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..
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.
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!
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.
#2 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.
#3 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!
#4 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.
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 🎈