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MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick Review + Swatches

October 22, 2018

MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick Review and Swatches

MAC launched a new formula of matte lip color called Powder Kiss Lipstick ($19 each for 3 g/0.1 oz, made in Italy). These were seen all over the backstage beauty photos in recent fashion week coverage and I thought these were going to be too trendy for me but was pleasantly surprised. Long time readers know I really do not like matte lips. These are described as, “A moisture-matte weightless lipstick that delivers a romantic blur of effortless soft-focus colour.” Depending on your lipstick finish preference these are going to be hit or miss for you. For me these are a solid win.

MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick Review and Swatches

The Powder Kiss Lipstick has a soft blurred matte finish without looking or feeling dry. They have a weightless texture and finish that almost feels like it’s wearing an airy cloud on the lips. The finish is cushiony with full smooth coverage and I am truly surprised at how lightweight it is. MAC describes these as having moisture-coated powder pigments which seems so interesting to me. They’re not really as hydrating as a lip balm, but I do think they have some moisture in them given the fact that they do not look dry on the lips.

I tried these individually on their own. I suspect with some of the lighter shades you can mix and blend together for an ombre lip or to create your own custom color. There is only one shade that didn’t work for me by itself which is the palest option Best of Me. Still it applied smoothly without any patchy issues.

The packaging is just like the regular MAC Lipsticks but it has a slightly matte finish resembling the finish of the lipstick formula. Some have commented on the scent of these. I didn’t notice it while swatching or playing with them until I gave them a good whiff right out of the tube. It has MAC lipstick scent with a powdery slightly rubber smell. It’s not strong enough to bother me but it is noticeable. I consider my nose to be sensitive and it did not bother me.

MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick review

First a look at all the shades plus descriptions:

  • Best of Me is a pale milky beige
  • Influentially It is a pale nude beige
  • Impulsive is a medium warm brown
  • Sweet No Sugar is a light warm pink
  • My Tweedy is a peachy pink blush nude
  • Scattered Petals is a medium pink
  • Sultriness is a cool toned pink
  • Mull It Over is a peach pink-brown
  • Devoted to Chili is a brick red brown
  • Mandarin O is a bright orange
  • A Little Tamed is a muted pink rose
  • Lasting Passion is a bright red with blue pink tones
  • Style Shocked is a vibrant coral orange
  • Fall In Love is a hot pink
  • Shocking Revelation is a hot pink red
  • Burning Love is a perfect plum

MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick swatches

A closer look at the lighter neutrals, Best of Me, Influentially It, Impulsive, Sweet No Sugar, My Tweedy, Scattered Petals, Sultriness and Mull it Over.

MAC Powder Kiss Best of Me, Influentially It, Impulsive, Sweet No Sugar, My Tweedy, Scattered Petals, Sultriness and Mull it Over

MAC Powder Kiss Best of Me, Influentially It, Impulsive, Sweet No Sugar, My Tweedy, Scattered Petals, Sultriness and Mull it Over swatches

Swatched on bare lips, skintone reference I’m MAC NC35 in Studio Fix and Studio Fix Fluid.

MAC Powder Kiss Best of Me, Influentially It, Impulsive, Sweet No Sugar, My Tweedy, Scattered Petals, Sultriness and Mull it Over lip swatches

Deeper bold shades including Devoted to Chili, Mandarin O, A Little Tamed, Lasting Passion, Style Shocked, Fall In Love, Shocking Revelation, Burning Love.

MAC Powder Kiss Devoted to Chili, Mandarin O, A Little Tamed, Lasting Passion, Style Shocked, Fall In Love, Shocking Revelation, Burning Love

MAC Powder Kiss Devoted to Chili, Mandarin O, A Little Tamed, Lasting Passion, Style Shocked, Fall In Love, Shocking Revelation, Burning Love swatches

MAC Powder Kiss Devoted to Chili, Mandarin O, A Little Tamed, Lasting Passion, Style Shocked, Fall In Love, Shocking Revelation, Burning Love lip swatches

MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick review

Bottom line I’m impressed, especially since I’m a glossy lip girl. I really like how these glide on and give a blurred lip effect without looking or feeling dry. There’s no tugging at the lip when you apply. I also love the weightless feel. They did not dry out my lips. Lasting power is very good, it stays on and adheres well without fading for hours. Color isn’t transfer-proof though. My top 3 picks: Burning Love, My Tweedy and Sultriness.

A few thoughts on this formula compared to a few others I’ve tried and like. MAC Matte Lipsticks are heavier and more opaque in finish with a thicker feel. Pat McGrath Matte Trance has more impact pigment-wise, it has more weight to it while the MAC Powder Kiss feels like air. Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution almost feels like it drags on the lips by comparison, and in reality it doesn’t really drag on my lips, but if you swipe it compared to the MAC Powder Kiss, the MAC glides on easier/smoother.

Available now at all MAC counters. Online at MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty, Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Have you tried these yet? Or do you have any matte lipstick favorites?

MAC Powder Kiss provided courtesy of MAC Cosmetics for review consideration.

 

Highlighters MAC

MAC Supreme Beam and Dazzleshadow Liquid Review

September 10, 2018

MAC Supreme Beam and Dazzleshadow Liquid Review | The Beauty Look Book

MAC launched two new collections of metallics and shimmers called Supreme Beam and Dazzleshadow Liquid. I feel like MAC created the original glow with so many outstanding items. I think it’s amazing to see how long the shimmer and highlighter trend has been going on since then.

