Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer
MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer

MAC Tartan Tale: MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer

MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer ($13.00) is a rich, darkened red-brown with soft ruby micro-shimmer.  It’s actually quite similar to Chanel’s Rouge Fatale–though it has shimmer and is a touch browner–I’d say 85-90% similarity.  There is something about red-brown shades that say sexy to me; I wonder if it’s because they have more depth and seem less commonplace than more traditional reds.  Two coats for this, and the formula itself applied smoothly and evenly.  The brush seemed a little wonky, more out of manufacturing than design, but it seemed a little splayed and thick.

But if you can only find room in your budget for one of the two Tartan Tale nail lacquers… wait ’til you see Style Clan!

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

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s a nice variation on red for autumn, and if you were wanting Rouge Fatale but couldn’t stomach the $23 price tag, it’s a good alternative.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Her Blooming Cheek Blush
MAC Her Blooming Cheek Blush

MAC Tartan Tale: Her Blooming Cheek Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Her Blooming Cheek Blush ($18.50 for 0.21 oz.) is a ridiculously pigmented bright fuchsia pink blush with a satin finish. It has a subtle sheen but no shimmer. It is very, very pigmented. I recommend tapping it on and diffusing color with foundation or pressed powder or using a stippling brush like the 187 or 188 so that you can gradually build up color. It has cooler, blue undertones, but it still looks really lovely on warmer skin.

It’s more fuchsia than MAC Full Fuchsia Blush, but it seems very similar to Azalea (which I don’t think I have to swatch against). Both of those blushes are PRO only, but they are available permanently.

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

RECOMMENDATION: If you love bright cheeks or bold pinks, yes and yes. Oh, assuming you don’t have Azalea!

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC The Family Crest Pigment
MAC The Family Crest Pigment

MAC Tartan Tale: Pigments

For the color collection, there are three new and limited edition shades of MAC Pigments ($19.50 for 0.15 oz.). These shades are: The Family Crest (blackened bronze with pearl), Later (black with transforming purple pearl), and Moonlight Night (blackened teal with teal pearl). All three pigments have frost finishes. Later is a repromote from this spring’s Alice + Olivia Collection.

  • The Family Crest is a darkened, plummy brown base with flashes of gold and violet shimmer. It’s a very fun and complex shade! It’s actually a little similar to Style Clan nail lacquer (which you can’t wear on your eyes, LOL!). I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.
  • Later needs moisture to look amazing. Do not just swatch it dry and forget about it, because you’re really not giving it a chance then. When applied wet, it’s a blackened-gray base with flashes of violet and deep blue-purple shimmer and sheen. About a million times prettier wet than dry. It is similar to My Dark Magic Mineralize Eyeshadow from Venomous Villains. It could also be replicated by layering Violet pigment over a black base.
  • Moonlight Night is a darkened charcoal gray base with flashes of deep forest green shimmer and soft frosted sheen. I couldn’t think of a MAC dupe for this shade.

Even when swatched dry, both The Family Crest and Moonlight Night swatched smoothly, but Later definitely needs to be used wet or patted over a sticky base to get the true color. I personally find MAC’s Mixing Medium (Water-Based) to work really well when using pigments wet, because it is slightly tacky, which makes the pigment hold together and wear all day.  I’ve often used pigments as bases for other eyeshadows with this method.

Though I like the look of the new pigment jars, I do find them a lot messier.  I don’t know if it’s perhaps that I open these over a white table, but I feel like I get some smeared on the photo station every time I open them, which is quite annoying.  I haven’t spilled or toppled any of the jars over, at least!

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  • Product: 29/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 3/5

RECOMMENDATION: If you’re a fan of pigments or enjoy using loose color, then yes on all three. I think they’re great shades and nothing feels like, “Wow, I’ve seen this twenty times!”

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  Viva Glam Lip Bag
MAC Tartan Tale: ‘Tis Noble to Give Viva Glam Lip Bag

MAC Tartan Tale: ‘Tis Noble to Give Viva Glam Lip Bag

This year’s Viva Glam item is ‘Tis Noble to Give Viva Glam Lip Bag ($36.00), which includes full-sizes of Viva Glam V (lipstick) and Viva Glam V (lipglass), both described as a “neutral pink with pearl.” The set comes with a red-dominated tartan-patterened bag, the same as in the other Lip Bags (just a bit bigger than my hand).

  • Viva Glam V (lipstick) is a pinky nude-brown with soft champagne shimmer. It’s semi-sheer on lips, and it’s incredibly flattering. This is the kind of shade that looks good on both warmer and cooler skin tones.
  • Viva Glam V (lipglass) is a peachy nude with soft golden shimmer. It has a milky quality to it, and it’s not nearly as pink as its lipstick counterpart. This is warmer, but I don’t think it’s unduly warm that it wouldn’t work on cooler skin tones.

