Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Blue Orbit Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Blue Orbit Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 1)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula for the brand, but it may seem and look familiar! Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula is very comparable to this one. Since Estee Lauder is the parent company of MAC, I’m not surprised! MAC says this is a buildable formula that can yield sheer to heavier coverage, and they state that it lasts up to six hours. These are ten shades in total, and this post looks at the first five (and the next post will cover the remaining five).

Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Blue Orbit (light iridescent purple), Dark Dare (charcoal black), Grand Galaxy (dirty mid-tone violet), Havana (dirty copper brown), and Lunar (royal blue).

  • Blue Orbit is a violet purple with blue undertones and a soft silvery-purple sheen. This was one of the sheerest shades out of the ten–it was fairly sheer when applied dry, and there was still some underlying sheerness when used damp. I tried to test this one dry, but it was difficult to get it to show up! MAC Wintersky is bluer, less purple. Urban Decay Blue Bus is darker.
  • Dark Dare is a medium-dark black with brown undertones and a very subtle silver and teal micro-shimmer (hardly noticeable, looks almost matte from afar). It has a slightly dry look when it is applied dry to the skin, but it takes on a smoother result when applied damp. This one has a “glow” finish, and though I don’t know what that means in MAC-speak, it has a low-level sheen compared to the other shades. It’s similar to a lot of other black eyeshadows.
  • Grand Galaxy is a medium purple with red undertones and a silvery metallic sheen. It is less metallic and almost redder-toned when applied dry, while when it is applied damp, it takes on a more metallic quality to the finish. theBalm Lavish Latoya and Urban Decay AC/DC are similar to the dry swatch of Grand Galaxy. Bare Escentuals Encore is in-between the dry and damp swatch.  Estee Lauder’s Cyber Lilac is not a dupe!
  • Havana is a medium-dark warmed-up amber brown with subtle orange undertones (but it doesn’t read red at all). This is one of the more pigmented shades, as it is opaque both dry and damp. The damp swatch makes the color appear a little darker, but there’s a very low-level sheen in the finish either way. MAC Buckwheat is very similar. MAC Make Your Mark is a touch red-toned. Laura Mercier Cedar is a little yellow-toned.
  • Lunar is a midnight navy blue with a subtle violet purple shimmer over a blackened navy base. The blackened base is most apparent when it is used dry, while it takes on a very smooth blue result when applied damp. It is rather sheer when used dry as well. MAC Naval Blue is purpler. MAC Blue Flame is similar but has a more intense black base. MAC Shop & Drop is darker and more purple-tinted. MAC Blue Storm is slightly purpler.

I’ve put off the writing of this post for the majority of the day for two reasons: 1) readers voted highlighters over eyeshadows first, and 2) I really wanted to test a few more shades for wear, since MAC made a very specific wear claim. These are the shades that I have worn and tested for wear: Blue Orbit, Dark Dare, Havana, Modern Pewter, and Rich Core. I wore them alone over bare skin, over a primer, and used them both wet and dry.

Without a primer, they do hold up fairly well for six to eight hours when applied damp (with water), but if they are applied dry, they do seem to fade after three to four hours, with it looking rather sheer at the sixth hours. The worst thing is that when they are applied dry, they don’t stick as well, so if you rub your eye even briefly (oops!), it wipes away instantly. Over a primer, they do very well; no fading or creasing even after ten hours of wear. I was definitely surprised at how well they held up over bare skin when used damp–there was only a little fading after six to eight hours, but it was not really noticeable from afar. My eyelids are normal-to-dry, but they’ve been closer to normal these past few days.

The texture of these is that same unexpected combination of dry, soft, and smooth. There’s just this inherent dryness to it and then a real softness so it ends up applying really smooth. These can be used wet or dry, so all swatches are dry and then wet (using just water). These will look more intense, opaque, and smoother when applied damp, but overall, they were fairly pigmented when used dry. Over a primer, you can get closer to the damp results, but I still liked using these damp best. I also liked that it retained a lot of the intensity even after it dried on the lid.

