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

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Future M·A·C Review - Mineralize Skinfinish, Mineralize Eye Shadow x4, Lustre Drops, Mineralize Rich Lipstick and Lipglass


MAC launched a new Mineralize Collection called Future M·A·C a few weeks ago. I have a few items I've been playing with for a few days now, some are press samples and a couple items I picked up from my local MAC counter. The theme of this collection is light and airy with a glowy futuristic feel. In past years I feel like you could simply blink once and find that almost everything from a MAC collection sold out within seconds or minutes of launching. I'm happy to see that items are still available for a while even if they are limited-edition. Today I'm reviewing some items including:
Up first is the Mineralize Eye Shadow x4 in Nano-Nude. This is my first time trying the Mineralize Eyeshadows so I did not know what to expect. I found all four shades in this palette to be very smooth and natural-looking. They do appear to have a baked formula which in general I'm not a fan of, but I was pleasantly surprised by how soft and smooth these were. The colors overall are on the light side and are sheer-to-medium in pigment. If you are looking for a no-makeup makeup look for the eye this is a good one. If you need color payoff or pigment you will be disappointed. Since I haven't tried this formula before I don't know if the color payoff in this one is typical or on the sheer side.


Left side is all four shades layered, right side swatch is the mattes only:


Next up are three lip items. I've never tried a Mineralize Rich Lipstick before on the lips although I've swatched them on my hand in store before. Cybernaut is a pale pink that does not work my natural lip tone. It's such a gorgeous soft pink in the tube but I can't wear these kinds of colors without looking washed out. Texture is smooth and it felt slightly hydrating on the lips.

For the Mineralize Lipglass I've tried a couple non-shimmer shades before. I like the formula for a very lush-looking high shine with a cushiony feel. The ones I have are medium-to-sheer but I found the two I tried from Future MAC extra sheer. The Zone is the prettiest nude-rose-taupe shimmer, on the lips it's sheer to medium in coverage that gives the lips a pretty your-lips-but-better kind of look. If you know of a lipstick this color please let me know because I think it would be amazing. Telegenius is sheer on my lips. It's a pretty iridescent pinky peach in the tube but only looks like transparent shine on my lips. I personally wish it had better color payoff - but that being said it can make a great layering gloss and I really like how smooth and lush it makes the lips look without feeling tacky.





The last bits of this review focus on three face/cheek products. I'm a huge fan of Mineralize Skinfinishes in general. Warm Rose is quite different from any other MSF I've tried. It's got a very powdery texture with a lot of kick-off powder. Finish is not as shimmery as most that I've tried, on me it worked as an all over setting powder for a soft translucent finish. It works right now but I suspect if I get any darker it won't work all over the face. There is a tiny bit of shimmer in the powder but it's not visible on the face (at least on me).

Otherearthly is all kinds of gorgeous. If you splurge on one thing from the collection try this one. It has mix of three colors including a peachy copper champagne, a shimmering pink and cool silver. I found the colors have enough separation to be able to dip a large eyeshadow brush into each section to apply separately. When swirled together with a duo fibre brush or blush brush the result is a really pretty glowy champagne peach with silver pearl mixed in. It gives a wonderful glow that isn't overly shimmery or frosty.

The Barbados Girl Lustre Drops is something that has been on my radar for quite some time. It's been launched with previous collections as a limited-edition item and this is the first time I've been able to play with it (it sold out in previous launches). It's a shimmering golden peach tan with gold/silvery flecks. This one gives the skin a slight tint of color but I mostly see shimmer on the skin. If you're a fan of the color but don't want sparkle flecks, I recommend opting for Tom Ford Fire Lust instead.


Out of everything I tested I think the best items include the Mineralize Skinfinish in Otherearthly and Mineralize Lipglass in The Zone. The other items performed well in terms of quality and texture - the colors just aren't really suited to my personal taste. I was really interested in the two Mineralize Blushes with this collection in Cosmic Force and Raybeam - I played with them at the counter and although they are really pretty, I felt they would be too light for my skintone right now.

Most of the items in the Future M·A·C are limited-edition (at least the items shown in this review) so if you have anything on your list I recommend checking the items out sooner than later. You can find them at all MAC counters right now. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdale's.



Did you check out anything from the collection? What did you think?

