Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Video Review: MAC and Chen Man Love & Water Collection – First Impressions & Swatches

My first look at MAC’s collaboration with Chen Man called Love & Water, due out in-stores on March 1st. I suspect it will pop online a day or two prior to the in-store release date.

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Love Cycle Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Love Cycle Mineralize Eyeshadow Duo

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos

There are three limited edition MAC Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos ($20.00 for 0.10 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection: Love Cycle (light blue, white, dark blue melange/dark royal blue), Pink Union (taupe, lavender, brown melange/dark violet), and Supersweet (bronze, pink, gold melange/golden pink).

Don’t get too excited–two of these duos are repromotes with new names, which is one of the worst things a brand can do (unless they’re extremely transparent about it, e.g. Urban Decay and their Alice in Wonderland palette). Two of these duos come from Electroflash, which was out four long years ago, so it’s not a bad thing that they’re repromoted–just bad that it’s not clear! (Boy, we’ve come a long way since 2008.)

Love Cycle has a muted medium-dark blue with a silver-ish sheen and frosted finish paired with a rich, deep blue with a frosted metallic sheen. This duo is the same as MAC Sea & Sky. The marbled side is lighter than theBalm Sensational, much bluer than Urban Decay Strip, slightly darker than MAC Moon’s Reflection, and bluer than Urban Decay Mary Jane. The solid side is a more shimmered NARS Outremer and MAC Atlantic Blue, slightly less blue than Inglot #428. Both shades had fairly good color payoff both dry and wet, though when applied wet, as per usual, the color applied smoother, more opaque, and the metallic sheen became more pronounced.

Pink Union has a muted plum-mauve with a frosted, metallic finish paired with a medium-dark violet purple with very, very subtle red undertones. The marble side is, generally, pinker than a lot of mauves on the market. It is a touch pinker than MAC Circa Plum and a fair amount pinker than shades like MAC Tendersmoke. Inglot #445 is purpler and darker. theBalm Curvy Cami is slightly purpler. Inglot #399 is pinker. The solid side is darker than MAC Violet, not as red-toned as Urban Decay Delinquent, and a touch more red-toned compared to MAC Parfait Amour.  When used dry, the marbled shade goes on fairly well, though the solid side is much more muted and softened.  They both apply more intensely and with a smoother appearance when applied damp.

Supersweet has a muted brown with a hint of gray-taupe in it with a frosted finish paired with a pop of cotton candy pink with a golden sheen. This duo is the same as MAC Pink Split. The marbled side is a bit browner than it is most taupe eyeshadows. If you have more of the gray marbling, you may find it turns more taupe. Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo is similar but a touch lighter. Inglot #363 is darker and matte. MAC Aloha is less gray. MAC Aurora is a little lighter. The solid side is similar to pinks like Dior Garden Roses, MAC Taupeless, MAC Goody Goody Gum Drop, and Inglot #431, but those pinks lack the strong golden sheen. Both shades, though the pink shade more so, were really chunky–they had a rougher, almost gritty texture, so I would expect a healthy amount of fall out, especially if used dry.  The color payoff is so-so when they are both used dry and gets better when applied damp.

Long-time readers will remember that I am not a fan of MAC’s Mineralize formulas.  My major issues tend to be fall out and wear, which are both biggies as far as eyeshadows go!  As much as I’d like these to work, because they do offer some really gorgeous shades and always look gorgeous in the pan, I continue to experience fall out during application, which continues while its worn (if the shade has sparkles of any sort) and have noticeable fading even when used damp and over a primer.  MAC has definitely refined the formula over the years in regards to texture (though Supersweet didn’t seem to get that treatment), because they have felt softer and smoother (overall) each year.  I tested Love Cycle (which applied the best) and still had noticeable fading after five hours used damp and over a primer.  It faded after three to four hours when used dry and over a primer.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Mineralize Eyeshadow Duos Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
If you tend to love Mineralize Eyeshadows, you'll probably like the texture of Love Cycle and Pink Union. Supersweet is chunky no matter how you slice it, so it has more than the usual amount of fall out for Mineralize Eyeshadows!

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Budding Love Lipglass
MAC Budding Love Lipglass / Force of Love Lipglass

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Lipglasses

There are two limited edition MAC Lipglasses ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection: Budding Love (pale lavender) and Force of Love (vivid honeysuckle pink). They, obviously, coordinate with the lipsticks–the descriptions are even the same.

Budding Love is a softly blue-based milky pink with soft white and pink shimmer. Because it’s a milkier shade, it does settle into lip lines and doesn’t always look perfectly even once applied. MAC Enchantee is very similar but streakier and has no shimmer. MAC Infinitely Likeable is a yellower pink. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is a bit lighter. MAC English Accents is pinker.

Force of Love is a yellow-based medium-dark pink with white sparkle. It has semi-opaque color coverage with some settling into lip lines. Chanel Pink Pulsion is darker, less opaque. MAC Electro Lush is darker. MAC If It’s Pink… is brighter, more fuchsia. Chanel Pink Teaser is similar but has gold shimmer.

