Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

MAC Illustrated - Smoky Eye Plum Kit
MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

New from MAC – Smoky Eye Plum Kit

MAC Illustrated – Smoky Eye Plum Kit ($49.50) includes three eyeshadows, two travel-sized brushes, Technakohl Eyeliner, and a travel-sized Zoom Lash mascara. It’s a Nordstrom exclusive set and available both in-stores and online. There is another palette available, but it contains all permanent shades, so I only purchased this one for review.

  • Creative Whim is a pale lilac with subtle cool undertones and a soft white frost. It has a satin finish. The color payoff was just so-so–there was obvious sheerness. MAC Dynamic Duo 2 is similar but more metallic in finish, slightly less pink. Tarina Tarantino Diamond Dusk is paler, cooler-toned. MAC Silverwear is lighter.
  • Drawn to Drama is a darkened violet purple with a blue shimmer-sheen. The texture was on the dry side, which you can even see in the swatch, which resulted in decent pigmentation but nothing to get excited over. Urban Decay Ransom is lighter. MAC Pink Union is brighter, more red-toned. MAC Parfait Amour is lighter. Urban Decay Frigid is nearly the same. Estee Lauder Untamed Violet is more subdued.
  • Moody is a brown-tinged medium-dark gray with a satiny sheen. It is a veluxe pearl, and it is also a repromote. The texture of this is not at all like your typical veluxe pearl, because it lacks the buttery, dense feel. The color payoff is lacking, and it’s not usually the case with veluxe pearls that pigmentation is a problem. Instead, Moody feels dry and applies that way, making it difficult to blend out. Shocker of shocks! — it’s from an old nemesis, Evil Eye, where I actually made the same observations then as I did today. MAC Hint of Sapphire and Inglot #434 are most similar to this.
  • Purple Dash is a red-toned plum with subtle shimmer-sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. Make Up For Ever #4L is just like this shade.  Technakohls tend to wear between six and eight hours on me.

All three eyeshadows are full-sized ($45.00 value), and the eyeliner is also full-sized ($14.50 value). The travel-sized mascara is half the size of a full-sized one ($7.50 value), and it’s hard to put a value on the travel-sized brushes. The brushes were scratchy when I tried using them, and I’m not a huge fan of the 212 as a good multi-purpose/general brush. It’s more of a specific action brush, so I don’t think it makes sense to include it in a set like this (you’d probably one brush to apply eyeshadow and another to blend it out). Though Nordstrom lists the value at $100, I’d put the value around $67 realistically.

While I personally like the collection’s illustrations, this palette is unwieldy. It’s just unnecessarily large, and it really does so in order to hold the brushes, eyeliner, and mascara. This might be something that would have worked better if they had made it a double-decker palette and hidden the brushes and eyeliner underneath the eyeshadow and mascara.  Too bulky to be a great travel palette!

I tried wearing the three shades together, and the nice thing about them is they coordinate well with each other.  The downside is that none of them are good eyeshadows; they’re all disappointing in some way or another.  All three shades suffer from lack of pigmentation, and Drawn to Drama and Moody are very dry and are difficult to blend during application.  Without a primer, they wore seven hours before looking a bit faded. With a primer, they lasted a full eight hours without creasing or fading.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Illustrated's Smoky Eye Plum Kit Review, Photos, Swatches

D+
I don't know if I've ever given so many D+ grades in a week, but here's another one for you! I imagine most will be interested in the palette for the eyeshadows over the travel-sized brushes, mascara, and eyeliner, so go out and buy three good MAC eyeshadows individually and save $4.50. It's not a value if the products included are sub-par.

Product

6.5/10

Pigmentation

7/10

Texture

6.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

3/5

Results
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Dupes
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Sunday, August 21st, 2011

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad
MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Me Over: Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad ($38.00 for 0.19 oz.) is a limited edition set of four shades of rather cool-toned colors. It features Palace Pedigreed (deep berry with soft pink), Spellcaster (blackened violet), Evil Eye (deep yellow grey), and Moody (blackened green).

  • Palace Pedigreed is a blackened burgundy with a barely-there sheen. This has a satin finish. This shade was in the Palace Pedigreed Eyeshadow Quad from Fabulous Felines, and while the pigmentation wasn’t great then, it’s even worse now. It’s dry, sheer, and applies unevenly because of how dry and stiff the texture is. Make Up For Ever #131 is much more red-based. Bare Escentuals Passion is more similar but still has a stronger red-base. Le Metier de Beaute is richer and more red-based. MAC Fig. 1 is similar but possibly darker.
  • Spellcaster is a dark, dark purple with cool undertones. This has a matte finish. Similarly, this shade is dry, stiff, and terribly sheer. Lancome Zip Me Up is the only shade that seems to come close, and though it’s not great, it looks so much better in comparison.
  • Evil Eye is a murky gray with a green tinge. It’s splotchy, sheer, and dry. This has a matte finish. Make Up For Ever #84 is similar in color but has gold shimmer and a frosted finish. Make Up For Ever #47 is greener and less gray (same with MAC Femme Noir.
  • Moody is a purple-tinged gray with soft sheen. This has a veluxe pearl finish. It’s the most pigmented shade of the four, and though it’s better than the other three, it does feel a bit dry for a veluxe pearl. It doesn’t have the same dense, buttery texture come to veluxe pearls and the payoff is still a touch sheer. It is reminiscent of MAC Hint of Sapphire. Inglot #434 is similar but purpler.

This is quite possibly the most disappointing eyeshadow quad I’ve ever had the displeasure of trying by MAC. I think the only MAC product I’ve been more disappointed by were their Suite Array duos from years ago. Even the Big Bounce Eyeshadows, despite not meeting claims, were a product that worked well as a base. At $38, this kind of quality is a slap in the face to a buyer. Three of the four shades have barely-there pigmentation, and those same three have dry, stiff textures that make application frustrating–it doesn’t get better with a brush or on eyes. I appreciate matte and satin finish eyeshadows, but these mattes are exactly why many opt for shimmers and the like.

Side note: I triple-checked the press release, and Moody is described as both a veluxe pearl (and it is listed last on the back of the quad) but it’s certainly not a blackened green–while Evil Eye is that. I think there is a mix-up here, but I can’t confirm it until the work week starts. Since you can’t buy them separately, the determination shouldn’t affect purchasing decisions.

The Glossover

palette

MAC Evil Eye Eyeshadow Quad Review, Photos, Swatches

F
There is nothing that warrants paying $38 for this product. The only way I was able to achieve any color for swatching was by scraping off the product. The textures are so dry and stiff, it renders these eyeshadows extremely difficult to use.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

4/10

Texture

3/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2/5

Results
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