The Glossover

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MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

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If you want to wear these without a primer, I strongly recommend using them damp during application, because when they are applied dry, they do fade within a few hours and are mostly gone by six, but damp, the results are much, much better. The payoff is a similar story--always more intense when applied damp.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “soft peachy nude.” It’s a champagne beige with a little hint of rosiness and a champagne metallic sheen. While I didn’t review Estee Lauder Illuminating Powder Gelee (by the time I was ready to photograph it, it had already sold out), it is exactly the same as Superb. I could not detect a single difference between the two! MAC Redhead is a little pinker and has a whiter sheen, not as warm. Bobbi Brown Rose Gold has more of a frosted finish. MAC Rose Ole is peachier.

Again, fans of Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula will love these–not just like–because I couldn’t find real differences between the two.  So far, MAC’s formula seems to wear a little longer for me.  I’ve never used the original Powder Gelee Estee Lauder released (I left it brand new, until I did the comparison swatch in this post!), so I couldn’t tell you how long that wore on me for–I just know that Topaz Chameleon was more like seven to eight hour wear, whereas Whisper of Gilt and Glorify both hit the eight hour mark with the majority of the product still intact (just some fading around the edges).

Superb has a soft, dry texture that’s really smooth.  It will feel different than other powder products, but it’s not quite the same texture as a baked product (like MAC’s Mineralize line).  There’s a high-shine metallic finish that reflects light really well and smoothly, and the real surprise is that it manages not to emphasize pores or skin imperfections much–it will call more attention to it than a lower-sheen product, but for something with as strong as a sheen here, it’s very little emphasis.  More or less, it’s the kind that’s worth trading off for really dewy, glowy cheeks.

This shade is the most universally wearable shade out of the three–it will work well on cool and warm, light and dark complexions.  I also suspect that with the comparison swatch to Estee Lauder’s powder, which sold out extremely quickly, it will be snapped up in a heartbeat–especially since this is much more affordable than Estee Lauder’s.

The Glossover

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MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter Review, Photos, Swatches

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This shade is the most universally wearable shade out of the three--it will work well on cool and warm, light and dark complexions. I also suspect that with the comparison swatch to Estee Lauder's powder, which sold out extremely quickly, it will be snapped up in a heartbeat--especially since this is much more affordable than Estee Lauder's.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “copper with golden shimmer.” It’s a coppery bronze with a golden-copper shimmer and sheen. Estee Lauder Topaz Chameleon is very similar, but it’s just ever-so-slightly darker–with a lighter/heavier hand, you could get nearly the same color, though. theBalm Betty Lou-Manizer is slightly browner with less orange tones. Urban Decay Gilded is more orange and a bit lighter.

If you’re familiar with Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelees, you’ll know what these feel like. They’re virtually the same. I really couldn’t distinguish any differences beyond the pattern that has been emblazoned onto the product itself. It has that same complex texture that’s dry yet soft and smooth. I tried applying Glorify with MAC’s 128 brush, which is being repromoted in this collection, but I didn’t care for it–just didn’t seem to yield the right finish for me. I ended up using the 168, which worked out better for me. This particular shade has plenty of pigmentation.  To apply as a highlight, I would recommend a fan brush so you can get a soft, precise look.

I did think it was interesting that while Estee Lauder refers to it as a tribrid (three-in-one) powder, MAC only lists it as a hybrid, but then it tacks on “almost liquid” as an afterthought–so they end up being similar in description.  Given that Estee Lauder owns MAC, these are probably even closer than they seem.  Though, MAC’s seems to wear a little longer on me.

