Apr 092016


MAC Future Collection - 15

As I transition back into more active blogging, I thought it might be useful to do a (very) quick overview of my picks from the recent Future MAC and MAC Mineralize collections. Both are focused on skin-enhancing textures. I focused my dollars on the powder products.

These collections are currently available at Nordstrom, (Future and Mineralize) Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillards.

MAC Future Collection - 13

Otherearthly is the most striking highlighter. Although intimidating, it’s actually sort of fun to use and creates a high-shine metallic light peach-rose gold finish. The look is pure MAC–bold, not a subtle sheen. There’s definitely a surprise factor with Otherearthly–depending on where you place your brush, you’ll get a different look. The two outer shades are rather smooth. The silver (not an overspray! It’s really silver!) doesn’t have a super-smooth texture. But you really can’t expect that (it’s a chunk of silver, hey!). And once the shades are blended together, the look is pretty spectacular. The swatches compare Otherearthly’s individual shades, mixed and swatch of Nuanced Mineralized Skinfinish (part of the Mineralized collection).

Mac Mineralized Swatches - 21

The new MAC Mineralized collection gives us five new options in a “pinwheel” format. These were a pure joy to work with–they’re creamy and with the four quarters, there’s a surprise factor that’s just absolutely fun.  I chose three:

  • Faintly Fabulous has a yellow color-correcting shade that can be used to brighten the undereye area. This gives a glowing light highlighter effect when all of the shades are mixed together that leans toward pinky-gold. I was surprised that the final mixed version wasn’t very yellow at all.
  • Nuanced is the most metallic and shimmery of these three. It gives a lovely gold-pink shade that’s just gorgeous. On my NC15 skintone, it can be used as a subtle high-shimmer blush.
  • Perfectly Lit is my favorite mistake. Technically, it’s too deep for my skintone and could never, ever be a highlight on me. It’s a gingery-shimmer orb of goodness that I have to apply very lightly as a high-shimmer blush.  If you look good in gingery deep shades, you might love this one.

All three had an excellent smooth formula. These deserve a lot of love if you are a mineralized skin finish fan.

MAC Future Collection - 5

Mac Mineralized Swatches - 10

MAC Future Collection - 6

Mac Mineralized Swatches - 11

MAC Future Collection - 7

Mac Mineralized Swatches - 13

MAC Warm Rose Mineralized Skinfinish is perhaps the most puzzling product of the lot.  It reminded me of Chanel’s Poudre Douce in Rosee that was discontinued in the U.S. some years ago. The Chanel allover face powder looks slightly cool pink when applied to my NC15/Cameo/Ivoire skintone. When certain kinds of light hit it, the Chanel powder gives a slight, soft pearly effect that’s just gorgeous. MAC Warm Rose has a similar quality, but it is not quite as pronounced. Indeed, the effect is so subtle that depending on the color/tone/texture of your skin, and the lighting, you might not see the effect at all. In that case, Warm Rose amounts to the most subtle highlighter on the face of the planet (truly, it’s more subtle than the Hourglass Ambient Light Powders). There will be a narrow class of people who might love Warm Rose. For others, it’s going to be best to skip. Warm, deep skin tones might find it looking ashy, and others may find it completely invisible.

MAC Future Collection - 17

MAC Future Collection - 18

There are two limited edition blushes with Future MAC–the soft pink/peach Ray Beam and the light nude Cosmic Force. The texture of both is satin-matte, and the formula is a creamy powder. These are both well done, but probably not must-haves.

Ray Beam is pretty, and I’ll get a lot of use out of it. It reminds me a little of Chanel Espeigel, but without the soft Chanel glow. MAC’s Ray Beam is softly pigmented, and it compliments Othereartly and Nuanced nicely.  In other words, it fits in nicely with the overall collection.

Cosmic Ray, a soft nude, was a miss for me. Although for some it would be a good contour shade, it didn’t have the complexity or depth that I was hoping for. My mistake was comparing it to Chanel Mocha, which has a deep mauve base note that looks amazing with Chanel Rosee (they always discontinue the nice ones). I’m including swatches so you can make up your own mind.

