REVIEW: M.A.C Cosmetics Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour – To Matte With Love, Dance With Me & High Drama

Hello everyone!

From my observation as an ardent M·A·C user, the brand is often late to the party when it comes to following beauty trends. Or rather, they simply do not see the point in rushing into conformity and churning out low-quality products that would potentially tarnish their good reputation. But more often than not, you can be sure it’s worth the wait. Hence, when M·A·C finally announced that they were bringing out their own line of liquid lipsticks (literally years after every makeup brand had already done so), I had my hopes up and was eagerly awaiting their launch in January last year.

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour‘s debut saw the introduction of 15 robustly saturated colours in a liquid-suede finish (basically what you would expect from your Retro Matte lipsticks but in liquid form) packed in an all-black box and encased in a long clear plastic tube screw-capped with M·A·C’s trademark black dome-like lid. Each tube contains 5 ml / 0.17 fl oz of vanilla-scented product and comes with a fluffy yet flat applicator for better precision and control.

To date, there are already 31 shades in this range and most of them – including the three below – are permanent.

#1 To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love (US$21 / S$39)

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love (US$21 / S$39)

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love

To Matte With Love is a cool fuchsia pink described by M·A·C as a bright raspberry. It glides across the lips without skipping or tugging and upon application, the lipstick dries down almost instantly, transforming an initially creamy texture into a budge-free velvety (as opposed to a powdery) and matte finish. The product is so intensely pigmented and opaque, it fills the lips entirely with just one swipe. It has an even consistency which makes it easier to define the lip shape. On top of that, it does not crack when I move my lips (at least for the first few hours of wear), even without any form of lip nourishment. It is extremely long-lasting but feels drying on the lips and will start flaking and peeling the moment it comes in contact with grease.

I vaguely remember this as an online-exclusive product (which was why I bought it because I wouldn’t have gotten a shade that’s so not me) but it doesn’t seem to be the case. No regrets, though. To Matte With Love is gorgeous even though I already have something quite similar 😭

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love - swatch comparison

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in To Matte With Love – swatch comparison

#2 Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me (US$21 / S$39)

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me (US$21 / S$39)

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me

Dance With Me is a cool darkened red described by M·A·C as a deep cranberry red. It has a more watered-down consistency even though on the whole it still applies somewhat thick, creamy and with some tugging. It needs just one swipe to fill the lips with a reasonably opaque wash of colour.

However, it doesn’t build well especially when it is still in the wet stage as the initial layer tends to shift around with the movement of the applicator and thereafter, leave an uneven and blotchy appearance. It dries down completely to a slightly velvety and matte finish (with a rubbery texture which made my lips feel synthetic 😭), albeit in a longer time (about 2 minutes). But my lips feel increasingly constricted as traces of moisture wear off from the lipstick every millisecond. The dried-down finish also highlights every crinkle and crevice and accentuates flaws to some extent. But no doubt, it is very long-lasting. This is relatively difficult to remove as it stains the lips.

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me - swatch comparison

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Dance With Me – swatch comparison

#3 High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama (US$21 / S$39)

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama (US$21 / S$39)

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama

High Drama is a deep burgundy purple described by M·A·C as a deep dark plum. It has a thin and streaky consistency and hence would require at least two passes to completely fill the lips. It lends a sheer smear of colour at the first swipe and has very limited buildability even though it is rather pigmented. It seems like the more layers I apply, the patchier (marked by very noticeable dark spots) it becomes. It feels like it has the tendency to bleed (which it sorta did around the edges).

This shade yields a satiny texture with subtle sheen which gives the impression of hydration when in fact, it is extremely drying. The heavy and hardening sensation on the lips while wearing High Drama makes the experience uncomfortable. Moreover, the product bunches and is distributed unevenly across the lips, causing them to look wrinkly and rough. It starts cracking and becoming flaky after three hours of wear without eating or drinking. Needless to say, its longevity would be a lot shorter when it comes into contact with anything (more particularly food and drink).

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama - swatch comparison

M·A·C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in High Drama – swatch comparison

While there’s definitely much to work on for the darker shades, the lighter ones (more specifically To Matte With Love) seem to offer a more seamless application on top of a thicker and a more velvety consistency. But then again, these were purchased more than a year ago when they were first launched so, I don’t know, there could already be some improvements made to the formula. When in doubt, drop by any M·A·C outlet and swatch them to your heart’s content!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C retro matte liquid lipcolour is now available on MACCosmetics.com and at all local M.A.C outlets.

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PREVIEW + REVIEW: M.A.C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine & Rollerwheel Brown

Hello everyone!

Makeup trends come and go, but winged eyeliner remains as one of the most classic looks in history. In spite of this, not everyone can pull off or master the delicate art of eyeliner application, especially if you have not-so-steady hands coupled with a pair of hooded eyelids which magically makes any sign of eyeliner disappear (or worse, smear on the upper lids) the moment you open your peepers. The felt or brush tip that comes with most eyeliners gives the user full control of the placement and direction of the line so mistakes tend to be less forgiving. Even seasoned wing drawers, despite having gone through a couple cycles of trial and error, make ghastly goofs sometimes (on what I call “bad hand days”), much less amateurs!

