Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit
MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Desert Camouflage Face Kit

MAC Desert Camouflage Face Kit ($44.00 for 0.40 oz.) includes four eyeshadows: Sahara Dust (light neutral beige), Cactus Thorn (mid-tone brown bronze), Desert (shimmering warm taupe), and Carbon (intense black) as well as one Cremeblend Blush, Sand Storm (soft sheer warm caramel).

Sahara Dust is a pale beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a satin finish, officially. The color payoff is decent, and it works well as a highlighter on the brow bone or inner tear duct. Illamasqua Slink is similar, slightly frostier. MAC Brule is more matte. Giorgio Armani Madreperla has a frostier finish. MAC Baby, It’s Cold is a smidgen yellower. MAC Vanilla is a touch lighter.

Cactus Thorn is a softened bronze-shimmered medium-dark brown. It has a frost finish. The pigmentation is good, though the texture was a bit dry. Dior Golden Savannaha is darker, browner. Giorgio Armani #26 is more shimmery. Urban Decay Chase is warmer and more metallic. theBalm Schitzo is very similar, but more pigmented and slightly more golden-toned. Wet ‘n’ Wild Comfort Zone is richer.

Desert is a gray-tinged brown with a hint of plum. It has a satin finish. It has decent color payoff but had a dry, stiffer texture. Bobbi Brown Slate is softer, more matte. MAC Aurora is lighter, more frosted. Dolce &G abbana Jewels is grayer. Inglot #360 is similar but matte.

Carbon is a matte black, but if you look in the pan, there are a lot of sparkles–just none of them seem to translate. It was the oddest thing. I feel like every time I swatch Carbon, it gets worse. And I’m not swatching the same one! This shade is part of the permanent range, and it’s actually included in both of the face kits in the collection, and they were about equal in their dry, stiff, poor color payoff-yielding textures. Slightly more pigmented when I used it on the eye (with a 222 brush), but boy, it did not want to move or budge, which made blending a pain in the butt! Because I happened to also have a really rich black that I was swatching (completely unplanned!) that was insanely pigmented, I took a comparison photo, just so you can see why Carbon is such a disappointment.

Cremeblend Blushes are supposed to be creamy, easy to blend, have medium coverage, and have a natural finish. Sand Storm is a warm, orange-tan with a soft, barely dewy finish (it read mostly matte when it dried down and set). There’s a yellowy-orange undertone that comes through. MAC Lush-Light is darker, browner. MAC Refined Golden is browner. MAC Tan Tint is a smidgen darker. It can be used sheerly with ease, and it can be built up a bit, though I’m not sure it will show up well on darker complexions–it just barely shows on mine (I’m about NC30 at the moment). It may add warmth without adding noticeable color. Yesterday, when I was testing the wear, my cheeks were slightly dry, and this wasn’t forgiving, unfortunately. I was hoping that the creamy consistency would help and was happy that I was testing a cream blush instead of a powder one, LOL! After six hours, it had separated and faded noticeably.

This palette contains 0.22 oz. of eyeshadows (0.055 oz. each, which is 0.005 oz. more than a regular full-sized MAC eyeshadow), which is a $66 value. There is 0.18 oz. of Cremeblend Blush in here, which normally retails for $20.00/0.19 oz., so there is $18.95 value from that, for a total palette value of $84.95. (Note: Cremeblend blushes and eyeshadows are sold in pan form, depending on the shade, but I went with individual product prices, not pan prices. From a pan perspective, there is $52.80 in eyeshadow value and $16.11 in Cremeblend Blush value, for a total value of $68.91.) From a quantity point of view, this is absolutely a deal, which is great news!

It’s a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole.  The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with.  Sand Storm didn’t have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially.  These eyeshadows were less stellar without a primer–they were less blendable and faded after six hours. Over a primer, I saw some minor fading of Desert and Carbon.  

It’s hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal. I keep hoping for a stellar launch from MAC, but they aren’t making it easy at all.

I’ll have my review for the Jungle Camouflage palette up soon, but as a quick note: the two palettes are very, very similar with the major difference between in finish–this palette is more shimmery, while Jungle Camouflage is more matte.

The Glossover

palette

Desert Camouflage

B-
It's a decent palette, but the inclusion of Carbon is really bringing down the overall quality of it on the whole. The other three eyeshadows have decent color payoff, with Sahara Dust being the easiest to work with. Sand Storm didn't have fantastic wear, but it was blendable and looked good initially. It's hard to recommend or feel good about a palette when one shade is such a dud and four shades are decent but not really phenomenal.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sheer translucent nude.” (I will also note that MAC’s website only describes it as “nude,” which is more misleading than the press release’s description.) It’s a wash of warm beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a lustre finish. For all intents and purposes, it looks like I put lip balm on, because it looks completely colorless on my lips. As far as dupes go, any lip balm that has more of a sheen than a glossy shine would substitute.

