Showing posts with label MAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MAC. Show all posts

Friday, September 23, 2016

MAC Liptensity Lipsticks

MAC Liptensity Lipstick

MAC's latest is the Liptensity Lipstick ($21 each for 3.6 g/0.12 oz) which is an intensely pigmented lipstick with a satin finish. The pigment in these lipsticks is so good they are what I'd consider one-swipe wonders. If you're like me and love the rich pigment and saturated color of matte lipsticks or liquid lipsticks but hate that dried out matte look, the Liptensity lip colors will give you that full coverage without looking fake or dry. There are 24 shades total, all with a satin finish and no shimmer. The range is quite impressive and they seem to have covered a large number of colors from neutrals, corals, plums, reds, pinks and some bold edgy colors. I lip swatched the ones I could see myself wearing and every single color performs well.

Texture is smooth and creamy. They have a full coverage without feeling thick although they aren't necessarily weightless. There's no hydrating feel but they did not dry out my lips and feel comfortable once on. Lasting power is among the best I've tried and they stay put for a long time without fading as long as you don't touch your lips.

MAC Liptensity Lipstick

I split the colors by color group for swatches. All except the last category have also been lip swatched (I just couldn't bring myself to put on blue lipstick lol). In the photos I'm wearing the Prolongwear Foundation in NC35. (Still testing the formula to see if my skin can handle it.)

Neutrals include:
  • Driftwood which is a pale mauve nude pink
  • Doe is a light medium neutral beige brown
  • Toast & Butter is a medium brown
  • Medium Rare is a soft creamy pink
  • Smoked Almond is a medium peachy rose

MAC Liptensity Lipstick

MAC Liptensity Lipstick Swatches

By request I've brought back larger lip swatches but will also have side by sides at the bottom. Not sure that I will keep doing the individual lip swatch photos as they take up the entire page! I also feel self conscious that enlarging the photos allows you to see every imperfection on my skin :(






Next up are the reds and oranges. They're similar with slight variations in undertone:
  • Lobster is an orange red
  • Habanero is an orange
  • Fireworks is a bright red
  • Life's Blood is a blue-based red
  • Mulling Spices is a a deeper red








Next up are the browns and plums. These surprised me the most because they go on the lips different from what you see in the tube. These have a vamp feel.
  • Dionysus is a plum red
  • Cordovan is a reddish plum
  • Double Fudge is an intense brown
  • Burnt Violet is a deep vamp plum


 








MAC Liptensity

Up next are the pinks and mauves. Even though I'm a neutral lip lover at heart I really have a soft spot for Claretcast and Marsala.

  • Gumball is a bubblegum pink
  • Eros is a cool-toned bright pink
  • Post Modern is a warm bright pink
  • Claretcast is a fuchsia mauve 
  • Marsala is a mauve plum













Last but not least are the bold edgy colors. These are shades I could never feel comfortable wearing but arm swatched for reference.

  • Ambrosial is a vibrant fuchsia plum pink
  • Galaxy Grey is a grey lilac
  • Hellebore is a purple
  • Blue Beat is a navy
  • Stallion is a deep black




One last roundup and lip swatches side by side:


An impressive lipstick launch. The formula performs well and I love the sleek colorful packaging. The caps match the lipstick color and the lip product is one that fills the entire tube. I love that the tips are beveled which makes application easier than the flat top ones you see from some other brands. Most MAC lipsticks make my lips peel by the next day as they are a bit drying. I lip swatched all the colors in a single day and by the next day my lips were fully in tact without any peeling or dry patches. So while they aren't necessarily moisturizing I do think they have a non-drying formula. If you have dry lips with patches you might want to consider using the MAC Prep + Prime Lip or Dior Addict Lip Glow Pomade as a base first. Both will smooth out the lip without making them too emollient where the lipstick will slide off.

Out of the ones I lip swatched I'm really hard pressed to pick a favorite because they are all good. If I had to narrow down my picks to 5 it would be: Doe, Postmodern, Claretcast, Smoked Almond and Burnt Violet.

Bottom line definitely worth checking out. You can find them now online at MAC and Nordstrom. (I spotted them yesterday at my local Nordstrom counter.) At this time I do believe they are limited-edition.

