Thursday, May 30th, 2013

MAC Rainy Season Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Rainy Season Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Rainy Season Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) includes these four shades: Arctic Grey (frosted mid-tone gray, Lustre), Courtly Grey (matte cool gray, Matte), Typographic (asphalt black, Matte2), and Rainy Season (light warm gray frost, Satin).  This quad is, for as gray and smoky as it is, more neutral than it is cool or warm-toned.  I think on cooler complexions, it will turn cooler-toned, but on my warmer complexion, it looked slightly warm-toned overall when applied to the lid.  I wore all four shades together, and they lasted fairly well over an eight-hour period–I had some minor (but not as bad as expected) fall out from Arctic Grey but didn’t have any issues with the shades fading.

Rainy Season is a subtly, warmed-up, pale gray-beige with a satiny finish. The texture was slightly powder, but it had fairly good color payoff. I didn’t have to pack it on to get it to show up on my lid, but it is the kind of the shade that can get lost on lighter complexions. Urban Decay Midnight 15 is more shimmery, as is Urban Decay Verve, which is also darker. Urban Decay Polyester Bride is lighter. MAC Vex has a duochrome, but at certain angles, they are somewhat similar. Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 #4 is more golden and shimmery. Giorgio Armani #19 is more shimmery and warmer. bareMinerals Daydream is more beige. bareMinerals Suspense is darker. See comparison swatches.

Arctic Grey is a frosted, beige-gray with more beige than gray. It is a more golden and shimmery version of Rainy Season really. It had decent pigmentation, but it has a Lustre finish, so it also has larger sparkles that were prone to becoming fall out during application as well as during wear. Giorgio Armani #1 Spring 2012 #4 is more metallic. Giorgio Armani #19 is lighter, more metallic. MAC Vex is grayer. See comparison swatches.

Courtly Grey is a medium, neutral gray with a matte finish. The texture is somewhat powdery, and the color payoff is so-so–it sheers out easily, so it needs to be patted and packed on for best results. You’ll want to avoid blending it too much, because then it looks really faded. NARS Delphes #2 is darker. MAC Gentle Fume is darker and has sparkle. MAC Fabulous Fit is slightly darker. MAC All Woman is somewhat darker. Giorgio Armani Moonlight White #3 is darker and more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Sterling is a bit lighter and shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Typographic is a gray-black with a matte finish. It has a very soft, silky texture that can be a little powdery but doesn’t look it once applied. It’s not quite a black, but it’s a very dark gray so it can look like a faded or softened black at times. theBalm Serious is darker. Milani Pitch Black is blacker. MAC Gravel is warmer. MAC Heather Belles is a smidgen lighter. Guerlain Les Gris #1 is a touch lighter. Estee Lauder Black Chrome #2 is shimmery. Chanel Premier Regard #4 is a bit darker. bareMinerals Amnesia is slightly grayer. bareMinerals Lights Down is darker. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

LE
palette

Rainy Season

B

I wore all four shades together, and they lasted fairly well over an eight-hour period--I had some minor (but not as bad as expected) fall out from Arctic Grey but didn't have any issues with the shades fading.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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LE
product

Rainy Season

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Arctic Grey

B-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

MAC Temperature Rising Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Temperature Rising Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Temperature Rising Eyeshadow Quad ($44.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Performance Art (frosted gold mauve, Veluxe Pearl)), Temperature Rising (light warm tanned peach, Lustre), Swelter (mid-tone grey violet, Frost), and Beautymarked (charcoal black with red pearl, Velvet). Beautymarked is part of the permanent range. The quad will be available online on May 16th and in-stores May 23rd (of course, it usually is online earlier than the stated date). It is packaged in a matte bronze with a rubbery texture–if you’re familiar with NARS’ packaging, it’s very much like that, only bronze in color.

Performance Art is is a pinky mauve with a dusting of very fine gold shimmer. It had good color payoff and applied smooth overall, though it was a smidgen dry. MAC Smoky Mauve is purpler and darker. Jasmine Carpet is darker and purpler. Tarte Frozen Hot Chocolate is slightly darker. NARS 413 BLKR #1 appears cooler-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off #3 is cooler-toned.

