Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Strength: Lipsticks

Update: MAC has restocked Pink Pigeon and Party Parrot lipsticks and blushes from Strength! All are available as of 1/8 at 6:26 PM PST.

MAC Strength Lipsticks ($15.00 for 0.10 oz. each) includes five shades: Absolute Power (rich red), Firm Form (gilded black with gold pearl), Party Parrot (bright red pink), Pink Pigeon (bright cleanest pink), and Strong Woman (bright violet). Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon are repromotes.

Absolute Power is a pinky-red with a matte finish and blue undertones. It’s fully opaque on lips, and it has a creamy consistency, so it was easier to apply and get even coverage–no pulling or dragging. Guerlain Calligraphy is slightly lighter. NYX Chic Red is very similar. MAC Ruby Woo is more matte but very similar in color. NARS Dragon Girl is bluer.

Firm Form is a blackish-brown with a dusting of gold micro-shimmer. It looks a little purple-ish applied, as the lipstick mixes over my natural lip color. It is pretty opaque, and though it does not apply perfectly evenly, it does apply considerably better than a lot of other lipsticks in this shade family. MAC Grey Friday is grayer, lighter. Chanel Hysteria is cooler-toned, blacker. MAC Smoked Purple is much purpler and lighter.

Party Parrot is a bright pink-coral with a mostly matte finish. It goes on with full color coverage and has a creamy consistency that doesn’t pull or tug at the lips during application. This shade wears around six hours. Guerlain Gracy is a bit pinker, less bright. MAC Fusion Pink has pink iridescence, less bright. Make Up For Ever #37 is less pink, more coral. MAC Impassioned is pinker.

Pink Pigeon is a bright, blue-based medium pink with a mostly matte finish, though there’s a natural sheen initially. It has opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly and easily. It lasted for six hours when I tested it last week (used my original version). MAC Candy Yum Yum is brighter, a little cooler-toned. OCC Yaoi is metallic. OCC Nylon is much brighter, cooler-toned. MAC Dear Diary is cooler-toned, more magenta. MAC Quick Sizzle is darker. NARS Schiap is darker, less bright. Milani Rose Hip is a touch lighter and less cool-toned.

Strong Woman is a dark purple with subtle pink-red undertones. It has opaque coverage with a matte finish, but it is a creamier matte, so it doesn’t drag on the lips. I suspect MAC Up the Amp is the closest dupe for this shade–I believe it is less red-toned, a little grayer in a way. MAC Seasoned Plum is lighter, less red-toned. MAC Violetta is brighter and iridescent. MAC Heroine is pinker, more magenta.

With the exception of Firm Form, these lipsticks are great shades by MAC with a solid matte formula that doesn’t pull or tug at the lips, delivers even, full color coverage, and are comfortable to wear.  As these are richer, bolder hues, they have a tendency to stain and wear longer than the average lipstick.  Firm Form doesn’t apply as evenly as the other four shades, but it is worth noting that it is good for the kind of color it is, and kudos for being as opaque as it is, too.  MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented and come in a black tube with a pop-off cap.

To be perfectly honest, I’m really bummed about quickly these sold out. I purchased them as soon as they came online and overnighted them, but they sold out within hours (some within an hour). It’s a mixture of disappointment for not being able to review them for you before they launched and general frustration over it–kind of leaves me feeling like, “Should I even review this collection?” When it comes to these shades, I wish you luck if you make an attempt to track them down. MAC changed distribution at the last minute, so only freestanding stores (which also means the only online option is maccosmetics.com) received it, and with today (the 26th) being a major shopping day, I’m feeling more cynical than usual regarding stock.

My recommendations for alternatives would be:  MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Impassioned, MAC Candy Yum Yum, and MAC Up the Amp.  (Unfortunately, I don’t have a good alternative to recommend for Firm Form.)

The Glossover

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MAC Strength Collection Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A
My recommendations for alternatives would be: MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Impassioned, MAC Candy Yum Yum, and MAC Up the Amp. (Unfortunately, I don't have a good alternative to recommend for Firm Form.)

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Friday, December 30th, 2011

MAC Flamingo Lipstick
MAC Flamingo Lipstick

MAC for Iris Apfel: Lipsticks

There are four limited edition (and one permanent) shades of MAC Lipstick ($14.50 for 0.10 oz.) in the Iris Apfel collection: Flamingo (light milky bright coral), Morange (loudmouth orange), Party Parrot (bright red-pink), Pink Pigeon (bright cleanest pink), and Scarlet Ibis (bright orange-red).

MAC lipsticks come in a variety of finishes, so the color payoff, texture, and wear can vary based on the finish alone. In this collection, we have mostly mattes. The matte formula on these is comfortable to wear without being drying; I actually would have pegged them as amplified cremes or satins, because they didn’t cling like some of MAC’s original matte finishes do (think Ruby Woo; none of these are similar in texture). Lustres tend to wear off quickly and dry out my lips, so they’re not my favorite finish. Amplified cremes are really opaque, creamy, and comfortable to wear. Because of the intensity of the pigmentation in these shades (except Flamingo), these will wear longer and have a tendency to stain. I’ve worn Morange for six hours in the past, and I tested out Scarlet Ibis for wear, and it wore for six hours and left a bit of a stain. MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free.

The Glossover

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MAC for Iris Apfel Lipsticks Review, Photos, Swatches

A
These are really nice matte finishes--they're not dry or difficult to apply! If you love your lipstick bright and opaque, you'll probably enjoy these offerings from MAC for winter/spring.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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