Mac Cosmic Force Ray - 1

Whew! So overall, I’d look at Otherearthly because that’s the most unusual star product out of this collection. I wish they’d made  pink and alternative nude versions of it. MAC Warm Rose is going to be a love-it or hate-it product (or a big “nothing-burger with nothing on the side” for some). The Mineralized “pinwheels” are worth your time–choose according to your skin tone. The blushes are well-formulated, the question is going to be whether these are colors that you are looking for.

I’ve heard good things about the lip products in this collection, but I had to draw the line somewhere. With the Sephora sale going on, and Tom Ford Bicoastal in stock, tough choices have to be made.

MAC Future and the new Mineralized collections are currently available at Nordstrom, (Future and Mineralize) Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillards.

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Feb 022016

mac flamingo park - 1

MAC Cosmetic’s Flamingo Park blushes ($22 each) released late last week, and so I thought I’d put up a few swatches before leaving town. Because most of these are so pigmented, I also ordered the MAC 184 duo-fibre fan brush ($25) to use the bolder colors more gently on my fair skin tone. I find this blush collection welcome, because MAC does blushes very well and these in particular are quite good. The powder is nicely milled, the colors last well, and the colors are fun and Spring-like. I love a nude look, but I also love beautiful wash of color. Some of these shades integrate more complex tones, such as Oh My!’s dash of red/pink and Life’s a Picnic red/coral.

mac flamingo park - 4 (1)

The two lighter shades–What I Fancy and Spring Flock–are both easy to wear colors that do not require special care in application for those in the medium to light skin tones. However, the more nuclear-pigmented shades (This Could Be Fun, Let’s Be Friends, Life’s a Picnic, and Oh My!) definitely require a fan brush. I found the duo-fibre MAC 184 fan up to the task–it’s baby’s whisper application allowed me to apply Let’s Be Friends without any problem when these arrived this morning.

mac flamingo park - 1 (5)

Keep in my that Oh My! is a MAC exclusive. The rest are easy-breezy to pick up at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other MAC sources.

mac flamingo park - 1 (1)



mac flamingo park - 1 (4)

If you are looking to keep your blush game strong, this is a collection well worth your time. Of course, care is needed with the deeper shades on fair skin, but nothing that a good brush can’t solve. Remember, Oh My! is a MAC exclusive. The rest are at Nordstrom, Macy’s, Bloomingdales, and other MAC sources.

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Jan 012016

MAC Faerie Whispers - 1

Typically, MAC releases a shimmery neutral collection around the first of every year (always a treat). 2016 brings the MAC Faerie Whispers Collection, a lovely little cache of easy-to-wear colors that brings a little glow to the winter months. This doesn’t seem to be selling out very quickly, so there seems to be time for your to pick something up if anything catches your eye.

These products are available at Nordstorm, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillard’s (as well as MAC online).

MAC Faerie Whispers - 15

MAC Faerie Whispers - 19

For me, the best part of the collection is the foiled eyeshadows ($20 each). These are not as finely milled as other shimmery high end shadows (including Tom Ford’s Nude Dip)(reviewed here), but they do have a generous size and a really flattering sheen that melds to the skin without overly-emphasizing creases on the lid.

These are pretty, pretty, pretty. The formula is very soft and pigmented, and the colors blend together beautifully. This time around, I ordered the light champagne gold Fairy Land, the copper Joy Toy, and the brown-red Faerie Fayre.  I’m really tempted to add a few more–they’re that good. I can see having several in my top drawer to add a little polish and glow to those early winter mornings.

I wish that I had skipped the two blushes in the collection, Spellbinder and Cheek Pollen ($22 each). Both apply well and have a nice sheen, but neither seems unique enough to me to justify the purchase.

