REVIEW: MAC Fashion Pack Lipsticks – Aim For Gorgeous, Stylist’s Tip & By Special Order

Hey beauties!

Paris Fashion Week is just around the corner and as we get excited for the coming season, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the backstage work, or more precisely, the makeup that has played a huge role in bringing out the beauty of runway pieces. When it comes to runway makeup looks, no other brand gets as much recognition as M.A.C.

M.A.C, having started off as brand exclusively for makeup artists before going down the mainstream path, is no stranger to the fashion industry. It employs hundreds of makeup artists every season to create beauty looks for fashion shows (I mean, it’s very evident from their Instagram page, isn’t it?) and is even touted as a favourite of many renowned celebrities among the plethora of luxury makeup brands in the market. For those who are wondering what beauty products were used at the fashion shows, this collection could very well be the answer!

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

Introducing Fashion Pack, a collection dedicated to trendsetters which fuses fashion into beauty. Inspired by high fashion catwalk models, it features bold jewel tones and fashion-forward hues you’d likely see on runway models or front-row fashion show attendees.

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

Fashion Pack is a relatively small collection with two choices of eye shadow palette (Runway Worthy / She’s A Model), three shades of Fluidline Pen (Privet / Indelibly Blue / Retro Black), two vibrant Studio Nail Lacquer colours and four limited-edition runway-worthy lipstick hues, out of which only three made it to my shopping cart.

But despite being dubbed the ‘collection for fashion mavens’, the first impression of the products exudes none of the sort. Sold in the oh-so boring regular M.A.C black packaging, it’s quite hard to associate the lipsticks to the glitz and glam of fashion shows and red carpet events. Such disappointment, really.

#1 Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

For some, a love for fashion starts young. Indeed, we develop our sense of style though dressing our dolls up in stunning outfits we picked out at toy shops when we were little. So perhaps it’s only right this collection recaptures a little of our childhood enthusiasm for fashion with Aim For Gorgeous, a bright fuchsia with Matte finish which seems very much inspired by the signature hot pink lipstick Barbie wears (although this isn’t the case).

But it is far from being as emollient as the pink on Barbie’s pouting lips. This tugs at the lips and emphasises dryness as the product make itself at home in the lip lines, hence making parched lips look wrinklier than ever. The matte texture leaves a drying effect too. That being said, it does last longer on my lips than the newer and more hydrating matte formula by M.A.C.

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

If you have been avoiding bold lipstick colours all your life, it’s time to throw that sense of apprehension right out the window because purple is the new black! Did you see Taraji P. Henson rocking the hue at the American Music Awards last November? Channel your inner femme fatale just like her with Stylist’s Tip, a  deep violet in Amplified finish!

While what you see here may not be the exact shade she sported on the red carpet, it’s a less intimidating purple for first-timers due to its warm/pink undertones. This universally flattering lipstick (especially on dark skin) goes on creamy, mostly opaque and renders an OK consistency. Although hydrating (look at that sheen!), the texture feels slippery and tacky which instantly turns my lips into a hair magnet (so annoying). This also does not impress me with its lower-than-expected staying power as it wears away from eating (to be fair, it probably would leave a slight stain if I had eaten like a lady but damn I was hungry). Avoid this lipstick if you have no dining etiquette like me.

M.A.C Stylist's Tip lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Stylist’s Tip lipstick swatch comparison

#3 By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

Regardless of fashion trends, one can always expect to see red lipstick as a beauty staple. After all, red is arguably the first ever pigment (obtained from berries, plants, clay and yes, crushed insects, plus many more) applied to the lips way back in 3,000 BC. Several centuries later, the red lip clearly hasn’t lost any steam and is still going strong. Even though M.A.C has already made countless of red lipsticks, I agree it would be a beauty sin to pass on a lipstick hue that is largely popularised by fashion icons with the likes of Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I and Marilyn Monroe, especially in this fashion-inspired collection.