Which brings me to the proverbial million-dollar question – what would be suitable for beginners and clumsy hands, then? M·A·C might have just found the answer with their upcoming Rollerwheel Liquid Liner.

Dubbed the “training wheels” for liquid lining, the limited-edition Rollerwheel Liquid Liner features a pizza-cutter-like spinning disk applicator that absorbs adequate amount of product from its little bottle to provide a continuous and smooth stroke of colour. The rolling tip is made with the right thickness to create precise and geometric flicks while hugging the lash line so even the shakiest of hands won’t stand a chance. Also, since the applicator is made entirely of plastic, it will not fray or become blunt after several uses unlike felt- or brush-tip nib, or mechanical and regular liners. So the perfect skinny-lined winged effect is guaranteed every time (no sharpening required!) until it runs out of product.

The Rollerwheel Liquid Liner is available in 4 shades: Rollin' Black Shine [Shiny Black], Rollerwheel Brown [Warm Brown], Roller Royale [Royal Blue] & On A Roll Black [Matte Black]

The Rollerwheel Liquid Liner is available in 4 shades: Rollin’ Black Shine [Shiny Black], Rollerwheel Brown [Warm Brown], Roller Royale [Royal Blue] & On A Roll Black [Matte Black]

The all-black packaging that we M᛫A᛫C addicts are so familiar with..

The all-black packaging that we M᛫A᛫C addicts are so familiar with..

Encased in long colour-coded boxes and tubes which coordinate with the shade of the eyeliner for easy identification, only a third (or less) of the packaging contains the product. The rest of it is taken up by the incurvated screw cap which is designed for better grip and a more effective handling.

The stopper is shaped like a starburst so that the roller applicator can be inserted into the tube in any way

The stopper is shaped like a starburst so that the roller applicator can be inserted into the tube in any way

I don’t know about you, but I thought this was a groundbreaking invention that would actually solve most eyeliner woes and I’m pretty sure other cosmetics brands shared a “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment when Ashley Rudder posted a sneak peek of it. But does it live up to its hype or is it just another gimmick? I (gladly) took one for the team and purchased two of the shades from the preview to try it for myself.

#1 Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine (US$21 / S$36)

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine (US$21 / S$36)

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin' Black Shine

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollin’ Black Shine

When it comes to eyeliner, most of us tend to default to black because it is always a safe bet due to its versatility. Therefore, M·A·C has come up with two finishes of black for this collection – shiny and matte – to satisfy your inner goth. I had picked out the former because the matte one appeared too flat for my liking. The subdued glint pervading Rollin’ Black Shine, on the other hand, adds more dimension and brightness to the eyes.

Rollin’ Black Shine glides easily with no tugging or pulling on the lids and dries down almost instantly with an even and opaque consistency. It bleeds slightly when swatched but isn’t noticeable on the lids. The rolling tip restricts application to some extent which is good in a way because it helps prevent you from going off course. It hugs every curve of the lash line so it tends to smudge into the lashes in the application process. For this reason, I find the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner to be great for tightlining. Smudge-proof once the product dries down, it stays put even when the lids become visibly oilier after six hours.

#2 Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown (US$21 / S$36)

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown (US$21 / S$36)

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

 

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner in Rollerwheel Brown

Black may be a classic colour but it is far from the only option. In fact, brown and grey have become the go-to eyeliner shades ever since they have been proven by beauty experts to accentuate and bring features forward in a flattering way. If you are one of those who have already ditched black eyeliner for brown, Rollerwheel Brown would be right up your alley.

This warm brown has a matte finish for a more subtle look. Similarly, it applies smoothly with no tugging or pulling and has amazing staying power. It has more of a watery consistency at first but dries down to an opaque and completely matte finish after a few seconds. It is highly-pigmented as well. Although it bleeds when swatched, it is hardly ever noticeable on my lids.

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner smudge test

M·A·C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner smudge test

Compare the finish and pigmentation with other eyeliners I have. In terms of longevity, and pigmentation, Benefit's still wins hands-down. It takes 5 times more effort to remove the Benefit eyeliner

Compare the finish and pigmentation with other eyeliners I have. In terms of longevity, and pigmentation, Benefit’s still wins hands-down. It takes 5 times more effort to remove the Benefit eyeliner

The applicator of these two featured shades picks up enough product from the bottle to line both upper eyelids every time. It feels a little sharp and, no doubt, will take some getting used to. Do not apply full pressure to it or you will tear. Exert light pressure to create a thin line, or press down for a more dramatic cat-eye look. The position of the applicator has to be such that the edge of the wheel is directly on the lid or it won’t give a defined line. For novice users (which basically means everyone of us since this is a new invention), application would perhaps be more manageable if short strokes are used instead. According to M·A·C, each bottle will last about three months if used on a daily basis.

[BEFORE] With only eye shadow on

[BEFORE] With only eye shadow on

[AFTER] M.A.C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner - left: Rollin' Black Shine / right: Rollerwheel Brown

[AFTER] M.A.C Rollerwheel Liquid Liner – left: Rollin’ Black Shine / right: Rollerwheel Brown

All in all, I would say that the Rollerwheel Liquid Liners is one of, if not the best eyeliner I have come across because they offer great precision and pigmentation and are also relatively easy to use. The price is (in my opinion) pretty affordable as well so you don’t have to break the bank to get it. It is a pity that these are limited edition because they definitely deserve a permanent spot in the M.A.C inventory. But since it’s such an innovative product, I’m sure it won’t be long until other brands start churning out something similar as well 😭 (Psst… please price them lower if you can!)

What are your thoughts about these new offerings by M.A.C? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C Rollerwheel liquid liner is expected to drop this Thursday (3 August 2017) at all local M.A.C outlets as well as on MACCosmetics.com on 17 August 2017. this product is already available in the u.k. and Canada with limited access.

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REVIEW: Benefit They’re Real! Big Sexy Lip Kit – Flame Game, Pink Thrills, Revved-Up Red & Lusty Rose

Hey everyone!

In 2015, Laneige sparked the craze for effortless ombré lip with their Two Tone Lip Bars across Asia and even though more than two years have passed since that game-changing debut (which would have been obsolete by now in this fast-moving industry), it was only in recent months that dual- or multi-tone lipsticks had finally caught on in the Western market. Not only has Maybelline leveraged the innovation, Givenchy has also come up with their own version of the concept, thus reaffirming South Korea as the leading trendsetter in the global beauty scene once again. Now that there are already brands dedicating to the mass and premium markets, you may be wondering who is going to fill the void to cater to most of us (I assume) – the mid-tier consumers.

Well, ponder no more, Benefit is your answer!

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

Launched last fall, they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set includes four 2-in-1 lipstick liners in complimenting colours named Flame Game, Pink Thrills, Revved-Up Red and Lusty Rose. These lipstick liners – subsequently known as They’re real! double the lip when they were upsized to singles earlier this year – has a tip shaped like a teardrop to ensure precise placement along the edges and throughout the lips for the appearance of volume and dimension. They are also advertised to have an 8-hour longevity which I was very sceptical about.

Presented in a light metallic box, each of these miniature They’re real! double the lip is loaded in a reflective fun-sized retractable twist-up tube with a net weight of 0.75 g / 0.02 oz (S$51 / S$12.75 each) vis-à-vis the 1.5 g / 0.5 oz of product contained in every single (S$35). If my math doesn’t fail me (because not all Asians are math prodigies 🙃), this set should be cheaper by more than S$6 per gram. But the price was further marked down for me (at 20% off!) because this was purchased at a Sephora private sale not too long ago.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set

Actual size of the packaging - slightly longer than my index finger, but only the little cylindrical tube at the top is filled with product which makes about 50% of the packaging hollow after factoring in the mechanics of it 🤔 How misleading and what a waste of resources, definitely..

Actual size of the packaging – slightly longer than my index finger, but only the little cylindrical tube at the top is filled with product which makes about 50% of the packaging hollow after factoring in the mechanics of it 🤔 How misleading and what a waste of resources, definitely..

At their maximum length

At their maximum length

Since these lipsticks serve primarily as a sneak preview of the actual product, don’t expect them to last an eternity. Each bullet measures only about 1.5 cm (approximately 0.6 inches) long when twisted up to its maximum length which, with daily use, should deplete within 2 months. But the good news is that there are four lipsticks in every set, so you get four times the maximum length of use 😭

Overview of all the swatches

Overview of all the swatches

Truth be told, for a lipstick that promises visibly fuller and sexier-looking lips after usage, I was not entirely pleased with the swatches. They appear too muted to achieve that sort of result and will most likely not show as prominently on darker skin tones. But until I tried them on my lips, I thought I should give them the benefit (no pun intended) of the doubt. Body chemistry works in mysterious ways and for all you know, they might turn out differently upon skin contact. So let’s see…

At the time of trial, my lower lip was still recovering from a scab (blame my itchy fingers) which I would be using as a means to assess the opacity and consistency of the lipsticks. Ha, striking while the iron is hot 😝

#1 Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game

Flame Game is described as a fiery orange-red. It is a brightened, medium orange with red undertones which complements Asian skin tone (even those with olive and dark skin) very well. It has a satin finish and glides on the lips with some tug, leaving an uneven and streaky payoff which becomes more conspicuous after several hours of wear. It offers medium pigmentation with a slight sheen. Although sheer, it is buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. The product settles into my lip lines and around my scab while accentuating other imperfections of my lips but generally it feels hydrating and lightweight. The lip liner, however, camouflages into the main colour and cannot really be seen.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Flame Game - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Flame Game – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#2 Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills

Pink Thrills is described as a real pink or to be more precise, a very flattering shade of cool muted pink which lends the lips a soft, diffused look. Lightweight, it has more of a matte finish to it with very minimal shine. This shade is slightly drying so it glides on the lips with some tug. It does not discernibly settle into my lip lines but does bunch up at some edges of my scab, though not as pronounced as Flame Game. It has medium pigmentation with mostly sheer coverage that lends a more seamless colour payoff and the lip liner is also noticeable enough to give the lips some depth. This shade leaves an unattractive ring around the edges of my lips after about five hours of wear.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Pink Thrills - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Pink Thrills – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#3 Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red

