Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Palladium Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.08 oz.) may sound new to some, but it originally debuted way back in 2007 (see my original “review” here–and I called that a review? For shame!) and were repromoted in 2008 as “Brushed Metal-x.” I kind of think the shades from the first launch were more fun–I still have Plum Electric (vibrant grape purple), though I don’t think I used it but a couple of times, because it looks nearly new. Cyber, Fusion Gold, and Virgin Silver have been relaunched as part of this year’s offerings.

In two separate posts, I will go through the individual shades regarding their pros/cons, possible dupes, and so forth, but I did as much testing as I could in time that I’ve had these, which is about 24 hours by the time this post is published. Lucky for me, because these crease nearly instantaneously, it was easy to test multiple shades.

Worn alone, none of the shades I tested (two are photographed below–Palladium and Venetian Tarnish–but I also tested Fusion Gold, Rusty, and Vintage Coin) could make it from application to camera (and I hurried!) without some creasing, and then, after fifteen minutes or so, significant creasing. Worn over an eyeshadow base (I used MAC Paint Pots and NARS Smudgeproof), it didn’t seem to make much of a difference–still creased within minutes and worsened by fifteen.

I did, however, have luck when I wore a single shade layered over an eyeshadow base with several powder eyeshadows on top. I used all MAC products, for the sake of giving MAC the best chance it could, and for me, everything managed to wear well enough for five hours. There was some fading of the colors overall, but I didn’t experience creasing up until that point. By eight, though, it had faded a bit more and had some noticeable creasing. However, a word of caution, I have drier lids, and I really packed on the powder products.

I also tested the wear on both cheeks and lips. They had a funny taste, so I don’t think I’d wear them again as a lip product, and they are very drying. They’re like a matte frost finish–the drying, clingy feel of a matte coupled with a really high frost finish. On the lips, I tried Red Hot Copper, which only lasted for an hour (no eating/drinking) before fading unevenly.  It’s uncomfortable and doesn’t wear well.

On cheeks, I used Rusty to highlight and Red Hot Copper to add color. Because of the higher frost content, it does emphasize pores somewhat, and depending on the temperature of your workspace, these may be difficult to apply evenly. I found fingers to be the best applicator with these in general, because the cream surface is very hard and almost powdery–it balls up and takes the warmth from your fingertip to be able to work it out into a smooth, even finish. The wear was so-so; it was noticeably faded and, unfortunately, patchy, after three hours of wear without a setting powder and five hours of wear with a setting powder. Of all the ways I tried it, I liked it best on the cheeks, just because I didn’t have to worry about creasing.  It wears similarly on the brow bone and decolletage.

This is really not a consumer-friendly formula; it will take some effort, work, practice, and the right skin type to get these to work well. In 2007, maybe it was acceptable, maybe other brands hadn’t created technology to yield this kind of finish and color payoff, but in 2011, I don’t think it is. If you have drier lids or tend not to have problems with your cream products creasing on you, these may work out for you. If you have oilier lids, I really do recommend–if these are just tempting you beyond belief–to try one and see how it works for you or else buy from a store with a good return policy. These weren’t well-received in 2007, so I’m kind of baffled as to why MAC would bring thes back without some reformulation. Sure, they bring back a product that seemed to receive mostly negative reviews, but last year’s Mega Metals (just as metallic as these) were a complete homerun and those remain a one-time wonder.

At $20 a pop, if the only way I can use it is as an eyeshadow base, it’s not the most useful product in my stash. When you use a translucent powder on top, while you retain some of the original shade, you do mute it a bit and definitely tone down the frosted/metallic finish, so it seems to defeat the purpose of these–which is that really high-shine, metallic-like finish (though some of these read frosty, less metallic).  I could see picking up one or two for editorial work, though I think MAC’s Metal Pigments have a much better metallic finish and work better, plus some of their pigments that have more of a frosted/metallic shine.  Like Big Bounce, I don’t know why these are marketed towards consumers, because realistically, I’m not sure how one would wear it except if you 1) wanted your eye makeup to crease or 2) you were only going somewhere for an hour or so.

We’ve seen MAC put out metallic fluidlines and paint pots, which work fantastically alone or as an eyeshadow base. I’d much rather put my money towards products with similar textures, finishes, and even shades, that perform better like Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense Eyeshadows, Chanel Illusion d’Ombres, Bare Escentuals Stay-There Eyeshadow, or L’Oreal’s Infallible Eyeshadows (which finally hit the states!)–the latter two don’t wear as well as the first two, but they’ll manage to six hours to eight hours or so without an eyeshadow base.  Even Estee Lauder’s new eyeshadows have a really cool, metallic-like finish, but they’re powder (and I suspect we’ll see something similar by MAC in the next six months).

So while MAC doesn’t tout these as long-wearing, they still fall short of just wearing.  I thought long and hard about that one, but if it takes both an eyeshadow base, plus packing of powder eyeshadows on top, to make it more than fifteen minutes–we’re just not functioning.  I’d let it slide if it just didn’t wear to six or eight hours, because long-wear tends to be more like eight to twelve hours, but I can’t even achieve eight with all the bells and whistles without both fading and creasing on the eyes; fading and patchiness on the cheeks (after four hours) and lips (after an hour).  A C- feels generous to me, personally, but that is how the numbers worked out–I’m sure you can sense my disappointment and frustration on this product.  Did we really need two collections of crease city products this year?

