Friday, May 7th, 2010

MAC To the Beach Collection

MAC to the Beach Sneak Peek!  I mean… Faux Peek!

I might not be able to give you a true-and-blue sneak peek, but here’s a faux peek instead. MAC’s To the Beach Collection includes several repromoted/permanent shades, and since I do own a few of those, here are photos and swatches of those products. Just to be clear, none of the products shown are in the limited edition packaging of the actual collection. I don’t own Golden Bronzer or Rosemary & Thyme Eyeliner, but both of these are also permanent shades.

Please know that if I haven’t posted swatches or photos, it’s because I don’t have the products–sometimes I get press samples early, but many times I purchase the products myself when they’re available for sale.   Trust me, I wouldn’t hold back from you! :)

  • Hipness Blush is a soft pink with a hint of coral with a smooth finish–very satiny, not shimmery. It was originally released with the Fafi and MAC collaboration.
  • Refined Golden Bronzer is a dirty brown with a very fine golden shimmer strewn through the powder that’s barely noticeable when used. I don’t find it turns orange-y at all, so I like it for a bronzing option. It’s dark enough to work on light to medium dark complexions, but it’s not so dark that it will look drastic on lighter skin tones. This is a permanent product, but I have it because it was released with Style Warriors. (Which also released Solar Riche as the second bronzer in that collection, whereas To the Beach features Golden, also a permanent bronzing shade.)
  • Shimmermoss Eyeshadow is a darkened aqua-teal with a frosty sheen. It’s part of MAC’s permanent line, and it’s definitely one of my favorite eyeshadows, too. It’s a shade I think everyone who loves colors and MAC should own. If you depot your products or don’t care about the special packaging, you can snag it in pan form and save a few bucks.
  • Humid Eyeshadow is a darkened green with a yellow undertone and slight golden sheen. Like Shimmermoss, it’s a permanent shade, but it’s a classic shade, too. It’s soft, smooth, and has great color pay off. Humid is a must for green fiend like myself!
  • Thrills Lipstick is a stunning combination of red-rose and amber-bronze shimmer/frost. It’s a shade you just don’t see often. The only shade that comes close is nearly three times the price–La Prairie’s Rose Bronze (but that’s much pinker, rosier; same effect, but the base color is stronger). This originally launched with Rushmetal, way back in 2007. I don’t even have to see anything else from To the Beach to tell you this is a must-have from it, though. It’s AMAZING!
  • Pink Rebel Lustre Drops is a slightly pink-toned peach highlighter. Lustre Drops are, essentially, liquid highlighters. You can use them on your cheeks, brows, decolletage… whatever. You can mix it in with your foundation or moisturizer for an all-over sheen. Naturally, this one suits those with pinker undertones, but it can easily work with warmer complexions as well.  Lustre Drops debuted in Style Warriors last year.
  • Sun Rush Lustre Drops is a golden peach highlighter. This one is definitely more suitable for those with warmer undertones, but if used sheerly (which is really the best way to use these anyway), it’s not so warm that it would turn orange on cooler undertones.

Availability: May 27th, 2010 in-store, May 24th or 25th for online; Unveiling parties on May 18th at select locations

Let’s get a list going of unveilings happening around the country on May 18th…  Comment if you know of any stores that are :)

  • MAC @ El Segundo, El Segundo, CA
  • MAC @ Hillsdale Mall, San Mateo, CA
  • MAC @ Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA
  • MAC @ Bridgeport Village, Portland, OR
  • MAC @ Uptown, Albuquerque, NM
  • MAC @ The Parks, Arlington, TX
  • MAC @ The Domain, Austin, TX
  • MAC @ Nordstrom Stone Briar Mall, Dallas, TX (5/22)
  • MAC @ Hennepin, Minneapolis, MN
  • MAC @ King of Prussia, PA
  • MAC @ Natick, Natick, MA
  • MAC @ Smithaven Mall, Lake Grove, NY
  • MAC @ Montague, Brooklyn, NY
  • MAC @ 125th Street, Harlem, NY
  • MAC @ Columbus, NYC, NY
  • MAC @ Gardens, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
  • MAC @ Kingsway, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • MAC @ Robson, Vancouver, Canada
  • MAC @ Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

MAC Superglass Collection
MAC Superglass: Fab Frenzy, Totally Bang!, Cherry Electric, Superflash!,
Sweet Tart, Gift Wrap, Sugar Overload, Disco Blend, Tunnel of Love

MAC Superglass Collection: Review, Photos, & Swatches

Superglass is latest lipgloss creation by MAC.  My review for these is still the same and reposted with minor edits below.  They are a thick, sticky gloss loaded with both shimmer and flaky glitter particles.  They’re not for those who prefer less rather than more when it comes to shimmer, glitter, or texture.  I personally found it to be one of the thickest glosses I’ve ever worn–almost like the consistency of honey.

