Sunday, May 8th, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Collection: Overall & Recommendations

Surf Baby is a really fun collection with several high-quality products and shades, which makes it a really nice follow-up to Flighty, which left some disappointed.  The eyeshadows are fantastic–great smooth textures with excellent color pay off make them all worth having, but it’ll depend on your personal preferences and what you may already have at home.  I think the lipsticks and lipglasses are on par with what one would expect; not necessarily anything out-of-the-box but no significant texture issues.

I’m not much for bronzer, but I really loved the way the two shades of Studio Careblend Pressed Powders looked and felt on the skin–so natural.  The Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks are also a nice way to incorporate bronzer in your routine, and they, too, look natural against skin (though Gilty Bronze has shimmer and doesn’t!).  It’s hard to choose between the two.

Oddly enough, My Paradise and the Suntints are least impressive.  My Paradise is a little dusty; it’s just not a really finely milled, refined finish.  I think the drastic difference between the color with the overlay and the actual base color is going to make it easier to resist it.  Marine Life was better, because even though the gold was an overspray, there are two separate colors that go all the way through.  I don’t find Suntints to be a good lip balm at all, and of all products to splurge on for higher-end, lip balm is not usually one of them so it had better be good.

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

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Sunday, May 8th, 2011

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners
Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners – 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liner ($23.00 for 0.058 oz.) is a new liquid liner that launched recently at Sephora. It claims to be “weather, tear, and sweat-proof color” and “100% waterproof.” There are fifteen shades in total (there is no #2 shade), all of which have been photographed and swatched in this post.

  • #1 is a semi-sheer yellowed gold base with gold shimmer.
  • #3 is a darkened forest green with olive and green shimmer.
  • #4 is a medium-dark blue-teal with silver and teal shimmer.
  • #5 is a bright blue with soft silvery-white shimmer.
  • #6 is a blackened, cool-toned blue-purple with silver and blue shimmer.
  • #7 is a blackened violet purple with blue-violet and purple shimmer.
  • #8 is a medium-dark red-based purple with violet and fuchsia shimmer.
  • #9 is a bright, neon pink with a soft sheen.
  • #10 is a neutreal red with soft ruby red shimmer.
  • #11 is a burgundy wine with fuchsia and pink shimmer.
  • #12 is a lightened black with a touch of brown.
  • #13 is a deep, dark black.
  • #14 is a black-brown with multi-colored shimmer.
  • #15 is a silvered black with multi-colored shimmer.
  • #16 is a colorless base with white shimmer.

It’s clear that there’s a new liquid liner formula on the block, and a lot of brands have taken advantage of it: MAC Superslick ($17.50/0.06 oz.), Illamasqua Precision Ink ($27.50/0.06 oz., only available in Abyss and Glister), Laura Mercier Liquid Eyeliner ($26, only available in Gold Thread), Stila Sparkle Liquid Liner ($22.00/0.05 oz.), and Bobbi Brown Glitter Liquid Liner ($20.00/0.05 oz., only available in Silver and Gold during the holiday). I couldn’t tell the difference between the majority of these when it came to the formula (Laura Mercier’s I haven’t tried; Stila’s is chalked full of shimmer/glitter, so they feel a little different).

Make Up For Ever definitely changed up the formula and tweaked the packaging, which is something I didn’t see in the other brands. The brush is actually more tapered and shorter, though still made out of foam. The shorter length actually enables you to have a little more precision and makes it easy to never have too much product on the brush (this makes these edge out just oh-so-slightly ahead, but the longer applicator is still easy to work with). I also felt like the formula was thinner, almost watery, but it wasn’t watered down, because each liner was intensely pigmented. You also have to shake up these Aqua Liners (you’ll hear something rattling inside when you do) — and this isn’t something common to the other brands.

Aqua Liners are budgeproof, smudgeproof, and waterproof. These don’t budge until you’re ready to remove them, and they removed easily with an eye makeup remover like Lancome Bi-Facil or Make Up For Ever’s Sens’Eyes. MAC’s Makeup Removing Wipes also did a fine job of removing these from my arm. The product will flake off more than it will dissolve, but I didn’t experience any flaking while wearing–only when I went to remove it; the best way to describe it is to analogize it to tube mascara.

Though Aqua Liners have a different applicator and the formula is definitely tweaked (at least, in consistency/feel), but in wear, I’ve found that all of the variations on this new type of liquid eyeliner wear extremely well. Make Up For Ever has the largest range at 15. The two shades that overlap across nearly every brand is gold (for MUFE, it’s #1), though Make Up For Ever’s #1 seems a little darker, less metallic gold, more sun-gold, and plain ol’ black (for MUFE, it’s #15).

P.S. — I’m still waiting for a few Stila Sparkle Liquid Liners, and then I’ll post some comparisons for any shades that do compare.

The Glossover

mufAquaLiners

Make Up For Ever Aqua Liners Swatches, Photos, Reviews

A+
The color range is amazing--it's exactly what I'd expect from Make Up For Ever and totally useful for liquid liner fanatics. There are fun, brightly colored shades, but also some interesting takes on black. And then it's delivered in a formula that holds on all day, through showers and workouts!

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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Saturday, May 7th, 2011


MAC Surf Baby: Dupes & Comparisons (Part 2)

Here are some possible dupes/comparisons for a few of the lip and cheek products from Surf Baby.

