Nov 232010

The metallic theme that seems to run throughout the Holiday 2010 collections is manifest throughout MAC’s Tartan Tale.  Recently, the second phase of the collection–Tartan Tale Chapter 2– was released with its little caches of pigment/glitter charms.

Tartan Tale Chapter 2 includes three sets–Warm Thrillseekers, Cool Thrillseekers and Smokey Thrillseekers–each a set of the five pigment charms for $32.50 each. Unlike NARS Sweet Disposition set, which earned my undying affection for including only pieces from NARS’ standard line, MAC’s pigment/glitter charms are a mix of standard or discontinued pigments spattered with  unique only-available-in-the-set colors.

Something about this mix precluded me from order all three sets just to own the unique ones. I’ve always been fascinated by MAC pigments, but this year’s crop seems especially targeted to those who don’t already have an extensive collection of MAC’s past pigments.  I do not think many collectors will spend $ 32.50 to get a set of five pigment charms that include 3 or 4 of the colors that she already owns.  However, I can see how they might be a fun gift or first purchase for someone that doesn’t own any (or owns just a few).

Rather than invest in all three sets anew, I secured samples of some of the new colors so that I could get an up-close look, compare them to already released pigments, and report them in this sketchbook that is this blog.  All swatches are applied wet with MAC’s Mixing Medium for Eyes.  Here we go!

First, I’d heard fabulous things about the shimmery taupe Jigs & Jive from the Smokey Thrillseekers set.  I compared them to two prior releases–Coco and Subtle:

To my eye, Jigs & Jive is more red  than the warm/golden Coco.  Jigs & Jive is closer in tone to Subtle, although Jigs & Jive leans slightly coppery red, and Subtle more purple/mauve.  Also, Jigs and Jive seems less shimmery than either Coco or Subtle.  The swatches show them as very close cousins, with Jigs & Jive slight copper tint that sets it a bit apart:

Overall, my heart still belongs to Coco.  It may be my skintone, but I’ve long loved Coco as one of the very few shimmery warm taupe–most taupes trend cool and Coco is a beautiful exception.  As a practical matter, I don’t believe that Jigs & Jive is worth a splurge because it is not terribly different from MAC’s prior taupes.

Next up is Gift O’Glamour from the Warm Thrillseekers set described as a “warm metallic pink,” here compared to some other shimmery warm pigments–Goldenaire, Sunnydaze and Blonde’s Gold.

I did not have any direct duplicates of Gift O’Glamour.  Rather, Gift O’Glamour was a peachier, redder version of the more pink Goldenaire.  Sunnydaze shows an obvious light tan/taupe tilt by comparison.  Blonde’s Gold was the warmest and yellowest of all.

I had to give one point to Gift O’Glamour for uniqueness, I did not find anything in my collection quite like it.

Third, I looked at Gilded Green, also from the Warm Thrillseekers set, described as “mint ice cream.”  Here, I compared Gilded Green to Vintage Gold, Golden Olive, Golder’s Green and Emerald Green pigments.

Again, I had to give another point to Warm Thrillseekers for uniqueness–none of these comparisons was an absolute duplicate.

Another look:

If you are keeping score, the Warm Thrillseekers is currently running in the lead.  Note that this set includes another color, a medium brown Most Darling, that has never been previously released and for which I did not find a sample.

From Cool Thrillseekers, the only color that I did not already own was Cheers My Dear, described as a “pale violet.”  Here, I’ve compared it to Kitchmas, Lovely Lily and Violet:

Cheers My Dear was unquestionably unique compared to these.  Here you see the frostier and lighter Kitchmas with that (in)famous chunky texture, the lighter lavender Lovely Lily and the deeper and more vibrant Violet:

Although Cheers My Dear is unique, I realized that I rarely reach for colors in this light violet/lavender category.  These tones look so lovely on cool skin tones, but I have to work quite hard to make them work for me.

My highly subjective and unquestionably unscientific conclusion was that Warm Thrillseekers was the one to get.  It has the most unique colors, and the colors more friendly to my warm-toned pale skin tone.  Which of do you prefer?

Please follow us on....