Revved-Up Red is described as a cherry red. It is a muted cool red with pink undertones and has a satin finish with a soft sheen and a creamier, stain-like consistency. It applies with some tug and although the lip liner appears a lot darker than the main colour on the bullet, it does not translate into the desired ombre appearance on the lips. In fact, it looks a tone lighter close up which doesn’t quite does it job in defining the lips. The product settles slightly into lip lines but not as noticeably around my scab. It has medium pigmentation with some patchiness and is mostly sheer but buildable to a low-medium coverage. This shade, on the overall, feels hydrating and lightweight but budges upon contact with water and food, leaving with just a hint of colour.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Revved-Up Red - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Revved-Up Red – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

#4 Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose

Lusty Rose is described as a rosy neutral. It is a muted cool mauve with pink undertones – the most flattering MLBB shade in the set which, I feel, goes well with any skin tone. This shade gives the lips a sophisticated look without appearing too overdone, making it perfect for any occasion – be it making a quick run to the grocery store or work. It has more of a matte finish to it with a soft sheen but like the other shades, it also applies with some tug.

Out of all four shades, this is perhaps the only one with a visibly deeper liner colour (I mean, it’s rather telling just by looking at the swatch) that contrasts enough again the main colour to give that intended depth. It has medium pigmentation and a medium-but-buildable coverage that enables it to conceal my scab entirely with a layer of solid colour. It has a slightly patchy consistency and feels slightly drying and heavier as compared to the other shades so you may need to exfoliate before application. Still, it is comfortable to wear and is also probably the only shade that lives up to the 8-hour longevity claim (but with some flakiness). Hands down, Lusty Rose is my top pick from this set and I’m already planning on getting the full size once I exhaust this.

they're real BIG sexy lipstick set - Lusty Rose - swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

they’re real BIG sexy lipstick set – Lusty Rose – swatch comparison with similar shade from other brands

All in all, if you take Benefit’s over-the-top guarantees with a pinch of salt (if you’ve been a Benefit user long enough, you’d be familiar with their marketing style so this is nothing out of the ordinary 😅), this set actually makes a pretty good and worthwhile buy. The colour selection is very varied and wearable in my opinion, and the compact and handy size also makes it convenient to carry in your pocket or purse wherever you go. I recommend getting it if you’re not ready to commit to the full-size version, or if you want more bang for your buck while still being able to try out more colours from this range.

What do you think about this new lipstick kit by Benefit? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

Benefit they’re real! big sexy lip kit is now available at sephora singapore online and outlets.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!

REVIEW: Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Liquid Lipsticks – Gilded, Brilliant, Ritzy, Lavish & Opulent

Hello everyone!

From glossy to matte to satin, liquid lipsticks have taken on a plethora of finishes since they entered the beauty realm to parallel those of traditional bullet lipsticks and have rightfully stolen all the spotlight with their high-intensity colour. But the most recent liquid lip trend has more to it than just being imbued with incredibly rich colour; it is jam-packed with unapologetic sparkles and has hints of holographic shimmers to make you look like you’ve just stepped out of an editorial. Dubbed the metallic lip look, this latest beauty phenomenon rides on the beauty community’s love affair with frosty lips and has taken the beauty world by storm, so much so that virtually every makeup brand would have started its own line of metallic lipsticks (like Kylie Cosmetics Metals, which I reviewed a while back).

But for those who weren’t ready to squander their money on this fad, there was one problem. Metallic liquid lipsticks, though prevalent in the Western beauty markets, were not readily available in the drugstores here, leaving us with way pricier options from Sephora – that is, until Palladio (available at selected Guardian outlets) introduced a new addition to their lipstick line – the Velvet Matte Metallic formula.

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color

Product label

Product label

Priced to meet the tightest of budget constraints (because of other makeup priorities 😜), these metallic lipsticks are so affordable at only S$11.90 a pop (4.16 g / 0.147 oz), they give ColourPop (US$6 for 2.8 g / 0.10 oz) and NYX (US$7.50 for 0.13 oz, will cost at least S$20 when it hits stores here) a run for their money and you can literally buy all 5 shades without feeling much of a pinch. On top of that, I did not see other brands carrying any metallic liquid lipstick range from my recent visits to Guardian and Watsons so I think it’s safe to say – but correct me if I’m wrong – that Palladio is the first and only drugstore brand so far to do so in Singapore.

Presented in clear plastic tubes with a container shaped like a lipstick bullet inside to make the overall packaging appear less effortless, these fragrance-free (with a hint of plastic smell) Velvet Matte Metallic lipsticks look very similar to the brand’s normal Velvet Matte (review here) range as well as Maybelline Velvet Matte Lip Color which may cause some confusion. Apart from that, there is an inconsistency in the printing on the plastic tube depicted on the website and the actual product – the former has ‘matte’ printed after ‘metallic’ while the latter the opposite as you can see. I don’t know, I feel that this boo-boo is inexcusable for an established brand in this day and age, especially where counterfeiting is rampant 🤔

Nevertheless, my verdict on the products is based on their performance, so if you’re not the least bothered by the packaging, read on!

#1 Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Gilded

The lightest shade in this metallic lipstick range is Gilded, a warm rusty brown infused with fine bronze shimmers. It applies buttery smooth and offers sheer but buildable coverage, leaving a tacky yet emollient texture which wears comfortably without settling into the lip lines. The lipstick does not dry down completely thus making it seem like a film of easily-removable gloss on the lips. Moreover, it clumps up around the inner rim of my mouth, forming a very visible (and unsightly) ring of crust. Glided fades to a muted brown after several hours of wear.