The Supreme Beam Collection has what MAC calls a “heavenly halo” theme. Everything feels like a throwback to the 90’s for me and I can’t get over how nice the new glosses are this launch! By popular demand they’ve brought back some cult classics for the face with the Illuminating Loose Powder and Hyper Real Foundation. The new formula of Dazzleshadow Liquids has a liquid eyeshadow formula that stays put all day. In today’s post we have:

The Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lipcolour comes in the same packaging as the Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colours. The formula itself isn’t new but there are 10 new shades with this launch. I felt the original launch last year had colors that were too trendy for me. This round has more wearable options. They have a shiny finish (no matte drydown like most liquid lip colors do). They have a very smooth non-tacky feel and have full smooth coverage. Even for metallics they are streak-free. Colors are iridescent and shimmery. Pigment is very good and they have a soft cushiony feel and a slightly minty scent.

MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lip Color - Supreme Beam | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lip Color - Supreme Beam swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Colors include:

  • Polar Fleece – pale iridescent opal pink
  • Goldiloxxed – metallic light peach tan
  • Autumn Russet – perfect warm russet shimmer
  • Just Hustlin’ –  metallic taupe pink lavender shimmer
  • Party Sparkle – duo chrome pink lilac
  • Sugar Poppy – iridescent blue pink
  • Dance All Night – metallic lilac
  • Ruby Princess – iridescent purple
  • Spoil Yourself – goregeous metallic pink
  • It’s Just Candy – metallic candy red

Lasting power is really good. I wish this formula came in soft shimmers or cream colors. They feel comfortable, glossy and lightweight. I can’t pick a favorite, but Spoil Yourself, Goldiloxxed, Dance All Night and It’s Just Candy are really pretty.

MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lip Color - Supreme Beam | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Grand Illusion Glossy Liquid Lip Color - Supreme Beam swatches. Polar Fleece, Goldiloxxed, Autumn Russet, Just Hustlin', Party Sparkle, Sugar Poppy, Dance All Night, Ruby Princess, Spoil Yourself, It's Just Candy.

There are also two complexion products. They brought back the Iridescent Loose Powder in Silver Dusk and Golden Bronze, both must-haves in my book. Silver Dusk is like the perfect fairy dust with a pale silver pink shimmer. Golden Bronze is a deeper bronze shimmer. I’ve swatched them below next to the Mineralize Skinfinish in Shimpagne, Soft and Gentle and Cheeky Bronze.

MAC Iridescent Loose Powder Silver Dusk and Golden Bronze

MAC Silver Dusk, Golden Bronze, Shimpagne, Soft and Gentle and Cheeky Bronze Swatches

MAC Silver Dusk Loose Powder

MAC Golden Bronze Loose Powder

Hyper Real Foundation is back in four metallic shades. I actually remember this as an actual foundation formula with skin shades and a shimmer glow mixed in. There are four liquid illuminators you can wear under foundation all over, mixed in with your base or on top to illuminate areas. I found it best when I mixed a little in with my MAC Studio Fix Fluid or Next to Nothing Foundation. I did try it all over under foundation and it was too glowy for me. It also worked well as a highlighter on top of my base. Colors include Violet FX (flashes violet), Gold FX (flashes gold), Rose Gold FX (perfect rose gold peach shimmer), Bronze FX (shimmery soft bronze). By comparison the MAC Strobe Creams are thinner and more lightweight in texture with a sheerer finish. I also feel they have more of an iridescent duochrome flash while the Hyper Real Foundation has more of a traditional glow.

MAC Hyper Real Foundation Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Hyper Real Foundation Swatches

The last part of the metallic launches this round is the Dazzleshadow Liquid. These have different finishes. Some are glitters and others are metallic sparkles. Online some have a description called “Satin” for finish but to me the satins are still very metallic and shimmery. These blend easily and stay on the lids all day long. They set nicely and once they do they don’t budge. At the same time they don’t crease and once they dry they don’t make the lids shrink or shrivel.

They have a sponge tip applicator which I use to swipe on the lids. Then I blend with my fingers.

MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid Review | The Beauty Look book

MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid swatches | The Beauty Look book

Colors I have are:

  • Everyday is Sunshine – metallic champagne with a hint of peach sparkle
  • Flash and Dash – gold and silver glitter
  • Beam Time – rose gold that flashes champagne
  • Love Yourself – cool metallic pink
  • Rayon Rays – metallic brown rose copper

Overall if you’re looking for more ways to glow MAC has you 100% covered. I did try a full look with everything in the collection and for me it was too glowy to wear everything shimmer. I did more testing and found that it was best to incorporate 2 shimmer areas max with this collection, such as face and eyes, or lips and eyes, or lips and cheeks. I think everything is well made but if you have a lot of shimmers I’d recommend you shop your stash. If you’re a true beauty junkie and have been for years there’s a high chance you already own and have been hoarding Silver Dusk from years ago. One jar will last you a long time and if you missed out I highly recommend you get it now.

