REVIEW: Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks – Dirty Money, Masochist, Dominatrix

Hello everyone!

With so many up-and-coming new makeup brands emerging in the beauty industry, it can be hard to keep up but on the bright side (*cough*in denial*cough*), it allows me to explore more options which may be less damaging to my bank account as compared to the likes of MAC. ColourPop, for instance, is one makeup brand that is gradually gaining a foothold in my makeup stash with their dirt cheap liquid lipsticks. Also joining the ranks of beauty brands on my radar is Jeffree Star Cosmetics, a relatively new brand that is only turning a year old in three days’ time!

jeffreestar

Founded by Jeffree Star, an American singer-songwriter, make-up artist, fashion designer and model from Orange County, his eponymous cosmetics line carries merely lip products (no regular lipsticks, strangely) and is widely known for his flamboyant and unorthodox liquid lipstick shades (100% vegan and cruelty-free too!). When I first learnt about his existence, I hadn’t really caught up in the liquid lipstick craze yet. But the more I looked at those perfectly filled lips on his Instagram account, the more I felt compiled to lay my hands on his products! However, the prices aren’t exactly affordable for an indie brand like Jeffree Star so I had to shelve that idea. Then, one day he decided to sell 3 of his newest shades at a bundle price of US$48 (savings of US$6, no longer available)! Ok lah, not a huge discount but at least it’s enough to cover the shipping fee of US$5.95!

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks

Most lipsticks are limited to 2 per customer since it’s a new set-up (and this also makes me wonder how ColourPop, also a new brand in the market, is able to meet the high demands for their products?). Shipping speed was average and comparable to that of ColourPop. My order was received by my forwarder after 7 days it was shipped out although I had gotten the delivery confirmation on the same day I made my purchase.

(from left) Dirty Money, Dominatrix & Masochist

(from left) Dirty Money, Dominatrix & Masochist

Size

Size

But Jeffree Star definitely does better in terms of packaging. The thick glass-like plastic container that holds the liquid lipstick certainly feels a lot sturdier, more expensive and luxurious. I don’t really like the tiny gap between the cap and the lower part of the tube, though, because it always makes me think that the cap is not securely tightened.

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks (swatches)

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipsticks (swatches)

And clearly, these liquid lipsticks dry down a lot faster than ColourPop! That alone already deserves a bonus point in their scorecards. But do the products live up to expectations? Let’s find out!

#1 Dirty Money

Dirty Money is a dusty green with matte finish (US$18)

Dirty Money is a dusty green with matte finish (US$18)

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money (ok, I’m a little trypophobic so this picture kinda grosses me out. Sorry if you feel likewise)

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

Dirty Money

The highlight (newly released at that point in time) of the trio, Dirty Money is a funky shade of green inspired by the colour of American banknotes that would go well with all skin tones (if you’re daring enough to wear it). It goes on the lips opaque and smoothly and wears very evenly.

I did not exfoliate my lips before application (don’t have the habit, but of course you’re encourage to do so) so there were very obvious flakes of dead skin on the bottom lip. Interestingly, Dirty Money accentuates the fine lines on my upper lip more than the lower when it’s usually the opposite. It is slightly drying (just a teeny weeny bit) but felt like it could last for hours. I don’t think I’m gutsy enough to parade in public with this unusual shade (my boyfriend would kill me if I do) but it’s a unique colour to own as a memento. This is the only greenish lipstick I have so no swatch comparison is available for this.

Dirty Money is currently sold out on site but will return at the end of February 2016.

#2 Masochist

Masochist is a dark pink with matte finish (US$18)

Masochist is a dark pink with matte finish (US$18)

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Masochist

Another sellout from this trio (and probably not going to get a restock anytime soon), Masochist is more accurately described as a cool-toned berry, somewhat like a liquid lipstick version of MAC’s Heaux. Perfect for fall, this bold shade instantly brightens up my face but took a little longer to set on the lips. It has an ultra-matte finish with uh-mazing colour coverage that went on my lips smoothly without a fuss. It didn’t emphasise my lip lines and the applicator was very easy to maneuver around the outline of the lips. The lipstick is neither drying nor hydrating.