Have you checked these out yet? What colors did you end up getting if you bought these?

Many thanks to MAC for sending me all the shades to play with!


Monday, September 19, 2016

The Fall Transition Makeup Bag


As we transition to the fall season I feel a shift in my mood for makeup to cooler tones and my fragrance preference has changed for deeper more complex kinds of scents. I always look forward to new launches and beauty trends for fall and this season has brought quite a few smaller mini collections rather than color-themed launches (with a few exceptions). There doesn't appear to be any "it" color this season and if right now you're unsure of what to wear for the upcoming fall season I say go for anything! I really don't think you can go wrong with any color this season whether it's shopping your own stash or adding a new lip or nail color. Mauves and plums will always be a classic go-to for the fall and will be wearable all the way through winter. I've teamed up with Nordstrom to round up some of my favorite timeless and classic colors. If you can't wear purplish plums on the lips or cheeks, you may want to opt for light to neutral mauves or reddish plums which I feel are easier to pull off.

Since everyone has different interests and preferences for what they like in beauty, I've split the beauty recommendations by category for lips, cheeks, nails, eyes and fragrance. Many of you have asked for a full dedicated feature on fall fragrance for perfumes and one for home fragrance - I promise to have one on each very soon! I'm testing a few more items and will hope to have reviews over the next two weeks.


Up first are the lip recommendations, my personal favorite. Quite a few of you have asked for neutral light pink-mauve lip recommendations for colors that won't turn too blue or fuchsia on the lips. I have a wide range from light to deep that I like.


Shown above:
  1. MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande II Lipglass is a really pretty soft neutral mauve lipglass. It has a tiny bit of shimmer and looks very natural on the lips.
  2. MAC Lipstick in Modesty has been a classic light pink mauve lip color. It's similar to Syrup which is another very pretty color. Modesty has a bit more warmth with more pink. The coverage is more opaque as well. They're very close - some of my friends have told me they can't wear Syrup because it's a bit too cool toned, in that case opt for Modesty!
  3. Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector #07 is a sheer tinted balm. It's also a light mauve color and the formula is a really good one to add a hint of color + hydration.
  4. Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Colors are relatively new to me. I discovered them this year and Bobbi is one of the newest shades that is a grege-beige color that doesn't wash me out. It's creamy and gives the lips full coverage with one swipe.
  5. Diptyque repackaged their Nourishing Lip Balm in tube format this season. It has a nicely hydrating formula that's thick and coats the lips with a veil of moisture. In terms of clear squeeze tube balms I think the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Lip Treatment is still my favorite for sensitive lips that can't tolerate scent. Both are very good though.
  6. Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfector #08 is a pretty warm deep plum red. Finish is sheer to medium. The color is deeper and brighter than the rest of the shades in the formula so this shows up better on the lips.
  7. Bobbi Brown Nourishing Lip Color in Desert Rose is a super creamy rose berry kind of shade. It's a lush full coverage formula and very comforting on the lips. 
  8. Chanel Rouge Allure Ink just launched in eight shades. Most are very bright and vibrant - I bought the only neutral which isn't plum or mauve. Amoureux is a pinky peach color. The verdict is still out on this one. I'll have a more detailed review soon but for now below is a sneak preview swatch.
  9. Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo in Recit is one of the prettiest plum reds I've tried before. This formula is excellent and I highly recommend it. All the shades are phenomenal in that range.
  10. Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Neutral Rose is one of the most classic kinds of warm pink rose colors I can think of.


Next are cheeks. I'm sure by now many of you are already well stocked on plums or mauves for lips. For me finding a coordinating cheek color has been tricky. I used to always gravitate towards peaches, corals or bronze for the cheeks for the summer and finding a good versatile cheek color to go with any variation of plum/mauve was tricky but I have managed to find three.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Mood Exposure is one I find goes well with the lighter mauve lips or darker lips. For something a bit more neutral with brown and pink mixed in is Charlotte Tilbury Cheek to Chic in Sex on Fire. It has the prettiest soft glow to it (not overly shimmery) so it wears very naturally on the skin while adding color and depth. MAC Blush in Plum Foolery is a classic shimmery plum. The gold shimmer adds an interesting warmth to the skin which I find naturally flattering. In the event you don't do shimmer on the cheeks, you may want to check out MAC Breath of Plum for a matte version.

