Makeup Intel: MAC So Reel / Real Sexy [April 2012]

UPDATE! –> Official promo photos are up and you can see them here!

A little preface before we continue with this updated post.

What's this I'm seeing on Specktra? ANOTHER MAC collection? Yup!

As you can see if you’ve been reading my blog for awhile (and I am so grateful and thankful to each and every one of you readers) you’ll notice these Makeup Intel posts. I’ve noticed that while some folks post about upcoming collections and the color story, I’m more interested in how it translates to what I own, what folks might own, what my beauty sense says to grab and what to leave behind and look for later at the CCO (Cosmetics Company Outlet–where cosmetics go to die).

So what’s the big news for Reel Sexy? A color story, swatches and a slightly postponed release date. A HUGE shout-out to Itching2Snitch over on Specktra for the color swatches.

MAC’s Reel Sexy collection is scheduled to release in APRIL 2012 now and is reported to consist of four (4) lipsticks, four (4) Cremesheen Glass (can’t stand those damn things), four (4) eye shadow duos, four (4) eye kohl pencils, Zoom Fast lash, Mineralize Skinfinish (Lightscapade) and two (2) blushes. You can see FabDiva20’slist of individual items from the collection.

MAC Reel Sexy Collection Lipsticks (yes, Watch Me Simmer is BACK!)

I really feel MAC has another strong lipstick lineup in this collection. The four lipsticks in this collection are Pink Popcorn, Reel Sexy, Watch Me Simmer (yes, THE one from Cook MAC) and Heroine. Pink Popcorn is described as a lavender color with a Lustre finish. MAC’s Lustre formulas have been very nice of late and I’m guessing it will have a pretty nice color payoff like Flamingo from the Iris Apfel collection. Reel Sexy is described as a light, bright coral with an Amplified finish. I feel that Amplified finishes are the best finish lipsticks MAC produces so the payoff should be amazing on general principle. I’d really like to know if this color leans orange or pink coral but I’ll have to wait until I can swatch it to find out. Watch Me Simmer is a pink coral that pulls really pink on skin with red undertones like mine and more orange on warmer skintones. If you missed out on getting this when the Cook MAC collection came out, make it a top priority to haul this color as it is well worth the hype. Heroine (not to be confused with Heroine from the Wonder Woman collection) is described as a bright violet purple with a matte finish. I love violet purples so if this matte finish is nice and smooth like Quick Sizzle was, I’m very much looking forward to it.

MAC Reel Sexy Collection Eye Shadow Duos

The Dynamic Duo eye shadows (cue 1960’s Batman theme music) are most likely packaged like the Colourizations duos that came out last year. Dynamic Duo One (DD1) coral with yellow pearlized pigments (veluxe pearl)/purple (matte). Dynamic Duo Two (DD2) violet duo chrome with pearlized pigments (frost)/violet (matte). Dynamic Duo Three (DD3) mid-tone purple (veluxe pearl)/teal blue (matte) and Dynamic Duo Four (DD4) is a mid-tone pink (satin)/blackened violet (matte). As I feel MAC’s Veluxe Pearl finishes give you more value and performance, I’d lean towards picking up DD1 and DD3 if the colors appeal to you. I will say that if the teal blue of DD3 looks too much like Robin’s Egg from Iris Apfel, it may not make purchasing this duo worthwhile.

Reel Sexy Collection Cremesheen Glasses

I am not a big fan of the Cremesheen Glass finish. I’m also not a fan of the Creamsheen lipstick finish. However, the look of Color Saturation just may change my mind. The four colors in this collection are: Private Screening (a mid-tone peach), Cinestyle (a mid-tone blue grey violet), Colour Saturation (a dark cool wine) and Star Quality (a bright orange coral). Considering the cost of Cremsheen glasses, the lighter colors aren’t as much of a good value as the darker colors if you plan to wear them alone.

Swatches of Blushes from MAC's Reel Sexy (credit: Specktra.net)

The two blushes in this collection are Pink Cult (a repromote from the Jeanius collection from last year) which is a mid-tone neutral pink and Magenta which is a bright magenta. I passed on Pink Cult in the Jeanius collection because I though it too warm for my skintone. Magenta looks gorgeous but as I already own a Magenta CCB from the Stylishly Yours collection, I’m not anxious to buy this one.

Phew! That’s enough for now. Once I hear a more firm release date I will update this post.

Much thanks to the gals at Specktra.net for the scoop.

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NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Polynesia: The Rundown

Yes, dear readers, I am finally ready to give you the scoop on the once-postponed but now finally released tinted moisturizer from NARS! Cue the Super Bowl-like cheering….

