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

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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

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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer
MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer

MAC Undercover Nude Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “sheer clear nude.” It’s a sheer light beige with a cream finish. Why does MAC describe this one as “sheer” and “clear” but that nearly colorless lipstick as “sheer” and “translucent.” The descriptions would be better if switched – as this polish is definitely not clear (sheer, yes!). Chanel Beige Petale is similar. MAC Sandpiper is darker, more opaque. Essie Kisses & Bisses is iridescent.

Unfortunately, this was a pale cream that was definitely streaky to work with. It wouldn’t self-level for me, and I attempted three different applications to get it to be even, but I didn’t have any luck. It levels out just slightly but not enough to be even and smooth. I think this is a color that works for a sheer shade, and it’s very work-friendly. It gave my nails a brighter, cleaner look–but it was streaky. The formula was slightly thick, but two coats didn’t feel too heavy. I typically get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping with MAC’s polish formula.

The Glossover

LE
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Undercover Nude

C+
This one was really streaky to work with, which resulted in a less polished look. I think the color would work well across skin tones, so it's a bummer that the formula didn't work better.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

8/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

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Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer
MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Underfire Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Underfire Red Nail Lacquer ($17.50 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep blood red.” It’s a dark, brown-based red with a cream finish. Deborah Lippmann Single Ladies is much darker. China Glaze Velvet Bow is several shades darker. Essie Size Matters is lighter, less brown. China Glaze City Siren has less brown. MAC Sly as a Fox is browner. Chanel Rouge Fatal is a smidgen browner. Essie Limited Addiction is very comparable.

It is mostly opaque after two coats, but there’s a small level of translucency–almost because it doesn’t look quite even.  The consistency was thin but not watery; each coat seemed to deliver a fair amount of color payoff, but there was some streakiness that impaired the overall result.  I don’t have problems with the wear of MAC’s polish formula (I get a week with minor tip wear but no chipping), but a lot of the shades don’t have stellar formulas.

P.S. — I didn’t think MAC polish could get more expensive this year, but I was wrong.

The Glossover

LE
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Underfire

B+
Not bad, not great--of course, at this price point, it really needs to be a top notch polish. The color is dupeable enough that there doesn't seem to be much reason to settle for an under-performing high-end shade.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Saturday, August 18th, 2012

MAC Gadabout Girl Nail Lacquer
MAC Gadabout Girl Nail Lacquer

Three Nail Lacquers for Style Seekers

MAC Styleseeker Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) come in three shades: Gadabout Girl (blackened plum), Mean & Green (purple with teal multi-changing pearl), and Styleseeker (duochrome orange-red). Quick note: the press release indicates these are $16, and normal polish price is $16 at MAC, but online, these three are listed at $15.

Gadabout Girl is a deep blackened burgundy with a hint of purple. The color wasn’t completely opaque after two coats, mostly because it had some streakiness, so the color just wasn’t even everywhere. As you can see, there’s no real visible nail line, but it’s not opaque. The formula was thin. China Glaze Urban Night is lighter, more eggplant-purple. Rescue Beauty Lounge Recherche is cooler-toned. Rescue Beauty Lounge Atame is redder/browner in tone. Rescue Beauty Lounge Moulin Rouge is very similar but applies more opaque. Deborah Lipmann Single Ladies is redder. MAC Blueblood was rather close. China Glaze Velvet Bow is redder. Urban Decay Wrecked is a smidgen redder. MAC Purple Majesty is very similar. Zoya Anja is rather close. Rescue Beauty Lounge Drifter is also quite similar.

Mean & Green has a murky blackened olive base color with green and purple sparkle/micro-glitter. It has a duochrome, so it flashes from pink-purple to olive-green.  This shade was originally released with Venomous Villains (which is the bottle I swatched here), and it has since been added to the permanent range. It wasn’t quite opaque after two coats. Orly Space Cadet is exactly the same.