For all the Bravehearts and beautiful souls that keep the M∙A∙C AIDS Fund flowing, we say, ’Tis Noble to Give… and with every purchase of this gorgeous, grandiloquent world-clan collectible, you are helping to keep the coffers confident – because every cent from every M∙A∙C VIVA GLAM purchase always goes directly to the women, men and kids affected by HIV/AIDS everywhere. It’s our heritage, our proud moment…and yours too. Keep the VIVA GLAM clan alive and thriving!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

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

RECOMMENDATION: I always recommend buying Viva Glam when the colors appeal to you–it is such a fantastic cause.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  Happily Ever After Lip Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: Happily Ever After Lip Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: Happily Ever After Lip Kit

Happily Ever After Lip Kit ($22.50) is a trio of lip products, featuring one sheer lipglass and two lipsticks. This is a very pink-themed lip palette that does run a bit cool-toned, but it’s very wearable for both cool and warm skin tones.  Lip palettes tend to be a hate it or love it kind of product; either you love the utility and portability of them or find them impractical and frustrating. I belong to the latter camp, so I’ve always leaned towards MAC’s Lip Bags during the holidays!

The lip palette includes: Endless Fun (sheer frosty pink), Cheers All Around (bright candy pink), and To Joy (medium pink). All three shades are new and limited edition to this palette.

  • Endless Fun is a shimmering pale, milky pink with champagne-gold shimmer. It is a lipglass. It’s a lot like Oyster Girl.
  • Cheers All Around is an opaque bright medium pink with blue undertones and lighter pink-fuchsia shimmer. It is a frost finish lipstick, but it’s not very frosty. This shade is a cross between Bombshell and Creme de la Femme.
  • To Joy is a semi-sheer pale peach-pink with heavy frosted shimmer. It is a frost finish lipstick. High Strung was the closest dupe I could think of, but it’s a little darker.  It looks nicer swatched than on my lips!

The palette contains one lipglass (0.03 oz.) and two lipsticks (0.09 oz.). A full-sized lipglass (0.17 oz.) retails for $14.50, while a full-sized lipstick (0.10 oz.) retails for $14.50. It also has a tiny 316SE brush. In this case, you’re getting $2.56 worth of lipglass and $13.05 worth of lipstick–so it’s just over $15 worth of product but the price tag is $22.50. Not such a hot deal in regards to quantity, but the other side of the coin is you get to try three shades for $22.50 vs. $43.50.

MAC’s lipsticks vary from sheer to opaque, and finish doesn’t always tell the story on pigmentation, so these shades seem in line with the brand’s lipstick range.  If you like pinks, this is totally up your alley; if you’re not so into pinks, it won’t make your must-buy list.  I don’t think these shades are the most unique, so if you just spot one you’re interested, try giving one of the suggested dupes a shot.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: Though a little cooler in tone, it’s not terribly cool.  I expect that Cheers All Around will grab some eyes, as it’s a nice bright pink without being neon.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

MAC Tartan Tale:  A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit
MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

MAC Tartan Tale: A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit

A Fabulous Fantasy Lip Kit ($22.50) is a trio of lip products, featuring one sheer lipglass and two lipsticks.  There’s a nice variety in the finishes, and they do seem to coordinate well–they are all a touch on the warm side, but not too warm.  Lip palettes tend to be a hate it or love it kind of product; either you love the utility and portability of them or find them impractical and frustrating.  I belong to the latter camp, so I’ve always leaned towards MAC’s Lip Bags during the holidays!

The lip palette includes: Heroic Tale (sparkle flesh tone), Imagine This (pinky beige), and Storybook Ending (raisin). All three shades are new and limited edition to this palette.

  • Heroic Tale is a shimmering bronzy nude with flecks of champagne and copper shimmer. It is a lipglass. It appears rather sheer on lips and looks glossy with shimmer in it but doesn’t change the lip color much, if at all. It’s a little lighter than Mad Cap and Sinnamon, but they have similar effects when worn.
  • Imagine This is a peach with an orange-brown tone with a creamy look to it. It is an amplified finish lipstick. This is very pigmented and looks opaque on lips. It’s a much more orange version of Peachstock, but it seems a bit darker than Ravishing.
  • Storybook Ending is a plum-tinged brown with gold micro-shimmer and a high-gloss shine. It is a lustre finish lipstick, so despite looking darker in the swatch, it applies very sheer. It imparts mostly a glow and light shine while adding some darkness to my natural lip color. It seems similar, but lighter, than Polished Up.

The palette contains one lipglass (0.03 oz.) and two lipsticks (0.09 oz.). A full-sized lipglass (0.17 oz.) retails for $14.50, while a full-sized lipstick (0.10 oz.) retails for $14.50. It also has a tiny 316SE brush. In this case, you’re getting $2.56 worth of lipglass and $13.05 worth of lipstick–so it’s just over $15 worth of product but the price tag is $22.50. Not such a hot deal in regards to quantity, but the other side of the coin is you get to try three shades for $22.50 vs. $43.50.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 7/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: This is a warmer lip palette, but the shades aren’t too warm — I think some of our cooler beauties could rock it, too.

AVAILABILITY: October 28th at MAC Stores/Counters, Now online

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