Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer
MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer

MAC Tartan Tale: MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer

MAC Sly as a Fox Nail Lacquer ($13.00) is a rich, darkened red-brown with soft ruby micro-shimmer.  It’s actually quite similar to Chanel’s Rouge Fatale–though it has shimmer and is a touch browner–I’d say 85-90% similarity.  There is something about red-brown shades that say sexy to me; I wonder if it’s because they have more depth and seem less commonplace than more traditional reds.  Two coats for this, and the formula itself applied smoothly and evenly.  The brush seemed a little wonky, more out of manufacturing than design, but it seemed a little splayed and thick.

But if you can only find room in your budget for one of the two Tartan Tale nail lacquers… wait ’til you see Style Clan!

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 28/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I think it’s a nice variation on red for autumn, and if you were wanting Rouge Fatale but couldn’t stomach the $23 price tag, it’s a good alternative.

AVAILABILITY: Online now, October 28th in-store

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010
Nail Lacquers: Concubine, Imperial Flower, Earthly Harmony, Ming Blue, Jade Dragon, Rain of Flowers

MAC Nail Trend F/W 2010 Review, Photos, Swatches

Wait, you thought it was JUST Fabulous Felines today? You must be new to MAC ;) Indeed, MAC had a short and sweet launch of six nail lacquers (which might account for why there were none in Fabulous Felines!), all of which are Asian-inspired. nail expert Jin Soon was inspired by the “Forbidden City,” and she created shades inspired by the sculptures, architecture, fabrics, and decorative papers of Imperial China. Each shade has “pearl essences for subtle dimension.”

All of these need a top coat (but how many of us go sans top coat anyway?!), because they dry to a rather flat finish–a little shiny but not at all glossy; I used MAC’s Overlacquer top coat on all of these. The formula was on the thinner side overall, but the majority of shades were very rich in pigmentation. Having only purchased these this morning, I haven’t exactly been able to wear these long term, but I did notice that Jade Dragon and Rain of Flowers are shades that may stain (for sure Jade Dragon).

You can check out official information and promotional imagery as well.

Nail Lacquer ($13.00 U.S. / $15.50 CDN)

  • Concubine is a darkened red with ruby and scarlet shimmer flecks. I used two coats in the swatching, but there’s still a bit of nail line showing, so a third coat would probably be best. It’s pretty, but if you already have a lot of shimmered reds, you could easily skip this shade.
  • Imperial Flower is a brightened medium orange with flecks of gold and orange shimmer. This is one of my favorites out of the launch, because it practically glows on nails. It is similar to China Glaze’s Orange Pacific, though Orange Pacific has more obvious shimmer. Just two coats — it was nearly opaque in one coat.
  • Earthly Harmony is this concrete greige taupe shade. It is a difficult shade to describe! It has faint flecks of yellowed gold shimmer. I needed two coats here, and this is the kind of shade that made me think of Chanel’s Particuliere–but it’s not a dupe–just in that same vein of ugly shades that are rather pretty. I found the formula of this one to be on the watery side, and it made it a little harder to apply.
  • Ming Blue is a brightened medium-dark ocean blue with softer blue shimmer. I used just two coats in swatches, and there’s my nail line faintly visible, but a third coat would definitely eliminate that. I didn’t see any immediate staining, but I could see this staining after a few days of wear.
  • Jade Dragon is a deep forest green with flecks of green-teal shimmer. It’s quite pigmented and applied the nicest out of the bunch (but I only found Earthly Harmony troublesome)–two coats was perfect. This one, however, stained my nails just during the time I swatched it.
  • Rain of Flowers is a deep, darkened black-purple base with flecks of violet shimmer. Two coats and I had opaque results, and I suspect this one might stain a little bit as well. I originally thought it might be similar to Illamasqua’s Baptiste or NARS Purple Rain, but it’s a lot more violet and less fuchsia.

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 27/30
  • Value: 8/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: I like ‘em, and some shades do seem different than the norm.  It’s a nice collection overall, and I haven’t had any issues with MAC polishes myself!

AVAILABILITY: MAC

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection
MAC Nail Lacquers: Morning.After., So Rich So Pretty, Military

MAC Alice + Olivia Collection: Nail Lacquers

Alice + Olivia included three new and limited edition nail lacquers.  I wanted to fall in love with these, but I just wasn’t blown away. Morning.After. was my favorite of the three, because of the way it seems to take on a different tone depending on the lighting, but it’s not as opaque as I’d like. Military reminds me of every other black + silver matte polish out there–I guess I’m just over that shade!

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $14.50 CDN)

  • So Rich So Pretty is a fuchsia-purple with red undertones and red and purple microshimmer. I found it needed three coats to be opaque, and the formula was on the thinner side (though it didn’t feel runny).
  • Military is a light black with silver sparkles and a matte finish. It’s like a blacker version of Studded. It dries really fast, as many mattes do, and it was incredibly pigmented–you could almost get away with just one coat.
  • Morning.After. is a pain in the butt to photograph, because it looks bluer in natural light and tealer in more direct light. It’s more of a dusty blue-teal with heavier blue tones than green/teal tones. There is a little bit of visible nail even with three coats, though.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

MAC Liberty of London Collection

MAC Give Me Liberty of London: Nail Lacquer Reviews, Photos, Swatches

I like the level of detail of the packaging, from the boxes to the print on the actual products. I just think it’s a nice touch–the attention to detail is reminiscent of past major launches like last year’s Hello Kitty, to put it in perspective. The nail lacquers both have the Liberty bird printed on the front of the bottle.

Nail Lacquer ($12.00 U.S. / $14.50 CDN)

  • Blue India is a dusty, muted dark gray-blue with a creamy finish. It goes opaque in about two coats, but three coats makes it perfect. This is a surprisingly flattering shade, because even though it’s distinctly blue, it doesn’t run too cool against my warmer skin tone.  This is definitely one of the better formulated shades I’ve come across from MAC in the past year.
  • Vestral White is a creamy white. It’s not an ultra bright white, though. I had trouble getting this one to look even, and I did try three coats to get it to the level shown in the swatches. Not a stellar formula on this one–a little runny, almost watery–and takes some patience to get a smooth, even look.

See more photos and swatches! Continue reading →

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Project Revamp

If you could revamp MAC Nail Lacquer, what would you change? What would you keep the same? How would you make it an even better product?