#2 Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Brilliant

Rock the edgy vibe with Brilliant, a deep burgundy brown laden in fine reddish brown shimmers. It goes on thick and creamy with somewhat streaky (and tacky) consistency to create that distressed appearance. Although it lends a mostly opaque coverage, it pulls and separates noticeably into the lip lines over time, making them seem ever so prominent. Each application gives less product and because it does not dry down completely, it can be removed with the slightest touch.

#3 Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Ritzy

Regardless of the finish, no lipstick collection would be complete without a classic red. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to include Ritzy, a vivid bluish-red with purple shimmers into this line of metallic lipsticks to cater to those not quite ready to step out of their comfort zone. The consistency of this highly pigmented red is thick and creamy, and a little of it really goes a long way. Its rich texture gives an opaque payoff and is able to conceal the lip lines with just one swipe.

Its inability to dry down gives it a wet, sultry look but at the same time, it also makes it extremely prone to transfer. Besides, unlike the others, the duochrome effect in Ritzy is barely noticeable on the lips as the shimmers seem to get buried deeper into the product with additional applications. So disappointingly, it appears entirely red with only a strong sheen which I feel does not justify paying close to S$2 more than the regular Palladio Velvet Matte lipstick for it.

#4 Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Lavish

If bright siren red isn’t your cup of tea, there is a darker alternative going by the name of Lavish. This deep ruby red has brown undertones and is riddled with fine purple shimmers. Although the sparkles are mostly camouflaged within the product, the purple metallic tint still pops to some degree in the right light. The lipstick goes on creamy with an opaque coverage and is definitely patchier than Ritzy. Like the rest, Lavish is not touch-proof and has a tacky finish, but feels hydrating on the lips.

#5 Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent (US$8.00 / S$11.90)

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic Cream Lip Color in Opulent

It may already be 2017. But like it or not, dark plum lipsticks are here to stay. This universally flattering shade goes well with practically every skin tone  – I’ve honestly never come across anyone who doesn’t look good in it. If you haven’t already added a dark plum lipstick to your stash, it’s not too late to get one now. And you being new to this whole vampy lip look, you may want to start small and Opulent is one affordable option you can consider.

Opulent is a deep burgundy with similarly unnoticeable fine purple shimmers. It has a creamy application with a streaky consistency that accentuates lip lines. Perhaps due to its thinner texture, Opulent dries down (albeit not totally) seemingly the fastest among all five shades featured here, and is perhaps the only one that does at all. Although not completely transfer-resistant, it cannot be removed with regular wet wipes unlike the others. It is emollient and more long-lasting which enables it to fade to a plum stain after several hours of wear.

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic swatch comparisons with other metallic liquid lipsticks I have. No dupes identified except for Brilliant and Kylie Cosmetics' Reign which are closely similar each other. Reign is more muted with a more even distribution of shimmers, making it look more metallic than Brilliant

Palladio Velvet Matte Metallic swatch comparisons with other metallic liquid lipsticks I have. No dupes identified except for Brilliant and Kylie Cosmetics’ Reign which are closely similar each other. Reign is more muted with a more even distribution of shimmers, making it look more metallic than Brilliant

Despite the name given to this line of lipsticks, they are barely velvet (creamy would be a better description) and matte (too much of a wet look to it) while the metallic intensity differs from shade to shade. I noticed the darker the lipstick, the sparsely distributed the shimmers. But generally, the metallic effect is not as pronounced as what you see in the market, which makes it very wearable in a largely conservative place like Singapore. I would recommend these to those looking to add a new twist to their lipstick colours without overdoing it or digging into their pockets. However, as one who prefers my lipsticks to be more transfer-resistant (I can’t be bothered to touch up my makeup once I’m out), these unfortunately warrant a ‘no’ from me.

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or through my poll!

Thanks for reading!

Palladio velvet matte metallic cream lip color is now available online for US$8.00 each and at selected local guardian outlets for S$11.90 each.
Products featured in this review were editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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REVIEW: MAC Liptensity Lipsticks in Smoked Almond & Marsala

Hello everyone!

On top of possessing a larger vocabulary of colour names, research has also shown that women are better than men at distinguishing colours. In other words, while we perceive navy and cobalt as two completely different colours, our male counterparts may beg to differ. Even though this is backed by scientific facts (which has got something to do with our X chromosomes), I still can’t help but think that these capabilities could, too, be attributed to our exposure to the world of cosmetics. Years of comparing makeup swatches and the perpetual release of “new” lipstick shades with explicit colour descriptions by various brands would have undoubtedly trained our eyes to recognise any tonal differences and broadened our horizons of colour knowledge.

But just as we thought we’ve seen every colour in the visible spectrum on the Sephora racks, M.A.C pushed that boundary further and opened our eyes to a myriad of unexplored colours with its Liptensity collection which was launched online in September and in Singapore the following month last year.

M.A.C Liptensity

M.A.C Liptensity

Leveraging the skills of Maureen Seaberg, a tetrachromat who has the genetic ability to see up to 100 million hues (that is, a hundred times the number of colours an average person can), M.A.C unveiled 24 lipsticks which promise never-seen-before extreme colour intensity in just one stroke.

