Showing posts with label MAC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MAC. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

MAC HARMONY: Best Contour for Fair Skin!

I purchased Harmony because I read that it made for a great contour on fair skin. I must say that it is very different using a blush to contour, but it gave me awesome results!

Harmony is a very pigmented rosy brownish color, as you can see in the swatches below. There are absolutely no orange tones in this blush which is why it is great for ladies with fair skin. I used a VERY light hand, and it gave the most beautiful subtle contour. Before trying Harmony, I would use Benefit's Hoola to contour. The texture of Hoola and Harmony is quite different. They are both matte but Harmony was more finely milled and less powdery. Typically a bronzer will be a bit more powdery than blush, so that was to be expected. You just have to change your technique when applying it. I used very little product on a MAC 109 and took my time blending.

A couple negatives: I don't think it would be good for overall bronzing, and I will continue to use my beloved Hoola for that. Also, the rosy color may make certain blushes look strange when paired with it.

To be honest I don't think contouring is practical for everyday, but it's great for special occasions or going out on the weekends. If you are in the market for a great matte contour color I would definitely recommend Harmony.

On a side note, I would like to tell all the fair/light skinned ladies out there that I would NOT recommend Tarte's Park Avenue Princess Matte Bronzer shown in the swatches below. It shows up INCREDIBLY orangey on my fair skin... but that's just my opinion :)
Please click to enlarge.


I hope that was helpful and don't forget to subscribe!


Monday, February 25, 2013


Well Dressed is the quintessential baby pink that every girl should have in her collection! It has a Satin finish and gives the most gorgeous subtle sheen when applied to the cheek. Although the picture above may look a little dark, it is completely true to color. You can also see the silver micro shimmer that runs through it.

MAC Well Dressed vs Tarte Dollface

I've heard many times that Well Dressed and Tarte's Dollface were dupes, but I have to disagree. They differ in finish, pigmentation, and color. In the swatches above I did three passes with Dollface, and at least ten with Well Dressed. It is not a very pigmented blush, and I would only recommend it to ladies with fair, light, and some medium skin.

I typically only purchase matte blushes but this is one of the few exceptions! You do have to build up the color, but like I have said before, I prefer it that way. I can be a little too heavy handed with blush sometimes, and it's hard to mess up when using Well Dressed.

I hope this was helpful, and don't forget to subscribe!

Do you have Well Dressed or Dollface?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

MAC MELBA VS PEACHES -- Blush Review and Swatches

Melba has a matte finish and is extremely pigmented. In the swatches above I only did two passes on my arm to get that degree of opacity. Not only is it super pigmented, but I find that it blends easily and stays put all day long. As compared to Peaches, Melba has more brown and pink tones. Unlike Peaches, I don't think this blush appears too orange on super fair gals.

Peaches is a Sheertone blush -- meaning you have to build up the color. In the swatch above, I did about 10 passes to get the color shown. Because it isn't as pigmented, you can be a bit more heavy handed and not look like a fool. This blush is a true peach when applied. I think it is gorgeous on most skintones but can look a little too orangey on very fair ladies.
Honestly I love Peaches and Melba, but I don't think it is necessary to have both. If I had to pick just one, I would go with Melba. The main difference between the two is pigmentation and staying power. You can get very similar results using either of them... you just have to adjust your technique. I think Peaches is great for beginners because it is hard to mess up. Melba, on the other hand, can be easily overdone -- and nobody likes 80's style clown streaks! Or maybe they do...
 Do you have Peaches or Melba?
I hope this was helpful and don't forget to subscribe!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

MAC Prep+Prime Fortified Skin Illuminateur in Neutralize

MAC has a vast collection of Prep+Prime products and today I'm going to be reviewing their Fortified Skin Illuminateur in Neutralize. When purchasing a product from this line, the most important thing to do is look on the box for the active ingredients and uses. The word primer has a lot of different meanings, and you should decide what you would like your primer to do -- moisturize, oil control, fill in pores, sunscreen, etc. Neutralize has five active ingredients, all of which are for sunscreen benefits, so it will not help in controlling excess oil. Along with protecting skin from the sun, this product claims to neutralize redness and illuminate the skin.

As you can see the product is very yellow, and this helps to neutralize redness. The illumination properties come from the large amounts of sunscreen in the product. I do see a difference in redness reduction when I use this product, but the I don't find that my skin is anymore illuminated once I have my foundation on. I use MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation most of the time because I have oily skin and this product works beautifully under it. If you have ever used MAC SFP you know that it can look pretty powdery when first applied. When I use Neutralize under it I find the coverage to be much more even, less powdery, and it even lasts longer.

