We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!
  • Muse BeautyBuy any 2 Viseart eyeshadow palettes for $128 (plus get three Esum eyeshadow brushes), ends 8/21.
  • SaksEarn a Gift Card up to $900* with code AUG2017, ends 8/17.
  • Sephora4X points for Rouges (early access 8/11), 3X points for VIBs, and 2X points for BIs on all purchases, starts 8/11 and ends 8/19.

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Hyper Nail Lacquer

MAC Hyper Nail Lacquer
MAC Hyper Nail Lacquer

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Hyper Nail Lacquer

MAC Hyper Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep blue with violet pearl” with a frost finish. It’s a really inky blue with fine blue shimmer and a violet edge. It flashes blue and violet, depending on the light. It’s a really cool shade, and it was the one that wowed me the most out of the three from this launch. China Glaze Blue Year’s Eve is a much lighter variation, but it’s more vibrant. It also reminded me of Orly Lunar Eclipse except a bluer variation with finer shimmer. It was opaque in two coats, and the formula had a good, fluid consistency that flowed evenly across the nail without bubbling or streaking.

Just to reiterate, this comes in a square glass bottle compared to MAC’s rounded jar, and the cap is a glossy black rather than a rubberized black. These are slightly smaller (0.30 vs. 0.34 fl. oz.) and $8.00 more because of the “couture” aspect of the launch. Though I have not tested the polishes specifically from this collection, MAC’s nail lacquer formula generally wears for a week with minor tip wear but no chips.

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Hyper Nail Lacquer

-

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer
MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Ascension Nail Lacquer

MAC Ascension Nail Lacquer ($23.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) is described as “grey with blue-violet reflective pearl.” It’s a murky grayish-green with a grayish-purple iridescence that comes together in a duochrome finish. The duochrome is definitely there, but I think some of the sheerness prevents it from really shining. When you look at the nails head-on, it is mostly a murky purple-gray, and then when you tilt and angle your nails, the murky green-gold comes through. It’s very, very similar to Wet ‘n’ Wild Grey’s Anatomy, which is a known dupe for the pricier Deborah Lippmann Wicked Game. MAC’s version is more pigmented than Grey’s Anatomy, where three coats was almost opaque, while there was still a lot of visible nail line at three coats with Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s only a smidgen less than regular MAC lacquers–0.34 oz. for $15.00 normally–although, I guess going from 10ml regularly to 9ml is a 10% decrease! The packaging is a heavy, square glass bottle with a glossy black cap. The bottle is rather large–larger than Deborah Lippmann–but the actual polish is just enclosed in a thicker glass surround.

I haven’t tested the Gareth Pugh polishes for wear, but I usually get a week of wear with minor tip wear with MAC’s nail lacquers. The formula wasn’t too thick or thin, and it flowed evenly across the nail. It does have a more metallic finish, so you will see some brush strokes.

MAC Nail Lacquer Ascension
Ascension
Ascension
9
Product
7
Pigmentation
9
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
84%
Total

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Guise Pigment

MAC Guise Pigment
MAC Guise Pigment

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Guise Pigment

MAC Guise Pigment ($32.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “frosty grey.” It’s more like a bright silver with a part-frost, part-metallic finish. What’s noteworthy about the color is that it doesn’t lean cool, it’s more of a neutral silver. It was fairly pigmented when used dry and more metallic and opaque when applied wet. The texture is much chunkier compared to Deceit, and I did experience some fall out when an hour after it was applied to the eyelid. MAC Misty is a bit darker and cooler-toned. It’s smoother and grayer than Bobbi Brown Tinsel. I didn’t find anything exactly like it.

Like the blush in this collection, MAC is again squeezing you on both ends: a full-size pigment contains 0.15 oz. and retails for $20.00 each (and they already reduced the amount of all full-size pigments across the board a year or two ago). The packaging looks sleek, but it’s a bit messy. Guise had loose pigment all over the exterior packaging and inner lip upon arrival–I hadn’t even opened it yet! These are entirely plastic, too; there’s no heft from the metal compact like there is with the blush. On the upside, most other high-end brands that have similar loose products typically give around this amount of product (e.g. Illamasqua Pure Pigment is $24.00/0.04 oz. and Make Up For Ever Star Powder is $19.00/0.09 oz.).

MAC actually describes the formula as having ingredients that help it adhere to the skin so it is long-lasting. Pigments are best when combined with other products, whether it’s simply water or more like MAC Mixing Medium, to adhere to skin. I get decent wear out of pigments without a base (six to eight hours, then there is minor fading and at times, subtle creasing), but I would recommend using a base or mixing them with an adhesive base product like Mixing Medium. Guise did have some fall out when applied dry, because of the chunkier texture and sparkle.

MAC Pigment Guise
Guise
Guise
8
Product
9
Pigmentation
8
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
82%
Total

See more photos & swatches!

