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

Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
Bone Beige/Emphasize

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.

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

Recommendation: If you’re looking for a non-bronzer contouring product, try MAC’s Sculpt & Shape line!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
MAC Lipsticks: Blood Red, Nude Rose

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.

Lipstick

  • 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!

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

Recommendation: If you like rosy, pinky shades, you should consider these.

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

See swatches and lip swatchesContinue reading →

Monday, September 28th, 2009

MAC DSquared Collection
MAC Greasepaint Sticks: V, B, Black

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.

Greasepaint Stick

  • 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.

Kohl Power

  • 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.

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

Recommendation: If you like shadesticks, you may find these to be great bases for darker looks!

Availability: MAC Cosmetics

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Thursday, September 24th, 2009

MAC Dazzleglass Creme Collection: Lip Swatches

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.

See lip swatchesContinue reading →