Press samples include items with c/o listed next to the name in the top listing. Other items purchased by me.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

MAC All the Right Angles Contour Palettes


MAC just launched four new contouring trios they call All the Right Angles Contour Palettes ($40 each). Each palette has three products cased in a two-tiered mirrored square compact to contour, shape and highlight with one Cream Color Base (4.5 g/0.15 oz) on the bottom, and on the top one Sculpting Powder (2.5 g/0.08 oz) and one Shaping Powder (2.5 g/0.08 oz). All the colors in this launch appear to be available for purchase individually with the exception of one of the Cream Color Bases in the Medium Dark Palette (Naked Universe) - so you may want to keep that in mind before buying one. MAC sent me Light as a press sample which I found too pale for my medium olive skin so I ordered the other three to review - partly because these are perfectly packaged for travel and also because I'm a huge fan of the cream color bases. Many of you have asked me what makeup items I've used up. At this point it's hard to remember every single thing I've used up and repurchased, but I have used up several cream color bases in the past (Hush, Tint, Improper Copper, Virgin Isle). I think they make great bases for powder eyeshadow or as a blush highlighter.


Onto the products in each palettes - the quality and texture of the products in the palette is the same as the individual options. For those new these products, I'll give a mini review on each in case you haven't tried any of the items before. Cream Color Bases retail for $22 (or $14 in Pro Palette Form). These are emollient solid cream based products that gives a soft dewy finish of color or highlight. They are extremely versatile and can be used on eyes, lips or cheeks and work well on bare skin or over powder/foundation. If you have oily skin you may find they get a bit shiny by mid-day. For my normal combination skin they last all day without fading or budging.

Sculpting Powders are available in several different formats as well. In the past they have been available separately similar to the MAC blushes. As of now they are mostly available in Pro Palette Form for $17 each or in Sculpt and Shape Duos for $22. These are semi-sheer matte powders that are darker in color designed to create natural looking shadows. I find these are best applied with a light and loose fluffy brush and also with a light hand - they go on the skin smoothly but as with any darker colored powder you want to lightly sculpt and build to create natural dimension.

Shaping Powders are lighter in color compared to the Sculpting Powders. They are are available individually in similar formats to the the Sculpting Powders with most of the Shaping Powder shades available in Pro Palette Form. The Shaping Powders have an ultra fine shimmer in them - but on my skin they have more of a satiny finish. The shimmer gives the powders depth and dimension. Finish is semi-sheer but buildable.

When it comes to contouring I'm a less is more kind of girl. I can definitely improve my technique and take more time to carefully contour the face or nose for a more polished look - but in the mornings when I'm in a rush I feel like contouring is an extra step I don't have time for. I often do add a bit of a darker powder or bronzer as a soft contour applied in loose soft sweeping motions around the edges of my face to add depth, but I rarely take the time to do an actual contour along the cheekbones, nose or eyes. I think proper contouring takes time to blend - it's something I'm just honestly too lazy to do on a daily basis. If you already own a number of contouring powders (ie from MAC, NARS or Kat Von D) I will say up front that you probably don't need the new MAC All the Right Angles Contour Palettes as they will replicate what you have. I do appreciate that MAC has launched these in travel-friendly packaging and that they have created four options for different skintones. It simplifies the contour/highlight options based on your skintone to three key shades rather than having a large palette of several colors you may never use.

Onto swatches of the palettes side by side and then close ups of each option:



____________________

Light has:

Cream Color Base in Luna which is a pale white pearl
Shaping Powder in Emphasize a soft white cream shimmer
Sculpting Powder in Bone Beige a soft warm-toned brown


____________________

Medium has:
Cream Color Base in Hush which is a champagne peach pearl
Shaping Powder in Accentuate is a peachy cream
Sculpting Powder in Sculpt is a soft brown taupe matte


____________________

Medium Dark has:
Cream Color Base in Naked Universe which is a tan gold shimmer
Shaping Powder in Lightsweep is a medium beige pearl
Sculpting Powder in Shadester is a deep medium warm brown


___________________

Dark has:
Cream Color Base in Improper Copper which is peachy copper shimmer
Shaping Powder in Warm Light is a medium peach
Sculpting Powder in Definitive which is a neutral deep brown



