Thursday, May 31st, 2012

MAC Life and Beth Nail Lacquer
MAC Life and Beth Nail Lacquer

MAC & Beth Ditto: Nail Lacquers

MAC & Beth Ditto have teamed up to create a collection that features four shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.), and these shades are: Life and Beth (milky peach), Near Beth Experience (light yellow), Nocturnelle (black), and Vagabondage (mid-tone lavender).

  • Life and Beth is a peach orange with a cream finish. It’s mostly opaque after two coats, but it’s very, very thick and streaky, so it takes forever to dry, which can result in drag at the bottom if you apply the second coat too early. I found that the second coat, despite trying to do a thicker one, still applied streaky in places. Chanel June is darker. Chanel Peche Nacree is pinker. China Glaze Peachykeen is slightly darker.
  • Near Beth Experience is a green-tinged yellow with a cream finish. This shade was very streaky as well–it also had a similar thickness as that of Life and Beth but slightly less thick, yet it ended up applying worse. It was streaky on both the first and second coat, so it wasn’t totally opaque after two coats and had a really uneven, gloppy look. It also took a long time to dry. China Glaze Electric Pineapple is darker and greener. China Glaze Lemon Fizz is the closest, but it’s a little yellower.
  • Nocturnelle is a black cream and part of the permanent range. I reviewed it here.
  • Vagabondage is a pink-lavender with a cream finish. It’s almost opaque after two coats. This was the better performing of the three I tested from the launch (I did not purchase Nocturnelle specifically from this launch), as it wasn’t overly thick, though still on the thicker side. It had some streaking on the first coat. MAC Saint Germain is very similar, perhaps a smidgen brighter. MAC Ice Cream Cake is a bit darker.

Nocturnelle, though I did not purchase it from this launch, has typically been a thinner polish that applies fairly evenly. It’s expensive for just a black cream, but it doesn’t have major issues like the new shades from the launch.  I don’t know why nail polish continues to be a category where MAC struggles; it’s like they consistently struggle. Perhaps it’s because they try to do tougher colors (pastels and pale shades like Life and Beth and Near Beth Experience can be tricky), but you can only get so many props for originality. The quality of the three new (and limited edition) shades isn’t there.

The Glossover

product

MAC & Beth Ditto: Nail Lacquers Reviews, Photos, Swatches

C-
The quality of the three new (and limited edition) shades isn't there. I absolutely would not recommend these polishes, based on the lower quality and high price tag.

Product

5/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

6/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, May 18th, 2012


MAC Touch of Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Hey, Sailor: Touch of Red Nail Lacquer

MAC Touch of Red Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “bright yellow red.” This is a brightened medium red with pinky undertones–it doesn’t really look like a yellow-based red on me. It looks just slightly blue-based against my warmer skin tone. MAC Russian Red is a little darker. China Glaze Poinsettia is brighter. Zoya Sooki seems very similar. Butter London Pillar Box Red is a bit darker. China Glaze Hey Sailor is quite similar.

The formula of Touch of Red had an excellent consistency that was thin but not watery; it applied without streaking, but it wasn’t completely opaque after two coats–though it is certainly close. It’s only at certain angles and lighting situations where you can see the white of the nail line. It flowed easily across the nail without bubbling or pooling along the sides.  I don’t have any issues with MAC’s lacquer formula as far as wear goes; I get a week of wear with minor tip wear but no chipping.

The Glossover

LE
product

Touch of Red

A
It's a gorgeous red with a beautiful formula, and you could easily get fully opacity with a third coat without the end result looking thick. I don't think it needs a third coat, because it's nearly opaque after two. There are a fair number of dupes on the market, as it is a red cream.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, May 17th, 2012


MAC Vestral White Nail Lacquer

MAC Vestral White Nail Lacquer

MAC Vestral White Nail Lacquer ($17.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “creamy white.” It’s a stark white cream. NARS Ecume is similar. China Glaze Snow is a bit cooler-toned. Nubar White Peony is warmer.  You might even consider White-Out (thanks Brooke!), because the way this applied reminded me of being in elementary school when girls would apply White-Out like it was nail polish during class–dry, chalky, and oh-so-streaky.  It’s mostly opaque after two coats, but it’s not even.

