MAC Tour de Fabulous Lip Pencils: The Rundown

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Oh snap! It's The MAC Cosmetics Collection Formerly Known As Glamglass!

Once upon a time in MAC Cosmetics-land there was an upcoming collection known as GlamGlass. It promised a reinterpreted formula for the standard Lipglass I knew and loved. There was to be a new range of colors to fill the void in the current Lipglass lineup. But wait, there’s more! There was to be an extended range of new lip pencils as well. Colors sorely lacking in MAC’s current offerings. It was a bright range of colors that a brown girl like me rejoiced over.

And then the news came that due to supply/manufacturing/angry birds the Glamglass collection had been put on hold.

And then a few days ago we got news that the collection was indeed coming but not called GlamGlass. Regular bog-standard lip glasses but in a bright range of colors were coming along with their lip pencil counterparts. So, dear reader, here are some lip swatches from MAC’s Tour De Fabulous: AKA The Collection Formerly Known As Glamglass.

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In-store swatches. Top row: Lasting Sensation, Entertain Me, Embrace Me, Just Wonderful. Bottom row: Tour de Fabulous, StylePacked, Real Posh

There are eight (8) pencils and eleven (11) new lip glasses. Out of these, I swatched four of the pencils and three of the lip glasses that appealed to me. The four pencils I purchased are Lasting Sensation, Just Wonderful, Entertain Me and Embrace Me. The three lip glasses I swatched are Tour De Fabulous, StylePacked and Real Posh. I went for colors I felt were not already in my stash and which I felt suited my skin tone and would work for Spring/Resort 2012.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lip pencil swatches (no flash)

Lasting Sensation is a coral-pink color. Just Wonderful is a berry pink. Entertain Me is a bright citrus-orange while Embrace Me is a strong blue-fuschia color. Like with 95% of MAC’s lip pencils, they are fairly dry when applying them directly to bare lips. They are long-lasting and pair well with lip glasses and lipsticks to promote longevity. My only gripe with MAC lip pencils is how rough they are when applying them. So much tugging that it is very annoying. I find rubbing a new point on a paper towel helps with the roughness a little. While I prefer the softness of Make Up For Ever Aqua Lip pencils, I’ve had no performance issues with MAC lip pencils. They are $3 less than MUFE lip pencils and frankly the difference in wear is negligible.

Of the three lip glasses I swatched, all of them were quite opaque in color which is a major quality I look for as a woman of color. Tour De Fabulous is a gorgeous pink-coral that is more cream than the pearl in the comparable Strange Potion from Venomous Villains collection. StylePacked is a crazy, amped-up bright blue-based pink that is the crazy cream neon cousin to the pearly Pink Poodle. I have nothing in my stash that looks like the berry-colored Real Posh. The closest I have is Illamasqua’s intense lipgloss in Hermetic and that is more on the red side than berry. Due to the craziness in my MAC store I barely made it out alive with the lip pencils so I did not pick up the glosses. As soon as they arrive from Nordstrom this weekend I will be able to swatch them alone, with the new lip pencils and compared with other lip glasses I have in my stash.

The lip pencils from this collection retail for $14.00 USD while the lip glasses retail for $14.50 USD. They are Limited Edition (of course) and are available at all MAC counters and freestanding stores, and also at MacCosmetics.com and online retailers like Nordstrom.com.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lip pencils unboxed.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lip pencil swatches (flash)

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From left: MUFE Aqua Lip Pencil #16C, MAC Embrace Me, MAC Process Magenta Chromagraphic pencil, MAC Magenta lip pencil, MAC Embrace Me (with flash)

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From left: MAC Lasting Sensation lip pencil, MUFE Aqua Lip pencil in 18C

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Urban Decay 24/7 Shadow Pencil Stash: The Rundown

I’ve never been a fan of Urban Decay’s 24/7 eye liner pencils.  There, I said it.  So it’s very wierd that I have become hopelessly addicted to their 24/7 eye shadow pencils.  I had always swatched them in-store and thought they were appeared in Sephora, I snapped it up using my 20% VIB discount.

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Urban Decay 24/7 Eye Shadow Pencil Stash. I can't lie--the bright blue is what made me buy it.

