Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Conjure Up Mineralize Blush

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Mineralize Blushes

I think fans of MAC mineralize blushes will enjoy the two newest, limited edition additions released with the holiday color collection. I still prefer pressed powder blushes myself, but these two are exceptionally lovely.

  • Conjure Up is a dirty plummy-berry with very subtle shimmer (hardly any at all!) and intense color. Initially, it reminded me of a deeper Stark Naked blush (which I love).
  • Superdupernatural is a rusty coral with a subtle sheen. It’s also rich in color and easy to layer for increased intensity.

I’d put both on my must-have list, though Conjure Up would edge out Superdupernatural if I could only choose one. I think that both are flattering for different skin tones, but of course, Superdupernatural may be harder for cooler skintones to pull off. I don’t think cool-toned faces should stay away from it, though, because it doesn’t run very warm.

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Nail Lacquer: Lucky Number

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Nail Lacquer & Softsparkle Eye Pencil

MAC launches two metallic finish lacquers: Lucky Number and $$$ Yes (which is a repromote from Heatherette), as well as two repromoted shades of their Softsparkle Eye Pencils — Nightsky and Iris Accents.

  • Lucky Number is a metallic-finish purplish-berry with a high-shine/sheen. Since it is a metallic finish polish, it does show brush strokes. I don’t know if it’s even feasible to manage to get no brush strokes to show, but I know I don’t have the patience to attempt such a feat. It’s a pretty color, though, and it’s not something I already own.
  • $$$ Yes is like wearing tin foil on your nails. It’s a bright silver with a metallic finish. Like Lucky Number, brush strokes will show up. I’ve just kind of learned to deal with brush strokes in metallic shades myself.
  • Nightsky is a medium black with silver microsparkle.  This one is opaque and goes on easily.
  • Iris Accents is a cool-toned, silvery-purple with silver microsparkle.  I find this one more of a semi-opaque shade and doesn’t go on as nicely as Nightsky–it will go on opaque, it just requires layering.

I liked Lucky Number a lot, and if you haven’t played around with the Softsparkles, you may find you like the glitz of them. I like them, but I never find myself reaching for them, despite owning all of them, so they’re not must-haves for me.

  • Product: 23/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 3/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Lipsticks: Total Wow!, Madly Creative, Utter Fun, Surprise Me

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Lipsticks

Four shades of lipsticks debuted with MAC’s holiday color collection, with one being permanent (Pervette). Personally, I was really hoping to see another amazing holiday red from MAC this season, but I wasn’t so lucky. (Note: again, I hope to have lip swatches up tomorrow or over the weekend.)

  • Total Wow! is a semi-opaque berried-pink with gold shimmer. It reminded me of Stark Naked blush, actually, but (obviously) in lipstick form.
  • Utter Fun is a blue-based deep pink. It looks awfully red in the tube, but it swatched completely pink on my arm. I imagine if you have a lot of natural redness to your lip color, this will turn out a bit more red than pink on you, though. It’s creamy and mostly opaque, so those are pluses.
  • Surprise Me is a peachy-brown neutral with soft golden shimmer and a slight sheen. It’s an interesting color, but it doesn’t wow me. It doesn’t really say holiday to me, either.

Even though none of the shades really blew me away, I did really like the idea of a Stark Naked blush-turned-lip color, so Total Wow! is a must on my list.

Edited:  Sorry about the mix-up… when I was in-store, the artist told me Madly Creative and it didn’t occur to me to double-check!  I think I have Pervette in my stash, so I’ll swatch that when I do lip swatches.

  • Product: 25/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Dazzleglasses: Phiff, She-Zam, Jingle Jangle

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Dazzleglasses

A few months ago, we previewed Phiff! and She-Zam, and finally, we can check out the third – Jingle Jangle. (Note: I hope to have lip swatches posted tomorrow or this weekend.)

  • Phiff! is a sheer, golden-shimmered shade. It really is more about the shimmer in it than extracting any color. This one felt a little flat to me.
  • She-Zam is a sheer, super silver shimmered shade. Like Phiff!, it’s all about the shimmer, but this one has a ton of shimmer in it. It’s glitzy and perfect for holiday. It reminded me of shades like Pas-de-deux lipglass, too. It has a kind of grayish cast with all the silver glitter, but there is also pink and dusty shimmer in it, too. I consider this one a must-have, particularly if you like dazzleglasses.
  • Jingle Jangle is a medium pink with pink and multicolored sparkle. I think MAC could have really pushed out an ultra red, glitzy-glam shade here, and they went with a very safe, very ehh kind of shade instead.

