquers:  Nocturnelle, Seriously Hip, and Baby Goth Girl.

Nail Lacquer

  • Nocturnelle is a creamy, glossy opaque black. There aren’t any subtle nuances really, it’s really just black. This is a repromote, so check your stash before you buy.
  • Seriously Hip is a green-toned black with gold-green-olive shimmer. This is insanely pretty, and it coordinates with Bling Black glimmerglass. It goes on opaque in two medium-thick coats.
  • Baby Goth Girl is a red-toned black with reddish-purple shimmer. It’s dark and fall, but the red-purple shimmer is gorgeous over the black base. Like Seriously Hip, it goes on opaque with just two medium-thick coats.

All three lacquers are intensely pigmented and go on opaquely with minimal effort–no special tricks or techniques required. They have a glossy finish, and Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl have shimmer whereas Nocturnelle is a cream. These are really quite stunning, and I love these much more than the shades from Nail Trend F/W, actually. Nocturnelle is your standard glossy, creamy black–not a must-have–but the other two are on my list of must-haves.

  • Product: 9/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 7/10

Recommendation: If you don’t have issues with MAC’s formula and you don’t mind a splurge, Seriously Hip and Baby Goth Girl are both great picks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Asphalt Flower Fragrance

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Asphalt Flower

Asphalt Flower is described by MAC as, “A deep dark, erotic fragrance that takes its place in our Trend F/W ’09 collection as the aromatic complement to this alt-fashion look. Features glossy violet and iris petals, vanilla and patchouli with top notes of violet, ylang-ylang; mid-notes of iris, heliotrope and a finale of olibanum, patchouli and M∙A∙C signature vanilla.”

I’m still a bit under the weather, so it’s hard for me to review something I’m only partially smelling, but I’ll tell you what I can so you have at least some inkling of whether or not this scent is for you. Once it dries down, I detect just a hint of floral, some patchouli, and a little sweetness of vanilla, but it smells a bit soapy to me.

I will also say that I am so glad to see MAC put out a fragrance as a rollerball scent. It’s so much easier to apply and great to keep in your purse for on-the-go. The bottle itself has a great clear to black gradient that looks exactly what I’d expect from MAC. Such an improvement over the Stylistics scent Air of Style, which had a fantastic bottle, but it was utterly impractical and sits in a drawer somewhere because it can’t stand up on its own whatsoever!

Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Lipglasses:  Runway Fave, New Berry, So This Season

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Lipglasses

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance.

Lipglass

  • Runway Fave is a creamy nude with gold and pink shimmer that goes on semi-opaque but still sheer enough that your natural lip color will pop through. It’s pretty, but it’s probably a shade you have something similar to already.
  • New Berry is a darker berry with just a touch of burgundy to it that looks lovely and very holiday. It would pair well with Hipster lipstick for sure. It does have a tendency to settle into the lines of your lips, but I find that it’s not really noticeable in-person so much as it is when in photos that are magnified! I like that it’s fairly opaque–not solid to be sure–but opaque enough that it gives me plenty of color.
  • So This Season is a red-based purple shade that looks more intimidating in the tube than on. It is definitely a darker shade and casts purple, though. For those who want to try a vampy lip, I actually think this might be one way to go, because it’s sheerer and softer than many purple lipsticks that have come out for fall. Like New Berry, this one can settle into lines on your lips, but again, in person, the effect is not so noticeable.

I liked the lipglasses more than the lipsticks this time around! I felt like all three lipglasses were pretty and wearable, but they also are perfect shades for the fall season. I also appreciated how pigmented they were, even Runway Fave, because I tire of sheer glosses easily. New Berry may not be a must for those who already have indulged in red and berry glosses before, but it’s a nice, non-shimmery shade.

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: I think So This Season is a must, just because it’s different and fun. The other two are nice, but not as necessary!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Lipsticks: Hipster, Red Full Stop, Faultlessly F/W, Our Pick

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Lipsticks

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance.