On with a couple negatives... I cannot use this under liquid foundation because there aren't any oil reduction ingredients, so this wouldn't be something I recommend to ladies with super oily skin. Also, because of all the sunscreen in the product, you should not use it if you will be photographed -- it will cause your face to be washed out and much whiter than your body in the photos.

I think that this is a great product for use under powder foundation and I will be repurchasing when I run out. I love that it reduces redness, protects my skin from the sun, and helps my powder foundation apply evenly and last longer! On a side note, I think that it is important to be realistic with our expectations of facial products and primers. I read a bunch of negative reviews on Neutralize because they were expecting it do things the product was not made to do. When making a purchase, always read what the products is used for and the active ingredients!

Thank you so much for reading and don't forget to subscribe!!

Have you tried any Prep + Prime products? What is your favorite primer?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

NEW MAC Pro Palette: Large Duo (Double Sided) Review

Without Dividers (48 eyeshadows)
(L-R) Gesso, Blanc Type, Vanilla, Mylar, Brule, Shroom
Dazzlelight, Nylon, Ricepaper, Naked Lunch, Jest, Vex
Malt, Kid, Wedge, Omega, Era, Soft Brown
Cork, Espresso, Brun, Brown Down, Handwritten, Embark

All That Glitters, Woodwinked, Tempting, Bronze, Mulch, Amber Lights
Sable, Satin Taupe, Twinks, Sketch, Cranberry, Nocturnelle
Jaunty (LE), Patina, Sumptuous Olive, Greensmoke, Club, Humid
Copperplate, Knight Divine, Print, Smut, Contrast, Carbon

With one divider (39 Eyeshadows)

The long awaited MAC LARGE DUO (Double Sided) PRO PALETTE has finally arrived at my home and I can hardly control my excitement long enough to write this review! I know this may look like a short novel, but what can I say? I'm thorough!

Oh dear Lord, where do I begin? Let me just say that I am in love! I think that it looks sleek, sophisticated and a definite upgrade from the old palettes. And while I do think the palette is a success overall, I also have a couple complaints...

The Palette is about 3.5 times thicker than the old MAC palettes and about a half inch smaller in height and width. It is made of high quality plastic and does not have a see through lid like the new Pro Palette Single. The plastic seems to be a lot sturdier than the old ones, in addition to a more professional appearance.

The palette does not have a snap closure, rather it is held together magnetically. This is one of my favorite features because the closures of old the palettes would wear out. The magnet holds it together snugly, but I do not find it overly difficult to open. The magnetic pull isn't so strong that you pinch your fingers... Inglot palettes I'm looking at you! There is a clear plastic shield that can be moved to either side. I understand that it is a necessary component to protect the eyeshadows, but it isn't easy to move back and forth -- which is super annoying when you are trying to do a look!

You can choose to purchase dividers which will hold either 15 eyeshadows, 6 blushes, 12 lipsticks, or 24 cream products... Or you can leave the dividers out! Without the divider each side holds 24 eyeshadows for a total of 48 in the entire palette -- or you can put one divider in like I did in the last two pictures for a total of 39 eyeshadows.  Also note that when you use the dividers it is difficult to get the eyeshadows out. They do not have the grooves that the old palettes have.

When I purchased the palette online I thought that at least one side would need a divider (the side being stored upside down), but to my surprise the metal plate inside the palette is quite strong -- much stronger than the old palettes! I feel comfortable leaving the divider out of both sides because I don't travel with my palettes. If you travel or you are a bit clumsy, you may want to invest in some dividers.

On with the pics! Please click to enlarge.

WITH NO DIVIDERS (48 Eyeshadows)

WITH ONE DIVIDER (39 Eyeshadows)

The price of the palette is $25 and each divider is $9... so to buy the palette and two dividers you're looking at $43!! That's a lot of money for a palette! That is why I am advocating divider free palettes. They are available online (click HERE) and at PRO stores. I'm not sure if they are going to be sold at regular free standing stores, but as soon as I know I will update the post.

Originally I was pretty pissed off that MAC switched the palettes because I am somewhat of an organization freak and like everything to match. I was also upset that they were more expensive! But after receiving the product and realizing you don't need the dividers, I couldn't be more thrilled! If you are like me and have A LOT of eyeshadows, this ends up being cheaper. Rather than having 15/26 eyeshadows in the old MAC palettes, I can have 48! I think it looks more professional, and I LOVE having all my neutrals in one palette!

