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MAC Fashion Flower: Overall & Recommendations


MAC Fashion Flower: Overall & Recommendations

Fashion Flower feels like a nice-sized collection–enough to mix and match, but it’s not so large that it’s overwhelming.  MAC’s matte eyeshadows can be great, but they have a few duds in the mix and some that just work infinitely better when applied to the eye with a brush than in a mere arm swatch–and this is true with the mattes in this launch.

I did feel that Aqua and Free to Be seemed stiffer here than the pans I have (as both are permanent), so you might consider getting the non-imprinted ones if that’s the case.  Lucky Green is also permanent, but it’s definitely the standout shade–luxuriously smooth and richly pigmented; it represents when MAC really nails an eyeshadow.

The lipgelees felt a bit sticky this time around, with Now in Season feeling quite tacky, which was unexpected (as lipgelees are known for being non-sticky!).  Ever Hip, as a coral, will sell well, while Summer Shower will add depth as a layering lip product.  Mlle and Growing Trend are more similar to existing permanent shades out of the four lipsticks in the launch.  If you missed out on Ever Hip on MAC’s website, Nordstrom still has it in stock ($5 shipping on $50+ beauty purchases).

Both beauty powders felt powdery to me, so I didn’t think they were exceptional, based on texture.  Alpha Girl works better applied (more color shows up) than when swatched, but both Alpha Girl and Light Sunshine are more suitable for lighter skin tones because of their light/sheer color.

P.S. — Ignore the mascaras, they’re part of Flighty.  That’s what happens when you don’t have coffee in the morning!

Photos, Reviews, Swatches

Check out my recommendations, what to check your stash for, what to skip, and recommendations by skin tone!

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MAC Fashion Flower Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Summer Shower Lipstick
MAC Summer Shower Lipstick

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipsticks

The collection features four shades of Lipstick (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Ever Hip (bright creamy coral), Growing Trend (mid-tone taupe nude), Mlle (light white pink), and Summer Shower (light aqua).

  • Ever Hip is a pink-based coral with a creamy, slightly glossy finish.  It’s semi-opaque to opaque on lips, depending on how much you layer it. It has a cremesheen finish.  MAC doesn’t have a comparable permanent dupe to it, unfortunately.
  • Growing Trend is a medium dark beige nude with a creamy finish.  It has an amplified finish.  It’s a shade or two darker than Viva Glam Gaga 2 and has less peach (this almost looks a touch pink next to it).
  • Mlle is a pale, blue-based light pink. It looks a little dry on lips (perhaps more like a frost finish, except it lacks the shimmer part of a frost), but it didn’t feel drying. It has a glaze finish, and it is a repromote–but from many, many years ago. It seems like a paler version of Pink Plaid, cooler version of Creme Cup. This would work best on cooler skin tones.
  • Summer Shower is very much a near-to-clear base with teal, fuchsia-purple, and white shimmer and sparkle. It’s more of layering lip product than one you’d wear on its own (in general). I can’t think of a permanent dupe for it. It has a glaze finish. This would work across skin tones.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipsticks are vanilla-scented but taste-free. I typically get four hours of wear, but some of the lighter lustre and glaze finishes tend to disappear by hour three. Amplified cremes and amplified finishes, however, tend to go beyond four. I find the formula comfortable to wear and not drying (but not moisturizing–a couple of the matte shades can be drying).

MAC Fashion Flower Lipstick Swatches, Photos, Reviews

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MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelees Swatches, Photos, Reviews

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee
MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelee

MAC Fashion Flower: Lipgelees

The collection features three shades of Lipgelee (each $14.50 for 0.10 oz.) — Budding Beauty (pale coral with pearl pigment), Fashion Flower (pale pink with pearl pigment), and Now in Season (pale yellow with pearl pigment).

  • Budding Beauty is a coral melon with pink and gold shimmer.  It has more of a shimmery finish than the glittery texture of Fashion Flower and Now in Season.  When applied, it has a very milky melon look–semi-sheer for sure, though.  Love Nectar lustreglass seems like the closest permanent dupe.
  • Fashion Flower is a pink-tinged gloss with lots of pink and silver glitter. It’s a lot like the previous launches of Lipgelees (Lillyland, Cham-Pale) — super glittery, little color, lots of sparkle. I’d say it’s most like Luxure, but applied, Fashion Flower pulls pinker.
  • Now in Season is a pale yellow gold with multicolored shimmer of teal, gold, and silver.  This felt so sticky, which is uncharacteristic of lipgelees.  When worn, it doesn’t deliver much color, just lots of shimmer/glitter.  It’s surprisingly similar to Bubble Lounge when worn, since the color base doesn’t show up.

my thoughts on the formula: MAC Lipgelees are moisturizing, easy to apply, and last three to four hours on me. They are a thicker formula, more like a gel, and come in squeeze tubes. They have a non-sticky texture, are vanilla-scented, and a sheer formula, but these are noticeably sticky. There is some glitter migration (maybe four or five flecks), but it didn’t seem like rapid migration nor did it stray into the far reaches of my face or hair or somehow wander to my feet. I have always loved that the Lipgelees come with 0.5 oz. of product–nearly double even large-sized glosses. After they wear away, they can sometimes feel gritty, because of the abundance of glitter.

