So today, MAC’s annual Mineralize collection came out-and if it was possible to be more overwhelming than last year’s, it succeeded. Seriously. But not in a good way. It’s a three displayer collection (face/lips, eyes, skincare) but to me, it was a case of the quality was not there like how I hoped.

The Skinfinishes were all nice-but with the amount of stuff that I have, it’s a case of pick and choose. Crystal Pink was nice, but I have Porcelain Pink and Glissade which serve the same purpose. The one I ended up getting-Rose Quartz-is a pinkier version of Stereo Rose, and while not an exact dupe I find I like this for the cheeks. A lot. Goldstone was nice, but from what I heard it was more shimmer than bronzer…and with So Ceylon and Northern Lights, I don’t need it. Pearl, finally, would be nice but if I want an ultra-shimmer, that’s what Shimpagne is for. The thing I like about these is the solid and then a veined section in the center-I’ll be using my solid part of Rose Quartz a lot.

The blushes were actually quite decent, and if I had unlimited funds I would seriously get all three because they were nicely pigmented. Feeling Flush, naturally, was my favourite. It’s a nice bright pink, but not a deep pink like Full Fuschia, Her Blooming Cheek, or any of those. It’s a bit more wearable, which reminds me that I should break out my Hello Kitty blushes. I haven’t used those in ages, and I’m kind of in a blusher rut at this time:) Warmth of Coral was quite pretty, but I have a lot like it already. Maybe if it hits the CCO, I will get it. Pressed Amber, finally, would be a good one to have for a more minimalistic look, for a contour, or maybe if I want to lay off the Key Largo for once.

The eyeshadows-the less said, the better when used dry, but wet? Probably another story. Faux Gold, Dark Indulgence, and Hint of Sapphire are all great, as is Blue Sheen. Smoked Ruby was pretty, but the red did not translate dry. Maybe wet would work better? Quartz Fusion and I believe Clarity (I did not write down my shades) were fallout city-but then again, so was She Who Dares, and used wet that is a beauty. I am sad that I didn’t really have time to play with them, but there’s always another time. At the same time, though, I have similar colours to a lot of this, and unless you are going for very specific nuances in colours I feel that a lot of these can be duplicated easily. I mean, I have She Who Dares, three UD Books of Shadows, and a few pro shadow shades-and I don’t wear a ton of neutrals. That made it easy for me to pass:) Read the rest of this entry »

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So if you are wondering why I didn’t do this before now…I couldn’t. For this collection only, there were no preorders, no previews. There were unveilings, and the collection was online early, however I had to work the night of the unveiling (not to mention it’s at the other MAC store in the area, which is WAY out of the way), and I had other things I needed to buy.

So with a collection like this, expectations were understandably high. It had been announced months ago, and with the whole superhero theme people were probably expecting greatness. Venomous Villains? GREAT! This? Supremely underwhelming. It’s not BAD, but there are quite a few duds in there and a very, very high number of repromotes.

Let’s go from eyes-down. Starting out with the mascaras. While I do like that they did coloured mascaras, and I do like the notion of them having the Opulash, one of their newest ones, as the featured one…I personally do not like Opulash. I can’t do the big brushes. You have a blue, a green, a red, and a black, but like I said, I will be doing none of them.

Of the eyeshadow quads, two of them are complete and utter failures. The pink quad is actually something I would get a lot of usage out of, even though I don’t like the finish. I have to say, I am so glad that they brought back the 1×4 style quad, because it fits in my traincase a lot better. Is it an absolute essential? No. But I may get it next paycheck if it’s still around.

The less said about the other two quads, the better. In all honesty, if you want a good green quad, or at least better, the one from Makeup Art Cosmetics was a better option.

There’s also a jumbo-sized Penultimate Liner, but I don’t see the purpose because it just means a thicker line, and a felt pen won’t retain its sharpness forever. Not to mention I don’t like the look of it-I’d have gone with one of the liners that came out with Fab Felines instead.

Two pigments came with this collection. Bright Fuschia, one of the many “not technically eye-safe” shades, is in there, but if you live near a MAC store it was one of the ones, along with Antique Green, that was made permanent there last year (in addition to the six others that gained permanent status). It’s a nice one, however there has been a LOT lately that has looked like that, so it’s easily skippable. Plus, it’s permanent! Marine Ultra is the other one-yet another shade permanent at PRO stores. Anyways, this is a bright, intense royal blue. It has the potential to stain, so be careful with it. This will require a very good base. I do want it, however I have Atlantic Blue and Freshwater shadows and never use them. I did get a sample, and while it is a bit tricky to work with I find that you just need a 228 (or 219) and then just blend it, because like I said, it is tricky to work with. It makes for great gradient eyes though with Sky Blue and Moon’s Reflection. Read the rest of this entry »

I finally got around to checking it out, doing my pre-order…and I definitely believe that this is a collection that will live up to the hype. There are very few duds in the collection, and a lot that is definite “must-buy” worthy.