It’s not really a shocker, given that this was an awful polish when it came out two years ago (and talk about time flying by–two years ago, you could grab this for a measly $12!). It’s disappointing, though, that there were no improvements made to this formula, because it was particularly bad. It’s still runny, kind of watery (make sure to mix this one really, really well–it settles and gets extremely watery easily), and a streak-fest. The first coat was extremely streaky, and though I tried to do a thicker second coat to hide that initial coat, it couldn’t and pooled a bit around the sides and was slightly streaky even on the second coat.

It’s funny (not really), but MAC used to only increase prices by a dollar for special packaging when it was a collaboration, like when they worked with Disney on Venomous Villains, but they’ve been tacking a little extra on for anything in special packaging these days. MAC is certainly moving into a high-end price point, given that NARS’ polish retails for this much. (And many, many niche polish brands like Deborah Lippmann, Butter London, etc. are at this price point or less!)

The Glossover

LE
coming-soon

Vestral White

F
It's about as streaky as I remember White-Out being during elementary school! It's streaky, uneven pigmentation, runny, and watery, which all contributed to a really horrendous application and result. There are far superior versions of white creams available on the market.

Product

3/10

Pigmentation

7.5/10

Texture

4/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

2/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

MAC Russian Red Trio
MAC Pink Nouveau Lipglass over Lipstick; Nail Lacquer

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

MAC is not known for an excellent nail polish formula. Sometimes they do it right, but they often create some major misses that tend to suffer from too thin/too thick consistencies, streaking, and poor pigmentation. As is generally the case, the set of sixteen matching nail lacquers was a mixed bag but with more winners than real losers. Pigmentation wasn’t a problem with most of the shades, but I found several of them to be on the streakier side with some more readily covered with a thicker second coat. There were also a handful of shades that were lovely to apply!

The other downside was that a few of the nail lacquers did not match well with the lipstick/lipgloss (Angel, Impassioned, Razzledazzler, Rebel, Snob, and Spice were among the least matching, particularly in tone, not just slightly lighter/darker).

I think MAC has accelerated the price point of their nail lacquers far too quickly–$16 is more than a lipstick or a gloss! It’s $2 less than NARS, the same or $2 less than Deborah Lippmann (depending on the type of polish, as some of hers are $16 and others are $18), $2 MORE than Illamasqua (one of the best polish formulas I’ve ever tried), and $2 more than Butter London. And frankly? At that price tag, MAC is giving you less than the brands I just mentioned–0.34 fl. oz. vs. 0.50 fl. oz. 0.50 fl. oz. is the standard lacquer size (China Glaze, Essie, OPI, etc. all have this size as well). This formula needs to be on point to command a $16 price tag when there are nail polish niche brands where all they do is nail polish have excellent formulas.  The nail lacquers have increased in price faster than other comparable price points at MAC (e.g. lipsticks, glosses, and eyeshadows go up $0.50 every year).

I very specifically removed price from the overall rating so that a $30 formula can be compared to a $3 formula with no boost/decrease because of the price–you are the only one who can decide what is too expensive, just right, or not worth it. As a buyer, I’m most interested in quality, and then I’ll figure out if the quality-to-price-ratio is worth it to me or maybe the color is so original that I’m willing to pay a higher price — or maybe it’s so cheap that I’ll accept that it streaks or is powdery. I try to shed light on situations where the price seems out of line with the brand’s position in the market, against competitors, or if the price/quantity ratio is unusually low or high.

MAC’s lacquers are packaged in a cylindrical bottle (though it has some tapering) and a rubberized cap, and this type of cap normally brings packaging scores up to 5/5, but because it’s awkward to hold (it’s stubby and oddly shaped when gripped), it ends up being a wash. Though it has been an issue in the past, I didn’t have any problems with the brush–they all seemed fine and didn’t have any splaying issues.

The best shades were: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Morange, Pink Nouveau, and Russian Red (A). A good but not great shade was Impassioned (A-). The most under-performing shades were: Saint Germain (C+) and Snob (B-). The rest were middle-of-the-road shades with mostly Bs and a few B+s.