After having the palette for three days, I have had two eyeshadows fall down onto the clear shield -- nothing broke, but I am lowering my rating! The ones that fell were on the side with no dividers. Pretty big disappointment, but I am still going to leave the dividers out and just be more careful.

If you are new to MAC please note:
Neither the palette nor the dividers are magnetized, so the eyeshadows need to be... Inside the palette is a peice of metal and if you choose to depot your eyeshadows, you will need to glue a small magnet to the back of them. I like to purchase the eyeshadows in pro pan form from their website, because they come with the magnet already attached -- much easier, and cheaper!

I give this palette an   B+!!

Thanks for reading and don't forget to subscribe!



Saturday, February 9, 2013


It's no secret that MAC Brushes are a bit pricey, but they are definitely an investment! I've had a couple of them for about 10 years and they still look brand new. I am a sucker for their eye brushes because I think they are the best ones out there.


MAC 217 - Blending Brush

The most perfect, amazing, phenomenal creation ever made! Seriously. I could not live without this brush! It is perfect for blending, applying crease color, applying lid color, and it can even walk on water! This goat hair extraordinaire is worth EVERY penny. I love it so much I have a spare!

MAC 239 -- Flat Shader Brush

This baby packs on lid color like no other and can also smudge out liner. Because it is made of densely packed goat hair the brush doesn't eat up a lot of the shadow like most flat shaders do.

MAC 219 -- Pencil Brush

I used to despise pencil brushes because they were too scratchy... until I got my beloved 219. I use this to smudge pencil liner and to apply shadow to the lower lash line.

MAC 224 -- Blending Brush

It took a little while for me to love this brush, but now it is a dear, dear friend. I use it to apply my transition and to blend out any harsh lines. If you have smaller eyes this may not be the best choice for you, and I must admit that it does shed from time to time.

MAC 208 -- Small Angled Brush

I love this little baby for its versatility and multi-functionality! It is perfect for eyebrows and applying shadow to the lash line. Some gals like to use it to apply gel liner. It is small, compact, and densely packed. Love this brush!

These are the Top 5 I could not live without! Do you own any MAC brushes? Which are your favorite?



I have included a list of all the eye brushes I own to help give a point of reference:

MAC 208
MAC 210
MAC 213
MAC 214
MAC 217
MAC 219
MAC 224
MAC 226
MAC 227
MAC 239
MAC 266
MAC 275

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


When purchasing a MAC foundation you will notice that each color has letters before the number, NC25 for example. The letters describe the undertone and the numbers tell you how deep the shade is. Although this may seem a little confusing, it is actually very helpful when trying to find your perfect shade.
MAC foundations are one of the following:

N -- Neutral

NC -- Neutral Cool (slightly yellow)

C -- Cool (very yellow)

NW -- Neutral Warm (slightly pink)

W -- Warm (very pink)

I know what you're thinking... "Why the hell are they calling a yellow foundation cool?" In reference to skintones many people think that cool undertones means pink based and warm undertones mean yellow based -- well in the MAC world, reverse that!

According to MAC yellow undertones = cool, and pink undertones = warm. And here's why:

According to Color Theory cool = blue, and warm = red.  It only makes sense to say that if you have pink undertones you are much closer to red in the color wheel and therefore warm toned. If you have more yellow/olive undertones then you are closer to blue and therefore cool toned.

I find the pink and yellow undertones in MAC foundations to be quite strong, even in the NC and NW shades! Unfortunately they don't have the neutral (N) shades in many of their foundations.

A couple more points before I wrap it up... Make sure to get matched if you plan on switching foundations. If you are an NC30 in one foundation, you could be NC25 in another! Also, if you have a lot of facial redness like I do, I would suggest trying an NC foundation. Because it is slightly yellow, this will help to counteract the redness and can give a better result.

I know it can seem a little confusing, but hopefully this helped! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 2, 2013


After making my guide to MAC Transition Colors (click here) I decided to make another for their highlight shades. MAC has an astronomical amount of highlighters and I am only reviewing the ones I personally own -- which is all but four depending on your skin tone. When purchasing highlighters you in no way need this many! I would recommend having at least one matte and one shimmery highlighter to begin with. It's nice to have one neutral, one yellow based, and one pink based highlight -- but not entirely necessary!

Personally I prefer a matte highlight, so in regards to the shimmery shadows I will try to remain unbiased!

