Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.21 oz.) has four shades: Moon Rose (bright dark pink), Rose Light (metallic yellow pink), Star Crystal (pink champagne), and Strawberry Patch (light blue pink).

  • Moon Rose is a bright medium-dark pink. There’s a subtle red base to it, so it does not turn fuchsia. Urban Decay Woodstock is brighter and cooler toned. MAC Bright Fuchsia is redder and brighter. Inglot #450 is a bit more burgundy.
  • Rose Light is a light-medium rose pink with yellow undertones. It looks very different from the pot–it almost looks like a coral in the pot. Definitely a shade you have to swatch! Inglot #399 is fairly similar. Giorgio Armani Sweet Fire is less pink.  This shade is a repromote from holiday.
  • Star Crystal is a peach-tinted white. It’s a bit darker compared to MAC Pearl. MAC Snow Season is darker. Urban Decay Midnight 15 is cooler-toned.
  • Strawberry Patch is a light-medium pink with lilac shimmer-sheen. This was really, really chunky and harder to work with compared to the other three shades in the stack. Urban Decay Hot Pants is a bit similar though the finish is very different. MAC Swish is not as blue-based.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience.  The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

The Glossover

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MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience. The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Butterfly Party (bright lilac), Desert Cloud (deep blue purple), Moss Garden (metallic silver green), and Rain Drop (metallic teal). FYI, none of the stacks from this collection are safe for lip use.

  • Butterfly Party is a red-toned violet with a lilac shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is blue-based. MAC Violet is similar but not quite as red-toned.
  • Desert Cloud is a dark blue-based purple with a silver sheen. This one has a slightly grittier texture compared to Butterfly Party. It’s kind of like MAC Parfait Amour with a cool-toned sheen. MAC Imaginary is darker.
  • Moss Garden is a dirty green with a bright metallic sheen. It has a yellowy brown base with a cool-toned green-teal color that dominates. MAC Cake Shop is a warmer green. MAC Lady Grey is also a little warmer.
  • Rain Drop is a darkened blue-teal with a minted teal shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of Urban Decay Aquarius, which is a bit lighter. theBalm Bossy Bobbi is a bit darker but similar.

These really need to adopt some kind of stopper a la Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, because it needs to come with some sort of device so you can press and “crush” the pigments here. I tried doing so as I was applying, but it wasn’t working out as well as I’d like.  I usually try to use from the plastic insert when I swatch (because I then throw it away), since the product on it is already fairly loosened and not in a large chunk.  These all have a highly metallic sheen, so if you like your frosts and metallics, you’ll like the finish on these as well.

Because these are a loose formula, they can be used both wet and dry.  When applied dry, it actually tends to apply smoother–at least more easily–as it tends to clump together when it is applied wet.  There’s a fine line where it becomes too wet (which isn’t sopping, by the way, it’s still more damp than it is wet) and leads to clumping.  The metallic sheen will become more pronounced when it is applied damp/wet, though.

Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”  The wear of the formula is surprisingly good–with as much shimmer, chunkiness, and the like, you would think these wouldn’t hold together on the lid, but they do.

So long as you apply a solid, smooth layer of product (so no clumping!), it wears about the same whether used alone (no primer) as it does with a primer (I typically use MAC’s Mixing Medium, which is an adhesive base).  It’s just vital that you really press and crush those pigments before applying to ensure the best results.  There’s very little fall out after it’s applied; I do tend to get more fall out than normal when initially applying these, because they are a loose formula.  If you have a metal mixing palette, you may want to mix and crush it there before applying, which will minimize application fall out.