I am not going to go through by displayer-rather, by product type, then the Villain and each of their shades.

Eyeshadow
Cruella de Vil: Sweet Joy is a pretty basic frost-it seems very comparable to Solar White or Nylon to me, so it’s very, very dupeable. It’s not even as nice as Solar White. De-Vil is the standout, bar none. It’s a gorgeous true copper colour, definitely less red than Coppering so if you have Coppering, you won’t be able to avoid this one. This was an item that made it on my list-granted, it’s more neutral than what I typically do, but who’s counting? Carbon is permanent, and figure 8 of 10 MAC fanatics own this.
Evil Queen: Her Alter Image is GORGEOUS. It’s like a brighter, sort of blue-toned Beautiful Iris. If you have that AND Crazy Cool from Dare to Wear, I can see you avoiding this unless you like light purples, like me. In that case…you need this. Vainglorious was the one dud. I wanted to like it, but payoff just sucked:( I may give it another try, but I am not holding my breath. Vile Violet is a matte blue-toned dark violet, and well…it ain’t my sort of colour, to be blunt.
Maleficient: These are Mineralize duos, not regular shadows, and they are GORGEOUS. My Dark Magic is a pink/plum duo (black based) but there wasn’t enough difference between the two in order to make a difference for me. She Who Dares, though, is going to be amazing if you use it wet or with a primer, because the shimmer is absolutely gorgeous. Part of it is a blue, part of it is a green, also with the black base. This is the one that I feel is the must-have of this, although I need to really play around with it some more.

Lipsticks
Cruella: Innocence, Beware is the sort of lipstick that is put in just to make the collection more “commercial”-that is, a shade for the everywoman who wouldn’t even dare to do one of the reds (that was me before I really got into makeup), but to me, it’s just your typical neutral pink shade. Heartless is amazing. It’s a lovely true red Amplified, which is the sort of colour I can’t get enough of. This will definitely go fast, as the pigmentation is absolutely amazing.
Evil Queen: Sinister is a brown-toned Lustre, which is a finish that is really hit-or-miss for me. It would be pretty on some, but it’s not my sort of colour. Toxic Tale, despite being a satin, is probably one of the best items in the collection. It’s a BRIGHT pink-coral colour, that does not veer to being too orange or too pink. A perfect melange, with decent lasting power as well. It’s very wearable, it swatched brighter on my hand than it did on my lips but then again, it’s the kind that works amazing with my skin tone.
Maleficient: Dark Deed, a really dark burgundy Amplified, is a shade that I like but it’s not necessarily a must-have for me. I honestly think that I have enough darks already, but who knows-this may end up being mine. Then there’s Violetta, which is a perennial favourite when MAC releases their trend reports for each season-thus ending up on the website. Because I rarely order online, I don’t already own this-however this was a definite for sure when it came time for me to do my preorder. It’s a bright violet Amplified, so expect lots of colour with this one. (Can you tell what my favourite lipstick finish is?)

Lipglass
Cruella: Devilishly Stylish is a really pretty sort of everyday shade-it’s your typical super-shimmery light shade that works for people who just want shine and shimmer, rather than a whole lot of colour. Wicked Ways is another standout-incredibly pigmented, super wearable, and the best red lipglass since Cult of Cherry. To say that you need this is a definite understatement.
Evil Queen: Also two insanely amazing shades! Strange Potion is a pale coral that veers pink, but there’s still a definite brightness to it. I’m in love with it, to say the least. It did not make my preorder but it will be on Round 2 (yes, I am doing two rounds-one preorder, one with my usual folks). It reminds me of one of the Pret-a-Papier glosses, but even better. Hot House, on the other hand, is one that when I read about it I knew it was going to be in the order. It swatched brighter than it showed up on pictures, however it is nice and bright with liberal silver sparkle in there.
Maleficient: These are two polar opposites. Revenge is Sweet is a jelly-like purple-fuschia mix, with no shimmer whatsoever. I haven’t seen MAC put out many jelly-like Lipglasses (sure there have been other things, but not like this since I have been into MAC), so this is one that is worth a look. Wrong Spell, meanwhile, is great for those of us who are having Style Black regrets (skipped it, but then regret it) because it is a purple so dark, it’s almost black. There is a little shimmer, and it’s not as pigmented as say, Hot House, but there is a decent amount in there. I forgot to put this on my pre-order, but I will get it eventually. Read the rest of this entry »

Once again, I have come through with the goods-this time, for Fabulous Felines! This is the uber-big fall kickoff, and as like last year, there’s three equally-sized displayers for you to choose from. Each displayer has three lipglasses, four lipsticks, two pigments, a shadow quad, a mineralize blush, three of the new liquid liners, and then brushes. (One of them has two) I will get to the brushes at the very end, because THIS is awesome.