MAC Fashion Flower Lipgelees Swatches, Photos, Reviews

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MAC Green is Green Zoom Lash Mascara

MAC Green is Green Mascara
MAC Green is Green Mascara

MAC Colored Zoom Lash Mascara

Though MAC’s Flighty Collection has stirred up buzz over the Big Bounce Shadows, there are also four shades of colored Zoom Lash Mascara. I have Green is Green ($14.00 for 0.28 oz.) to review for now (the rest to follow once I have them–probably not late this week or early next). This shade is described as “jade green,” and it’s a dark, cool-toned green with a little hint of teal. The actual tube is similarly colored.

Zoom Lash is supposed to “build density,” while the “ultra-sculpted brush has three-sided fibres to embrace and separate each lash.” My favorite MAC mascara is Plushlash, but I used to use Zoom Lash for quite a bit (because Plushlash didn’t exist). I like how it’s a really thick formula–thick as in it really coats each lash really well in the formula but without clumping. Zoom Lash, being a thicker consistency, will clump if you start going beyond two coats, though. (In my experience, you shouldn’t need more than two.) Zoom Lash separates and defines lashes while thickening them for me. I didn’t have any issues with the mascara flaking or smudging on me.

Green is Green is rather similar in color to Army of Amazons, which launched in Wonder Woman. The color of Green is Green seems a little richer in color, more depth. The Zoom Lash formula works better than Opulash for the color, though, because with colored mascara over black lashes (which mine are), I need the thickness of the Zoom Lash formula to really have a chance of my lashes looking green.

They look green from up close and afar, but the effect is still subtle from afar. Colored mascara will also stand out more with a lighter background–like neutral/light eyeshadows on the lid. You can also use a white-colored lash primer to enhance colored mascara. The color coverage here is good but not totally opaque over my black lashes.

MAC Green is Green Zoom Lash Mascara

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MAC Big Bounce Shadow Reviews, Swatches, Photos

MAC Big Bounce Shadow
MAC Black Diamond Big Bounce Shadow

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Review

MAC Big Bounce Shadows ($16.50 for 0.17 oz.) is a brand new product launching with MAC’s Flighty Collection (which will hit counters/stores on May 5th). I don’t have all sixteen at this time, and I will, of course, purchase the remaining shades as soon as they are available, but for now, I hope these five shades will suffice: Black Diamond (black with gold pearl), The Cool Elite (white with silver pearl), Count Your Assets (rich blue purple with multi-color pearl), Reward Yourself (bright peach coral with gold pearl), and Spread the Wealth (dirty olive with gold pearl.

Updated @ 6:00PM on 4/25: (Consider re-reading the review, as I changed up about 60% of it!)  The hardest part about evaluating these new shadows is trying to figure out what they’re supposed to do (and conversely, what one shouldn’t expect them to do).  After obtaining more information (see this Q&A), these are supposed to “last for hours” along with “luminescent washes that build from sheer to medium easily.”

Once you throw that little piece in, however, it really does change the efficacy of these, because they do not wear for hours on their own.  I tried four of the five shades alone on the lid, and I spent three days working through them trying to find techniques that would make them work.  I couldn’t find a way to make these work well all alone or as a wash.  Over primer, they still creased (just less creasing than if they were applied to bare lids), but the real zinger is how quickly they crease.  It’s not creasing after four, eight, twelve hours but within an hour.

To achieve the best wear alone, a brush (like the 242) seems to work the best for applying the product without sliding it all over the place.  Just like with any really slippery product, you’ll want to work a little slower and pat the product on and gently smooth out the color or else it will slip and slide and result in uneven color coverage.

  • Black Diamond is a dark charcoal black with teal and silver shimmer.
  • The Cool Elite is a brightened white with a shimmery finish.
  • Reward Yourself is a muted copper with a golden champagne shimmer-sheen.
  • Count Your Assets is a cool-toned purple with silver and gray.
  • Spread the Wealth is a dirty olive green with multi-colored micro-shimmer and metallic sheen.

The texture is very wet and more like a liquid than a cream or mousse–it has a watery feel, though not runny, but a bit like a gel. Initially, I tried applying it to the lid with my finger (but first getting product out with a metal spatula), but I found it did not work well to create a smooth, even layer of color. It’s so very emollient that it glides on easily, but the color slides around and looks rather messy.

The collection does promote the 242 brush (which is part of the permanent range), so I figured I’d try that, and it did work much better. I used other brushes (194, 239, 249), and the 194 and 249 didn’t work as well as the 239 and 242, so the key seems to be some fluffiness in the brush shape (as the 194 and 249 are flatter and firmer) and a patting motion.