💥 FUN FACTS 💥

Tetrachromacy may seem like a fascinating deformity to have but in actual fact, it does at times pose great inconvenience to the sufferer and stir up insecurities about her image (as this condition primarily affects females).

As Concetta Antico, a tetrachromat artist, put it in an interview, tetrachromats “see colours in other colours” and can therefore see all the reds and blues in every vein and blemish vividly on their face, spurring them to level out the colours in their skin with a lot of makeup. Endowed with the ability to spot even the slightest difference in skin colour, tetrachromats can also easily tell the emotions of others, or if they’re sick.

(Jeez, I’d hate to have face-to-face conversation with tetrachromats since my dark circles, blackheads, acne and hyperpigmentation will all be intensified in their eyes 😲)

A permanent addition (with 6 LE shades) to the brand’s 14 other finishes, the Liptensity range is formulated to be the most pigmented lipstick by M.A.C to date. It contains presaturated pigment with a clear base to prevent our body chemistry from altering the original colour over time. Seaberg, whose role involved adjusting the shades to make sure that the colour stayed true, tested the formula in and out of sunlight to ensure its infallibility. I don’t know about you, but as one who has experienced firsthand the disparity in the colour payoff of lipsticks on the hand and lips (I don’t feel comfortable applying testers to my face), this sounds like a breakthrough!

2 out of the 24 Liptensity lipsticks released by M.A.C

2 out of the 24 Liptensity lipsticks released by M.A.C

The Liptensity line is so exceptional, even the design of the product had to be given a major overhaul. The shade names are pasted on the box that encases the lipstick (as opposed to having them printed on). and the seemingly slimmer-than-usual lipstick tube is made of a smooth matte material which gives it a nice grip.

Like the Giambattista Valli collection, the lipsticks each comes with a cap that coordinates with the colour of the bullet inside. It has remarkable aesthetic appeal – the differentiation in its outer packaging forms a glorious rainbow of colours when placed side-by-side. But most importantly, it is a lifesaver for those (i.e. me) who have to set time aside daily to go through their hoard of M.A.C lipsticks before deciding on what to wear for the day because you can just zoom into the colour you have in mind from side or top-view.

Furthermore, the bullet comes totally flat on top with concave edges which, from my understanding, marks the second diversion from the brand’s signature diagonal tip after the Sheen Supreme collection. Although it is the first of its kind in M.A.C history, it is not unique to the brand as Wet n Wild MegaLast Lipstick shares the exact same mould. That said, I’m not fond of how the bullet is shaped as it isn’t easy to draw a precise line with it. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Smoked Almond & Marsala

Smoked Almond & Marsala

Alright, too much talkin’ (as usual 😅) before the actual review, so here! I had the luxury of choosing two Liptensity lipsticks as part of my press kit at a M.A.C preview and trust me, it was the most difficult two choices I made in my life 😥 So, after much deliberation and graffitied my hand with beautiful swatches, I finally got down on..

#1 Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond (US$21/ S$39)

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond (US$21 / S$39)

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Smoked Almond

One of the highly-raved shades in this collection, Smoked Almond has not gotten a negative rating (but then again, there’s hardly any for the entire range) and it is not hard to understand why.

First of all, the colour is absolutely flattering on fair and medium skin tones. I was contemplating between this and Toast And Butter but the latter made me look tanner than I already was. Smoked Almond just complements my skin tone perrr-fectly. With a little tug, this bright rosebrown goes on creamy and pigmented on the lips and leaves a luscious shine. It applies like a Matte due to its thick consistency but has a Satin finish. I had a scab on the bottom left of my lip but you can’t really see it in the picture because it is fully concealed by the lipstick which wrapped around it like a second skin. Moisturing with an emollient effect, Smoked Almond doesn’t settle into lip lines but is prone to transfer and will leave discernible streaks after hours of wear.

Swatch comparison for Smoked Almond: Pander Me is close but has more yellow undertones

Swatch comparison for Smoked Almond: Pander Me is close but has more yellow undertones

#2 Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala (US$21 / S$39)

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala (US$21 / S$39)

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

M.A.C Liptensity Lipstick in Marsala

Among my other choices (which I had narrowed down a lot *hits chest*) were a few crimsons and fuchsias, such as Claretcast and Cordovan, but I eventually settled on Marsala not knowing that this was also Temptalia’s top pick. Well, I guess it’s true when they say great minds think alike, aye? 😝

Accurately described as a deep magenta pink with a Satin finish, Marsala came across to me as a darkened version of Heaux when I first swatched it and for that reason, I had to pick it up because I loooove Heaux. It applies glossier and more buttery than Smoked Almond and lends a vibrant colour payoff in one swipe. You know how most sheeny berry-toned lipsticks tend to be blotchy? Marsala doesn’t have that sort of nonsense. It has a thick and uniform consistency, yet lightweight and super hydrating.

