Thursday, September 10th, 2009

MAC Close to Real, High Def, Resolutely Red Lipsticks
Close to Real, High Def, Resolutely Red Lipsticks

Review: MAC Cosmetics In High Def Collection

Just launched, MAC’s In High Def Collection (see full collection details here) contains several hand-picked products from the existing line as well as some new products that are designed to work well in the high definition environment. There are four new shades of lipstick: Close to Real, High Def, Resolutely Red, and Sharp Focus. The rest of the collection is permanent, existing products (Face & Body Foundation and Mineralize Skinfinish Natural).

Lipstick ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)

  • Close to Real is a pale, frosty peach. Despite having a lustre finish, it doesn’t feel like one to me. It feels much more like a frost lipstick, and it definitely looks like it on the lips. I found this one to seem to grab onto every imperfection on your lips–even after I had exfoliated–it just didn’t look very flattering. The color is really pale, so I’d vote on using this more as a layering shade than standalone.
  • High Def is a creamy, opaque pinky-coral color. It has a slight sheen, but it doesn’t contain any shimmer. On my lips, it doesn’t read very much coral (unfortunately, as MAC lacks corals!), but it’s still pretty. It looks more like my-lips-but-better with a bit more pinky-brown.
  • Resolutely Red is a mostly opaque, lightly creamy shade of reddish-wine. It’s not super bold or bright, so it’s more of a wearable red. It’s not too cool or warm, either, which I definitely like. It has a glossy look to it when applied.
  • Sharp Focus is semi-opaque muted, browned-down red with almost a bit of plum undertone. It’s almost like a vampy lip color, yet not really. If you’ve wanted to go for a darker lip, but have found vampy shades too dark too fast for you, this might be one way to start.

Face & Body Foundation

Face & Body Foundation is a water-based sheer to light-medium coverage liquid foundation. MAC says that it is water-resistant, and I’d agree that it holds up pretty well under water, though I’ve never say, showered, in it either. (I’m now curious, so I may try it!) It has a slightly dewy finish, which may be too much for those with really oily skin. It’s a solid foundation, and I actually used this as my go-to for maybe six months or so a year or two ago. I liked it a lot during summer, because it was very lightweight and held up under the summer heat.

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

This is a baked mineral-based powder that has a near matte finish (there is just a slight, slight bit of luminous-ness to it) — MAC calls the finish “natural-matte.” I personally can’t wear MSFN due to the fact that it breaks me out, but I know it is an often raved about products for others. I wish I could say I experienced the same amazingness (despite breakouts), but it just didn’t wow me. It’s a great setting powder, and it can be used as a very light, sheer foundation (I recommend the 189 brush for foundation application). Many like it because it gives their face a sheer, even look. I’m sure plenty of you have tried this, so please do share your thoughts for others who haven’t!

You can view reviews for: 187 Brush and 188 Brush, as well. (Both brushes are permanent.)

Recommendation: This collection left me unexcited, to be honest. The lipsticks were so-so, but I didn’t feel like there weren’t already as good, if not better, options available in the permanent line. I have no problem with MAC pointing out, “Hey! We have products that look great for HD work already!” I’ve always liked Face & Body, so I do recommend that if you haven’t checked it out. But overall, it’s just not a very exciting collection, yeah? Bring on Fall Trend!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, August 27th, 2009

MAC Nail Trend F/W ’09 Collection: Review

OVERALL, the shades are creamy and cool-toned, going on mostly opaque with two medium-thick coats of lacquer, and they have a soft glossy sheen.  These are not matte polishes (as I know some have asked me), but they’re definitely colors perfect for the fall and winter season.  I liked For Fun and Cool Reserve the most, though Rich, Dark, Delicious is lovely and I’ll find myself wearing at least once in the next few months.  Dry Martini, while different, just didn’t suit my skin tone, and Beyond Jealous was a bit too dark for my personal taste.  Dance All Night is classic, so it just depends on your taste/collection on whether it’s worthwhile to pick up.