Lipstick

  • Hipster is a burgundy-berry with a hint of red shimmer laced through it that comes off as very holiday-esque. It is a frost finish lipstick, and it has been out previously (though I didn’t have it). It applies fairly evenly (though not super creamy–felt a little dry) and goes on opaque. This is kind of the same family as Odyssey.
  • Red Full-Stop is a glossy coral-pink with no shimmer but lots of shine. It is a lustre finish, but it is one of the most opaque lustre lipsticks I’ve ever seen. This shade reminded me of Fusion (PRO) or Eager (which may run a little pinker).
  • Faultlessly F/W is a deep, dark purple berry with cool-tones and just a pinch of red in the undertones. It has an amplified creme finish, and it applies opaque. It should be worn with a lip liner, as the creaminess tends to make this one have a propensity to bleed. It’s similar to Cyber, though not the same (but I haven’t swatched Cyber in awhile).
  • Our Pick is a light coffee brown shade with a creamy texture, no real shimmer, and a satin finish. This is not a shade I can wear alone, and even mixed with others, requires some planning and experimenting. I’d say this is in the family of Spirit and Mocha, but it feels a bit cool.

While none of the colors struck me as immediate, must-have colors for my fall makeup wardrobe, all four were different enough from previous launches and had good color pay off — even the lustre. I think Fautlessly F/W is an interesting shade, but it is also a shade that requires confidence to pull off; it’s very, very vampy and dark and everything the fall trend of dark lips is. Hipster would make a lovely holiday lip, and I could see it being even lovelier when layered with a red shimmered gloss to help bring out the redness in it.

Red Full-Stop is like a toned-down version of Fusion (PRO) or Eager. I thought Eager was permanent, but after checking, looks like it’s not. See Sheer or Vegas Volt are both similar, but they both run a bit more orange. Our Pick just looks terrible on me–it’s like a darker concealer on my lips–but layered with other shades, it’s more wearable, but not a favorite for me. I am sure it will work well on others, though!

  • Product: 8/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 8/10

Recommendation: None are really must-haves in my book; I think Hipster makes a greaty holiday shade, and I like the coral tone of Red Full-Stop (why call it red?) the most out of the four.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 17th, 2009

MAC Trend F/W Collection:  Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Trend F/W ’09 Collection Review: Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Trend F/W Collection launches in-store today across North America locations, and the collection includes four lipsticks, three lipglasses, an eyeshadow quad, and a fragrance. The Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad consists of four eyeshadows, all cool-toned with a mixture of finishes.

Tone: Grey Eyeshadow Quad ($36.00 U.S. / $43.00 CDN)

  • A Warmer White is a cool-toned satiny white that casts a bit green. The pigmentation is decent and doesn’t come off looking too stark or chalky.
  • Tone: Grey is a soft, medium grey with a satin finish that has a cool blue-gray sheen. The pigmentation level is decent, though not intense; the shade itself is a bit muted.
  • The Right Smoke is a bright medium-dark blue with a soft blue sheen and has a frost finish. This is like a bluer Deep Truth (or if you mixed Freshwater and Deep Truth together). I’m so tired of seeing this blue, I can’t even tell you how much! This shade is the most pigmented of the four.
  • Waft is a dirty taupe grey–kind of pewter, but not quite–with a taupe sheen and a frost finish. Like the other shadows in this quad, it has decent color pay off, but it’s not intensely pigmented.

The eyeshadow quad actually reminds me of the Gentle Fume eyeshadow quad from Smoke Signals. It isn’t the same, but at first glance, it definitely was reminiscent of it (it doesn’t help that Waft was also in the Gentle Fume quad!). The quad is a nice pairing of shadows for smoky looks with a cool-toned theme. I don’t think this quad is particularly unique or a must-have, because you could easily create the same kind of quad with existing MAC shades that would just as easily suit you.

For those looking for dupes, A Warmer White is similar to Gesso (but without the barely-there-green tint); Tone: Grey is similar to Scene; The Right Smoke is similar to Deep Truth; and Waft is similar to Print (but without the frost or taupe — add a touch of Satin Taupe to fix that).

To get an idea on what kind of look you could create with this quad, check out this silver, gray, and blue look I did using the Gentle Fume eyeshadow quad.

  • Product: 7/10
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 8/10
  • Packaging: 9/10

Recommendation: If you don’t have similar shades and are looking for a cool-toned, slightly blue-leaning smoky palette, you’d like this!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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