MAC Faerie Whispers - 6

Spellbinder is a soft, light pink-coral that has a touch of a sheen.  It’s lighter and not as shimmery as NARS Orgasm. Although I didn’t find a direct duplicate for it in my stash, there are several that were close enough. Spellbinder is a very light-toned blush, so if you are looking for a pop of color above a contour shade, then Spellbinder might be worth a look. However, check your stash carefully because similar colors are common throughout the beauty world.

Cheek Pollen is a soft brown shade with a slight gold sheen. It’s quite pretty, and looks good as a neutral blush. I think that Givenchy’s Ambre Croisere ($51) has a better shimmery/glowy bronze tone. Nonetheless, Cheek Pollen does a nice job coordinating with the rest of the neutral shades in this collection. It just doesn’t seem to add much in the way of uniqueness to MAC’s already-extensive blush line.

MAC Faerie Whispers - 2

At present, I’ve passed on the lip products from this collection seeing nothing that I cannot live without (given that my collection of lip products is already large). Of course, Temptalia has done her usual amazing job with those (here and here), so I’ll refer you to her expertise on these.

Overall, I know I’m going to enjoy these choices very much over the coming months. Although I’m hovering over the “buy” button for a few more of these eyeshadows, these choices (sans the blushes) could carry me for several weeks for an everyday run-to-work look using neutral blushes and lipsticks already in my collection.  I highly recommend the eyeshadows. If you would like a glowy finishing powder, Sparkling Rose is perfect for the fair-skinned (warm or cool).

MAC Faerie Whispers - 3

MAC Faerie Whispers - 21

These products are available at Nordstorm, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillard’s (as well as MAC online).

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Sep 112015

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 1

Today, I had my first opportunity to try MAC Studio Waterweight SPF30 Foundation ($33/1.0 oz.), together with the new MAC #196 Slanted Flat Top Foundation Brush ($35). This set has been getting raves from makeup artists who’ve had a preview at Fashion Week events earlier this year, as a totally unique formula. There’s a lot to talk about!  This foundation is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillards

Mac Waterweight 1

First of all, MAC Waterweight is a serum foundation. It is in the tradition of Armani’s Maestro and Nars All Day Luminous Foundation, but different in very significant ways.  It has the weightless feel due to an extremely light texture, and needs to be shaken before use (if you don’t shake it, what can I say?).  However, NARS’ serum has much higher coverage–the All Day Luminous takes barely a drop plus to cover everything. Armani Maestro’s serum is an oil-based product. As the name suggests, MAC Waterweight has a water-base and it feels lighter than a feather. Really, it feels like one is wearing nothing at all. But what really sets MAC’s Waterweight apart is the glow (more on this later).

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 4

MAC’s gives light coverage with a swipe of the new #196 brush. So if you have any discoloration, or spots that haven’t quite healed yet, get ready to layer or conceal (Armani’s Maestro Concealer is a good choice here, because it’s super lightweight texture won’t interfere with the Waterweight’s lightweight look/feel). An alternative is to layer up the MAC Waterweight, which layers shockingly well.  I mean, at one point I just kept adding 5, 6 plus layers just for science. It was fine. 

More thoughts:

  • Unlike Nars and Armani, MAC Waterweight has a glowing, moisturizing look that is very unique because it seems to slightly glow only where the light hits it.  In other words, my face stayed relatively matte all day, except when I caught sight of my skin in certain light where it had the most healthy glow ever.  It’s an ethereal, healthy, “my skin but amazing” quality that looks like lit-from-within.  The finish really knocks a few years off and, combined with the lightness of the texture, makes me look like I’ve been eating way healthier than I do. It isn’t a sparkly-micro-shimmer glow. It’s sophisticated enough to be believable.
  • Without a primer or powder, I got all-day wear on my combination skin. I did not seem to get a glow on my forehead as I sometimes do with glowy foundations. I’m not sure what is giving MAC Waterweight foundation that glow that doesn’t get oily throughout the day, but they should bottle it. Oh wait, they did.
  •  Although coverage did not go all the way to full, even with my epic layering experiment, I found that the foundation did a fairly good job color-correcting for some areas of my face that are not super even.  Those with more dramatic discoloration may wish to add a color corrector, but I was quite happy straight out of the bottle.

