Thursday, December 27th, 2012

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad
MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Strength: All Woman Eyeshadow Quad

MAC All Woman Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.19 oz.) consists of four new shades: Flawless Figure (pale warm shimmering white), Brains & Brawn (mid-tone taupe), All Woman (greenish dark grey), and Black Magique (deep, dark black with warm tones).  The color composition reads cool-toned to me, both at a glance and when applied, though it’s not overly cool-toned–closer to neutral-cool.

Flawless Figure is a bright white with a high frosted sheen. It has a veluxe pearl, officially, and it had great color payoff. Cinderella Midnight Hour is similar but warmer-toned. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very similar. Maybelline Too Cool is a touch more metallic, and it is also a cream product.

Brains & Brawn is a medium-dark taupe; a mix of gray and brown for a rather balanced taupe. It has a matte finish, and the color payoff was decent to good. It seemed to apply best with a fluffier brush. It is grayer than Urban Decay Naked 2. MAC Omega is browner, warmer. Estee Lauder Tempting Mocha is similar but a touch purple.

All Woman is a green-tinged dark gray with a dusting of shimmer, though it is mostly matte. This shade had rather weak color payoff, as the texture was dry and stiff. Tarte Stiletto almost looked a bit like this, just darker because it had more pigmentation. bareMinerals Earth is a bit lighter.

Black Magique is a brown-based dark black with a mostly matte finish, though it is officially a velvet finish. It reminded me a lot of Urban Decay Crave. Le Metier de Beaute Fin is darker, richer.

I think the inclusion of the ultra-shimmery shade Flawless Figure doesn’t make the most sense; it’s just very, very shimmery and ended up detracting from the overall composition of the palette. My gut was, “Don’t use it! Don’t use it!” but it’s a quad, so I really wanted to try and incorporate all four shades–and no, I should have went with my gut there!   A better use for it would be to lightly mix it with one of the other shades to create varying levels of shimmer/sheen and lightness.  It performed well, but it seemed out of place in this quad.  

All Woman was disappointing with its drier, stiffer texture, which made it difficult to blend as well as apply. Brains & Brawn is the kind of color I see anyone who wears neutrals getting a lot of use out of, and it’s a shame we don’t see more of these matte taupes in permanent, core ranges (across all brands).  It will work nicely for sculpting and defining the crease on light to medium (possibly medium-dark) complexions.  The eyeshadows wore for just under eight hours without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

All Woman

B
It can be amazing how one shade can make you go, "Ooh! I need this!" even if the rest do not sing out in the same way. Brains & Brawn draws me in, but All Woman kills the value of the palette.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad

Not Quite as Tempting as Touted

MAC Taste Temptation Eyeshadow Quad ($40.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes four shades: Look at the Eyes (light violet), Stay Sultry (deep navy), Naval (navy blue), and Carbon (intense black).  It’s a limited edition palette that will launch with Taste Temptation, due for release in-stores on December 13th.

Look at the Eyes is a pale lilac with a frosted finish. It has decent color payoff, though when I used it, I really packed it on to get it to show up. It was the best performing shade out of the four. MAC Creative Whim is similar–a bit purpler. MAC Silverwear is lighter. OCC Datura is more iridescent, brighter.

Stay Sultry is a blackened purple with a bluish shimmer. It’s supposed to have a satin finish. It had a stiff, dry texture when I attempted to swatch it, and it performed similarly on the lid. Giorgio Armani Green Jacquard is purpler. MAC Indian Ink is also purpler, but it is similar. MAC Spellcaster is a touch redder.

Naval is an indigo blue; there’s just this purplish tint that keeps it from being as blue as it seems. It seemed even less blue when I was working with it on the eye. It looks like a matte, though it is listed as a velvet finish on the label. OCC Technoir is brighter, bluer. NARS Self Portrait 3 is lighter. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is shimmery. NARS Self Portrait 1 is more vibrant. This shade is part of the permanent (PRO) range.

Carbon is a matte black. It has sheer color payoff with a stiff, dry texture that makes blending difficult. It’s part of the permanent range, and it’s been repromoted more than a few times recently. Shades like Wet ‘n’ Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine, NARS Self Portrait 2, Milani Pitch Black, and other black eyeshadows are all similar. Matte black is a basic enough color, so it’s really about finding the texture and richness of black that you like best. Carbon is a softer black (I’d describe it as a medium black).

