Shop MAC / Cook MAC Lipsticks: The Rundown

My mission was to get three of the lipsticks from the Shop MAC collection. I managed to pick up Watch Me Simmer (Amplified) and Quick Sizzle (Matte). Dish It Up (Lustre) I’m waiting on to arrive as it is on backorder from Nordstrom.com. As soon as I receive it I will post the review here.  This collection is on sale in North America right now and scheduled for International release in March of 2012.

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Get ya Shop MAC on!! And don't forget the 1980's Dynasty hair!

Quick Sizzle (Matte) is a surprisingly smooth pink-fuchsia lipstick. It goes on much nicer than MAC’s usual dry matte texture lippies I skip on general principle. Whatever smooth formula they put in the Iris Apfel collection matte lipsticks (of which I have a few and I love them) it’s obvious it’s been used in this shade. But like all matte lipsticks you need to make sure your lips are well hydrated/exfoliated or else this color will cling to every scrape, flake, bump, dent and pothole on your lips. It is very well-pigmented and quite stunning on cool skin tones. Quick Sizzle has more of a flat finish and more of a purple tinge as compared to Something New (Amplified/Stylishly Yours). Pink Pigeon (Matte/Iris Apfel) is definitely pinker and cooler in tone. The only lipstick color I can think of from the permanent range that comes close to this color is probably Girl About Town (Amplified) but it isn’t a matte finish.

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Shop MAC Lipstick in Quick Sizzle (Matte)

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On NW43 skin from left: Pink Pigeon (Matte), Quick Sizzle (Matte), Something New (Amplified)

Watch Me Simmer (Amplified) is well worth the hype behind its quick disappearance. A strong pink-coral, it is very pigmented and goes on smooth the way I’ve come to expect from all of the Amplified finish lipsticks I own from MAC. It is very easy to ‘overdo’ applying an Amplified lipstick so I advise using a lip brush if you are wary about this being too bright on your lips. This shade is pinker than my favorite coral lipstick of all time, Vegas Volt (Amplified/Permanent) so if you own Vegas Volt, picking up Watch Me Simmer won’t result in a duplicate. I’ve heard some people compare Watch Me Simmer to Full Speed (Sheen Supreme) and while it may look similar in the tube, on my NW43 skin it is obviously a more reddish-pink coral with more sheen. For me personally this shade of coral lipstick is more suited to cool skintones like mine where Vegas Volt seems to require I wear cooler-toned eyes to balance out the look.

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Shop MAC Lipstick in Watch Me Shimmer (Amplified)

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On NW43 skin from left: Vegas Volt (Amplified), Watch Me Simmer (Amplified), Full Speed (Sheen Supreme)

Of the two lipsticks, Watch Me Simmer is definitely the most ‘on trend’ shade to have for Spring 2012. Unfortunately it is sold out in a lot of places. MacCosmetics.com has it as ‘coming soon’ so stalk the website if you haven’t gotten your hands on a tube yet. But if you can’t get this shade don’t worry–it’s scheduled to be repromoted in the upcoming So Reel / Reel Sexy collection scheduled for release in early April. Also try pairing Vegas Volt with a light to medium pink lipglass as a ‘color hack’ of Watch Me Simmer.

MAC Viva Glam Niki Minaj Lipstick: The Rundown

You know you’ve ordered too much MAC when you get a ‘private’ invitation to purchase this:

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MAC's Niki Minaj for Viva Glam lipstick

Described as a bright yellow-pink, this Satin finish lipstick is hip-hop artist Niki Minaj’s second collaboration with MAC (the first was the uber-fail hot mess known as Pink Friday). Benefiting those living with AIDS, this particular collaboration is part of the latest Viva Glam offering along with a lip conditioner ‘signed’ by Ricky Martin. Little side note: I went to junior high school w/ his stepsister when he was in Menudo. Yes, I know I am dating myself but I digress.

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Closeup of MAC Niki Minaj for Viva Glam (no flash)

Niki Minaj for Viva Glam is a very bright color which I feel is not easily wearable. It is definitely an ‘impact’ color so if you are looking for something daring, or if bright lipstick is already your style (I’m firmly in both camps) this color is right up your alley. On warmer skintones this color wouldn’t stand out as much as it would on cooler skintones. Compared to the closest lipsticks in color that I own, Niki Minaj for Viva Glam is more yellow than the porn-star pink of Pink Friday (Satin), which is cooler, and is lighter but still on the yellow side as compared to Chatterbox (Amplified).

