Friday, December 28th, 2012

MAC Fireside Mineralize Eyeshadow
MAC Fireside Mineralize Eyeshadow

MAC Apres Chic: Mineralize Eyeshadows

MAC Apres Chic Mineralize Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.07 oz.) includes five new (and limited edition) shades: Fireside (deep plum with purple veining), Frost at Midnight (deep blue/grey with grey veining), Ice (light peach base with white veining), Silver Birch (grey base with peach veining), and Winter Pursuit (copper base with grey veining).

Fireside is a reddish-brown base with a bluish-teal duochrome. The color payoff dry is lackluster, so I’d recommend using it with a damp or wet brush, where it is more pigmented. This color is one of the more popular shades that brands seem to have–MAC has two within the permanent range (Blue Brown pigment, Club eyeshadow). Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone #8 has a very similar shade with a stronger duochrome. bareMinerals Mirage is a bit darker but similar. MAC Double Feature #5 included a similar shade. Urban Decay Lounge is very similar–same amount of red in the base color as well as duochrome. Of all of those, I prefer bareMinerals’ formula with Urban Decay’s as a second-place finish.

Frost at Midnight is a navy blue with a purplish tint. It has a frosted finish, and the pigmentation is better wet than dry, where it is rather sheer and faded. This shade had the worst pigmentation out of the five; it was still lacking in intensity when used damp. MAC Hint of Sapphire is darker, grayer. Inglot #434 is more muted, less blue. Cinderella Midnight is darker.

Ice is a warm, pale champagne-shimmered peach with a very high-frost, high-metallic finish. It had so-so pigmentation when used dry, but it has some powderiness and fall out problems if you use it wet, compared to damp, where it binds together better. MAC A Natural Flirt is warmer, pinker. NARS Ramatuelle is less metallic. bareMinerals Mixologist is very similar–more metallic than frosted.

Silver Birch is a dirty pewter; it has gray, gold, and brownish-black in it. This shade had the most nuance to it, out of the five, but the payoff was weak when used dry. When applied damp, it was nicely pigmented and applied more smoothly. MAC Modern Pewter is lighter, warmer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Dancing in the Clouds is lighter, more golden.

Winter Pursuit is a warm, medium-dark copper that has a rosy-red tint that gives it a more muted appearance–not so orange-copper. It has a very frosted, metallic-like finish. This shade had the best color payoff of the five–it could be used both wet and dry, though dry is so-so in payoff. MAC Star Myth is more orange. MAC Magnetic Attraction is redder. MAC Mythical is a bit redder.

Long-time readers will know that I LOVE looking and photographing Mineralize Eyeshadows, but I’m not a fan of them in practice. They tend to have fall out problems, and they usually fade more quickly, with or without a primer. The Mineralize Eyeshadows we’ve seen over the past couple of years are definitely improved compared to the initial release, but I still have both problems. These shades gave me the same two problems, though fall out was less than usual. When I use these wet, as I did with all of the shades I wore (Ice, Silver Birch, and Frost at Midnight), there was noticeable fading within three hours. Frost at Midnight looked mostly gray by eight hours, while the lightest shade, Ice was barely visible.  Finally, Silver Birch had faded but was still visible.

Silver Birch was the most interesting/unique out of the five. At a glance, Fireside seems really interesting, and the color is beautiful and lovely, but it’s a commonly produced shade by a variety of brands. As always, if you don’t have the wear problems I encounter with the Mineralize Eyeshadows, then the biggest drawback of these becomes the weak color payoff when used dry (so omitting wear, these would be more like a B-rated product). The texture was soft but some shades were less smooth, as the sparkle was more noticeable.

The Glossover

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MAC Apres Chic Mineralize Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B-
As always, if you don't have the wear problems I encounter with the Mineralize Eyeshadows, then the biggest drawback of these becomes the weak color payoff when used dry (so omitting wear, these would be more like a B-rated product).

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, December 28th, 2012

MAC Apres Chic Lipstick
MAC Apres Chic Lipstick

MAC Apres Chic: Lipstick

MAC Apres Chic Lipsticks ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) includes five new shades: Apres Chic (pinky brick red), Cozy Up (deep caramel), Haute Altitude (mid-tone blue pink), Hot Chocolate (dirty plum), and Warm Companion (beige with gold pearl).

Apres Chic is a lightened orange-red with a slightly glossy sheen. It’s a very interesting color, because it’s muted yet it’s still bright. It’s not tomato red, but it’s not a tame shade either! It has opaque color coverage, and it has a Cremesheen finish. Clinique Heftiest Hibiscus is similar–a touch more orange and brighter. YSL Blood Orange is sheerer but similar in color.

Cozy Up is a warm peachy-beige with a creamy finish. It has opaque color coverage and a matte finish–though it looks more like a satin to me, because there is a definite sheen. It has a nice, creamy consistency and applies mostly evenly. This shade wore for four hours on me and was neither drying nor hydrating. Korres #34 is browner. MAC Warm Me Up is pinker. MAC Delectable is a bit more orange. MAC Yash is a touch less peach.