I like these, but I don’t love them–I like them a lot more on top of lipsticks for an extra kick of dazzling shimmer, but alone, they’re not as fun.  The texture/formula on these is consistent through all nine shades, so must-haves seem more dependent on your personal tastes.   My personal favorites, though, are Totally Bang! and Cherry Electric.

  • Most pigmented shadesFab Frenzy, Totally Bang!, Cherry Electric
  • Sheerest shadesSweet Tart, Sugar Overload

Are you looking to double your dazzle or streamline your dazzle?

There are some shades of Superglass that are similar to Dazzleglass shades, but I’d say that these, on average, are more pigmented than Dazzleglasses, so the Superglass version is very much a Super-Dazzleglass version.  Whether you’re a fiend for all things dazzling and therefore want to double your dazzle or if you’re looking to get shades different from your Dazzleglasses…

  • Cherry Electric is like a pinker version of Love Alert.
  • Totally Bang! is a pinker version of Ms. Fizz.
  • Sugar Overload is comparable to Sugarrimmed.
  • Fab Frenzy is a much more intense version of Date Night.
  • Disco Overload is like a brighter, more orange version of Bare Necessity.
  • You probably don’t need both Sweet Tart and Superflash–they’re so similar to each other–the latter being a smidgen brighter, but they look nearly the same on lips.

Superglass ($18.00 for 0.15 oz.)

  • Fab Frenzy is is darkened berry-purple with flecks of iridescent fuchsia-purple flakes. It’s decently pigmented, and it does give plenty of color to lips on its own.
  • Totally Bang! is is a vibrant fuchsia-pink with semi-opaque color coverage. It has iridescent purple flakes along with golden and amber shimmer. This is one of the most pigmented shades of Superglass.
  • Cherry Electric is a softened pink with a little extra kick of red. It has iridescent purple flakes along with golden shimmer. The color coverage is semi-sheer with some color but not solid.
  • Superflash! is a sheer baby pink with flashes of amber shimmer and flakes of grayish-purple. This one is definitely on the sheerer side.
  • Sugar Overload is a milky pale pink-nude with gold and white shimmer and then larger grayish-silver flecks of glitter. Very milky looking, not really creamy, but it doesn’t settle into lips too much. It is, however, pretty sheer. It’s a bit like Boy Bait Cremesheen Glass, except with glitter overload. Ha, overload!
  • Sweet Tart is a soft pink with only a slight milkiness to it. It has white and gold shimmer with large flecks of a grayish-purple and peach glitter. It’s a sheerer shade, but it gives more color than Sugar Overload. I feel like it just brings out some of the natural pink in my lips.
  • Gift Wrap is a sheer, muted pinky-coral with flakes of silver-y purple and amber and white shimmer. It has some color, but it tends to just emphasize your natural lip color.
  • Disco Blend is a peachy-beige with a smidgen of brown. The sparkles in it seem to include a gold shimmer, chunkier gray-silver particles, and some peach flecks. Not totally sheer, but it’s not opaque either — it does a decent job of giving my lips a different color, though.
  • Tunnel of Love is a reddish brown with white and gold shimmer along with flecks of grayish-silver and peach glitter. I found this one had the most color pay off, but it has a tendency to look a little uneven on the lips. From further away, it’s not as noticeable, but I just couldn’t get it to look smooth and even. Bonus: it made my teeth look super white!

The formula is thick and sticky, but the glitter never felt gritty to me, even five hours later. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel much grittiness, but I think when these fade entirely, there may be a little texture to the glitter. Because it is pretty thick and sticky, the glosses lasted quite awhile on my lips. I slicked on Sweet Tart around 6 PM, and it was still lingering at 11 PM. It wasn’t quite as glossy as it was initially, but it still looked glossy and shimmery. The glitter seemed to stay in place, and none of it migrated to the outer edges of my lips, so all in all, it faded nicely. Oh, and did I mention I ate dinner with it on? Oh, yeah.