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Finally! NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer has been released! (Polynesia shade)

Exclusively released first at Nordstrom and scheduled for release at NARSCosmetics.com on 15 February 2012, NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer boasts beneficial skin ingredients (including some from Francois Nars beloved French Polynesia), an SPF of 30/ PA+++ and is available in nine (9) shades.

NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer Colors

1 Finland – Lightest with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
2 Alaska – Light with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
3 St. Moritz – Medium with a neutral yellow undertone
4 Annapurna – Medium with a neutral peachy undertone
5 Cuba – Medium with a neutral balance of pink and yellow undertones
6 Malaga – Medium dark with warm caramel undertones
7 Seychelles – Medium dark with golden olive undertones
8 Martinique – Medium dark with warm red undertones
9 Polynesia – Dark with warm chocolate undertones

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From left: Malaga, Seychelles, Martinique, Polynesia (w/ flash)

Going by the promotional swatch shots NARS released to the press, it looked like my skintone (MAC NW43) was between Polynesia and Martinique. Usually I am ‘Dark 1′ in NARS foundations so that was another reason I went with Polynesia. While mine was en route to my house from Nordstrom.com, a blogger named Micheleista managed to get swatches of Cuba and Martinique along with Polynesia and going from her swatches, my ideal color would be between Cuba and Polynesia. [UPDATE> My local Sephora just got these in stock and I was color matched with Martinique which turned out perfect for my winter skintone. Will review within the next week or so]

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Swatches of NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer in Polynesia (no flash/HDR)

One thing I noticed right away is how the tube actually feels in my hand. Perhaps it’s ergonomic design, perhaps its art but I like how it fits the natural grip of my hand unlike the longer tube of my Laura Mercier Oil-Free tinted moisturizer. Unlike with Laura Mercier, you can see the color of the product without having to remove the cap. And speaking of the cap, I really like the flip-top design. It is much more convenient and easier to access than the screw-top of other brands of tinted moisturizer.

The color itself is sheer yet the pigments are translucent enough not to show up ashy on dark skin. It blends easily and dries down quickly–an important feature for my oily skin. After it dries down on your skin, it leaves a semi-glow look that is very natural. Not as made up as when I use my NARS Sheer Matte foundation but more ‘my skin but better’. I’m not a fan of the ‘dewy’ look as I already have oily skin so using a pressed powder like NARS’ Pressed Powder in Solei, or MAC’s Careblend powder gives a beautiful matte finish the face. I found myself using this mostly on Saturdays and Sundays where I want to have great looking skin but not necessarily look more formally made up.

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Full face look with NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer in Polynesia (NARS Kuala Lumpur eye shadow duo on eyes, Matte Velvet lip pencil in Damned on lips/ outside natural light)

When it came to performance, NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer did not disappoint. The texture of the moisturizer is very lightweight and it is not an exaggeration to say it feels like you have nothing on your face as it dries down. Some people like to apply tinted moisturizer with their fingers and that method would definitely work with this product, but I prefer to use either a stippling brush by MAC or the Sonia Kashuk flat-top face brush from Target for more controlled and precise blending. I wouldn’t call this tinted moisturizer waterproof but I did find it to be somewhat water-resistant. During a very hard workout I blotted the sweat off of my face with a towel (blot, don’t wipe or everything will come off no matter what brand it is) and hardly any of the tinted moisturizer came off. I will be Florida testing this when I go to Disney World for Easter so we’ll see how NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer hangs with the likes of high humidity, Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids.

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Polynesia swatch blended in (no flash/HDR)

NARS claims to want to cover a wide range of skintones with this product. And for the most part that is true. Polynesia definitely makes me look more like my summer NW45 skintone and it definitely makes my NW43 winter skin look like I’ve gotten some sun. As I mentioned earlier, the pigments in this formula are translucent and I can see women approaching NW/NC50 range being able to wear this as it will enhance your skintone. In addition to the top-shelf SPF 30/PA+++, there are good-for-your-skin botanicals and ingredients that claim to help reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots caused by hyperpigmentation. Women of color are very prone to hyperpigmentation due to such things as acne scars (I’m very familiar with this one) and other factors so this is a very nice benefit.

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Clockwise from top:NARS Promo shot of model wearing Polynesia, Me wearing Polynesia (natural outside lighting), back of NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer tube in Polynesia, Me wearing Polynesia (indoor lighting, no flash)

NARS Pure Radiant tinted moisturizer retails for $42 for 1.9 ounces of product. When compared to my Laura Mercier Oil-Free Tinted Moisturizer which only has 1.7 ounces of product and is SPF 20 and has the same price, it is a very good value for the money. If you have super-oily skin as I do, and find the Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer to take too long to dry down (which was very annoying when I Florida tested it), it’s worth it to give NARS tinted moisturizer a chance. I am very pleased with this product and plan to use it more extensively when my skin gets darker in warmer weather here in the Philadelphia suburbs.

