Sunday, December 30th, 2012

10 Worst Beauty Products of 2012

There have been several disappointing products released over the past year, but these are ten that really frustrated me… They’re in no particular order!  Now that these are out of the way, we can end 2012 and start 2013 on a happy, positive note going over all the bests of the year :)

What was the worst product you tried this year?

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Beet Lip Pencil
MAC Beet Lip Pencil

Three Classic Lip Liners for Your Many Reds

MAC Marilyn Monroe Lip Pencils ($16.50 for 0.05 oz.) sees the promotion of three permanent shades: Beet (vivid reddish-pink), Cherry (vivid bright bluish-red), and Redd (clearly red). They come in glossy black boxes and have a glossy black exterior on the actual pencil, as compared to the typical matte black packaging for both the box and pencil. MAC is charging more for this difference–these three shades can be purchased for $15.00 each normally, because of the glossy packaging, MAC is charging $16.50 each for these.

  • Beet is a pinky-red with a matte finish. It would pair well with Love Goddess.
  • Cherry is a barely blue-toned medium-dark red with a matte finish. It could work with Charmed, I’m Sure or Deeply Adored.
  • Redd is an orange-red with a matte finish. It would pair well with Scarlet Ibis.

The Lip Pencil formula is supposed to be used for “shaping, lining, or filling in the lip.” The texture is described as smooth and creamy, while the pencil itself is long-lasting.  I wouldn’t describe them as creamy, though they’re not totally stiff and rough or anything, but they’re just somewhat smooth and creamy. The drier my lips get, the harder I find these are to apply and to apply smoothly/evenly.  All three shades are plenty pigmented, and you can get even color coverage.  I like these as a standby lip liner, as they do wear long and well (six hours or longer) and work well underneath lipsticks to prolong the wear (one of these easily adds an extra hour or two).

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

product

MAC Marilyn Monroe Lip Pencils Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A
I like these as a standby lip liner, as they do wear long and well (six hours or longer) and work well underneath lipsticks to prolong the wear (one of these easily adds an extra hour or two).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Fascinating Eye Kohl
MAC Fascinating Eye Kohl

Old Standbys Get a New Outfit

MAC Marilyn Monroe Eye Kohls ($15.00 for 0.05 oz.) sees the promotion of two permanent shades: Fascinating (intense matte white) and Smolder (intense black). If you purchase from the collection, the pencils you’ll receive come in a glossy black box and are packaged in a glossy black pencil, compared to the matte black packaging of the permanent shades. They cost exactly the same, and while online is listing these as 0.05 oz. (or 1.45g), my pencils say 0.048 oz. (or 1.36g), making them the same size as the permanent ones as well.

  • Fascinating is a bright white with a matte finish. It had nice pigmentation in a single pass. Dolce & Gabbana white is similar but a bit brighter, not as cool-toned. MAC Pure White is also similar but more of a neutral white.
  • Smolder is a dark black with a near-matte finish. It had good color payoff in one stroke. It’s a basic black eyeliner, so it has many dupes available.

The Eye Kohl formula is supposed to be a soft pencil eyeliner that delivers rich color along with a smooth finish.  Smolder was really creamy and glided on easily, while Fascinating was a bit drier, but it still applied evenly and didn’t pull or tug on the lash line.  Smolder remains smudge-able for awhile and eventually sets, but I did see some additional smudging after wearing it for eight hours on my lower lash line.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

product

MAC Fascinating + Smolder Eye Kohls Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B+
I don't get the best wear with these, so for me, they're not my go-to pick for eyeliner. I'd rather use MAC's Chromagraphic Pencil formula (which is PRO) or their Technakohl range.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC How to Marry Eyeshadow
MAC How to Marry Eyeshadow

A Story of Four Misses

MAC Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows ($21.00 for 0.10 oz.) include these four shades How to Marry (soft white), Preferred Blonde (pale champagne beige), Showgirl (dark blue grey), and Silver Screen (true silver). All four are supposed to have a veluxe pearl finish, and they are double the size of a regular MAC eyeshadow.