However, it is slightly tacky and definitely not transfer-proof. Still, you could easily eliminate these problems by gently dabbing your lips with facial tissue to remove the excess oil while still preserving the intensity. Please, just don’t let these minor drawbacks forestall you from getting this dreamy shade! Swatch this in store if you don’t believe me 🤗 Good thing this shade, together with Smoked Almond, is permanent so you don’t have to rush into buying it 😉

Swatch comparison for Marsala: Heaux is close but is lighter and warmer. Diva Antics is darker and cooler

Swatch comparison for Marsala: Heaux is close but is lighter and warmer. Diva Antics is darker and cooler

Based on the two Liptensity lipsticks I just reviewed, this collection does what it promises, which is to deliver unrivaled and unfaltering pigment intensity while nourishing the lips with maximum moisture (which warrants the price hike).. but if only these were more long-lasting! Moreover, perhaps because I don’t have an extra type of cone cell in my eyes, the shades look rather identical to what I already own. There isn’t much stark difference to make me go gaga over it.

So, are you team Smoked Almond, Marsala or none at all?

So, are you team Smoked Almond, Marsala or none at all?

What are your thoughts on the Liptensity collection? Let me know your thoughts below or respond to my poll ☺

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C Liptensity is now available online and at all local M.A.C outlets for S$39.
Products featured in this review were editorially selected. All opinions, as always, are genuine and uninfluenced.

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REVIEW: MAC x Gabriel Zamora Lipstick in Gabriel Zamora

Hello everyone!

These days, the perks of being a social media influencer or an opinion leader don’t just end at receiving event invitations, free products or financial compensation for sponsored content. In addition to those, the cream of the crop may even score beauty deals with global cosmetics companies to create new products, and already there have been a few of such instances like the collaboration between NikkieTutorials and Too Faced; Nicole Guerriero and Anastasia Beverly Hills; and Grav3YardGirl and Tarte. Joining the ranks of these major deal clinchers are LarLarLee, Gabriel Zamora as well as 8 others around the globe (excluding Asia.. why though? 😠) as they became the first influencers to ink a pact (one any beauty enthusiast would envy 😞) with M.A.C Cosmetics to create their own personalised lipsticks.

Given M.A.C’s history of collaborations with Hollywood celebrities and designers with much greater star power, this came across as an unlikely partnership. But it also goes to show that they are willing to move with the times and adapt to trends (since tapping influencers seems like the “in” thing now). Besides, we all know M.A.C loves springing some surprise element in their collaborations.

10 INFLUENCERS & LAUNCH DATES

… because if it ain’t big, it ain’t M.A.C 😁

United Kingdom (April 19)

#MACxFleurDeForce by @FleurDeForce
#MACxAlessandra by @alexsteinherr

United States of America (April 20)

#MACxLarLarLee by @LarLarLee
#MACxGabrielZamora by @TheGabrielZamora

Canada (April 22)

#MACxSamanthaRavndahl by @ssssamanthaa

Australia (May 22)

#MACxNikkiaJoy by @NikkiaJoy

Germany (May 31)

#MACxCaroDaur by @CaroDaur

France (June 7)

#MACxMarie by @EnjoyPhoenix

Middle East (June 15)

#MACxTheRealFouz by @TheRealFouz

Brazil (August)

#MACxVicCeridono by @VicCeridono

Dear M.A.C, maybe some Asian influencers next time…?

Each of the influencer is entitled to tailor-make one lipstick (named after them) which would/will then be sold solely in their country of origin in very limited quantities. My trusted forwarder only ships from the U.S. so I was only able to buy the U.S.-exclusive shades concocted by LarLarLee and Gabriel Zamora – both beauty vloggers – but the former sold out before I could even bat an eyelid, thereby leaving me with only Gabriel Zamora to purchase.

While it is true that these influencers have strong presence on social media, some did not necessarily found fame online. Alessandra Steinherr, in particular, is beauty director of Glamour UK and as an avid reader of the magazine, I was inclined to lend my support but was once again thwarted by shipping restrictions.

M.A.C X Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C X Gabriel Zamora

Having made headlines last year for being the first male makeup artist to be signed by Ipsy (a beauty sampling service co-founded by fellow beauty vlogger Michelle Phan), 26-year-old Gabriel Zamora is certainly not new to the spotlight. However, he consider his partnership with M.A.C his first major collaboration. Instantly identifiable by his distinct electric-blue hair, Zamora is also known as one of the few beauty gurus who produce bilingual content in English and Spanish on YouTube. Talk about dedication!

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

The lipstick is sheathed in a box bearing the name and autograph of the influencer who designed the shade with its finish also indicated very clearly on it. The packaging, on the overall, is meh because M.A.C obviously knew the lipsticks were going to be snapped up by overzealous fans anyway.

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora

Intuitively, one might expect Zamora to opt for a statement-making colour for his lipstick to go with his flamboyant hairstyle. But he had instead done the complete opposite and decided on a shade that would “work well with virtually any skin tone”. Described as a brown nude with Satin finish, one swipe of Gabriel Zamora lends a creamy and opaque coat of warm terracotta brown on the lips and indeed, you can never go wrong with this shade. This universally-flattering colour is a great for everyday wear and it is simply GORGEOUS!

Although buildable to a darker tone, the vivid colour payoff of just one coat of the lipstick renders additional application wholly unnecessary. Comfortably thick with a nice slip, it clings on to the lips to allow for a longer wear without drying them out, so at some point it felt like a Matte because it doesn’t budge easily. It’s so perfect, words can’t describe how much I love this shade! My current go-to nude lipstick (in Pander Me, a limited-edition shade that is no longer on sale) is running out and this totally saved me the headache of finding a replacement.

