Friday, March 16th, 2012

MAC Cool Heat Eyeshadow
MAC Cool Heat Eyeshadow

MAC By Request – Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC By Request is a collection that’s voted on by the fans–there are 18 shades of lipstick, lipglass, and eyeshadow that MAC has listed for grabs, and your votes will determine the top three from each product type that will go on to be launched in an online exclusive, limited edition collection in August. Voting is open and closes on March 30th and users can vote once per product category per day. Not sure where to cast your vote? These are the six that are up for voting, and these just arrived from MAC – all the labels just say “sample” on the back, so I don’t know if these were a recent production or if these were from original runs. I’m thinking they’re probably from short runs – perhaps just to ensure the colors could still be made or have the recipes ready to go into production as soon as voting is over.

  • Cool Heat is a blue with a hint of teal. This has a frost finish. The color payoff is good, and the texture is soft and smooth–it has more of a satin-like finish than a true frost one. Urban Decay Haight is a bit bluer. Inglot #338 is ver similar but matte.
  • Guacamole is a light-medium almost cool-toned green with golden shimmer (so it ends up looking warmer). This has a frost finish. Out of all of these green eyeshadows, only Make Up For Ever #34 comes close, and it’s a bit yellower. It had good pigmentation and a soft texture.
  • Heavenly Bliss is a medium brown with a champagne-gold sheen. This has a frost finish. It has a very smooth, soft feel and goes on like butter. Bare Escentuals Buxom Mutt is similar, just a little less warm. Urban Decay Suspect is grayer. Urban Decay Spotlight is lighter.
  • Jete is a pinky brown with a frosted, metallic shimmer-sheen. This has a veluxe pearl finish. The texture was soft and smooth, while the color payoff was nice. Make Up For Ever #16 is a bit redder. Giorgio Armani Sweet Fire is a bit pinker.
  • Moth Brown is a purple-tinted gray with a shimmery finish. This has a frost finish. Again, the texture on this one was soft, smooth, and the color applied beautifully. MAC Howzat is lighter and less intense. MAC Moody is a bit darker, less shimmered.
  • Solar White is a pink-tinted white with a yellow gold shimmer and sheen. This has a frost finish. It looks surprisingly pink in the pot, but it doesn’t translate when swatched very well (which may be a good or bad thing, depending on what you want). Shades like Tarina Tarantino Delightful come close, but they’re more integrated, while this really has a sheen to it. Make Up For Ever #101 comes the closest, and it’s pretty close.

The texture on all six was really, really good, actually. I was pleasantly surprised, because lately, MAC’s eyeshadows have been more hit-or-miss. These were nice–soft/smooth textures, good color payoff. I managed to cram five of the six into one look, and they wore beautifully all day long (with a primer), and there was only marginal fading after eight hours without a base.

Just for fun, here are some shades I think would have been nice to bring back: All Races (All Ages, All Races, All Sexes ’10), Atlas (Shades of Venus ’98), Bang on Blue (C-Shock ’07), Casa Blanca (Salsabelle ’04), Cinders (Luxuries ’05), Cosmic (Moonbathe ’07), Elite (Belle Azure ’05), Eyepopping (C-Shock ’07), Fab & Flashy (C-Shock ’07), Femme-fi (Neo Sci-Fi ’08), Firespot (Moonbathe ’07), Goldbit (Tantress ’04), Icebox (Merry MAC-Mas ’00), Meadowland (Madame B. ’05), Metamorph (Madame B. ’05), Queen’s Jewel (Antiquitease ’07), Say Yeah (Rebel Rock ’05), Tease ‘n’ Teal (Luxuries ’05), Whistle (Barbie Loves MAC ’07), and Wondergrass (C-Shock ’07).

If I’m remembering correctly, I only own half of these in their original forms, but I will do what comparisons I can! I absolutely know without a doubt that I don’t have Heavenly Bliss, though! I didn’t even recognize the name when MAC announced the collection. I didn’t get into MAC until 2005!

The Glossover

product

MAC By Request - Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

A
It's actually a bummer that these aren't all making it into production for fall, because the quality of these eyeshadows is so much better than some of the past year's launches! The color payoffs and textures were good across the board.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

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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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Friday, December 30th, 2011

MAC Diamond Dove Eyeshadow
MAC Diamond Dove Eyeshadow

MAC for Iris Apfel: Eyeshadows

There are five limited edition shades of MAC Eyeshadow ($15.00 for 0.05 oz.) in the Iris Apfel collection: Diamond Dove (deep gray-brown), Early Bird (bright coral), Howzat (deep gray with silver sparkle), Robin’s Egg (mid-tone teal), and Silver Gull (blue-gray with sparkle).