MAC Lipglasses are a sticky, thick gloss, so they have a tendency to wear for four hours.  They’re vanilla-scented but have no discernible taste.  I’m not a big fan of this formula when the shade is more pastel, as it tends to settle or have a streaky application, which was the case with Budding Love, though it’s not the worst I’ve seen.  Force of Love has less coral in it compared to the coordinating lipstick, so if you layer this gloss over the lipstick, you’ll pull out more of the pink tones.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Lipglasses Review, Photos, Swatches

B
Budding Love settles noticeably into lip lines because of its lighter but more opaque color--it would be better over a lipstick than worn alone. Force of Love can be worn alone or paired with another product as there is a lot less settling.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Budding Love Lipstick
MAC Budding Love Lipstick

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Lipsticks

There are two limited edition MAC Lipsticks ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection: Budding Love (pale lavender) and Force of Love (vivid honeysuckle pink).

Budding Love is a blue-based lilac-pink with a lustre finish. The color coverage is semi-opaque; if you want a really sheer tint of color, it’s possible, as the color is buildable from sheer to semi-opaque. MAC Dress It Up is pinker. MAC All Styled Up is lighter. MAC Vanity Fair is brighter. MAC Pink Friday is brighter and a little lighter. MAC I Like It Like That is similar but a smidgen brighter.

Force of Love is a bright coral-pink with a hint of orange and has a matte finish. It has opaque color coverage. MAC Watch Me Simmer is similar but more orange. Laura Mercier Evening Pink is pinker. MAC Fusion Pink is much darker and redder. Wet ‘n’ Wild Hot Paris Pink is darker and redder. OCC Trollop is slightly less pink.

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but have no noticeable taste in my experience.  The wear depends on the formula and depth of the shade.  In general, I find lustres shorter-wearing (two to three hours) and a bit drying over time, while mattes are longer-wearing (five to six hours) and are neither drying nor moisturizing.  Force of Love is a creamier matte and doesn’t drag or pull on the lips when applied.

The Glossover

LE
product

Force of Love

A-
I suspect Force of Love is going to sell quickly, because it's similar to Watch Me Simmer, which was a really popular product just a few weeks ago! Budding Love is similar to a lot of blue-based lilac/pink shades that have come out before, it's just a little sheerer.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquer
MAC Breezy Blue Nail & Pinkly Fresh Nail Lacquers

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers

There are two MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.30 fl. oz.) in the new Love & Water Collection, and they include: Breezy Blue (dark blue) and Pinkly Fresh (mid-tone blue pink).

Breezy Blue is a deep purple-tinted navy blue with a cream finish. I applied two coats (and three coats on the middle finger), but I wasn’t able to get complete opacity. Illamasqua Force is similar but a little lighter. shu uemura Bleu Splendor is darker. Deborah Lippmann I Know What Boys Like is very similar. The formula was watery and thin, so three coats is really necessary in order to eliminate visible nail line.

Pinkly Fresh is a subtly blue-based pastel pink with a cream finish. Essie French Affair is very similar, perhaps a touch lighter. The formula is so, so thick on this one. The first coat was incredibly streaky, and only when I applied a really thick second coat was I able to get a streak-free result. Because of the thicker consistency, drying time seemed longer than average. I used two coats for swatches, though the second coat was deliberately thick, and it was opaque.

I’m not keen on the formula on either of these. At this price point, the formula really needs to be immaculate or else the color out of this world to justify it. How many blue and pink creams are there on the market?

P.S. — Apologies in advance:  I’m super sick, and when I’m under the weather, my hands tend to get really dry, so they are rather tired-looking in these photos!  

The Glossover

product

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

C
Both shades had a problematic formula, so I would pass on these, because the colors are not unique enough to justify the extra patience, coats, etc. to make these work at this price point.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

MAC Waveline Fluidline
MAC Waveline Fluidline

MAC Chen Man Love & Water Collection: Waveline Fluidline

MAC Waveline Fluidline ($15.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a permanent product (and has been for awhile) that is getting repromoted in the new Love & Water Collection. MAC describes this shade as a “navy blue with low level gold pearl.” It’s a rich navy blue with just a touch of purple–it’s barely there but with the right combination of colors could be pulled out. It has good opacity in a single pass and is easily built up in color. MAC Prussian is similar, though perhaps a little more noticebly purple.

I love MAC’s Fluidline formula; it’s my favorite gel eyeliner, even though there are several excellent gel eyeliners, this one always tops my list because the formula is top notch and the price is considerably less than higher-end brands that have comparable formulas. For example, Bobbi Brown’s Gel Eyeliners are amazing, but ultimately wear the same (all-day) as Fluidlines–they’re just more expensive. To be fair, Bobbi Brown has a much better range of colors than Fluidline, which is sorely lacking in permanent shade selections. Fluidlines are creamy, easy to apply, and wear all day long without smudging or fading.

The Glossover

P
product

Waveline

A
Fluidlines are one of MAC's cult favorite products and for a good reason, because they work--they're long-wearing, creamy, pigmented, and apply seamlessly across the lid with an eyeliner brush.

Product

10/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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