Anywhoo, my overall thoughts is that this is good, but not necessarily great. Granted, when you have a cat-inspired collection, you are going to have a lot of neutrals, but the fact that they put in some more unusual colours excites me greatly. In a nutshell, it builds on Pret-a-Papier, which was a bunch of neutral-ish colours. I thought that I was just going to be able to get out with three of the lipglasses-but I was wrong. I also got to try a few on, and I will have my thoughts on those.

Working our way through the first displayer (Leopard Luxe), here are my thoughts:
Eye quad: It’s definitely a very neutral quad, the most so of the three, but it’s got the classic leopard shades. The matte beige is nice, I was unimpressed with the brown, the blackish shade was decent, but the star was the neutral orange. Yum yum.

Eyeliners: The gold one is absolutely insane. This is a total must-have-think bling, on top of bling. It’s so bright it’s nearly blinding. The black isn’t anything great, and the grey is pretty, but it isn’t must-have.

Lipglasses: All of these are very, very pretty. A Quiet Roar is a whitish pearlescent shade with decent pigmentation (but obviously not opague), while Schemer is camel with pearl and also decent. Wildly Refined, though, is absolutely awesome. Think something a little similar to Thrills lipstick from To The Beach, but with more orange and in lipglass form. That’s this in a nutshell.

Lipsticks: Outminxed is a really, really pretty glaze-it’s definitely one to me that is interchangeable with Liquid Lurex. If you have one, you don’t need both because they’re that similar. Powerful is a pigmented Dazzle that isn’t overtly frosty-this is definitely one that I recommend. It’s a bronzey shade with a smidge of coral, so a perfect summer-to-fall shade. Drive Me Wild is a lovely darker coral Cremesheen-it’s not going to pull overly orange based on the swatching I did, so I think this is a good way to dip your feet in the pond, so to speak. Finally, there’s The Prowl, which is a lustre chocolate. It would definitely be a good layering lipstick, because of the Lustre finish-really pretty with Outminxed, perhaps?

Mineralize Blush: WOW WOW WOW. This is a neutral coral-again, not overly orange-and the pigmentation is absolutely insane. It isn’t a shimmer bomb-think a little less shimmer than Nuance, and more coral (obviously). That is this. I so need this, it isn’t funny.

Pigment: One of them, Old Gold, is a repromote. However, the other one, Lithe, is a new one, and it can best be descibed as this: Jardin Aires (a sort of peachy neutral) but more golden, with sparkle. It’s very pretty, it WILL sell out. Read the rest of this entry »

Yet another advantage of being near the MAC store and doing my preorders is getting to see collections and preorder! It’s a vicious cycle, and these are just proof of that. This collection launches on the 29th of July (so three weeks from now) but see about preordering, as some of this stuff is awesome.

I’m going to talk about the eyeshadows first-each one of them is a crazy cool shade. Many of them are new, a few are some of the PRO shades, a few more are shades that became permanent this year, and there’s one lone LE repromote. They are:

Going Bananas-A frosty banana yellow that originally came out with C-Shock. I have this with the Manish Arora palette, and it is nice but you have to be very careful, as this can tend to get a film on top. The easy way to deal with films, though, is to take a piece of Scotch tape and take off the top layer-you’ll get a useable shadow again, and none of the other crap.
Shock-o-Holic-A bright midtone purple matte, I found this a little tricky.
Crazy Cool-The lone Veluxe Pearl in the collection, this is a bright pale lilac with shimmer. Absolutely gorgeous, and great payoff.
Zingy-A bright turquoise-blue matte, this is so dupeable it isn’t even funny. If you have Electric Eel or Clarity, you can skip this.
Sassy Grass-I call this a “primary green” matte, as it is like the sort of green you’d find in a preschool set of building blocks. OPI Green-Wich Village is very similar, to give you an idea of the colour.
Louder Please-A matte bright pinky-red, this seems dupeable enough to where if you have Sushi Flower and Red Brick already, you don’t need this. Red Brick is WAY superior, I would go so far as to say it’s one of the best mattes there is.
Lime-As the name implies, it’s a lime green matte. It’s quite pretty, and doesn’t seem the most difficult to work with.
Aqua-Now this is one difficult, chalky mess. I would like to try it with my 228, because I might get it to work that way, but it’s the reason why I hate most mattes.
Sky Blue-Mmmmmmmmm delish. The other frost in the collection, the payoff is great and this is a good excuse to skip some of the In The Groove shadows.

There’s also Winkle, Free To Be, and Atlantic Blue. I may or may not be missing one of the permanent shades, but I think that’s it.

