mac spring 2017

April 8, 2017  |  MAC, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

MAC has some really neat new releases for Spring 2017, one of which a brand new range of base products called Next To Nothing. The line is made up of a liquid Face Colour and a Pressed Powder, both of which are available in nine different shades rather than specific colours. For example, these are both in “Light” rather than my prescribed MAC colour (NC15).

As you’ve probably gathered from the name, MAC’s Next To Nothing range takes a less-is-more approach to base and is designed to be as light as possible. Next To Nothing Face Colour is less of a foundation and more of a barely-tinted moisturizer that imparts a dewy, hydrated finish with a subtle wash of colour. The Pressed Powder is sort of a hybrid between a setting and a finishing powder. It offers decent oil control and has a mostly matte finish with an extremely light, barely noticeable sheen that adds a subtle radiance.

MAC Next to Nothing 2

Coverage is light and I wasn’t able to build it up very much, so I did need to use a concealer…though surprisingly, no more of it than I’d normally use with a medium coverage foundation. I noticed that it also did a good job in priming my skin for concealer in the areas that needed it – the concealer seemed to melt into my skin much more seamlessly with this underneath as a base.

MAC Next To Nothing 1

With some minor spot concealing, the effect was surprisingly polished albeit a bit too shiny for my liking, so I finished up by setting my face with the Next To Nothing Pressed Powder. A healthy dusting of the Pressed Powder took the shine down to a radiant glow, with no caking in sight. The powder itself has a light sheen to it, which contributes to the appearance of healthy skin and makes it (in my opinion at least) a must-have companion for the Next To Nothing Face Colour if you really want to play the “I woke up like this” card. And believe me, you really can with this stuff! I don’t think I’ve confidently worn such a light base in a very long time, and I like that my face remained perfectly luminous without actually getting shiny for about 8 hours sans touch ups.

Although my first impression was that the Next To Nothing range would ONLY suit people who had super flawless skin to begin with, I found it worked really well on my face too. I usually have a bit of redness on my cheeks and some red spots from hormonal breakouts (which is what I needed the concealer for).

Next, here’s a quick look at two of MAC’s limited edition Times Nine palettes for Spring: Solar Glow and Red Hot. The former is a cool-toned palette with a focus on shimmer/glitter shades – 2/3 of of this palette is sparkly, so if you love glitter this is going to be right up your alley. It also contains Quarry (the centre shade) which is a bit of a cult favourite for transition/crease work. I have been meaning to pick it up for ages now, so to get it in this palette with a bunch of beautifully sparkly eyeshadows was a very nice bonus.

MAC Solar Glow Times Nine 1

All the shadows in Solar Glow swatched well, even the chunkier meant-to-be-foiled-on shades like Copper Aura, Sugared, and Cosmic. The mattes were smooth and pigmented, with Quarry more than living up to its hype. I have a hard time picking a favourite colour from this palette but I love the 3 shades in the middle row best:

Sugared – iridescent pink foiling glitter
Quarry – matte dusty mauve
Metalmauve – shimmery dusty lilac with a blue-silver reflect

(Click to enlarge)
MAC Solar Glow Times Nine Swatches

As for the Red Hot Times Nine, it had mostly matte and satin textures with only one colour being metallic – quite an interesting design decision that makes me wonder what the most ideal way of using this palette would be. I’m going to take this as a challenge and see what I come up with!

The focal point of Red Hot is undoubtedly its middle row of red, pink and fuchsia shadows that reminded me a lot of my beloved Modern Renaissance palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills.

MAC Red Hot Times Nine 1

The shadows in this palette were a little less smooth than Solar Glow in swatches, though that’s not surprising since mattes (from any brand) do tend to be drier and stiffer than metallics. Most of the shades actually swatched quite well, considering; it was only Shadowy Lady that I had a bit of trouble getting an even swipe from. My 3 favourite colours from this palette are:

Get Closer – matte muted tangerine
Carnal Charm – matte orange red
Frock Talk – metallic reddish plum

MAC Red Hot Times Nine Swatches

So far I’m impressed with the Next to Nothing Base products, but haven’t had a chance to properly play with either of the eyeshadow palettes yet…though I’m very much looking forward to doing that this week!

 

 

This post features products that were provided as press samples, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

review: mac pastels x9

June 6, 2016  |  MAC, Product Reviews  |  No Comments

As requested, here’s a review to follow up on my last FOTD post with the MAC Pastels x 9 palette.