Swatch comparison against other similar liquid lipstick shades

Swatch comparison against other similar liquid lipstick shades. Masochist looks wetter because it was applied last!

Masochist is a lot brighter and more opaque than the other pink shades I own.

#3 Dominatrix

Dominatrix is a chocolate brown with matte finish (US$18)

Dominatrix is a chocolate brown with matte finish (US$18)

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix

Dominatrix is intensely pigmented, but tends to “crack” when it dries down completely. You can clearly see those fine lip lines in the picture of me not smiling. Extremely matte in texture, it has a thick and heavy (like chocolate, really) consistency that will make your lips more defined with a single stroke. In fact, it’s so much so that the product appeared in clumps when I lifted the applicator off the tube, thus making it more difficult for me to apply on the lips. I had to be really careful in the application lest my lips look like a monkey’s butt (a very sexy one, that is).

Swatch comparison against similar liquid lipstick shades

Swatch comparison against similar liquid lipstick shades

Dominatrix is darker than ColourPop’s Limbo and also a lot more opaque and even.

In conclusion, my first purchase from Jeffree Star was a very gratifying one. You’re literally paying for the quality – their liquid lipstick formula is way more superior than that of ColourPop (I know it’s unfair to compare the two since the price difference is so great, but it’s the only other liquid lipstick brand I own) because it has gives colour payoff and opacity. When Jeffree Star says “matte”, he really means it!

What are your thoughts about the finish? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! (And yes there’s another batch of Jeffree Stars comin’ to me soon, so do subscribe or follow my Instagram for more first-hand updates! 😉 )

Jeffree Star Velour Liquid Lipstick is available at jeffreestarcosmetics.com and BEAUTYLISH for US$18 each. international shipping is free for orders above US$100 and US$35 on jeffreecosmestics.com and beautylish respectively.

REVIEW: ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip Liquid Lipsticks – Instigator, Chilly Chili, First Class, Bad Habit & More Better

Hello everyone!

The brand that more or less amplified the fad of liquid lipsticks with their pocket-friendly prices has got me reached into my wallet once again with 5 new strikingly beautiful shades!

Economically priced at US$6 each, these limited-edition Ultra Matte Lip shades which were released in early October mirror the warm, rich and aesthetically-attractive colours of fall and hence automatically making them a crowd pleaser. In fact, they were so sought after that the sudden spike in traffic had caused the ColourPop website to crash for several hours on launch day! Luckily for me, it was up and running again with not a single shade sold out when I awoke from my slumber (because ColourPop launches always coincide with my bedtime pfft).

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip (October 2015)

ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip (October 2015)

From left: Bad Habit, Chilly Chili, Instigator, More Better & First Class

From left: Bad Habit, Chilly Chili, Instigator, More Better & First Class

Swatches (from left): Instigator, Chilly Chili, First Class, Bad Habit, More Better

Swatches (from left): Instigator, Chilly Chili, First Class, Bad Habit, More Better

First Class wasn’t on my shopping list but I carted it out eventually to qualify for free shipping. Sales tactics like this are meant to entice shoppers to spend more and I unwittingly fell for it *sigh* But thankfully, I managed to save US$5 (that’s S$7 okay, equivalent to a plate of Ayam Penyet and a can of jasmine green tea from the coffee shop below my block) with a discount code which I didn’t expect would still work!

I know you guys are very eager to see more swatches so I shall cut the crap. Without further ado, let’s now find out how these five newcomers fare in the quality department!

#1 Instigator

Instigator is a mid-tone peachy nude with matte finish (US$6)

Instigator is a mid-tone peachy nude with matte finish (US$6)

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

Instigator

A very cheery salmon pink, Instigator is extremely flattering on light to medium skin tone. It gives your lips a fuller and plumper look with its even and velvety coverage. It dries down rather quickly (in under a minute) and it does not emphasise the lip lines as long as you don’t stretch the corners of your lips laterally to the sides. If you’re looking for an affordable MLBB liquid lipstick, this would be right up your alley! Unfortunately, Instigator is already sold out on site and I doubt there will be another restock for it.