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Thursday, October 15th, 2009

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Collection
Cremesheen Glasses: Ever So Rich, Boy Bait, Partial to Pink

MAC Magic, Mirth, & Mischief Review: Cremesheen Glasses

If you’ve been in the MAC-know for the past year, you probably remember the original launch of the Cremesheen Glasses. The three released with the holiday collection are all repromotes from that launch, so this is your chance to a) stock up if you loved them; b) try them if you passed on them before; or c) save money because you already have/skipped them. I don’t personally love Cremesheen Glasses, as I find them too sheer to bother (they nearly all looked the same on my lips), but I know others love the formula — which is non-sticky, thick, and creamy.

  • Ever So Rich is a pale lilac that goes on like a sheer, milky pinky-purple.
  • Boy Bait is a sheer pinky-peach. This looks just like a milky nude on me (not particularly flattering).
  • Partial to Pink is a sheer medium pink. Like Boy Bait, this looks mostly like a milky pink on me.

You can view the lip swatches I did originally. These just aren’t my thing, but I also think I’m slightly allergic to these (they make my lips tingle and itch), so there’s even less reason for me to like them. I think Ever So Rich is the only shade that I’d feel compelled to get, but I know that has to do with the way it looks in the tube and not so much on my lips.

  • Product: 24/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

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Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

MAC Volcanic Ash Exfoliator Review

MAC Style Black included two pieces of limited edition skincare — the ever-raved about Volcanic Ash Exfoliator and previously-mentioned-but-finally-released Volcanic Ash Thermal Mask.

I’ve been a big supporter of MAC’s Volcanic Ash Exfoliator since it released.  I loved it.  I sparingly used it so it would last as long as I could manage.  I managed to make two tubs last me a year or so (it was launched in 2008).  I couldn’t even begin to tell you how excited I was for it to be re-released with Style Black!

The re-released Volcanic Ash Exfoliator is slightly different than the original in a few key ways, though the product still feels, smells, and does the same (for me!) as the original version did.  This release of Volcanic Ash Exfoliator uses both sugar (sucrose, specifically) and silica for exfoliating, whereas the original release only used sugar.  Before, when you scrubbed your face with the exfoliator, the sugar particles would eventually dissolve, but with the addition of silica, you’ll notice a slightly gritty texture the whole time.

From what I can tell, MAC was attempting to address some of the problems/concerns the product created when it was originally launched.  The tub packaging was both unsanitary and was not shower-friendly (which is the most convenient place to use this, because it can be messy).  The tub seemed to get a lot of water in it when I had it in my shower, which kind of resulted in the sugar dissolving faster than I’d like–and the heat of the shower also caused some of the sugar to dissolve, I’d imagine.   Since silica doesn’t dissolve, it also makes it a more shower-friendly ingredient when it comes to exfoliation!  The new tube packaging now makes it more hygienic and shower-friendly, as well.

Considering I ended up having half a tub of exfoliator without any exofliating properties because all the sugar dissolved, I’m happy it’s in a tube!  I also think that while it feels thicker, it’s also hard to judge, because before you were scooping it out of a jar so the two processes are different enough.  I also don’t have any of the old stuff left to compare.  It does, though, feel a little thicker.

In the end, it applies and feels like the original.  I’d say it’s a little grittier than it previously was, with the addition of silica, but it still doesn’t feel like a harsh, aggressive exfoliator.  It’s fairly gentle, and it should be used once or twice during the week, depending on how your skin takes to exfoliants.

Product value on this could be better, because they took out about an ounce of product and tacked on an additional fifty cents.  I can handle the slight price increase, but I’m less than impressed with the decrease in the product itself (particularly since it’s 3.4 oz.), since it represents about 20-25% decrease in how much you get for your money.

Bottom line: It’s a mild exfoliator that has an earthy, ashy smell that’s not unpleasant (at least not to me), nor is it like ohhh, yummy! , it’s just kind of the scent I’d expect from it.  It leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and may even give you a lil’ bit of that glow.  I still love it, but I’m not quite as in-love as I was originally (I think that’s more because of all the other exfoliators that I also love).  I definitely still recommend trying it out–ask for a sample if you’re unsure–because it is a fantastic exfoliator!

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

Recommendation:  If you liked the original, I think you’ll still like this slightly reformulated version!  It’s a good, mild exfoliator!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics