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.

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

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

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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:

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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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Jun 292014
 

MAC Moody Blooms1I picked up a few items from MAC’s Moody Blooms collection released last week. There are some pretty accent colors in it that caught my eye in MAC’s Veluxe Pearl formula. In addition to this as my favorite MAC eyeshadow texture, the collection attracted me because the strong colors can be added to a neutral eye to shake things up a bit. My take on this collection is that it was released a few weeks early–these colors say “late summer” to me. Nonetheless, better too early than too late, n’est ce pas? Various items from this collection are still available on Nordstrom.com, Macy’s, and MAC online, as well as other MAC sources.

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The eyeshadows are:

  • Artistic License, a shimmery peach Veluxe Pearl
  • Deep Fixation, a rich warm-red brown Veluxe Pearl that was released lsat year in MAC’s Nudes and Metallics collection
  • Blooming Mad a complex light purple Frost that will mix nicely with some deep taupes
  • Hidden Motive, a deep red-violet Veluxe Pearl
  • Green Room, a green-teal Satin

The one item that you may not want to miss is Black Ivy Fluid Line, a deep blue green liner with very slight sparkle that’s absolutely gorgeous with a neutral eye.

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Another:MAC Moody Blooms09

Here are some swatches:

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I picked up two lipsticks in MAC’s Sheen Supreme formula, a soft sheer formula that has a soft glow.

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As you might expect, these do not last all day and some find them drying (although I do not).

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MAC Moody Bloom is  complex, shimmery brown/plum nude. Because it is sheer, it will look different on everyone. Here is Moody Bloom on Liz– you should not that this does not show as pink on me, this is due to a strong pink undertone on Liz’s lips. On me, this is more bronze/mauve.  This is a pretty grab-and-go shade.

MAC Moody Bloom sheen supreme1

Here is MAC Lush Extract on Liz, a bold cool pink/purple that is very striking. Liz thought that this color was too strong for her coloring.

MAC Moody Bloom Swatches2

I also bought MAC Worldly Wealth, which I haven’t had the chance to explore. This is a frost formula, so one I can expect a shimmery finish to this warm-toned blush.

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A swatch of Worldly Wealth:

MAC Moody Bloom Worldly WealthI hope that you enjoyed this quick look into MAC’s Moody Bloom collection. Some items are available on Nordstrom.com, Macy’s, and MAC online, as well as other MAC sources.

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Jun 042014
 

MAC Pedro Lourenco1MAC has another designer-inspired collaboration, and I just cannot seem to resist taking a look at these. This time features Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenco, who has created a nude, metallic and red collection that has a few times that are worth your time. PedroLaurenco_001_1366.320x480This collection has specialized packaging, which mirrors the minimalist style of the designer.

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The one item that really stands out in my mind is the MAC Pedro Lourenco Nude Quad ($44). I occasionally get reader questions looking for a lovely textured, neutral eyeshadow palette. Readers, take note of this one. MAC Pedro Lourenco4 Although it’s entirely plausible that many have similar shades, this is the one that I’ll be packing for a two-week seminar that I’ll be attending later this month. The textures are excellent, the quad (which contains two shimmers and two mattes) is going to give me all of the looks that I’ll need for this work-friendly venue. MAC Pedro Lourenco6Two shades are MAC permanent (the top right All that Glitters, and the bottom right Sable), and the two mattes are limited edition (the top left Pink Sands, and the bottom left Rose Cloud).  All four of these shades are winners, and they all coordinate beautifully together. If you need a good, sturdy, modern quad that allows you to make a look with a single piece MAC’s Pedro Lourenco Nude is worth picking up. MAC Pedro Lourenco7 The other item that I got was the MAC Pedro Lourenco Corol Powder Blush ($26). This is an unusual blush duo, with a soft, matte light pink-coral shade, and a pigmented pink-plum. I really owe my love for this combination to a few people on Specktra.net (shout out to Liba and Mac-Guy), who posted helpful impressions of this product. MAC Pedro Lourenco3 The Pedro Lourenco Corol blush is a love-hate product depending on your skin tone, and for my skin tone (MAC NC15-Chanel Ivoire), it’s love. The light matte shade shows up as a light pink blush when I use a stiff blush brush. Here’s the secret-after I apply this as a blush, I can use the lighter shade as an all-over matte beauty powder/complexion brightener with a softer brush (gorgeous! and really cool looking in the summer heat). The deep pink-plum shade is a beautiful blush/contour. Really, the combination is very pretty. MAC Pedro Lourenco5 These are both “blink and you’ll miss them” micro-release products. The quad is currently online at Nordstrom, MAC and Macy’s. Miraculously, Macy’s still has the Corol blush.

It’s uncertain whether these will be in all stores that carry MAC in store. I called several department and MAC stores on the West Coast yesterday, and got very inconsistent responses. If you’d like to find these on counter, I strongly suggest that you call ahead and check.

I hope that you enjoyed this quick look at this micro-release. I always hesitate before doing these posts, because I know that stock may go out very fast. However, since I had a moment and these showed up on my doorstep, I thought these were worth sharing.

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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.

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On Sandra:

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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:

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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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