I do think the glitter is large and chunky, and it really does remind me of the flecks of glitter you’ll see in some nail polishes, but it’s not so severe once it’s on your lips, particularly at a normal viewing distance. You’ll see flat grayish particles, but they catch light, so this gloss looks best in light/in person, that way it can catch light as you move vs. a still photograph. It’s an interesting look, and I know some will love it, some will find it tacky. I like the concept better over lipstick than worn alone, partially because these are a bit sheer, but also because it makes the glitter pop a little more.

INGREDIENTS: Polybutene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Trisostearyl Citrate, Tocepheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Squalane, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Polyacrylate-4, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, Vanillin [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxidies (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163,), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985)]

I know some of us (that includes me!) were concerned about just how much product was going to be in these tubes, but it looks like MAC may have considered what we’ve been complaining about–there is 0.15 oz. in Superglass, as compared to 0.06 oz. in Dazzleglass, 0.08 oz. in Cremesheen Glass, and 0.17 oz. in Lipglass. More expensive than Lipglass, but it’s a way better deal than Dazzleglass! The packaging is very much like Dazzleglass in terms of the type of materials, glossy look of the plastic, etc. but it is six-sided, so it won’t roll off your bathroom counter at least!

BOTTOM LINE: These are long-wearing, ultra glittery lipglosses with a thick (but not goopy!) feel and sticky texture. They seem to run from sheer to semi-sheer with some shades being more pigmented than others, but none are entirely opaque. They are vanilla scented, and I didn’t really notice any taste since wearing them.  I think these are best over lipsticks, rather than alone, though some of the more intense shades could be worn alone.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t mind sticky gloss and love yourself some glitter, I’d say give these a shot. You might be surprised at how the glitter translates on your lips! If you don’t like the stickiness of Lipglass, I don’t think you’ll like the feel of Superglass at all. I also wouldn’t go into these expecting 100% opaque color pay off either!

Availability: Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Bobbi Brown Lip Shines

Bobbi Brown Treatment Lip Shines: Nectarine, Pink Glisten, Raspberry Pink, Moonlight Rose, Berry, & Maple

Bobbi Brown’s Treatment Lip Shines SPF 15 come in twelve lovely shades, with each retailing for $22 and weighing in at 0.07 oz. It’s described as a “lightweight, soft shine lipstick that doubles as a rejuvenating moisture treatment.” It also contains “natural Cocoa and Shea Butters, Jojoba, Apricot Kernel and Avocado oils … Peptides, along with Vitamin C.”

I actually really liked these, and even though they looked pretty, I wasn’t so sure whether they’d be a product I’d enjoy. Coming from Bobbi Brown, I completely expected incredibly sheer, barely-there color. I’m happy to report that isn’t the case here! They’re not even remotely sheer. Each shade I tried was different from the next–these aren’t sheered out shades that end up looking the same on lips, must to my delight!

  • Nectarine is a semi-sheer coral-orange with a glistening finish. It packs good color when applied, and applies pretty even coverage without trouble. I think this one lends itself better for warmer skin tones.
  • Pink Glisten is a lightened, rosy pink with lighter pink shimmer. This one applied beautifully (one of the best applications of the six I tried), and the color itself is semi-opaque. I think this shade is a nice, universal pink.
  • Raspberry Pink is a darkened raspberry pink with gold and pink shimmer. This was my favorite shade. It’s semi-opaque in color coverage, but it’s rich and dark enough to be worn on its own to draw attention to your lips. Like Pink Glisten, this applied smoothly and evenly on lips.
  • Moonlight Rose is a light brown with a little bit of red undertones and golden shimmer. I’m not sure what’s rose about this, to be honest. It has semi-opaque coverage, and it applies evenly for the most part.
  • Berry is a reddish wine-berry with a very glistening look. It looks very wet when applied, and it has a tendency to settle into lip lines a bit, but it’s not too noticeable from a normal viewing distance. The color itself applies semi-opaque but not complete full-color coverage.
  • Maple is a darkened red-toned brown. It has the same application look and feel as Berry: a little uneven, somewhat settles into lip lines, but it still has the semi-opaque color and glistening, wet look.

