Monday, September 2nd, 2013

MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils
MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils

The MAC Retro Matte Collection also includes eight shades of Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.), and five the shades (all featured in this post) are new. The collection will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations. There is some uncertainty whether all shades are permanent or only some; the answer I received from MAC’s PR was some, which is what I’ve gone with, but the nearest counter/store are both saying all are permanent.

The Pro Longwear Lip Pencils tend to have good color coverage, apply evenly overall, but they aren’t super creamy lip pencils, so they can skip, drag, and tug.  They’re not the worst, but they’re not the most comfortable to apply or wear alone.  I like them best underneath lipstick or gloss, as you get the benefits of a lip pencil–longer wear, more even color fade, no feathering/bleeding–without the drawbacks of wearing it alone. The formula is not one I would opt to wear alone because of how drying they are by themselves, and honestly, they have a drier texture that tends to cling to lips and doesn’t look as flattering.  Even the Retro Mattes, though sometimes drying, look smoother applied.  I wish they were creamier during application with more of a set/dry down, so you could achieve really even, smooth color that still wore and lasted well. I prepped by slathering lips with lip balm while sleeping (I used Hourglass’ Lip Oil, actually) and wearing lip balm for a half hour prior to applying (blotting off immediately prior to applying the lip pencil).

On their own, I’ve found that while they wear like iron–topping in anywhere from six to ten hours–the wear can be less flattering over time, as it flakes off in areas, rather than a gradual fade.  The deeper colors stain, too, and so when they do, the fading appears more even as the product wears away.  These feel like they shrink or cling to the lips, which is why I really think they are best underneath other lip products.  I ended up wearing a lot of these two at a time (half on one side, half on the other), because after wearing one alone (and after all seven of the Retro Mattes), my lips weren’t going to make it through another four standalone tests.

Wearing them underneath lipstick adds anywhere from an extra hour to three hours, depending on the shortness of the lipstick to begin with and lighter shades always disappear faster.  How drying the lip pencil is also can be mitigated by wearing a more hydrating formula on top or patting on lip balm and/or a hydrating gloss throughout the day.

Dynamo is described as a “bright peony.”  It’s a bright, medium-dark coral-pink with a matte finish.  The consistency is slightly dry but is able to cover with even, opaque color without too dragging or skipping around.  On its own, it lasted well for seven hours.  I’m not familiar with many coral lip liners, and Urban Decay Streak is really the only one I could think of, but it is not similar to this shade.

Fashion Boost is described as a “bright purple cream.”  It’s a vibrant, medium-dark magenta purple with strong fuchsia undertones and a barely-there satin sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but I couldn’t quite get 100% even, opaque color. It lasted seven hours and faded slightly unevenly.  Urban Decay Anarchy is brighter, pinker. MAC Heroine is very similar–a touch more muted but just barely.  See comparison swatches.

High Energy is described as a “bright orange red cream.”  It’s a medium-dark, orange-red with a matte finish.  It was slightly dry in consistency but didn’t skip too badly, and I was able to get opaque color that was very even overall.  This shade wore well for eight hours but was drying on its own.  Urban Decay Bang is slightly more orange. MAC Throw Me a Line is more muted. MAC Ablaze is slightly more muted.   See comparison swatches.

Shock Value is described as a “bright pink cream.”  More like a bright–nearly neon–light-medium, blue-based pink with strong fuchsia/magenta tones.  It’s definitely pink, but it’s almost so blue-based that it looks magenta.  This one was creamier than the others, but it tended to cling to itself as applied (seemed a little tackier than others).  I highly recommend blotting with a tissue before you press lips together to avoid the product sticking and lifting from areas on the lip.  This shade wore for eight hours well, though it was painful to remove and wear. I couldn’t think of any similar lip pencils to this shade, but I have no doubt it would pair well with MAC Candy Yum Yum and its dupes.

Trust in Red is described as a “bright cool red cream.”  It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned red with blue undertones.  It’s actually a bit muted–not as bright/bold as you’d expect.  It had mostly opaque, even color coverage, was somewhat drying when worn, and lasted for eight hours and stained.  Urban Decay 69 is not as blue-based, darker. MAC Cherry is darker. MAC Freehand is darker, less blue-based.  See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Dynamo

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Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Fashion Boost

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Product

8/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4/5

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High Energy

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Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4/5

Results
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Sunday, September 1st, 2013

MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks
MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks

Here are the remaining three new shades from the MAC Retro Matte Collection, which will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations.

