Sunday, April 29th, 2012

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

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipstick Review Round-up

In the collection, the lipsticks, on average, were the strongest product. The quality of MAC’s lipstick range is definitely there, particularly with their core, permanent shades. The permanent shades are often overlooked because of the neverending onslaught of limited edition shades coming out each month (and sometimes each week!). Many of these shades have been around for several years and have proven to be bestselling shades for the brand for good reason.  I would recommend the lipstick over the matching lipgloss and nail lacquer for every single shade (which is not to say I recommend every single lipstick, period).

These shades did the best when it came to pigmentation. They’re rich, pigmented, and pretty much opaque across the board, with some being totally and utterly opaque and others being nearly opaque. When it comes to the overall quality and claims, these do well, but some finishes are more drying than others. I don’t find MAC to have moisturizing lipsticks, but for the most part, they are not drying either. Lustres and cremesheen finishes are the most drying for me, while mattes and satins can be slightly drying depending on the individual shade. Frosts are neither drying nor hydrating in my experience.

Generally, lighter shades (think Angel, Myth, Snob, etc.) will not wear as long or as well as richer, deeper shades (think Girl About Town, Rebel, Russian Red, etc.), as those deeper shades (combined with their finish) lead to six hour wear as a result of staining–and staining may be good or bad depending on your preference. Lighter shades typically wear three to four hours with deeper shades lasting four to six hours–and this is based on experience of over a hundred MAC lipsticks over the years. I’m pretty sure it’s way more than that, but I’m not going to guarantee it.

The best shades were:  Girl About Town, Morange, and Russian Red (all As).  Good but not great shades were:  Peachstock, Please Me, Rebel, and Spice.  The most under-performing shades were:  Myth and Razzledazzler.

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; Chestnut and Spice are limited edition–the rest are permanent
Asia Pacific: Angel, Morange, Impassioned, Peachstock, Ravishing, Razzledazzler, Saint Germain; Peachstock is permanent at PRO stores only, Razzledazzler is permanent in Asia only–the rest are permanent
Europe & Africa: Impassioned, Morange, Myth, Rebel, Russian Red, Saint Germain, Spice; Spice is limited edition
Latin America & Middle East: Girl About Town, Impassioned, Morange, Pink Nouveau, Please Me, Russian Red, Snob; all shades are permanent

Reviews, Photos, Swatches

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Fashion Sets: Lipstick Review Round-up

A-
The quality of MAC's lipstick range is definitely there, particularly with their core, permanent shades. The permanent shades are often overlooked because of the neverending onslaught of limited edition shades coming out each month (and sometimes each week!).

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

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: two product photos, one lip swatch (diffused flash), and one lip swatch (studio lighting).  All links to the individual posts have been provided above.

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

MAC Saint Germain
MAC Saint Germain Lipstick, Lipglass, Nail Lacquer

MAC Saint Germain Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer

MAC Saint Germain 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 Asia Pacific and Europe/Africa regions of the collection, so it will only be available online for North American buyers. Saint Germain is described as “light cool pink.”

The lipgloss is slightly lighter, and because it’s not as opaque, the two definitely don’t look the same when applied. The nail lacquer is blue-based as well, and it’s just a smidgen darker than the lipstick and lipgloss, but it is pretty close. When you layer the lipgloss over the lipstick, the result is a slightly pinker color overall, because the lipgloss is just a bit lighter. The gloss creates a more uneven appearance, though; kind of looks like air bubbles in a way.

Saint Germain Lipglass is a milky pale cool-toned pink. It is semi-opaque, but it applies fairly unevenly and settles into lip lines quite a bit. This is not a gloss that looks really good on its own, so it is best layered over a more opaque product. MAC Pink Nouveau is darker, not quite as cool-toned. NARS Coeur Sucre is darker. MAC Enchantee isn’t as pink or as cool-toned. (6.5, 8, 8.5, 8, 3, 4; C)

Saint Germain Lipstick is a pale pink that’s very blue-based, so it almost looks a little lilac-pink. It has an amplified creme finish, and it is part of the permanent range. The color coverage is opaque. MAC Pink Friday is just a little darker. MAC Viva Glam Gaga is not as blue-based. MAC Snob isn’t as blue-based and almost has a gray-tint in comparison. MAC All Styled Up is pinker, not as cool-toned. (9, 10, 9, 8.5, 4.5, 4; A-)

Saint Germain Nail Lacquer is a light-medium pink with blue undertones. It was mostly opaque after two coats, but the formula was incredibly streaky, even on the second coat. It was on the thicker side, so it did pool a little bit along the sides. Zoya Rory is similar in color but has a lot of shimmer/glitter. MAC Pinkly Fresh is lighter and not as blue-based. Essie French Affair is lighter, less blue-based. MAC Ice Cream Cake is the closest, but it’s a bit darker–it shares the same strength of cool undertones, though. (7, 8.5, 8, 9, 3, 4; C+)

MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free.  I usually get four to six hours of wear out of Amplified Creme finishes, but Saint Germain is on the shorter end of that, because of its pale, light color.  It tends to look a bit chalky as the wear goes on, as the subtle sheen wears away faster than the color does.  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 Saint Germain Lipglass, Lipstick, Nail Lacquer Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Saint Germain has always been one of those colors that readers either really love or really hate. Despite the light, pale color, it's very bold--because of that strong blue undertone that makes it look brighter on the lips. It can be tougher to pull off but with a really dark smoky eye, it can be lovely. The lipgloss and nail lacquer are skips for me--the quality is not there.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3.5/5

Results
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Wednesday, January 6th, 2010

Valentine’s Day Makeup: It’s the New Pink

Last night, I asked the late night Twitter crowd if I should do a colorful or natural look — I was originally thinking about doing something soft and natural, but colorful was the voice of the majority, so I ran with it. I thought about it, and I decided I should do some pinks, and then I started feeling like something Barbie might wear, you know, if she was obsessed with makeup and wore color up to her brows… ;)

Since it’s always fun try out different lips, I went with two extremes: hot fuchsia pink and cool-toned pink-purple. I think what you pair it with, lips-wise, is really something that’s about what you feel comfortable in and if it’s appropriate for the occasion. I’d totally wear the hot pink lips out at night — don’t care if it doesn’t follow makeup rules! To tone it down, go for something in-between — light enough so it doesn’t compete with the eyes, but not so light that it washes you out. My go-to for a look like this is Sweetie lipstick topped with Luminary lustreglass, but I wasn’t trying to be subtle with this look, so there ya go. Best part about makeup? It’s fun! Second best part? It washes off :)

I’m pretty sure I totally rocked this kind of look one Valentine’s Day, so let’s go with that.  I’m almost positive I did the ultra bright, ultra fuchsia, and totally unforgiving hot pink lip on a Valentine’s Day, at least.  You could totally put some awesome false lashes on for even more dramatic eye, too!

You will need the following…

For eyes, start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid with the 249. Put one or two drops of water-based mixing medium (or water) on your 239, and then apply Pink Opal pigment on the lid, going just above the crease. Using the 239, apply Seedy Pearl eyeshadow on the lower lid. Next, apply Stars ‘n Rockets eyeshadow on the outer third of the eyelid and lightly blend with crease. Darken the outer third of the lid with Passionate eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Fig. 1 eyeshadow with the 226. Lightly tap and brush Seedy Pearl eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Seedy Pearl eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Lust Liner on the lower lash line and Penultimate eyeliner on the upper lash line, and then sweeping lashes with Exceptionnel mascara.

For cheeks, apply Benefit Sugarbomb to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116 for a warmer cheek; try Illamasqua Kate for a cooler pink cheek.

For lips, apply Show Orchid lipstick first, and then layer Luminary lustreglass for a bolder lip look. For a paler lip look, try Saint Germain lipstick as a base, and then top with Luminary lustreglass.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

I mentioned last look that the next one would definitely have some color, and I’d say this one certainly does!

I thought I’d show a really cool, pale pink kind of lip with this look (I’m a bit warm-toned for it, IMO, but my boyfriend adores the color — go figure), but also how a brighter pink lip can also work (even though it is heavier).  That’s what’s so fun about makeup:  you can experiment and if you don’t like it, you can change it, remove it, or play around with it.

If I had planned to wear this look out, I likely would have gone for something in-between — maybe Sweetie lipstick and Crystal Rose lipglass. I just thought it’d be cool to show you how much lip color can play a role in the overall look–plus a fun cool-toned lip combo for my cool-toned ladies (and gents!).

You will need the following…

Directions: Start by applying Soft Ochre paint pot as your eyeshadow base all over the lid and brow area with the 249. Put one drop of MAC Water-Based Mixing Medium onto a brush like the 239, and then apply Pink Pearl pigment on the lid itself as a colored base. Using the 239, apply Seedy Pearl eyeshadow on the inner third of the eyelid. Next, apply Beautiful Iris eyeshadow on the middle third of the eyelid and lightly blend with the inner corner. Darken the outer third of the lid with Stars n’ Rockets eyeshadow with the 239, gently brushing it into the lower crease. Next, define the crease by applying Fig. 1 eyeshadow with the 226. Add more depth to crease by gently tapping Passionate eyeshadow into the lower crease, just below Fig. 1. Lightly tap and brush Beautiful Iris eyeshadow directly above the crease to soften. To finish the eyeshadow look, sweep Femme-fi eyeshadow as a highlighter on the brow bone. Bring everything together by applying Urban Decay Ransom Liner on the lower lash line, blended with Beautiful Iris eyeshadow applied with the 219. Apply Penultimate eyeliner on the upper lash line, and then sweeping lashes with Studio Fix mascara.