These are lightly creamy, moisturizing enough to keep your pucker in line for a few hours, and they wear incredibly well. After the initial surprise of more color pay off than I anticipated, I was surprised three hours later when much of the color was still holding on, despite sipping on a Starbucks (the TEMPTALIA Frappuccino, ha!) for the three hours I wore it. Frostier shades like Pink Glisten faded around three hours and seemed a little drier than some of the creamier shades like Raspberry Pink, which didn’t start fading until the fourth hour but never felt dry. The only downside is that some of these don’t apply as smoothly or evenly as I’d like–they can sink into some lip lines a bit, but I didn’t find it all that noticeable when I looked in the mirror (just super up-close!).

They have a very wet, glistening look — it’s not quite glossy, definitely more glistening to me. I also don’t think these are like MAC Slimshines, despite both brands being owned by the same parent company and the packaging looking awfully similar (I checked, too — similar but not identical). Slimshines felt creamier with more slip, a bit more moisturizing, but I found they faded within two hours or so. Lip Shines don’t have the slip-factor, which I think makes them hang on a bit longer. I feel like these are a combination of Chanel Rouge Coco and MAC Slimshines–so it’s a formula that can stand on its own.  These are scent-free and taste-free as far as I could detect!

My favorite shades were Pink Glisten and Raspberry Pink, with Nectarine in third (a little more orange than I like for myself). I was excited to write about these, and I would have totally had this up sooner if it wasn’t finals week for me!

There are twelve shades in total, so the other six shades from the range are: Brownie Nude (warm brown), Desert Rose (rose nude), Papaya (bright pink coral), Plumberry (deep plum), Rosy (warm pink brown), and Sunset Bronze (warm bronze).

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: If you love lightweight, semi-sheer to semi-opaque color that’s moisturizing without requiring reapplicatiion every hour, I think you may find these to your liking.

Availability: Bobbi Brown, Nordstrom

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

MAC Speed Dial Lipstick

The Summer Season: MAC Speed Dial Lipstick

MAC Speed Dial Lipstick ($14.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a slightly blue-based pink with a golden sheen. It’s an interesting shade, because it has that yellowness to it, that golden shimmer and sheen, but the pink still feels blue-based. I think it’s wearble on both cool and warm skin tones, though, and I love how it’s pink with a gold sheen. Speed Dial has a cremesheen finish, so it’s not one of MAC’s most moisturizing formulas, but I don’t find it drying myself. I like the color pay off of Speed Dial as well–not entirely opaque but nearly so.

Is this the right pink lipstick for you? Would you wear it?

The Summer Season is a series of posts featuring bright, vibrant shades of coral, orange, and pink lipsticks and lipglosses — all perfect for a summer of fun — that runs through July 2010.

See photos and swatches… Continue reading →

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

MAC Superglass
MAC Show Orchid Lipstick + MAC Sweet Tart Superglass

MAC Superglass — A Quick Review & Lip Swatches

Edit: Superglass hits stores today, and I’ll be there as soon as my store opens to grab the remaining shades to swatch and review — just give me some time to get everything done :)  Take a look at these shades in the meanwhile!

Yesterday, I posted some quick photos and swatches of four shades of MAC Superglass. Superglass will debut on May 6th, but some readers have commented they’ve been able to try/purchase them already, so maybe you’ll get lucky at your local store. :) Each will retail for $18 and contains 0.15 oz.

There are nine shades and all of them are limited edition: Cherry Electric (bright cherry pink), Disco Blend (light tan), Fab Frenzy (deep blue purple), Gift Wrap (light pinky peach), Sugar Overload (white beige), Superflash! (mid-tone yellow pink), Sweet Tart (baby pale pink), Totally Bang! (fuchsia), and Tunnel of Love (deep blue brown).

  • Disco Blend is a peachy-beige with a smidgen of brown. The sparkles in it seem to include a gold shimmer, chunkier gray-silver particles, and some peach flecks. Not totally sheer, but it’s not opaque either — it does a decent job of giving my lips a different color, though.
  • Sugar Overload is a milky pale pink-nude with gold and white shimmer and then larger grayish-silver flecks of glitter. Very milky looking, not really creamy, but it doesn’t settle into lips too much. It is, however, pretty sheer. It’s a bit like Boy Bait Cremesheen Glass, except with glitter overload. Ha, overload!
  • Sweet Tart is a soft pink with only a slight milkiness to it. It has white and gold shimmer with large flecks of a grayish-purple and peach glitter. It’s a sheerer shade, but it gives more color than Sugar Overload. I feel like it just brings out some of the natural pink in my lips.
  • Tunnel of Love is a reddish brown with white and gold shimmer along with flecks of grayish-silver and peach glitter. I found this one had the most color pay off, but it has a tendency to look a little uneven on the lips. From further away, it’s not as noticeable, but I just couldn’t get it to look smooth and even. Bonus: it made my teeth look super white!