The best part of the quad was inviting one to use the set of four shades together. It’s a very dark set of colors, aside from the one light one, so it was interesting trying to come up with something that used all four. The best shade was Look at the Eyes, which was softer than the other three, and it proved to have the most color payoff. You might say to yourself, “But it looks pigmented in the how-to,” but since the images are static, let me tell you that in order to develop the intensity of the crease color (Naval), I put brush to pan five times. Then, three times a piece for all three shades I used on the lid (Stay Sultry, Look at the Eyes, Carbon). In comparison, for a good eyeshadow, once is usually enough.  I’ve been wearing all four eyeshadows over a primer as well as on bare lids–and you absolutely need a primer to get decent color payoff–for the past six hours, and everything looks good thus far. If I experience any fading/creasing, I’ll update the post later tonight to reflect that.

I don’t think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don’t need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow.  There’s absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.  For a similar (but these are not exact dupes!) composition by MAC with higher quality shades from their permanent range, try Beautiful Iris, Indian Ink, Atlantic Blue (for a brighter blue) or Contrast (slightly darker), and Typographic (or your preferred matte black).

The Glossover

palette

Taste Temptation

D
I don't think you should have to work this hard, period; more budget-friendly brands have put out higher quality products and have proven that you don't need to spend a lot to get pigment-packed eyeshadow. There's absolutely no reason why a higher-end brand like MAC should put out dry, stiff eyeshadows with chalky, uneven color payoff.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Call Me Bubbles Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Call Me Bubbles (light tan), Fresh Daily (orange), Full of Flavour (coral), and Brash (frosty reddish copper).

  • Call Me Bubbles is a light beige with a shimmery finish. The color payoff is decent but there is some underlying sheerness. It has a satin finish–it has more of a frosted look than your average satin. This shade will be a nice highlighter on light-medium to medium skin tones especially. It’s a bit like the shade in Giorgio Armani #1 Madreperla. Urban Decay Skimp is similar but lighter. MAC Bisque is a touch darker and matte.
  • Fresh Daily is a medium orange with a tangerine shimmer-sheen. It has a frost finish that looks a little bit like a satin, too (not quite as shimmery as most frosts). The pigmentation is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Dolce & Gabbana Cocoa has a similar orange but matte and slightly darker. MAC Rule is similar but matte.
  • Full of Flavour is a brightened coral-pink. It has a matte finish. The texture is soft, just the tiniest bit powdery, and delivers good color payoff. It’s very similar to MAC Early Bird but a tiny bit darker. MAC Free to Be is also similar.
  • Brash is a molten copper with a frosted metallic sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture is so soft and smooth, and the resulting color payoff is excellent. Tarina Tarantino Dreamy has a shade that’s a bit more orange, less red. Shades like Urban Decay Baked and MAC Bronze aren’t similar because they’re more gold and bronze, while this is distinctly copper without being too red. This shade is a repromote.

It reminded me a bit of MAC Spring Colour 4 Eyeshadow Quad, which has the same really warm, sunset-ish feel, but it’s definitely different.  This is the warmest palette out of the three.  If you don’t like the way orange tends to look on your skin tone, this is the quad you could easily skip, since two shades have a fair amount of orange in them.  Like the other two quads, the shades included really mesh well.  I like the inclusion of different finishes so you can get more depth out of a look if you only wanted to use the shades included.  You should be able to make a pretty sunset-like eye out of this, though it will have a fair amount of brightness out of it.

 

The Glossover

palette

Call Me Bubbles

A-
The quality of this eyeshadow palette is much more in line with the quads of yesteryear, and it is the best quad out of the three. None of the textures are dry or stiff, and the color payoffs are good or better overall.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop & Drop Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) includes these shades: Sugar Snack (light pink), Hypnotizing (frosted greyed mauve), Power Boosted (violet), and Shop & Drop (deep blue).

  • Sugar Snack is a light-medium pink with yellow undertones and a matte finish. It’s a really soft, almost buttery, matte so the color payoff is good without being powdery. It reminded me of MAC Pen ‘n’ Pink, which is a touch lighter. Inglot #356 is lighter. MAC Paradise Island is similar, perhaps darker, with inferior color payoff.
  • Hypnotizing is a dark mauve-brown with high shimmer. It has a frost finish. It’s soft, smooth, and has good pigmentation. It’s similar to a fair amount of shades, including Tarina Tarantino Fantastical, MAC Winterized, Bare Escentuals Romp, and MAC Tendersmoke.
  • Power Boosted is a fuchsia violet with a pearly sheen. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It has decent color payoff, though it is a little sheerer and drier compared to other shades in the palette. NYX Violetta is similar but less iridescent. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is pinker. Urban Decay Purple Haze is similar in color, but it has a matte finish.
  • Shop & Drop is a deep smoky blue with hints of purple with a pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is decent to good, but the texture is a touch dry. Inglot #321 is similar in color but matte. Bobbi Brown Blue Onyx is similar but a touch purpler. MAC Blue Storm is brighter.