Haute Altitude is a lightened, medium pink with very subtle blue undertones–it is almost neutral-looking on me. It has opaque color coverage, and the official finish is amplified. It wore four and a half hours on me when I tested it. The consistency was creamy, and it glided on nicely without tugging or dragging. MAC Vivid Imagination is bluer-based and lighter. MAC Please Me is cooler-toned. Bobbi Brown Miami Coral is similar–a touch warm. MAC Mehr is darker, warmer.

Hot Chocolate is darkened plum with a brown base that keeps it looking muted. It has a satin finish, and the color coverage was fully opaque. This shade was comfortable to wear, and it had a very creamy feel. This shade wore for five hours on me. MAC Till Tomorrow is pinker, lighter. Chanel Stunt is a touch lighter. MAC Faithfully Yours is darker, more cool-toned.

Warm Companion is a warm, peach-gold shimmer. It doesn’t really have a color to it so much as lots and lots of shimmer and metallic sheen. The “color” it has seems to lighten my natural lip color just a bit, but the effect is due mostly to all of the shimmer, which gives semi-sheer to semi-opaque coverage. On its own, it needs to be heavily blended with a fingertip or brush so the shimmer looks even. The consistency was a touch dry, so it didn’t apply evenly, as it dragged a bit on lips. It has a frost finish.  It is extremely similar to Dior Or Etoile.

MAC lipsticks last anywhere from two to six hours on me, depending on the color and formula (there are a few outliers at under two hours and over six).  I didn’t have enough time to test every single shade for wear, but I did test Cozy Up, Haute Altitude, and Hot Chocolate.  I suspect Apres Chic will last between four and six hours and lightly stain.  Warm Companion is likely to wear two to three hours. I will be verifying both over the course of today.  MAC lipsticks are mostly non-drying on me, and they smell like vanilla but have no discernible taste.

The Glossover

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MAC Apres Chic Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
Solid shades overall; some more dupable than others. There is a good variety in the colors--some more neutral, a few brighter, and a nice range of light/dark overall.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Friday, December 28th, 2012

MAC Nice & Simple Mineralize Lip Balm
MAC Nice & Simple Mineralize Lip Balm

MAC Apres Chic: Mineralize Lip Balm

MAC Mineralize Lip Balm ($19.50 for 0.33 fl. oz.) is a new lip formula that is supposed to give a tint of color with “mirror-like shine” that is also hydrating and moisturizing. It is available in five shades: Nice & Simple (bronzy gold with multi-dimensional pearl), Pure & Tender (plummy creamy nude), Rosy Romance (bluish plum with subtle pink pearl), Slightly Nude (nude coral and subtle pink pearl), and Stay Warm (creamy light pink).

Nice & Simple is a sheer, warm, yellowed orange with golden orange shimmer. This one gives a noticeable tint and shimmer to the lips. Bobbi Brown Canary has a lot more golden shimmer/sparkle. NARS Luster is similar.

Pure & Tender is a sheer, light-medium rosy beige. On my lips, it really just adds a glossy shine and helps to even out the natural coloring, but it doesn’t impart much color. There are a number of sheer glosses that have a similar effect (color-wise).

Rosy Romance is a darkened fuchsia pink with a dusting of pink micro-shimmer. This is the most pigmented shade of the five, and it noticeably tints lips to a darker pink. MAC Astral is more opaque. Urban Decay Jilted is lighter.

Slightly Nude is a yellowed orange. It is like Nice & Simple without the shimmer. This adds some warmth and a tinge of tangerine to my lips when I applied it. Any yellow-tinted sheer gloss will be similar.

Stay Warm is a light-medium, yellow-toned pink. This shade was a bit milky, and it lightened the natural lip color noticeably, but because of the milkiness, it did not apply as evenly as the other four shades. Tarte Darling is similar but has some shimmer. Chanel Imaginaire is a touch brighter.

The consistency of the balm is lightweight, mostly non-sticky (it develops a slight tackiness after three to four hours), and almost gel-like when applied, then creamier as it wears.  The formula is very comfortable to wear, somewhat moisturizing, and wears a solid three to four hours.  I tried Nice & Simple, Rosy Romance, and Stay Warm for wear, and each wore four, four, and there hours respectively.   They come in a squeeze-tube with a slanted-tip applicator, and they have the same vanilla scent as MAC glosses and lipsticks have, though this seemed a little stronger.  They’re reminiscent of MAC’s Lip Gelee formula, only this is not as thick and wears a bit longer.  They are only moisturizing so long as you wear them; about a half hour after it’s mostly faded away, I need to apply more balm.

The Glossover

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MAC Mineralize Lip Balm Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Apres Chic)

A-
The formula is very comfortable to wear, somewhat moisturizing, and wears a solid three to four hours.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Hangin' Loose Nail Lacquer
MAC Hangin’ Loose Nail Lacquer

MAC Apres Chic: Hangin’ Loose

MAC Hangin’ Loose Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “dirty pink nude.” It’s a light-medium beige with subtle warm undertones and a sprinkling of fine creamy white shimmer. OCC Kava Kava is somewhat similar but metallic. Rescue Beauty Lounge Ani is also similar in color but has a metallic finish.

