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

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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 →

Friday, April 27th, 2012

MAC Pink Nouveau
MAC Pink Nouveau Lipglass, Nail Lacquer, Lipstick

MAC Pink Nouveau Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Pink Nouveau 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 Latin America/Middle East region of the collection, so it will only be available online for North American buyers and at select Macy’s. Pink Nouveau is described as “mid-tone cool pink.”

Both the gloss and lipstick are very similar in color, but the lipstick appears a bit lighter because of the creaminess. The coordinating nail lacquer is similar, but it is a little darker and brighter; it’s not quite as blue-based. When you layer the gloss on top of the lipstick, the result is a brightened blue-based pink (with almost a hint of lilac) with a glossy finish and opaque color. The two work well together, so there aren’t any concerns with the gloss causing unevenness.

Pink Nouveau Lipglass is a just slightly lightened medium bubblegum pink with cool, blue undertones. It has a creamy, partially milk-like finish, so it doesn’t apply as evenly as I’d like it to for a gloss worn on its own. There is some minor settling into lip lines. NARS Coeur Sucre is actually very, very similar to this–it has faint silvery-white sparkle, though. MAC Style Packed is in a similar vein but much deeper and more intense. MAC Sassy Lassy is pinker, more vibrant. (8.5, 9, 8.5, 9, 4, 4; B)

Pink Nouveau Lipstick is a cool-toned, blue-based light-medium pink. It reads a little cotton candy pink to me, though it’s cooler than that. It has opaque color coverage and a creamy finish with a subtle shine. It has a satin finish, and it is part of the permanent range. MAC Pink Popcorn has a similar feel but because it is so sheer, it looks quite different on. MAC Naughty Saute is glossier and a wee bit cooler-toned but just barely. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is lighter, not as purple-ish. MAC All Styled Up is lighter and not as bright. MAC Pink Friday is similar but not as pink. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4.5, 4; A-)

Pink Nouveau Nail Lacquer is a medium-dark pink with blue undertones. It’s opaque in two coats, and the formula was pretty good–it wasn’t too thick or too thin, and it applied evenly and fluidly across the nail. It’s not as blue-based, so it reads pinker and lacks that almost lilac-like edge of color. OCC Palare is darker, more fuchsia. MAC Ice Cream Cake is lighter–it’s more of a match than this shade. Ms. Perfectly Pink is more fuchsia, a bit darker. Zoya Jolene is a touch lighter. Zoya Lara is pretty close, perhaps a smidgen darker. (10, 10, 9.5, 9, 5, 4; A)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Satin finishes like Pink Nouveau typically wear four to six hours on me, with lighter shades like this one wearing closer to four hours. 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 Pink Nouveau Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
I wish the nail lacquer was just a little bluer in tone, so it would be a better match to the lipstick and lipgloss, which both match each other very well! The gloss was just so-so, but the lipstick and nail lacquer were much better quality.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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