For a good natural highlight and contour, I don't think it gets more classic than the Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze and Glow. It goes with everything for me and I love the packaging. The texture is really soft and blendable so it won't give you a harsh contoured look or sharp frost.



For eyes I love a good neutral shimmer whether it's tan, taupe, pink or bronze. Two favorites have been the NARS Dual Intensity Eyeshadows in Himalia (tan) and Telesto (bronze). For fall NARS launched a shimmery warm pink Rigel. These work well as an easy all over wash to brighten the eyes. Mascara wise I've raved about the Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. I just bought a second tube for my on-the-go makeup bag. It thickens, volumizes, holds the curl and doesn't smudge. It has a big fluffy brush which grabs my skimpy lashes and coats them evenly. I'm so glad I discovered it! Lash curling is always a must and I still find that the MAC Full Lash Curler has been performing really well for my eye shape.


Three shades shown above swatched below alongside a few other colors:


For nails I have yet to see an "it" polish color for fall. I think the two classics you can never go wrong with are a good vamp in which case Chanel Vamp is a classic or a classic nude pink. For me the two best neutral nude pinks are Chanel Organdi or Tom Ford Sugar Dune (paler on me). A new dark almost-black shade called Gris Obscur launched with the Lip Inks. I spotted it in store at counters so it should be available online very soon.



Last but not least are a few fragrances. As mentioned above I'll have a full fall fragrance line up but these are three I'll be transitioning from season to season. First is the Viktor and Rolf Flowerbomb which I still think is the perfect date night fragrance and the one my husband loves the most on me. It's one I consider very mainstream but one I think is just so so good in a spicy floral kind of way. I love that the Travel Spray version is indeed a spritzer versus the roller-ball format. Replica Lipstick On is one of the prettiest feminine fragrances that smells like vintage makeup. It's hard to describe in words except that it makes me feel girly without having that overly sweet smell. Le Labo Santal is one I recognize instantly on anyone who wears it whether they are male or female. I actually prefer it in candle form for the home but I love all things with any kind of sandalwood in them. 


What colors and scents are you wearing right now as we transition to fall? Are you embracing any on trend makeup shades or wearing classics? There are lots of great new fall beauty launches and each one has been unique in it's own way.

Would love to hear what you're keeping in your fall transition makeup bag or routine right now! For more recommendations Nordstrom has their Fall Beauty Trend Event section with Ultra Pretty Neutrals and Bold Shades of what is trending now at their stores.



Many thanks to Nordstrom for teaming up to sponsor this post. Press samples featured include the Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors, Chanel Rouge Coco Stylo, Chanel Vamp and Organdi and Replica Lipstick On.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

August Beauty and Skincare Favorites


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Quite a few of you have asked that I bring back my monthly favorites roundups so I have one for you today. Many of you like the rotation and roundup kind of posts, I still have the nail/hand care, foundation, hair styling and skincare ones in the work. For those who can't wait I'll say that my top three favorite foundations still remain the NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint (still Groenland + St. Moritz mixed), Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation (I use 125/Y315, all shades also available online in this value set now) and the Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick Foundation (my best match is 123/Y365).