It was hard to judge how long this worn on me, truly, because the only thing I could see visually was that lustre-like finish, kind of frosted but barely. Instead, I took a napkin and pressed my lips against this after two hours (at which point, it seemed like it was gone), and there was nothing on the napkin.  I repeated this experiment twice more – the second time, after an hour and the third time, after three hours. There was a little bit of product visible on the napkin after an hour, and again, none after three hours. The fact that color is coming off shows that it’s not 100% clear or invisible, but because your lips are not invisible or clear, they tend to “absorb” the color so it’s less noticeable on. I’m not a big fan of lustre finishes, as I tend to find them drying, and Tropical Mist was no exception, as it was somewhat drying after wearing it for six hours (back to back).

It’s sheer. It’s translucent. It’s pretty much exactly as described by MAC, except it’s nearly invisible. Sheer doesn’t mean clear, right? Translucent is the adjective more likely to suggest clear, though after reading about ten definitions across various dictionaries online, it suggests something that allows light to pass through but in a slightly diffused manner (e.g. frosted glass).  On that note, I’m going to go with this needs a wee bit more color to give it a more diffused quality but only take off one point.  Since it’s somewhat drying, it’s not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that’s going to look virtually colorless and not hydrating. I imagine some will expect a lower grade, but remember: MAC said this was sheer and translucent, so that’s the starting point for discussion.

The Glossover

LE
product

Tropical Mist

B-
Since it's drying, it's not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that's going to be colorless and not hydrating.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

9/10

Texture

9/10

Longevity

6/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Friday, August 17th, 2012

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo
MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo

Can’t Say I Fancy This Whim

MAC Whims & Fancies Eyeshadow Duo ($27.50 for 0.09 oz.) contains two shades: Performance Art (platinum silver) and Shadowy Lady (blackened plum).  The last of the four new and limited edition eyeshadow duos in MAC’s fall collection Styleseeker, it leaves me less inspired. I think the duos are cute, and they could be easy ways to combine colors for quick looks, but there always seem to be one shade that doesn’t perform that well. The duo price point is too steep to permit one shade to be a disappointment!

Performance Art is a mauve-tinged silver with a hint of gold and silver shimmer. It has a veluxe pearl finish. It didn’t seem too sheer initially, but it definitely is–I had to go back and pack it on three times to get it to show up on me. There was also some fall out during and post-application, even though the sparkle didn’t seem to be too large. For a veluxe pearl, it’s not as smooth as I’d expect, and the color didn’t bind together as well. It’s like a lighter, less pigmented version of Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo. MAC Heirloom is similar but has a stronger sheen. Cle de Peau #207 is similar but has more sparkle. Giorgio Armani #8 is more metallic.

Shadowy Lady is a blackened plum with brown-burgundy undertones. It has a matte finish. The texture is dry, a little stiff. I thought it would be easier to use on the lid, but I found it was harder to work with (both in depositing color and blending it out) than Indie Spirit (which swatched even more poorly!). This shade is part of the permanent range. Urban Decay Rockstar has a similar base color/tone but it is much more purple and has shimmer. MAC Indian Ink has less red tones, more purple ones.

Performance Art has this oddly sheer, fall out-prone texture that makes it harder to work with, while Shadowy Lady didn’t want to blend out as evenly or as easily as other MAC matte eyeshadows. I don’t remember Shadowy Lady being hard to work with (I remember it not always swatching well), but in this duo, it wasn’t great.  None of the duos were out of this world–I think you’re better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own.  For something similar, though not exact, I’d suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

The Glossover

palette

Whims & Fancies

B-
None of the duos were out of this world--I think you're better off making your own duo or picking up two pans and putting them in a palette you already own. For something similar, though not exact, I'd suggest Seedy Pearl and Fig. 1.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

4/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Saturday, August 4th, 2012

China Glaze I'm With the Lifeguard Nail Lacquer
China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard Nail Lacquer

Add a Little Electric Green to Your Routine

One of twelve shades from China Glaze Summer Neons Collection, China Glaze I’m With the Lifeguard Nail Lacquer ($3.00 for 0.50 fl. oz.) is described as a “glimmering lime green.” I’d say that’s a rather apt description! It’s a vibrant, slightly cool-toned lime green with soft shimmer. Cult Nails Deal With It is warmer, darker, less neon. China Glaze Cha Cha Cha is also darker, moer golden, and not neon. China Glaze Kiwi Cool-ada was the closest shade that I could think of, though it has a cream finish.

The consistency was somewhat thick, so each coat was thicker than I’d like, which resulted in some pooling of polish along the edges. The shimmer also created some noticeable brush strokes, but the color was opaque after two coats.  It’s just a fussier formula overall–takes longer to dry, more patience required to get even coats (and color).  I’m usually a fan of China Glaze’s formula, but something wasn’t quite right with a lot of the shades in their summer launch.  The colors are fun and gorgeous (totally summer-esque), so it’s a little disappointing! I could see this lime green working well on toes.  I normally get a week of wear with no chipping and minor tip wear with China Glaze’s formula.