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From left: MAC Chatterbox, Niki Minaj for Viva Glam, Niki Minaj Pink Friday (flash)

While I do like the color of this lipstick, as with most Satin finish lipsticks by MAC, I absolutely loathe the formula. Like with matte lipsticks if my lips are not completely smooth this stuff will wedge itself into every groove, crack and flake on my lips. It doesn’t feel very moisturizing and the wear time is much less than those of my beloved Amplified finish lipsticks. The use of a lip primer like MAC’s Prep + Prime or Too Faced’s Lip Insurance is a must before applying this lipstick. Using a lip pencil wouldn’t hurt either. This isn’t a must-have and I do think MAC has better bright yellow-pink lipsticks (Impassioned, Chatterbox) but the color is very nice and the proceeds go to a great cause.

Niki Minaj for Viva Glam retails for $14.50 is scheduled to go on sale to the general public on February 14th in most MAC locations and on MacCosmetics.com. All proceeds from the sale of this lipstick goes to the MAC AIDS Fund to support men, women, and children living with HIV and AIDS.

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From left: MAC Chatterbox, Niki Minaj for Viva Glam, Niki Minaj Pink Friday (no flash/HDR)

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MAC's Niki Minaj Viva Glam lipstick--not for the faint of heart!

MAC Tour De Fabulous Lipglass: The Rundown

By the time you read this, if you are in the US chances are you missed this release. If you are outside the US, pay attention as these are scheduled to be released in February.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lipglass --Taste The Rainbow 🙂

Along with the lip pencils I reviewed recently, I picked up three (3) of the eleven shades of Lipglass available in this limited edition collection. The three picked up were Real Posh, StylePacked and Tour de Fabulous. I purposely picked these three to match the four lip pencils I purchased from the Tour De Fabulous collection.

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Swatches on NW43 skin (indoors with flash)

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Swatches on NW43 skin (indoors without flash)

Real Posh is a reddened berry that looks quite opaque on. I love how it looked with the Just Wonderful lip pencil but it is opaque enough to wear on its own. I’d almost go as far to say it’s just a degree or two below being as totally opaque as my favorite lipglass by Afrobella, All Of My Purple Life. If you have very pigmented lips I don’t see a problem with this shade showing up on you without lip pencil.

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Wearing MAC Real Posh lipglass over Just Wonderful lip pencil

StylePacked is an uber-cool blue-toned pink that is semi-opaque. I was quite dissapointed it wasn’t as opaque as my favorite pink lipglass, Pink Poodle but over the Embrace Me lipencil (or even better over High Magenta Chromagraphic pencil) it still looks rather nice. If you have very pigmented lips I wouldn’t look for much color payoff from this shade unless you wear lip pencil. I really think this color would look amazing over Pink Pigeon from the Iris Apfel collection or Pink Nouveau Amplified lipstick. And if you were unfortunate enough as I was to pick up that Niki Minaj Pink Friday lipstick, this lipglass will actually make that hot mess wearable.

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Wearing MAC Style Packed lipglass over Embrace Me lip pencil

Tour de Fabulous is a pretty semi-opaque coral orange that is more suited to warmer skintones but not so much that cooler-toned gals like myself couldn’t wear. I wore this over Entertain Me and Lasting Sensation lip pencils and while I prefer the latter lip pencil because it leans more pink coral, I was pleased with how this lipglass looked over both. Many people are curious as to how this color compares to Strange Potion first released with the Disney’s Venomous Villains collection and repromoted with Surf Baby! Tour De Fabulous is definitely more orange coral while Strange Potion is more pink. As someone with a cooler skintone, I definitely prefer Strange Potion. If you have Strange Potion in your stash and cash is tight, I would pass over this color and grab the Entertain Me lip pencil to wear with it instead. You would get pretty much the same color as Tour de Fabulous and you can use the pencil with other colors.

