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MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Sahara Dust (light neutral beige), Cactus Thorn (mid-tone brown bronze), Desert (shimmering warm taupe), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Sand Storm (soft sheer warm caramel).

Sahara Dust is a pale beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a satin finish, officially. The color payoff is decent, and it works well as a highlighter on the brow bone or inner tear duct. Illamasqua Slink is similar, slightly frostier. MAC Brule is more matte. Giorgio Armani Madreperla has a frostier finish. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Vanilla is a touch lighter.

Cactus Thorn is a softened bronze-shimmered medium-dark brown. It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is good, though the texture was a bit dry. Dior Golden Savannaha is darker, browner. Giorgio Armani #26 is more shimmery. Urban Decay Chase is warmer and more metallic. theBalm Schitzo is very similar, but more pigmented and slightly more golden-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is richer.

Desert is a gray-tinged brown with a hint of plum. It has a satin finish. It has decent color payoff but had a dry, stiffer texture. Bobbi Brown Slate is softer, more matte. MAC Aurora is lighter, more frosted. Dolce &G abbana Jewels is grayer. Inglot #360 is similar but matte.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. I feel like every time I swatch Carbon, it gets worse. And I’m not swatching the same one! This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt! Because I happened to also have a really rich black that I was swatching (completely unplanned!) that was insanely pigmented, I took a comparison photo, just so you can see why Carbon is such a disappointment.

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Sand Storm is a warm, orange-tan with a soft, barely dewy finish (it read mostly matte when it dried down and set). There’s a yellowy-orange undertone that comes through. MAC Lush-Light is darker, browner. MAC Refined Golden is browner. MAC Tan Tint is a smidgen darker. It can be used sheerly with ease, and it can be built up a bit, though I’m not sure it will show up well on darker complexions–it just barely shows on mine (I’m about NC30 at the moment). It may add warmth without adding noticeable color. Yesterday, when I was testing the wear, my cheeks were slightly dry, and this wasn’t forgiving, unfortunately. I was hoping that the creamy consistency would help and was happy that I was testing a cream blush instead of a powder one, LOL! After six hours, it had separated and faded noticeably.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

It’s a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole.  The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with.  Sand Storm didn’t have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially.  These eyeshadows were less stellar without a primer–they were less blendable and faded after six hours. Over a primer, I saw some minor fading of Desert and Carbon.  

It’s hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal. I keep hoping for a stellar launch from MAC, but they aren’t making it easy at all.

I’ll have my review for the Jungle Camouflage palette up soon, but as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more shimmery, while Jungle Camouflage is more matte.

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

B-
8
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
81%
Total

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MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer
MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer clear nude.” It’s a sheer light beige with a cream finish. Why does MAC describe this one as “sheer” and “clear” but that nearly colorless lipstick as “sheer” and “translucent.” The descriptions would be better if switched – as this polish is definitely not clear (sheer, yes!). Chanel Beige Petale is similar. MAC Sandpiper is darker, more opaque. Essie Kisses & Bisses is iridescent.

Unfortunately, this was a pale cream that was definitely streaky to work with. It wouldn’t self-level for me, and I attempted three different applications to get it to be even, but I didn’t have any luck. It levels out just slightly but not enough to be even and smooth. I think this is a color that works for a sheer shade, and it’s very work-friendly. It gave my nails a brighter, cleaner look–but it was streaky. The formula was slightly thick, but two coats didn’t feel too heavy. I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with MAC’s polish formula.

MAC Nail Lacquer Undercover Nude
7
Product
8
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
3
Application
79%
Total

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer
MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep blood red.” It’s a dark, brown-based red with a cream finish. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is much darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow is several shades darker. Essie Size Matters is lighter, less brown. China Glaze City Siren has less brown. MAC Sly as a Fox is browner. Chanel Rouge Fatal is a smidgen browner. Essie Limited Addiction is very comparable.

It is mostly opaque after two coats, but there’s a small level of translucency–almost because it doesn’t look quite even.  The consistency was thin but not watery; each coat seemed to deliver a fair amount of color payoff, but there was some streakiness that impaired the overall result.  I don’t have problems with the wear of MAC’s polish formula (I get a week with minor tip wear but no chipping), but a lot of the shades don’t have stellar formulas.

P.S. — I didn’t think MAC polish could get more expensive this year, but I was wrong.

MAC Nail Lacquer Underfire
Underfire
Underfire
8.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
3.5
Application
87%
Total

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MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sheer translucent nude.” (I will also note that MAC’s website only describes it as “nude,” which is more misleading than the press release’s description.) It’s a wash of warm beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a lustre finish. For all intents and purposes, it looks like I put lip balm on, because it looks completely colorless on my lips. As far as dupes go, any lip balm that has more of a sheen than a glossy shine would substitute.