So are you sold? Are you planning on buying this? Let me know in the comments section!

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From left: MakeUpForEver Velvet Mat+ in #75, NARS Polynesia, MAC Matchmaster 8.0, NARS Polynesia, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Moisturizer in Mocha, NARS Polynesia, MAC Studio Fix Fluid NW45 (flash)

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From bottom: MakeUpForEver Velvet Mat+ in #75, NARS Polynesia, MAC Matchmaster 8.0, NARS Polynesia, Laura Mercier Oil-Free Moisturizer in Mocha, NARS Polynesia, MAC Studio Fix Fluid NW45 (flash)

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From top: NARS Polynesia, NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in New Guinea, NARS Polynesia, NARS Sheer Matte Foundation in Trinidad

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Love the bottle, the formula and this shade. Definitely pick one up!

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NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer box, instructions and ingredient list

Rescue Beauty Lounge Locavore”: The Rundown

Bling, bling, Locavore’s the thing!!

Absolutely jam-packed with uniform glitter in light green, dark green and purple, it’s no wonder Locavore took the top spot in the Rescue Beauty Lounge BIB2 round of voting.  The predominance of glittery green appeals to the die-hard Tinker Bell fan in me and I could totally see her rocking this color.

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Locavore by Rescue Beauty Lounge. So glittery a tinker fairy would be lemming for it!

The glitter brushes on evenly (no ‘push and place’ as with some other glitter polishes) and you can get a pretty nice opacity in two to three coats.  The glitter is very finely milled so when it dries the glitter is barely felt when you touch it.  My favorite use of this polish is to put it over either a dark green or purple polish like Orbis Non Sufficit or Mismas.

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RBL Locavore on bare nails. 2 coats w/ flash

As with all RBL polishes I own so far, I get a little over a week of wear with this and only minimal tip wear. As I work in IT I type a LOT (over 120wpm) so while I do expect my nail polish to wear at the tips, shattering and sending dangerous shards of nail polish isn’t something that happens with RBL. In other words, no chipping. Cost per bottle is $18 and free domestic shipping is offered for orders over $100 ($200 for international orders) at RescueBeauty.com. Remember, Rescue Beauty Lounge nail polishes are 5-Free and Made in the USA.

So are you totally lemming for this? You should be. But don’t wait too long to purchase as these will only be available as supplies last.  Get it while you can at retail while you can because she who hesitates will wind up auction sniping.

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RBL Locavore over RBL Orbis Non Sufficit

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RBL Locavore over RBL Mismas--Mardis Gras anyone?

butterLONDON Spring 2012: The Rundown

Spring 2012 has indeed sprung for butterLONDON. Check out the display I saw at Ulta Beauty this past week:

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Butter London's Spring 2012 Polishes displayed at Ulta Beauty

butterLONDON’s Spring 2012 consist of the following shades (description from butterLONDON.com):

  • Disco Biscuit — Tropical hot pink with an undercurrent of tiny iridescent glitter particles.
  • Trout Pout — An opaque shade of cantaloupe, pale and retro.
  • Slapper — A truly teal lacquer, bold and very bright.
  • Bossy Boots — Light, opaque pistachio green. A beautiful take on neutral for this season.
  • Knackered — A sheer, twinkling oyster shade flecked with micro glitter particles.

I picked up Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit because those colors personally appealed to me. I passed on Slapper as I already have Artful Dodger, Deborah Lippmann’s To The Beach and Sally Hansen’s Brisk Blue. Trout Pout is a color I think to be easily dupeable. Knackered almost got me to buy it but I’d already picked up Deborah Lippmann’s Mermaid’s Dream.

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Two of butterLONDON's Spring 2012 offerings: Bossy Boots and Disco Biscuit

Disco Biscuit is bright, pink and has glitter so I had to pick it up even though I wasn’t pleased with butterLONDON’s glitter polishes of late. It goes on sheer yet bright and takes about 3 coats to reach some opacity. And by some I mean I still had the dreaded VNL (Visible Nail Line) after all that. I honestly feel this color would work better over a bright white or pink cream polish first to solve the VNL problem but even by itself it is a fun color to wear. As pretty as it is, even with a base and top coat (butterLONDON’s Tops & Tails set) I had tip wear the first day and chipping the second day (more insight to follow at the end of this review).

