Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquer
MAC Breezy Blue Nail & Pinkly Fresh Nail Lacquers

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers

There are two MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection, and they include: Breezy Blue (dark blue) and Pinkly Fresh (mid-tone blue pink).

Breezy Blue is a deep purple-tinted navy blue with a cream finish. I applied two coats (and three coats on the middle finger), but I wasn’t able to get complete opacity. Illamasqua Force is similar but a little lighter. shu uemura Bleu Splendor is darker. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is very similar. The formula was watery and thin, so three coats is really necessary in order to eliminate visible nail line.

Pinkly Fresh is a subtly blue-based pastel pink with a cream finish. Essie French Affair is very similar, perhaps a touch lighter. The formula is so, so thick on this one. The first coat was incredibly streaky, and only when I applied a really thick second coat was I able to get a streak-free result. Because of the thicker consistency, drying time seemed longer than average. I used two coats for swatches, though the second coat was deliberately thick, and it was opaque.

I’m not keen on the formula on either of these. At this price point, the formula really needs to be immaculate or else the color out of this world to justify it. How many blue and pink creams are there on the market?

P.S. — Apologies in advance:  I’m super sick, and when I’m under the weather, my hands tend to get really dry, so they are rather tired-looking in these photos!  

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MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C
Both shades had a problematic formula, so I would pass on these, because the colors are not unique enough to justify the extra patience, coats, etc. to make these work at this price point.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Waveline Fluidline
MAC Waveline Fluidline

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Waveline Fluidline

MAC Waveline Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a permanent product (and has been for awhile) that is getting repromoted in the new Love & Water Collection. MAC describes this shade as a “navy blue with low level gold pearl.” It’s a rich navy blue with just a touch of purple–it’s barely there but with the right combination of colors could be pulled out. It has good opacity in a single pass and is easily built up in color. MAC Prussian is similar, though perhaps a little more noticebly purple.

I love MAC’s Fluidline formula; it’s my favorite gel eyeliner, even though there are several excellent gel eyeliners, this one always tops my list because the formula is top notch and the price is considerably less than higher-end brands that have comparable formulas. For example, Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliners are amazing, but ultimately wear the same (all-day) as Fluidlines–they’re just more expensive. To be fair, Bobbi Brown has a much better range of colors than Fluidline, which is sorely lacking in permanent shade selections. Fluidlines are creamy, easy to apply, and wear all day long without smudging or fading.

The Glossover

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Waveline

A
Fluidlines are one of MAC's cult favorite products and for a good reason, because they work--they're long-wearing, creamy, pigmented, and apply seamlessly across the lid with an eyeliner brush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Reflects Blue Glitter
MAC Reflects Blue Glitter

MAC Reflects Blue Glitter

Another permanent to PRO stores product is included in the upcoming Love & Water Collection: MAC Reflects Blue Glitter ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.). It’s described as a “sparkling blue.” It’s more like white glitter that shifts between blue and blue-violet. It’s iridescent and really needs to be seen in person to see the beauty of it, which is the case for most glitters! MAC’s glitters are not recommended for eye use, so buyer beware. Some suggested uses for glitter: nail polish, hair (add it to gel/mousse/pomade), or body (add it to a cream/lotion). I suspect that Make Up For Ever #7 Diamond Powder is fairly similar (which says it can be applied to eyes).

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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Naval Blue Pigment
MAC Naval Blue Pigment

MAC & Chen Man – Love & Water Collection: Naval Blue Pigment

It’s the lone pigment in the upcoming Love & Water Collection, but MAC Naval Blue Pigment ($20.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a great pick to repromote, as it is part of the permanent PRO range (and it’s been in a few sets before, if I remember correctly!). MAC describes it as a “deep smoky blue.” It’s a dark navy blue with a hint of purple–all of the blues in this launch seem to have this kiss of purple–that makes it a real pain to photograph, because sometimes it looks purpler than it ought! It’s similar to MAC Blue Storm, which came out this past fall (and was a repromote then). It’s also similar to Givenchy Lune Mordoree.