Swatch comparison with other ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip shades

Swatch comparison with other ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip shades

Bumble and Instigator would make a gorgeous ombre together!

#2 Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili is a muted plummy brown with matte finish (US$6)

Chilly Chili is a muted plummy brown with matte finish (US$6)

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

Chilly Chili

The best performer among the all the shades here, Chilly Chili doubles as a lipstick and a lip liner because it actually lines the lips – especially at the cupid’s bow -perfectly! The lips crumple minimally with this (only at the sides) and it is also one of the rare Ultra Matte Lip shades that doesn’t deviate much from its intended colour. If there’s anything I have to nitpick on, it would be the time it took to to fully dry down. Even so, it didn’t pose much problem while it was still damp. ColourPop might have hit the bull’s eye with this formula if it varies from the rest.

Swatch comparison with other ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip shades

Swatch comparison with other ColourPop Ultra Matte Lip shades

I had thought it would be very similar to Limbo as both looked equally dark to me but Chilly Chili turned out to be a lot lighter.

#3 First Class

First Class is a vivid orange red with matte finish (US$6)

First Class is a vivid orange red with matte finish (US$6)

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

First Class

I should have gone with my initial selection and forgone this shade because the finish is just… appalling. Not only did First Class fail at providing an evenly opaque coverage with one swipe, it also left a clumpy and grainy texture. It was terribly drying, like you could literally feel the moisture of your lips getting guzzled by that vile lipstick. Furthermore, my lips almost tore in the removal process because residue of the lipstick refused to go away! I had to apply tons of petroleum jelly to get my natural lip colour back. It’s a huge disappointment because I really liked the colour!

Swatch comparison with similar orange-hued lipsticks

No similar Ultra Matte Lip shades to compare with, but I thought you might be interested in some orange-hued lipsticks

Perhaps you guys should stick to regular lipsticks for now if you like orange hues.

#4 Bad Habit

Bad Habit is a dusty mauve pink with matte finish (US$6)

Bad Habit is a dusty mauve pink with matte finish (US$6)

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Bad Habit

Seeing Bad Habit settle and dry on the lips is akin to watching a live magic show – the change in colour is so drastic! It was supposed to be some sort of a pink variant but then it oxidises into a pale burgundy. People living in Singapore must be receiving a special form of air, huh?

Jokes aside,  Bad Habit is opaque but drying and it is not as lightweight as I liked it to be because I could feel the product weighing down my lips. Also, this leaves a tacky finish so the lips tend to stick to each other when they open. I noticed that this shade in particular takes a longer time to dry down completely so you will probably need to manually dry your lips in front of a blowing fan. But do it when no one is looking because you’re gonna look silly for sure 😉

#5 More Better

More Better is a deep violet wine with matte finish (US$6)

More Better is a deep violet wine with matte finish (US$6)

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

More Better

I’ve got nothing against creative (or rather, weird) names that are totally irrelevant to the products themselves but as an amateur educator, I do have a beef with the terrible grammar in “More Better”. As you know, no two comparatives can be paired together (both “More” and “Better” are comparatives) but I guess as long as it stands out, what are rules, right? Besides, this strategy worked because it had obviously gotten my attention! And I’m sure it did for many of you grammar nazis as well 😉

Among the five shades here, More Better definitely has a more vibrant and eye-catching colour payoff and it is, without a doubt, one of my favourites from ColourPop thus far. It is in such gorgeous shade of berry which leans towards the dark spectrum. The lipstick wrinkled my lips but it wasn’t visible from afar. There were also uneven coverage on some parts (darker and more opaque on certain areas) but then again, it would only be noticeable if you scrutinise your lips. However, that would also mean more frequent touch-ups since the lighter areas are probably going to fade faster than the rest (especially after meals).