I hope that you find this helpful in your search for the perfect highlight! The pictures may seem a bit dark, but it is the best way to capture their true color without washing them out. Please click to enlarge!

Guide to MAC Matte Brown Eyeshadows (click HERE).

Guide to MAC's Eyeshadow Finishes (click HERE)

Top Left to Right: Gesso, Blanc Type, Vanilla, Mylar, Brule
Bottom Left to Right: Shroom, Dazzlelight, Naked Lunch, Nylon

GESSO (Matte)

Gesso is a matte stark white and definitely has its place my kit. I like to use this when I want a very strong highlight, or if I'm wearing purples or greens. I think they changed the formula because it is a bit dry and you really have to dig your brush into it to get a good amount of pay off. If you would like one similar to this with shimmer I would go with Crystal Avalanche or Vapour.


Blanc Type is a creamy beige with incredible payoff! I used to find this eyeshadow a bit too powdery, but I have been reaching for it a lot more lately because it does a great job of covering up any discoloration under the brow.

VANILLA (Velvet)

Vanilla is an ivory with slight pink undertones. I absolutely LOVE Vanilla for fair, light and even medium skintones. It is by far my favorite of all. Holy grail status! There is a tiny bit of sparkle in the pan, but it doesn't really translate to the eye. Orb is similar but more pinky/peachy.

MYLAR (Satin)

MAC describes it as a creamy white with shimmer but it is more like a subtle sheen. I really like Mylar and I think it is great to wear when you want to do a natural "no makeup, makeup".

BRULE (Satin)

Brule is a soft creamy beige, which is a close match to most light skintones. I love to use it as an all over wash or a very subtle highlight. Although MAC calls it a Satin, Brule appears nearly matte on the eye.

SHROOM (Satin)

Shroom is a beige with shimmer and although MAC considers it a Satin, I think it is much more like a frost. This color is extremely popular but I do not love wearing it myself. It is a very neutral highlight, meaning it does not lean pink or yellow. If you like shimmer in your highlights Shroom may be a great option for you!

DAZZLELIGHT (Veluxe Pearl)

MAC says Dazzlelight is a neutral with shimmer but I think it leans slightly yellow. With that said, it is my favorite shimmery highlight in their permanent line. I love to wear it in the inner corner! This and Vanilla are my top two recommendations!

NYLON (Frost)

Nylon is a pale gold with shimmer according to MAC. I would call it a whole lotta shimmer with some pale gold mixed in... My Lord, it's the frostiest eyeshadow I have EVER seen. I only use this on occasion when I want a very bright inner corner highlight. This is Dazzlelight's crazy aunt twice removed!

MAC calls Ricepaper a peachy gold with shimmer, and I agree with that description. This is too dark for me use as a highlight on my skintone, but is gorgeous for gals NC40 and above. I typically use it as a lid shade. Definitely has great texture and is smooth as buddah!


Described as a minimal pink with shimmer, Naked Lunch has quickly become on of my new favorites! I typically wear it as a lid shade, but it makes a great highlight, especially if you are doing a look with other pinks!

So that's it for my highlights... I hope that was helpful! Which is your favorite highlight? Please leave a comment below!


Vanilla vs Blanc Type, Vanilla vs Gesso, Vanilla vs Mylar, Gesso vs Blanc Type, Shroom vs Mylar, Blanc Type vs Brule, Vanilla vs Brule, Dazzlelight vs Nylon, Dazzlelight vs Ricepaper, Nylon vs Ricepaper

Thursday, January 31, 2013


I'm obsessed with transition shades... is that weird? Maybe. Nonetheless, I'm writing this post to help explain the small differences between the MAC transition colors. Although the eyeshadows may seem very similar in the pan, each one will give you a totally different look when applied.

So what is a transition color? In the most simple of terms, it is the shade that helps blend your crease shade into your brow bone highlight. Typically it will be a matte shade 1-3 shades darker than your skin tone. The first step when applying eyeshadow is your transition! With a big fluffy brush you want to blend it from crease to right below your brow bone. My favorite brush to use is the 224 from MAC but there are plenty of big fluffy brushes in most brush lines.

I am only reviewing the shades that I personally own -- which are all the transition colors for skin tones NC10-47/NW10-35. If you are unfamiliar with MAC foundation colors, that range is from very pale skin to medium/tan skin.

EDIT: If you are a woman of color or the eyeshadow you are looking for is not in this post, please see my Guide to MAC Matte Brown Eyeshadows. I wrote this post before aquiring the eyeshadows best used to transition darker skin.