Temperature Rising is copper-shimmered peach with a soft, frosted sheen. It was very stiff to work with, and it really needed to be layered and packed on to get visible, even color both swatched and on the eye. Estee Lauder Pink Zinc is lighter (and a cream product). Chanel Complice is lighter. MAC Seaside is more coppery. Chanel Emerveille is a cream product and is less coppery. MAC Expensive Pink is pinker, darker.

Swelter is a muted, medium-dark purple with subtle red undertones and a satiny sheen. It had decent to good color payoff, but it was a little stiff to work with. When I jabbed at it with a stiffer brush, I was able to get better color payoff. MAC Smoky Mauve is more frosted. Jasmine Carpet is very similar. NARS 413 BLKR #1 is grayer, cooler-toned. MAC Circa Plum is extremely similar.

Beautymarked is a blackened brown with burgundy and copper micro-shimmer. It was dry, somewhat chalky, and generally stiff and difficult to blend. Applied, it looks mostly like a matte black, but if you mix it or blend it with Swelter, you can bring out more of the shimmer in Beautymarked. Giorgio Armani #2 is similar in concept but has a much more pronounced shimmer/sparkle. L’Oreal Smoldering Plum is purpler. MAC Young Punk has more purple shimmer.

The real miss here was Beautymarked, which had a rather undesirable texture that made it a problematic shade to use. It’s also the kind of shade that looks incredibly complex in the pan but when used, it can be difficult to pull out those nuances and see the complexities. Performance Art was the best eyeshadow in this quad, because it had good pigmentation and a softer, smoother texture and application. Temperature Rising needs to be packed on for a smooth, even application. I wish it performed better overall, because the color combination works well together and would flatter a variety of skin tones. The eyeshadows did wear for eight hours with no creasing and only very minor fading with minor fading occurring after nine hours.

The Glossover

palette

Temperature Rising

B
I wish it performed better overall, because the color combination works well together and would flatter a variety of skin tones.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

MAC Bare My Soul Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Bare My Soul Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Bare My Soul Eyeshadow Quad ($44.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Romantico (light taupe bronze, Veluxe Pearl), Bare My Soul (frosted gold, Lustre), Friendly (deep bronze chocolate, Veluxe Pearl), and When in Rio (deep green with copper pearl, Frost). The quad will be available online on May 16th and in-stores May 23rd (of course, it usually is online earlier than the stated date). It is packaged in a matte bronze with a rubbery texture–if you’re familiar with NARS’ packaging, it’s very much like that, only bronze in color.

Romantico is a soft, medium-dark bown with a frosted finish and subtly warm, reddish undertones. It had nice color payoff and applied smoothly. Giorgio Armani Summer 2013 Eyeshadow #3 is warmer. Too Faced Hot Cocoa is lighter. NARS Flowers 3 is warmer. Milani Caramel Brown has a more metallic finish. MAC Buckwheat is darker. MAC Lie Low is more orange. MAC Sable is darker.

Bare My Soul is a gold-shimmered coppery brown with warm undertones and a frosted finish. It had good color payoff and applied smoothly when I used it on the lid. Wet ‘n’ Wild Sparkle ‘Til Morning #2 is very similar. Guerlain Calligraphy Eye & Lip #2 is slightly darker. Urban Decay Penny Lane is darker. Le Metier de Beaute Goldstone is more golden, brighter. bareMinerals Golden Iris has more of a satiny sheen.

Friendly is a rich, chocolatly brown with subtly warm undertones and a frosted sheen. It had fantastic color payoff, and it applied incredibly smoothly, too. Inglot #421 is slightly more coppery. Laura Mercier Cedar is more matte. MAC Make Your Mark is not quite as intense. MAC Mulch is redder.

When in Rio is a deep, red-brown base with a greenish-teal sheen. It had good color payoff when layered, but it was a little on the drier side and slightly stiff when I tried blending it out on the lid. It’s workable, but it’s not as nice as Romantico or Friendly. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone #8 has a much redder base. bareMinerals Mirage is browner. MAC Double Feature #5 #2 is similar in design but much redder in practice. Tarte Exquisite Emerlad is similar though not as intense. MAC Woodsmoke is bluer. Inglot #414 is greener. MAC Club would also be similar, though I think the duochrome is not quite as obvious (and also Blue Brown pigment).