Pigments can be used wet or dry, but they tend to perform their best when applied damp or with MAC’s Mixing Medium (which is a clear liquid with an adhesive base, so it adheres and smoothes out better when you go to apply it). MAC actually says that the pigment itself contains ingredients that will make the pigments adhere to the skin and are long-lasting. Pigments tend to apply a little muted and can be more prone to fall out (given that it is a loose product) when applied dry, and it really needs to be used damp to have it adhere to the lid at all. When I tested out pigments based on how MAC described their formula, I was able to get eight hours of wear with minor creasing and fading only if I used them damp (over bare skin). If I used them with MAC’s Mixing Medium, then there were no fading or creasing issues even after twelve hours or if used over an eyeshadow primer.

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MAC Naval Blue Pigment Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
MAC makes an excellent loose color product if you combine it with a wet or adhesive base, because they have a good formula that enables the color to bind well when damp and stay vibrant all day--but when used dry or alone, they tend to under-perform.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush
Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush

Illamasqua Dixie Cream Blush (£16.50 for 0.14 oz.) is described as a “warm coral pink.” It’s a subtly warmed-up pink-coral with a satiny sheen. The color can be built up to be more true-to-pan or blended out for a very subtle flush of warm pink on cheeks. Tarte Blissful is similar, slightly less pink. MAC Posey is similar but less bright. Smashbox Blushing/Peony is milkier. theBalm Frat Boy is similar but softer. Make Up For Ever #6 is similar but less pink and lighter.

When it comes to cream blushes, don’t let the color of the pan scare you away, because of the density of creams, they often appear darker on the surface than they do when swatched. The intensity of application is in your hands! Typically, creams blend out easily and require very little product if you want just a tint of color. Illamasqua’s formula is lovely, because they provide a dewy finish that’s natural and luminous but never greasy or oily. It also works well on both bare skin and foundation. The texture is soft and creamy, and with Illamasqua’s highly-pigmented formula, I tend to use a stippling brush (like MAC’s 188) to yield light to medium color coverage. It wears for around seven hours on my skin and looks a noticeably faded after eight hours.

The Glossover

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Dixie

A-
If you love coral blushes and cream formulas, this is one worth checking out. The color is very flattering on both warm and cool-toned complexions because of the amount of pink in the base color. I wish it wore just a wee bit longer, though!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

Bobbi Brown Pink Gold Rich Color Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Pink Gold Rich Color Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Pink Gold Rich Color Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “soft pink with gold pearl.” It’s a light pink with more shimmer than color–and lots of pale gold, beige, and gold shimmer paired with a high gloss sheen. It’s a lot like other peach/pink and gold shimmered glosses, including Hourglass Imagine, Cle de Peau #2, NARS Orgasm, NARS Super Orgasm, Chanel Bonbon, and Chanel Pin-up — though Bobbi Brown’s is decidedly pinker.

Bobbi Brown describes this formulas as having “the full color coverage of a lipstick” but with “The shine of a gloss.” It’s also supposed to “moisturize, condition, and last throughout the day without feathering.” The coverage is semi-opaque, mostly due to the high shimmer content rather than a lot of color in the gloss base itself, but it’s definitely not full coverage. It has a thin-like consistency that spreads evenly and easily, so it’s not too thin, but it’s not thick at all. The texture is non-sticky and only somewhat balm-like–it has more slip than your average balm. I was able to wear Rose Gold for three hours before it needed a touch-up, and afterward, my lips still felt hydrated. Like the brand’s other glosses, it is mint-scented.

The Glossover

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Pink Gold

B+
It's a gorgeous gloss, just not as opaque as the brand describes it as, so if you don't mind that, it's totally worth a look. It should be stunning layered over deeper lipsticks, especially reds and berries.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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