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

product

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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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
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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).

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Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Please Me
MAC Please Me Nail Lacquer, Lipglass, Lipstick

MAC Please Me Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Please Me 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. Please Me is described as “mid-tone warm pink.”

The lipgloss is just a smidgen lighter compared to the lipstick in color, but they have similar undertones. The nail lacquer also matches fairly well, though it appears to have stronger yellow undertones, so it appears warmer in comparison. When you apply the gloss on top of the lipstick, what happens is you get a slightly lighter pink–not quite as light as the gloss on its own, but it’s not as dark as the lipstick alone. The two work together well without causing unevenness or streaking.

Please Me Lipglass is a light-medium pink with warm, yellow undertones. It yields opaque color coverage with a mostly even application and slight settling into lip lines. I couldn’t think of a dupe for this shade. The closest I could think of was MAC Splashing, which is darker, and it almost looks gray-ish in comparison. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4, 4; B+)

Please Me Lipstick is a light-medium creamy pink with subtle yellow undertones. The finish is supposed to be matte, but it has a noticeable sheen to it, so it looks more semi-matte to me. It has a matte finish and is part of the permanent range. The texture is very creamy; it’s one of MAC’s better matte formulas. Giorgio Armani #507 is a little darker. MAC Mehr is a little darker, browner. MAC Chatterbox has a stronger yellow undertone and appears a bit darker. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4.5, 4; A-)

Please Me Nail Lacquer 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. MAC Angel is very close but lighter. Rescue Beauty Lounge Pepto PInk is cooler-toned. (9, 9, 9, 9, 4, 4; B+)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Matte finishes like Please Me typically wear four to six hours on me, with lighter shades like this one wearing around four hours. MAC’s matte formula can be really nice to work with, but sometimes they can be on the drier side (often described as a “retro matte”), but Please Me has a creamier, less dry consistency that glides on more readily. 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

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MAC Please Me Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
If you find cooler, blue-based pinks difficult to wear, you'll definitely want to give Please Me a chance. The lipstick is part of the permanent range, so it's something you can always check out at your leisure.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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