Then…there’s the Dare to Wear Glass. Read the rest of this entry »

So thanks to working near a MAC store, I went in to get some neon pigments-but I also got to take a look at In The Groove. All I have to say: this is one of the best collections MAC has put out in years. I said that about a few things, but this is truly amazing. If you were put off Mineralize by all the crap that was released-come back to the fold. More on that later.

There are six Cremesheen lipsticks with the collection. Creme de Nude is permanent, so I ignored it. Call My Bluff is a mocha colour, although not terribly dark-but then again, not the sort of shade I would typically wear. Jazzed is a gorgeous shade that seems like a more neutral version of Vegas Volt-definitely a coral. All Styled Up is one that I almost got, because it’s the perfect sort of pale bright pink, but I wouldn’t wear it that much. I Like It Like That was pretty and it’s nice to have a darker pink Cremesheen, but again, not bright enough. Then…we have Go For It. It’s a dark purple. Needless to say, this will sell out. I put it on pre-order, and this I actually did test on my lips. It’s very pigmented on its own, but it plays well with a variety of glosses and other lipsticks, so if you are too scared to wear it on its own then try it with some other stuff.

I also tried four of the Cremesheen glasses. On The Scene is quite pretty-it’s one that could work for a lot of people, being a coral beige. Seems like a weird combination, but I swear it’s purty. You’ve Got It and Fashion Whim-a silver grey and a neutral respectively-are definitely ones I see being popular with some, but not with me. Chillin’, though, will sell out. It’s a pale, pale blue, and alone it isn’t much. You have to use it over stuff, though, for the transforming powers to really come out-and come out they do! It turned the dark purple of Go For It into a bright lavender-so I’m a huge fan. One way of making it wearable eh?

There are five Mineralize blushes in this bunch, and all of them are wonderfully pigmented. Hang Loose is absolutely beautiful on, with a rose shimmer side and then a more satin-finish lavender. New Vibe-a bronze/rose duo-is a great summer shade. Band of Roses is great for pink lovers with the shimmery brighter pink and a plum rose. Happy Together and A Little Bit of Sunshine are also okay, but more “meh” to me.

Nine new Mineralize eye trios are here, and these are AMAZING. Literally. These feature NO CHUNKY GLITTER. I repeat, NO CHUNKY GLITTER. These are mostly a more satin/Veluxe Pearl finish, and the range of colours is quite great. Blue My Mind is a trio of a sky blue, a teal-blue, and a black, and after one swatch I was in love. Soften The Mood is another gorgeous one-I cannot get over the pairing! Too awesome. Sadly, my swatches turned up quite bad-as in not properly photographing them-so I will not have identified/better swatches until next Thursday at the earliest. I know, c’est terrible. Read the rest of this entry »

Alrighty, so here’s some swatches of some notable things that I saw at ULTA today, as well as other general tidbits.

Urban Decay had a lot of the new summer stuff-the tinted moisturizers, the setting spray, the Summer of Love shadow box, and the new Pocket Rockets and Primer Potion. The Primer Potion coating on the bottle-that matte nude paint-chips off easily, for what it’s worth. I also finally got to swatch Eldorado and it’s one gold liner that I could see myself actually using a bit. The Pocket Rockets? Meh. Not a huge fan of the nude men, and don’t like the colours either.

Smashbox had their summer collection, and the lipglosses in the set are TINY. Maybe about an inch long tube, as far as the part that holds the liploss goes. I have heels that are higher than these tubes are long. The eye primer is awesome, though, and the cheek duo can’t be missed-very natural looking, with lasting power as well. I’m a huge fan.

Napoleon Perdis apparently has a bronze set for $39 with a bronzer, a brush, and something else. Couldn’t see the Astro Girl quads, else I would have swatched them for you all.

The new Essies and OPIs are out-we’re talking the Essie Summer collection, and OPI Summer Flutter. The Summer Flutters will be done in another post:) Also, they had some CHI polishes on clearance for $5-nothing particularly exciting, but still looks decent.

They also had the new Too Faced stuff, but I didn’t get to try it. The new Benefit Pore Fessional was up at the registers.

Finally, the grill/cooler set? The grill is tiny-you could maybe fit four burgers on there, if that. It’s also coated to prevent rusting, meaning be very careful with it as it could stain (their disclaimer, not mine). The cooler is decent sized though-I think it’s an unusual yet fun set for the beach.

Now for the swatches!

Top: The Smashbox set of glosses
Below that: Smashbox Photo Finish Lid Primer, Smashbox High Lights/Creamy Cheek duo, Urban Decay Eden primer potion

The Cargo Swimmables set, UD Eldorado liner, UD Colin and Max Pocket Rocket glosses