Availability: Based on the information I have received from MAC, the distribution of these shades is regional. I cannot confirm the extent of non-regional shades being available online for your region (e.g. whether all of these will be available on the UK website). I can confirm only that for North America, all shades are available for purchase online. Only the North America-specific shades will be available in-stores on May 3rd, 2012. Select Macy’s will also carry Latin America & Middle East region-specific shades.

North America: Chestnut, Girl About Town, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Snob, Spice; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town and Snob to the permanent range in July
Asia Pacific: Angel, Morange, Impassioned, Peachstock, Ravishing, Razzledazzler, Saint Germain; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Saint Germain, and Snob to the permanent range in July
Europe & Africa: Impassioned, Morange, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Saint Germain, Spice; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Impassioned, Morange, and Saint Germain, to the permanent range in July
Latin America & Middle East: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Pink Nouveau, Please Me, Russian Red, Snob; all are limited edition at this time, but MAC will be adding Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, and Snob to the permanent range in July

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Fashion Sets: Nail Lacquer Review Round-up

B+
One major downside was that a few of the nail lacquers did not match well with the lipstick/lipgloss (Angel, Impassioned, Razzledazzler, Rebel, Snob, and Spice were among the least matching, particularly in tone, not just slightly lighter/darker). I think this is important, because the concept of the collection is very matchy-matchy, you know? Being a little lighter/darker is acceptable, but getting the undertone wrong is less so.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

Please note that the photos included in this post are for summary purposes only–there are four additional photos for each lipstick shade that have been excluded in this post but are available in the set’s original post: one product photos, one swatch (diffused flash), and two swatches (studio lighting).

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Spice
MAC Spice Lipstick, Lipglass, Nail Lacquer

MAC Spice Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

The famous Spice Lip Pencil has inspired a MAC Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.), Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) and Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) to complement it. This shade is part of the North America and Europe/Africa regions of the collection, so it will only be available both online and in-stores for North American buyers. Spice is described as “mid-tone neutral nude.”

Both the lipgloss and lipstick match very well, and as a result, they also look good layered. Spice is the kind of shade that will change here and there depending on the level and type of pigmentation you have in your natural lip color. Because I have a hint of underlying pink in my natural lip color, the rosy tones of both the lipgloss and lipstick come forth once applied, even though they look less pronounced when swatched against the skin (and likely helped by my yellower undertones in my skin!). While the nail lacquer shares some similarities, it’s significantly lighter, so it doesn’t look the same. It’s much pinker, not as brown or as “nude.”

Spice Lipglass is a medium rosy brown with opaque color coverage.  It applies very evenly and doesn’t settle into lip lines too much at all. MAC Over Indulgence is sheerer, so it looks a bit lighter. MAC Show Me is browner and lacks the rose tones of Spice. MAC Looks Like Sin is a little more berry-colored. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4.5, 4; A-)

Spice Lipstick is a medium rosy brown with opaque color coverage. (Not a typo; it’s very nearly the same as the lipgloss!) It has a satin finish, and while the lip pencil is permanent, the lipstick is not (nor are the lipgloss and nail lacquer). MAC Shitaki is browner, sheerer. Guerlain CHant d’Aromes is browner, no rose tones. MAC Viva Glam VI is sheerer and a bit browner. Guerlain Galante is a little redder and darker. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4.5, 4; A-)

Spice Nail Lacquer is a rosy brown with an almost jelly-like quality to its finish. It does have a cream finish officially. After two coats, there is still a fair amount of visible nail line. China Glaze Dress Me Up is much browner. Chanel Morning Rose is pinker. Nubar Moire is darker and browner. (8.5, 8.5, 9, 9, 4, 4; B)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free.  Satin finishes like Spice typically wear between four to six hours on me, with lighter shades on the shorter end of the spectrum and deeper, more stain-prone shades on the longer end.  I suspect Spice  will fall somewhere in the middle there.  MAC Lipglasses are also vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are very sticky and have a thick, borderline-goopy consistency. If you prefer gel-like, cushion-y glosses that feel lightweight on, I don’t recommend MAC Lipglass. Because of the tackier texture, MAC Lipglasses do tend to wear a full four hours on me, with some of the darker shades lasting up to six hours (with mostly the color lingering at that point).