DSCF2846

Aren’t the colours pretty? I love how different this is from anything else I own; my single eyeshadows tend to be either glittery, bright or duochromatic, and most of my palettes are very neutral-based. This fills a real niche in my collection.

Of course that raises a good question: How useful is a palette of pastels to someone who’s never bothered seeking them out before?

To be honest, while this personally isn’t something I could take this on vacation and use exclusively for a week, it’s been a very welcome “expansion pack” to my existing eyeshadow collection. A lot of these shadows are great as base and transition shades for colourful looks that you don’t want to muddy up with neutrals.

MAC Pastel x 9 6

Per MAC’s description, the colours (left to right, top to bottom) are:

New Nude: Whitish pink highlighter (Satin)
Fresh Innoncence: Ivory frosty warm white (Frost)
Spice Bar: Grayish taupe (Satin)
Flounce : Pale pastel pink (Matte)
Restless Rose: Pinkish Mauve (Satin)
Free Roaming: Dirty lavender (VLX)
Spring Moon: Baby blue (Frost)
Greystroke: Pale greenish silver (Satin)
Sweet Green: Soft muted green (Satin)

MAC Pastel x 9 5

On to the swatches. As you can see, these are light and semi-sheer which makes this a very forgiving, easy to wear range of colours.

MAC Pastels x 9 Swatches 2

I’ve gotten a couple questions about this palette in the context of SUQQU, so I’m going to share my thoughts with the class: although the lightness of this palette does have a distinctly Asian feel, the textures are on a whole more western (i.e. not sheer shades that are meant to be layered, but rather opaque-ish pastels that are a little more true-to-pan).

That being said, Fresh Innocence is a dead-on dupe for the bottom right shade in Ex-21 Murasakisuishou, and several other shades are giving me massive déjà-vu as well though I can’t quite place them. So for anyone who has been curious about SUQQU but unwilling to risk a pricey blind-buy online, this palette is an excellent way to test the pastel waters and see how you feel about light eye makeup.

It’s not going to be for everyone, but I do honestly reach for it on days when I just want to wear a softer, more youthful makeup look. By the way, if I look a little…strange…in these photos, it’s because Adam shot me with a new camera system.

MAC Pastels x 9 7

MAC Pastels x 9 6

All the colours play pretty well with each other, but thinking of them as trios either horizontally or vertically (both ways work well) takes the guesswork out of this palette and makes it very user-friendly. I used the middle row – Flounce, Restless Rose and Free Roaming – for this look and finished it off with a touch of New Nude in the inner corners. And because I’m sure someone will ask otherwise, I’m wearing YSL Rouge Volupté in #1 Nude Beige on my lips.

MAC Pastels x 9 5

 

 

This product was provided as a press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.

fotd: mac pastels x 9

June 2, 2016  |  Face of the Day, MAC  |  2 Comments

As someone who once only wore smokey neutrals, I’ve come a long way in my appreciation of pastel eyeshadows. Up to this point, the pastels in my collection were all from various Asian makeup brands – no big surprise, considering lighter makeup is the norm here – so it was a pleasant surprise to receive the MAC Pastel x 9 palette and get the chance to discover a more western take on light eye makeup.

Before I continue, I must apologise for the bed-head in these photos. I’d actually done this look just as a preliminary colour trial, but I ended up liking the photos so much I decided to use them in my post!

MAC Pastels x 9 3

For this look, I used Sweet Green all over my lids blended out with Spice Bar, and Free Roaming in the outer V blended through the crease with a touch of Restless Rose. I finished the look with Fresh Innocence in the inner corners.

FYI, the shadows in this palette are light but not as sheer as I was expecting. So although this definitely wasn’t made for bold looks, most of the shadow colours in the palette do show up distinctively on skin. If you like pastels that register more true-to-pan rather than as just sheer coats of tinted shimmer, this is for you.

MAC Pastels x 9 1

MAC Pastels x 9 4

MAC Pastels x 9 2

I can already tell this palette is going to get a lot of play from me. It seems to have been designed perfectly for sweeping on as a quick wash of colour – which will come in handy on hot summer days or nights, when you want to look pretty but can’t bear the thought of heavy makeup.

Speaking of summer, I paired this new palette with one of my favourite hot-weather lip colours: MAC Sheen Supreme Lipstick in Full Speed. I’m wearing it here dabbed on as a sheer stain but it’s actually an ultra-bright coral pink when applied straight from the tube. I love this colour so much I actually bought two tubes of it – I keep one in Singapore, and one in LA!

 

 

This product was provided as a press sample, however all opinions and observations are my own and not influenced by the brand or its PR team. This post contains affiliate links.