MAC actually claims that the new Extra Dimension Skinfinishes (also, confusing, that they are listed as Extra Dimension Highlighters, but the boxes say Skinfinish) last for ten–yes, ten!–hours on the skin. I didn’t even realize they had made such a huge claim until I sat down to write the full review, but thankfully I wore my testing face-of-the-day for eleven hours yesterday! The shade I tested yesterday was Whisper of Gilt, which wore surprisingly well. When I checked the highlighter after eight hours, it was still mostly intact, with just a bit of fading along the edges of the apples of the cheeks. After ten hours, there was a little more fading along the edges but a fair amount of it was still there, looking reflective and glowy. I’m testing Glorify today, and I’m only in about eight hours, and there’s the same subtle fading along the edges but overall, it still looks good.

This would be a beautiful highlighter/light blusher on someone with red undertones. Used with an incredibly light hand, it can be used as a glowy, warmed-up highlighter with a hint of bronze, but it’s more easily used as a bronzy blusher. It has a fair amount of shimmer and sheen in the finish, though, so it may not be the most practical application if you want to highlight/contour.

The Glossover

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Glorify

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This would be a beautiful highlighter/light blusher on someone with red undertones. Used with an incredibly light hand, it can be used as a glowy, warmed-up highlighter with a hint of bronze, but it's more easily used as a bronzy blusher.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Peony Petal Blush
MAC Peony Petal Blush

MAC Peony Petal Blush

MAC Peony Petal Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “bright blue pink” with a satin finish. It’s a blue-based, medium cotton candy pink with a very subtle satiny sheen. It’s not quite matte, but it’s very nearly so–maybe a modern matte, new matte, something to that effect that has just a very natural sheen. Now, this shade is a lot like NARS Gaiety, which is just slightly lighter. MAC Full of Joy is much lighter, paler, and more lilac than it is pink–but the differences are less detectable once they are applied, but you can see that Full of Joy is lighter and almost cooler-toned than Peony Petal. MAC Azalea Blossom is too purple to be a dupe. MAC Briar Rose is pinker, not as blue-based, and softer. Urban Decay Quickie is pinker and a tiny bit lighter. Bobbi Brown Nude Pink is not as blue-based–Peony Petal looks almost purple in contrast.

Color coverage is good with this shade; you can achieve a soft, sheer look without a fuss, but you can intensify the color to more true-to-pan color.  I did notice the texture if Peony Petal seemed a bit drier than the others, so the blending wasn’t as effortless as a shade like Full of Joy.  I liked that it wasn’t powdery in the pan, so there wasn’t a lot of excessive dust left behind.

This is one of the more pigmented shades out of the six, and you can easily get full color coverage if so desired, but a softer look is fairly easy to get as well. I could see this particular one not being as foolproof as some of the other shades, just because it has more pigmentation. It layers and builds up well, so you can begin application with a lighter hand and build up to ensure you get the right level of color you’re aiming for.

It felt soft to the touch without being powdery, and once applied, it blended out without difficulty when I used the 116. I’ve tested numerous MAC blushes in the past, and overall, they hold up between seven and eight hours. Out of this particular launch, I have only specifically tested Full of Joy (which stayed true to the average) but am in the process of testing Immortal Flower and Modern Mandarin to get a better average for this set of six (and at the time of writing, both have been on for four and a half hours and are still going strong).

Naturally, because of the strong blue undertones, this will compliment cooler complexions and require a little more attention to detail on warmer complexions (such as pairing it with the right eyeshadows/lip colors).  The pigmentation and color are strong and deep enough that this shade should work on deeper complexions as well, and not just as a sheer blush.

The Glossover

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MAC Peony Petal Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

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Naturally, because of the strong blue undertones, this will compliment cooler complexions and require a little more attention to detail on warmer complexions (such as pairing it with the right eyeshadows/lip colors). The pigmentation and color are strong and deep enough that this shade should work on deeper complexions as well, and not just as a sheer blush.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush
MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “red-orange” with a satin finish. It’s a muted tangerine orange with a soft sheen. I don’t catch a lot of the red in it myself, but it’s there in a very subtle way–it’s what turns it down from being true orang. In the copy, MAC said “go hip in bright red-orange” – there’s actually a lovely muted quality about Modern Mandarin that actually makes it different than a bright pop of orange would be. Becca Damselfly has a similar softness but it’s more orange and has a golden sheen. Shades like Illamasqua Expose and MAC Optimistic Orange are too orange to be similar. Make Up For Ever #5 is the closest, though it is a touch more intense because it has a matte finish, so there’s no reflective qualities to the finish to give it a lighter look.

