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MAC Lightful C Skincare: Reformulation (now with Vitamin C) Review

February 22, 2015

MAC Lightful C01MAC has reformulated its Lightful line to incorporate Vitamin C into these brightening products. Because Vitamin C has been clinically proven to benefit skin, I couldn’t resist trying out a few products to see how they feel. This is not uber-luxury skincare, or even luxury skincare in my opinion. But I’ve had surprisingly good results with the Marine Bright formula in the past, and who doesn’t love some good bang for their buck in the mid-price category? I decided to try out the new MAC Lightful C Softening Lotion ($35), the Vibrancy Eye cream ($35), the Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Essence ($44), and the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Cream ($44). The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources (except for an SPF 30 tinted cream, which is due to become available this April and, just like Magnum in Zoolander, will blow us all away).

MAC Lightful C02

I’ve used the prior version of the MAC Softening Lotion, and can confirm that this MAC Lightful C Marine-Bright Formula Softening Lotion provides the same toning, softening effect on the skin to leave it feeling soft, woken-up, and baby-fresh.  This is one of those products that you think you’ll never use and then, when your glowing skin looks back at you in the mirror, you realize that it does, in fact, make a daily difference.

MAC Lightful C11

I splash a little bit of this clear, water-like liquid on, using fingers or a cotton pad, to get the effect. This is a softening toner–a separate cleanser is necessary to truly clean the skin.

MAC lightful C softening lotion1

I have to admit I’m a fan of spray toners, and this top is designed to splash or swipe on. Still, I appreciate the no-spill guard.

MAC Lightful C15

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C softening lotion ingredients1

For me the magic item in the collection is the Mac Lightful C Marine Bright EssenceI had good luck using the former version to fade darker marks/spots. I’m delighted with the addition of Vitamin C to the line. The non-sticky texture that absorbs quickly is the same.MAC Lightful C09

Nice no-spill, locking, travel-friendly packaging.

MAC Lightful C16

Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C essence ingredients 21

I took a chance and ordered the MAC Lightful C Marine Bright Formula Moisture Creme.  I’m happy with my current stock of moisturizers, but I find a mid-priced gel moisturizer hard to resist. The problem with having oily skin (and now combination skin) most of my life is that I tended to avoid moisturizers as too heavy and adding “too much glow” toward the end of the day.

MAC Lightful C06After I discovered the lightweight, fast-absorbing properties of gel moisturizers, my skin is much more balanced and doesn’t over-produce oil anymore. If anyone is in the same boat, this MAC is a nice one to try because of the addition of Vitamin C and the lightweight feel. It absorbs, is very lightweight, and doesn’t add “glow” to already oily skin.

MAC Lightful C21This is housed in a lightweight plastic jar. The texture of this product is much lighter and featherweight compared to Estee Lauder’s Enlighten Moisturizer.

MAC Lightful C24

I find that NARS Aqua Gel Luminous Oil-Free Moisturizer and Chanel Hydra Beauty Gel Creme (Liz’s favorite) give a more noticeable moisturizing effect. By comparison, MAC’s is lighter in texture.  Ingredients for the MAC Lightful C:

MAC Lightful C moisturizer ingredients1

Finally, I ordered the MAC Lightful C Vibrancy Eye. This one-half ounce product has a sorbet texture in a pump-top container. It’s very pleasant to use, sinks in instantly, and gives an immediate moisturizing and de-puffing effect.  I’ve been using on my winter-stressed, wind-burned eye area and it’s vastly improved since last Friday when I began.

MAC Lightful C19Consistent with the other products in the light, the MAC Vibrancy Eye is lightweight, non-oily, and disappears quietly very soon application. Ingredients (click to enlarge):

MAC Lightful C vibrancy eye ingredients1Skincare swatches (except the toner, which is a clear liquid):

MAC Lightful C26My personal favorites in this group are the Vibrancy Eye and the Essence, however hopefully I’ve put in enough information to give you a sense of which might work for you. The full line is available at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, Macy’s, and other MAC sources.

MAC Lightful C20

In other news, I’m loving my little sample of Chanel Hydra Beauty Micro Serum Intense ($110) and am placing an order for the full-sized as soon as I hit “publish” on this post. It’s giving me a smoothness and glow that’s both immediate and improving with every day that goes by.  Although I’ll do a full review soon, here’s a quick picture of the sample (check out your local Nordstrom, gorgeous! That’s where I found mine) and the ingredient list.

Chanel Micro serum min1Les ingredients:

ingredients1Hope you are having a lovely, ice-free weekend!

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MAC Spring Trend Eye & Lip and Cheek Palettes Swatched

January 8, 2015

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.

Mac Spring trend palette swatches05

Swatches of MAC’s Spring Trend eye palette:

Mac Spring trend palette swatches06ba

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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MAC Objects of Affection: A Gorgeous Assortment of Pigments

October 31, 2014

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.

MAC Holiday goodies04 copy

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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MAC Pro Longwear Brow Set: Because Brows Are Everything

August 28, 2014

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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A Few Picks from MAC Moody Blooms Collection

June 29, 2014

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.

MAC Moody Bloom eyeshadows1

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.

MAC Moody Blooms11

Another:MAC Moody Blooms09

Here are some swatches:

MAC Moody Bloom Swatches3

 

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

MAC Moody Blooms12

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

MAC Moody Blooms13

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.

MAC Moody Blooms02

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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