I think all the formulas are standouts. Everything applies smoothly and blends flawlessly. If I had to pick just 1 item from each category it would be: Gloss in Spoil Yourself, Hyper Real Foundation in Rose Gold FX, Silver Dusk Loose Powder and Beam Time Dazzleshadow Liquid.

You can find the MAC Supreme Beam and Dazzleshadow Liquid collection out now. Available at MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Ulta Beauty, Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue.

All MAC items featured in this post were provided for review except Dazzleshadow in Love Yourself and Rayon Rays which I bought on my own.

 

MAC

MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Full Face Kit + Hot and Heavy Face Powder

June 17, 2018

MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Collection Review + Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC has quite a few new launches this month and I’m working as quickly as I can to swatch them for you! Up first is the MAC Patrick Starrr summer collection with the Summer Starrr Full Face Kit ($49.50) and Hot and Heavy Face Powder ($34). The items are limited-edition and the whole vibe of this launch is warm.

The Summer Starrr Full Face Kit comes at an incredible value price. You get an Eyeshadow Quad called Heat Stroke, Bronzing Powder in Give Me Life and two Lipglasses in Cream Pie and Fashion Punch. Colors for the lips and cheeks are very wearable for any skintone, the quad is more trendy and VERY warm with reds and oranges. Heat Stroke has four very pigmented and smooth eyeshadows. I’m one who still cannot really pull off the full-on reddish eyeshadow trend although every single one of my friends embraces it. And also everyone else I see wear it looks AMAZING while I do not. The NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette is still one of the few pinkish-toned palettes I can actually wear. Below is a closer look at Heat Stroke Eyeshadow quad. I tried it a number of ways and colors are just not for me.

MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Heat Stroke Eyeshadow Quad

MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Heat Stroke Eyeshadow Quad swatches

The Lipglasses are both light and neutral. They’re creams without shimmer. I feel like the Fashion Punch color has been launched before in the older original packaging. It’s a beige cream. Cream Pie is a neutral pink cream. I’ve swatched them below next to the Patrick Starrr Holiday 2017 lipglasses as well since he had two neutrals.

MAC Summer Starrr Lipglass Fashion Punch and Cream Pie swatches

MAC Summer Starrr Lipglass Fashion Punch and Cream Pie vs You Betta Werrrk and Mamastarrr

MAC Summer Starrr Lipglass Cream Pie and Fashion Punch swatches

The two cheek products are warm and summery. The Give Me Life Bronzing Powder is part of the Full Face Kit. It’s a warm matte brown that has a soft semi-sheer finish. On my skin it’s warm but not orangey. It’s a lot more wearable than it looks from what I see in the pan. The best item in the entire collection to me is the Hot and Heavy Face Powder which is available separately. It’s a soft golden champagne shimmer which is perfect! Shimmer is fine and smooth without any heavy frost.

MAC Give Me Life and Hot and Heavy

MAC Give Me Life and Hot and Heavy swatches

MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Collection Review + Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Collection Review + Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

The quality is excellent for everything in this launch. Colors are all smooth and apply beautifully. I think the face kit is an excellent value. I also fully support and applaud brand and influencer collaborations like this. It makes me really happy to see these kinds of partnerships! The colors have a good mix of neutral and on trend aspects. That being said, with kits I feel the same way about kits as I do palettes – they can be tricky if you don’t 100% love all the colors. For the Full Face Kit I cannot wear the Heat Stroke Eyeshadow quad by itself. It takes a lot of mixing with cools or neutrals for me to be able to pull off the colors easily – I did test everything for several days and embraced the red eye look at home and while out and about. It was well outside of my comfort zone. The rest of the items are more my vibe although I do think the color are dupeable. If you are looking to add more to your collection at a value price these items are great. If you own a lot of MAC already you may want to shop your stash.

My favorite item is the Hot and Heavy highlighter. It’s the perfect mix of warm gold + champagne for my skintone! I also really like the Cream Pie Lipglass as a wearable pale milky pink. Have you tried anything from this launch yet? What did you think?

You can find the MAC Patrick Starrr Summer Starrr Face Kit and Highlighter out now. The Summer Starrr Full Face Kit runs at $49.50 and Hot and Heavy Face Powder retails for $34. Available now at MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Ulta, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue and Dillard’s.

MAC Patrick Starrr items provided courtesy of MAC for review.

 

Holiday Gift Guide MAC

MAC Snow Ball for Holiday 2017

November 16, 2017

MAC Snow Ball Collection Review and Swatches

I’m rounding up one of the prettiest holiday collections this year with the MAC Snow Ball Collection. Everything is limited-edition and some pieces are harder to find as there are a few retailer exclusives. By now some of the items have sold out online but you may want to check your local stores to see if you can find anything. The entire collection launched a few weeks ago but as this is a pretty hefty collection it’s taken me a while to swatch, test and review everything. I received a number of press samples but tracked down some items at my local Nordstrom and MAC store. There’s still a massive amount of sets and palettes not featured today so know if you’re into more bold shades, pinks, glitzy glitters etc. there are definitely some other options to pick from that you can still find easily. Featured today includes:

MAC Snow Ball Lips

First are some lip picks. I love the MAC holiday lip sets because they often have minis and are color-themed. Being the nude lip lover that I am I knew I had to get the Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag because it has one of the prettiest nude lipsticks!

