MAC Parlor Smoke Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) is second of two quads from the MAC Fall Colour Collection, which debuts in North America on September 29th, 2011 and will roll out internationall in October. Parlor Smoke includes these shades: Parlor Smoke (mauve grey), Cross Cultural (neutral brown), Indigo Noir (navy), and Steel (almost black).
Parlor Smoke is a smoky purple-gray with pale silver shimmer-sheen. It has a frost finish, which makes the sheerer payoff more disappointing. The finish seems less like a frost and more like an amped satin. I wish it was more pigmented, though. I don’t really have any dupes for you on this one. Inglot #420 is similar but very metallic so they end up looking more different than they do similar.
Cross Cultural is a medium-dark brown with subtle warm, red undertones. It has a matte finish, but it’s so, so buttery and intensely pigmented. I don’t remember it being as good here as it was when it was launched individually (but still limited edition). MAC Charcoal Brown is warmer, a little yellowy in comparison. Inglot #327 is a little warmer.
Indigo Noir is a inky purpled-black-navy. Very complex and will certainly lean bluer/purpler depending on what you layer it over or pair it with. It has a matte finish, and it does have a drier texture (some mattes are dry, some are very soft but some go too soft and become powdery). I still had good color payoff in a regular skin swatch, but it performs well on the eye (much like Gravel from the other quad). It’s darker than MAC Imaginary. It’s purpler than Inglot #321. It seems like a brighter variation on MAC Graphology.
Steel is a dark gray with hints of brown, and it has a veluxe pearl finish. For a veluxe pearl, it’s surprisingly dry and a little stiff to work with; it’s not as buttery or as dense as other veluxe pearls are. It is similar to theBalm Inspirational and Urban Decay Gunmetal. It is more silvered than Print, while Knight Divine is lighter (and frostier).
As interesting of a shade Parlor Smoke is, the color payoff is only average, while Steel has good (but not great) pigmentation, the texture is somewhat stiff and dry (rather unexpected for a veluxe pearl in particular). It’s a cool-toned quad with a really dark, smoky feel to it (true to the name). The colors look good together in the palette, but I expect this is more of a palette one would use in conjunction with what you already own, just because three of the four shades are quite dark.
As interesting of a shade Parlor Smoke is, the color payoff is only average, while Steel has good (but not great) pigmentation, the texture is somewhat stiff and dry (rather unexpected for a veluxe pearl in particular). It's a cool-toned quad with a really dark, smoky feel to it (true to the name). The colors look good together in the palette, but I expect this is more of a palette one would use in conjunction with what you already own, just because three of the four shades are quite dark.
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This product can be purchased at the following retailers:
MAC Cosmetics on September 29th, $38
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Dark Neutrals: All Ages, All Races, All Sexes Look
I gotta tell you, the eyeshadows from All Ages, All Races, All Sexes are really not so flattering on me. I’m thinking it’s probably the cool edge that they all have; it’s just a little much on me when used together. I think Cross-Cultural and Showstopper can be used, but perhaps not together. I think, on me, I need something earthy and metallic-y to warm them up and make them more flattering to my skin tone. (This is what prompted me to throw in Honey as the eyeliner… probably should have done Bourbon instead!)
So Sweet, So Easy really isn’t too cool for those with warm skin tones, but it can look cooler or warmer depending on what you pair it with. If you want to try this look, I’d recommend opting for a cooler-toned liner (maybe a neutral brown) and Resort Life lipgelee instead — I think the pink in Preppy doesn’t quite suit the coolness of the eyes.
Even though it didn’t come out to my liking, at least it can show you some of the new products in action! As always, experimentation is key to finding out what you like and don’t like — and makeup always washes off!
Substitutes: All Races = no dupe; Cross-Cultural = Espresso; Showstopper = Brun; So Sweet, So Easy = Ladyblush; Preppy = Pinkarat
For eyes, start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. With water-based mixing medium, apply Universal Mix pigment onto the eyelid with the 239. Using the 239, apply All Races eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Banshee eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Cross-Cultural eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Showstopper eyeshadow with the 226. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Bisque eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Honey Liner on the lower lash line, and then sweeping lashes with Plushlash mascara.
For cheeks, apply So Sweet, So Easy cremeblend blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 188.
For lips, apply Preppy lip gelee for shimmer and color on lips.
MAC All Ages, All Races, All Sexes Collection: Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches
None of the eyeshadows really spoke to me, which may be more a reflection of them being a little too neutral, too safe and me having more than enough neutral favorites through their permanent line. I suppose my feelings are much like they were with Warm & Cozy from last week — I’d loved to have seen new and different neutrals. I also wish Showstopper would go into retirement for at least a few years! Of the four, my favorite was All Races, and I do think that one is the most worth picking up, because it’s not a shade I’ve seen by MAC at all (no immediate dupes came to mind).
Eyeshadows ($14.50 U.S. / $16.50 CDN)
All Races is a cool-toned lilac with a little gray edge. It has a matte finish, and it is a creamy, silky matte–no chalky texture here. I can’t remember seeing a shade like this by MAC. Maybe once or twice, but nothing I can remember at the moment!
Banshee is a dirty pink with a little brown to it — it has a silver glitter that makes it a little chunky. It has a lustre finish, which definitely accounts for the glittery feel. I imagine you may have some issues with fall out with this shade.
Cross-Cultural is a medium-dark chocolate brown with a matte finish. This is definitely a shade you could use to contour your eye space with; it has a nearly neutral finish, not being too cool nor warm. I’d say this is similar to maybe Era/Texture or a lighter version of Espresso.
Showstopper is an ultra dark charcoal brown with a cool feel to it. This is a shade that’s not permanent yet it comes out often enough that it never feels like you need to stock up. This also has a matte finish to it. This is similar to Mystery/Brun.