Styleseeker is a rich orange-red with metallic threads of ruby shimmer. The duochrome on this is very subtle, and that’s partially because the colors are just so similar that it’s hard to see. It’s no Bad Fairy. There are some noticeable brush strokes, but they’re subtle, and it was opaque after two coats. It has a longer drying time. Nubar Bronzo is darker. I think Nubar might have a dupe of this, as they have several duochromes, but I wasn’t able to remember/find the shade that I’m thinking of.

Mean & Green is now part of the permanent range, so you don’t have to rush out to get it. Gadabout Girl seems extremely dupeable, so it’s not a shade that seems worth dealing with a thin formula for. Styleseeker was the best overall and the shade I couldn’t think of a great dupe for.  I typically get a week of wear with no chipping and just minor tip wear with MAC’s formula.  MAC’s polishes are more expensive than they seem they should be (for a mid-end brand), especially since you only get 0.34 fl. oz.

The Glossover

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MAC Styleseeker Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Mean & Green is now part of the permanent range, so you don't have to rush out to get it. Gadabout Girl seems extremely dupeable, so it's not a shade that seems worth dealing with a thin formula for. Styleseeker was the best overall and the shade I couldn't think of a great dupe for.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Thursday, June 21st, 2012

MAC Nail Lacquers
MAC Nail Lacquers

MAC Nail Lacquers — Preview Photos & Swatches

MAC Nail Lacquers ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) has thirty-one new (well, some newer than others) shades being added to the permanent range. I don’t have any of the brand spankin’ new ones to share with you, but I did receive a press kit that included a set of swatches on plastic nails. Since I didn’t do the swatching, I have no idea how many coats were used or anything like that. As soon as I’m able to purchase the polishes, I’ll do so and have swatches for you at that time. For official descriptions, please see this post. For now, here are my descriptions of them based on the included swatches:

  • Deep Sea is a deep, dark blue-teal with a hint of green. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Midnight Tryst is a bluish gunmetal gray with fine teal and silver micro-shimmer–there appears to be some brushstrokes in the swatch. This is a new shade.
  • Formidable is a dark purpled burgundy base with a duochrome of blue-teal to fuchsia-purple. It has a pearl finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Mean & Green is a dark olive green base with a duochrome of rosy plum to golden olive green. It has a pearl finish. I reviewed it here when it first released.
  • Vintage Vamp is a dark burgundy-red cream. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here when it came out during the holidays.
  • Rougemarie is a medium-dark blue-based red. It has a cream finish. I believe this was always part of the permanent range, but I don’t think I have it.
  • Flaming Rose is a brightened medium red with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Sparks on Screen is a red glitter polish with multi-sized particles of ruby red, crimson, and lighter red. It has a pearl finish. It is a new shade.
  • Shirelle is a brightened orange-red cream. I believe this was always part of the permanent range, but I don’t think I own it.
  • Impassioned is an orange-coral with a cream finish. I reviewed it here, though it seems slightly pinker on the plastic nail (my natural undertones could make a color appear more or less warm). I’ll have to pick up a new bottle to see how they compare.
  • Morange is a brightened medium orange with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Fiestaware is a lightened tangerine orange with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Soiree is a champagne and copper shimmered shade with a frost finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Skin is a light peach-orange with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Faint of Heart is a soft ivory with a hint of warmth. It has a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Delicate is a pale white-pink with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Snob is a slightly warm, mostly neutral light-medium pink with a jelly-like finish (but it is a cream finish). I reviewed it here.
  • Girl Trouble is a silvered, pale purple with a pearl finish. This is a new shade.
  • Screaming Bright is a muted metallic gold-champagne–possibly a little pewter. This is a new shade.
  • Saint Germain is a light-medium pink with blue undertones. I reviewed it here.
  • Steamy is a medium-dark blue-based pink with a cream finish. I believe this has been part of the permanent range for sometime, but I haven’t reviewed it previously.
  • Girl About Town is a rich, nearly-neon fuchsia pink with blue undertones. It has a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Quiet Time is a gray–tinted light-medium beige with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Coffee Break is a medium-dark gray-tinted brown with a cream finish. This is a new shade.
  • Anti-Fashion is a subdued, smoky purple with subtle red-brown undertones. It has a frost finish. This is a new shade.
  • Dark Angel is a deep purple with red undertones and a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Spirit of Truth is a brightened navy blue with a cream finish. I reviewed it here.
  • Discotheque is a metallic light silver with silver shimmer. It has a pearl finish. This is a new shade.
  • Nightfall is a dark, gunmetal gray with silver shimmer. It has a frost finish. This was released previously, but I don’t think I have it.
  • Nocturnelle is a glossy black cream. I reviewed it here previously.