MAC Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag, Mini Nude Glosses and Lipsticks

There are six individual Snow Ball Lipsticks in the collection. It seems they’re sold out everywhere except MAC online. I have four which I purchased including:

  • Warm Ice which is a metallic pale gold beige (similar to Gel)
  • Holiday Crush is a metallic soft pink rose
  • I’m Glistening is a metallic taupe grey mauve
  • Elle Belle is one of the prettiest deep red creams

MAC Warm Ice, Holiday Crush, I'm Glistening, Elle Belle Lipstick swatches

MAC Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag, Mini Nude Glosses and Lipsticks Swatches

The Nude Lip Bag is my absolute favorite even if it seems dupe-able:

  • Sending Love Cremesheen Lipstick is the one of the most perfect nude pink lipsticks I’ve ever seen
  • Doubletime Pro Longwear Lip Pencil is permanent, it’s a toffee pink brown
  • Iced Dream Lipglass is a sheer sparkly pink gloss

The Snow Ball Nude Mini Lip Gloss Kit has three mini glosses all exclusive to the set, I love all the colors and they wear very well:

  • Below Freezing is a Cremesheen Glass formula with clear base with loads of pale pink sparkles
  • Iced Over is a Metallic Vamplify formula in a metallic but very wearable beige shimmer
  • Winter Warmer is a Cremesheen Glass formula which is a warm pink brown with a tiny bit of sheen

MAC Nude Lip Bag Swatches, MAC Nude Lipglass Mini Swatches

MAC Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag, Mini Nude Glosses and Lipsticks Swatches

MAC Snow Ball Highlighters

For the face there are lots of highlighter options. I don’t even want to admit how many MAC highlighters I own because it’s a ridiculous amount. I’m always surprised they manage to make new ones because it seems like all the colors have to have been done already. There are two individual Face Powders in an Opalescent Finish. They’re called Happy Go Dazzling which is a pale beige gold and Here Comes Joy which is a peachy shimmer. Both are noticeable on the skin but in comparison to other highlighters they have a slightly stiffer texture which makes them sheerer and less metallic. I love these because they don’t look garish on the skin but have a soft diffused look.

There are also some sets called the Snow Ball Face Bag which are a MAC and Nordstrom exclusive. Nordstrom has two options, a Peach Face Bag with Show Gold Extra Dimension Skinfinish (duochrome pink peach with loads of sparkle) and the Gold Face Bag which has Whisper of Gilt (metallic gold). These come with a sequins bag and small 140S brush in a metallic handle.

MAC Snow Ball Face Powders Happy Go Dazzling and Here Comes Joy, Snow Ball Face Bag Show Gold

I added a swatch of Whisper of Gilt that I have from older launches:

MAC Snow Ball Face Powders Happy Go Dazzling and Here Comes Joy, Snow Ball Face Bag Show Gold

MAC Snow Ball Eye Makeup

MAC Snow Ball Eye Makeup Swatches and Review

There are a few palette options, I received a press sample of the Snow Ball Eye Compact in Gold. Palettes can be tricky especially if you don’t 100% love all the shades. This one performs well for a smoky eye look but two of the colors are very glittery with a lot of fallout unless you pat it on the lids.

Mac Snow Ball Eye Compact in Gold swatches

For eye makeup all the single Extra Dimension Eye Shadows pretty much sold out the day they launched. I tracked them all down in stores and am not really sure why they sold out in record time. They are indeed super beautiful but very metallic. The texture is smooth and easy to apply. On the lids they are perfect party-wear shadows. Only Starry Starry Night, Delicate Drift and It’s Snowing are ones I feel like I could wear for regular everyday wear. The swatch photos don’t capture the metallic quality as well as I’d like but I hope they give you a good reference. Colors include:

  • Frostwinked metallic white glitter frost
  • Delicate Drift metallic soft pink glitter
  • Stylishly Merry duochrome bronze pink glitter
  • It’s Snowing shimmering silvery mauve
  • Starry Starry Night shimmering deep charcoal with silver flecks

There’s an eye bag set called the Snow Ball Smoky Gold Eye Bag with a duo of Extra Dimension Shadows of Just Gleaming (champagne pink) and Snowdusk (shimmering taupe) with a Technakohl Eyeliner in Photogravure and In Extreme Lash Mascara in Black.

MAC Snowball Extra Dimension Eyeshadow and Snow Ball Smoky Gold Eye Bag swatches

Last but not least is one of the brush sets which is the Snow Ball Brush Set Mini. It has three short-handled rose gold brushes in a brushed metallic handle finish including 421SE, 535SE and 560SE. I feel like I know my MAC brushes well but don’t remember seeing any of these numbers before. They perform really well for MAC brush sets – I often find the quality of the brush sets aren’t as good as the full size/individual brushes but these are really good for powders.

MAC Snow Ball Mini Brush Kit

One last look below. Overall lots to explore and love in this holiday collection. I really think there is something for everyone. If you’re looking for something under the $50 price point for gifts I think any of the lip bags are great. I love the Snow Ball Nude Lip Bag for $39.50 and the Mini Lipstick Kits or Gloss Kits are $29.50 each. I would personally pass on the eyeshadow palettes as I don’t 100% love all the shades. The individual eyeshadows are stunning but are on the glitzy side which makes them a bit challenging for everyday wear if you need a conservative look.