Nov 092010

Holiday 2010 brings MAC’s Tartan Tale collection–a rather large and impressive array of products.  My choices from the first phase of this collection were comparatively modest–I purchased the two new pigments (Family Crest and Moonlight Night) and one palette (Rockers and Reelers).  I’ll be reviewing each of these choices.  The other pigment released with Tartan Tale is Later, previously released last summer with the Alice + Olivia Collection and reviewed here.

Family Crest ($19.50) is a deep almost-black with a bronze overtone and a purple undertone.

The pigment seems like a charcoal with deep gold sparkles in the vial.

Continue reading »

Please follow us on....

Jul 102010

MAC teamed with Alice + Olivia to create a small line of edgy pieces, including Partylicious pigment ($19.50).  Although I sometimes find MAC a little frustrating with its continual, numerous limited edition releases, one reason that I keep an eye on the line is their ability to collaborate with new designers.  Alice + Oliva was founded by college friends Stacey Bendet and Rebecca Matchett in 2002.  Bendet is currently the line’s primary designer, incorporates element of vintage, edge, fun and culture in her line.

Because I have a strong fondness for MAC’s pigments, I picked up Partylicious on release day.   One note of caution: MAC did not produce many of these.  These evaporated online in one day, and my local MAC got very, very few pieces.  If you want it, and can find it, grab it quick!

Although Partylicious looks teal, it actually leans quite green to give it a mermaid feel.

Like many pigments, the quality of this shadow changes entirely when used wet.

  • The first swatch is dry–you can see that this is going to give a very soft green-blue look, especially if applied sheerly. It has a watercolor quality when used lightly.
  • The second swatch is wet, used with a drop of MAC’s Mixing Medium for eyes-instant drama! This is a liner-only color for my pale coloring but other makeup lovers would be able to rock this one out or incorporate into a mermaid eye.
  • This is a comparison with my best teal–the old-school Shu Uemura ME Blue 638–made before the reformulation.  Gorgeous, right? But this shows that Partylicious has a strong green quality compared to a true teal.

Partylicious is just a little outside my comfort zone, but that’s one of the main reasons that I picked it up.  Overall, it’s a beautiful color that I won’t use often but reserve for those times when I want to push my limits.

Please follow us on....

Feb 082010

When I was out shopping this weekend, I noticed that MAC’s All Races, All Ages, All Sexes collection is still out on counters.  Because I love neutrals, this collection held a lot of interest for me.  After playing with the products at a few counters, I decided that the texture and quality of the collection was not something that suited me.  I settled on the two products reviewed here.

MAC Personal Style Beauty Powder Blush ($18.50) is a very subtle nude.  It’s described as a “light mauve taupe” on MAC’s website.

Here is a comparison of MAC’s Personal Style with two other nice nudes, Lancome’s Miel Glace and MAC’s Taupe Pro blush.

As you can see, Lancome’s Miel Glace gives a pleasant shimmer compared to MAC’s Personal Style.  Both have a touch of pink, although MAC’s Personal Style does lean mauve.  MAC’s Taupe is much more of a true matte nude.  After attempting to use Personal Style several times over the past few weeks, I decline to recommend this blush.  It takes a number of layers to get the blush to show on my somewhat fair skin at all.  If you’d like a subtle look, I’d use Lancome’s Miel Glace instead–the application is much nicer.  If you want more impact, get MAC Taupe.

The other item is MAC’s Universal Mix pigment ($19.50), previously discussed here.

Overall, I found Universal Mix quite difficult to work with.  As Karlasugar warned about here, Universal Mix is not a pigmented as other MAC pigment offerings.  Serves me right for buying it before reading her review.   Also, there is a lot of fallout. It’s messy!
In the swatch below, I’ve used 3-4 layers of Universal Mix compared to the other products swatched there.  Despite the layering, Universal Mix is still applied thinly in places.  MAC’s Vanilla did a nice job with a single coat.  Surprisingly, even Shu Uemura’s P White 900, a pressed powder eyeshadow, did better than Universal Mix.

Perhaps Universal  Mix works better when used wet or blended into a moisturizer, when the texture won’t be an issue.  To be entirely honest, I wish that I had not purchased either of these items.  Of course, everything in makeup is “your mileage may vary,” so if you do enjoy them I’m very happy for you.

Please follow us on....