Nail Lacquer

  • For Fun is a creamy magenta-purple with a subtle red tone. It is nearly opaque in two medium-thick coats, though a third coat would really bring it home.
  • Dry Martini is a creamy deep olive-green with a bit more olive than green in it. I didn’t detect any shimmer, and I found this one to be the hardest to apply. It was a bit streaky, and I felt like thicker coats made it easier to apply overall. I’m not feeling the color myself, but it’s one of those shades you don’t see too often.
  • Cool Reserve is a creamy, cool-toned grayed purple. It’s a soft grayish lilac almost. Like For Fun, two medium-thick coats made it just nearly opaque, and a third coat would make it totally solid. This one was one of my favorites — even on my warm skin tone, I liked it on myself.
  • Beyond Jealous is a creamy, green-black. It goes totally opaque with two medium-thick coats, and it has a glossy finish that’s more apparent in this shade than the other five. It is really a very dark, very deep green that runs very close to black in natural light.
  • Rich, Dark, Delicious is a deep dark chocolate black-brown that runs a little neutral-cool and has nearly imperceptible flecks of shimmer. I can only see the shimmer if I look really hard in sunlight, otherwise it appears mostly as a creme. Two coats made it opaque with no application issues.
  • Dance All Night is a rich, blood red that goes on nearly opaque with two coats. I do recommend using three thinner coats with this particular shade, because I found medium to thick coats to be a bit overwhelming. This one is all creme–no shimmer whatsoever–and is quite fitting it is so.

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

Recommendation: Nail polish fanatics hoping for an improved MAC formula might find in the latest lacquers created by nail guru Jin Soon Choi!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics (August 27th)

What did you think of MAC’s latest polishes?  Did you pick up any?

Thursday, August 27th, 2009


For Fun Nail Lacquer

MAC Nail Trend F/W ’09 Collection: Swatches

With six creamy fall shades launched, the collection presents an interesting mix of colors for the upcoming season. (See official collection information here.)

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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Sneak Peek: MAC Cosmetics In High Def Collection

Launching on September 10th, MAC’s In High Def Collection (see full collection details here) contains several hand-picked products from the existing line as well as some new products that are designed to work well in the high definition environment. There are four new shades of lipstick: Close to Real, High Def, Resolutely Red, and Sharp Focus.

Lipstick ($14.00 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)

  • Close to Real is a pale, frosty peach. Despite having a lustre finish, it doesn’t feel like one to me. It feels much more like a frost lipstick, and it definitely looks like it on the lips. I found this one to seem to grab onto every imperfection on your lips–even after I had exfoliated–it just didn’t look very flattering. The color is really pale, so I’d vote on using this more as a layering shade than standalone.
  • High Def is a creamy, opaque pinky-coral color. It has a slight sheen, but it doesn’t contain any shimmer. On my lips, it doesn’t read very much coral (unfortunately, as MAC lacks corals!), but it’s still pretty. It looks more like my-lips-but-better with a bit more pinky-brown.
  • Resolutely Red is a mostly opaque, lightly creamy shade of reddish-wine. It’s not super bold or bright, so it’s more of a wearable red. It’s not too cool or warm, either, which I definitely like. It has a glossy look to it when applied.

Of the three I tried, none of them really jumped out at me as must-haves. High Def and Resolutely Red are flattering shades, while Close to Real may be more difficult for some to pull off (it is for me, at least!).

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

Recommendation: If you’re a fan of lustre finishes but have always wanted a bit more color… you might like these, because they pack a lot more pigmentation than your average lustre!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics (August 27th)

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Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Sneak Peek: MAC Cosmetics Nail Trend F/W ’09 by Jin Soon Choi

Debuting next Thursday with six different shades (see full color story here), we had a chance to try out two shades: Rich, Dark, Delicious and Dance All Night.

