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MAC 3N & Runaway Red Lipsticks (Making Pretty)

MAC 3N Lipstick
MAC 3N Lipstick

Two Well-Loved Lipsticks Make a Return in New Clothes

MAC Making Pretty Lipsticks ($28.00 for 0.15 oz. each) are available in two shades: 3N (milky pastel pink) and Runaway Red (rich red-blue).  Both shades are repromotes, though they were well-received shades.  The collection online yesterday, and I immediately placed my order and overnighted everything, but unfortunately 3N has already sold out.  To find it, you’ll have to find a MAC freestanding on December 13th or Pro store on December 6th.

3N is a pale pink with neutral undertones. It has a lustre finish. The color payoff is semi-opaque with some translucency. It lasts just over two and a half hours on me.  theBalm Milly is a bit pinker. MAC Pure Zen is darker, pinker. Chanel Empreinte is sheerer. Cle de Peau #129 is pinker. MAC Lazy Day is grayer.

Runaway Red is a darkened blue-based red with a natural sheen. It has a satin finish and opaque color payoff.  This shade lasted right around six hours and left a stain behind.  Dior Diorling is similar. MAC Deeply Adored is a touch darker. Guerlain Gwen is lighter. MAC Digna is less red, more berry.

Of all products available during these couture releases, the lipsticks are typically the best value, as they contain more product than the standard lipstick–by a lot. Normal MAC lipsticks retail for $15.00 and contain 0.10 oz., which is equivalent to $150/oz. These specially packaged lipsticks are $187/oz. I believe the lipsticks are packaged in thin metal with faux shagreen wrapped around the tube. I kept trying to clink it with other known plastics and metals, and the cap tinkled nicely, but the inner tube not so much (but there is a plastic insert within it, which might have contributed to the lack of metal-like sound).

MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented, and the coverage, wear time, and hydration level depends largely on the finish.  Lustres like 3N are slightly drying for me, and they have a tendency to wear around two hours.  Satin finishes like Runaway Red are neither drying nor hydrating, but they tend to wear longer than the average lipstick.

MAC 3N & Runaway Red Lipsticks (Making Pretty)

A-
8.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

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MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder (Making Pretty)

MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder
MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder

Is This Packaging Worth an Extra $41?

MAC Silver Dusk Iridescent Powder ($65.00 for 0.51 oz.) is described as a “pinky beige with silver shimmer.” It’s a mix of soft pink and silver shimmer, though when applied to my cheek as a highlight, it read more like a delicate silver shimmer. It’s similar to products like Chanel Reverie. Lots of loose sparkle and shimmer, so depending on your threshold for sparkle, you may love or loathe this product. MAC recommends building it up gradually, and also notes that it is a multi-tasking product that can be worked into foundation, moisturizer, and so on.

Oh, and if you don’t care about the packaging? You can purchase it in a plastic jar any time of the year for a mere $24 (you get 0.42 oz., which is a little less).  The exterior of the bottom portion of the “jar” is made out of cardboard, while the lid is covered in faux shagreen and has a plastic metallic rose bow.  It also contains a soft, fluffy pouf, which is great if you plan to dust it onto your body, but for smaller areas, it’s not practical.  When MAC originally launched their couture collections, I was In. Love. Couture was back in ’06 I believe, and it culminated in me purchasing my first MAC brush (see it here).

There are always cheaper products that perform as well or better than products marked up five, ten, twenty times.  I absolutely will and have paid this price or more for a beauty product.  Like any brand name, I know that part of what I pay is for the name–especially with higher-end/luxury brands.  MAC has already told me that it’s powder is worth $24, so for this packaging upgrade, they’re adding $41 (and giving you an extra 0.09 oz. of product).  One of Guerlain’s bigger complaints in regards to their Meteorites was the use of cardboard (and a couple of years ago, they changed it to metal), though even Meteorites cost less and contain more (currently $58/1.05 oz.).  I like Silver Dusk as a loose, iridescent powder.  It’s a nice highlighter (though I like it better on cooler complexions), and it doesn’t emphasize pores.   It’s worth checking out at $24.