Making Skincare Affordable: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

By Laura, 40s, New York, Skincare Contributor

Laura “came of age” in the 80s, so she considers a survivor of some very disturbing fashion and makeup trends, like shoulder pads, acid-washed jeans worn unironically, streaky blush, and thick eyeliner that we softened with a lighter before putting it on–don’t even get her started on what women wore to the gym in those days! She now works in a more conservative field, and she’ll get an odd look or two if she wears crackle nail polish (and she expects we’ll look back on that trend with the same disbelief we now reserve for horizontally-striped leg warmers).


Making Skincare Affordable: Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser

One thing I find difficult about my middle-aged skin is that it doesn’t tolerate rough treatment as well as it did when I was in my 20s and 30s. I used to be able to stay out late, fall into bed leaving all my makeup on when I slept, and wake up with nothing worse than a wee bit of puffiness under my eyes, if that. Not anymore. Now, if I want to skin to look presentable at work in the morning, not only do I have to be a lot more careful about my diet, but I also have to be absolutely fastidious in making sure I care properly for my skin before I go to bed.

Still, despite my having to take a few more minutes in my bedtime routine than I used to, my skincare routine is pretty simple, and I’ve developed one habit that might surprise some people: I don’t use a lot of department store skin-care products. I’ve found after many years of trial and error (more than I care to admit!) that while expense isn’t necessarily inversely proportional to effectiveness, my skin does not necessarily look any better when I spend more money on it.

On the contrary, some of the best products I’ve found are in the drugstore, not at the cosmetics counter. This rule holds particularly true for facial cleansers; I’ve found that there’s absolutely no reason to spend megabucks on any of them. A lot of department store cleansers are very fine.  Sometimes I use Clinique Extra Mild Liquid Facial Soap ($16.00) when I’m feeling flush, but I’ve never found them markedly different from the skincare products you can find easily at Rite Aid or CVS. (I’ve found myself using certain department store products regularly because the drugstore brands don’t make a comparable product – Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($27.50), for example – but that’s for another post.)

Of course, there are some cleansers I can’t use because they happen to have ingredients that irritate my skin, but in that regard, I’ve found that the expensive stuff is just as likely to be an offender as are the less-expensive brands. As just one example, I know a lot of people love Philosophy’s Purity, which is $20 for an eight-ounce bottle, and I wish I could love it, because I do love the scent and texture. However, it drives my skin insane and not in a good way. I also haven’t found that cleansers work any better if they have gold-plated ingredients like antioxidants, salicylic acid, and so forth. After all, those ingredients touch your skin for only around a minute before you literally wash them down the drain!

I’ve tried dozens of different cleansers since I was a teenager, and I always come back to Neutrogena in one form or another. The company has, of course, changed its formulations over the years, but right now, my favorite is Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser ($6.50). It not only cleans beautifully, but also removes my makeup–even my eye makeup–thoroughly. I buy it for around seven dollars at Rite Aid. And I live in New York City, so you’ll probably be able to get it even cheaper.

I have another opinion that I know will raise a few eyebrows: I don’t believe in eye creams. But that’s also for my next post!

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Deceit Pigment

MAC Deceit Pigment
MAC Deceit Pigment

MAC for Gareth Pugh: Deceit Pigment

MAC Deceit Pigment ($32.00 for 0.07 oz.) is described as a “blackened plum with pink pearl.” When applied dry, it’s a burgundy brown with a satiny sheen that’s almost matte, but it’s on the sheer side. When applied damp, it comes together more better for a really rich color of burgundy tinted by purple with a pearly sheen. It’s opaque and smooth. It’s less frosted but similar in color to Illamasqua Queen of the Night. I think it’s also pretty close to MAC Deep Purple, which I don’t own so I can’t confirm 100%, which is permanent at PRO stores. Make Up For Ever #11 is redder. The dry swatch is a bit like MAC Shadowy Lady. The texture seemed very, very finely milled–it is probably one of the softest and most finely milled pigments I remember by MAC.

Like the blush in this collection, MAC is again squeezing you on both ends: a full-size pigment contains 0.15 oz. and retails for $20.00 each (and they already reduced the amount of all full-size pigments across the board a year or two ago). The packaging looks sleek, but it’s a bit messy. Guise had loose pigment all over the exterior packaging and inner lip upon arrival–I hadn’t even opened it yet! These are entirely plastic, too; there’s no heft from the metal compact like there is with the blush. On the upside, most other high-end brands that have similar loose products typically give around this amount of product (e.g. Illamasqua Pure Pigment is $24.00/0.04 oz. and Make Up For Ever Star Powder is $19.00/0.09 oz.).

MAC actually describes the formula as having ingredients that help it adhere to the skin so it is long-lasting. Pigments are best when combined with other products, whether it’s simply water or more like MAC Mixing Medium, to adhere to skin. I get decent wear out of pigments without a base (six to eight hours, then there is minor fading and at times, subtle creasing), but I would recommend using a base or mixing them with an adhesive base product like Mixing Medium.

MAC Pigment Deceit
Deceit
Deceit
8.5
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8
Longevity
4
Application
87%
Total

On Instagram