Relentlessly Red is described as a “bright pinkish coral matte.”  It’s a brightened, medium-dark coral-red that almost looks cool-toned on me.  It had opaque color payoff, and the consistency was slightly dry with some drag when applied but with firm pressure, it will slide across lips well enough.  It lasted seven hours and left a stained behind.  It was somewhat drying.  MAC All Fired Up is definitely similar at a glance, and I think their undertones are slightly different, so it’s going to be a shade that may look more or less similar depending on your coloring and natural color of your lips.  All Fired Up is slightly pinker, less red/warm-toned but just barely. MAC Party Parrot is pinker. MAC Love Goddess is less matte. Guerlain Gigi is pinker, less matte. Guerlain Gourmandise is less red.  See comparison swatches.

Runway Hit is described as a “light nude matte.”  It’s a light-medium coral with a hint of pink, warm undertones, and a matte finish. It had mostly opaque color, and I always find the lighter shades to be less forgiving on lips–somehow they’re a little drier.  This shade wore well for four and a half hours and did not stain.  It was slightly drying when worn for me and faded unevenly.  MAC Flavour is slightly lighter. NARS Bolero is lighter. NARS Montego Bay is not quite as matte. See comparison swatches.

Steady Going is described as a “light pink matte.”  It’s a cool-toned, blue-based, cotton candy pink with a matte finish.  It had opaque color coverage, but like Runway Hit it felt drier and was less forgiving on the lips.  It wore for four and a half hours but was slightly drying during that time.  I noticed that both shades faded somewhat unevenly and left more color on the outer edge of the lip. MAC Raspberry Swirl is lighter, less matte. Maybelline Pink Pop is less matte. MAC Asian Flower is purpler, less matte. MAC Divine Choice is less blue-based, less matte.  MAC Pink Nouveau is less matte, cooler-toned. MAC Naughty Saute is less matte, slightly more blue-based. See comparison swatches.

Repeated from part one:

The MAC Retro Matte Collection brings back MAC’s Retro Matte with a vengeance, as it includes seven new shades in the finish. The collection will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations. There is some uncertainty whether all shades are permanent or only some; the answer I received from MAC’s PR was some, which is what I’ve gone with, but the nearest counter/store are both saying all are permanent. Each lipstick retails for $15.00 and contains 0.10 oz.

If you love the Retro Matte formula, then enjoy and purchase these–I felt like these four were consistent with the formula in general, though creamier than a Retro Matte from five years ago (or older), and are similar to the consistencies of the Retro Matte finishes released with RiRi Loves MAC. The real downside to the Retro Matte formula (in my experience, of course) is that they are drying. I’ve worn nothing but these since getting them on the 29th, and if it weren’t for catching up on hydration while I was sleeping (thank you, Jack Black!), it would be difficult to keep wearing this formula back-to-back. They have great pigmentation and wear exceptionally long, but for me, I would rather wear a more hydrating formula, or if I was aiming for matte, a formula that isn’t drying (Burberry Lip Velvets come to mind).

The always lovely xSparkage has a fantastic tutorial on making your lip color last that uses loose powder (and lip pencil) to really set and lock down the lip color, which also makes it appear matte, that can pretty much turn most of your favorite lipsticks into a long-wearing, mostly matte version. This is the same thing I do when I need all-day color and want to touch up very, very minimally (like at a conference).

The Glossover

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Relentlessly Red

A-

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Runway Hit

B-

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Steady Going

B

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

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Friday, August 30th, 2013

MAC x Antonio Lopez 3 Lips/Red Palette
MAC x Antonio Lopez 3 Lips/Red Palette

MAC x Antonio Lopez 3 Lips/Red Palette ($27.50 for 0.13 oz.) contains three shades of lipstick with a red theme. Two of the shades are repromotes, and one is part of the permanent range.   The palette contains slightly more than an individual lipstick, which is 0.10 oz., so it’s not a value-packed palette, but you may like that you can get three shades for the price point (and individually, not that they’re sold that way, you couldn’t get two for this price). It will also depend on whether you’re a fan of lip palettes or not. The palette contains an itty, bitty lip brush and mirror.