Described as a deep reddened fuchsia with an Amplified finish, By Special Order is, in reality, a bright red with cool undertones. As it glides smoothly like butter on the lips, it lends a very hydrating texture and even has a natural sheen to it to draw the attention away from lip wrinkles. The wash of pigmented colour from the lipstick, as well as the added pop of glossiness to the lips, enhances the overall look without being over-dramatic. On casual days, I dab this lipstick with a piece of facial tissue so that it fades to a tint. It would also help to remove some of its tackiness.

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

All in all, the lipstick shades in this collection, although nothing unusual, are very wearable for any look and occasion because they are not too bold (great for the faint of heart) and yet are such head-turners. The finish is generally hydrating and ideal for dry, chapped lips. I don’t see any reason not to get them if you haven’t already owned anything similar.

How do you find these lipsticks? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 😘

M.A.C Fashion Pack was a limited edition collection launched in June 2016. most of the products are still available on MACCosmetics.com.
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REVIEW: MAC x Chris Chang of Poesia Lipsticks – Dddevilish, Gold XIXI, Plum Princess & Cloud Gait

Hey lovelies!

Just when you thought M.A.C couldn’t get any more flamboyant than their Trolls collection, the cosmetics giant returned with yet another purchase-inducing makeup line that no true beauty hoarders could resist. Get ready to stockpile if you haven’t heard of their collaboration with Chris Chang of Poesia, whose makeup line was launched last May.

Trust me, the entire collection is like a living kaleidoscope..

M.A.C X Chris Chang

M.A.C X Chris Chang

Raised in San Francisco and currently residing in Shanghai, Chris Chang has made a name for herself as China’s most outlandish fashion designer with her colourful, bold and intricate silk screen prints on her clothing.

The former General Manager of Prada Taiwan studied fashion design at Parsons (one of the top design schools in the world) and started out designing for young girls aged 4-14 on the principle that there should be no distinction between children and adult fashion. It was only after she was swamped with requests for adult-sized versions of her designs that she ventured into women’s wear with Poesia.

Poesia proved to be a huge success as it earned a string of loyal (high-profile) customers and was even showcased at the Shanghai Fashion Week. Since scoring this prestigious collaboration with M.A.C, I’m sure it has garnered a new cadre of colour-loving fans (one being myself) who had previously not heard of Chris Chang. For those who are interested to find more about her work, perhaps Googling her Chinese name (张文轩) would generate more results.

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

Like each piece of clothing from the Poesia fashion line, this collection emanates a fresh burst of colours inspired by one of the oldest performance arts from China, Kunqu, that adorns lavishly exaggerated makeup and costumes characterised by a “very specific, avant-garde look”.

Using silk screen print, the packaging features a collage of icons, symbols, and illustrations that Chang has used in her past collections. According to reports, it was no mean feat trying to glue over shapes smoothly as no makeup brands had ever done a packaging design as intricate as this. Clearly, the creative team’s effort paid off because everyone fell head over heels for the gorgeous packaging 😍😍😍 Never mind if you missed out on the Giambattista Valli collection, or the overpriced Guo Pei lipsticks. This collection is heaps better in aesthetic value, yet very reasonably priced (in USD). It is essentially a collector’s must-have. Buy it now or regret it later!

#1 Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

Dddevilish is described as a pastel hot pink with Matte finish. It does not tug at lips and applies opaque even on the first swipe, but with slight inconsistency (which can be easily touched up with additional application) and somewhat chalky texture. Although marketed as matte, the formula feels moist and also reflects light so the lipstick does not appear flat on the lips. The downside of such non-drying lipstick formula, however, is its poor staying power. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to remove unlike those M.A.C mattes released before the reformulation.

M.A.C X Chris Chang Dddevilish lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Dddevilish lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

As one who isn’t at all a fan of light lipstick shades with sheer and glossy finishes, getting a pastel lemony yellow lipstick in the form of Gold XIXI, complete with my least favourite M.A.C finish to boot (i.e. Lustre), is certainly looking for trouble. But I was drawn to the fact that yellow lipsticks are hard to come by and having missed the sale of Playland (released before my love for makeup blossomed into permanence), that sense of yearning for a yellow lipstick roared back to life when I saw first pictures of Gold XIXI.

