Apr 192014
 

I’m never sure whether to review here-today-gone-this-afternoon collections. These micro-releases sell out so quickly, that the posts become dated by the time that email distribution is complete. I’m going to try this one with some lipsticks from MAC Playland ($16 each). We had a major photo-fest, and I threw these into the mix because it only takes a few minutes. These are both still available via Nordstrom.com as of this posting. If experience is any guide, I can’t promise for how long.

As you probably know. MAC Playland features colors that look uber-bright in the tube. I chose two that are lovely and quite wearable, in my opinion.

MAC Playland1Head in the Clouds is a shimmery deep red, in MAC’s Frost finish. It’s a little bit of glam, but not too much. This is pigment-rich, although it can be dabbed and buffed out for a really pretty stained effect.

mac head in the clouds

 

On Sandra:

MAC Playland4

Red Balloon is a day-time friendly wearable fuchsia-red.

MAC Playland2

Red Balloon is not nearly as bright as some that MAC has created over the years (or Chanel, for that matter). This rich, saturated color in MAC’s Amplified finish goes on opaque in a single swipe. Like Head in the Clouds, this can be dabbed and buffed for a stain effect. Here it is straight from the tube:

MAC Red BalloonHere are some quick swatches:

MAC Playland6

These vibrant colors caught my eye–I think they’re pretty and keeping with my mood for the upcoming Spring. As ever, with these vibrant shades I keep the rest of my makeup in the “flawless skin/just a touch of soft neutrals on the eye” territory.

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Apr 182014
 

MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks01MAC has collaborated with the genius design team Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, otherwise known as Proenza Schouler. I still remember the first time that I saw one of their bags–it was the softest deep green leather. The very sight of it–miles away on Barney’s sales floor–drew me in immediately. Their style is modern and classic, very urban with an edge. They make lovely, lovely things. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks05I was able to find three of the lipsticks from the MAC Proenza Schouler collaboration that I can share with you–the nude Woodrose (a creamy Lustre), the sheer violet Primrose (a lustre with shimmer), and the vibrant orange-red Mangrove (matte). These come in special luxe packaging at $22 each, and they are supposed to be released next week. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks07Mangrove is a stunner, a statement color that is clean, modern, and very cool. Here it is on Sandra, a family friend who has a deep love of all things makeup: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks13Woodrose is a nude with the faintest touch of pink and grey. Primrose looks like a deep sparkling violet, but applies with a very blue-violet version of Givenchy’s Liz’s Lips (or a very distant cousin of Clinique Black Honey). MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks06 Woodrose: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks11 I love Primrose in the tube, but must confess that I was relieved to find that it applied sheerly for everyday wear. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks03 Primrose: MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks12 Because I love unusual twists on everyday shades, these three colors were really something that I’m glad to own.I can see wearing these to add a little edge to my everyday look. These will be available at MAC stores, counters, and online sometime next week. MAC Proenza Schouler Lipsticks14

Here are some quick swatches in my backyard….

This collection is now up for sale at Nordstrom.com.

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Apr 132014
 

MAC Tranquil Cleansing Oil1

Travel-friendly skincare is my holy grail. When on the road for long days of work, I wear sunscreen, long wear foundation, and mascara that stands the test of time. These are not delicate substances that can be removed with whatever-they-put-in-hotel-bathrooms, at least on any dependable basis. Last August, during my soul-restoring walk down New York City’s Fifth Avenue, I stopped by the MAC store for a ten-dollar investment in MAC Cleanse Off Oil in Tranquil ($10). At the moment, the most attractive features of this product were the baggie-friendly 1.0 oz. size, and a decent lock on the lid.

MAC Oil3

This purchase was one of the best investments I’ve made in travel skincare. Since August, I’ve nearly run out of this little bottle with no spilling or accidents. I’ve used it both in carry-on and checked luggage, and always in a baggie for safety’s sake. Yet there has been no accidental leaks, spills or openings–each time, the baggie is bone dry when I arrive (save for that great nail-polish explosion of ’13, but that isn’t MAC Cleanse Off Oil’s fault).

MAC Tranquil Cleansing Oil2

As far as the oil goes, I have had excellent results. I always follow with my travel Clarisonic Mia of course, and toner, but I find that MAC’s Tranquil Oil works as well as Shu and Shiseido. No breakouts, purging, or other problems. As the summer travel season starts, I can confidently recommend this one to you. In fact, I have invested in a full size five ounce version (I’m on my second bottle).

MAC Oil6

The travel size of MAC Tranquil Cleanse Off Oil is available at Nordstrom.com and MAC online.

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Mar 282014
 

MAC Patentpolish1a

MAC is just releasing a series of limited edition Patentpolish Pencils ($20 each), which are due at counters next week. The line describes the formula as a twist-up pencil that “instantly achieves a luscious shine with a single swipe” that stay “bright and true.” I was hoping that these would be hydrating, sheer colors similar to the MAC Huggables which I fell in love with earlier this year (I’m still using a number of those in my weekly rotation). When these came up online last week, I ordered four–Innocent (nude), Kittenish (a sheer light pink), Spontaneous (a medium pink-mauve) and Hopelessly Devoted (a soft medium pink).