Guide to MAC Matte Brown Eyeshadows (click HERE).

Guide to MAC Highlight Eyeshadows (click HERE)

Top Left to Right: Malt, Kid, Wedge, Soft Brown
Bottom Left to Right: Era, Omega, Cork

From left to right: Soft Brown, Era, Omega, Kid, Malt, Wedge, Cork
Please Note: Although they may look patchy in swatches, they do not appear that way when applied to the eye!

MALT (Matte)

Malt is a soft pinky beige and only works for VERY fair ladies. I have found the best way to apply this one is to use a more densely packed brush and really work it into the crease/above crease. This is by far the most subtle, but I have grown to like Malt quite a bit!

KID (Veluxe)

Kid is a warm peachy brown shade that is perfect for ladies NC5-NC25/NW10-NW20. Earlier this year MAC discontinued this one, and now it's available again... Kid is a Veluxe so it has a very unique texture. The best way I can describe it is silky pigment that seems powderless.

OMEGA (Matte)

Omega is a muted beige ashy taupe and a much cooler transition color than the others. I find that it can be a bit blah looking by itself, but I love to use it mixed with Kid or Wedge -- to make the perfect neutral transition! Omega also looks amazing when used on eyebrows!

WEDGE (Matte)

Wedge is a soft warm beige taupe. Another great option, and one I would recommend this for ladies that kind Kid a bit too light or warm. I think this color looks lovely on light and medium skin, but may be just a bit too dark for fair skin gals (when used as a transition). I love to use Wedge as a crease color.

ERA (Satin)

Era is a soft golden beige with shimmer and a great transition for beginners because it has a little sparkle to it -- which makes it a lot easier to blend. Don't worry, it isn't frosty!
CORK (Satin)

Cork is a muted golden brown and although it is considered a Satin, Cork applies matte. I think it is a perfect transition for tan ladies with skintones around NC40/NW35 or above.  On my light skin it looks great in the crease!


Soft Brown is a soft golden peachy brown that I think looks great on a lot of skin tones -- from very fair to tan! Some lighter skinned gals may find that it pulls a little orange on them, but I think it's a gorgeous color and has definitely become a favorite of mine.

The warmth in shades like Kid and Soft Brown can seem a bit scary, but that warmth is what will totally transform your look into something amazing!

I hope this was helpful!  Which transition colors do you use?




Malt vs Kid, Kid vs Soft Brown, Wedge vs Cork, Kid vs Wedge, Soft Brown vs Cork


Soft Ochre, Painterly

Soft Ochre and Painterly are matte eyeshadow bases that also act as a primer and eyelid concealer. In MAC terms Painterly is NW (cool toned) and Soft Ochre is NC (warm toned). The reason I am doing today's comparison is because I think that there is a lot of confusion when it comes to these two!  Should I match it to my undertone? Should I use a particular one based on the eyeshadows I'm using? Hopefully I'll answer those questions and any others you may have.

I originally bought Soft Ochre a long time ago because I am slightly yellow toned, and I thought it would be a better fit. After acquiring Painterly, I realized you can wear either one of them regardless of your undertone.

Roughly speaking, yellow neutralizes red and pink neutralizes blue. If you have a lot of redness on your eyelid and you would like to cover that and brighten up the eye, Soft Ochre may work better for you. On the other hand, if you have a lot of veins or bluish discoloration on your eyelid, Painterly may be the better choice.

Overall I much prefer Painterly for myself and most other skin tones -- unless you have extremely yellow undertones, in which case Painterly looks very pink and strange. Soft Ochre has a drier formulation and can appear dry on the skin (you can see this in the eyelid pictures below). Painterly, on the other hand, applies much more smoothly.

Because they are both skin colored, they don't change the look of the eyeshadow. Some say if you are doing a warm look to use Soft Ochre and for a cool look use Painterly. I don't think they are different enough to justify purchasing both just for that purpose.

Paint Pots make eyeshadows pop and help them to appear true to the color in the pan. They also keep the eyeshadow from creasing on most people; If you have very oily eyelids, I would recommend Urban Decay Primer Potion over these. I also wouldn't recommend Paint Pots for use on mature skin as it may tug.


NO MAKEUP -- I had just removed my makeup so my eyelid is a little redder than usual, but I definitely have some discoloration!

SOFT OCHRE -- Does a great job at covering up redness but doesn't do much to cover my blue veins.

PAINTERLY -- much less ashy looking and does a better job of covering up veins.

I hope that was helpful!  Do you use Painterly or Soft Ochre?