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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Collection, Brush Kits, Mini Kits, Bag Sets and Palettes for Holiday 2016

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Collection Review via The Beauty Look Book

This year MAC Nutcracker Sweet collection is one of the most whimsical and fun collections for the holiday season. Everything is packaged in this eye-catching bright pink/gold/purple casing which is just so pretty. There are a lot of products in this launch - it's massive! I have a mix of press samples and purchased items that I'm reviewing today. MAC has pretty much covered everything with this launch so there literally is something for everyone. Items are split into the following categories:
Nutcracker Sweet Collection 
Nutcracker Sweet Brush Kits
Nutcracker Sweet Palettes
Nutcracker Sweet Lip and Eye Bags
Nutcracker Sweet Retro Matte and Mineralize Kits
Nutcracker Sweet Mini Kits
Nutcracker Viva Glam Sets

I have a peek at something from five of the categories. Up first is the Nutcracker Sweet Collection consists of individual full-sized items that come in the pink, gold and purple packaging. Most of the items are new/limited-edition colors but there are a few repromotes in eyeliner and pigments. My picks:
  • Magic Dust Powder in Yum Yum Yum (c/o) is a soft sheer pink that gives the cheeks the prettiest hint of pink, it is on the sheer to medium side and the shimmer is very very fine so on the cheeks it's more of a satin finish
  • Magic Dust Powder in Sweet Vision is a more pigmented shimmering peach gold powder
  • Magic Dust Eyeshadow in Forward March is a soft warm gold shimmer with excellent texture and pigment, it's smooth and easy to blend
  • Magic Dust Eyeshadow in Pretty Dainty (c/o) is a warm shimmering pinky peach color, also smooth and medium in pigment but buildable
  • Eye Kohl in Prunella (c/o) is a repromote, it's a classic shimmering deep plum
  • Matte Lipstick in So Good For You (c/o) looks red in the tube but is actually a pink fuchsia, with dark mattes I have a hard time applying evenly straight from the tube so I often need a brush with colors like this, as a matte formula it has a super opaque texture that hugs the lips
Everything performs really well and the quality is on point. I love the Magic Dust powders - they come with the prettiest embossed star patterns and I think both of the colors are very wearable.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - So Good For You

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - So Good For You

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - So Good For You

Face Compacts are probably my favorite of the item and have sold out online at MAC but you can still find Peach online at Nordstrom. They have a unique hybrid cream/powder texture which is stiffer and harder than a normal powder but they meld in with the skin nicely, don't emphasize pores and last a long time on the skin. I can't pick a favorite - they are both really good, but if I had to pick one, the Copper Face Compact is just incredibly beautiful. I use a regular blush brush like MAC 129 to apply.
  • Peach Face Compact has Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Tutu and Extra Dimension Blush in At Dusk is a light cool champagne shimmer and soft pink shimmer
  • Copper Face Compact (c/o) has Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Whisper of Gilt and Extra Dimension Blush in Pleasure Model is a shimmering gold and warm coppery peach
Note these are applied with a very heavy hand in the swatch but they are easy to blend for a softer look. The shimmer blends out to a very soft glow without the garish frost.
MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Peach and Copper Face Compacts

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Peach and Copper Face Compacts

Eye Compacts are mirrored compacts with 9 eyeshadows and a dual-ended brush. I found the names odd as they didn't really match the color theme of shadows inside. The pigment and colors performed well like individual shadows for the most part with the exception of a few shades in the Warm Eye Compact. Texture in the Warm Palette seemed a bit stiffer and harder in general.
  • Warm Eye Compact (c/o) left to right includes:
    • Filament (lustre) is a pale ivory pigmented lustre
    • Whirling is a (lustre) is a pigmented silvery taupe frost
    • Era (satin) is usually a great soft matte neutral in the full size, this one is a bit chalky and stiff to apply
    • Woodwinked (veluxe pearl) is a medium warm brown shimmer
    • Unwind (veluxe pearl) is an olive-gold shimmer
    • Lady Fingers (matte) is a matte yellow with medium pigment
    • Twelve Chimes (lustre) a sheer stiff taupe grey brown with a bit of shimmer, finish is also sheer unless you apply with a dense brush over a base
    • Showstopper (matte) is a matte sheer stiff matte cool brown, pigment is horrible on this one - I had to swatch with a very heavy hand
    • Beyond Gorgeous (veluxe pearl) is a stiff sheer black with gold flecks which is odd for a veluxe pearl formula, it's good when applied with a tiny detail or liner brush, but if you use a larger brush finish is sheer and patchy
  • Smoky Eye Compact was one I had my eye on so I ordered it online sight unseen, for me this works better for my coloring and also has fewer lustre eyeshadows which I'm not a fan of. The colors inside include:
    • Too-dle-oo (frost) is a soft champagne shimmer
    • Deception (frost) is a medium cool taupe bronze shimmer
    • Sweet Dreams (matte) is a soft latte brown
    • Kid (veluxe) is a warm brown matte
    • Dewdrop (lustre) is a shimmering peachy pink
    • Cake and Biscuits (matte) is a warm brown
    • Swiss Chocolate (matte) is a warm matte deep brown
    • Dance in the Dark (matte) is a dusty cool matte brown
    • Licorice Lane (matte) is a warmer deep brown
In general the Smoky Eye Compact shades performed better than the Warm Eye Compact colors for me. The brushes in both compacts are well made and shaped.
MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Warm and Smoky Eye Compacts