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora swatch comparison

M.A.C Gabriel Zamora swatch comparison

What do you think about this lipstick? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!  🙂

Thanks for reading!

The now sold-out M.A.C × Gabriel Zamora lipstick was available in the U.S. only.

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REVIEW: MAC x Min Liu Lipsticks – Peach Blossom Pink & Dynasty Red

Hello everyone!

Since the highly-coveted glitzy Bao Bao Wan collection in 2015, M.A.C has been making a point of enlisting China’s most esteemed style stars for at least one of their beauty campaigns every year and being Chinese, I can’t help but feel an odd sense of pride even though I am not from China (yes, Singapore is a country on its own that is more than 2000 miles away from China in case you weren’t aware). In that same year, they joined forces with couturier Guo Pei to create a lavish capsule collection embellished with exotic floral prints, followed by Chris Chang in the subsequent year who lent her creative expertise to probably the most kaleidoscopic collection in the history of M.A.C and not long ago, with Min Liu (刘旻 liǔ mín), a Fuzhou-born fashion designer and founder of the Ms MIN label.

Before I dive into this collection, I thought I should clarify certain inaccuracies about Min Liu’s identity – she is not to be confused with the New York-based motion graphics designer (her quirky work is really right up my alley nonetheless, go check them out!) of the same name whom even the supposedly trustworthy beauty websites mistook for (like this one here, here and here *sigh* they’re two completely different people, y’all 🙄 #lazyjournalism). While it can be a real challenge for some to distinguish between Asians, especially when many of us share the same name, it wouldn’t hurt to delve a wee bit deeper into her background and perhaps, exercise a little common sense? A prolific graphic designer running a chain of boutiques? Yeah, it’s possible but ain’t nobody got time for that 🙄

M.A.C X Min Liu Collection (Can we also take a moment to appreciate the beauty of those dresses in the promo picture?)

M.A.C X Min Liu Collection (Can we also take a moment to appreciate the beauty of those dresses in the promo picture?)

After more than three years in the making, the M.A.C × Min Liu collection finally came to fruition and was launched in conjunction with the start of Shanghai Fashion Week in early April. Drawing inspiration from the concept of “气 (qì),” or energy, which is often invoked as a proxy for health and attractiveness in the traditional Chinese culture, this collection adopts pink and red as two of its primary colours (apart from silver and black) because of their customary association with health and positive energy. Read more about the philosophy behind the collaboration here.

Initially slated for limited Asia-Pacific release, this limited-edition collection comprising two shades of Lipstick and Lipglass (Peach Blossom Pink / Fortune Red), Eyeshadow Duo (Fortune Duo), Pearlmatte Face Powder, Fluidline gel liner, Cream Color Base, Brush Roll and a makeup bag eventually rolled out globally in special packaging around mid-April.

M.A.C X Min Liu lipsticks

M.A.C X Min Liu lipsticks

M.A.C X Min Liu lipsticks

M.A.C X Min Liu lipsticks

The lipsticks are encased in a polished, all-black angular tube bedecked with a black tassel (which came protected in a plastic roll to prevent it from fraying), therefore felt a lot bulkier than usual. Naturally, with that extra ornament and the untypical-of-M.A.C packaging, the lipsticks are expected to cost more than those in the regular line. $3 more, as a matter of fact.

#1 Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink (US$20)

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink (US$20)

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Peach Blossom Pink

In the words of Min Liu, “pink is a metaphor of beauty” so there has to be some variant of pink here. And what better way to incorporate pink into this collection than to actually make a lipstick of that colour? Hence, there’s Peach Blossom Pink, a clean midtone pink with Matte finish that looks like a familiar shade of cool fuchsia which you most probably would already have in your stash.

This lipstick is so pigmented that it does not take more than two swipes to deliver long-wearing full coverage and a completely opaque wash of colour. However, the slightly drying consistency of the formula causes it to tug at the lips during application. The product also tends to settle into the fine lines and around the dry edges, thereby revealing cracks on the lips. But these flaws are only noticeable within close proximity.

M.A.C Min Liu Peach Blossom Pink swatch comparison

M.A.C Min Liu Peach Blossom Pink swatch comparison

#2 Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red (US$20)

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red (US$20)

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

M.A.C X Min Liu lipstick in Dynasty Red

Red, on the other hand, has been an important colour in the Chinese culture as it takes on multiple symbolic meanings such as fortune, loyalty and bravery. So the exclusion of any red hue in this China-inspired collection would be akin to committing blasphemy.

This auspicious colour takes the form of a lipstick (and gloss) described as a yellow vibrant red with Matte finish. Called Dynasty Red, it glides on like butter with no tug and lends an intensely pigmented payoff. Boasting a creamy and seamless consistency, it even has a subtle sheen to it. It gives full coverage with opaque colour and is comfortably emollient on the lips, making it feel almost nothing like a Matte. This shade is neither drying nor hydrating.

M.A.C Min Liu Dynasty Red swatch comparison

M.A.C Min Liu Dynasty Red swatch comparison

Although the lipsticks generally did not disappoint in terms of application, I wouldn’t have bought them if not for the special packaging because these lipstick shades are seriously cliched and overused.

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M.A.C × Min Liu is now available on MACCosmetics.com and exclusively at M.A.C ION Orchard outlet.

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