The Glossover

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MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's an interesting product, and if you've never tried it, it's worth checking out in-store. It takes a little more technique and patience than your average product. This particular set felt a little chunkier overall than past iterations of the formula.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) is the last pigment kit from MAC Dazzlesphere. It contains four shades: White as Snow (snowy white), Silver Sleet (medium gray), Wintersky (purple blue), and Dark Moon (charcoal). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • White as Snow is a silver-tinged white with a very chunky, metallic finish. I had similar issues with this shade as I did with Light Violet. Despite pressing the color against the skin, I could not get it to fully smooth out and bind, so there was some loose product prone to fall out, plus sheerness in both the dry and damp applications. It reminded me of Chanel Fantasme.
  • Silver Sleet is a darkened gray with a brighter, metallic silver sheen. It has great color payoff whether applied dry or wet. Inglot #448 is less metallic and a bit lighter.
  • Wintersky is a purple-tinted blue with silver sparkle and shimmer. It’s fairly sheer and muted when applied dry and picks up intensity when applied damp. MAC Royale is a bit bluer.
  • Dark Moon is a charcoal black with lots of silver sparkle. This isn’t a shade I’d advocate using dry, because the sparkle is chunky enough that it doesn’t completely meld with the base color without some dampness. When it’s applied damp, the sparkle adheres and mixes better with the underlying color. The color payoff when it’s applied dry is slightly sheerer. It reminded me of Chanel Mirifique but less black. Bobbi Brown Black Sparkle has more multi-colored shimmer.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky is a more unique color but could use a little more oomph in pigmentation. Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry (without a sticky base), so have a care or else use it wet. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Blue Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
White as Snow was problematic with a chunkiness in the overall sparkle that made it difficult to apply smoothly and gave it reason to get everywhere. Wintersky could use a little more oomph in pigmentation, while Dark Moon may have some fall out when applied dry. Silver Sleet was the best performing shade of the four, because it was intensely pigmented both dry and wet and applied smooth as butter with little effort.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection launches on November 10th, and the next set I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.), which contains four shades: Light Violet (pale violet), Grape (purple), Seasonally Cool (sparkling taupe), and Misty (pale silver). Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • Seasonally Cool is a subtly cool-toned bronze. The gray tint is minor, so it comes off as more of a brown than it does a taupe. This one has a fair amount of sparkle, so I did encounter some fall out when it was applied dry, but this was lessened when it was applied damp. Similarly, it’s sheerer when applied dry and much more intense when applied damp. It’s similar to Urban Decay Lost and Make Up For Ever #15.
  • Misty is a bright, lightened silver with a strong, metallic finish. It’s slightly sheer when applied dry and more opaque when applied wet. Giorgio Armani #12 is similar but cooler-toned.
  • Light Violet is a pink=lavender with a metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s very, very chunky; I did not find I could really “crush” these into becoming smooth, even on my arm. It reminded me of a much pinker Kitschmas. The color is also similar to theBalm Curtain Call. It’s warmer and pinker than Stacked 1.
  • Grape is a rich, red-toned purple with a softer but still metallic sheen. It had good color payoff both dry and wet, with the metallic finish coming out more when it was applied wet. It’s more vibrant and red-toned than Stacked 1. MAC Plush is similar but a touch darker and less metallic in finish. MAC Half-Wild is redder. Inglot #446 is less purple.

In my experience, these pigments wear well as long as you ensure you’ve really “crushed” them against the skin/lid. I’ve worn them with and without a base and the difference is minimal. There is some noticeable but relatively minor fading after eight hours when applied without a base (or mixing medium). For more on how they wear, please see this post where I went in-depth on that particular characteristic.

I loved the smoothness and vibrancy of Grape, while Light Violet was one of the worst shades out of the three sets entirely. It was very gritty and chunky–it was much harder to work with and extremely prone to fall out. I also had some fall out issues with Seasonally Cool from the sparkle when used dry, but it was lessened if it was applied damp. Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Plum Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
This particular stack/kit had some drawbacks that Smoky Berry didn't have, which is a very finicky shade in Light Violet and slightly problematic Seasonally Cool.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3.5/5

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Friday, November 4th, 2011

MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit
MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC Dazzlesphere Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit

MAC’s Dazzlesphere Collection will debut in-stores on November 10th, and the first I’m reviewing is MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) contains four shades: Pearl (pearl), Rose Light (rose), Spicy Smoke (dark strawberry), and Roasted Chestnut (deep chocolate with gold pearl). It took a bit of digging, but I found the official description from when these were originally released, and they’re described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”

  • Pearl is a warm, frosted white. It looks very peach in the pot, but it’s white when applied. I actually thought I had swatched things out of order but lo and behold, it really is that drastic of a difference. The high frost element of these seems to translate into lighter-than-pot shades overall. Pearl was less pigmented than it should be, especially when used dry; you really need to pack on the product to get better color payoff dry. When used damp, it’s better and the metallic finish is brought to the forefront, though there is still an underlying sheerness. It’s warmer and smoother than MAC Forgery.
  • Rose Light is a softened rose pink with a metallic, frosted finish. It seems a little lighter and much smoother than Rose pigment. It’s a bit pinker than the base color of Urban Decay Midnight Cowboy. Inglot #399 is darker, as is Giorgio Armani #7. It applies decently dry, but it performs best when applied wet.
  • Spicy Smoke is an orange-red with a soft, frosted finish. It’s less metallic than the previous two shades. The red gets pulled out more when it is applied damp, while it is more orange when applied dry. It’s a touch redder than Milani I Heart You. MAC Coppering is similar – a bit more metallic in finish.
  • Roasted Chestnut is a dark chocolate brown with bronzy sparkle and shimmer. This one needs to be pressed and “crushed,” because it is one of the chunkier pigments of the four. It holds together nicely once it’s been applied, though. It has opaque color when applied dry, though it is softer and less intense than when it is applied damp. The dry color is a bit like MAC Buckwheat, while Laura Mercier Cedar compares favorably to the color it is when applied damp.