This is one of the more pigmented shades out of the six, and you can easily get full color coverage if so desired, but a softer look is fairly easy to get as well. I could see this particular one not being as foolproof as some of the other shades, just because it has more pigmentation. It layers and builds up well, so you can begin application with a lighter hand and build up to ensure you get the right level of color you’re aiming for.  Modern Mandarin has a soft, natural finish that’s not frosted at all, so it looks natural and luminous on the skin and doesn’t emphasize pores or other skin imperfections/textures.

It has a soft feel, and the softness translates to application, where it blends out pretty easily, though perhaps not quite as easily as the other shades.  I’d still say there was no troublesome blending with it either way.  I’ve tested numerous MAC blushes in the past, and overall, they hold up between seven and eight hours. Out of this particular launch, I have only specifically tested Full of Joy (which stayed true to the average) but this morning, I applied Immortal Flower on the apple of one cheek with Modern Mandarin on the rest of the cheek (almost like a gradient–that way I can test both shades while testing out Glorify on the other cheek).  I will update this post if the wear of Modern Mandarin falls inside or outside of that seven to eight hour average.

This shade would be especially beautiful on deeper complexions (not to say it couldn’t work on lighter ones), because it offers enough pigmentation to show up but still has that softer quality that one is usually after in a springtime blush.

The Glossover

coming-soon

MAC Modern Mandarin Blush Review, Photos, Swatches

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This shade would be especially beautiful on deeper complexions (not to say it couldn't work on lighter ones), because it offers enough pigmentation to show up but still has that softer quality that one is usually after in a springtime blush.

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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Thursday, March 29th, 2012

MAC Immortal Flower Blush
MAC Immortal Flower Blush

MAC Immortal Flower Blush

MAC Immortal Flower Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “bright peach.” This is an interesting color, because it looks like a soft peach in the pan, but it’s much more coral when swatched and applied to cheeks. It was a bit puzzling, in all honesty! The hue reminded me of Tarina Tarantino Feather, which is a little less pink and has a heavier shimmer. theBalm Frat Boy is more intense, but the color, when used lightly, is very comparable.

It has a satin finish, officially, but it’s almost matte. There is certainly a soft sheen to it, but it is incredibly subtle. In certain lighting, you may even think it is a matte finish! This pigmentation in Immortal Flower was not as buildable as it was in Full of Joy. There’s an underlying sheerness to it no matter how much product I applied. I would say the coverage is medium at its most intense, rather than full. MAC seemed to be aiming for a blush that was sheer and buildable, though not necessarily fully opaque.

The texture is soft, just powdery enough to allow for enough product to be picked up by the brush without having to scrape at the pan. I love how it is soft without being powdery yet still blends very easily on the skin. I suspect this is going to be one of the more popular shades out of the six from Tres Cheek, just because it has that subtle coral tint that makes it warm and wearable and perfect for summer. It was impossible to overdo on my skin tone, but it gave a nice, summery glow and flush.

I’ve tested numerous MAC blushes in the past, and overall, they hold up between seven and eight hours. Out of this particular launch, I have only specifically tested Full of Joy (which stayed true to the average) but hope to try a couple more shades. If there are any discrepancies, I’ll be sure to update the review to reflect that.

The Glossover

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product

Immortal Flower

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I suspect this is going to be one of the more popular shades out of the six from Tres Cheek, just because it has that subtle coral tint that makes it warm and wearable and perfect for summer.

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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