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Wearing MAC Tour De Fabulous lipglass over Lasting Sensation lip pencil

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MAC Tour de Fabulous and Strange Potion

Lipglasses are usually a MAC staple for most women of color. The pigmentation is translucent enough not to look ‘ashy’ even in lighter colors. They are slightly-tacky and usually last longer over lipstick and lip pencil than alone. Vanilla-scented and taste free, they are jam-packed with moisturizing goodness like jojoba oil to keep your lips soft and smooth especially in cold winter weather. The lipglasses from this collection retail for $14.50 USD and are available now for a limited time. For International release date, MAC press materials project February 15th.

Definitely pick up a few of these lipglasses as they are colors sorely lacking from MAC’s permanent lip glass lineup.

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MAC Tour de Fabulous lipglass --Yay for more colors!!!

Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butters : The Rundown

As a woman, lip balms are my friend. As a woman of color, lip balms are my BFF. But lip balms plus color? W00t!!!

Thanks to a tip-off by The Muse, I dropped into my local Target like a Navy Seal to find these beauties. Check out the color lineup I grabbed!

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Revlon Lip Butter goodness awaits in the Beauty section at Target!

In December during one of my Target runs I made the wonderful discovery of Revlon’s Color Stay Lip Butters and my life hasn‘t been the same since.  These butters are so smooth, so moisturizing and range from a hint of color you have to build up (like Gumdrop) to full on in your face almost-lipstick color (Lollipop).  At around $6.45 at Target and $7.50 at Ulta and Drugstore.com, is it easy to collect quite a few at a frugal price point.  I’ve had no performance issues with these and only Gumdrop (a pastel lilac) was a little faint and almost gave me Tyrone Biggums lips but by using just a little or layering it over a darker lip pencil made it work fine.  The lighter colors still contain pigment that is translucent enough to give you a nice shine to your lips.

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From left: Gumdrop, Brown Sugar, Tutti Fruti, Lollipop

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Swatches on NW43 skintone (indoors with flash)

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Swatches on NW43 skintone (indoors without flash HDR)

Spring 2012 Chanel Blush Horizon in Eclat Douceur: The Rundown

It stared at me from across the Chanel Spring 2012 display, seducing me with its beautiful bright stripes and luxe black case. I heard a whisper that say, “Buy me!” So I finally found that AMEX birthday gift card I’d been hoarding and put it towards this beauty:

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Contents of the box include blush, slanted brush and velour pouches for both.

Chanel’s Spring 2012 Blush Horizon in Eclat Douceur (Soft Glow) has to be the jewel of the collection. Retailing for $58 USD, it is a variegated blush that when stroked across all colors with a brush, yields a peachy pink color that reminds me a big of NARS Orgasm but sheerer. The color is buildable from sheer to a bright glow and the pigments are translucent enough not to appear ashy on women of color. I did not feel I had to work extremely hard to get the color to appear ( *cough* Benefit Hervana *cough).

As I have oily skin, if a blush is not pigmented enough my skin will eat it away pretty quickly. So for me and for other women of color I always recommend wearing a sheer wash of a creme blush underneath before using a powder blush such as this. For application of this Chanel blush, I used a densely-packed brush (MAC’s Split Fibre cheek brush) to pat it on and build to the intensity I wanted then blended out as necessary. I do not recommend using a standard issue blush brush. The brush included with this blush is densely packed, angled and applies very nicely.

This is definitely a pricey purchase but if you do not own one of these, I highly suggest picking one up. The pigmentation is gorgeous, the shade very flattering on both cool and warm skintones, and buildable enough to be visible on women of color.

Enough of my blathering, on to the picSpam!

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Blush Horizon de Chanel--mint in the box for Spring 2012

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Back of the Spring 2012 Blush Eclat Douceur...made in Italy?!? Whut?!?

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Sideways view--absolutely fabulous!

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Closer look without the flash (HDR).

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Swatches of Chanel Horizon blush from top: Over NARS Loukoum cream blush, alone, Over NARS Cactus Flower cream blush, alone. (No flash, HDR)

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Swatches of Chanel Horizon blush from top: Over NARS Loukoum cream blush, alone, Over NARS Cactus Flower cream blush, alone. (with flash)

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Chanel Spring 2012 Horizon Blush over Sofia Kashuk for Target creme blush in Rosey

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Close up of Chanel Blush Horizon from Spring 2012 collection. Gives a nice warm glow to dark skin when placed over cream blush.

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Chanel Spring 2012 Horizon Blush over Sofia Kashuk for Target creme blush in Posey