I wore this set as a look (used all of the shades except Rose Light) without a base on one eye and with a base (MAC Mixing Medium) on the other (double-duty testing!). I applied Pearl and Spicy Smoke with a dampened brush, while I applied Roasted Chestnut dry into the crease. I’m pleased to report that I didn’t have any fall out while I wore the look; there was some minor fall out from Roasted Chestnut being used dry during initial application, but I did not find lots of sparkle and shimmer underneath my eye hours later. On the eye without a base, it looked only slightly faded eight hours later as it did when I first applied the shades (with a base, it was fine). The real trick is really pressing the pigment against the lid so it combines and binds together. I recommend using a firmer brush like the 242.

The consistency varies, though they tend to be a little chunky, with some (like Roasted Chestnut) being very chunky in the pot, while some are finer (like Spicy Smoke). Generally, the finishes are extremely frosted, metallic-like, and add a lot of oomph to a look–but they may be better when mixed and matched with other finishes (like mattes) for more textural contrast as all of these at once can almost look heavy on the eye.  I’m not particularly keen on the packaging; it’s a cute concept–the stackable jars–but they’re messy.

P.S. — It’s interesting how grams/ounces work; each stack of two is labeled as 6g/0.21 oz., while the bottom of the outer packaging said 12g/0.40 oz.. According to a Google conversion from 12g to ounces, it was 0.423 oz. I’m not sure why the math is a little off here.

The Glossover

product

MAC Smoky Berry Crushed Metallic Pigment Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
For those used to working with loose colors and not minding some of the inherent mess in this type of product, they're nice overall. You get plenty of product in each pot, and they wear well without a base and have decent to great pigmentation (depending if you use it dry/wet).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, May 6th, 2011

MAC Summer Stash Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack
MAC Summer Stash Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Surf Baby: Summer Stash

MAC Summer Stash Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($32.50 for 0.40 oz.) comes with two stacks of colors, with each stack having two shades. The Summer Stash stack’s shades are described as “light pink champagne, light white pearl, light violet with silver pearl, brown bronze with gold pearl.” The individual colors do not have shade names, just the stack itself.

  • The first shade I swatched is a pinky plum–it’s purple and yet it’s pink. Just a touch a sheer. It reminded me of Plum Dressing with a purpler base.
  • Next, I swatched a rich, decadent chocolate brown with a bronzy shimmer and metallic finish. It’s a darker, more lush version of Chocolate Brown pigment; richer, deeper than Bronze eyeshadow.
  • The third shade is a bright white-beige with a metallic finish–also a little sheer. It’s similar to Phloof! but more frost in the finish.
  • Finally, the last shade is a gilded champagne beige with a bright metallic finish. It’s a slightly pinked, more metallic version of Sunnydaze. It’s a little less pink than Naked Lunch.

Each stack is about 2.5x the size of a regular, full-sized pigment–essentially, the value here is about $52 worth of product. The texture of these is chunkier than pigments, though they don’t apply that way. For the most part, they have a tendency to stick together, which is why I can see the “crushed metal” name coming from, and obviously, the finishes are very strong frosts/metallics (also, expected, from the name). The gold shade was the chunkiest, unusually so (it looks nothing like the previous stacks I’ve had nor any of the ones from this launch)–made it look like little nuggets of gold goodness!

These are best used over a slightly tacky base (like MAC Mixing Medium) or wet, because they are more like a loose color than a pressed one, but the pigment itself does bind well over an eyeshadow base or regular eyeshadow without having to be used wet, because as you press the product on, it doesn’t poof everywhere. These adhere well, and for all intents and purposes, I find them very much like MAC Pigments. When applied wet, they adhere really well without a base; when applied dry, you really have to press and ensure it’s been smoothed out to wear it alone without a base.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Summer Stash Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Swatches, Photos, Reviews

B+
This stack had two shades that were a little sheer, so the rating differs from the Surf the Ocean stack slightly. These are more wearable shades, and I think the colors coordinate better together here than in the other stack, too. Summer Stash also has a warmer leaning, but it's not too warm.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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