Now you know me being the geek that I am I had to find out what Disco Biscuit meant, right? Turns out it’s something to keep you ‘dancing at the disco’. So this could range from a cup of Starbucks, a can of Red Bull or something to get you in hot water with local law enforcement and/or the DEA.

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Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. 3 coats with flash.

Bossy Boots is a nice interpretation of a neutral color. Unfortunately it does remind me of the linoleum floor my Memaw had in her 1950’s style kitchen in North Florida. Still, the pastel looks very nice as a contrast against dark skin like mine though because it has more of a yellow undertone instead of blue, the color looks a bit washed out next to my skintone.  Regardless,  I got lots of compliments on the color. Most folks thought it was OPI and had never heard of butterLONDON until I informed them of it. It is lighter than Illamasqua’s Milf which is a deeper pastel green with blue undertones. While the first coat was streaky (a usual hazard with most cream polishes) and it took about 3 coats to make the finish look even. Another ding against the color is it started to chip after two days and chip like crazy it did.

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Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. 2 coats with flash.

So by now you probably think my opinion is that butterLONDON is a lousy polish. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very, very, very hard on my nail polishes as I type over 120wpm (which causes crazy shear forces on the nail edge), am constantly typing all day (a hazard of working as an Software Engineer/Business Analyst), use a lot of hand sanitizer as I am a serious germaphobe, then add to that the usual daily hazards and my nail situation is, to put it in statistical terms, an outlier. I’m in the tail to the right of the bell curve. Because of my occupation and personal habits I need a nail polish that performs above and beyond the norm. butterLONDON polishes are very pretty, very trendy and have a great color assortment but the consistency across formulas is not there…yet. I love my frost finishes (Wallis and Fairy Lights wear like iron), have a love-hate relationship with the others (Artful Dodger, Tart With A Heart, Black Knight), and you will have to pry the gorgeous pearly blue-gray Lady Muck from my cold, undead fingers.

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I'm not a bug, I'm a feature! :-)

The truth is, butterLONDON polishes need more work on the wear longevity across the range before I can recommend them against the likes of Illamasqua. Illamasqua is the same price (though not as widely available in brick and mortar locations) yet out of the 20+ polishes of theirs I own I have yet to run across one that chips as easily as my butterLONDON polishes I’ve indicated. And cheaper brands such as Sally Hansen and even the awesome indie brand Cult Nails have a longer wear time under my use conditions. So until the consistency improves (and I will continue to buy colors that appeal to me), I wil consider this line to be in ‘Beta’–which in software geek lexicon means the code is right but it’s not ready for use by the general public until the ‘bugs’ are worked out.

butterLONDON polishes retail for $14 USD and are available at Ulta Beauty boutiques and online store, SkinStore.com and Beauty.com. Skin Store has a lot of 20% off sales so definitely check that site out first for butterLONDON polishes to see if they have the color that sparks your interest.

So what have your experiences with this polish line been?  Ping me in the comments!

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Bossy Boots by butterLONDON. Pretty but a very 'dupeable' color.

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Disco Biscuit by butterLONDON. A pretty tropical pink with sparkles.

Makeup Intel: MAC For Marilyn Monroe [Fall 2012]

A MARILYN MONROE MAC COLLECTION IS COMING!!!

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If you know anything about the icon Marilyn Monroe was, and still is, you know those caps are more than warranted.

Scheduled for release in stores in October, MAC is producing a makeup collection inspired by the illustrious Marilyn Monroe. According to the press information MAC provided to the Hollywood Reporter, and announced by MAC in their Twitter Feed on 2/22/12 the collection will be comprised of over 30 pieces including eye shadow, lipstick and other goodies. I will post more information as it is released to the public.

Here is the full text of the article from The Hollywood Reporter

Blonde bombshell moment: MAC Cosmetic has unveiled plans for a special makeup collection inspired by Marilyn Monroe’s glamorous beauty. The limited-edition line (in partnership with Authentic Brands Group) includes nearly 30 products — eye shadow, lipstick (think retro red and hot pink), nail lacquer and eyeliner — and will arrive in stores in October.

“Marilyn’s an icon, plain and simple. Her look not only defined a generation but also is relevant today,” MAC senior vp James Gager told THR. Monroe’s presence is felt everywhere, even 50 years after her death, from NBC’s new hit show Smash, which stars American Idol alum Katharine McPhee and Broadway vet Megan Hilty, to the Oscar-nominated My Week With Marilyn with Michelle Williams.
“Marilyn’s back in the zeitgeist,” says Gager.

Start saving those credits, Programs. This is going to cost a chunk of change!