Worn alone: I couldn’t wear the Big Bounce Shadows alone without experiencing creasing. I tried three different shades alone (Black Diamond, Reward Yourself, and Spread the Wealth), and Reward Yourself was the only one that didn’t crease immediately. Based on working with the formula for a few days, I think it’s the long dry down time that makes these difficult to wear alone. Unless you keep your eyes closed and lids perfectly taut, the product will settle into any creases while it’s drying down. The dry down time for me was about 45 seconds to a minute. Once they dry down, they do seem to hold on fairly well, but there is some shimmer fall out that occurs.

Worn over a primer: When worn over a primer but with nothing to set it on top, I still experienced creasing within the hour. I found that using it over more opaque primers like MAC Soft Ochre or Urban Decay Eden helped to avoid creasing as soon as it was applied, because the creaminess of the opaque primer helped to fill in some creases, but I still had creasing after an hour of wear.

Set with shadow: They work much better as eyeshadow bases–I had the nearly the same wear regardless of using the Big Bounce Shadow as a base or using an eyeshadow primer, then applying Big Bounce Shadow, and finally setting with eyeshadow. I would say that those with oilier lids may find that the primer, Big Bounce, and powder shadow sandwich would work better for them, as I have normal lids. After twelve hours, I noticed very slight creasing on the inner lid when used without a base, but used with a base, there was none of that slight inner lid creasing.

BOTTOM LINE

SET WITH POWDER. Like most cream products, to prolong wear, set with a powder product.  USE A BRUSH. Fingers seem to create very uneven finishes, and it’s difficult to build up color that way–the color always seems sheer.

Pigmentation varies from shade to shade, and so does the buildability. For instance, Reward Yourself applies semi-opaque from the get-go, but Spread the Wealth needs two to three layers to achieve the same result. I found Spread the Wealth to be the most finicky shade of the five I tried, because it was difficult to apply evenly (even when using a brush!) and build up color.

The packaging is similar to Paint Pots, and the Big Bounce Shadows contain the same amount of product as Paint Pots as well (0.17 oz.).  Big Bounce Shadows come with a thin, plastic insert, but I don’t know if you’d want to dispose of it, even though it is rather flimsy.  The shadow does move around and lots of gets stuck to the insert, so it’s probably better to keep it than to toss it.

I just think the texture of these gives to more uneven application, and the dry down time is too long.  I might consider grabbing shades that really appeal to you to use as a colored eyeshadow base, because they work well for that purpose, but with some of the texture issues, I wouldn’t necessarily feel driven to grab ’em all.

These wear well if set with powder and made to last all day (8-12 hours).  Are they worth the effort?  Personally, I don’t mind, because they work well enough as a colored base, which is how I would use them myself, but it’s not how I need/want them to work that plays into the actual rating but whether it works the way it’s supposed to.

At the end of the day, these seem to take more work/experimentation that most customers will want to put in.  If you don’t mind some layering and really wanted to like these, buy from a retailer with a generous return policy–if they work for you, I’m a happy camper, and if they don’t, you can return.

MAC Big Bounce Shadow Reviews, Swatches, Photos

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MAC Big Bounce Shadows Q&A with MAC Senior Artist Romero Jennings


A key element to reviewing a product is really understanding what it does (and doesn’t do). When I inquired with MAC, they put me in touch with MAC Senior Artist Romero Jennings, and I asked him a few questions that I knew were on my mind, and hopefully, a couple that you were wondering, too!

temptalia: How would you describe Big Bounce Shadow?
romero: Big Bounce Shadows are a colorful collection of 16 bright, wearable metallic watercolor shades that inspire you to instantly feel that Spring has arrived! Don’t let these beautiful buildable creme shadows fool you, they wear extremely well in extreme weather conditions.

temptalia: What do the Big Bounce Shadows achieve?
romero: These shadows will set and stay in place without creasing. Even though the shadows are metallic I love to layer a nude matte color on top (ie: omega or cork eye shadow) for a diffused metallic day to evening finish. The effect is like “sequins under chiffon.”

temptalia: How should we use the new shadows?
romero: I prefer the soft fluffy MAC #224 Brush for an almost air brushed finish. Start by stippling the shadow then finish with a slight swirl for blended perfection.  Bright is back and it looks modern when paired with jet black mascara like the Studio Fix Mascara. This mascara has the Carbon Black ingredients which means it is really allows the lashes to stand out looking longer and thicker with only one swipe of the wand. I love adding more lash than liner with this bold shadow look for an approachable sweet but sexy finish. If you want an edgier, fun look try pairing the Big Bounce shadows with the Zoom Lash Mascara in bold, complimentary shades! The must have color that is sure to please is called “Blue Charge” – a deep navy blue that complements every eye color.

temptalia: How could one wear Big Bounce Shadow alone as a wash without creasing?
romero: I recommend a small dab of Prep & Prime Face Primer on lids before applying for a long lasting finish.

The description of these specifically (apart from the press release) also reads, “Eyes are fresh and luminescent with beautiful sheen washes of vibrant color using new Flighty Eye Shadows. This spongy, mousse-like eye shadow is lightweight, lasts for hours, and imparts a cooling sensation upon application.”

I’m in the process of revising my review and will bump it up in the next hour or two. It doesn’t change any of the results or testing I did, but it does change how it is graded, what is important, and how well it performed relative to the claims.