For cheeks, apply Petalpoint blush to the apples of the cheeks and sweep upwards towards the temple with the 116 and highlight cheekbones with Rose Diamond Skin Shimmer with the 165.

For lips, apply Saint Germain lipstick first, then layer over Icescape lipglass for a pale lip. For more color, try Style Minx lipglass on top.

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Friday, March 20th, 2009

Sugarsweet Look! :)

I actually really liked how this turned out — it’s been a minute since I’ve been super satisfied with how a makeup look has come out, and I’m pretty pleased with this one! I didn’t think it would work when I started, but it definitely came together. Even Perfect Topping gave me some color! Shocker! I recommend using the 165 brush (or a dense brush) to give you concentrated color for those who struggle to get anything except shimmer from MSFs.

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: Cakeshop shadestick (gray-green), Aquavert eyeshadow (light green-teal), Sugarshot eyeshadow (frosty white), Stars ‘n Rockets eyeshadow (fuchsia-purple), Lemon Chiffon shadestick (white-gold), Femme-fi eyeshadow (soft neutral highlighter), Feline kohl power (black), Plushlash mascara (black)
  • Cheeks: Perfect Topping mineralize skinfinish (pale pink)
  • Lips: Saint Germain lipstick (cool pink with purple undertones), Tasty tricolour lipglass (sheer pink)
  • Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 129 (dense blush brush)
  • Substitutes: Cakeshop = Delft (leans tealer/bluer); Aquavert = Juxt (leans yellower); Sugarshot = Phloof!; Lemon Chiffon = Baselight; Femme-fi = Shroom; Feline = Graphblack; Perfect Topping = Pink Freeze; Saint Germain = Pink Nouveau; Tasty = Palatial

Directions: Define brows using a coordinating powder shadow applied with the 266 brush. Apply Cakeshop shadestick all over the lid as the base. On the inner lid, apply Aquavert eyeshadow using the 239. Apply Sugarshot eyeshadow to the middle of the lid. Darken the outer lid using Stars ‘n Rockets eyeshadow using the 239. Darken crease with Stars ‘n Rockets eyeshadow using the 226. Apply Lemon Chiffon shadestick along brow bone to create a base. Sweep Femme-fi eyeshadow underneath the brow bone to highlight. Apply Cakeshop shadestick as liner on lower lashes. Using the 219, apply Aquavert eyeshadow over the shadestick on the lower lash line. Finish with Feline khol power on lower waterline, and Plushlash mascara on lashes. Sweep apples of cheeks with Perfect Topping using the 165. Apply Saint Germain lipstick to lips, and then top with Tasty tricolour lipglass for color and shine.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →

Sunday, March 8th, 2009

Just a simple look for the weekend. I felt like wearing something a little spring-y, so I wanted to use yellow in the look somewhere, and this is what came out. I was originally thinking more Easter-egg-y (yellow, pink, purple), but maybe next time. :)

You will need the following…

  • Eyes: Soft Ochre paint pot (neutral base), Sugarshot eyeshadow (frosty off white), Going Bananas eyeshadow (frosty lemon-yellow), Flip eyeshadow (peachy-gold), Beauty Burst eyeshadow (reddish brown), Urban Decay Underground 24/7 Liner (dark brown), Femme-fi eyeshadow (soft neutral highlighter), Zoomlash mascara (black)
  • Cheeks: Don’t Be Shy blush (soft cool pink), Dior Rose Diamond Skin Shimmer (pink highlighter)
  • Lips: Saint Germain lipstick (cool pink with purple undertones), Tartlette liglass (coral)
  • Brushes: 266 (firm, angled brush), 226 (fluffy crease brush), 214 (smudge brush), 249 (flat, firm brush), 239 (fluffy shadow brush), 129 (dense blush brush)
  • Substitutes: Sugarshot = Phloof!; Going Bananas = Bright Sunshine; Flip = Romp; Beauty Burst = Twinks; Don’t Be Shy = Well Dressed; Saint Germain = Pink Nouveau; Tartlette = Lychee Luxe

Directions: Define brows using a coordinating powder shadow applied with the 266 brush. Apply Soft Ochre paint pot all over the lid as the base with the 249. On the inner lid, apply Sugarshot eyeshadow using the 239. Apply Going Bananas eyeshadow to the middle of the lid. Darken the outer lid using Flip eyeshadow using the 239. Darken crease with Beauty Burst eyeshadow using the 226. Sweep Femme-fi eyeshadow underneath the brow bone to highlight. Finish with Urban Decay Underground Liner on lower lash line, and Zoomlash mascara on lashes. Sweep apples of cheeks with Don’t Be Shy blush using the 129, then highlight with Dior Rose Diamond Skin Shimmer with the 188. Apply Saint Germain lipstick to lips, and then top with Tartlette lipglass for color and shine.

Check out more photos! Continue reading →