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Review & Photos

C-
If you're really into editorial looks and you don't mind extra effort, you might still enjoy snagging one of these. The only characteristic they really nail is pigmentation--the majority of shades are really well-pigmented and buildable--but it's just not a very functional product.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

3.5/5

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Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MAC Cyber Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow<
MAC Cyber Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow

MAC Metal-x Cream Eyeshadow Photos & Swatches

Review coming soon, please hold all questions until then! :) I spent all of yesterday and last night photographing, swatching, and testing, but I wasn’t able to get everything done before it was bedtime (midnight!). So for now, please take a gander at these eyeshadows but know two things 1) these have not been reformulated, so they have the same formula as the ones released in 2007 had; 2) they are NOT long-wearing and MAC doesn’t give any guidance on wear (read between the lines: it will crease).

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011


Blueblood, Endless Night, Hyperion

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Nail Lacquers

MAC Daphne Guinness Nail Lacquers ($15.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include three limited edition shades (all to be launched on December 26th in-stores): Blueblood (deep eggplant), Endless Night (pale gray pink with iridescent pearl), and Hyperion (light gray blue-green).

  • Blueblood is a deep burgundy with a cream finish. It’s opaque in two coats. It’s a little darker compared to China Glaze Velvet Bow. It’s similar to Urban Decay Wrecked and Zoya Anja.. MAC Purple Majesty is a little purpler.
  • Endless Night is a pale beige with iridescent pink shimmer. It’s not opaque in two coats, but with three, you’d probably get there (swatches are with two, so there is some visible nail line). It’s a bit grayer and has shimmer compared to MAC Quiet Time.
  • Hyperion is a pale aqua blue with more blue than aqua. It’s opaque in two coats, but the formula was harder to work with; it seemed to pull easily, and I think a ridgefiller might be necessary–you can see the lines of my natural nail and I rarely see those through polish. It’s more opaque and bluer compared to Rescue Beauty Lounge Bikini Bottom. China Glaze Sea Spray is darker. Chanel Riva is bluer.

Blueblood applied easily and without trouble; the formula was on the thinner side but not problematic. Endless Night was on the sheerer side, which may be a good or bad thing, depending on how you like your nudes–the iridescent shimmer makes it more interesting, though. Hyperion was the hardest to apply, as the initial coat streaked, and even though I waited between coats, the second one still seemed to pull at the first coat. MAC Nail Lacquers typically wear a week on me with minor tip wear but no chips.

The Glossover

product

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Blueblood is really dupeable, while Endless Night and Hyperion are less so. Hyperion had the most troublesome formula, while Blueblood had the best one.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d'Armani Lipstick
Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick

Giorgio Armani #406 Rouge d’Armani Lipstick ($30.00 for 0.14 oz.) is a rich, deeper red with a blue-base. It yields opaque color coverage in a creamy finish with a natural shine. It’s a beautiful red, though you’re bound to find shades similar in our red lipstick gallery. Of some more recently reviewed shades, it is close to NYX Chic Red, Guerlain Liu, MAC Ruby Woo, and Guerlain Garconne. This just happens to be a red encapsulated in an exceptional formula.

The Rouge d’Armani formula is a good one. It’s a long-wearing formula (supposed to be up to eight hours!) with intense color, comfortable to wear, no fading/feathering, and moisturizing. The intensity of this red wears for at least eight hours but, while slightly more matte by eight hours, could be worn without reapplication for a few more hours. It has a creamy texture that makes for effortless application and easy glide, but it’s lightweight and adheres well without clinging. I haven’t had it bleed or feather, and it is nicely hydrating. This formula is scent- and taste-free. I also like that it has a magnetic enclosure.

The Glossover

P
product

#406

A+
This lipstick does everything well--from the functional packaging to the long-wearing, moisturizing formula. The only thing left to decide is whether the color is the right one from you!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

5/5

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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Bobbi Brown Plum Gold High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Plum Gold High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Plum Gold High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “plum with bronze pearl.” It’s like a deep, berry red with gold shimmer. The color coverage is semi-opaque, and this particular shade does settle into lip lines a bit and doesn’t apply perfectly even, unfortunately, though I think both things are less noticeable at a normal viewing distance. For someone who loves the color, you could also consider layering it over a lipstick, which will minimize both issues. Chantecaille Patina is not as berry, more of a red. MAC Lasting Achievement is more opaque and berry hued. It’s very similar to Dolce & Gabbana Amethyst but Plum Gold has the gold shimmer.

I am kind of IN LOVE with Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipglosses, actually. They have such an amazing sparkle-factor–all dazzle without any tackiness and shine from miles away. Really glossy, shimmery, and comfortable to wear as they’re fairly moisturizing and wear around four hours–even the lighter shades. You may have felt I was more lukewarm than ecstatic in my initial review, and I was, but as I’ve been wearing several of the shades throughout the past couple of months, I’m now ready to tell you that I’m loving them.

The Glossover

P
product

Plum Gold

B+
Even though I love the formula and this particular shade, it does have issues applying evenly, which affected both the pigmentation and application scores.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow
Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Eyeshadow ($22.00 for 0.09 oz.) is a deep, dark purple-burgundy with a soft, frosted finish and tiny flecks of ruby red shimmer. It is darker than MAC Deceit. The base of Deep Garnet is similar to MAC Shadowy Lady.  I think the intensity and depth of this particular shade is what really makes it sing.

The texture is divine; silky smooth, finely-milled, and so soft it almost feels like a cream. With a fabulous texture comes intense color payoff. It wears well without any concerns over an eyeshadow primer/base, but these are touted as being long-wearing with good adhesion on their own, which is where I’ve encountered a couple of issues. With Deep Garnet, it wore for eight hours without creasing, but there was slight fading.

The Glossover

coming-soon

Laura Mercier Deep Garnet Luster Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches

A
The eyeshadow is richly pigmented with a decadent texture that's soft, smooth, and easy to blend. As long as you wear an eyeshadow primer, you won't have any problems with this shade.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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