More Better and Bad Habit against Clueless, another Ultra Matte Lip shade

More Better and Bad Habit against Clueless, another Ultra Matte Lip shade reviewed here

All in all, ColourPop seems to be doing a darn good job at being MAC for the money-conscious. Although there were a few misses in this collection, the choice of colours were interesting and atmospheric. I could also see slight improvements in the formula in terms of the staying power and the extent to which the colour changes when the lipstick dries completely. Just a little tweak and it’d be perfect! (And the lipsticks probably won’t be US$6 already LOL)

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

COLOURPOP ULTRA MATTE LIP IS NOW AVAILABLE ON COLOURPOP.COM FOR A LIMITED TIME. SHIPPING WITHIN CONTINENTAL U.S. IS FREE FOR ORDERS OVER US$30. QUOTE “THANKSBABE” UPON CHECKOUT TO ENJOY A US$5 DISCOUNT WITH NO MINIMUM SPENDING.

Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula #2: How to Treat Oily Skin & Acne

ADVERTORIAL

Hey everyone!

Despite taking special care of my complexion, my skin is bound to have a major breakout at least once every month due to hormonal shifts (ladies should know what I mean). These are unlike my usual zits as they are typically cystic which mainly occur around my cheeks, chin, jawline and hairline/scalp (mainly at places which are out of sight). They are headless bumps that hurt to the touch and because popping them is close to impossible, they take weeks to heal! They can’t be concealed with makeup entirely too since the bumps would still be very obvious especially from the side. Furthermore, they often leave awful hyperpigmentation when they subside to remind me of the painful experience. Gosh, why is it so hard being a woman?! :\

Another issue I have during my menstrual cycle is the sudden influx of oil on the skin (also the cause of my breakout mentioned earlier). My face becomes a virtual oil slick and it melts down my makeup even when I stay indoors the whole day. I don’t have the habit of carrying oil blotting sheets with me as I had read that they would only lead to more oil production. Therefore I would try to avoid being photographed although sometimes it can’t be helped.

But the condition seems to have improved quite a bit ever since I started using Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF) products for oil control and acne care last month. From the the same range as the ones I had featured previously, I feel that these products serve as a corrective to oily and acne-prone skin rather than a preventive – very suitable for people who are already battling oily skin and acne. So if you’re looking for ways to deal with the shine and the unsightly pustules (or even cysts like mine), look no further!

(from left) Acne E-Rase, AHA Oily & Acne Solution & Clay Mint Mask from Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula

(from left) Acne E-Rase, AHA Oily & Acne Solution & Clay Mint Mask from Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula

Do note that these products work best as supplements to the 3-step beauty regimen (cleanse, tone, moisturise) I wrote about in the first TDF feature and should only be used when necessary or (as advised by an aesthetician) daily until the skin gets better otherwise you may risk having your skin dried up.

1. Control

For those with severe acne, normal cleansing alone won’t be enough to rid them. Therefore you’d need this to be part of your routine:

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 (100ml)

Immediately after cleansing and drying my skin thoroughly with the Deep Acne Facial Wash (a stronger cleanser for my menstrual acne, brief review on Facebook), I applied the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 liberally on my face twice daily, morning and night. This formula helps to control breakouts and clear up complexion and prevent blemishes from forming by clearing clogged pores, correcting enlarged pores and removing excess oil or other lipids present on acne-prone skin. When used regularly, the skin becomes smoother and shine is kept under control.

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8

The solution is a colourless lightweight and runny liquid (like water) that rapidly absorbs into the skin with just a few gentle pats on the face. The excess evaporates like water and does not leave a tacky feeling on the skin.

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*Compulsory

2. Correct

Pimple treatment gel/cream is one of my must-haves for bad skin days because it dries out and flattens specific pimples fast enough before an important event. They are my emergency breakout fix. But from my years of using various acne gel, most of them work better on regular pus-filled pimples and not the cystic ones. They also generally do little to stop the development of zits that have not surfaced. Isn’t it frustrating to be able to feel an oncoming pimple and yet feel helpless about it? Well, now you can!