This is a good palette–none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC’s eyeshadow quads).  Both Sugar Snack and Hypnotizing are really nice and easy to work with, while Power Boosted and Shop & Drop are decent to good but could be more pigmented or softer.  Shop & Drop looks less nuanced when worn, especially if you’re using a neutral base, because it does have a blackened-blue base.  Hypnotizing is a shade we’ve seen before, but the other three are new and exclusive to this palette.

The Glossover

palette

Shop & Drop

A-
This is a good palette--none of the shades are duds (which has been a more frequent concern with MAC's eyeshadow quads). If you've been looking for a purple eyeshadow palette, this might be one to check out.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Saturday, February 4th, 2012

MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC: Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Colour Added Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19. oz.) includes these shades: Laundry Daze (light yellow), Colour Added (bright yellow), Pre-packaged (muted turquoise), and Self-Serve (deep grey).

  • Laundry Daze is a pale white-yellow with this faint hint of green. There’s just something slightly green in it, but it doesn’t cast or really look green. Whatever it is, it actually works really well with the rest of the shades because it coordinates and blends into them. This shade has a satin finish and has good color payoff. It’s, perhaps, a much, much lighter version of Dior Garden Pastels. I couldn’t think of any other potential dupes.
  • Colour Added is a brightened yellow with a kiss of chartreuse. It had excellent color payoff and felt very smooth. It has a veluxe pearl finish. NARS Rated R is greener. MAC Double Feature 2 is noticeably greener but not as green as Rated R. MAC Bitter is closer but a touch greener. MAC Three Ring Yellow is pretty close.
  • Pre-packaged is a darkened navy blue with a hint of teal. It has a veluxe pearl finish. The color payoff is good, and the texture is soft and smooth. Bare Escentuals Water is a bit like it, but tealer and more matte in finish. Guerlain Les Gris has a similar blue but a little muted.
  • Self-Serve is a medium-dark gray-brown with a subtle pearled sheen. It has a satin finish. The color payoff is horrendous–it’s like a trick eyeshadow! The swatch I managed to capture is a layered swatch; that’s the color built up as much as I could muster. The texture is dry, stiff, and loathes to be blended. Guerlain Les Gris has a similar grayish-brown kind of shade with better color payoff, though it has more of a matte finish. MAC Scene is a bit similar but less brown. MAC Moody is darker and browner but seems to be kind of what they were going for.

Everything was looking SO promising until I swatched Self-Serve, and then the eyeshadow loving part of me died a little inside. I was like, “What? How could you be such a tease?” Of course, a mere swatch on the arm only tells a partial story, so I went to test it in a look. It doesn’t apply much better over bare skin with a brush, but it is slightly better. It definitely needs a primer to yield truer color payoff, but here’s the rub: it’s just as dry, stiff, and difficult to blend applied as it was swatched. This lack of blendability made it a really frustrating shade to work with.

I was loving the quad until I tried Self-Serve.  It has potential, and depending on your level of patience and whether or not you have similar shades to the other three eyeshadows, it may or may not be worth it.   The quality of the other three is much, much higher; the two veluxe pearls feel soft, smooth, and deliver so much color. If we ignore Self-Serve, the quad would have received an overall rating of an A. Unfortunately, Self-Serve is not just a little bad but really bad, which resulted in scores of 1, 4, 1, 9, and 1.5. (Packaging is a single score that isn’t averaged across the four shades since it’s not impacted by the individual shade’s performance.)

The Glossover

palette

Colour Added

C+
It has potential, and depending on your level of patience and whether or not you have similar shades to the other three eyeshadows, it may or may not be worth it.   The quality of the other three is much, much higher; the two veluxe pearls feel soft, smooth, and deliver so much color.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Friday, September 16th, 2011

MAC Parlor Smoke Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Parlor Smoke Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Fall Colour: Parlor Smoke Eyeshadow Quad

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.

The Glossover

product

Parlor Smoke

B+
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.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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