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Round-up: MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Collection Reviews (and Extra Photos!)

MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Collection
MAC RiRi Hearts MAC Collection

Here is some picspam of the collection, along with some permanent products in the limited edition packaging that I’m not reviewing separately, plus a round-up of all the reviews from the collection! A few reviews will see their ratings added today and tomorrow as I work through wearing the remaining lip products. You can see official collection information here.

MAC tweeted out this information regarding the online launch tomorrow:  “Tick tock: The #RiRiHeartsMAC Fall collection arrives online tomorrow, 12PM ET in North America.”

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Round-up: Make Up For Ever Artisan Face Brushes

Make Up For Ever Artisan Brushes
Make Up For Ever Artisan Brushes

I’ve wrapped up all of the face brushes I had to review and test from Make Up For Ever’s new Artisan Brush range, so I thought a round-up was in order! 🙂 The biggest takeaways is that there is something going on with the manufacturing of the brushes that can sometimes leave behind an oily, greasy film all over the bristles, and I have yet to discover a way to get this to go away. I’ve tried harsher soaps to no avail. This residue was my biggest issue and really the major fault that I encountered–it was present in 2 of 9 face brushes.  I don’t know if this is an issue specific to particular brushes or if it occurs randomly (so any brush may be affected or just because the one I tried was, yours might not be), so I have a lot of hesitation about this brush range.

Of the brushes I tried, the one I liked the most was the #128 Precision Powder Brush, which I’ve been using even after I finished writing up the review and has a permanent home in the brushes I use regularly.  I haven’t personally incorporated any of the others into my regular brush rotation, which was more often just a result of me not using that particular shape or style often. Aside from the two that were greasy, the brushes were nice overall.  They felt well-made, didn’t shed, felt very soft against the skin, and densities were good (always in line with how they were advertised).  A few of the larger face brushes felt like the handles weren’t quite balanced with a lot of weight concentrated in the brush head and not enough in the handle itself.  I also really appreciated the breadth of the range, as there are many shapes and sizes to choose from.

Have you tried the new Make Up For Ever Artisan Brushes yet?  I would love to hear your experiences!

Make Up For Ever #150 Precision Blush & #152 Medium Highlighter Brushes Reviews & Photos

Make Up For Ever #150 Precision Blush Brush
Make Up For Ever #150 Precision Blush Brush

Make Up For Ever #150 Precision Blush Brush ($40.00) is supposed to be used for applying powder blush and sculpting products. The brush head is 26mm in length, 30mm in width, and 16mm in thickness. It has a pinched, metal ferrule, and a total brush length of 7 inches or 18 centimeters. The brush head is slightly angled and rounded, so it would work well for contouring and sculpting the cheeks or around the jaw and hair line. It is too large to work in smaller areas like around the nose. The bristles were soft, moved together nicely without splaying, and I didn’t experience any weird greasiness/oiliness with this brush. MAC 168 ($35) is fluffier, larger (narrower but longer). Sephora Pro Angled ($32) is longer and not quite as dense. Hakuhodo J511 ($33) is smaller and fluffier.

#152 Medium Highlighter Brush ($37.00) is a medium, rounded brush with a rounded, domed edge that’s circular all around. The brush head is 30mm in length, 25mm in width, and 25mm in thickness. It has a round, open metal ferrule and a total brush length of just over 7.75 inches or 17.5 centimeters. The handle is rather thick and rounded from right under the brush head to about halfway down the handle. It’s supposed to be a denser brush that can be used to highlight the face and body. It’s actually rather large for highlighting–I would probably want something about two-thirds the size of this for highlighting. This could work well for blending out highlighters, blushes, and so forth, and based on its shape, could also be used to apply liquid foundation as it can be buffed into the skin.

Unfortunately, no matter what positives this brush had, it was a greasy, oily brush, and no amount of washing seemed to extract the oiliness from it. I thought it would work best for applying foundation, but because the bristles were already sticking together, liquid foundation just made them stick together even more, so the finish was very, very streaky and I felt like a lot of product was wasted and trapped within the bristles. Hakuhodo 210 ($36) is similar but not as dense. MAC 109 ($32) is also similar but has a tendency to flare out a bit more.

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5 Shades of Stormy Gray

Earthy… weathered… how about five shades of stormy gray? Gray can be such a basic shade, but it can add a lot of dimension and depth, too, and sometimes it can look so modern and clean on its own.

  1. NARS Transvaal — can be used as an eyeliner or cream eyeshadow, it’s a medium-dark, creamy gray with neutral-cool undertones
  2. MAC Typographic — a classic, dark gray with a matte finish
  3. Illamasqua Raindrops — a smattering of silver flakes suspended in a bluish-gray
  4. Inglot #387 — a cool-toned, blue-tinted gray with a mostly matte finish
  5. Zoya Dove — a medium, warm-toned gray cream

What’s your current go-to gray shade?

L’Oreal Matte-r of Fact & The True Diamond Nail Lacquers

L'Oreal Matte-r of Fact Nail Lacquer
L’Oreal Matte-r of Fact Nail Lacquer

L’Oreal Matte-r of Fact Nail Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is a blue-teal with a matte finish. It’s a new and limited edition shade for fall, which I’ve just wrapped up testing, because testing took all of 24 hours–it chips like crazy. Matte polish, in general, does tend to chip on me far faster than regular polish (especially since regular polish almost never chips on me), but there were chips on every nail after a day. It’s opaque in two coats, and like most matte formulas, it dries down very quickly. I would recommend a ridge-filling coat prior, as you can see some ridges from my natural nails. MAC Screening Room is glossy, but it is the closest I could think of in terms of color. See comparison swatches.

L’Oreal The True Diamond Nail Lacquer ($5.99 for 0.39 fl. oz.) is a clear base with a lot of fine silvery-white shimmer and sparkle. It’s designed to be used as a top coat, and one coat has great coverage for a top coat–you’ll get plenty of shimmer across the nail. I used one coat over Matte-r of Fact, and a second would have been totally unnecessary. I used two coats of it alone on my thumb nail, just so you could see what the top coat looked like on its own. The top coat extended the wear of Matte-r of Fact by two days before there was noticeable chipping. I generally have no problems with chipping when I’ve used L’Oreal’s Colour Riche formula–it wears well and long for me (week)–and would expect this to be just fine over more normally-wearing polishes. I don’t personally have anything similar to this, so I didn’t have any dupes in mind.

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theBalm Balm Voyage Makeup Palette for Holiday 2013

theBalm Balm Voyage Makeup Palette
theBalm Balm Voyage Makeup Palette

theBalm Balm Voyage Makeup Palette is new for holidays, and I’ll have a review up shortly, but here are the official details and some photos I’ve taken of it to tease you for now 🙂 The palette is available through theBalm right now for $42.50.

Take a peak at this season’s passport to instant glamour- introducing Balm Voyage, a travel-friendly palette from theBalm cosmetics. Balm Voyage contains 16 jet setting shadows paired with 3 lip and cheek creams that stow away conveniently in your carry on. These luxuriously pigmented, triple-milled shadows have high visibility and can be used wet for an extended stay. With this first class collection, you’ll never fly red-eye, but a red-lip is always complimentary! All of these choices allow you to take your look in whichever direction you desire.

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