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

Acne E-Rase (20ml)

The Acne E-Rase is a blend of advanced deep exfoliating ingredients (Salicylic Acid, Lactic Acid) that control the most common concerns associated with acne by regulating the sebum production.

The exfoliant helps to slough off dead skin cells that clog pores which can then cause a breakout. Salicylic Acid, for instance, is both an exfoliant and an anti-inflammatory which effectively reduces inflammation and relieves pain. It’s a lot less irritating like Benzoyl Peroxide (my nemesis – gave me a terribly swollen and crusty face on both occasions that I used it) so allergy level to this product should be relatively lower for those with sensitive skin.

Therefore, besides treating existing blemishes, breakouts and blackheads, this acne treatment gel is capable of addressing future blemishes before they even appear as well without over drying the skin.

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

Acne E-Rase

A pale-yellow light and pellucid gel, the product flows out of the tube uncontrollably when I first removed the cover so do make sure you open it with the tip faced upwards. The Acne E-Rase is to be used after cleansing and drying the skin thoroughly and should be applied on the affected acne spot twice a day (once a few minutes before makeup to allow sufficient time for it to dry, and another before bedtime for me) until they are visibly reduced.

However, because acne treatment gel tends to be drying on the skin, you have to use a moisturiser (the Ultra Light Hydrator makes a great choice!) on top of it to prevent your skin from flaking. Basically, the general skincare rule is to apply the thinner product first so that the thicker one above can “lock in” the one below. Of course, the sequence varies according to different skin types and conditions. When in doubt, consult your dermatologist!

My pimple had clearly shrunk and dried out after application!

My pimple had clearly shrunk and dried out after application! (obviously I didn’t put on any moisturizer because I was too lazy)

I was way past my menstrual period when I took these pictures so I didn’t have any cystic acne (not like I wished there were!) to demonstrate the product on, but I did have some stubborn pustules. The result was quite amazing as I could actually feel that my zit had subsided and the small oncoming ones around it had also dried out completely. They could all be concealed entirely with tinted foundation by the following day.

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Correct (Acne E-Rase) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*COMPULSORY

3. Mask

Facial sessions are the perfect excuse for you to relax on your couch/bed and do nothing (though I still use my phone sometimes hehe eh, don’t act like you don’t) so I am always looking forward to them. Not only are face masks easy and hilariously fun to use (who hasn’t scared anybody with their face mask before?!), it also delivers noticeable results after a single use.

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay Mint Mask (60g)

Clay masks are normally recommended for oily skin because of the drying and tightening nature of their natural clay substances. The Clay Mint Mask combines natural earth clays – kaolin and bentonite – for intensive pore-purging and elimination of impurities. It decongests clogged pores by drawing out dirt, excess sebum and other cellular debris. Weekly use of this mask detoxifies the skin to unveil a clearer and more refined complexion.

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

Clay Mint Mask

The greyish-green product comes out of the tube like a toothpaste but it’s rather structured in a way that it does not break off easily from it so it won’t cause as much of a mess as the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 or the Acne E-Rase.

After cleansing

After cleansing

The picture above was taken at night, hours after applying the AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8 and Acne E-Rase illustrated above! Can you tell that the pimples (on the forehead especially) had reduced quite substantially? Their redness were now a light-pinkish.

With Clay Mint Mask

With Clay Mint Mask

Close up

Close up

To use, apply desired amount (the thicker the better but I’m prudent when it comes to using beauty products) of mask to cleansed face and neck (skipped this area because I didn’t want to wet my body) with finger tips or brush. The mask spreads evenly and hardens completely within 2-3 minutes. Leave on for 15-20 minutes and then, rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat the skin dry with a soft towel. As the name describes, the mask gives the skin a very therapeutic minty sensation (even more shiok in an air-conditioned room!).

