Saturday, November 5th, 2011

MAC Coral Lip Dazzlesphere
MAC Coral Lip Dazzlesphere

MAC Coral Lip Dazzlesphere for Holiday 2011

There are three lip kits this holiday season, and the first one we’re looking at is MAC’s Coral Lip Dazzlesphere ($32.50 for 2 x 0.07 oz., 2 x 0.09 oz.), which includes: On the Scene (light coral beige), Richer, Lusher (peach coral), Eurobeat (peach coral with gold pearl), and Phiff! (yellow pink with red and sapphire pearl).

The Cremesheen Glasses are listed as 0.07 oz. each, while the Dazzleglasses are listed as 0.09 oz. each (and I specifically say each, because this is how it is labeled). What is noteworthy about that is that full-sized Cremesheen Glasses are 0.09 oz. while full-sized Dazzleglasses are only 0.06 oz. The tubes feel thicker but are definitely shorter than full-sized Cremesheen Glasses/Dazzleglasses, although the clear plastic seems wider/thicker in the kit glosses. The area that contains the gloss seems slightly wider, maybe, but barely. I would hope that those sizes listed are accurate, and if that is indeed the case, then each kit contains $28.78 worth of Cremesheen Glass and $55.50 worth of Dazzleglass. That is a whopping $84.28 worth of lipgloss for $32.50.

  • On the Scene is a milky peach-tinted beige with very subtle white shimmer. It’s sheer in color and does settle a bit into lip lines. MAC C-Thru is thicker, more opaque, and a bit less warm-toned. It’s also similar to Fashion Whim. This shade is a repromote but not part of the permanent range.
  • Richer, Lusher is a soft, pink-coral with a creamy finish and very subtle shimmer (barely noticeable). It’s semi-sheer on lips. It is part of the permanent range. Chanel Genie is much more orange.
  • Eurobeat adds a sheer layer of coral warmth rather than color along with a lot of gold shimmer. This shade is a repromote but not part of the permanent range. It looks like any number of gold-shimmered sheer glosses.
  • Phiff! is a sheer, nearly colorless, shade with silver and soft red shimmer. This shade is a repromote but not part of the permanent range. It resembles silver-shimmered sheer glosses.

Cremesheen Glass is a formula that glides onto the lips easily, feels comfortable without being thin or thick, and tends to be on the sheerer side in color. It’s non-sticky (as compared to Lipglass, which is very thick and sticky), and it typically wears two hours or so on me before wearing away. They also tend to be creamier colors, rather than packed with shimmer. Dazzleglasses have a medium-thick consistency with micro-glitter and shimmer. They tend to be sheerer in color with more oomph coming from the dazzle than the base color. They tend to last two to three hours on me and tend to get tacky over time.

The Glossover

product

MAC Coral Lip Dazzlesphere Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Both Cremesheen Glasses and Dazzleglasses are designed to be sheerer formulas, so if you like sheer gloss or glosses for layering, these are ideal. With the listed gloss sizes, these are an incredible value.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Saturday, November 5th, 2011

MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere
MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere

MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere

You’ll find four miniature-sized polishes in MAC’s Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere ($25.50 for 4 x 0.09 fl. oz.), and the shades include: Much Adored (sheer white pink with pearl), Style Tip (soft pink nude), Dark Angel (goth romantic dark lilac), and Mistletoe (pale gold). Of these, Dark Angel is a repromote, but the other three are new. The set is limited edition, as are all of the other sets from the collection.

  • Much Adored is a pale white gold with gold and pink shimmer. As noted in the description, it’s sheer, and I used two coats for swatches; you can still see plenty of visible nail line but there is a healthy dose of shimmer and shine. It’s a warmer sheer, so it helps warm up the natural nail color. It’s less opaque and has different colored shimmer compared to Chanel Pearl Drop. The shimmer in Much Adored looks coppery compared to Essie Kisses & Bisses, which looks pinker.
  • Style Tip is a light-medium nude with a hint of pink and cream finish. I used two coats for opaque color. MAC Hangin’ Loose is warmer and more peach-based. Zoya Pandora is closer but has subtle shimmer.
  • Dark Angel is a purple-berry cream. I used two coats for swatches, and it was nearly opaque. China Glaze Urban Night is in the same color family but much, much darker.
  • Mistletoe is a tarnished gold with a green-tint with a metallic finish. Brush strokes are visible in the finish. I used two coats for opaque color. It looks just like MAC Immortal Gold.