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 12

Overall, I was not expecting to love another serum. I have a lot of love for this one.  Keep in mind that the bottle color will be lighter than the dry down on your skin, so wait that full minute before you judge the color.  If you are looking for a high coverage matte look, then keep looking. But if you are looking for a healthy glowing complexion, this is well worth investigating. MAC does have something very unique here

MAC Waterweight (and the MAC 196 brush) is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and Dillards.

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 10

I found that MAC NC15 was a touch on the lighter side for me, but not too far off.  The glowy quality gave me a fresh, clean-faced, healthy look. I’ve heard this from other NC15’ers.

Here are some comparisons with Too Faced Born This Way in Light Beige, Marc Jacobs Re(marc)able Ivory Medium, MAC Waterweight in NC15, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk 4.5, Nars Sheer Glow in Deauville, NARS Tinted Moisturizer in Alaska, MAC Studio Sculpt in NC15 and Chanel Lift Lumiere in Ivoire. 

MAC Waterweight Foundation - 15

My testing today was applied using the new MAC #196 slanted flat top foundation brush. This is like a huge version of the Shisheido Perfect foundation brush in shape and size. The MAC #196’s bristles are dense, dense, dense.  Also, the brush does not seem to absorb much foundation during use, which is nice. You aren’t sacrificing a lot of product to the tool used to apply it.

Some prefer a small brush, but I had no problem using this larger size.  It’s a brush, so the bristles have give. I was able to get into all the nooks and crannies with no problem.

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Sep 012015

mac studio waterweight

If you’ve been following MAC artists during this year’s fashion weeks, you’ve noticed a new foundation on the runway: MAC Studio Waterweight SPF 30 ($33).  This is due to hit online September 3rd on Mac Comsetic’s online site, and is due everywhere else September 10th. Here are a few images using this in the tester phase:

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Jul 192015

Paris Beauty CrawlHave you ever heard of a “pub crawl”? Or a “food crawl”? If you haven’t, these are little excursions where one can go from place to place, enjoying just a little bit from each, whether it’s drinking, eating, or what have you. I thought it might be fun to put together one possible Parisian beauty crawl  in case that you find yourself in the City of Light with some spare time on your hands. This is one of several possibilities.

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New York City: MAC Makeup Studio

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Jul 162015

825 Lexington - Exterior - ApprovedThis according to MAC’S Press Release:

M·A·C Cosmetics introduces the M·A·C Makeup Studio, its first ever retail location dedicated to the brand’s trusted makeup services, applications, lessons and professional artistry. Located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, this concept sets a global precedent for the brand.

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Jul 102015

MAC Pro Longwear powderDuring a makeup emergency (long story!) I bought the new MAC Prolongwear Pressed Powder ($26) in Light Plus on a trip several weeks ago. I integrated it into my daily routine immediately, without photographing the product or keeping the box as I usually do.  In the meantime, I’ve been impressed with this light-coverage, velvet-matte powder. I thought it was worth discussing even if my pictures aren’t complete. This comes in eleven (11) shades from Light to Dark Deepest. MAC’s Prolongwear Pressed Powder is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Dillards and other MAC sources.

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Jul 092015

NORDSTROM -  Shop Women's Beauty and Fragrance Exclusives
Here are some suggestions to explore at this year’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. As you know, Nordstrom cardholders get early access starting now. Prices go up August 9th.