Prior to this, I used mainly peel-off masks because it’s less time-consuming. But subsequently I realised that they are not as absorbent as clay masks and certainly a lot messier. Some experts have advised against applying mask after shower as they feel it would be too drying for many skin types yadda yadda (well, there’s always the other side of the coin ¯\_(ツ)_/¯) but I prefer to apply nighttime beauty products on a squeaky clean face and then conveniently head to bed thereafter. Furthermore, the facial pores would also be enlarged after a hot shower so the mask would definitely be absorbed into the skin more rapidly!

Recommended sequence:

Cleanse* (AHA Facial Wash/Deep Acne Facial Wash) → Mask (Clay Mint Mask) → Control (AHA Oily & Acne Solution 8) → Tone* (Mild Astringent) → Correct (Acne E-Rase) → Moisturise* (Ultra Light Hydrator)

*COMPULSORY

Now that I have managed to keep my pimples under control, the next step is to treat the hyperpigmentation left behind by my past acne! If you are trying to get rid of your stubborn hyperpigmentation as well, stay tuned for the next installment of my TDF skincare series! I have more tips and product recommendations in store for you 🙂

Hope this guide has been useful to you and many thanks for reading! 🙂

To find out more about my beauty regimen for oily and acne-prone skin, click here for Part 1!

ALL TDF PRODUCTS ARE EXCLUSIVELY SOLD AT ALL CLINICS, NATIONAL HEALTHCARE GROUP POLYCLINICS, SINGHEALTH POLYCLINICS, HOSPITALS AND PUBLIC/RESTRUCTURED SPECIALIST CENTRES. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRODUCT AVAILABILITY, CLICK HERE.

Therapeutic Dermatologic Formula (TDF)

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REVIEW: MAC MACnificent Me Lipsticks – Self Aware, Deep Love, Diva Antics & My Inner Femme

Hello everyone!

In this subsequent installment of the MACnificent Me collection, MAC continues to allure with four new and a highly anticipated repromote lipstick (in Fashion Revival, which I already own) shades alongside 4 Eye Shadows (in Cheer Me On, Well Behaved, Everyone’s Darling & Cork), Opulash Optimum Black Mascara, Penultimate Eye Liner, 2 Lip Pencils (in Cherry & Currant) and 3 Powder Blush (in Devil, Burnt Pepper & A Little Lusty).

MAC MACnificent Me (Luz Maria & Tresor)

MAC MACnificent Me (Luz Maria & Tresor)

But as mentioned previously, I was only keen on getting the lipsticks and so far my experience with my purchase has been largely upsetting. Would the lipsticks be able to make up for the unsatisfactory standards of the Mattenes? Let’s find out!

MACnificent Me Lipsticks

MACnificent Me Lipsticks

MACnificent Me Lipsticks in Diva Antics, Deep Love, My Inner Femme & Self Aware

MACnificent Me Lipsticks in Diva Antics, Deep Love, My Inner Femme & Self Aware

MACnificent Me lipstick swatches

MACnificent Me lipstick swatches

For the first time in what seems to be forever (*cues Frozen song*), we finally have a MAC line without a single Lustre packed with solid colours. However, when I first saw the swatches on my hand, a sense of familiarity struck me because the colours looked like what I already have in my stash! But then again, this always happens whenever I test out new shades because of my massive collection of lipsticks so I wouldn’t know if it’s really the case until I compare them with other similar shades 😆

#1 Self Aware

Self Aware is a coffee nude with Amplified finish (US$17)

Self Aware is a coffee nude with Amplified finish (US$17)

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

Self Aware

The English idiom “don’t judge a book by its cover” fits aptly with my critique of this lipstick. Self Aware has such enticing and irresistible food-esque description and a lovely colour on the bullet along with a promising finish but the moment it was applied on the lips, all my idealistic impression of it fell apart instantly. The swatch looked really gorgeous so I really didn’t expect it to pale my lips and wash me out. Nevertheless, it does blend well with my natural lip colour and provide a mostly opaque coverage in a single swipe. I certainly would love to see this shade in a darker hue. This one is probably more suited (prominent) for very fair skin tone.