  • GIRL ON BOARD is a little beiger than Almondine (limited edition), while it’s a little whiter than A Quiet Roar (limited edition). Outer Space (limited edition) is too pink in comparison (it looked similar in the tube!).
  • KRAZY KAHUNA is closest to is much browner than Temper Tantra (limited edition).
  • STRANGE POTION is a little lighter than both Tarlette (limited edition) and Splendid (limited edition). Pink Lemonade (permanent) may make a good dupe, but I don’t own it.
  • BUST OUT! is closest to Up the Amp (permanent), which is a touch lighter and purpler. Playtime (limited edition) is far too light and purple, while Style Curve (limited edition) is lighter and pinker. Spitfire (limited edition) is pinker and a little brighter. Violetta (PRO) is nothing like it.
  • NATURALLY ECCENTRIC is pretty much lighter than the nudes I tried to compare it to. Innocence Beware (limited edition) is darker and pinker, while Hue (permanent) is a little darker and pinker (but lighter than Innocence Beware). Creme d’Nude (permanent) looks dark and beige-pink compared to it. Fleshpot (permanent) is darker and pinker, while Myth is darker and more beige.
  • MY PARADISE (base color) is not at all like either Bite of an Apple (limited edition) or Marine Life (limited edition). It also does not compare to either NARS Taj Mahal (permanent) or NARS Exhibit A (permanent), the latter being the closest dupe, but it’s very, very red.
  • MY PARADISE (mixed) is closest to NARS Luster, which is a little pinker (it doesn’t look as apparent in the swatch, but when I initially swatched the two, it looked pinker to me). NARS Taj Mahal is so much more pigmented and deeper that there really is no comparison.

See comparison swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, May 7th, 2011


MAC Surf Baby: Dupes & Comparisons (Part 1)

Here are some possible dupes/comparisons for a few of the eye products from Surf Baby.

  • SAFFRON is closest to MAC Coppering (permanent), but it’s not quite as red and the finish makes them look different. Red Brick (PRO) is redder.
  • SHORT SHORTS is closest to Nylon (permanent), which is golder. Soft Force (limited edition) is a lot yellower, while Fresh Daisy (limited edition) is whiter. Femme-fi (limited edition) is beige in comparison.
  • SUN BLONDE is closest to NARS Mangrove (permanent), which is a little greener. MAC Jasmine (limited edition) is similar but lighter. Gorgeous Gold (permanent) is shown more for the family of color as it is far too light to be a dupe. Goldmine (permanent) is shown to contrast against what a yellower, truer gold looks like in comparison. Crest the Wave (limited edition) and Going Bananas (limited edition) are shown so you can see how much yellower they are compared to Sun Blonde.
  • SURF USA is closest to Gulf Stream (limited edition), which is just a hair lighter. Newly Minted (discontinued) and Melody (discontinued) are similar in color but not as dark.
  • SWELL BABY is probably closest to Print, which I don’t own (or couldn’t find if I do own it), and it’s not really similar to other grays that I own. Electra (permanent) is too light, while Silver Ring (permanent) is darker and cooler toned (almost looks blue in comparison). Copperplate (permanent) looks almost edged with plum. Smoke & Diamonds (limited edition) is too brown in comparison.
  • BLUE MOON is a lighter version of Urban Decay Covet (permanent). Float on By (limited edition) is a little darker and bluer.

See comparison swatches!  Continue reading →

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Video:  MAC Surf Baby First Impressions & Swatches

A surprisingly short video (for me!) for MAC Surf Baby! :)

Friday, May 6th, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Suntints
MAC Surf Baby Suntints

MAC Surf Baby: Suntint Lip Balms

MAC Surf Baby Suntint SPF 20 Lip Balms ($15.50 for 0.33 oz.) include three shades: Full of Grace (soft sheer rose), Lilt of Lily (soft creamy pale pink), and Pink Tinge (clean bright yellow pink with gold pearl).

  • Full of Grace is a sheer watermelon pink.
  • Lilt of Lily is a sheer, milky pink-lilac shimmered with iridescent pink.
  • Pink Tinge is a sheer, yellow-based pink with gold shimmer.

These are lip balms, and they’re designed to be sheer–this is exactly what they are: tinted lip balm. If you have naturally pigmented lips, these will add mostly gloss for you. Those with paler natural lips may find that Full of Grace deposits some color. Lilt of Lily has the least amount of color, while Pink Tinge has the most shimmer. Earlier today, I was actually lamenting doing lip swatches for these, because they’re so similar when worn, and ironically, I didn’t do lip swatches when these first launched (back in 2009 with Baby Blooms) for the same reason!

We’re on that border again; it’s expected to be sheer, but at what point is sheer too close to clear and therefore unpigmented? Full of Grace enhances my natural lip color by making it pinker and rosier, so it seems near our target. Lilt of Lily does a little but to a lesser extent. Pink Tinge adds shimmer and makes my lips look a little lighter than normal, and the sheerness is closer to Lilt of Lily but there is a little more here. It seems like pigmentation is where it should be for Full of Grace (like 9/10), while Lilt of Lily is lacking (5/10), and Pink Tinge falls somewhere between there (7/10), which averages out to around 7.

Suntints have a thicker, jelly-ish consistency and feel a little like gel lips. They’re sticky (less so than Lipglass), and they have a light vanilla scent to them. I get only two to three hours of wear with these as a lip balm, but they are somewhat moisturizing. They seem to do a good job of locking in moisture, but I don’t feel like they add much to lips, because once it’s gone, so are most of the moisturizing benefits. The Suntints come in squeeze-tube packaging, and each tube holds a surprising amount of product (0.33 oz.).

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Surf Baby Suntint Lip Balms Swatches, Photos, Reviews

C
I don't think these are moisturizing enough to make for a gotta have it kind of product. For anyone who longs for Tendertones, these are definitely not a reincarnation of them.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

Results
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