The formula is thick and sticky, but the glitter never felt gritty to me, even five hours later. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t feel much grittiness, but I think when these fade entirely, there may be a little texture to the glitter. Because it is pretty thick and sticky, the glosses last quite awhile on my lips. I slicked on Sweet Tart around 6 PM, and it was still lingering at 11 PM. It wasn’t quite as glossy as it was initially, but it still looked glossy and shimmery. The glitter seemed to stay in place, and none of it migrated to the outer edges of my lips, so all in all, it fades nicely. Oh, and did I mention I ate dinner with it on? Oh, yeah.

I do think the glitter is large and chunky, and it really does remind me of the flecks of glitter you’ll see in some nail polishes, but it’s not so severe once it’s on your lips, particularly at a normal viewing distance. You’ll see flat grayish particles, but they catch light, so this gloss looks best in light/in person, that way it can catch light as you move vs. a still photograph. It’s an interesting look, and I know some will love it, some will find it tacky. I like the concept better over lipstick than worn alone, partially because these are a bit sheer, but also because it makes the glitter pop a little more.

INGREDIENTS:  Polybutene, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Trisostearyl Citrate, Tocepheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Ascorbyl Palmitate, Lecithin, Squalane, Aluminum Calcium Sodium Silicate, Polyacrylate-4, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide, Vanillin [+/- Mica, Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Iron Oxidies (CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (CI 77163,), Blue 1 Lake (CI 42090), Carmine (CI 75470), Red 6 (CI 15850), Red 7 Lake (CI 15850), Red 28 Lake (CI 45410), Red 30 Lake (CI 73360), Red 33 Lake (CI 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (CI 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (CI 15985)]

I know some of us (that includes me!) were concerned about just how much product was going to be in these tubes, but it looks like MAC may have considered what we’ve been complaining about–there is 0.15 oz. in Superglass, as compared to 0.06 oz. in Dazzleglass, 0.08 oz. in Cremesheen Glass, and 0.17 oz. in Lipglass. More expensive than Lipglass, but it’s a way better deal than Dazzleglass! The packaging is very much like Dazzleglass in terms of the type of materials, glossy look of the plastic, etc. but it is six-sided, so it won’t roll off your bathroom counter at least!

None of the four shades I tried really grabbed me, though. I’m hoping that perhaps Cherry Electric, Fab Frenzy, and Totally Bang! are more up my alley as far as my personal tastes go!

BOTTOM LINE: These are long-wearing, ultra glittery lipglosses with a thick (but not goopy!) feel with a sticky texture. They seem to run from sheer to semi-sheer, but so far, none of these are completely opaque. They are vanilla scented, and I didn’t really notice any taste since wearing them.

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

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you don’t mind sticky gloss and love yourself some glitter, I’d say give these a shot. You might be surprised at how the glitter translates on your lips! If you don’t like the stickiness of Lipglass, I don’t think you’ll like the feel of Superglass at all. I also wouldn’t go into these expecting 100% opaque color pay off either!

Availability: May 6th, 2010

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

NARS Love Devotion Lipstick

NARS Summer 2010:  Love Devotion Lipstick

NARS Summer 2010 Collection featured a new lipstick called Love Devotion ($24.00), which NARS describes as a “sheer guava.” It’s a good thing they put me on notice about the color, though, because it’s definitely sheer!

Love Devotion is a sheer coral-orange with a glossy finish rather than shimmer. It evens out my natural lip color, gives them more of a orange-tinted look, but it’s definitely a sheer shade. I think those who prefer lipglosses and the ligher coverage of those may find comfort in Love Devotion, which has the same lightweight, moisturizing feel of a gloss along with the subtler color. Those who are all about the ultra-pigmented lipsticks will probably want to skip this shade.

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

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

Recommendation: If you love sheerer shades of lipstick, Love Devotion offers subtle color with a great feel and texture.

Availability: NARS

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →