Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Freehand Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated: Freehand, Totally Fab, Must Be Red!

MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Freehand Cremestick Liner (new and exclusive), Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme (repromote), and Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This set is limited edition and exclusive to Nordstrom for their anniversary sale, but it is available in-store and online.

Freehand Cremestick Liner is a medium yellow-based red that’s not too blue-based. It has good color coverage. The Cremestick Liner formula is fairly creamy without being something that would slip and slide–it will stay in place on its own or help your favorite lipstick last just that much longer. When I tested Freehand on its own, it lasted for an impressive eight hours, but my lips were noticeably parched after that.

Totally Fab Dazzleglass Creme is an ornage-red with pink and white sparkle. Chanel Triomphal is blue-based and darker. MAC Russian Red is more opaque and blue-based. MAC Sonoran Rain has mor gold shimmer. YSL Golden Red is comparable but the gold shimmer is larger. MAC Wonder Woman is similar. Dior Little Red Dress is also comparable. It has semi-opaque color coverage. It wore for four hours and was neither drying nor hydrating. There was some settling into lip lines, but the color coverage helped to hide it.

Must Be Red! Cremesheen Lipstick is a subtly yellow-toned red with barely-there gold micro-shimmer. MAC Ruffian Red is a little more orange-toned. MAC Red Racer less yellow-toned, but they are similar. CoverGirl Hot is similar but more opaque. Bobbi Brown Old Hollywood is also comparable. It’s mostly opaque, but you can still see a hint of my lip freckle peeking through. This applied more easily than a lot of other Cremesheen lipsticks–it seemed a bit creamier. It wore for six hours and was slightly drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!).  Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

The Glossover

product

MAC Illustrated Red x3 Lip Color & Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was definitely better than the pink set, though Must Be Red! was still a little drying (not as bad as Vivid Imagination, though!). Even though all three reds are lovely shades, they seem rather dupeable, so you may already have similar reds in your stash.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Pink Treat Cremestick Liner
MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated Collection: Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag

MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag ($39.50) includes three products plus a small makeup bag: Pink Treat Cremestick Liner (part of the permanent range), Julia Dazzleglass Creme (new and exclusive), and Vivid Imagination Cremesheen Lipstick (new and exclusive).  This is a Nordstrom exclusive and is available both online and in-store now.

Pink Treat Cremestick Liner is a medium-dark neutral-cool pink. It comes in a twist-up mechanical pencil, and it contains 0.009 oz. I think Pink Treat was the first lip liner I ever bought (for sure, the first mid-range/high-end one). I don’t have that many lip pencils in my stash, so I don’t know what may or may not be dupes for this particular shade. It is significantly darker than the lipstick included in the set, though. I like Cremestick Liners, because they’re a lot more forgiving during application and when worn than other lip pencils. The only downside is, like most mechanical pencils, there isn’t a whole lot of product in ‘em, and if you use it regularly, you’ll find yourself going through it relatively quickly.  This lip liner wears about six hours on its own.

Julia Dazzleglass Creme is a rosy beige-brown with soft pink and gold shimmer. There’s not a lot to the gloss–it’s really on the sheer side and adds mostly shimmer rather than color. It seems to bring out the redness in my natural lip color. It looked and acted a lot more like a regular Dazzleglass than the Dazzleglass Cremes (which typically have more color payoff). You could easily dupe this with any sheer, shimmer-filled gloss. Here’s a whole gallery of options. When I wore this, it lasted a mere hour and there was some traveling glitter particles.

Vivid Imagination Cremesheen Lipstick is a light-medium yellow-toned pink with a creamy finish. Le Metier de Beaute Fiji is darker. Bobbi Brown Orchid PInk iis lighter, less opaque. MAC Please Me is extremely similar–at most, marginally darker! It yields mostly opaque color coverage, and the consistency is thin for as creamy as this looks. It does pull and tug a little bit, though not like a particularly dry, hard-to-apply lipstick, but it doesn’t glide-on. I tested the wear on this shade, and it managed four hours (which is average), but it was a bit drying.

Whenever MAC releases lip kits like these, it’s actually one of the few true value sets they launch. You’re getting three full-sized products for $39.50, and if they were available individually, would set you back $48.50.  I’m not over-the-moon about this set, unfortunately.  The best part about it is Pink Treat as far as quality goes, and if you like the design, then the bag might take the prize. (I dig it!)

The Glossover

product

MAC Illustrated Pink x3 Lip Color & Bag Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I'm not over-the-moon about this set, unfortunately.  The best part about it is Pink Treat as far as quality goes, and if you like the design, then the bag might take the prize. (I dig it!)

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

MAC Cusp of Dawn Lipstick
MAC Cusp of Dawn Lipstick

MAC Heavenly Creatures Lipsticks

MAC Heavenly Creatures Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) features five shades: Cusp of Dawn (beige pink), Cut a Caper (mid-tone peach pink), Fire Sign (red pink), Pleasureseeker (creamy peach), and Venus (sheer yellow pink with pearl).  Both Cut a Caper and Pleasureseeker have been released in previous collections, and all five are limited edition.

  • Cusp of Dawn is a soft, warm peach-beige with a little hint of brown and orange-copper shimmer. This has a lustre finish. The color coverage is semi-sheer, depositing more visible shimmer-sheen (almost looks metallic on my lips) while muting any natural pink in my lips. On my lips, it comes out as a subdued beige with a semi-metallic finish. Guerlain Chant d’Aromes is slightly browner and more opaque, less metallic. MAC Viva Glam VI has more red and plum (but it looked a little similar on). Maybelline Coral Kiss is slightly rosier. Guerlain Grace is rosier.
  • Cut a Caper is a pink-coral with this really, really subtle purplish iridescence. This has a lustre finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque and very buildable, so you can use almost nothing and get sheer color. Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell is less pink. Chanel Coquette is more vibrant, pinker. NARS Niagara is darker, pinker.
  • Fire Sign is a pinky-red with semi-opaque color coverage. This has a lustre finish. Was anyone else wanting this shade to be more fiery? It’s exactly as described, so I don’t take any real issue with it, I just envisioned something more fiery by the name (this has no impact on the review!). Guerlain Pour Troubler is a little more ruby red. NARS Flamenco is comparable. Guerlain Grenade is similar, slightly more muted.
  • Pleasureseeker is a dirty peach with subtle warm undertones. This has a glaze finish. It has semi-sheer color payoff, though it has more of a frosted/metallic effect than a lot of color. It seems to warm up my natural lip color and make my lips look a little coral–I imagine this is because it’s semi-sheer, so it’s not adding noticeable peach as a solid color but mixing peach with my underlying lip color. Bobbi Brown Pink Seashell is very similar (perhaps a little pinker in the tube) and also turns my lips to a shade of coral. MAC Razzledazzler is darker, more opaque. Burberry Devon Sunset is more opaque and darker.
  • Venus is a semi-opaque subtly yellow-toned medium pink with subtle golden shimmer. This has a lustre finish. MAC Blood Red is less pink. MAC Radicchio is lighter, plummier. Guerlain Bloom of Rose is more frosted.

Four of the five shades have a lustre finish, which isn’t one of my favorites by MAC for two major reasons: 1) they don’t wear very long (anywhere from one and a half to three hours usually), and 2) they’re drying. One shade has a glaze finish, which is similar but slightly glossier (heavier on the shine, slightly creamier), which wears about as well as lustre finishes do, but I don’t find the glaze finish as drying–slightly drying but not too badly.  MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented with no discernible taste and come in black bullet tubes with silver accents.

Yesterday, I tested the wear of Cusp of Dawn (two hours), Cut a Caper (three hours), and Fire Sign (five hours), while this morning, I tested out the wear of Pleasureseeker (hour and a half) and Venus (three and a half hours).  All of the shades were on the drying side with Cut a Caper being the least drying but slightly so.  Cusp of Dawn and Pleasureseeker will do best on well-hydrated, smooth lips.  The sheer and frost combination doesn’t work well on dehydrated lips, as it tends to accentuate any imperfections on the lip, like dryness, flaking, and cracking.

On the whole, I do like MAC lipsticks, and I think there are few brands that provide as many shade varieties as they do (there are so many classics in the permanent range, and plenty of “ooh, I remember loving you” shades that were limited edition). I also think they’re a good option for someone who wants to go high-end but doesn’t want to shell out $20+ for true high-end brands (as MAC is generally considered mid-end, though their price points have been creeping–especially on newer product types–upward into high-end territory, e.g. $20 for an eyeshadow).  Lustres just don’t work well on me; they wear off easily and dry out my lips, and since four of the five are lustres, this review certainly reflects those problems.

The Glossover

product

MAC Heavenly Creatures Lipsticks Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Lustres just don't work well on me; they wear off easily and dry out my lips, and since four of the five are lustres, this review certainly reflects those problems. If you find lustres to be moisturizing or non-drying and/or don't mind frequent reapplication, then these are worth considering. I didn't have any problems with pigmentation, evenness, etc.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

MAC Ruffian Gold Lipstick
MAC Ruffian Gold Lipstick

MAC & Ruffian: Lipsticks

MAC and Ruffian have teamed up to launch an online-only collection that features three sets of glue-on nails (to be shown shortly) and three lipsticks: Ruffian Gold (gold glitter metallic), Ruffian Naked (pale peachy nude), and Ruffian Red (classic rich blue red). The collection is available online now. Each lipstick is housed in traditional MAC packaging–a matte black tube with a rounded cap–and has the same vanilla-scent as other MAC lipsticks. Each of these is $14.50.

  • Ruffian Gold is a semi-sheer sparkling bronzy gold. It’s mostly gold and more molten gold micro-glitter suspended in a sheer color base. This has a frost finish. MAC Liquid Lurex is more multi-colored. MAC Front Lit is paler and more opaque. Dior Or Etoile is similar but lighter. MAC Tanarama is lighter. MAC Gel is fairly similar applied, though it is more bronze. I would recommend layering this over a red lipstick (and I have an upcoming post with it over Ruffian Red–stay tuned).
  • Ruffian Naked is a rosy beige with a creamy texture. This has a matte finish, though it felt more like a satin to me. I didn’t see much peach in this; it kept looking pink on me. It’s similar to MAC Myth, perhaps slightly lighter. MAC Innocence, Beware! is pinker. MAC Fleshpot is a touch lighter.
  • Ruffian Red is a just slightly blue-based medium-dark red with a fair amount of brightness. This has a matte finish. I swear, on me, this reads almost neutral to warm, even though it’s described as a blue-based lipstick. MAC Russian Red is darker, deeper. MAC Red Racer is a little brighter. Maybelline Very Cherry is bluer. MAC Ruby Woo is slightly darker and bluer-based. Giorgio Armani #404 is similar but shimmery. Make Up For Ever #43 seems fairly close. Guerlain Garconne is darker.

I didn’t have any problems with the three shades.  They applied as they should–Ruffian Gold didn’t feel too gritty and the glitter spread evenly for the most part, while Ruffian Naked and Ruffian Red had just enough creaminess to glide easily across the lips to deposit rich, opaque color. Ruffian Naked is slightly creamier than Ruffian Red.  I typically get four hours of wear with MAC’s lipsticks, and a shade like Ruffian Red would wear longer (as most reds do), around six to eight hours. Ruffian Red did stain my arm after only being on it for 10-15 minutes (as did Russian Red and Ruby Woo).