This shade is fairly sheer after two coats; there is visible nail line as well as the rest of the nail comes through a bit. Some might like the sheerness, but it is a streaky little polish at one and two coats. I think a third one could help hide a lot of the troublesome streaks, but at two, it’s noticeably streaky and uneven.  The consistency was a little thick but manageable.  I normally get a week of wear out of MAC’s polishes, with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Hangin' Loose

C
Some might like the sheerness, but it is a streaky little polish at one and two coats. At this price point, it's hard to make justifications and excuses for a polish that falls in at just average.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eyeliner
MAC Black Ice Pro Longwear Eyeliner

MAC Apres Chic: Pro Longwear Eyeliners

MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliner ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.) is a new formula that has launched with Apres Chic, which is limited edition as far as I know–but they are not marked as limited edition on MAC’s website. The new formula is available five shades: Black Ice (rich black), Mountain Air (vibrant teal), Night Trail (deep navy blue), Rich Experience (true brown), and Snow Shadow (purple violet).

  • Black Ice is a dark black with a modern matte finish. It had good color payoff in a single pass.
  • Mountain Air is a medium-dark blue with a very tiny hint of green/teal. It had good color payoff in one stroke. It is similar to Stila Peacock.
  • Night Trail is a blackened navy blue with a subtle sheen. It had so-so pigmentation in a single pass, but it was noticeably sheer. There are several navy blues that are similar.
  • Rich Experience is a medium-dark brown with neutral undertones. It was surprisingly not that pigmented in one stroke, and it wasn’t as buildable for full opacity.
  • Snow Shadow is a dark purple with subtle cool undertones. This shade had the weakest color payoff–it was very sheer in one pass, and it was difficult to layer/build the color. It always just looked jagged in color. The color is similar to MAC Rich Purple, which is a bit lighter.

MAC made some lofty claims for their new eyeliners: “creamy, dense colour that glides on smoothly” along with a “12-hour waterproof formula [that] stays put and [is] smudge-free.” I tried Black Ice, Mountain Air, Rich Experience, and Snow Shadow for wear over the past two days. I tried Black Ice and Rich Experience yesterday, and I tried Mountain Air and Snow Shadow today, all four on my lower lash line.

I’m sad to report that these don’t last 12 hours nor are they waterproof. After eight hours of wear, all four shades were still mostly there, but it was clear they had faded slightly–you know, where the line is thinner but you don’t see bits of it in your outer corner? (Kind of like your eye ate the eyeliner…) Yesterday, I took a late shower after eight hours of wear, and both Black Ice and Rich Experience were quick to run. I had the same thing happen just moments ago with Mountain Air and Snow Shadow. I splash water on my eyes, let it sit there, and I don’t rub anything away, instead I try to see if the droplets (like tears) will cause any eyeliner to bleed or smudge, and then I pat dry to see how much lifts off. And if it’s still there after that–then that’s when I try to rub a little.

The consistency is lightly creamy but more waxy than anything else, so they glide across well enough, but some colors are better than others. Snow Shadow was the worst performer; it actually dragged and applied unevenly. I tried to go back and forth to build the color coverage up, but it was fairly pitiful–you could see it bunching up in places.  Black Ice was the best performer, as it was most pigmented and didn’t require layering to achieve full color coverage on the lash line.  These wear around eight hours without smudging, but there is some fading at the eight/nine hour mark. I definitely don’t get to 12 hours with these.  My eyes watered while wearing two today, and the eye that watered a lot, was missing about half a centimeter of eyeliner entirely.

I have good luck with MAC’s Powerpoints, Chromagraphic Eyeliners, Kohl Powers, and Pearlglide Eyeliners–so I was definitely very surprised to see these fall so short.

The Glossover

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MAC Pro Longwear Eyeliners Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Apres Chic)

C-
They're not water-resistant or waterproof; they absolutely disappear if my eyes water, or if I mimic crying. They last just under eight hours without waterworks, but they don't get near twelve hours of wear as promised.

Product

4.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC Dangerously Fun Nail Lacquer
MAC Dangerously Fun Nail Lacquer

MAC Apres Chic: Dangerously Fun

MAC Dangerously Fun Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “berry-toned blue red.” It’s a deep red with a cream finish. It’s almost the same as China Glaze Merry Berry. China Glaze Winter Berry is a touch lighter. Essie Size Matters is a bit more berry-hued. China Glaze City Siren is darker.

This shade had a beautiful, flowing consistency that wasn’t too thick or too thin. It yielded full, opaque color coverage after two coats, and it was fairly pigmented in one coat as well. I didn’t have problems with bubbling, streaking, or the polish pooling along the edges. It had a nice, shiny dry down, too. MAC polish typically lasts a week on me with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Dangerously Fun

A
Excellent formula and color coverage--it's just one of those shades that is great to have on hand but many versions are available.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

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