The Glossover

LE
product

I'm With the Lifeguard

B-
I'm usually a fan of China Glaze's formula, but something wasn't quite right with a lot of the shades in their summer launch.  The colors are fun and gorgeous (totally summer-esque), so it's a little disappointing! I could see this lime green working well on toes.

Product

7.5/10

Pigmentation

10/10

Texture

7/10

Longevity

9/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

MAC Highly Charged Electric Cool Eyeshadow
MAC Highly Charged Electric Cool Eyeshadow

Breakdown of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow – Part 2

The last six shades of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow ($18.50 for 0.07 oz.) that we’re going to go through are: Highly Charged (rich purple with pink pearl), Infra-violet (mid-tone pink violet with blue pearl), Love Power (soft shimmering rose), Pure Flash (pale champagne), Superwatt (light shimmering taupe), and Switch to Blue (rich cobalt). Please read my review for how these feel, wear, etc.

  • Highly Charged is a subtly red-toned medium-dark purple with a soft shimmer-sheen. It has so-so color payoff and some fading issues when worn. All of these only faded to a point, they didn’t disappear, but they weren’t as vibrant on as they were in the pan. Buxom Schnauzer is more of an eggplant purple. MAC Drawn to Drama is more blue-based. L’Oreal Perpetual Purple is brighter by a small amount. MAC Plush is softer, more red-toned. Make Up For Ever #142 is very similar in color though more matte in finish.
  • Infra-violet is a vibrant fuchsia-magenta with a violet iridescence. It has decent color payoff, and it actually performs better on the lid in terms of pigmentation–it has some very slight fading over time. Make Up For Ever #89 is more magenta. Both Urban Decay Fishnet and MAC Stars ‘n Rockets are less pink, more purple. Bare Escentuals Boudoir is very similar though has less iridescence.
  • Love Power is a pale pink with subtle yellow undertones and a highly metallic finish. This had beautiful color payoff when I swatched it, but I couldn’t get it to apply evenly at all. It was the worst on the lid out of all twelve. MAC Young Venus is paler, icier. Dior Garden Roses is similar but blue-based. MAC Taupeless is similar but frostier. MAC Seedy Pearl is cooler-toned. Inglot #431 is more metallic.
  • Pure Flash is a soft peach with warm undertones and a frost-metallic shimmer-sheen. It’s semi-opaque in color. This would be a great brightening shade on light to medium complexions. Buxom Collie looks exactly the same in color, but it has a more metallic finish (less sparkle, more sheen). NARS Ramatuelle is similar, possibly lighter. Tarina Tarantino Delightful is more metallic.
  • Superwatt is a subtly gray-tinged medium-dark brown with a frosted, metallic finish. It had good color payoff and applied easily to the lid without needing a lot of packing or manipulating. Buxom Mutt is warmer, more golden. Urban Decay Rehab is slightly darker. MAC Street Cool is darker. Urban Decay Midnight Rodeo is a bit warmer, browner. Inglot #402 is very similar, perhaps a touch darker.
  • Switch to Blue is a medium-dark blue with softer blue shimmer and a satiny sheen. It’s mostly opaque but there is some underlying sheerness. Buxom Bulldog looks very similar, perhaps very slightly purple-tinted. Tarina Tarantino Violet Storm is brighter, more cobalt. Inglot #428 is darker, more intense. Make Up For Ever #81 is darker, more navy blue.

The Glossover

LE
product

Infra-violet

B-
If you really, really love shimmering, sparkling finishes, you might consider checking out the formula and seeing if it's worth the effort. If you want to wear them alone as washes of color, they're definitely worth a look.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

MAC Blacklit Electric Cool Eyeshadow
MAC Blacklit Electric Cool Eyeshadow

Breakdown of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow – Part 1

The first six shades of MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow ($18.50 for 0.07 oz.) that we’re going to go through are: Blacklit (black with multi-dimensional pearl), Brilliantly Lit (bright acid yellow green), Coil (copper bronze), Dynamo (mid-tone coral), Electroplate (cool gunmetal grey), and Fashion Circuit (bright kelly green). Please read my review for how these feel, wear, etc.

The Glossover

product

MAC Electric Cool Eyeshadow Review, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

B-
If you really, really love shimmering, sparkling finishes, you might consider checking out the formula and seeing if it's worth the effort. If you want to wear them alone as washes of color, they're definitely worth a look.

Product

8/10

Pigmentation

8.5/10

Texture

8.5/10

Longevity

8.5/10

Application

3/5

Results
Loading ... Loading ...
Dupes
Login or Register to be able to add this to your Vanity or Wishlist! Plus rate and review!

See more photos & swatches! Continue reading →