Self Aware swatch comparison

Self Aware swatch comparison

There’s no denying that Self Aware has a rather unique shade because no other MAC lipsticks I own come that close 🙂

#2 Deep Love

Deep Love is a deep brown wine with Matte finish (US$17)

Deep Love is a deep brown wine with Matte finish (US$17)

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

Deep Love

New matte lipstick shades are such a rare sight on MAC website these days that I totally combusted with joy when I saw the list of products for this collection! Deep Love is highly pigmented with full coverage that does not settle into the fine line and cracks of the lips nor bleed out. The subtle sheen provides a flattering glow to the lips to make it look fuller and hydrated. However, it tugs a bit on the lips and may feel slightly drying over time.

Deep Love swatch comparison

Deep Love swatch comparison

Deep Love looks like a typical dark maroon until you compare it against other shades. It is actually more like rust brown! Doesn’t look like it on the lips, does it?

#3 Diva Antics

Diva Antics is an intense reddish burgundy with Amplified finish (US$17)

Diva Antics is an intense reddish burgundy with Amplified finish (US$17)

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

Diva Antics

No thanks to the misleading product shot of this lipstick on MAC website, I bought this with the impression that it was going to be a deep plum-purple shade. Obviously, it didn’t turn out to be the case. Nevertheless it is still a pretty red lipstick with some pink undertones. Putting the colour aside, it has a lovely creamy and somewhat glossy finish that glides smoothly on the lips like butter even though it has a tendency to bleed. It delivers a comfortably opaque coverage with a hint of shine for the holidays, making it the perfect lipstick for your upcoming Christmas or New Year’s party. I highly recommend this shade for Asian skin tones! 🙂

Diva Antics swatch comparisons

Diva Antics swatch comparisons

Having said that, you don’t need this lipstick if you already have D For Danger (from The Matte Lip 2015 collection) because not only is it similar to Diva Antics in terms of the colour, they have very comparable texture too!

#4 My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme is an intense orangey red with Amplified finish (US$17)

My Inner Femme is an intense orangey red with Amplified finish (US$17)

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

My Inner Femme

Like Diva Antics, My Inner Femme promises a medium to full coverage that magically catches light to create a gorgeous illusion of fuller and smoochable lips. Every application coats the lips with a luminous layer of moisturizing and rich orange-red shade that sets you apart from your peers who dare not venture out of their comfort zone with unconventional lip colours. Wear this shade to complete your glamourous fall look or to match the auspicious colours of Chinese New Year although it’s a tad too early for that. Still, it’s always good to plan ahead, right? 😉

My Inner Femme swatch comparison

My Inner Femme swatch comparison

Dramatical is a sheerer while Lady Danger is brighter, warmer and more pigmented. I don’t think there’s a close MAC dupe for My Inner Femme so this scores bonus points for being one-of-a-kind.

Finally, to sum things up, high price does not necessarily reflect the quality as you can tell from this whole MACnificent Me collection. Despite the lower selling price, this range of lipsticks surpassed expectations with their excellent colour payoff and luxurious finish so I was surprised to see that none of them is sold out yet. In fact, I would rather pay the US$20 – the price of each Mattene – for any one lipstick here instead. I mean, just sayin’. I am certainly not giving MAC the green light to jack up their prices further. At least not for the next 1 year or so. I’m broke as hell lol.

What about you? Let me know your thoughts about this collection in the comments below!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more beauty reviews coming your way! 🙂

The MAC MACnificent Me lipsticks are now available on MACCosmetics.com and at local stores.

REVIEW: MAC MACnificent Me Mattene Lipsticks – Personal Pick & Power My Spirit

Hello everyone!

September saw a mammoth 3-part collection from MAC that launched quite a number of limited edition products. But if you have been keeping tabs on beauty news, you would have probably seen this coming.