MAC Patentpolish2

These are scented and apply well in a single coat, but I built them up for several swipes. They feel a bit sticky, and need a good minute to warm up on the lips before they look polished. The wear time is short (at least for me). The colors are rather one-note. You won’t find the complexity that we see in other lines in these youth-friendly colors. Although these are advertised as glossy, I found that their texture settled into a satin.

MAC Patentpolish4

Innocent went on frosty at first, but settled down into color that lightened the natural color of my lips a few steps.

MAC Patentpolish6

Kittenish was my favorite of these, which became a pretty light soft pink color.

MAC Patentpolish5

Spontaneous was a deeper version of Kittenish (if you get one, you won’t need the other).

MAC Patentpolish3

Hopelessly Devoted was a slightly bright cool pink. Swatches:

MAC Patentpolish7

Personally, I think that the MAC Patentpolish are a bit of an interesting formula. They are balm-like without being terribly moisturizing. Despite the stickiness, they aren’t very long-lasting. Of course, your mileage may vary on all these points. I found that the colors were universally flattering, but not very unique. The colors are simple in their tones–you don’t have any interest mixes of cools/warms or the like. I can see these being very swipe-and-go for the spring and summer months. Still, at the $20/tube price point, I think I’ll keep looking for my ideal summer shades.

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Jan 152014
 

MAC Huggables Overview1

There are two times every year when MAC attracts my laser focus–once during the summer for their baked collections, and right after the Holiday when a beautiful neutral collection is released. This year, MAC added a new formula lipstick collection–called MAC Huggables ($20 each)–to the post-Holiday excitement. As is typical of MAC’s limited edition releases, mine are arriving in the mail just as these are selling out in stores. So I thought it best to do a quick post in case any of these catch your eye. Some are still available at Nordstrom, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

MAC Commotion and Red Necessity1

First of all, these are packaged in a re-designed tube that reminds me of Chantecaille’s Lip Chics ($35 each). The MAC Huggables’ formula is  pigmented, sheer, shiny, and very hydrating. They have “creamy emollients to give you a lasting, glossy color that leaves your lips smooth and sculpted.” I found that my winter-dry lip lines disappeared under this very hydrating formula. For those of us who are on the “more experienced” side of the age continuum, you might give these a serious look because they are a pleasure to use.  Their relatively low price point makes them a fun addition to add a pop of color to your winter wardrobe. I found this video from Lena/senoritaxlena quite helpful in choosing my shades.

MAC Huggables Overview2 final

Here’s the other secret of the MAC Huggables–they are far more saturated than I expected. Some of the online swatches do not really show their high-pigment color. These stay glossy for quite some time, their color lasts and lasts. They feel both hydrating and a slightly tacky, although not annoyingly so.

MAC Huggables Overview5

On some, this emollient formula can feather. Although I did not experience this, it may have more to do with my lip shape more than anything. I’ve only had a chance to play with these for 2-3 days, but I did find that using a lip primer seemed to prevent any migration and added to the formula’s wear time (I used the Bite Lip Primer, but others can work). I found that using the primer did not seem to interfere with the formula’s hydrating benefits to a significant degree. Lip lines, be gone! Also, you can sort of use them as their own primer, by laying down a little bit, let it dry and then add a bit more. The lower under-layer seems to create little base of the top layer to grip onto. Another set of swatches:

MAC Huggables Overview4

The colors are really fun–they aren’t terribly complex but they do mix with your natural lip color and give a very pretty, glossy, moisturized look. Rich Marron is quickly becoming my favorite, and the pinks–Feeling Amorous?, Love Beam, and Out for Passion are great grab-and-go shades. Commotion is probably the most unusual, and the reds are a pleasant touch. Rusty is deep and dramatic, but with a sheerness that’s very pleasant. These shades are perfect not only for this moisturizing properties, but also for at least two other purposes. First they’re great for occasions when you want to wear a bright color to work or other conservative event. These don’t go “over the top.” I wore Feeling Amorous? to dinner tonight, and my husband confirmed that (despite the brightly colored swatch) the color wasn’t “too much.” Second, they are a great way to get used to wearing brighter colors and reds. For those that have never left the house in a bight lip, try one of these. A sheer will get you half-way to being a comfortable, confident wearer of any lip color out there (well, maybe not lime green, but you get the picture). One last set of swatches:

MAC Huggables Overview5

Here are the shades that I chose:

MAC Rich Marron Huggable1

Rich Marron is one of my favorites-this is a gorgeous, high-shine nude. It’s a sheerer cousin to NARS Last Tango.

 MAC Rich Marron2a

Red Necessity is a cool, sheer, high-shine red. Commotion is a fuchsia that leans violet–it can go maroon on my lips. It’s quite a dramatic, cool-toned stained glass wonder.

MAC Rich Marron Huggable two1

Feeling Amorous? is a bold (yet sheer) pink:

MAC Feeling Amorous?2

Out for Passion is a warm pink with a hint of peach:

MAC Out for Passion3

Cherry Glaze a pigmented, warm red:

MAC Cherry Glaze2

Rusty is a warm cognac-burgundy:

MAC Rusty2

Love Beam is a soft, light, sheer pink:

MAC Love Beam1

Overall, I’m really having fun with these colors. My lips looks moisturized, pretty, and always appropriate despite the brightness of these shades (although I have to be careful with MAC Commotion). Because this is a MAC limited edition collection, they are in the “get them before they’re gone” territory.

Available at NordstromMacy’s, and other MAC sources.

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