It was hard to judge how long this worn on me, truly, because the only thing I could see visually was that lustre-like finish, kind of frosted but barely. Instead, I took a napkin and pressed my lips against this after two hours (at which point, it seemed like it was gone), and there was nothing on the napkin.  I repeated this experiment twice more – the second time, after an hour and the third time, after three hours. There was a little bit of product visible on the napkin after an hour, and again, none after three hours. The fact that color is coming off shows that it’s not 100% clear or invisible, but because your lips are not invisible or clear, they tend to “absorb” the color so it’s less noticeable on. I’m not a big fan of lustre finishes, as I tend to find them drying, and Tropical Mist was no exception, as it was somewhat drying after wearing it for six hours (back to back).

It’s sheer. It’s translucent. It’s pretty much exactly as described by MAC, except it’s nearly invisible. Sheer doesn’t mean clear, right? Translucent is the adjective more likely to suggest clear, though after reading about ten definitions across various dictionaries online, it suggests something that allows light to pass through but in a slightly diffused manner (e.g. frosted glass).  On that note, I’m going to go with this needs a wee bit more color to give it a more diffused quality but only take off one point.  Since it’s somewhat drying, it’s not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that’s going to look virtually colorless and not hydrating. I imagine some will expect a lower grade, but remember: MAC said this was sheer and translucent, so that’s the starting point for discussion.

MAC Lipstick Tropical Mist
7.5
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
6
Longevity
4.5
Application
80%
Total

Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss

Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss
Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss

Surround Me in Pink Tulle

Bobbi Brown Pink Tulle High Shimmer Lipgloss ($23.00 for 0.24 fl. oz.) is described as a “hot pink with pearl.” it’s a translucent light-medium pink with lots of silver sparkle. On my lips, it enhances the natural pink coloring found in my lips and gives them a truer pink look (less washed out, since my natural lip color is rather corpse-like). If you have more pigmented lips, it’s going to resemble clear gloss with a truckload of sparkle. MAC Floating Lotus is lighter and has finer shimmer. MAC Sweet Bean has finer shimmer. Bobbi Brown Pastel is much lighter, milkier. MAC Sueprglass has flaky shimmer instead.

Having a gloss like this in your stash is worthwhile, but it’s not necessarily a shade you need to have several versions of, because a lot of those differences get lost on the lips.  I’ve been reaching for this gloss often when I need something to wear for blush photos or in a video and don’t have a light enough lip color that might work, because a lot of the fall eye products have been pretty dark (as have the lip products; neither is a surprise). Super shiny, glossy enough to give lips a fuller look, and gorgeous sparkle that shimmers and dazzles.  It’s semi-sheer to semi-opaque but there’s an obvious translucency, as the natural lip color most definitely will come through, but there’s a lot of sparkle–so the more light that catches the shimmer, the more opaque it looks (see the difference between the flash and studio lit photos).

Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipgloss is a staple product for me.  If you forced me to commit to a single gloss formula, I’d go here. I can say that without hesitation, and I really can’t do that with most products.  I will equivocate and hum and haw and tell you it depends on the shade or occasion or the like, because it’s usually true, and it’s hard to pick one favorite and commit to it.  This formula is high-shine, non-sticky, comfortable and hydrating to wear, wears well, and has shimmer that really wows. It never feels gritty, and Pink Tulle, despite its subtle color, lasts a solid four hours on me.  Bobbi Brown’s glosses are mint-scented and come with a doe-foot applicator. Bonus: also includes more gloss than the average one does.

Bobbi Brown High Shimmer Lip Gloss Pink Tulle

China Glaze Deviantly Daring Nail Lacquer

China Glaze Deviantly Daring Nail Lacquer
China Glaze Deviantly Daring Nail Lacquer

Do You Dare to Be Deviant?

China Glaze Deviantly Daring Nail Lacquer ($3.00 to $7.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as an “adventurously bold peacock teal.” it’s a rich blue-based teal with a subtle shift to a slightly greener-teal and tends to darken around the edges. Urban Decay Mars is greener. Wet ‘n’ Wild Teal or No Teal is lighter. ORLY Haley’s Comet has chunkier shimmer/sparkle. Illamasqua Viridian is darker and greener.

It is, unfortunately, one of those shades that looks majestic in the bottle, but it’s less interesting on the nail. The richness of the color makes it look lovely on, but I don’t think it has the kind of shift you’d expect. I re-read the press release to get a better handle on what exactly the collection was about. If you’re looking for a strong duochrome finish, you’ll be disappointed. The shift in this one is subtle; there but not obvious. There were some noticeable brush strokes in brighter light.

Deviantly Daring is opaque in two coats, and the formula was really good–not too thick or too thin–and didn’t pool along the sides of the nail or streak.  The drying time was faster than average, and it did dry down to a fairly shiny finish.  China Glaze’s formula typically wears a full week on me with no chipping but has minor tip wear.  Their polish retails for $7, but you can easily find bottles for $3-4 at various e-tailers.

China Glaze Nail Lacquer Deviantly Daring
A

Limited Edition

9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
94%
Total

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