Jan 082015
 

Mac Spring trend palette swatches01

MAC’s Spring Trend ’15 palettes have been released for a few months now, but in this deep cold weather I thought it would be fun to post some swatches to remind myself that Spring is just around the corner. These are both available on maccosmetics.com.

Mac spring trend palette 152

The MAC Spring ’15 Lip and Cheek palette ($40) is an outstanding combination of flattering shades from almost every color family. How beautiful is this? The formula works for both lip color and blush.

Mac spring trend palette 153

How yummy is this? I cannot wait to wear this as the sun starts to peek through the sky once again. Swatches:

Mac Spring trend palette swatches10

The MAC Spring ’15 Trend palette ($40) seems a little more mixed, but I still thought it worth the price. I think that I’ll love using some of the shades, although the light green and blue look a little challenging to me.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches03a

The neutral urbanist, coupled with the brown-burgundy power player and eggplant night walk look outstanding to me. This will be fun to dig into soon.

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Swatches of MAC’s Spring Trend eye palette:

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Both palettes use a cream formula. Although I haven’t had much time to play with these yet, these look like the perfect play palettes once the weather starts warming.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches09To everyone suffering through challenging weather right now, my thoughts are with you. Hopefully as you read this you are safe, warm and comfortable. Cheers!

 

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Nov 302014
 

MAC Concealer1MAC released the Matchmaster Concealer ($21) several weeks ago. According to the line:

A colour-true concealer that provides medium buildable coverage with a natural satin finish. Formulated with the same Shade Intelligence Technology as our Matchmaster line, this colour-true formula lasts for up to eight hours. Helps conceal and correct the look of under eye circles and discolourations. Comes in a convenient portable stick. 

This can be found at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other MAC sources. I purchased 1.5, which is seems like a good match for my MAC NC15 skin tone.

MAC Concealer2 copyThis highly packable format makes it ideal for travel (no TSA baggie needed!), or for your daily makeup bag for touchups.This has a pigment-rich texture, which means that you get high coverage while using a thin layer of product. I found that this works well for the under eye area. It tends to stay where it is placed, meaning that this doesn’t migrate into fine lines. Also, because this gives excellent coverage without using much product, I can cover my under eye area without caking up. MAC Matchmaster Concealer does not advertise any moisturizing properties, and it does not appear to have any based on my experience either. However, there is no shortage of fabulous moisturizers in the world, so that can be added separately. This had great lasting time–really, all day coverage.

MAC Concealer4 copyMAC Matchmaster Concealer is dual-purpose–it gives great coverage for any discolored area of the face. Any redness around the nose, or dark spots, can be blended away with a wave of the wand. I’m sure the more talented readers can use one of the deeper toned colors as a natural contour.

MAC Matchmaster Concealer copyIngredient list:
MAC Concealer5Overall, this mid-priced concealer is a nice addition if you are looking for a highly pigmented concealer that does not cake up. For the record, the coverage of MAC’s Matchmaster is not as dense as Laura Mercier High Coverage Concealer or the Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer. A completely subjective assessment puts the coverage of MAC Matchmaster a bit higher than the liquid MAC Pro Longwear. However, not everyone needs bullet-proof. MAC Matchmaster offers a quite natural-looking option that seems to blend beautifully onto the skin and with liquid foundations.

This can be found at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other MAC sources.

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Oct 312014
 

MAC Holiday goodies07 copyI love pigments, and MAC seems to do some of my favorites. Over the past few years, I’ve gifted away or sold many of my full-sized jars. I couldn’t resist picking up three of the sets from the MAC Objects of Affection collection ($35 each). Because of their small size and variety, these sets are a great way to collect a wide variety of colors and textures (including glitters for nail accents) without investing too heavily. These sets are currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s (except for the Bronze set, which is a MAC exclusive). All swatches here are made with a wet brush.

MAC Holiday goodies02 copyThe Gold + Beige Pigments + Gilitter are a beautiful choice for those looking for a little shimmer and shine in warm neutrals. The golds in this set are dramatic, subtle and beautiful–especially English Gilt, a bright champagne (the second swatch from the left).

MAC Holiday goodies11 copyThese jars are small–they work best when using the back of my hand as a palette to mix with water or mixing medium. The Deep Brown is really well pigmented. I sometimes forget how beautifully these apply–the colors are amazing.

MAC Holiday goodies12 copy

Each of these sets has a glitter, which is fun for nails.

MAC beige and gold4 copy

The Bronze Pigments + Glitter set is a set of dramatic, warm bronzy neutrals.

MAC Holiday goodies06 copy

 

Each of these little bottles is rated at about 0.09 oz. each. Fortunately, you need so very little to get a dramatic look that it is inconceivable to me that you would ever use on these up. All three sets have little covers under the caps to guard against massive loss in case of a spill.