MAC Snowball Collection Review and Swatches

You can find the MAC Snow Ball Collection online and in stores at MAC Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Ulta Beauty, Bloomingdale’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. Everything is limited-edition and I’d definitely recommend you browse all the retailers as each store has something exclusive.

Press samples and purchased items featured. Press samples include the Face Powders, Mini Lip Gloss Kit, Eyeshadow Palette, Mini Brushes and Eye Bag Set.

Lips MAC

MAC x Nicki Minaj Collection Review + Swatches

September 26, 2017

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipstick and Lipglasses | The Beauty Look Book

The MAC x Nicki Minaj collection just launched which includes an entire collection of nude lipsticks and glosses. It’s literally a nude lip lover’s dream come true. There are two special edition nudes that were created by Nicki Minaj that come in gorgeous pink packaging along with eighteen other lipsticks and six lipglasses (some repromotes, some are new). I’m one of the biggest fans for nude lips but since I have olive skin and a naturally pigmented lip undertone finding one that works is super tricky. I’ve found over the years the trick with a lot of nude lip shades is that layering with pencils and gloss is key. Luckily brands have expanded their range of neutrals so I’ve actually found quite a few that don’t require extra work.

I bought the entire MAC x Nicki Minaj collection online since MAC select members had early access. The same day my order arrived a beautiful press package arrived so I ended up with two of everything. I’m passing along the duplicates I ordered to a few friends and my niece, but stay tuned I’ll be doing a giveaway on another post later this week. Many of these shades are on the lighter side and a lot look very similar on me (like super pale concealer). Also because I have a pigmented lip my natural lip shows through on many of the swatches which looks like it could be a dark lipliner but I assure you it’s not. It’s just my natural lip tone showing through.

MAC Nicki Minaj | The Beauty Look Book

What I have reviewed and swatched for this collection:

  • MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick The Pink Print
  • MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick Nicki’s Nude
  • Lipglass in: Under the Sheets, N-U-D-E, Please Me
  • Lipsticks in: Gossamer Wing, 2N, Bare Bling, Creme d’Nude, The Right Note, Derriere, Japanese Maple, Stripped, A Girl’s Got Needs, Easy Babe, Age Sex Location, Among the Fireflies, Playing Koi, Bosom Friend, Pretty Please, Baby’s All Right, Patisserie, Mmmmmmm

MAC x Nicki Minaj Review Swatches via The Beauty Look Book

Up first are the MACxNicki Minaj Lipstick colors in The Pink Print and Nicki’s Nude. Both have an amazing smooth opaque formula that covers the lip in one swipe. The Pink Print is a pale opaque pink peach however it’s on the soft side and the lipstick broke in the tube. To continue using it I’m most likely going to have to put it into a pot. A quick look at other reviews shows that I’m not the only one with the issue of breakage. Just something to keep in mind when applying – apply if very gently. Nicki’s Nude is a deeper baby peach. This one isn’t quite as soft for me but still smooth and soft.

MAC x Nicki Minaj The Pink Print and Nicki's Nude Lipstick

MAC x Nicki Minaj The Pink Print and Nicki's Nude Lipstick

Next are the MAC x Nicki Minaj nude lipsticks which I’ve split into two groups (based on order they were displayed in the box). Shown below include:

  • Gossamer Wing a pale soft shimmer pale beige
  • 2N light cream colored nude
  • Bare Bling light beige tan cream
  • Creme d’Nude peachy cream nude
  • The Right Note light-medium tan
  • Derriere muted medium brown
  • Japanese Maple pink peach sheer
  • Stripped medium tan nude
  • A Girl’s Got Needs medium tan brown
  • The Pink Print and Nicki’s Nude added in the swatch below

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipstick Review | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipstick swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Foundation worn is Tom Ford Waterproof Foundation in Natural (my MAC Studio Fix Fluid equivalent is NC35/37, these shades are also swatched here). As mentioned above all the lip swatches are on bare lips. There may be a visible dark ring around the edges as that is my natural lip showing through. All lip swatches done on bare lips.

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipstick Review swatches | The Beauty Look Book

Next set of nude lipstick colors include the following:

  • Easy Babe is a cafe latte brown
  • Age Sex Location is a slightly deeper brown neutral
  • Among the Fireflies is a mauve pink brown
  • Playing Koi is a pale warm pink (on me it’s like light concealer)
  • Bosom Friend is a pale cool pink
  • Pretty Please is a sheer lustre pink with a tiny bit of shimmer
  • Baby’s All Right is a muted cool mauve pink
  • Patisserie is a sheer glossy pink
  • Mmmmmmm is a deeper mauve pink rose

MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick Review Swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipglasses shown below in:

  • Under the Sheets is a sheer sparkly pale pink
  • N-U-D-E is a soft peachy pink shimmer (reminds me of Love Nectar)
  • Please Me is a pale pink cream, alone it’s a bit on the streaky side
  • Beaux (swatched/reviewed here) is a soft brown tan shimmer
  • Spite (swatched/reviewed here) is a cool toned neutral pink-brown-taupe
  • Spice (swatched/reviewed here) is a warm tan pink

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipglasses | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipglasses | The Beauty Look Book

MAC Nicki Minaj Lipglasses | The Beauty Look Book

I didn’t swatch any of the lip liners repromoted with this collection but in case you’re looking for a nude. I swatched quite a few side by side from various brands in my Neutral Lip Pencil post here.