MAC MACnificent Me (Ben & Ji Won)

MAC MACnificent Me (Ben & Ji Won)

A year ago, the cosmetics giant announced that they were looking for new faces to front their Fall 2015 collection. But instead of using stereotypical models, they selected six ordinary people (yeah, kinda like the Dove beauty campaign) out of the presumably thousands of participants of the MACnificent Me contest whereby they had to submit a photo of themselves and a 100-word life mantra. The contest was open to international entries from 13 countries across the globe including 5 from Asia Pacific (Australia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand). I remember feeling so bummed out that Singapore wasn’t one of the eligible countries (and I still wonder why?!) because I was really keen in taking part! I mean, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Any makeup lover would die to model for MAC Cosmetics, am I right?

Oh well, at least we get to lay out hands on this gorgeous collection (because MAC isn’t available in many countries)! But as you know me, I’m more interested in the lip products than anything else and this collection has seriously tons of them. Each part of the collection features either the Patentpolish lip pencils, lipsticks or Mattenes (alongside other eye and face products). Not wanting to live off bread alone for the entire month, I only purchased some Mattenes and lipsticks.

MACnificent Me Mattene

MACnificent Me Mattene

MACnificent Me Mattene

MACnificent Me Mattene

MACnificent Me Mattene

MACnificent Me Mattene

The MACnificent Me: Ben & Ji Won collection brings 4 new Mattene shades (in Personal Pick, Strutting Fabulous, Own The Look & Power My Spirit) as well as 5 Pro Longwear Paint Pot (in Stroke My Ego, Nice Composure, Frozen Violet, Stormy Pink & Imaginary), a Kohl Power Eye Pencil (in Feline), a Haute & Naughty Too Black Mascara, 2 Studio Nail Lacquer (in Simply Swinging & Blog This) and a 215 Medium Shader Brush. Not sure why the recent MAC’s obsession with purple but the Mattenes, cream shadow and nail polish are all in different variation of mesmorising purple hues.

Veteran MAC users would be familiar with the Mattene formula as they pop up as part of a new collection almost every year. But for those who don’t, basically Mattenes are Mattes with a creamier finish (maybe a blend of Matte and Cremesheen?) and they are usually packaged in those thin tubes shown above!

I will review the lipsticks on a separate post for easy reading. For now, enjoy my picks from the Mattene range 🙂

#1 Personal Pick

Personal Pick is a midtone cool rose with Mattene finish

Personal Pick is a midtone cool rose with Mattene finish (US$20)

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

Personal Pick

The only Mattene in this collection that’s not purple, Personal Pick has a lightweight and semi-opaque texture which leaves the lips feeling very moisturised and not too overwhelmed. However, it does tend to accentuate the lip lines a little. For me, it was easy to apply but I found the colour to be not very buildable. Therefore, no matter how much I applied, it still appeared somewhat thin and sheer.

Personal Pick swatch comparison

Personal Pick swatch comparison

Personal Pick doesn’t appear to have a strong vibrancy when swatched on the hand but it does look rather bright on the lips.

#2 Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit is a deep black plum with Mattene finish

Power My Spirit is a deep black plum with Mattene finish (US$20)

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

Power My Spirit

The bullet of this lipstick came slightly ragged and based on the images that showed up on my Google search, it seems to be a common problem for this shade. Being partly Matte, it naturally harbours higher expectations from me but once again I was let down by the inconsistent and patchy payoff. Like Personal Pick, it is thin and emollient texture but this appears a lot runnier and harder to manage. When I pursed my lips in attempt to smooth out the colour, the unevenness became worse with an obvious ring around my mouth!

Power My Spirit swatch comparison

Power My Spirit swatch comparison

The poor opacity coupled with the uneven colour distribution of Power My Spirit is so comparable to Which Witch, I thought they were the same shade initially. But much as I disliked the latter (as you could tell from the largely negative review), it definitely performed a lot better than Power My Spirit in terms of colour payoff (more pigmented) and coverage (more opaque).

In conclusion, this purchase is downright disappointing. I had really high hopes for the Mattenes but these just won’t do. It’s so frustrating! The prices for MAC lipsticks keep creeping up but I don’t see the same for their quality :\

What do you think, ladies? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

MAC MACnificent Me lipsticks (Mattene) are now available at MACCosmetics.com and at local stores.