MAC Nutcracker Sweet - Warm and Smoky Eye Compacts

Lip Bags come in several variations. I have the Nude Lip Bag (c/o) which includes all neutrals and they are all just perfect:
  • Prolongwear Lip Pencil in In Control is a warm pinky brown neutral
  • Vamplify in Tuned In is a medium pink nude with a hint of shimmer it has full coverage, long lasting power and a very nice shine
  • Cremesheen Lipstick in Magic Spell is a cool pink neutral with a lovely sheen

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag - Magic Spell Lipstick

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag - Vamplify Tuned In

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Lip Bag - Prolongwear Lip Pencil In Control

The Sweet Plum Eye Bag (c/o) has four color-coordinated soft plum colors in a zipped bag, the colors are really pretty for the plums:
  • Teckhnakohl in Purple Dash is a soft shimmering light plum color
  • Paint Pot in Stormy Pink is a mauve pink matte - these make great eyeshadow bases
  • Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in Smoky Mauve is a frosted soft mauve color
  • False Lashes Mascara in False Black is a black mascara, it doesn't smudge or flake, but for me it doesn't hold the curl as much as other formulas do

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Plum Eye Bag - The Beauty Look Book

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Plum Eye Bag - The Beauty Look Book

There are a number of mini sets for lips and eyes. I received the Nude Patentpolish Mini Set (c/o). As I already own all but one of the colors I didn't re-swatch this one to review as it's going to be re-gifted.
  • Pleasure's All Mine (review here)
  • Revved Up is a shimmering peachy color
  • It's Really Me (review here)
    French Kiss (on lips here)

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Nude Patentpolish Minis - The Beauty Look Book

Last but not least is the Brush Set in the Basic option (c/o) which includes mini short handled versions of 190SE Foundation Brush, 129SE Powder/Blush Brush, 213SE Fluff Brush, 209SE Eye Liner Brush and 316SE Lip Brush. As I already own a number of short handled brushes I did not test this one out but to the touch, they are soft and cut evenly. This is going to be gifted to a friend.

MAC Nutcracker Sweet Basic Brush Set - The Beauty Look Book

Overall lots of great options for holiday gifting. Everything is covered from lips, cheeks, eyes and brushes. The highlights for me are all the cheek items including the Magic Dust Powders and Face Compact Duos. The Nude Lip Bag falls close behind and even though I already own one of the colors, I think the lipstick is just perfect. Two more items I am ordering for gifts are the Sweet Nude Lipstick Kit and Sweet Nude Lip Gloss Kit as both are $35 each and great little sets.

All the items are limited-edition so I would recommend gathering your list sooner than later and order because a few items have already sold out. You can find the collection in stores this week. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdale's and Macy's.

Did you check out anything yet? What were your picks? If not what's on your wishlist?

Press samples included with c/o listed next to the names. Other items purchased by me.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

MAC Selena Collection

Today MAC launches the Selena Collection as a tribute to Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla. The collection has been curated by her sister and items are available online at MAC Cosmetics starting October 1st and will be available in stores starting October 6th. If you are a MAC Select Member you may have already been able to shop the items early. I received a few pieces as press samples for review which I have thoughts and swatches to share today.


Up first are the eye products. I received two in Fotos Y Recuerdos a soft warm satin pink and Selena a stunning violet ($17 each). Both are shades I wouldn't normally wear but I have been experimenting with purples by layering it with other neutrals. Both are sheer to medium in coverage with a soft sheen.

In addition there is a repromoted Liquid Liner ($21) in Black Boot. I'm not a liquid liner expert. I would actually call myself liquid liner challenged. I've pretty much stuck with the same brands for a few years (roundup + comparisons from a couple years ago here). I would say for me the easiest ones for me to use are the Tom Ford Eye Defining Liquid Liner Pen and the Club Clio Waterproof Pen Liner (also shown here). Back to the MAC liner - the tip is short and stiff and after trying it a few times I found it challenging to get an even line without having it bleed. It's possible I'm applying too much or need to change the application method (I tried feathering and also dabbing). If you know how to use this let me know, I would greatly appreciate tips.

Two of the three lipsticks are shown below in Dreaming of You (Matte) and Como La Flor (Amplified) $18 each. Dreaming of You is a deep matte red. Como La Flor is a striking creamy red with a slight sheen. Both are smooth and full coverage.

Last but not least is the Powder Blush in Techno Cumbia ($29). I'm one of the biggest suckers for MAC cheek products and I think I've collected almost all the Mineralize Skinfinishes (shimmer ones) to date. This one has no shimmer and has a brown portion on the top and soft pink brown on the bottom. I have mixed feelings about this one because of the color. Texture is smooth and applies well with a blush or duo fiber brush. Pigment is pretty rich. On the arm it applied patchy but for the face it goes on smooth without issues for me. The color is fairly dark on my skin making it almost too deep and almost muddy looking as a regular blush. For me it works better as a very soft contour almost bronzer color. I suspect if you have tan to deeper skintone this will match your skintone more to actually look more like a natural blush. I'm a NC35 or NC37 in the MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation and a 3.0 in Matchmaster and this is too dark to wear as a blush.

Overall a fun collection and I am happy to have tried a few pieces. I would have liked to try the neutrals as that's what I wear everyday - there are a few neutral eyeshadows, a neutral lipstick and a sparkly lipglass. I'm going to try and track them down. Collection is available online at MAC Cosmetics starting October 1st and will be available in stores starting October 6th.

Do you have your eye on anything from the MAC Selena collection?

MAC Selena items featured sent as press samples for review.

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!


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