Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Video Review: MAC Vera Collection

First impressions and swatches for the MAC Vera collection that will launch in-stores on the 9th (previously the 16th).  Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel! :)

Monday, February 6th, 2012


MAC Attack February ’12 Recap

With an unexpected early launch online, last minute release date changes, and a whole slew of products, here is a recap of all of the recent MAC collections. Shop MAC, Cook MAC is still slated for a February 9th release in-stores, but New York stores have released it on the 2nd (I would call to confirm with your local store); it will also be available online at retailers like Nordstrom, Macy’s, etc. closer to the in-store launch date. Vera has been moved up to February 9th for in-stores. Viva Glam is still listed as February 15th for in-stores. As always, the best thing to do is call your local store or counter and ask.

Shop MAC, Cook MAC is now available online at Nordstrom :)

MAC Shop MAC, Cook MAC Collection

MAC Vera Collection

MAC Viva Glam Nicki + Ricky

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.21 oz.) has four shades: Moon Rose (bright dark pink), Rose Light (metallic yellow pink), Star Crystal (pink champagne), and Strawberry Patch (light blue pink).

  • Moon Rose is a bright medium-dark pink. There’s a subtle red base to it, so it does not turn fuchsia. Urban Decay Woodstock is brighter and cooler toned. MAC Bright Fuchsia is redder and brighter. Inglot #450 is a bit more burgundy.
  • Rose Light is a light-medium rose pink with yellow undertones. It looks very different from the pot–it almost looks like a coral in the pot. Definitely a shade you have to swatch! Inglot #399 is fairly similar. Giorgio Armani Sweet Fire is less pink.  This shade is a repromote from holiday.
  • Star Crystal is a peach-tinted white. It’s a bit darker compared to MAC Pearl. MAC Snow Season is darker. Urban Decay Midnight 15 is cooler-toned.
  • Strawberry Patch is a light-medium pink with lilac shimmer-sheen. This was really, really chunky and harder to work with compared to the other three shades in the stack. Urban Decay Hot Pants is a bit similar though the finish is very different. MAC Swish is not as blue-based.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience.  The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

The Glossover

product

MAC Strawberry Patch Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B+
Strawberry Patch was the only shade that was difficult to work with; it had a rather chunky texture that was difficult to crush well, so it certainly requires more patience. The other three shades were easier to use, though, as they were finer and softer, so they would apply smoother without a lot of attention to technique.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Aloha (dirty cocoa brown), Campfire (rich copper), Lantern Light (metallic gold/bronze), and Shifting Sands (metallic champagne).

  • Aloha is a medium-dark bronze with almost neutral undertones; it’s not quite your typical warm bronze, but it doesn’t seem like a genuine cool-toned brown either. This one had a really smooth, soft texture that was easy to work with and apply. MAC Seasonally Cool is similar but more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #15 has a warmer base. Bare Escentuals A-Ha is similar.
  • Campfire is a warm copper with a golden copper sheen. This shade also had a soft, smooth feel that made application easy. It’s a lot like MAC Amber Lights, theBalm Meep Meep, Make Up For Ever #12, and so on and so forth. This is a shade that we see often.
  • Lantern Light is a yellowed gold-shimmered copper-orange. It looks darker in the pot, but the gold sheen really lightens the color when swatched. It’s similar to Bare Escentuals Louder with a weaker golden sheen.
  • Shifting Sands is a soft champagne beige with a metallic sheen. It’s similar to MAC Summer Haze. Make Up For Ever #13 is cooler-toned. Urban Decay Sin is pinker.

You can read a more in-depth review of the formula itself here. As more of a high-level summary, these are supposed to have lots of color payoff with a strong metallic finish that is crease-resistant and long-wearing. Technique is key to using these successfully, as you really need to crush the bits and bobs of pigment before applying it. By doing this, you’ll achieve smoother textures and longer wear without fall out.

This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones–which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

The Glossover

product

MAC Aloha Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

A-
This set was much easier to work with than Butterfly Party, because the textures are finer, softer, so they apply smoothly even without ensuring proper crushing technique!  It is very warm-toned, like the Call Me Bubbles quad, so it may not be as flattering on cooler complexions as it is on warmer ones--which is not to say cooler complexions could not rock it.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment
MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Vera: Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack ($34.00 for 0.42 oz.) has four shades: Butterfly Party (bright lilac), Desert Cloud (deep blue purple), Moss Garden (metallic silver green), and Rain Drop (metallic teal). FYI, none of the stacks from this collection are safe for lip use.