Initially, it reminded me of the Burmese Beauty quad from a few years ago, but they’re definitely not one-for-one. Burmese Beauty had a more golden, rather than copper-toned, shade, but it did have a similarly duochrome blue-brown shade (Burmese Beauty). The other two eyeshadows are not similar to the other two found in this quad.

I liked the quad overall, but at this price point, I really wish When in Rio was softer, more pigmented, and more blendable.  In the world of MAC eyeshadow quads, this is certainly one of the better ones in the past few years.  I wore all four eyeshadows together yesterday, and I didn’t have any issues with creasing or fading after nine hours of wear (no primer).

The Glossover

palette

Bare My Soul

A-

I liked the quad overall, but at this price point, I really wish When in Rio was softer, more pigmented, and more blendable. In the world of MAC eyeshadow quads, this is certainly one of the better ones in the past few years.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 25th, 2013

MAC Rimal Dahabia Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Rimal Dahabia Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Rimal Dahabia Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains these shades: Shroom (soft beige with shimmer), Soft Brown (soft golden peachy brown), Beautyburst (rich reddish brown), and Najm el Lail (blackened deep brown). Shroom and Soft Brown are permanent, while Beautyburst came out with Barbie Loves MAC in 2007.

Shroom is soft, light beige with a hint of warmth and a lightly frosted finish (though it’s officially a satin). It’s soft, smooth, and easy to blend out. It also has lovely color payoff. This used to be a go-to brow bone highlighter for me, because it wasn’t too stark or too cool/warm. Make Up For Ever #126 is darker, slightly shimmery. Urban Decay Anonymous is more matte and less beige. Cinderella A Wish is more matte. Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla #1 is similar, but a touch more frosted. Urban Decay Skimp is a touch warmer and more shimmery. bareMinerals Serendipitous is very similar. MAC Brule is matte.

Soft Brown is a light-medium brown with warm, subtly red undertones and a matte finish. It is soft, silky-smooth, and nicely pigmented. It’s a great go-to neutral for outer lid and crease work on many skin tones, and then it can work as an all-over lid shade on darker complexions, too. MAC Exposed is darker and redder. MAC Body Conscious is more orange. MAC Glimpse of Flesh is shimmery and lighter. MAC Indie Spirit is a bit darker.

Beautyburst is a warm-toned, reddened, medium-dark brown with a matte finish (though it is listed as a satin). It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft and smooth. It blended nicely on the lid when I applied it. MAC Deep Fixation is more orange and more shimmery. Guerlain Les Fauves #2 is a touch lighter. MAC Brown Script is a bit darker and browner. theBalm Racy Kacy is warmer and shimmery.

Najm el Lail is a blackened brown with a matte finish. The swatch tells the majority of the story: dry, patchy, so-so color payoff. It’s not as easy to blend as a softer eyeshadow, as it tends to stick and be stubborn about softening along the edges. Too Faced Licorice is grayer/blacker. Dior Night Golds #3 is shimmery. MAC Bad Lieutenant is very similar. theBalm Matt Ramirez is also rather similar but has a slightly redder base. MAC Diamond Dove is similar. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is slightly browner. MAC Brun is a bit lighter and cooler-toned. MAC Midnight Flurry is also similar. MAC Legendary Black is darker, grayer. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone has a satin finish.

Three of the four are good or better (and two of the three are great), while the one shade that dropped the ball was Najm el Lail. I’m not sure why MAC seems to have issues with making a soft, buttery black-brown eyeshadow–above, you’ll see I noted several limited edition black-brown shades (mostly found in quads) from MAC over the years and they all have the same issues (dry, stiff).  Like the other quad, I’m testing the wear of these today and will update this post with that information later this afternoon. Based on the textures/payoffs/finishes, I’ve given it a longevity grade based off of years of testing MAC eyeshadows.