MAC Holiday goodies09 copySwatches of the Bronze Pigments + Glitters:

MAC Holiday goodies beige gold3 copy

The Blue + Silver Pigments are Glitters are a cool toned set with remarkably good formulations. These seemed particularly smooth and easy to work with.

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These all seem to be shades of cream, gray and black, although Deep Blue Green has a bit of deep blue in its mix.

MAC Holiday goodies16 copySwatches of these complicated and pretty colors.

MAC Holiday pigments blue2 copyFinally, I ordered this MAC Heirloom Mix Nude Lip Bag. I didn’t expect to love this, but I did.

MAC Holiday goodies21 copyI remember a few years ago that I would find the concept of laying so many lip products slightly puzzling. It’s so much easier to swipe and go with one product!  Since then, I’ve realized the value of layering products–they tend to have more complexity, they tend to last longer and they tend to have a pretty mix of textures and colors. This particular combination layers beautifully–the pencil, the lipstick, then topped with the creamy gloss gave me a good two hours. Once the product warmed and mixed on my lips, the effects was really pretty. Here are individual swatches:

MAC Holiday goodies26 copyOverall, I loved these picks from MAC Holiday 2014. The one addition product that you might not wish to mix is MAC Salon Rouge lipstick–it’s a pretty deep red (sorry, no pictures but I thought I’d mention it in case you are in a MAC mood).  The bag for the Nude set is not bad, but I’m not sure who long it will last in my current rough-and-tumble travel life.

MAC holiday nude lip bag1 copy

 

Inside, no pockets–just a simple bag, thank you very much.

MAC holiday nude lip bag2 copy

These sets are currently available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macy’s (except for the Bronze set, which is a MAC exclusive). Here are the boxes for the pigment sets, below.

MAC heirloom mixThis post contains affiliate links (for more information, see About Cafe Makeup)

 

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Aug 282014
 

MAC Brow set2This summer MAC released a few permanent items, including the MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set ($17 0.17 oz.). Because brows are so important, I was curious to try it. I picked up MAC’s Brow Set in Quiet Brunette, described as a “muted mid-tone gray.” This product is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other MAC sources.

MAC Brow set4

I’ve been wearing this for about a week, and find that it delivers well. The brush is short, and therefore easy to control. The product is highly controllable, so a light brush through will give a light application. You just keep adding for to add more color, drama and emphasis.

MAC Brow set6

I found the MAC Brow Set somewhat comparable to NARS Brow Gel ($22 /0.21 oz.), with a few differences. The NARS colors (swatched here) lean slightly more gray and so seem to be a touch more natural for my coloring. NARS runs a few dollars more per tube, but contains more product. NARS’ formula feels a slight touch dryer, which can translate is a bit less of a tendency to generate clumps. However, the difference is so slight that if I found that a MAC Brow Gel worked better for my coloring, I would  not hesitate to go for the MAC. Here’s a quick comparison between NARS Athens and MAC Quiet Brunette:

MAC and Nars Brown gel comparisons1

 

Here is quick MAC Quiet Brunette Brow Gel on my brow. As you can see, it covers the area quite evenly:

MAC Brow SetOverall, I found MAC Brow Gel a good workhorse product from their Pro Longwear line. I got excellent all-day wear, even in the heat and humidity and through a good workout. There are no problems from flaking, and any tiny clumps can be easily brushed away with the small, controllable blush. If you are in the market for a good brow gel, these are well worth a look.

This product is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s and other MAC sources.

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Aug 212014
 

I picked up a few items from MAC’s A Novel Romance Collection, a large Fall collection that had a few neutrals with a twist that seemed pretty and fun. I’m going to post these pictures here quickly, rather than doing a full review which could take more time that I have before sellout. This collection is currently for sale at Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdales.

This time around, the eyeshadow quads struck me as both interesting and high-quality. For the $40 price point, I found these original, pretty neutrals-with-a-twist with good pigmentation and a lovely, soft formula.

novel romance quad

 MAC A Novel Romance Quad ($40) is a mix of deep colors and a soft shimmer yellow-gold as a highlight. This seems to favor cooler skin tones, but not exclusively. Swatches:

Novel Romance MAC swatches

 

The taupe in the upper right is a pretty all-over lid color.

MAC Novel romance03 copy

I think I will get the most use out of Amorous Adventure. Swatches:

A novel romance

The above swatch include the two blushes, Fun Ending and Animal Instincts ($22 each). These actually look nice together on the cheek (the deeper Animal Instincts in the cheek hollow, and Fun Ending on the upper cheekbone area). Fun Ending will work on most lighter skintones.

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Although MAC’s lipsticks are always popular in these limited edition collections, I passed on them this time around. Did you get anything?

This collection is available at Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdales.

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