You don’t even have the ability to attempt to rationalize that the product is worth paying extra; you know, that the effect of it is just that much better and worth the steeper price tag compared to other iridescent powders, because you know you can get the exact same product for far less. Not a dupe, not close enough–exactly the same.  If MAC wants to show us that they can do couture, they need to do it, because this is not it.

MAC Iridescent Powder/Loose Silver Dusk
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder
MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder

MAC Making Pretty has a Mystery–Powder That Is!

MAC Light Medium Sheer Mystery Powder ($65.00 for 0.56 oz.) is a sheer, pressed powder. Each year, MAC launches it with their “couture” collection (typically at the end of the year), and this is one of three shades. Light Medium is likely a good bet for NC/NW20. It has a mostly neutral undertone, and when sheered out, matches my forearm pretty well (which is around NC20).  It also is available in Medium Plus and Dark Secret.

It can work as a finishing or setting powder. It has a lightweight, finely-milled texture that’s very soft and silky-smooth. Now, one aspect that must be mentioned is that you actually get a refill with your purchase (each pan is 0.28 oz.). To compare, MAC’s Select Sheer/Pressed Powder is $24.00/0.42 oz.  I’ve used this many times in the past, and it helps to set or mattify makeup.  What’s nice about the finely-milled powder is that it doesn’t look powdery on the skin, and it’s impossible to overdo.

This collection is all about packaging, but I think it’s a let-down.  Over the years, the Mystery Powder compacts have gotten lighter and lighter, and this year’s feels the lightest so far.  It’s in the same style as this year’s holiday palettes, but instead of the pastel cushion, it has faux shagreen.  It’s just the metallic edging is all plastic. It doesn’t feel like a $65 compact without some heft.

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Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette
Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette

Spin, Spin Sugar

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette ($22.00 for 0.418 oz.) contains eight eyeshadows (0.03 oz. each), one highlighter (.076 oz.), one bronzer (0.076 oz.), and one lipgloss (0.026 oz.). It’s a holiday palette designed to include a range of “holiday metallics.”

#1 is a shimmering champagne gold with a bright, metallic finish. It has a similar effect to a glittery shade without the mess. The color payoff was good, and it applied smoothly. Tarte Sunshine State is yellower. MAC Retrospeck is warmer, yellower. Chanel Apparence is also warmer, darker. bareMinerals Chart Topper is darker.

#2 is a softened orange with gold shimmer. It had good pigmentation and applied smoothly. bareMinerals Golden Iris is darker. Tarte Golden Gate Bridge is a touch darker. Tarte Canary Diamond is browner. Guerlain Turandot is slightly more orange. Milani Gold Dust is very similar.

#3 is a sparkling pink-tinted white. It had so-so color payoff, but I didn’t have any fall out problems with it. MAC She’s Got Class is less pink-tinged but similar in finish. Tarte Iceland Air is similar in color but less sparkly. MAC Crystal Avalanche is similar, less metallic. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is a bit darker.

#4 is a gray-ish mauve with a bright, metallic sheen. It had decent pigmentation and applied smoothly. Tarte Next Level Lilac is more matte, so it is also darker in appearance. MAC Cloudy Afternoon is darker. Urban Decay Bust is several shades darker.

#5 is a shimmering, pale yellow. It had good color payoff and went on smoothly without being powdery. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is more sparkling, a little darker. Buxom Poodle is more metallic and in a cream form. Bobbi Brown Gold is very similar.

#6 is a medium-dark chocolate brown with subtle warm undertones and a bronze shimmer. It had great pigmentation and felt smooth and soft to the touch.Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning is a touch darker, less shimmery. MAC Carbonized has less shimmer, slightly darker. NARS Galapagos is a bit less bronze.

#7 is a light-medium gray with a silver sheen. It had so-so color payoff, and it was a touch dry to work with. Giorgio Armani #12 is darker, but it is similar when sheered out.

#8 is a soft black with fine silver shimmer. The pigmentation was weak in this shade, and it looked dry, slightly chalky, when applied. shu uemura Smoky Velvet is darker. Bobbi Brown Onyx is similar. MAC Black Tied is also similar.