The Glossover

product

MAC & Ruffian: Lipsticks Review, Photos, Swatches

A
All three have a few potential dupes from previous launches, so you may not find any of these essential. They're good products, and the red is very classic. The nude shade may be too pale for some--if you like shades like Myth and Fleshpot, it'll be right up your alley!

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Red Racer Lipstick

MAC Hey, Sailor: Lipsticks

MAC Hey, Sailor! Lipsticks ($15.50 for 0.10 oz.) include four shades: Red Racer (bright yellow red), Sail la Vie (bright mid-tone orange), Salute! (neutral peach), and To Catch a Sailor (highly frosted tan).

First, to those who wanted Red Racer and Sail la Vie, never fear–there are several retailers still yet to launch the collection online, and it’s still not out in-stores (except PRO stores). I wish I could have posted the lipsticks sooner, but I did not have all of them (and ironically, I was missing both the shades that sold out) until 7PM last night!

Truthfully, I was a little surprised that both sold out so quickly, because they seemed dupeable (from the descriptions), but they are certainly lovely shades and wear and apply well to boot.  I really say this as a gentle reminder that makeup is supposed to be fun.  Sometimes the adventure and efforts it takes to track down just that particular shade can be fun and exciting, but when it takes a turn for aggravating, frustrating, and upsetting? that’s when it’s too much. And never be afraid to mix and match–you might be surprised just how much you can dupe if you mix two or three products together!

The only shade that was problematic was Salute!, which applied awfully on my lips. I thought maybe it was just because it was the first lip product I swatched, so I tried it on again, but it looked just as bad (the second attempt is what is shown below).  It just catches on imperfections that a lot of other lipsticks don’t (for instance, To Catch a Sailor was swatched second).  All four shades were opaque, and they had good, creamy consistencies that enabled easier application.  I tested the wear of To Catch a Sailor (three hours) and Red Racer (five hours with a light stain).

MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste. They’re typically packaged in a semi-matte black tube, but these are in a glossy, navy blue tubes with white striping. The finishes of these lipsticks were not at all problematic, and even though To Catch a Sailor has a very metallic finish, it wasn’t drying (but not moisturizing).

The Glossover

product

MAC Hey, Sailor Lipsticks Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
All four shades were opaque, and they had good, creamy consistencies that enabled easier application. The only shade that was problematic was Salute!, which applied awfully on my lips. I also think that Salute! is going to be harder shade to wear, but it will be flattering on some skin tones, particularly deeper ones.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick
MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick

MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick

MAC Speak Louder Cremesheen Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “clean poppy blue pink.” It’s a vibrant medium-dark pink-red with a subtle blue undertone and a soft, natural sheen. MAC Impassioned is much more vibrant, more coral. MAC Party Parrot is much more coral. MAC Moxie is darker, more intense. MAC Full Fuchsia is more vibrant, brighter.  Against my skin tone, it doesn’t read as cool-toned as it is in the tube.

It has mostly opaque color coverage, and it’s one of the creamier Cremesheens I’ve used. It glides on better than others within the finish, though it’s not as creamy as an Amplified finish. What’s interesting about this color is that it’s the more muted sister of a lot of the really vibrant, nearly-neon shades that have become immensely popular/sold out. I wouldn’t described it as muted generally, though, as it is fairly bright on the face.  Speak Louder wore for a solid five hours when I tested it.

I’m not a huge fan of the Cremesheen finish–it’s a bit drying (some shades more so than others).  I’d also love a slightly creamier consistency so that it would really glide easily and evenly across the lips.  Speak Louder wasn’t drying but neither was it moisturizing.  It is vanilla-scented but has no discernible taste (same scent as other MAC lipsticks and lip products).

The Glossover

P
product

Speak Louder

B+
With its subtle cool undertone and brighter color, this shade will flatter a wide range of skin tones. It's not as bright as a lot of the recent peony pinks on the market, but it's still plenty vibrant.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →