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!
Ease of Use: 4/5
Recommendation: If you liked the original, I think you’ll still like this slightly reformulated version! It’s a good, mild exfoliator!
MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Sculpt & Shape Duos
MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes two Sculpt & Shape Powder Duos — Bone Beige/Emphasize and Accentuate/Sculpt.
Sculpt & Shape Powder Duos
Bone Beige/Emphasize is a duo of a soft, lightly shimmered palest cream for highlighting and a reddish-toned light-medium brown for contouring. This is supposed to be most ideal for lighter skin tones (think NC/NW15).
Accentuate/Sculpt is a duo of a soft, pinky-peach shimmered highlighter and a neutral-cool medium matte brown for contouring. This is most ideal for light and medium skin tones.
Accentuate/Sculpt is my favorite duo, as I feel it’s very universal and can work for a wide variety of skin tones. Sculpt can be layered for deeper color or used lightly for softer color. I personally have all of MAC’s Sculpt & Shape powder line in full-size (they’re the size of blushes–but they can be purchased individually rather than as a duo at PRO), and I love them. They’re great for cheeks and the face, but they’re also outstanding on the eyes for a very natural, sculpted look.
Ease of Use: 4/5
Recommendation: If you’re looking for a non-bronzer contouring product, try MAC’s Sculpt & Shape line!
MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Lipsticks & Fuchsia Fix
MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes two new, limited edition shades of lipstick–Nude Rose and Blood Red–as well as specially packaged, permanent item Fuchsia Fix tinted lip conditioner.
Nude Rose is a semi-sheer, milky pale pink-beige. It’s kind of like a nude lip color, but it has enough pink tones to it that it warms it up and gives it color.
Blood Red is a semi-opaque pinky-raspberry shade. It’s not red on me at all; it’s definitely pink and maybe a deep pink at that, but given its name, I was expecting something quite different.
Tinted Lip Conditioner
Fuchsia Fix is a bright pinky-fuchsia creamy lip color that is really only meant to add a bit of a tint to lips. Fuchsia Fix has always been a favorite, because it does tint my lips a brighter pink shade, but it’s not actually a hot or bright pink on.
These are surprisingly soft lip colors in comparison to the Style Black collection from last week!
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you like rosy, pinky shades, you should consider these.
MAC Cosmetics DSquared Collection: Greasepaint Stick & Feline Kohl Power
MAC DSquared Collection is small launch in-stores today, the 28th. The collection includes three shades of Greasepaint Sticks and repromotion of Feline kohl power.
B is a deep, dark navy blue with lighter blue shimmer and a metallic sheen.
V is a deep, dark purple-violet with lighter purple shimmer and a metallic sheen.
Black is a dark black-purple with a violet cast and shimmer that’s more noticeable when swatched than when used as a liner.
Feline is an intense, richly pigmented black liner that goes on incredibly dark. One of my favorite black liners!
Per my review of the Greasepaint Stick from Style Black, I haven’t yet found these to be rockin’ my world yet. They migrate on my lower lash line quite a bit – kind of smudgy and creasing on the lower lash line. It’s great that I can smudge the product when I’m applying it, but after I smudge it, I expect it to stay put!
On the water line, it holds up better, but it seems to aggravate my eyes, so I think I’m too sensitive to wear it on my water line. I wish the Black Greasepaint Stick was actually a true black, particularly since V exists so soon after the original release. The Greasepaint Sticks can be a bit thick to work with, so you may find yourself using a separate brush to apply this product in thinner, more precise lines. They feel a bit like a shadestick to me, actually.
Ease of Use: 7/10
Recommendation: If you like shadesticks, you may find these to be great bases for darker looks!
Of course, I’m not going to leave you without lip swatches! I also included side-by-side comparisons of my natural lips vs. the lipgloss — let me know if you like the inclusion of these. I still included the full-size close-ups of each shade, though.
Amorous, Creme Allure, Totally Fab, Do It Up, Perfectly Unordinary, My Favourite Pink, Soft Dazzle, Luscious Spark, Sublime Shine
MAC Dazzleglass Creme Collection: Review, Photos, Swatches
MAC’s Dazzleglass Creme Collection features nine shades of their newest gloss formula–dazzleglass creme. The new formula is kind of like the pigmentation of a lipglass with the texture of cremesheen glass and the shimmer of dazzleglass. It’s non-sticky, fairly thick (but not overly so, just not thin or feels sheer like dazzleglass–more like cremesheen glass, but perhaps touch thicker) and doesn’t feel heavy, and the majority of the shades are more pigmented. I think they deliberately made some shades sheerer than others to offer customers variety, so I don’t knock the sheerer shades for lacking pigmentation.
Amorous is a deep, rich red with subtle gold and red shimmer that applies semi-opaquely. I get a decent amount of color, but I still see my natural lip color peeking through, so it’s not 100% solid in color. It’s very holiday-esque to me.
Creme Allure is a creamy, lightly shimmered hot pink that goes on semi-opaque with noticeably coloring and darkening of my natural lip color. The shimmer is almost a fuchsia-purple.
Totally Fab is a orange-y red with slight gold sparkle and has a creamy look to it (like Creme Allure vs. Amorous). I found this one went on nearly opaque on my lips.
Do It Up is a lighter, slightly more lemonade-y bright medium pink compared to Creme Allure (which has a bit of fuchsia tone to it). This one has a silvery sparkle and goes on semi-opaque.
Perfectly Unordinary is a milky pale pink with pale gold sparkle. It looks milky on lips, but it does show up and pale down lips.
My Favourite Pink is a slightly pinker, but still milky, shade compared to Perfectly Unrodinary, but it has a silver sparkle in it. It’s a little rosy in comparison. When going through the photos, I almost didn’t distinguish the differences between the two.
Soft Dazzle is a softer, paler milky pink compared to Perfectly Unordinary but it has brighter and more shimmer (which is pale gold).
Luscious Spark is an orangey coral with gold sparkle. It reminded me of a less sparkly, less red Lychee Luxe (with a less gritty texture). It applies semi-opaque with some color without being solid.
Sublime Shine is a sheer, peachy-nude with golden shimmer. This is the sheerest shade of the nine, and it looks a lot like Bare Necessity in the tube, but I think it is actually peachier and has more color pay off.
I’m actually VERY pleased with the Dazzleglass Creme collection! I’d actually recommend checking these out if you enjoy dazzleglass or lipglass, because you get enough color and pigmentation that they’re not just sheer shimmery concoctions. They have a lot of the sparkle and oomph of dazzleglass but the intensity of lipglass. There are lots of shades to love, though there are a few that feel too redundant to really merit getting all nine (unless you’re addicted, like yours truly!).
Must-Haves: Amorous, Creme Allure, Do It Up, Luscious Spark Nice-to-Haves: Perfectly Unordinary, Totally Fab Skip: No need to get Perfectly Unordiniary, My Favourite Pink, AND Soft Dazzle — they’re SO similar!
Ease of Use: 8/10
Recommendation: If you like a gloss that’s not sticky, has lots of shimmer, and decent pigmentation, definitely try out a dazzleglass creme!