The Highlighter is a white gold with a shimmer-sheen finish. Tarte Angelic is a smidgen yellower but not by much. Illamasqua Aurora is a touch lighter and in a cream form. NARS Albatross has a similar sheen, but it has a whiter base.

The Lipgloss included in the palette is pretty much clear and there’s almost no visible shimmer when applied. It made me do a double-take, because at least in the pan, you could see shimmer. Being next to two face powders is unfortunate, as it’s easy to kick up excess powder with larger blush/bronzer brushes (with eyeshadow brushes, it’s just as possible, but I think you have more control). So, you can use any clear gloss as a substitute, really!

The Bronzer is a medium-dark tan with strong orange-brown undertones and a sprinkling of gold sparkle. The texture was a little powdery but dry–I had a tough time getting this shade to deposit color, let alone blending it out. Tarte Park Ave. Princess is similar but has more golden shimmer/sheen. Urban Decay Toasted is similar but has no shimmer/sparkle.

OVERALL, this palette is best purchased if you like the eyeshadows.  The lipgloss and bronzer are disappointing, while the highlighter is better it was a touch dry in texture.  Too Faced’s Candlelight on its own is much better.  The eyeshadows are fairly pigmented, though the last two shades were on the weaker side, and the really sparkly white was a little sheer, too.  None were flops, though, and the other five shades were rather nice to work with.  If you cut the palette in half, you’ll see two very distinct quads of colors–one set is warm, the other is cooler-toned.  It’s like, not love.

When I tested out the eyeshadows, they lasted eight hours with very minor fading when used without a primer; with a primer, they lasted a full eight hours.  I didn’t have any fall out, despite using the sparkly shades, which was a pleasant surprise.  The highlighter wore for seven hours, while the bronzer was faded after six hours.  The price point is nice, though, because it’s not to pricey and makes for an easy gift to give without breaking the bank, but it still feels like a nice gift to give (more to it than just a lipstick!).  I just wish the whole palette performed better.

Too Faced Spun Sugar Glamour to Go Palette

B
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total

China Glaze Escaping Reality Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Escaping Reality Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Escaping Reality Nail Lacquer

Not So Keen on Winter? Escape Reality with Neon Pink

China Glaze Escaping Reality Nail Lacquer ($7.00 MSRP for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “neon raspberry pink.” It’s a vibrant medium-dark pink with a cream finish. There is definitely a neon element to the color, as it is very bright, and it has the signature quick dry down of neons and the semi-matte finish. China Glaze Love’s a Beach is very similar in color, but it has shimmer in it. NARS Anardana is darker, redder. MAC Girl About Town is a darker pink. Zoya Lolly is more matte and not quite as neon.

It’s fully opaque after two coats, and the formula was easy to work with.  It wasn’t too thick or too thin (consistent with China Glaze’s formula overall), provided even coverage, and flowed well across the nail without streaking or bubbling once on.  I typically get a week of wear with China Glaze’s formula with no chipping, just minor tip wear.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Escaping Reality
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
5
Application
96%
Total

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick
Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick

A Pale, Warm Pink Not to Be Missed

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “marshmallow pink.” It’s a soft, light-medium pink with subtle yellow undertones. A lot of lighter pinks like this one tend to have cool undertones, so it’s nice to see one with some warmth. MAC Vivid Imagination is darker by several shades. MAC Angel is less warm–almost gray-ish in comparison. Cle de Peau #106 is a smidgen lighter.

Too Faced’s La Creme formula is supposed to be rich in color, creamy, and hydrating.  It definitely nails the creamy part; it is so slick and wet, that it almost feels like a lipstick-balm hybrid.  Despite the slick texture, it wears rather well for this type of texture:  three and a half hours.  It is nicely hydrating both during and post-wear, too.  The one downside is it has a thicker feel on the lips, so it can easily bunch up or show lines if you press your lips together.  Bunny was opaque on lips with a soft frosted sheen.

Too Faced Marshmallow Bunny La Creme Lipstick

A-
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8
Longevity
4.5
Application
92%
Total

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