How to Marry is a pale, cool-toned white with so-so color payoff and a frosted finish. MAC Crystal Avalanche is very, very similar–and it has better color payoff and is part of the permanent range! Maybelline Too Cool is similar but a cream product. theBalm Sassy is similar. Bobbi Brown White is matte. Bare Escentuals Cheers is also similar.

Preferred Blonde is a warm white with a hint of champagne and a frosted finish. It has semi-sheer color payoff. MAC White Frost is whiter. theBalm Envious Erin is warmer. MAC Dazzlelight is a smidgen more beige. MAC Vanilla is not as shimmery.

Showgirl is a medium-dark navy blue with a hint of purple and a silver shimmer. It has so-so pigmentation, but it is a little dry and stiff. MAC Bright Moon is more metallic. MAC Frozen Blue is lighter. theBalm Matt Horowitz is a bit darker. Tom Ford Cobalt Rush is more purple.

Silver Screen is a sheer silver-white with a frosted finish. If it was more opaque, you could get more of a metallic sheen out of it. Buxom Sheepdog is very close but cream. Tarina Tarantino Lovely has a very similar shade. MAC Filament is similar but it also has some quality issues. MAC Misty is similar but more metallic.

Three of the four really look very similar, and even on, it was hard to tell where one shade ended and the other began. The dusty, powdery quality of the texture of these made it difficult to apply and made them prone to fading and fall out post-application. I tried applying them over bare lids, over primer (NARS Smudgeproof), and used damp.  I really couldn’t get half-decent payoff without using a primer and using them wet and packing the color on. “Highly pigmented powder” they are not.  Here’s my thinking: if you dig the colors, consider creating a quad using these four permanent MAC eyeshadows: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Contrast, and Electra.

On a different note, I think the composition of these four was disappointing. I would have loved to have seen a matte shade or two, which would have fit with the theme, and it would have made for more versatile and dynamic looks. I didn’t feel like these shades went well with the lipsticks (the bluish-gray was definitely throwing everything off), and it was frost overload.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

product

MAC Marilyn Monroe Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches

D
Here's my thinking: if you dig the colors, consider creating a quad using these four permanent MAC eyeshadows: Crystal Avalanche, Dazzlelight, Contrast, and Electra.

Product

6/10

Pigmentation

6.5/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

6.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Little Rock Dazzleglass
MAC Little Rock Dazzleglass

Phiff Off, MAC! I Stalked All Night and All That Was Left Were Dazzleglasses?!!

MAC Marilyn Monroe Dazzleglasses ($21.50 for 0.06 fl. oz.) include these two shades: Little Rock (soft sheer white with pearl) and Phiff (sheer yellow peach). Phiff is a repromote.  I will mention it until I’m blue in the face, but MAC puts a very, very little amount of product in the tubes for Dazzleglasses–a wee 0.06 fl. oz. compared to a normal Lipglass, which contains 0.17 fl. oz.

Little Rock is mostly colorless–at best, pale, sheer white–with white and silver shimmer. It added mostly shine and shimmer without altering my natural lip color. This shade lasted an hour and a half on my lips.

Phiff is also mostly colorless–at best, pale, sheer golden beige–with silver and gold shimmer. Again, it really added a shiny, glossy look to my lips along with simmer. This shade lasted an hour and a half on my lips. I did see some stray glitter particles outside my lips.

When it comes to glosses as sheer as these, dupes abound. As far as comparable formulas, the two I think are most comparable in regards to the shimmer are Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipgloss and Chanel’s Glossimers. Those two are actually non-sticky, thinner, and longer-wearing for me than Dazzleglass, which is a thicker, tacky formula. They are vanilla-scented but taste-free and come in large, round tubes with glossy black screw-top lids and a clear (well, and then printed with Marilyn Monroe’s image) around the bottom of the tube. It comes with a brush-type applicator.