Chanel Travel Makeup Set ($95) I wish that I had this with me today! This set contains all the essentials to create a complete and flawless makeup look. It offers a variety of shade combinations, helping to create different looks that will suit every occasion. The palette is matched with a travel-size Inimitable Mascara in Noir.

chanel setWhile you’re at it, you might want to look at Chanel’s Perle items which have also just arrived at Nordstrom.

chanel perle

Tom Ford Lips & Boys Set ($96).  I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of the Boys. This includes the lovely Flynn, Giacomo and Alejandro.

tom ford lips and boys

Guerlain Meteorites for Summer ($62). These will be exclusive to Nordstrom for a bit.

guerlain rainbow

Dior Eye Reviver in Rosy Palette ($62). According to the description box, this is a slightly different set of shades than the neutral brown one that we’ve previously seen.Dior

Yves Saint Laurent is providing early access to some Fall ’15 items here. The Glossy Stain set at $72 looks like a nice choice.

yves 4 yves 3 ves 2

If you don’t already have these Giorgio Armani Beauty Essentials ($72) please treat yourself. I really love their base products, and this looks like a wonderful way to get started. This set includes the Fluid Master Primer (1 oz.), the Fluid Sheer #2 (1 oz.), and a Mini Travel Brush for application of both/either._10874167Butter London The New Neutrals Set ($24):

butter londonThis set includes at a rather attractive price point:

  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Early Grey (0.2 oz.)
  • Fashion-size Nail Lacquer in Yummy Mummy (0.2 oz.)
  • Bloody Brilliant Lip Crayon in Tea with the Queen (0.1 oz.)
  •  Pencil Sharpener

‘Blame it on NARS’ Cheek Palette ($59).

blame it on nars

This palette includes ncludes:

  • Highlighting Blush in Satellite of Love
  • Blush in Day Dream
  • Blush in New Attitude
  • Bronzing Powder in Casino
  • Travel-size Ita Kabuki Brush

Bobbi Brown Secret to Standout Eyes ($85)


This set includes an eyeshadow palette with 12 shades: Cream, Champagne Quartz Metallic, Nude Glow Metallic, Moonstar Sparkle, Malted, Oyster Sparkle, Taupe Stonewash Shimmer Wash, Mica Shimmer Wash, Chocolate Caviar, Chocolate Bronze Sparkle, and Rich Navy.

Also, there is a Smokey Eye Mascara in Black (I’m assuming this is a mini), Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner in Black Ink (always useful!) and a Mini Ultra Fine Eyeliner Brush.

burberry fresh set

Burberry Nude Glow Set ($78) is a classic addition that can be used daily. This set includes:
– Full-size Fresh Glow Nude Radiance (1 oz.)(yes, full size!)
– Full-size Burberry Kisses Lipstick in Nude Pink (0.12 oz.)
– Full-size Bold Lash Mascara in Black (0.24 oz.)
– My Burberry Fragrance Sample (0.07 oz.)
– Burberry Pouch (looks rather huge and usable)

mac look in a boxIn addition to some lip and brush sets, there are two quiet surprises in the MAC Look in a Box – Sophisticate Face Kit ($49). This little beauty has two former limited edition blushes that sold out rather quickly and became highly sought-after:  Linda and Cream Soda. I’m using up my Linda blush, and although I can’t tell whether the colors in this palette will be identical to the full-sized version, the palette looks like a great one to pick up for travel.  Here’s the full description:

– Powder Blush in Cream Soda (light neutral coral) (0.14 oz.)
– Powder Blush in Linda (peachy tan shimmer) (0.14 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Hey (nude shimmer) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Sun Tweaked (burnt copper) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Wedge (soft muted beige taupe) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in With Flair (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in limited-edition Beautifully Charred (deep brown with pearl) (0.01 oz.)
– Eyeshadow in Dance in the Dark (deep blackened plum) (0.01 oz.)
– Lipstick in limited-edition Love Happens (warm light nude) (0.02 oz.)
– Lipstick Pan in True Red (vivid bright coral red) (0.02 oz.)
– 213 Fluff Brush/316 Lip Brush

Don’t forget to pick up your basics as well, including lingerie, the Zella Live-in Leggings, those boots that you’ll be greatful for next February, and a little something something to start your holiday shopping early so it doesn’t seem so intimidating come Thanksgiving.

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