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MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 2)

MAC Modern Pewter Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
MAC Modern Pewter Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 2)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.07 oz.) is a new formula that’s coming out in-stores April 5th.  It’s a hybrid powder that can be used wet or dry, with buildable color coverage, and wear for up to six hours.  If you’ve seen Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee eyeshadows, these are very similar in texture–but at least there is very little overlap in the shade range.

Here are official color descriptions for the five in this post: Modern Pewter (dirty olive gold), Rich Core (dirty aubergine), Sweet Heat (bright peach champagne), Warm Thunder (dirty silver grey), and Young Venus (pale white pink).

The good news is that these all felt and wore fairly consistently.  There weren’t major discrepancies from one shade to another.   Rich Core had one of the best textures–it felt extra smooth compared to the other shades–while Young Venus had a slightly grittier texture, though it would not be described as gritty.  Young Venus also had one of the frostier finishes.   Warm Thunder was the least pigmented (at least, when applied dry) of this set of five, while both Rich Core and Sweet Heat were quite pigmented both dry and wet.

From the previous review:  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.

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 2)

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MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadows (Part 1)

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.

9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter
MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter ($29.00 for 0.31 oz.) is described as a “light, soft white gold.” It’s a soft yellowy gold with a metallic finish. Gilded, soft, glowy, with a definite yellow undertone, but it’s not orange-y at all. Guerlain Terracotta Sun in the City is deeper, more molten gold. Estee Lauder Opulence is very similar. Chanel Shimmering Tweed is similar but darker.

Of the three shades that were released, I actually liked the texture of this one the best–it had the smoothest feel. The texture is dry but soft, and it applies smoothly so it really enhances the metallic finish. You can see it “in real life” in this video as well. If this is your first read-through of a review on this new formula, then if you’re familiar with Estee Lauder’s Powder Gelee formula, you’ll find this extremely comparable, if not dead-on. MAC may not describe this as a liquid, powder, and gel powder, but it’s very, very similar. There’s an $11 price difference, and with MAC, you actually get nearly twice the product.

So far, MAC’s product seems to wear a wee bit better as well. Yesterday, I tested out the wear of this shade specifically, and it held up well after eight hours with very slight fading around the edges. Even after ten hours, there was a little more fading, but it was still surprisingly intact for as long of a period as that was.  As with anything with a really metallic finish, it will emphasize the skin’s texture, but this does so very, very slightly.  MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinishes tend to emphasize pores on me, but this seemed like a fair trade off between emphasis and glowy goodness.

I see this working well on yellow-toned skin, those with warmer undertones overall, but because it lacks an orange/red undertone, it shouldn’t turn particularly orange on pinker undertones.  Between this and Superb, I don’t think I’d grab both unless you’re major fiend for highlighters or really love the finish of these.  I suspect they will all sell well, so you won’t have a lot of time to think about it, but nonetheless, I do feel you could survive with one and not both.

MAC Whisper of Gilt Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

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MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

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.

MAC Superb Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

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MAC Glorify Extra Dimension Skinfinish/Highlighter

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.

Glorify
Glorify
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
9
Longevity
4
Application
90%
Total

MAC Pink Tea Blush

MAC Pink Tea Blush
MAC Pink Tea Blush

MAC Pink Tea Blush

MAC Pink Tea Blush ($20.00 for 0.21 oz.) is described as a “neutral beige pink” with a satin finish. These blushes are really interesting, just because they tend to swatch and apply darker on the skin than they look in the pan. As I write this post, I’m staring at the swatch on my forearm going, “Really?” In the pot, it looks exactly as described: pale, neutral pink–almost looks a little gray–but swatched it takes on a light-medium pink with a hint of berry hue. It loses the neutrality and grayness entirely! It is crazy how different it appears swatched as well as when applied to cheeks. On cheeks, it looks a little more neutral as a result of not being terribly pigmented.

Illamasqua Chased is a bit similar, though cooler-toned. Chanel Tweed Fuchsia is a little lighter and more shimmery. Bobbi Brown Pretty Pink is a bit yellower. NYX English Rose is cooler-toned. And yes, it does bear a resemblance to Lovecloud, which is a little warmer (and on, Pink Tea is softer, more neutral). Also, while it seemed like it might be similar to also-releasing (in Reel Sexy) Pink Cult, they’re not quite–Pink Cult actually retains the grayish, slightly neutral quality that you see in the pan when swatched, and it’s much more pigmented. Pink Cult swatches more true-to-pan, so if you saw this shade and wanted something more like the pan, you may want to hold out for Pink Cult. Not entirely different but not quite the same.

Pink Tea had the sheerest coverage out of the whole bunch; it took some layering to build it up enough so you could see it in the photograph. I think on pale complexions, it could easily become a go-to everyday/natural blusher, but on medium to deep skin tones, it’s just not going to do much. The texture is dry but soft, and blending isn’t difficult, but partially, it’s a result of how little color gets deposited on the skin! I really thought I was going to fall in love with this one, but the way it changed colors on me conflicted with my expectations.  Have you ever had that happen?

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 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.

Pink Tea
Pink Tea
8.5
Product
8
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4
Application
83%
Total