In all honesty, unless you’re buying for the packaging, I really think you should check out Bobbi Brown’s High Shimmer Lipglosses as an alternative; they’re one of my all-time favorite formulas, because they sparkle like the most glittery treasure, and they have 0.24 fl. oz. of product for $23–you’d be getting four times the product for $1.50 more! Try Star in place of Little Rock aned Bare Sparkle in place of Phiff.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

LE
product

Little Rock

B-
At least MAC described these as sheer, so we knew what to expect! Little Rock essentially lightens lips just a bit, while Phiff brightens and warms them up; then both provide shimmer and a glossy shine.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, September 27th, 2012

MAC Flaming Rose Nail Lacquer
MAC Flaming Rose Nail Lacquer

If You Can Get Your Nails on ‘Em…

MAC Marilyn Monroe Nail Lacquers ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) include five shades: Flaming Rose (true red), Kid Orange (coral), Rich, Rich, Rich (glittery gold), Stage Red (dark berry red), and Vintage Vamp (rich deep retro wine). Both Flaming Rose and Vintage Vamp are permanent, so they can be purchased at a later date or in regular packaging (for $16.50).

Flaming Rose is a medium-dark red with subtle blue undertones. It has a cream finish, and it is part of the permanent range. The consistency was thin but not watery, and it was opaque in two coats. It dries down quickly and finishes with a fairly shiny result. Dior Marilyn is similar, slightly lighter. Cult Nails Evil Queen is a bit brighter. MAC Touch of Red is similar, a bit more jelly-like. MAC Russian Red is very comparable. Zoya Sooki is lighter. butter LONDON Pillar Box Red is very close.

Kid Orange is a brightened, medium-dark orange with subtle red undertones. It has a cream finish, but it almost looks a little squishy like a jelly to me. The consistency was thin without being watery, and it was mostly opaque after two coats. This shade was released previously. Chanel Holiday is lighter, less red-toned. NARS Lal Mirchi is similar. MAC Morange is a bit lighter. MAC Oriele Orange is more subdued. Essie Meet Me at Sunset is similar but a bit redder. Essie Braziliant is similar.

Rich, Rich, Rich is a golden bronze with a micro-glitter/large shimmer finish. It dries down pretty quickly, and it was fairly opaque after two coats. This is/was an online exclusive, and I’m not sure if that means only to maccosmetics.com or not. Chanel Delight is warmer, browner. MAC Soiree is almost more of a peach-brown.

Stage Red is a deepened red with a cream finish. It’s opaque after two coats, and it had a thin (but not watery) consistency that made it easy to apply. butter LONDON Pillar Box Red is lighter. MAC Obey Me is a bit lighter. MAC Asiatique is lighter. Zoya Burke is similar. MAC Get Noticed is a bit darker.

Vintage Vamp is a medium-dark brown with burgundy and red undertones. It has a cream finish, and it is part of the permanent range. This shade was very streaky, and it didn’t look opaque after two coats (which seemed more the result of the streakiness of the polish). Guerlain Lou-Ling is darker. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is also darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow is more opaque and darker. Zoya Anja is darker and more purple.

I only had problems with Vintage Vamp, which was streaky and significantly sheer after two coats.  For such a dark, vampy color, I’m surprised–the market is flooded with similar shades that are all easy to work with and opaque.  The formulas of Flaming RoseKid Orange, and Stage Red had a great thin consistency that made each coat dry faster but without sacrificing ease of application or opacity.  I typically get a week of wear out of MAC’s polish formula.

Keep in mind, online retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, Dillard’s, and Bloomingdale’s will also launch the collection online. These retailers typically launch close in time to the in-store release date (October 4th).

The Glossover

product

MAC Marilyn Monroe Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A-
Worth noting, Vintage Vamp brought down the overall rating significantly--if not for it, the other four would have received As.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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