____________________

Many have asked what my MAC shade is - if you've read my blog over the years you know that I cannot wear MAC foundations or powder foundations because I'm allergic to their formulas. It's been at least 5-6 years since I've last tried a MAC foundation and depending on what time of year it was that I was matched, I've been anywhere from MAC NC30, NC35, C3, C30, C35 to C40. Bottom line is I really have no idea what MAC shade I am - but I'm usually within the medium olive tone range. Right now I'm in between NARS Velvet Matte Skin Tint in Groenland and St. Moritz or a Becca Aqua Luminous in Beige and for the MAC All the Right Angles Palettes, the best one for me is Medium. In Chanel I'm the Velvet Perfection Lumiere in 30 Beige. For Tom Ford I'm best matched to the Traceless Perfecting Foundation in 04 Bisque.

For tools, I like to apply the Cream Color Base with fingers on the eyes or cheeks - it can be a bit messy but it's what I like best. For the Sculpt or Shaping Powders - the compact is on the small side so taking a large fluffy brush will most likely mix the colors. I've found the MAC 116 Blush Brush, MAC 118 Small Duo Fibre or Wayne Goss Brush 02 work best of you want to apply on the cheeks. If you want more detailed highlighting or eye contour - any eyeshadow brush works.


If you're looking for a simplified contour palette with a shaping powder, sculpting powder and cream highlighter that's versatile and travel-friendly, these are great. If you already own a lot of contouring products these will probably replicate many of the colors you already own. In terms of contouring powders go I think MAC is on par with the Marc Jacobs Beauty #Instamarc Duos for quality and having a natural look - the Marc Jacobs powders are softer and have a more velvetly matte finish while the MAC is harder in texture with a slight shimmer in the Shaping Powders. I feel the texture of the Marc Jacobs is more velvety and powdery and some of the light shades can almost be used as a setting powder for under eyes while the MAC has a more natural less matte look if that makes sense.

You can find the MAC All the Right Angles Contouring Palettes for $40 each at all MAC counters. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy's and Bloomingdale's.

Have you checked these out yet? If not - have you tried any of the Cream Color Bases, Sculpting Powders or Shaping Powders from previous launches?

Light sent as a press sample. Other shades purchased by me.


Friday, March 18, 2016

MAC So Select Matte Lipstick


I've been a long-time fan of MAC lipsticks - I still remember the first ones I bought when I was in high school. I had saved up for what seemed like forever to buy a few including Pink Glaze, Wuss and "O" (two of which I think are discontinued now). Many of the formulas are drying for my lips but the colors are so good I just can't ever resist them. MAC just launched a new program called MAC Select which is exclusive to maccosmetics.com and MAC owned/operated stores. It's a loyalty program where you receive a unique member ID number that allows you access to certain exclusives, early access and more options for tracking your Back to MAC items. All the details on the program tiers here and FAQs answered here - you can register online (that's how I signed up) or in MAC stores. To celebrate this launch MAC released a new matte lipstick called So Select ($17 for 3g) which is described as a dirty rose. You have to be a member to be able to purchase it. I have a love/hate relationship with some of the MAC neutrals. Some look so so good swatched on the hand but then on my lips the color looks like death (ie Twig, Spirit, Whirl). Still there are tons of neutral options in almost every imaginable undertone so you're bound to find one that works.

So Select is indeed a dirty rose color. It's a neutral that has a slightly deep undertone. It's exactly what I hoped Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita would look like on me (which is a bit too dark for my personal taste). I've pulled a few other shades to compare it to for reference since with MAC neutrals on a computer screen and also in person, sometimes they can all look the same in the tubes. I've found myself really loving So Select - it's got some brown undertones but not too much that it looks like death, there's enough rose and pink that gives it a bit of life. A few more shots of the color in different lighting.




Swatch comparisons to a few other MAC Lipsticks (l to r) Mehr, So Select, Velvet Teddy, Cosmo and Brave, also Kat Von D Lolita shown next to it for reference:



I didn't reswatch KVD Lolita but you can see it lip swatched in this post here, the other MAC lipsticks shown above lip-swatched below:


I'm thrilled So Select is a neutral rose-pink-brown that works for my complexion. It's dark enough on my skin that it's not quite neutral, but it's still light enough in color that it doesn't look too vampy on my lips. As with other MAC Mattes, it has full coverage. If my lips are on the dry side, I do like to prep the lips with the MAC Prep + Prime first.


The MAC Select Program applies online and also in MAC stores but I haven't checked to see if they carry this one (I usually buy MAC products online directly from their website or shop in store at Nordstrom) - if you've spotted this in store let me know in the comments.

Bottom line thumbs up! Have you tried this shade yet? What did you think?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Inside My Bag


February flew by so quickly, I cannot believe it's March but I'm excited for spring. I've been working my way through swatching all of the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipsticks and hope to have the post up by the end of the week (fingers crossed my lips can handle the swatching). A few of you have asked for a review of my Celine mini belt bags (seen here and here) - I haven't really done purse or accessory reviews but will definitely do one on both in the upcoming weeks so stay tuned!

Here's a peek of what I have in my bag right now. I've been loving my Prada Saffiano still - I think I've had it going on 2.5+ years now and it's held it's shape remarkably well, hasn't shown any signs of wear or scratches and is extremely versatile for a number of different occasions and outfits. I've had my eye on the Saffiano Cuir Double Bag in black ever since I saw that they started carrying a small one on Extra Petite. She has a really good review and comparison (although my camel tote is a different style and has different dimensions compared to hers). It takes me months to decide on a splurge - I've been looking for a classic black leather tote for a long time, but cannot make up my mind because size and structure is really important to me.

Inside my Saffiano Tote this week:
What's in your bag this week? Any new beauty discoveries from the weekend?

Press samples featured include the Tatcha beauty papers and Truffle clutch+case.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Chinese New Year 2016 Armani Highlighting Palette and MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer for the Year of the Monkey


Happy Chinese New Year! Today marks the day many of us celebrate Chinese New Year and this year's zodiac animal is the monkey. There are some cute beauty items that have launched to celebrate this event, I have two to feature today. One being the Armani Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette ($88 for 8.5 g/0.3 oz, made in France) and the other is MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer ($17 for 3g/0.1 oz, made in Canada).

Up first is the new highlighting powder from Armani. The Chinese New Year Highlighting Palette comes in a mirrored compact with a compartment for a small brush. The packaging design is similar to that of other highlighting powders and the powder foundation. It's a very soft and subtle highlighter in a gold shade. It does have quite a complex mix of shimmers from champagne and gold. I found the finish to be on the sheer side but it is buildable. Depending on how the light hits the compact, sometimes the color will look more golden and yellow, other times the shimmers will reflect to show more of a champagne colored shimmer. It comes cased in a stunning red lacquered compact. On the top is embossed the Chinese character for good fortune. It was difficult to capture the shimmer in this one but depending on how you apply it, you will see tiny bits of micro sparkle, almost like superfine tiny bits of glitter. It's very smooth on the skin though, there's no texture or chunkiness to the feel.


A look at the packaging design:

Swatched with a heavy hand otherwise it would not show up on camera:



A few swatch comparisons below to:

Armani Fluid Sheer #2 (also swatched here)
Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Luminous Light (review)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder Brilliant Strobe Light (swatch)
Hourglass Ambient Strobe Lighting Powder Euphoric Strobe Light (review)


I think it's a nice collective piece to own if you celebrate Chinese New Year or if you simply love Armani highlighters. I find it special because of the packaging design and since I am Chinese, I do think it's a fun piece to own. In terms of the color and quality, it's a high quality powder with a finely milled texture to add a nice glow. On me I find it very subtle. I suspect some may find it too subtle or may not like the tiny gold micro sparkles. I like that it doesn't emphasize pores and it feels very smooth on the skin. That being said, I do prefer the Hourglass Ambient Strobe Powders to this one.

Next up is something from MAC. They've curated a collection of some of their top-selling items (repromotes and permanent items) for the Year of the Monkey Collection - shades inspired by Chinese opera. Online and in MAC stores they have a special gold envelope (while supplies last). I ordered Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer online as it's always been on my radar but I never caved and ordered. It's a beautiful sheer grapefruit color. It's bright but not too bright. You can find the color at all MAC counters and online. It's just the envelope that is limited-edition and exclusive to MAC online/stores. This comes in the lustre lipstick formula which is sheer but buildable. Your natural lip color will show through if you only swipe it across the lips once and it has a naturally glossy finish.