Note: I am reviewing each “set” together. After I’ve reviewed all sixteen sets, I will do round-ups for each product type (so all lipsticks together) to deliver an overall Glossover rating. This rating is more indicative of the product type, as the rating that follows this post is an average across three totally different types of products. You can also see the individual scores listed after each product, which are listed in the same order as they are in the Glossover.

The Glossover

product

MAC Spice Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
Spice may seem boring, but it can be really flattering. It's nude in a way that doesn't mean pale, pasty, or washed out; it's nude such that it's the kind of hue we see in our natural skin tones. For medium and deeper complexions, it would work well as a go-to shade.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Snob
MAC Snob Nail Lacquer, Lipglass, Lipstick

MAC Snob Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Snob Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) has been such a top-seller that it has now inspired a Lipglass ($14.50 for 0.17 fl. oz.) and Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) to complement it. This shade is part of the North America and Latin America/Middle East regions of the collection, so it will only be available both online and in-stores for North American buyers. Snob is described as “light neutral pink.”

The lipgloss is a little warmer, not quite as gray/cool-toned, which is partially due to the semi-opaque color. It has a milkier, paler appearance, too. The nail lacquer is actually the closest to the description of “neutral pink,” as it appears just slightly warm against the lipstick and lipgloss, but it is closer to neutral than it is a warm pink. The nail lacquer doesn’t match the lipstick or lipgloss very well because of the change in undertone.

Snob Lipglass is light pink with a little gray-tinge to it; it looks a bit cool-toned to me, even though MAC describes it as neutral. It applies mostly opaque on lips, but it does settle into lip lines and doesn’t have perfectly even coverage. MAC Angel is much yellower. MAC Enchantee is similar but a little grayer. MAC Infinitely Likeable is grayer, more beige. (8, 8.5, 9, 8.5, 3.5, 4; B)

Snob Lipstick is a cool-toned light-medium pink with a subtle gray-tint. It has a satin finish, and it is part of the permanent range. It yields opaque color coverage, though the texture is just a smidgen drier than other satin finishes. Revlon Strawberry Shortcake is a little pinker and darker but fairly similar. MAC Enchantee is lighter and less blue-based. MAC Dress It Up is less blue-based. MAC All Styled Up is a bit pinker. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4, 4; B+)

Snob Nail Lacquer is a slightly warm, mostly neutral light-medium pink with a jelly-like finish, even though it’s officially a cream finish. It’s semi-opaque after two coats, but there is visible nail line. The formula on this was just okay; it was a little thick, and there was some streakiness. MAC Angel is darker and more yellow-toned. Chanel May is darker and more cool-toned. OCC Femme is similar, a touch more yellow-toned. (8, 8, 8.5, 9, 3.5, 4; B-)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free.  Snob wears around four hours, which is fairly typical of satin finishes–some of the deeper, more red/berry shades will last closer to six hours and often stain lips, but Snob’s lighter coloring means it doesn’t stain.  MAC Lipglasses are also vanilla-scented but taste-free. They are very sticky and have a thick, borderline-goopy consistency. If you prefer gel-like, cushion-y glosses that feel lightweight on, I don’t recommend MAC Lipglass. Because of the tackier texture, MAC Lipglasses do tend to wear a full four hours on me, with some of the darker shades lasting up to six hours (with mostly the color lingering at that point).

Note: I am reviewing each “set” together. After I’ve reviewed all sixteen sets, I will do round-ups for each product type (so all lipsticks together) to deliver an overall Glossover rating. This rating is more indicative of the product type, as the rating that follows this post is an average across three totally different types of products. You can also see the individual scores listed after each product, which are listed in the same order as they are in the Glossover.

The Glossover

product

MAC Snob Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B
I wish the nail lacquer performed better (the lack of opacity was one thing, but the streaky application is more difficult to overlook), because it's a very flattering shade across skin tones, and it is a work-friendly shade with a little more pop. The lipglass was the worst out of the three.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Page 5 of 12« First34567Last »