Dark Angel was rather streaky on the first coat, and the second coat seemed to have a touch of streakiness, still. For such a dark cream, I would have expected a more trouble-free application, but it wasn’t bad–just average. Mistletoe was on the thicker side yet a little runny. It flows decently over the nail, and it doesn’t seem too gloppy, but it wasn’t perfect. It didn’t seem as bad as Immortal Gold, even though the two are very, very similar (and the timing is conicidental!). Much Adored and Style Tip didn’t have any application issues. I typically get a week of wear without chipping, just minor tip wear, with MAC’s lacquer formula.

The Glossover

product

MAC Petite Nail Lacquer Dazzlesphere Review, Photos, Swatches

B
The kit is a good mix of colors without anything being too traditionally holiday-themed. Two of the four have nice formulas, while two are less-than-nice but not terrible. The smaller bottle will be harder to use for those with longer fingers/larger hands.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC for Miss Piggy
MAC for Miss Piggy

MAC for Miss Piggy Eyeshadow Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC for Miss Piggy is a small, online-only collection that will launch November 14th, 2011 both for North America as well as select international locations at maccosmetics.com. There is really only one new product, as the two other pieces from the launch include Rapidblack Penultimate Eyeliner (permanent) and #36 Lashes (permanent).

That new shade is Miss Piggy Pink, which MAC describes as a “mid-tone blue pink” with a frost finish. It’s a cool-toned, blue-based pink that has a little lilac in it; it does pull just a little purple in some lighting. The finish looks more like a satin than frost, because it’s a very subtle sheen rather than an overt frosted finish. Of course, the real issue is the dry, stiff texture that delivers sheer, uneven color that’s as difficult to work with as it is to swatch. It took about eight applications to achieve the color shown in the look pictured below; I don’t mean patting the brush once on the top of the shadow and flicking it against the lid–I mean swirling and jabbing the brush against the eyeshadow to loosen the powder and then patting, not sweeping, onto the lid to pack on the color. Possibly even taking a palette knife and scraping off a layer to pack onto the lid. I can get it to work, but boy, the amount of effort and unnecessary time spent on it, is disappointing when you’re shelling out $15 for it.

If you picked up MAC Angel Flame Eyeshadow Quad a couple of months ago, then Feather Pink is very, very similar but with better color payoff–it even has the same satiny sheen. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is lighter and more bubblegum-like.

In all honesty, this collection looks like something that happened at the last minute. I envision a scenario where MAC HQ gets a call from the Muppets HQ about, “Hey, we’d love to collaborate, can you turn this around in a few weeks?” We’ve seen MAC collaborate many, many times with iconic figures and celebrities, from Barbie to Wonder Woman to Disney’s Villains, and I felt like you could see the thought process, the theme, how things were intertwined. There’s no special packaging, no real MAC spin or take on Miss Piggy and everything she embodies. Pink for Miss Piggy seems expected, and if that is the only product you’re going to put out, it seems like a missed opportunity to do something really special.  Or at least knock-your-socks-off quality? I didn’t grow up with The Muppets, and without something more to pull me in, this is a total pass.

The Glossover

LE
product

Miss Piggy Pink

D
For fans of The Muppets, it might still be yet one more piece to add to your collection of memorabilia. With so many collaborations between brands and The Muppets, you might be better off finding another piece, though! For those who are not fans, there's no compelling reason to pick up such an under-performing eyeshadow.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) is the last pigment kit from MAC Dazzlesphere. It contains four shades: White as Snow (snowy white), Silver Sleet (medium gray), Wintersky (purple blue), and Dark Moon (charcoal). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • White as Snow is a silver-tinged white with a very chunky, metallic finish. I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Light Violet. Despite pressing the color against the skin, I could not get it to fully smooth out and bind, so there was some loose product prone to fall out, plus sheerness in both the dry and damp applications. It reminded me of Chanel Fantasme.
  • Silver Sleet is a darkened gray with a brighter, metallic silver sheen. It has great color payoff whether applied dry or wet. Inglot #448 is less metallic and a bit lighter.
  • Wintersky is a purple-tinted blue with silver sparkle and shimmer. It’s fairly sheer and muted when applied dry and picks up intensity when applied damp. MAC Royale is a bit bluer.
  • Dark Moon is a charcoal black with lots of silver sparkle. This isn’t a shade I’d advocate using dry, because the sparkle is chunky enough that it doesn’t completely meld with the base color without some dampness. When it’s applied damp, the sparkle adheres and mixes better with the underlying color. The color payoff when it’s applied dry is slightly sheerer. It reminded me of Chanel Mirifique but less black. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle has more multi-colored shimmer.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky is a more unique color but could use a little more oomph in pigmentation. Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry (without a sticky base), so have a care or else use it wet. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky could use a little more oomph in pigmentation, while Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection launches on November 10th, and the next set I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.), which contains four shades: Light Violet (pale violet), Grape (purple), Seasonally Cool (sparkling taupe), and Misty (pale silver). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • Seasonally Cool is a subtly cool-toned bronze. The gray tint is minor, so it comes off as more of a brown than it does a taupe. This one has a fair amount of sparkle, so I did encounter some fall out when it was applied dry, but this was lessened when it was applied damp. Similarly, it’s sheerer when applied dry and much more intense when applied damp. It’s similar to Urban Decay Lost and Make Up For Ever #15.
  • Misty is a bright, lightened silver with a strong, metallic finish. It’s slightly sheer when applied dry and more opaque when applied wet. Giorgio Armani #12 is similar but cooler-toned.
  • Light Violet is a pink=lavender with a metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s very, very chunky; I did not find I could really “crush” these into becoming smooth, even on my arm. It reminded me of a much pinker Kitschmas. The color is also similar to theBalm Curtain Call. It’s warmer and pinker than Stacked 1.
  • Grape is a rich, red-toned purple with a softer but still metallic sheen. It had good color payoff both dry and wet, with the metallic finish coming out more when it was applied wet. It’s more vibrant and red-toned than Stacked 1. MAC Plush is similar but a touch darker and less metallic in finish. MAC Half-Wild is redder. Inglot #446 is less purple.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