Swatch comparisons to:

Buxom Bold Gel Lipstick in Coral Confession (swatched here)
YSL Glossy Stain 42 (swatched here)


I think the Armani palette is a nice item to have, but not a must. I ordered mine sight unseen as I did not see it available at any counters near me. Had I been able to test it in person I suspect there's a good chance I still would have purchased it because of the packaging and personal meaning. MAC See Sheer is a good wearable coral that adds life to the complexion. It's a brighter shade compared to my natural preference for nude lips but I still find it very wearable and easy to pull off for everyday.

The Armani Chinese New Year Palette retails for $88 and is limited-edition. You can find it online at Nordstrom, Giorgio Armani and Saks Fifth Avenue.

MAC Lustre Lipstick in See Sheer retails for $17. You can find it at MAC stores and online (they will send a gold envelope with any Chinese New Year collection purchase while supplies last). If you're just interested in the lipstick, it's widely available at all MAC counters. Online at Nordstrom, Macy's and MAC Cosmetics.

Did you check out any of the Chinese New Year beauty items this year? Happy New Year to those who celebrate!

Monday, January 11, 2016

MAC Huggable Glass


I picked up a few of the MAC Huggable Glasses ($20 each) last month from my local Nordstrom. I've been a fan of the Huggable Lipsticks (I'm glad that MAC brought these back) so I was excited to learn that they were releasing a lipgloss formula. I swatched them all on my hand in store, but I rarely ever put testers on my lips for sanitary reasons. They seemed semi-sheer to medium in coverage and several of the colors looked really similar but was told that they are limited-edition so I picked up one of each of the neutrals. After playing with these at home, I'm really smitten with the formula. If you're one who thinks the regular Lipglasses are a bit too sticky (I personally don't mind them), well the Huggable Glass is a lot more smooth in texture. They glide on the lips and feel weightless but offer a nice wash of color to the lips. There is the signature MAC vanilla scent to these which I really love. Coverage is sheer to medium. You can swipe it for a bit more coverage, but overall I will say these are on the sheerer side. You can layer them over lipsticks for added shine or depth. Lasting power isn't quite as long as the regular lipglasses but I still found they lasted a decent amount of time on the lips before fading.

The colors I picked out include the neutrals, from top to bottom (all creams, no shimmer):
  • Pleasure First is a sheer pinky beige
  • Sweet Persuasion is a medium mauve pink
  • Kind Kiss is a sheer light peach
  • Keep it Light is a neutral cool beige
  • Cool Cutie is a peachy coral
  • Such a Sweetheart is a brighter peachy pink


These come with a flat tipped sponge applicator which is easy to use:


Swatches of all the colors below:


On the lips, many of them ended up looking the same. Out of the first four colors, I could have skipped Kind Kiss and Keep it Light, both of which are pretty sheer and almost non-existent on my lips. Sweet Persuasion has the best coverage and pigment on me even though it's very natural. Pleasure First looks similar but is slightly lighter and makes for a good nude gloss.

For the last two, I found Cool Cutie and Such a Sweetheart also similar. Such a Sweetheart is brighter, more pigmented and pulls more pinkish on me, while Cool Cutie slightly sheerer and warmer.

Your mileage may vary depending on your natural lip tone. These do offer some coverage but as you can see most are sheer to sheer-medium in coverage.


I'm overall pleased with the texture and feel of these. I could have skipped a few of the sheerer ones (Kind Kiss, Keep it Light and possible Cool Cutie). There were a couple of gorgeous milky pink ones but they settled into the fine lines on the back of my hand and looked a bit streaky I thought there would be a good chance they would look streaky on my lips as well so I passed. At the counter some of the brighter colors caught my eye but they were very cool-toned which doesn't always work on my olive skin.

My top two favorites are Sweet Persuasion and Such a Sweetheart. The others are nice, but given the sheerness and similarity not must-haves although I suspect they will be really good layering colors if you're the type who likes to line and fill with a neutral lipliner and then top with a sheer gloss (my favorite neutral lipliners in this post here).

Have you checked out the MAC Huggable Glass yet? If so which colors? You can find these for $20 each at all MAC stores and counters now. I believe they are limited-edition. Online at Nordstrom, Macy's and MAC.


 

design + development by fabulous k | COPYRIGHT © 2009-2016 THE BEAUTY LOOK BOOK