MAC x Nicki Minaj Lipstick | The Beauty Look Book

Bottom line, even though many of these colors are hard for me to wear alone, I still think this launch is a nude lip lover’s dream. If you search for swatches of these online you’ll see many of the colors that look like concealer on me look quite different on those with lighter skin or lip tones. Playing Koi for example actually looks more true to tube on some while on me it’s just a washed out mess.

My favorites include: The Right Note, Japanese Maple, Stripped, A Girl’s Got Needs, Age/Sex/Location, Among the Fireflies, Patisserie and MMMMMM. I think Patisserie is the most natural looking neutral on my complexion and I think it would most likely be one of the more universal shades in the bunch. For the lipglasses nothing would have stopped me from buying Under the Sheets and NUDE however I do think they are similar to existing shades.

What’s your favorite nude lip right now? I know everyone has a different definition of nude so I’d be interested to hear what yours is!

You can find the MAC x Nicki Minaj collection out now, I usually buy mine at MAC and Nordstrom.

MAC x Nicki Minaj collection provided by MAC for review. Items also purchased by me.

Eye Makeup

New Eyeshadow Palettes from MAC Girls, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Kat Von D Beauty

August 14, 2017

Kat Von D Shade and Light Glimmer, MAC Girls Mischief Minx, Marc Jacobs Eye Conic in Glambition | The Beauty Look Book

There are some new eyeshadow palettes out and I put three to the test from MAC, Marc Jacobs Beauty and Kat Von D Beauty. At first glance the colors look really similar between the three that I have but swatching proves otherwise. They have varied undertones, different textures, finishes and pigment. I’ll say up front the new Marc Jacobs Beauty palettes win for pigment and blendability, MAC wins for the fun factor and Kat Von D is one I have mixed feelings on.

Up first is the one I had the highest hopes for which is the Kat Von D Shade and Light Glimmer Eye Contour Palette. The colors in here are just perfect but the formulas aren’t the same across the board. There are four formulas in this that Kat Von D calls:

  • Base Shades are soft satiny shimmers: Porcelain, Dusk and Dune
  • Contour Shades are perfect smooth metallics: Copper, Cinder, Rust
  • Define Shades are glitters: Bronze, Onyx, Jasper
  • Topcoat Shades are chunky glitters: Sterling, Glacier and Quartz

The Base and Contour shades are really amazing in texture and pigment. They’re velvety soft and easy to blend. The Define and Topcoat Shades are where this palette gets high maintenance. There is chunky glitter with tons of fall out in application and after application/clean up. You need to apply with either a damp brush or over a super emollient base to make the shades stick. With some glitters I find applying with a finger in a patting motion helps the shadow + glitter stick better with less fall out but with these fall out happened no matter what. If all of the shades were glitter free or in the contour formula this would have been 100% perfect. I can get it to work but it takes a LOT of extra work and clean up.

Kat Von D Beauty Shade and Light Glimmer Eye Contour Palette Sephora | The Beauty Look Book

Kat Von D Beauty Shade and Light Glimmer Eye Contour Palette swatch | The Beauty Look Book

Kat Von D Beauty Shade and Light Glimmer Eye Contour Palette Sephora swatches | The Beauty Look Book

MAC launched six personality palettes in their MAC Girls Collection and I received Mischief Minx as a press sample. I stopped by the counter and was seriously tempted by Prissy Princess and Power Hungry – some other gorgeous neutrals but decided for now to stick with Mischief Minx. It has a palette of shimmers and warm shades. Pigment is medium but buildable. This one is fairly warm in undertone but easy to wear (even the orange and red shades which I mix or blend). Each shade has a name but it’s only labeled in a removable plastic insert which is easy to lose.

MAC Girls Mischief Minx Palette Review

Swatched from left to right is: Mischief Minx (shimmering orange gold), Natural Tease (shimmering tan gold), V Frisky (light silvery gold), She-Nani-Gains (shimmering warm tan), Flaming Femme (matte rust), Schemer (satiny matte warm brown), Been There Done That (shimmering dark brown shimmer), Totally Trouble (black matte), Stride of Pride (gold peach highlighter)

MAC Girls Mischief Minx Palette Review Swatches

Last but not least is the Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette in Glambition. I’m a fan of the original Style Eye Con ones and the new ones have excellent pigment and texture which are just as good as the originals. Glambition is the most neutral option and the texture is super soft with a velvety feel. Pigment is just so SO good. Color-wise this isn’t necessarily the most exciting palette but it has easy to wear mix of neutrals and bolds that just work. They also layer well together.

 Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette Glambition

Colors left to right include She Was (satiny soft ivory cream shimmer), Infamous (soft rose tan matte), Known For (warm pigmented gold), Seeking (fawn brown matte), The Most (pale pink frost), Over the Top (matte warm brown), Glamour (matte black with gold flecks).

 Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette Glambition swatches

I highly recommend the MAC or Marc Jacobs palettes if you’re looking for a new one. The Marc Jacobs palettes have the best formula out of the three I tried but MAC has more fun wearable shade options to choose from. Kat Von D is one I have mixed feelings on – I still think the colors are just so good but formulas are hard to work with and super high maintenance which is not something I have the patience for. If you’re looking for a new eyeshadow palette that’s more streamlined and simple, you might want to check out the Chanel City of Lights Les 4 Ombres – I just bought it and will be reviewing soon.