Onto my favorites for this month which was difficult for me to narrow down. I'm still enjoying these Molton Brown mini hand washes and these lip treatments. In addition these liquid lips are really very good. I have managed to narrow down a list of my top favorites for this past month though even though a lot of loves have gone unmentioned:
  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyeshadows have been in heavy rotation because of their silky smooth texture, rich pigment, blendable finish and easy to wear shades. You can pick and choose your own colors to create quads, the one shown above has Sateen, Chiffon, Warm Taupe and Chocolate. To date I've accumulated quite a few you can see swatched here and here.
  2. Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara is something I discovered in a set from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I love this because it thickens, volumizes and holds the curl. It also looks super dark on the lashes. I will repurchase this.
  3. Dior Vernis in Minimal (c/o) is my current perfect pale polished nude. Review + swatch here.
  4. Diorskin Nude Air Luminizer Powder (c/o) is relatively new to me but it is hands down the most naturally luminous highlighter I've tried this year (out of the new ones launched this year). I think it's a must, swatches here.
  5. Anastasia Glow Kit in Sundipped is one of the prettiest palettes I think I've seen in a while. If you don't mind a good shimmer this is a great one for eyes and cheeks. I like mixing and swirling colors before applying to the eyes. Review + swatches here.
  6. MAC Eyelash Curler is something I picked up recently and was pleasantly surprised. My go-to Chanel lash curlers have seen better days after years of use and I don't think they're carried in the US anymore. The one from MAC comes in close second for my eye shape.
  7. Tom Ford Ultra Rich Lip Color in Revolve Around Me (c/o) best nude for me right now (actually since April of this year). You can see it swatched on my lips in this post here.
  8. Edward Bess Deep Shine Lip Gloss in French Lace is a pretty soft pink. All of his lip glosses reviewed in this post here.
  9. Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Kidman's Kiss (shown) and Super Cindy are both pretty close neutral peachy colors, I think the entire Hot Lips Lipsticks have been a knock out success, especially for those who like matte lips (she has the best matte lipstick formula in my opinion). The entire launch reviewed and swatched here.
  10. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk and Iconic Nude are my most reached for liners. Pillow Talk is a deeper pinky color while Iconic Nude is a brown nude. Both swatched here.
  11. Bumble and Bumble Surf Shampoo wins for best shampoo to clean the hair well with a squeaky clean feel but won't dry out the hair. It has a mild but fresh beachy kind of scent. Leaves the hair feeling soft and fluffy (but not frizzy). Even my husband likes it. September beauty events are just around the corner. I recommend putting this on your shopping list. I will repurchase this.
  12. Bumble and Bumble Surf Conditioner also is a winner. I rarely am in love with both shampoo and conditioners of the same formula/brand and typically have to mix and match. This combo is pure love. More in this review here.
  13. Tatcha Pore Perfecting Water Gel (c/o) is something I received earlier in the spring. It took me a long time to get into testing this because frankly I don't like face gels. They're often sticky or tacky and just don't absorb well into my skin. This one does indeed have a gel like consistency but if you massage it into the skin it melds in nicely and doesn't leave a film like other brands. I've been alternating this with Kate Somerville Nourish, both of which are lightweight for warmer weather. Neither will get greasy but have enough for my normal-combination skin. They wear very well under foundation too. The Pore Perfecting Water Gel is also available in a mini travel size. I love the packaging, the pump and the way it feels on the skin. Huge thumbs up. It also helps to smooth out pores.
  14. Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Mask remains my tried and true clarifying mask that is gentle, even when my skin has flare ups. It sucks up excess dirt and oil. I have finally lost count of how many tubes I've bought and used up.
  15. Kate Somerville RetAsphere™ Micro Peel (c/o) is a leave-on treatment for night that helps with skin uneveness and really works to improve texture. It's very gentle but I use it once a week. It's a micro-peel that infuses skin with retinol with 10% glycolic acid and lactose to help resurface skin. Out of all the skincare lines I've tried, I feel that Kate Somerville has truly been one of the game changers for my skin as I transitioned from my 20's to 30's. During that transition I went through a lot of stress and my skin suffered a lot with texture issues and repeated break outs. While I've worked to manage the stress, finding the right skincare has played a major role in improving texture. I've tried so many lines and out of all the ones I have tried, Kate Somerville all around has worked the best for me. I don't use a night treatment every night because I sometimes just want to let the skin breathe. The RetAsphere™ 2-in-1 Retinol Night Cream is one of the best most gentle yet effective night treatments I alternate with the Micro-Peel. The Micro-Peel makes the favorites list though because just using this once a week has improved my skin texture tremendously.
What are you loving right now? Do you have any favorites from the past month? As always I love reading about what you've tried, love and recommend. Even if something you tried hasn't worked for you, I still love reading about those experiences as well. Are there any colors or collections you've been smitten with as we transition to fall beauty?