Scarlet Ibis is described as a “bright orange red [with a Matte finish].” It’s a brightened, medium-dark orange-red with a matte finish. This is a repromote. It had completely opaque color coverage and wears long–six hours–and leaves a stain behind. It’s neither drying nor hydrating, but you’ll want to ensure your lips are in fairly healthy condition since it won’t provide any extra hydration while worn and it is has a matte finish (which is always less forgiving). MAC Dangerous just has an even more matte finish. Maybelline Orange Edge is glossier, slightly less red. Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin is glossier. MAC Sail la Vie is similar. MAC Lady Danger is more orange. Buxom Rogue is also more orange. See comparison swatches.

MAC Red is described as a “vivid bright bluish-red [with a Satin finish].” It’s a brightened, medium-dark blue-based red with a barely-there sheen. This shade is part of the permanent range. It had opaque color coverage, wore well for six hours and left behind a stain. It was slightly drying on me–I could feel it towards the tail end of the wear. MAC Glam is similar. Giorgio Armani Red Fuchsia is darker. NYX Chic Red is slightly darker. MAC Ronnie Red seems somewhat brighter. See comparison swatches.

Deeply Adored is described as a “deep scarlet [with a Matte finish].” It’s a deepened, brown-ish red with a matte finish. It tends to pull less brown, almost pinky-red, when sheered out or used more sparingly. This is a repromote. I noticed that it was harder to build up the color to get the brown tones to come forward in the palette than when applied from the tube–I felt like I had to use noticeably more product for opaque color than the other two or when I’ve applied this shade in tube-form. It lasted for five and a half hours well, and it did leave a stain behind. It was neither drying nor hydrating. NARS 413 BLKR is darker, browner. OCC Role Play is similar–slightly warmer. NARS Majella is brighter, warmer. MAC Extended Play is slightly browner. Dior Diorling is similar. MAC Such Flare is also similar. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

palette

Antonio Lopez 3 Lips/Red

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Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

9.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Scarlet Ibis

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

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MAC Red

A-

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

NARS Iskandar Eye Paint
NARS Iskandar Eye Paint

NARS Eye Paints ($25.00 for 0.08 oz.) is supposed to be a long-wearing, highly-pigmented gel formula that can be used as an eyeshadow or eyeliner. The consistency is very creamy, and just about every single shade I tried was incredibly pigmented. These dry down very, very quickly, so you have to work fast, and they take some work to blend with each other as a result. Using one or two isn’t so bad, but add a third into the mix, and it can be troublesome. The edges need to be blended almost immediately, or else layered with a similar-colored eyeshadow to help diffuse the drier edge. Yesterday, I wore these primarily as eyeshadows (but also two as eyeliner on the lower lash line) over bare lids. I experienced very slight creasing after seven hours of wear as well as some slight fading, which worsened and was noticeable after eight and a half hours of wear. As an eyeliner, they lasted better and did not fade or migrate over a nine hour period.

Iskandar was the easiest to apply and blend out, while Mesopotamia was the one that set the quickest and was most difficult to blend. I like a fairly flat, somewhat narrow, brush with a little thickness and a domed edge for applying these (I used MAC’s 242), because it’s useful for placing dense color but also has enough density and thickness that it can blend out the edges, too. Today, I’m testing a couple other shades for wear (alone) but as well as with eyeshadow on top (so more as a base) to see how they perform that way. Tomorrow, I’ll try them over NARS’ Smudge Proof Primer to wrap everything up with a neat little bow.  One last thing: the size on these is slightly smaller than average gel eyeliners (usually around 0.10 oz. or so).

Iskandar is described as “gold.” It’s a rich, medium-dark gold with orange and bronze undertones and a copper and gold shimmer. It has a frosted, metallic finish. The color payoff was rich and opaque whether applied as an eyeliner or as an eyeshadow–I used NARS’ #38 brush for the thinner swatch and then turned it horizontally for the larger swatch. NARS Campo de Fiori is similar. Maybelline Bold Gold is less warm-toned. MAC Going for the Gold is darker. Illamasqua Alchemy is yellower. See comparison swatches.

Mesopotamia is described as “brown.” It’s a deep brown with subtle warm, red undertones and a matte finish. It is richly pigmented and applied smoothly. Bobbi Brown Chocolate is warmer. Urban Decay Demolition is similar. MAC rich Experience is also similar. Buxom Two by Four is slightly warmer. See comparison swatches.