Kat Von D Shade and Light Glimmer, MAC Girls Mischief Minx, Marc Jacobs Eye Conic in Glambition | The Beauty Look Book

I had planned to do some eye looks but I’m in the midst of a move and upcoming travel so I’m a bit limited on time for the moment. Have you tried any of these formulas yet? What did you think? In case you missed it my favorite eye shadow brushes listed in this post here.

Kat Von D Palette available at Sephora and Kat Von D Beauty.
Marc Jacobs Beauty Eye-Conic Multi-Finish Eyeshadow Palette available at Sephora, Marc Jacobs Beauty, Neiman Marcus.
MAC Girls Palettes available at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.

MAC palette provided for review. Others purchased by me.

 

Beauty Favorites Beauty Tools

Favorite Eye Makeup Brushes and Tools

July 19, 2017

Best Eye Makeup Brushes | The Beauty Look Book

By popular request I have an updated roundup of my beauty tools. So many of you have asked me what the best tools are for eye makeup and I’ve often referenced older posts. I was going through some recently and it’s hard to believe the last round up posts were done three years ago! Time literally flies! I’ve been building my brush collection for many years (for over a decade) and yet I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of the tools out there. When it comes to makeup brushes and tools I’m a creature of habit. For the longest time I’ve stuck with tried and true staples from MAC because they’re consistent in quality, they have kept the same designs for years and they get the job done. I have explored a lot of other brands over the years and today I have an updated roundup of the best eye makeup tools I own.

If I could just stick with one collection/brand I would – unfortunately no single brand has everything I want. I’ve split these into categories by shape/function. Also note that I don’t have a crease on my lids so I don’t use a crease brush like most would. I do a lot of blending to get a gradient or wash with neutral colors and then I also have a lot of detail brushes I use. I do realize this is a bit of a long list – I’ve included different options from a small handful of brands I really love as some of you may have different preferences for shape, brush size, handle size/width etc.  I’ll round up my top picks at the end of the post as well.

Up first are the basic shadow/lid brushes. I like ones that are soft but somewhat dense so I can pick up powders. A lot of these I use for creams as well even though synthetic brushes often work better – I like the soft texture and feel. Shown below from left to right:

  • Hakuhodo J242G ($18) is a hybrid goat and synthetic fibers making it versatile for all products. It’s a smaller size making it easy to pack on color on the lids.
  • Hakuhodo B J004G ($20) is my favorite one for the lids, it’s made of goat hair and extremely soft. This is the best lid color brush I have – it picks up the perfect amount of color and blends powders seamlessly.
  • MAC 239SH ($25) is also another favorite, it’s one of my most-used brushes, the SH version is exclusive to MAC stores and online. It’s soft and dense and perfect for packing product on the lids. It’s not as soft as the Hakuhodo but still very good.
  • MAC 239 ($25) is the full size version, I like that both the full and short handle have the same size bristles.
  • Chanel Blender/Shader ($42) is a new double ended brush that’s super soft with a nice fluffy feel. The small end is also dense but fluffy, the larger side is perfect for blending.
  • Wayne Goss 18 (old, discontinued) is unfortunately discontinued but was the best option that was slightly larger than the MAC 239.
  • Chanel Large Eye Shadow Brush #25 ($38) is another great option that’s larger than the MAC 239, it’s not as dense and slightly more loose in how its packed, note that all the Chanel brushes with the silver handles (ones in the current collection) are going to be discontinued. New ones will be introduced around the 24th so if you have any current options on your wishlist you should buy them soon.
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty The Conceal ($30) is actually a concealer brush (which it’s great for) but I really love this one for cream shadows. It has a beveled/angled tip so it makes the creams apply easily to the lids.

Eye Makeup Brushes Lids and Wash | The Beauty Look Book

Out of all of these my top two are the MAC 239 and Hakuhodo B J004G. I have multiples of both kinds and they’re probably the most versatile brushes I own.

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Next are the blending brushes good for a light sweep of color, for blending or a nice wash. With some of these you will probably be able to use as a crease brushes too. I prefer the ones with white hair as they’re usually soft and super fluffy. They’re small enough so there’s some density to them. Often times I find the darker ones are a bit too loose in the way they are designed. Shown below from left to right:

  • Edward Bess Luxury Eye Brush ($40) is my favorite large domed fluffy brush because of the density. It’s perfect for sweeping color on the lids for a nice wash and it’s also a great blending brush.
  • MAC 217 (also available in 217SH) ($25) is another great basic blending brush because of the softness. It’s perfect for blending out colors. For the longest time this was my favorite until I tried Tom Ford, Hakuhodo and Wayne Goss.
  • Wayne Goss 18 (from the Eye Set $130, individual $27) in terms of quality, I feel Wayne Goss has among the best brushes. They’re right up there with Tom Ford. #18 is the closest option to MAC 217.
  • Hakuhodo J5523 ($19) is made of goat hair and the equivalent of MAC 217. This one is far better in terms of how it picks up color and blends it out.
  • Wayne Goss 17 (from the Eye Set $130, individual $28) is a smaller sized fluffy brush, good for detail blending or crease blending.
  • Wayne Goss 16 (from the Eye Set $130, individual $30) is a bit longer and bigger than #18. This is a good all around blending brush.
  • Tom Ford 13 ($57) is a fluffy blending brush good for blending things up on the lid for a nice gradient. In my opinion Tom Ford brushes are the best brushes I own.
  • Tom Ford 11 ($57) is the ultimate wash brush. It applies the perfect amount of color to the lids and is super soft in feel. They’re really well made. The ones I have are made with natural bristles – at an event in the spring I was told Tom Ford was moving towards making brushes with synthetic materials but I haven’t received confirmation of when or if it has happened yet.
  • Hakuhodo J220G ($24) is a larger fluffy flat brush made of goat and synthetic fiber. I like this one and use it a lot but it’s not as dense as other ones so I prefer the other ones for density and this one for it’s size on some occasions.
  • Bobbi Brown Eye Sweep ($37) is a classic large dense fluffy round brush.
  • MAC 227SH (discontinued, $32) has been discontinued unfortunately, it’s more dense than the Bobbi Brown, but for now the BB is the next best option.

Best Blending Brushes MAC, Hakuhodo, Bobbi Brown | The Beauty Look Book

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For detail brushes my long-time go to has been the MAC 219 Pencil Brush which I’ve had for years. Unfortunately I lost mine either in the move or while traveling (but sometime in the past few months) and never got around to replacing it. It’s the best all around smudge or lining brush I’ve had but there are still quite a few others that are really good. Shown below from left to right:

  • Wayne Goss 08 (from the Anniversary Set $225, individual $17) is the tiniest detail brush I own. It’s perfect for getting into the tiny corners of the line or right along the lashes. It’s stiff but not harsh on the eyes.
  • Bobbi Brown Eye Definer (one shown is a special-edition one from a holiday set, but same as regular one) ($34) is a classic angled brush you can use for powder or gel liners. It’s also a good one for brows.
  • Wayne Goss 07 (from the Anniversary Set $225, individual $17) is the softest mini smudge brush, perfect for a smokey eye or blending out colors along the lash line.
  • Tom Ford 15 (discontinued) is the best smudge brush I have, unfortunately it’s discontinued.
  • Wayne Goss 05 (from the Anniversary Set $225, individual $20) is a super soft pencil brush, it picks up color a lot better than the MAC Pencil, but it’s smaller in size so not quite the same.
  • Laura Mercier Corner Eye Brush ($26) has been discontinued in most places, you can still find it online at a few stores right now like Bluemercury. It’s a good corner eye brush that gets color in tiny spaces with precise application but it’s large enough you can blend it out a little.
  • Hakuhodo G5514 ($17) is another great detail pencil brush to get that soft smokey eye.

Best Detail Brushes | The Beauty Look Book

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Misc brushes and tools shown below:

  • Chanel Large Tapered Blending Brush 19 ($38) this originally came in the brown natural hair, then was released in a white version, but not it appears it’s back to the brown. I have both and they both perform the same. This is a good detail blending brush – I use it for under the eye when I want a very soft diffused line or to blend out shadows along the upper lash line. It’s soft and blends colors perfectly. The shape is perfect. At this time I don’t have the full list of what brushes will be coming out around the 24th, but if this is on your list I recommend you get it soon as Chanel will be phasing out their current brushes and replacing them with a new line.
  • MAC 226 (discontinued) is the best small to medium blending brush, why they discontinued it is a mystery to me because there’s none other like it! For now one of the Wayne Goss brushes from The Eye Set (scroll up) will perform the same way, if not better because of the material it’s made of. However this one is still a really good one.
  • Wayne Goss 21 (from The Brow Set, $55) is the best brow brush for powders for me. I love that it’s wider than most and it’s super dense making it easier for me to get even application for both sides.
  • Surratt Eyelash Curler ($30) is one of the best curlers I own. It took me some time to learn to use because it’s so much wider than other brands. It performs really well.
  • MAC Eyelash Curler ($22) is my most-used lash curler. It always curls perfectly and I really like the shape.
  • Charlotte Tilbury Eyelash Curler ($22) is another good one that gets the job done without any pinching.

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That wraps up my favorite eye makeup brushes and tools post! I hope you found this helpful in case you’re looking for new tools. If I had to pick just one brand it would be nearly impossible to do – but at the moment it would probably be Wayne Goss but I’d have to add a couple from MAC. Overall great basics can be found from MAC – it’s easiest to find at stores and counters which means you can actually see and feel the brushes. For the longest time I didn’t buy brushes unless I could try them in person, but even when I lived in San Diego, I couldn’t find them all so finally had to order some sight unseen. There are a lot of great brush blogs out there so if you need more reference or comparison a google search will bring up some amazing reviews. Best quality and performance goes to Tom Ford, Wayne Goss and Hakuhodo. If I had to pick only 10 brushes to use for the rest of my life, it would be: MAC 239, MAC 217, Hakuhodo B J004, Hakuhodo J552, Edward Bess Luxury, Wayne Goss 07, Wayne Goss 08 and Wayne Goss 18.

What are your favorite tools?

Press samples include the Charlotte Tilbury Eye Lash Curler, Wayne Goss Eye Set and Anniversary Set brushes.

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