Just to do a little math, since the palette contains two permanent shades, here’s how the value works out to be: 1) pan eyeshadows cost $12 each (so $48 in eyeshadows), and the 2) the price of the quad is $9. So, if you purchase everything individually, you would be spending $57–compared to $40 to purchase a pre-made quad (in standard packaging), which means you pay $17 for choice. If you already have a palette to put them in, then you might consider the cost of choice $8. I find this is helpful to put it into perspective, though as a long-time MAC collector, I completely understand when you remember paying $34 for quads!  On the other hand, at $40, I really think it should be fantastic–there are too many $30-50 palettes on the market that are standouts these days.

The Glossover

palette

Rimal Dahabia

B+
Three of the four shades are good or better, but Najm el Lail is a let-down! It was so stiff and dry, which made it hard to get good color payoff as well as made blending rather difficult.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, April 25th, 2013

MAC Masat al Lail Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Masat al Lail Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Masat al Lail Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.21 oz.) contains these shades: Rondelle (platinum silver frost), Waft (deep navy with pearl), Gentle Fume (dirty concrete grey with silver pearl), and Carbon (intense black). Long-time MAC collectors may remember this composition, as it was originally launched in Smoke Signals (2007) as the Gentle Fume quad.

Rondelle is a gray-tinged white with a frosted finish. It had decent to good color payoff, but it was a little dusty, though I was able to get it to apply smoothly for the most part. Tarte Silver Burst is brighter, whiter. Guerlain Les Aquas #4 is more metallic. Bobbi Brown Iced Blue is cooler-toned.

Waft is a dark, bluish-gray with a subtle, frosted finish. The texture is rather dry, which is why this shade looks a bit patchy (and it does look dry, too) when swatched. It has so-so color payoff, but it was buildable and when used with a soft, fluffier brush, it did seem to apply better and more smoothly. theBalm Matt McDonald is very similar. MAC Warm Thunder is more metallic. Tarina Tarantino DIamond DUsk is more metallic, lighter. MAC Weathered is bluer.

Gentle Fume is a medium-dark matte gray base with silver sparkle. The silver sparkle doesn’t adhere or bind with the base color very well, so it flakes and disappears the moment you go to blend out the color. If you want any sparkle to survive, pat the color on, and then leave it alone. There will be fall out during the day, though. MAC Fabulous Fit doesn’t have the sparkle and is a touch lighter. MAC Silver Gull is much lighter. NARS Delphes #2 is close to the base color but doesn’t have the silver sparkle. Chanel Gris Exquis is a darker gray with no silver sparkle.

Carbon is a medium-dark black with a matte finish. It is part of the permanent range, and it varies in its dryness. This isn’t the worst iteration I’ve seen of it, but it’s certainly not the best and is by no means a favorite of mine to use. The beauty world can do better black eyeshadows now, so Carbon could use a reformulation to put it on par with current black eyeshadows. It’s just so dry and stiff, so the color payoff is sheerer and patchy–even applied on the lid, it can be a pain to blend out. You can find numerous black eyeshadows that compare to this (in terms of color).

It is a cool-toned, silver-and-gray smoky eye palette.  Over the years, I’ve grown frustrated with Carbon, so the inclusion of it in the quad is tiresome, as it is so often released in quads and palettes, so you very likely have one already (and it’s just not a great quality eyeshadow to begin with, so why have doubles or triples of it?).  I think the color of Waft is the most interesting, but it turns out that Weathered ends up looking more nuanced on the lid because it is bluer.  I wish the silver sparkle stuck to Gentle Fume, because then it would be something harder to dupe or find, but it just disappears and gets everywhere else.  Rondelle is the best performing shade in the palette.  I’m going to be wearing this quad for wear today, so I’ll report back with the results this afternoon–based on my experience with MAC’s drier/sheerer shades, I don’t get great wear (between seven and eight hours, some fading), I’ve assessed a rating but if it is better/worse, I’ll be sure to let you know.

The Glossover

palette

Masat al Lail

C
The quad just requires too much work. I think that eyeshadows have significantly improved over the past five years, and I feel like these are too dry and stiff and lack color payoff.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

7.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, April 25th, 2013

MAC Banafsaji Eyeshadow
MAC Banafsaji Eyeshadow

MAC Art of the Eye Eyeshadows ($15.00 for 0.05 oz.) include five shades, and they are: Banafsaji (deep purple blue), Farasha (bright deep orange), Gameela (deep pink magenta), Hajar Karim (clean warm green), and Parrot (deep aqua blue with bright green and blue pearl). Parrot is a repromote.