The set consists of five (5) travel-sized versions of the full sized 24/7 shadow pencils. I would say they are about 2/3rds the size of the full-sized ones. Packaged in a cardboard compartmentalized box in a plastic sleeve, the set consist of three (3) neutral shades and two (2) bright shades. As these are pencils and not classified as a liquid, cream or gel, this flat box it comes in is very handy to toss into your carry-on.  Take that, TSA!

The Neutrals

The darkest neutral shade in the set, Rehab is a semi-matte taupe color.  Very nice to use as an eyeliner or to ‘smoke out’ the edges of a neutral smokey eye.  Juju is the second-darkest shade in this set and is a set-exclusive shade.  It is a frosty taupe that looks very nice on the lid alone, blended with Rehab for a neutral smokey eye or lined with Clash for an intense pop of color. Sin has to be my favorite neutral of this whole bunch. It is a bright, shimmery beige color that is the most perfect thing to highlight the inner corners and browbone of your eyes. The color is shimmery as compared to the glittery annoyance that is Midnight Cowboy, and you can buff it out with either UD’s Good Karma brush or another synthetic fiber blending brush (like e.l.f’s contouring blush from the Studio line) to blend out and tone down the shimmer to your liking.

The Brights

Let’s start with the obvious star of the bunch, Clash.  Clash is a bright turquoise blue that reminds me of those pictures you see in travel magazines of the Caribbean Sea.  It is a very shimmery color and while it packs a punch, if you use a light hand or a blending brush, it can provide a lovely cool wash of color to your eye look.  If you have brown eyes like I do, blues and greens are your BFFs.  Not daring to compete with brightness but instead with an intense dark sparkle, Delinquent is not for the faint of heart.  You can use it for an intense smoky eye look, or a not-quite-black eyeliner.

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From top: Clash, Sin, Juju, Rehab, Delinquent (w/ flash)

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Thick and thin swatches from top: Clash, Juju, Sin, Rehab, Delinquent (w/ flash)

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Without flash from top: Clash, Juju, Sin, Rehab, Delinquent

Color Hack

For comparison I’ve done swatches against some of the 12 hr waterproof eye shadow pencils Sephora has come out with. While the neutral shades appear to look very similar to the 24/7 shadow pencils and cover very well, they just  aren’t as vibrant. UrbanDecay also bests the turquoise and violet Sephora pencils in vibrancy and opacity. Considering Urban Decay’s shadow pencils retail for $19 and Sephora’s retails for $12, if budget is an issue and you couldn’t get your hands on this set you can pull off a good color hack with Sephora eye shadow pencils.

As compared to the Sephora neutral shades, Urban Decay’s 24/7 shadow pencils go on smoother and offer more opaque coverage in fewer passes than the Sephora ones do. My only gripe is that this set doesn’t include the crazy gorgeous green Clinic or the reminiscent of the 80′s Morphine. If I had my druthers I would have gotten rid of Juju (it’s too close to Rehab in my opinion).

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From top: UD Sin, Sephora Beige, UD Juju, Sephora Brown (w/ flash)

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From top: Sephora Turquoise, UD Clash, Sephora Violet, UD Delinquent (no flash)

Brown Girl Notes

Another quality I look for is opacity when it comes to shadow pencils. It is easy for a shadow to cover fair to medium skin. It isn’t as easy when it comes to dark skin because the pigmentation needs to be heavier and that usually translates into a higher price. All five (5) of the 24/7 shadow pencils built up opacity very quickly with very few passes. Even when blended out the color still retains its vibrancy on my lids.

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Smokey look w/ UD's 24/7 shadow pencils in Sin (inner lid & highlight), Juju (whole lid) and Rehab (blended in outer lid). Lipstick is Guerlain Rouge Automatique in Rose Bengale

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Eyes lined with UD 24/7 shadow pencil in Clash. Lipstick is Chanel Rouge Allure Satin in 'Enviree' w/ Chanel Bagatelle glossimer (Spring 2012)

End-of-Line Recommendation

While the set is definitely a better deal than the single pencils ($7 compared to $12.56 for 2/3rds of the full sized price), the real value comes from the neutral shaded ones (Juju, Rehab, Clinic). While I believe these colors look best on cooler-toned skins, they are gorgeous enough to enhance all skin tones. Toss in the pretty violet purple and turquoise pencils and you have a set that is very versatile and ready to go jet-setting when you are. As of this writing, these sets are available at UrbanDecay.com, Sephora.com and Beauty.com.