  • Diamond Dove is a dark brown with subtle cool undertones. It has good color payoff, but it is definitely a drier matte, so you may or may not like that type of texture (it’s more like most of MAC’s matte finishes–not at all like the Matte2 finish). This has a matte finish. Tarina Tarantino Wonderful is a slightly less gray brown in the palette. MAC Brun is grayer. MAC Copperplate is a bit lighter and much grayer. It’s a bit darker than MAC Double Feature 3.
  • Early Bird is a medium coral-pink. This has a matte finish. The color payoff is good, but again, it is a drier matte, which you may love or hate. If you didn’t like working with MAC Free to Be (which is a bit darker but otherwise very similar), I doubt you’ll like this one. They’re both fairly dry. I actually found this to need more packing on the lid (I think to apply it to my inner third of the lid, I applied five or six times to get true-to-pan intensity). Inglot #361 is also similar.
  • Howzat is a bluish gray with a sheen. This has a satin finish. I didn’t like it the first time it came out, nor the second, and I still think it’s subpar. The color payoff is terrible with a really dry, stiff texture that’s just not worth the effort. MAC Interior Life is similar but more matte.
  • Robin’s Egg is a bluish-teal. This has a matte finish. This is the type of color that’s going to look bluer/greener depending on the colors you pair it with but your underlying skin tone will have an affect, too. For instance, warmer complexions will probably see this as more of a teal shade, while cooler complexions may find it turns bluer. The texture of this is different than the other matte eyeshadows–it’s much softer, not quite as soft as Matte2 finishes, but still softer and much easier to work with. It’s similar to MAC Double Feature 3 and Inglot #372.
  • Silver Gull is a pale, neutral-toned gray with silver sparkle. This has a velvet finish. The base color has more of a matte finish, while the sparkle lies on top of the product, which does cause significant fall out (even just swatching, the sparkle doesn’t bind with the actual color). It’s also on the sheerer side and a bit powdery. Guerlain Les Ombres de Nuit has a slightly similar gray. Unfortunately, I couldn’t think of any other dupes.

These are some of the better single eyeshadows I’ve seen from MAC since Surf Baby (which was an exceptional set!). I think what will sway you is simply how you prefer your matte finishes–if you like them drier, more consistent with most of MAC’s matte range, you’ll like these. If you prefer softer, denser, almost buttery mattes, these are not like those. In my experience, drier mattes perform just as well as more buttery ones once you apply them, but it’s in a quick swatch that you might find the major discrepancy. I wore Early Bird, Robin’s Egg, and Silver Gull to test out the wear of these, and I did have fall out issues with Silver Gull (which also required packing of color to get it to show). Robin’s Egg is the easiest to work with, because it’s soft and very pigmented–so you don’t need a lot of it, and you can easily blend it out, too.

The Glossover

product

MAC for Iris Apfel Eyeshadows Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you like them drier, more consistent with most of MAC's matte range, you'll like these. If you prefer softer, denser, almost buttery mattes, these are not like those. In my experience, drier mattes perform just as well as more buttery ones once you apply them, but it's in a quick swatch that you might find the major discrepancy. I do not recommend Silver Gull for it has fall out and pigmentation issues.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Wednesday, December 14th, 2011

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC for Daphne Guinness: Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Interior Life Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.20 oz.) includes these four shades: Stratus (light pink), Bruised Sky (dark lavender gray), Interior Life (mid-tone gray blue), and Heather Belles (dark charcoal/carbon).  It’s new and limited edition for MAC for Daphne Guinness, which will launch in-stores on December 26th.