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Rich, Dark, Delicious is a deep dark chocolate black-brown that runs a little neutral-cool and has nearly imperceptible flecks of shimmer. I can only see the shimmer if I look really hard in sunlight, otherwise it appears mostly as a creme. Two coats made it opaque with no application issues.
  • Dance All Night is a rich, blood red that goes on nearly opaque with two coats. I do recommend using three thinner coats with this particular shade, because I found medium to thick coats to be a bit overwhelming. This one is all creme–no shimmer whatsoever–and is quite fitting it is so.

I don’t think I own any shades similar to Rich, Dark, Delicious, so it is actually an interesting color in my stash. It’s not quite black, but it’s not brown either, and I surprisingly like it agains tmy skin tone. Dance All Night feels less innovative, but it’s still a nice shade and wearable during the fall. The formula feels slightly thicker, creamier, and it was easier to apply. I’ve personally not have any problems applying MAC polishes nor with how they wear. I always use Zoya’s Color Lock system for my base, top, and drying coats, for reference.

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

Recommendation: Nail polish fanatics hoping for an improved MAC formula might find in the latest lacquers created by nail guru Jin Soon Choi!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics (August 27th)

See swatchesContinue reading →

Friday, August 21st, 2009

MAC Makeup Art Cosmetics Collection: Review & Round-up

OVERALL, the collection has a good mix of the bright & bold and the subtle & muted. I feel like there is definitely something for everyone within this launch (particularly since there are over thirty products to choose from), which is always a good thing. My favorite items were the new shades of technakohl liner–bright and beautiful, that’s SO me. The technakohl formula is soft and creamy without being wet, easy to apply, and long-wearing, so I was pleased to *finally* see some new shades get released. The lipsticks gave me nothing to write home about, and I will admit I’m surprised none of them were super dark or opaque.

On Display is an absolutely stunning shade of lipglass, and I fervently hope you’ll consider it next time you’re at the counter! New Spirit was also on my radar, though not quite as impressive as On Display, which is just the right blend of dark and bold without venturing too much into vampy. I didn’t love any of the three eyeshadow quads, though I liked Photo Realism and Notoriety. I can’t say skip enough when it comes to the Private Viewing quad!

The eyeshadows, while bright, do offer a lot of repromotes, as only two are new (Off the Page and Maira’s Magic). I found Off the Page to be very reminiscent of Fab & Flashy, which I love, so that alone makes it noteworthy. Haunting will just never live up to my expectations, I think, unless it somehow gets a clue and intensifies itself. I’ve always had a soft spot for Purple Shower, though it does need to be layered on occasion. I want to like Crest the Wave, but I’m not sure if that shade of yellow will work so well with my skin tone.

The glitters are gorgeous in all of their glittering glory, but for most of us, they’re too much of a pain in the butt to justify purchasing. You can’t (and shouldn’t) use glitters on your eyes when they aren’t recommended for the area. Sometimes glitter particles are too large/sharp and can actually scratch or injure your cornea. While I can understand the occasional avant garde application of glitter (and using extremely adhesive bases!), it’s just not something I’d risk, myself, on a regular basis. As such, glitters are best used on the lips (easiest), though you can mix them into nail polishes, moisturizers, or hair gel/spray. They’re usable, but you gotta get creative. I liked all four of the pigments released, though two are repromotes (Cocomotion and Heritage Rouge). They’re all pigmented and go on fairly smooth, with Push the Edge being the more velvety one.

Don’t miss our product-by-product reviews!

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-Haves: On Display & New Spirit lipglasses, Off the Page & Purple shower eyeshadows, Brash & Bold & Cocomotion pigments, Artistic License & Colour Matters technakohl liners

Nice-to-Haves: Front Lit lipstick, Personal Taste lipglass, Photo Realism eyeshadow quad, Crest the Wave & Maira’s Magic eyeshadows, Heritage Rouge & Push the Edge pigment, Full of Fuchsia & Obviously Orange technakohl liners

Skip: Lovin’ It lipstick, In the Gallery eyeshadow quad, Violet Trance eyeshadow, Gold & Fuchsia glitters

What did you end up getting? What did you love/hate? Share your thoughts!