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Eyes 'smoked' with UD 24/7 shadow pencil in Rehab, lined with Delinquent. Lips in Chanel Rouge Allure Satin in Famous & Rouge Allure Laqcque in Triomphal (Christmas 2011)

Essie Luxeffects: The Rundown

Essie Luxeffects are a series of high-shine & glitter topcoats. Usually glitter and sparkle aren’t something I think of when I hear Essie so I was anxious to try these out. At $8 a bottle they are definitely cheaper than the Deborah Lippmann glitter polishes I own so I figured why not try them out?

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The store display in Ulta. So shiny and pretty!

I skipped the gold colors as they were too ‘yellow’ and on my cool-toned skin they would look like poo. Instead I opted to purchase Set In Stones (varying sizes of round and hex silver glitter), A Cut Above (a warm pink variegated glitter) and Pure Pearlfection (a gorgeous white shimmer).

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From left: Pure Pearlfection, A Cut Above, Set In Stones

Unlike with my higher-end glitter polishes like Deborah Lippmann and Rescue Beauty Lounge, Both A Cut Above and Set In Stones have that annoying habit of the glitter not going on smoothly. You have to do some maneuvering of the glitter on the brush to get it to go and stay here you want it to go. It’s more of a brush and ‘push to position’ rather than one swipe and done so make sure your nail color is dry before putting on this glitter. Once it dries, the glitter looks very pretty and is very eye-catching.

For me personally, A Cut Above was too warm of a pink so no matter what I wore under it the glitter looked great but the color looked absolutely awful against my skin. Performance-wise I had no issues with it.

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Essie Luxefffects: A Cut Above over SpaRitual Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.

Set In Stones didn’t have that problem as it is a very cool-toned flashy silver and looked great against my skin. The various shapes of glitter in this polish reminds me of Deborah Lippmann’s Today Was A Fairytale. I don’t own it myself but going by pictures I’ve seen it looks very familiar. The darker the base polish coat you use the more it pops out against it for a stunning effect. I used Esssie School of Hard Rocks (Winter 2011 collection), Trophy Wife and Dive Bar (permanent, Christmas 2011 repromote) as bases in the swatches below.

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Essie Luxeffects: A Cut Above over Trophy Wife

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Essie Luxeffects: A Cut Above over Sexy Divide (flash)

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Essie Luxeffects: A Cut Above over Sexy Divide (no flash)

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Essie Luxeffects: A Cut Above over Dive Bar (flash), my favorite!

Pure Pearlfection has to be my absolute favorite out of the entire collection. Best suited for use with light colors, Pure Pearlfection gives a ‘fresh fallen snow’ effect across the nail color. The closest thing to this that I own (but haven’t swatched as of yet) would be Deborah Lippman’s Bring On The Bling. I would definitely wear this in conservative office settings, and I also think it would look amazing on the nails of winter brides.

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Essie Luxeffects: Pure Pearlfection over butterLONDON's Lady Muck

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Essie Luxeffects: Pure Pearlfection over Cocktail Bling

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Essie Luxeffects: Pure Pearlfection over School of Hard Rocks

These are nice topcoats but they’ve been done before by various other nail polish companies. If I had to recommend one to purchase, it would be Pure Pearlfection. It is extremely versatile and well worth the price. When I first purchased these they were only available at Ulta. Now they are starting to show up in Target alongside of the Resort 2012 colors.

Sneek Peek: Guerlain Rouge G in ‘Greta’

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

A goodie I scored during my stay at the Waldorf=Astoria hotel in NYC. It so happens the hotel has a Guerlain spa and boutique so you know I had to indulge, right?

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I will be spending the week road testing this to see if it’s worth the $10 – $12 more than my beloved Bond girl Rouge Automatiques.