Some MAC nail lacquers are great, while others are less stellar (some being notorious for poor application).  The majority of these shades, from what I remember, were easy enough to apply. I know the lacquers from the recent Fashion Sets collection were fairly good overall.  Formidable and Mean & Green were two highly coveted shades from MAC’s Venomous Villains collection, even though both have several exact dupes on the market (Bad Fairy was the harder one to dupe).

I think the biggest issue I have with MAC’s nail lacquers is that they’re priced as if the brand were high-end, rather than mid-end. For example, NARS’ lacquers are $18 a pop, while their lipsticks are $24–MAC’s lacquers are $16 a pop, while their lipsticks are $14.50. Additionally, most high-end nail brands still give you 0.50 fl. oz., but MAC bottles contain only 0.34 fl. oz., so you’re really getting squeezed on both ends. For some reason, the price of MAC’s nail lacquers seems to have accelerated far faster than the rest of their product’s price tags. So without a stellar formula, they’re absolutely not worth it. If the formula is on point and the color up your alley, they’re certainly worth a look.

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012

MAC Delicate Nail Lacquer
MAC Delicate Nail Lacquer

MAC Casual Colour: Nail Lacquers

MAC Casual Colour features four shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.), and these shades are: Delicate (pale sheer ballet pink), Fiestaware (mid-tone orange coral), Please Me (mid-tone warm pink), and Style Tip (soft pink nude).

  • Delicate is a sheer, pale white-pink. It’s really a your-nails-but-better kind of color–it brightens and adds a pink-tinge to nails, along with a glossy finish. It has a jelly-like finish and consistency. It’s sheer after two coats, but it’s supposed to be that way. Essie Rock Candy is very similar. Essie Pop Art Pink is much darker. Nubar Pink Lily is an opaque version. Cult Nails Enticing is also very similar.
  • Fiestaware is a barely coral-tinted orange with a cream finish. It’s mostly opaque after two coats. I didn’t have any formula issues with this one. Nails Inc. Porchester Place is more orange. MAC Razzledazzler is lighter.
  • Please Me is a medium pink with yellow undertones and a cream finish. It’s opaque in two coats, but it did have some slight streaking in the initial coat. I used a thicker second coat, which helped cover the majority of the streaks. I reviewed it here.
  • Style Tip is a warm light-medium beige with rosy undertones. It’s opaque after two coats. It’s a little thick, so the initial coat is a bit streaky. Chanel Tendresse is similar, slightly lighter. MAC Myth is peachier.

The new (and limited edition) shades from Casual Colour are definitely better performing than the shades from Beth Ditto!  Delicate will appeal to a very specific audience, but it’s really lovely on nails in a soft, natural way that’s work-friendly and pretty much all-occasion appropriate. It’s not exciting, and Cult Nails‘ version is very similar but better and more versatile (as it is more buildable).  Fiestaware applies easily and evenly, so from a quality standpoint, that was the best out of this set.

The Glossover

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MAC Casual Colour Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

B
Delicate and Fiestaware are worth considering if you dig MAC nail polishes. I love the rosy undertone of Style Tip, but the formula could be improved, so I'd still pass.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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