Press samples featured indicated with a "c/o". As always all opinions my own.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

MAC x Star Trek Collection Picks


Last month I stopped by the MAC x Star Trek Preview at Comic-Con. The collection officially launches this month and is currently available online at MAC and Nordstrom but was available for early access to anyone in the San Diego area during the week of Comic-Con. I am not one who has followed Star Trek very closely and have never attended Comic-Con even though it is in my hometown, but I could not pass up the opportunity to see something MAC-related and was curious to see what the Star Trek collection looked like so I took an Uber for the first time in San Diego (second time I've used it ever!) to downtown since I knew finding parking on my own would be virtually impossible (or extremely expensive).

The MAC x Star Trek Preview was held a few blocks away from the San Diego Convention Center where Comic-Con is actually held. They had a space ship station setup with areas for makeup testing, makeup application and checkout. Everything was decked out in a Star Trek theme. You can see more from the event on Star Trek's website.




The day I stopped by some items were already sold out from the early preview. I ordered a couple more items once they popped up online and now have my picks ready to show you. The collection celebrates 50 years of Star Trek and at the event a tiny collectors pin and some Legos were given with each purchase. Everything as you can imagine has a metallic and space-like theme with lots of shimmer, glitter and glitz. All items have the silver Star Trek logo. The most conservative colors I could find and picked out:
  • Trip the Light Fantastic Powders ($34 each for 6.5 g/0.22 oz) in Luna Luster, Strange New Worlds, Highly Illogical
  • Pressed Pigment ($23 each for 3 g/0.1 oz) in To Boldly Go and The Naked Time
  • Lipstick ($18 each for 3 g/0.1 oz) in Llap and Where No Man Has Gone Before
  • Lipglass ($17 each for 4.8 ml/0.16 oz) in Pleasure Planet


Up first are the Trip the Light Fantastic Powders which are swirled highlighters. MAC describes these as sheer powders but I find that the color can be built for more pigment. I don't really find them sheer but you can blend the colors for a more sheer look. Luna Luster is a pale opal rose with tiny flecks of silver sparkle (they look like super tiny micro glitters), Strange New Worlds is a warm peachy rose shimmer, Highly Illogical is a mauve plum shimmer. I've been a long time fan of MAC Mineralize Finish Powders even though they can be very shimmery, I find these Fantastic Powders to have less frost and more of a softer sheen. They are still on the shimmery side though. My favorite is Strange New Worlds for the most natural sheen. The other two are more shimmery and have more contrast with my skin and work best as a soft highlighter for the cheeks or eyes.


Next are two of the Pressed Pigments, both of which are what I'd call glitter bombs. I've tried and used MAC Pressed Pigments before so I was aware of how sparkly they might be. I talked myself into being brave with these thinking I could pull them off (at least my version of brave). I cannot. They are simply too sparkly for me, even when pressed lightly over other matte shadows or when layered with other colors. The base colors are gorgeous. Not to worry for me though because I have a friend who is dying to take these off my hands, lol. Once on the lids there is minimal fallout and I will say they last an impressive amount of time.



For the lips everything was shimmery or metallic. Most options are for the person who likes super edgy looks. Where No Man Has Gone Before is a gorgeous metallic rose with golden sheen, Llap is a shimmering frosted beige, Pleasure Planet is a very sparkly multi-colored gold with a sheer yellow base. In my experience some MAC frost and shimmers look best with a clear or sheer gloss on top to help tone down the shimmer a bit and bring out the color. I think both of these lipsticks are in that category.


All swatched on bare lips, just as labeled:


Swatch comparisons:


I found the MAC x Star Trek launch to be a fun and innovative collection filled with lots of unique colors and interesting textures for shimmer and glitter. In case you haven't seen it, Karen at Makeup and Beauty Blog has a really fun series of looks on her blog of the collection. I had a lot of fun visiting the Star Trek setups at Comic-Con, it's always fun to people watch and the costumes are quite amazing. If I had to pick anything as a must-have, it would be Strange New Worlds Trip the Light Fantastic Powder.

The collection is available online and in stores starting today at MAC and Nordstrom as well as all other MAC counters. Everything is limited-edition.



Have you checked anything out yet? Or do you have anything on your wishlist?


 

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