Banafsaji is a frosted, cool-toned purple with bluish tones and a violet base color. It had good color payoff, and the texture was soft but a little dry. It could have been a bit more blendable, but it was not difficult to use. OCC Technoir is bluer. Estee Lauder Violet Underground #5 is very similar. MAC Drawn to Drama is purpler. Giorgio Armani Ecailles Black Pearl #2 is brighter. NARS Marie-Galante is more muted. MAC Warm & Smoky is warmer, less blue. Urban Decay Blue Bus is lighter, purpler.

Farasha is a brightened, medium-dark orange with a matte finish. This looks lighter in the pan than it does on; consistently, whether on the lid or on my arm, it was darker swatched. It has fairly good pigmentation, but it is more buildable than it is incredibly intense right out of the pan, so I did need to pack it on the lid to get opaque, even color payoff. NARS Persia is darker, redder. Jasmine Rajah is shimmery, so it is a little lighter. MAC Rule is more muted. MAC Orange is darker, redder.

Gameela is a bold, bright medium-dark pink with subtle cool undertones and a matte finish. It had good color payoff and was buildable to fully opaque color. The texture is soft but a little dry; it’s not MAC’s best matte eyeshadow though decent to good. I recommend patting and packing the color on (and use a primer, if you have one) for best results. Chanel Rose Favorite is lighter. MAC Embrace Me is darker (between the two, since they both are recent releases, I’d get this all day long over Gameela). MAC More AMour is redder, more subdued. MAC Tease With Ease is more fuchsia. MAC Passionate is a bit richer and darker.

Hajar Karim is a grassy, medium-dark green with a matte finish and a dusty quality to it. It had so-so color payoff that required building to get to opaque color, but it is possible to get there. Again, patting the color on rather than sweeping will go a long way, and if you use a primer or white eyeshadow base, you’ll get true-to-pan color with less layering. NARS Self Portrait 1 #3 is yellower. Illamasqua Fledgling is brighter, bolder. MAC Feeling Fresh is shimmery and a bit darker. MAC Fresh Flare is shimmery and warmer. Inglot #384 is richer and yellower (in tone).

Parrot is a medium-dark blue with a hint of aqua/teal that is layered with green and gold shimmer; it’s not a strong duochrome, but there’s a slight tint and sheen to it at certain angles. I think this shade was interesting and unique three or four years ago, but now, there are so many options that are similar to it. The texture is a smidgen dry (I’ve been noticing all of the recent Veluxe Pearls have this dryness) that doesn’t seem to impede application or color payoff, but it’s there. Jasmine Diamond is darker. Tom Ford Emerald Lust is tealer. Urban Decay Unhinged is bluer. Urban Decay Deep End is darker. Tarina Tarantino Ozma is similar. theBalm Open to Offers Olwen is slightly darker. Urban Decay Haight is bluer. Inglot #415 is lighter, more metallic (but has a stronger golden sheen). Make Up For Ever #83 is brighter.

On the whole, they’re decent to good, but a few of them require some work to get them applied with full, rich color, as well as extra effort to blend them out. I had the best luck with Parrot, which had good color payoff without having to build and layer it on.  The worst performer was Hajar Karim, which really needs to be packed on (three or four layers).  Farasha and Gameela were in the middle of the pack; they both require two or three layers of product to be packed on, but the textures are soft enough that they’re still blendable.  Banafsaji had better pigmentation than some, but it was a bit stiff to blend.  I wore all five yesterday (three on one eye, two on the other), and Hajar Karim was the first to show signs of fading (after seven hours), while Farasha and Gameela lasted nine hours without fading or creasing but Gameela stained my lids.  Banafsaji had slight fading after eight hours, while Parrot didn’t show any signs of fading after nine hours.

The Glossover

product

MAC Art of the Eye Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B
On the whole, they're decent to good, but a few of them require some work to get them applied with full, rich color, as well as extra effort to blend them out. I had the best luck with Parrot, which had good color payoff without having to build and layer it on.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Dupes
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