  • Butterfly Party is a red-toned violet with a lilac shimmer-sheen. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is blue-based. MAC Violet is similar but not quite as red-toned.
  • Desert Cloud is a dark blue-based purple with a silver sheen. This one has a slightly grittier texture compared to Butterfly Party. It’s kind of like MAC Parfait Amour with a cool-toned sheen. MAC Imaginary is darker.
  • Moss Garden is a dirty green with a bright metallic sheen. It has a yellowy brown base with a cool-toned green-teal color that dominates. MAC Cake Shop is a warmer green. MAC Lady Grey is also a little warmer.
  • Rain Drop is a darkened blue-teal with a minted teal shimmer-sheen. It reminded me of Urban Decay Aquarius, which is a bit lighter. theBalm Bossy Bobbi is a bit darker but similar.

These really need to adopt some kind of stopper a la Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Intense, because it needs to come with some sort of device so you can press and “crush” the pigments here. I tried doing so as I was applying, but it wasn’t working out as well as I’d like.  I usually try to use from the plastic insert when I swatch (because I then throw it away), since the product on it is already fairly loosened and not in a large chunk.  These all have a highly metallic sheen, so if you like your frosts and metallics, you’ll like the finish on these as well.

Because these are a loose formula, they can be used both wet and dry.  When applied dry, it actually tends to apply smoother–at least more easily–as it tends to clump together when it is applied wet.  There’s a fine line where it becomes too wet (which isn’t sopping, by the way, it’s still more damp than it is wet) and leads to clumping.  The metallic sheen will become more pronounced when it is applied damp/wet, though.

Crushed Metallic Pigments are described as having “intense colour payoff” with “medium coverage” and “highly reflective metallic sparkle.” They are “creamy, crease-resistant, [and] long-wearing.”  The wear of the formula is surprisingly good–with as much shimmer, chunkiness, and the like, you would think these wouldn’t hold together on the lid, but they do.

So long as you apply a solid, smooth layer of product (so no clumping!), it wears about the same whether used alone (no primer) as it does with a primer (I typically use MAC’s Mixing Medium, which is an adhesive base).  It’s just vital that you really press and crush those pigments before applying to ensure the best results.  There’s very little fall out after it’s applied; I do tend to get more fall out than normal when initially applying these, because they are a loose formula.  If you have a metal mixing palette, you may want to mix and crush it there before applying, which will minimize application fall out.

The Glossover

product

MAC Butterfly Party Crushed Metallic Pigment Stack Review, Photos, Swatches

B
It's an interesting product, and if you've never tried it, it's worth checking out in-store. It takes a little more technique and patience than your average product. This particular set felt a little chunkier overall than past iterations of the formula.

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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Sunday, February 5th, 2012

MAC Midsummer's Dream Nail Lacquer
MAC Midsummer’s Dream Nail Lacquer

MAC Vera: Nail Lacquers

This collection features two new and limited edition shades of MAC Nail Lacquer ($16.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.). These shades include: Midsummer’s Dream (pale pink lilac) and Play Day (pale milky coral).

  • Midsummer’s Dream is a pale, milky pink with subtle cool undertones. It’s not quite opaque in two coats, but it’s more coverage than semi-sheer. It’s a little thick, and it is rather streaky on the initial coat. It’s very similar to China Galze Something Sweet. Nubar Pink Lily is warmer and brighter.
  • Play Day is a peachy orange with a cream finish. Like Midsummer’s Dream, it is a bit streaky and takes awhile to dry, and it will pull if you apply a second coat and it hasn’t had enough time to dry down. It’s not quite opaque after applying two coats of polish, so you may want to do three if you dislike visible nail line of any kind. Chanel Peche Nacree is lighter and pearled. Essie Haute as Hello is more coral. Essie Tart Deco is a few shades darker. Barielle Blossom is a little more coral and darker.

MAC nail lacquer usually leaves me underwhelmed. I haven’t had issues with wear, such as chipping, but not much does chip on me, so it’s rarely a problem. I tend to have difficult with the formula, though, which is terribly inconsistent. Sometimes it’s beautifully fluid and opaque, and other times, like here, it’s thick, halfway to goopy, and streaky. Funny enough, neither color description seemed to fit the actual shades.

The Glossover

product

MAC Vera Nail Lacquers Review, Photos, Swatches

B-
Often, high-end brands put out some really complex, interesting colors, and while MAC can launch beautiful shades, they're not known for innovating in the nail category. Sometimes this innovation can forgive a less-than-stellar formula. Without it, it's just pricey, under-performing polish.

Product

7/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3.5/5

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