I loved the smoothness and vibrancy of Grape, while Light Violet was one of the worst shades out of the three sets entirely. It was very gritty and chunky–it was much harder to work with and extremely prone to fall out. I also had some fall out issues with Seasonally Cool from the sparkle when used dry, but it was lessened if it was applied damp. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
This particular stack/kit had some drawbacks that Smoky Berry didn't have, which is a very finicky shade in Light Violet and slightly problematic Seasonally Cool.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection will debut in-stores on November 10th, and the first I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) contains four shades: Pearl (pearl), Rose Light (rose), Spicy Smoke (dark strawberry), and Roasted Chestnut (deep chocolate with gold pearl). It took a bit of digging, but I found the official description from when these were originally released, and they’re described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • Pearl is a warm, frosted white. It looks very peach in the pot, but it’s white when applied. I actually thought I had swatched things out of order but lo and behold, it really is that drastic of a difference. The high frost element of these seems to translate into lighter-than-pot shades overall. Pearl was less pigmented than it should be, especially when used dry; you really need to pack on the product to get better color payoff dry. When used damp, it’s better and the metallic finish is brought to the forefront, though there is still an underlying sheerness. It’s warmer and smoother than MAC Forgery.
  • Rose Light is a softened rose pink with a metallic, frosted finish. It seems a little lighter and much smoother than Rose pigment. It’s a bit pinker than the base color of Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy. Inglot #399 is darker, as is Giorgio Armani #7. It applies decently dry, but it performs best when applied wet.
  • Spicy Smoke is an orange-red with a soft, frosted finish. It’s less metallic than the previous two shades. The red gets pulled out more when it is applied damp, while it is more orange when applied dry. It’s a touch redder than Milani I Heart You. MAC Coppering is similar – a bit more metallic in finish.
  • Roasted Chestnut is a dark chocolate brown with bronzy sparkle and shimmer. This one needs to be pressed and “crushed,” because it is one of the chunkier pigments of the four. It holds together nicely once it’s been applied, though. It has opaque color when applied dry, though it is softer and less intense than when it is applied damp. The dry color is a bit like MAC Buckwheat, while Laura Mercier Cedar compares favorably to the color it is when applied damp.

I wore this set as a look (used all of the shades except Rose Light) without a base on one eye and with a base (MAC Mixing Medium) on the other (double-duty testing!). I applied Pearl and Spicy Smoke with a dampened brush, while I applied Roasted Chestnut dry into the crease. I’m pleased to report that I didn’t have any fall out while I wore the look; there was some minor fall out from Roasted Chestnut being used dry during initial application, but I did not find lots of sparkle and shimmer underneath my eye hours later. On the eye without a base, it looked only slightly faded eight hours later as it did when I first applied the shades (with a base, it was fine). The real trick is really pressing the pigment against the lid so it combines and binds together. I recommend using a firmer brush like the 242.

The consistency varies, though they tend to be a little chunky, with some (like Roasted Chestnut) being very chunky in the pot, while some are finer (like Spicy Smoke). Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.  I’m not particularly keen on the packaging; it’s a cute concept–the stackable jars–but they’re messy.

P.S. — It’s interesting how grams/ounces work; each stack of two is labeled as 6g/0.21 oz., while the bottom of the outer packaging said 12g/0.40 oz.. According to a Google conversion from 12g to ounces, it was 0.423 oz. I’m not sure why the math is a little off here.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
For those used to working with loose colors and not minding some of the inherent mess in this type of product, they're nice overall. You get plenty of product in each pot, and they wear well without a base and have decent to great pigmentation (depending if you use it dry/wet).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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