Jun 272013
 

MAC 159 brush1

MAC has recently released the Tropical Taboo Collection, which is all about color and texture.  The one product which really stood out to me, however, is a newly-introduced brush. Specifically, the Mac 159 brush ($35) is the most interesting new brush that’s wonderful for highlighting, and also for precise placement of baked face products. The brush is a fairly short (roughly 6 1/2″) brush with a “cats paw” shape.

Mac 159 brush

From the side:

MAC 159 brush3

This brush is pleasant to use–imaging being petted by a very soft kitten.  Also, it makes unwearably rough-textured baked products meld nicely into the skin, knocking off the powder bits as it goes. If I had not tried it in person, I would not have understood its value.  If you are near a MAC counter/store, it’s really worth trying one of their baked products on with this particular brush.  You’ll fall in love with it–or at least, I did.  I believe that this brush is now part of their permanent line (but don’t quote me, there’s conflicting buzz).

Mac tropical taboo MSF01

While I was at the store, I looked at the new MAC Mineralized Skinfinishes from the MAC Tropical Taboo collection–Adored, Rio and Lust. I’m a highlighter fan (can  you tell?) and so I couldn’t resist picking these up. See, that’s the thing about MAC.  There’s something so fun about their “fabulous-today, gone-tomorrow” speed that’s both dizzying, intriguing and sometimes aesthetically successful.  Perhaps you’re read the same studies that I have–sometimes those who produce the greatest number of creative variations have the highest numbers of “hits”–sure, some misses too.  I try to wait on the sidelines and wait for the hits (and try to skip the misses, although I’m not always successful).

Mac tropical taboo MSF02

Of these, and for my fair warm coloring, Adored was the biggest hit.  It’s an unusual highlighter that looks almost transparent.  It adds just a touch of “glow” with peach-pink highlight where the light hits.  I’m not sure I’ve seen a skinfinish quite like Adored ever before.  It really adds something special over blushes–a healthy glow. You can use it in a “C” shape around the eye and on upper cheek, or lightly all over the blush area to add a little soft shimmer glow to the blush. Even better–when using the MAC 159 brush, I got no noticeable glitter from Adored.

Mac tropical taboo MSF03a

Rio is a cool pink highlighter. The color might be enough for a soft blush if you are very pale (but it’s too soft for me unless I’m going for a very nude-blush look).  The finish goes almost metallic in bright light.

Mac tropical taboo MSF07a

Lust is a soft pink (it’s close enough to Rio that you don’t need both in my opinion). I detected slight glitter particles in direct sunlight with Lust.  Like Rio, the highlight is quite obvious/metallic in direct bright light.

Mac tropical taboo MSF11

As you can see, the color from these is not very strong (these are two swipes each). They’re sheer.

One final note about all three–these really, really look best applied with the MAC 159 brush in my opinion.  They look much rougher  in texture when they are not. But with the 159, they are smooth and meld to the skin. Walking around in different light, I was glad that I splurged on the brush and can’t wait to try it with my other baked products (especially those non-US Chanel blushes–I’m very curious to see what the 159 will do with those!).

MAC 159 brush2

Also, all of the MAC Tropical Taboo colors seem designed for warmer skin tones. I’m not saying that a cooler toned person could never make them work, but it would seem more challenging to me.

Some other random thoughts:  Of these, Adored Mineralizes Skinfinish and the 159 brush were my favorites.  MAC Simmer blush is worth a peek if you’re in a blushy mood (I love it with Adored over it). Applied with the 159 brush, Simmer was like a red-gold stain. I didn’t look at the eyeshadows or the lip products from this collection, but Temptalia has done thorough reviews of the entire range. Also, there are some really knowledgable people on the Specktra Collection Board who post swatches, reviews and thoughts about all of them (with lots of different opinions, skin tones and preferences).

Regardless of how you feel about these metal-reflective baked skinfinishes, you might look at the MAC “cat’s paw” 159.

The MAC 159 brush is available at Nordstrom.com (the skinfinishes are here), MAC Cosmetics.com, and other MAC sources.

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May 272013
 

Long Wearing Foundations01

Now that we’re entering the summer season, I thought it would be useful to do an entry about warm weather foundations. Last late summer through the end of fall, I was living on the road doing extensive traveling throughout the hot, humid areas of the American South. Keep in mind, as a Northern California resident, I’m no stranger to hot weather. At Cafe Makeup, we weather our share of over-100 degree days. However, there’s a lot of truth to that expression “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity.” I remember the blast of warm, humid heat that rendered my favorite foundations powerless to withstand the afternoons. Not kidding–I have a whole new level of respect for those who wear makeup in humid climates.  It’s a whole new level of challenge.

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May 272013
 

packaging

In the earlier part of this millennium, I used to wait for the May releases of MAC collections with anticipation. I loved D’Bohemia way back when, and more than a few others. These days, I don’t buy from many MAC collections, but the Temperature Rising collection (just released last week) is the exception. We bought a few items, and took a (very) few (very) quick pictures to put together a sketchbook of our first impressions so that you can see our favorites before it runs out. 

Some of the products are still online at Nordstrom.com, and other MAC sources like Belk, Macy’s and even some at Mac Comsetics.com (there’s always hope for a restock, but who knows?).  I had the best luck at counters and MAC stores, however.

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Apr 182013
 

Mac Nudes & Metallics Group 21

MAC is just releasing a Pro-only collection called Nudes & Metallics, which consists of coordinating eyeshadows and lipsticks. Essentially, the Nudes collection includes four light-to-dark shades in soft finishes. As the name suggests, the Metallics are richly pigmented, metal-shine colors. Although I do not typically buy much MAC, this pro release had the promise of satisfying my craving for neutrals with a twist, so I invested in the eyeshadows of this collection.

MAC Nudes & Metallics group 11

Details on this release are little hard to track down. According to Temptalia, the collection is MAC PRO store (4/18/13) and PRO Online only (mid June 2013). Non-PRO members should buy from a Pro store now, because non-pro members do not have access to the MAC Pro online site.

MAC Metallic Group

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Apr 182013
 

Mac Nudes & Metallics Group 21

MAC is just releasing a Pro-only collection called Nudes & Metallics, which consists of coordinating eyeshadows and lipsticks. Essentially, the Nudes collection includes four light-to-dark shades in soft finishes. As the name suggests, the Metallics are richly pigmented, metal-shine colors. Although I do not typically buy much MAC, this pro release had the promise of satisfying my craving for neutrals with a twist, so I invested in the eyeshadows of this collection.

Details on this release are little hard to track down. According to Temptalia, the collection is MAC PRO store (4/18/13) and PRO Online only (mid June 2013). Non-PRO members should buy from a Pro store now, because non-pro members do not have access to the MAC Pro online site.

MAC Nudes & Metallics group 11

This review looks at the four Nude eyeshadowsBare Minimum, Glimpse of Flesh, Body Conscious and Exposed ($15 each). All have a nicely pigmented Satin finish.

Mac Nudes Group 11

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