That said, I was quite prepared to be disappointed by it. After all, there seems to be no pastel lipsticks solid enough to provide a long-lasting and richly-pigmented wash of colour. They either result to a glittery mess or not show up on my lips at all. Yet, I had an inkling this was going to be different. So I took a gamble and hoped for the best.

But all expectations dashed upon the first application of the lipstick. Sheer with the yellow pigment hardly visible, Gold XIXI felt like a reminiscent of M.A.C’s past failure in creating a decent pastel lipstick. *sigh* Not wanting to pass a verdict so prematurely, I glided it over my lips the second time, and then the third, and the fourth, and gradually the pigment intensified to become the golden hue you see above. WOWZERS MAN, was anyone anticipating this? It’s surprisingly vivid for a Lustre! It may not be as opaque as I had hoped but I was truly impressed by the payoff 👏👏👏We finally have a yellow lipstick that applies like a true yellow! YIPPEH.

Of course, it’s still far from perfect. The lipstick appears very streaky on the lips, no thanks to the unevenly-dispersed pigment and the super glossy texture. It settles into my lip lines like craaaazy and budges as soon as the upper and lower lips meet. Eh, what’s the point of wearing lipstick if it’s going to make you look better without it? 🤔 Nonetheless, it lends a pretty comfy wear.

M.A.C X Chris Chang Gold XIXI lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Gold XIXI lipstick swatch comparison

#3 Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

My favourite shade from this collection, Plum Princess is described as a pastel plummy lavender with Matte finish. It goes on mostly opaque and evenly coats the lips in saturated, never-seen-before shade of universally flattering smokey purple (how rare!). It lends a soft but sultry vibe without bordering on looking too goth as it also brings out the eye makeup.

The dryness of the matte formula can be felt in Plum Princess as it skips and tugs a bit upon application but on the whole, it is still creamier and more hydrating than the older matte formula and even has a slight sheen to it. It felt more like a Satin. Furthermore, it does not slide into the mouth creases as much as Dddevilish. Love it!

M.A.C X Chris Chang Plum Princess lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Plum Princess lipstick swatch comparison

#4 Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

We have seen plenty of reds and nudes from M.A.C. Now, how about a sky blue for a change? Apart from the captivating packaging that this collection is housed in, Cloud Gait was another key factor that landed the entire makeup line on my watch list as I had seen Chris Chang wearing a blue lipstick in the promotional video and thought it looked really amazing.

Argh, stop toying with my feelings, M.A.C!

Argh, stop toying with my feelings, M.A.C!

Since this was the promotional video for her collaboration with M.A.C, it’s only natural to assume that she was wearing Cloud Gait, right? Maybe, except that more colourant was probably added to the lipstick to make it seem more vibrant and pigmented because in reality, this pastel turquoise Lustre is a patchy nightmare with incredibly poor colour payoff. If you ask me, the actual Cloud Gait is a failed attempt in integrating lipstick and gloss and it’s gross. In comparison to Gold XIXI, the latter offers better coverage and a more uniform application, though both share similar lightweight texture and longevity.

Some points to note, though – this shouldn’t be used like a normal lipstick. When drawn across the lips laterally, it settles into the fine lines and leaves a very streaky and almost-invisible finish. But the lipstick deposits more colour when the dab-and-go technique is used instead (like seriously, ain’t nobody got time fo dat). Still, no amount of dabbing is able to conceal those unsightly inconsistencies unless you mix in your own pigment (such as eye shadow).

So, the bottom line is: Cloud Gait (as it is) is trash 😒

But on the whole, I’m quite satisfied with the quality of the lipsticks!

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

Thanks for reading 🎈

M.A.C X Chris Chang was released on MACCosmetics.com and in Singapore in May 2016. Although The collection is no longer available at M.A.C Cosmetics, it still is on Nordstrom and (probably) in resale market. Grab ’em (the mattes, obviously) before they’re gone for good!