Snake Eyes is described as “black with green shimmer.” It’s a deep black with brown undertones with emerald green pearl. It had fairly good color payoff but to make the pearl stand out, two layers are needed. Urban Decay Loaded is lighter. MAC Dark Envy is greener. MAC My Next Indulgence is lighter. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Iskandar

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Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Mesopotamia

A

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

10/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4.5/5

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Snake Eyes

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

YSL Gris Underground (38) La Laque Couture
YSL Gris Underground (38) La Laque Couture

YSL Gris Underground (38) La Laque Couture ($25.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “cloud of grey.” It’s gray, blue, lavender; a muted, grayed cornflower blue to me. Very cloudy, very fall. It was opaque in two coats, and the consistency was just slightly on the thicker side, so the drying time seemed longer than average.  It applied fairly easily, particularly because it has a wider brush that enables better coverage in a single stroke so it minimizes unevenness. The formula isn’t forgiving if the prior coat is only partially dry, so make sure to allow enough time between coats for drying.  Essie Rock the Boat is lighter, slightly less gray. NARS Galathee is much grayer. See comparison swatches.

Beige Gallerie (39) La Laque Couture ($25.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “concrete beige.” It’s a light-medium beige with neutral gray undertones and a cream finish. It was mostly opaque in two coats, and the consistency was slightly on the thin side. Like Gris Underground, give the first coat plenty of time to dry to avoid dragging/pulling. MAC Quiet Time is warmer. MAC Endless Night is similar. Chanel Frenzy is a smidgen grayer and sheerer. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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Gris Underground (38)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Beige Gallerie (39)

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Saturday, August 17th, 2013

MAC Indulge Lipglasses
MAC Indulge Lipglasses

MAC’s Indulge Collection (online at MAC now, online elsewhere and in-stores on August 22nd for North America locations) features five Lipglass shades in various colors and finishes. Lipglass is tacky, thick, and can vary from sheer to opaque. I typically get between three and five hours of wear with the formula, depending on the color and finish. I’ve only had a chance to try two of these for wear, so I’ll update with the remaining three tomorrow or the next day.

Fashion Punch Lipglass ($15.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “mid-tone neutral pink.” I don’t see pink, not even in the tube. It’s a just-shy-of-medium peach with strong warm, orange tones and light gold pearl. It had nearly opaque color coverage with minimal settling into lip lines. It lasted for three and a half hours on me. MAC Pure Flattery is lighter and more shimmery. MAC Imperial Light is sheerer. Chanel Genie is less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Liqueur Lipglass ($15.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “shimmering taupe.” It’s a reddish-brown with gold, copper, and pink shimmer. The finish is fairly frosted, and the color coverage is mostly opaque and even. This shade is a repromote (fyi, MAC’s website lists it as Liqueur, but the bottom of my tube has Liquer). MAC Social Light is more plum, less red. MAC Deliciously Demure is lighter, less red. MAC Blessedly Rich is browner. Dior Ambre Lumiere is similar. Bobbi Brown Beach is browner. See comparison swatches.

Lust for Life Lipglass ($15.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “dark berry.” It’s a bright, berry red with fuchsia and ruby red pearl. It was semi-opaque–plenty of color but a light translucency that keeps it from looking too heavy. MAC Rebel is less shimmery, more purple. MAC Colour Saturation is similar but less shimmery. See comparison swatches.

Ultimate Dish Lipglass ($15.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “light beige with pearl.” It’s a peachy beige with warm undertones and white shimmery. It had semi-opaque color coverage and applied evenly overall, but it did settle into lip lines. This shade wore for three hours on me. MAC Calypso Beat is pinker. NARS Buenos Aires is more muted. MAC Peachstock is less shimmery. MAC Illicit is less shimmery. Hourglass Imagine is lighter. See comparison swatches.

Utterly Tart Lipglass ($15.00 for 0.17 fl. oz.) is described as a “deep red.” It’s a rich, deep red with cool, blue undertones and a creamy, glossy finish. There is a hint of pink/berry in it that gives it more depth. It applied with mostly opaque color coverage and did so evenly and almost no settling into lip lines. Chanel Triomphal is warmer, shimmery. MAC Driven by Love is brighter, less pink. MAC Send Me Sailing is less pink. MAC Russian Red is brighter. MAC Cult of Cherry is shimmery. Bobbi Brown Black Ruby is shimmery. See comparison swatches.

The Glossover

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product

Fashion Punch

B

Product

8.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

7/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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Liqueur

B+

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
LE
product

Lust for Life

A-

Product

9/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

5/5

Results
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