  • Stratus is a pale iced pink with a matte finish. I couldn’t get this product to swatch at all–I literally took a metal spatula to the pan and gouged product out to just get enough visible color in the swatch so you could see it. The swatch you see is the equivalent of swatching something five times, if not more! I later tried to apply this to the lid–over primer–and it was invisible. Maybe on the lightest and on the darkest of skin tones this will show up better, but the texture is still unforgivably dry and difficult to use. MAC Taupeless is a little warmer and shimmery. MAC Seedy Pearl is shimmery but similar in hue. Inglot 319 is more blue-based.
  • Bruised Sky is a mauve-brown with a satin finish. This shade was a little dry, but it yielded decent color payoff. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off has a more shimmery version of this shade. It’s similar to MAC Tendersmoke. MAC Shale is much browner.
  • Interior Life is a blue-tinted medium-dark gray with a veluxe finish, which means it has a mostly matte finish but the texture is different from their matte finish. This is one of the best matte eyeshadows I’ve come across by MAC, and ironically, there are only two veluxe finishes available in the permanent range (Samoa Silk and Brown Down). This feels much more like a Matte2 than a veluxe–it’s so dense and buttery that’s nearly creamy in feel. The color payoff is really good, too, though it does easily blend away so go easy on blending.  I don’t want to say this, but this fades a lot when applied.  It was half faded after five hours.  It’s a matte version of MAC Howzat. Chanel Gris Exquis is more neutral.
  • Heather Belles is a charcoal black with a satin finish. The good news is this shade is the same as it was when it launched with Tartan Tale; the bad news is that it’s still just as terrible. I got a little smarter with this shade, so I managed to scrape product off and apply it to the middle but left some parts still in their original, disappointing state. It’s sheer, dry, and nearly chalky because of how dry and stiff it is. Nehru is a little blue/teal. It’s a bit like theBalm Serious. It ended up looking a lot like MAC Black Tied, since neither works well. I tried applying this to the crease, but it just wasn’t applying or blending well, so I ended up using Nebula (pigment) instead.

I’ve been underwhelmed by MAC’s eyeshadow quads for quite awhile now, and I had some hope after Cindy Sherman, Interior Life really disappointed. Many brands come out with quads and palettes, and there are few high-end brands that seem to flop as spectacularly as MAC has in the past year when it comes to their quads/palettes. MAC can do an excellent eyeshadow, so I don’t know why this doesn’t translate into their eyeshadow quads any more.

The Glossover

palette

Interior Life

F
There are too many problems with this eyeshadow quad: poor pigmentation, drier/stiffer textures, and fading. At $38, there are so many better options out there. Build your own MAC quad of proven eyeshadows!

Product

4/10

Pigmentation

6/10

Texture

5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

2.5/5

Results
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Thursday, October 27th, 2011


MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Ice Parade: Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit

MAC Cool Fabulously Festive Face Kit ($59.50) includes a palette with four eyeshadows and blush, along with a metallic, silver bag that also holds a lipstick, lipglass, and three miniature-sized brushes. MAC describes the shades, officially, as: Phloof! (frosted off white), Brun (muted blackish-brown), Quarry (soft muted plum-brown), Dance in the Dark (black-brown), Mocha (soft plum pink), Hot Gossip (mid-tone pinky plum), and Emancipation (light pink). The brushes included are the 129SE, 266SE, and 275SE. The eyeshadows weigh 0.22 oz. while the blush weighs 0.18 oz. (basically, everything is full-sized).

  • Phloof! is a pinked beige with a frosted finish; it has good color payoff and a smooth, soft texture. It has a frost finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Brun is a dark, cool-toned brown with a hint of gray and a subtle sheen in its finish. The pigmentation is nice and the texture is soft overall. It has a satin finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Quarry is a rosy mauve with a matte finish. It’s a bit dry and almost powdery with so-so color payoff. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Dance in the Dark is a purple-tinted brown-black with a satin finish. The color payoff is below average, and the texture is stiff and dry, which contributes to the uneven color application. Wet ‘n’ Wild We’re Blasting Off is very similar but more pigmented.
  • Mocha is a brightened pink plum with a matte finish. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. The color payoff is really nice, and I swear, this seems more vibrant than the permanent version (but I don’t currently own the permanent version to compare).
  • Hot Gossip is a plum-tinted pink with a frosted finish and mostly opaque color coverage. It has a cremesheen finish and is part of the permanent range.
  • Emancipation is a pink-beige with soft white shimmer that yields semi-opaque color coverage. It’s a milkier-looking gloss, so it does have a tendency to settle into lip lines. It is a repromote. It’s similar to Feelign Dreamy, Runway Fave, and Bare Nesceessities.

Of all of the holiday offerings, the Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the best bang-for-your-buck item and tend to be higher quality overall (maybe that has something to do with the inclusion of mostly permanent products?). Between the eyeshadows, blush, and lip products, you more than get what you spend back, so the subpar brushes are a bonus.

I did not and refuse to purchase any brush kits (for confirmation as to why, see Dusty’s review), but the brushes included in the Face Kits are disappointing. I found both the blush and eye brushes to be scratchy and lacked the density and precise shape of their full-sized counterparts. I had a ton of shedding and dye bleeding with the 129SE (and the full-sized 129 is one of the scratchier MAC brushes, so imagine this one!).

The Glossover

palette

Winter Cool Fabulously Festive

A-
The Fabulously Festive Face Kits are the star products from the holiday collection, because the quality is there overall and as a bonus, they're a good value!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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