REVIEW: VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX Awakening Lipsticks – #102 Triple Berry & #104 Triple Swag

Hello everyone!

I’m in the mood for Korean makeup today, so let’s take a short breather from western beauty products, shall we?

As a K-beauty rookie, there is honestly no better place to buy Korean cosmetics than from their country of origin itself. Even though the prices between the products in South Korea and Singapore may only differ by a few Sing dollars (so I don’t feel much of a pinch if I end up not liking the product), the latter does not necessarily get to enjoy the latest offerings at the same time as the South Koreans do. Some took months (e.g. The Face Shop X Disney) to appear on our shelves, whereas a handful (e.g. Tony Mony X Pokémon) never made it. On top of that, there are also brands (e.g. HERA) that are not available here in Singapore. Hence, I made it a point to visit the shopping districts during my first trip to Seoul last July and while at the Myeongdong branch of Lotte Department Store, I chanced upon the VDL booth which had their displays and products all tied to a summer theme they named Awakening.

VDL Awakening collection for Summer 2016

VDL Awakening collection for Summer 2016

For the uninitiated, VDL (Violet Dream Luminous – whatever that means..) is an international cosmetic brand founded by South Korean corporate giant LG – or more precisely The Color Lab, a carve-out of their household and health care unit – in 2012. Since landing on Singapore’s shores in 2013 with their first outlet at Suntec City, it has grown to 5 islandwide, including 2 at heartland malls. But despite the relatively widespread availability here, it was only during this work trip (shout-out to BLS Korea for the wonderful opportunity 👄 More on this another day) that thrust me out of my comfort zone to give this brand a try.

You see, Korean beauty products have been taking the world by storm, so much so that countless Korean cosmetic brands (with dubious-sounding and grammatically incorrect English names, no less) have emerged out of nowhere the past few years, seemingly riding on the coattails of the Hallyu phenomenon. No doubt, that got me a little sceptical about the quality of the products (and also a small part of me had refused to jump on the bandwagon). There were, of course, prominent brands which have been in existence long enough to be considered reliable in my book. But as a newcomer in the market, VDL was certainly far from that. Still, I don’t shut myself out from new or unknown brands so long as they don’t cost an arm and leg and are safe to use (especially on sensitive skin like mine).

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) Lipsticks

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) Lipsticks

In case you haven’t noticed, single-colour lipsticks are so yesterday.

Multiple-tone lipsticks has been all the rage recently, thanks to the obsession with ombré lips. The craze is understandable – after all, it reduced what was traditionally a three-step technique to a single swipe and the effect is a gorgeous just-bitten look! Clearly, it is such a big hit with the Koreans (and in fact, the rest of the world) that virtually every Korean beauty brand has its own permanent line of two or three-tone lipsticks. VDL, for one, has its own range of three-tone lipsticks known as Tint Bar Triple Shot.

Available in 6 juicy colours (#102 Triple Berry / #103 Triple Fuchsia / #104 Triple Swag / #503 Triple Cherry / #504 Triple Scarlet / #602 Triple Orange) from this Awakening collection, these three-tone lipsticks are a tint, lip-balm and base in one which promise a “perfect gradation and more vivid colouring with a single touch”. Each of them features a main, sub and base colour and smells like candy/bubblegum.

1. Main Colour
Enriched with Royal Jelly extract, this colour layer brightly stains lips as it moisturizes, preventing drying and chapping.

2. Sub Colour
This lightly tinted balm conditions and seamlessly blends colour into your lips for a natural, gradient effect.

3. Base Colour
This lip base naturally blends the lip line with your original skin tone and evens out and nourishes discoloured, dry lips into a smooth, even base. The base prevents feathering and creates a purer, lasting colour effect.

(Source)

Before moving on with the reviews, I would like to comment a little on the packaging, which is pretty much similar to those in the regular line. VDL never came across as a budget makeup brand… until I saw the packaging of Tint Bar Triple Shot – white, brittle frosted plastic material with a chunky appearance to boot. Seriously? It feels as cheap as it looks, not forgetting it is also ugly. On top of that, I have to be really gentle with the lipstick or the body of the tube would easily detach from the reflective base when I twist up the bullet. The quality of the packaging is, to say the least, poor, and I’m sure most drugstore makeup brands make better packaging than this. To think VDL is owned by a multinational conglomerate corporation, I find this highly unacceptable..

Anyhow, after spending a couple of minutes swatching and contemplating on what to get at the booth, I picked up two of the Tint Bar Triple Shot lipsticks and was given a free mini ceramic hair straightener 😮 One perk of shopping directly in brick-and-mortar stores in South Korea is that you will mostly likely receive a truckload of freebies and samples in return for your purchase, regardless of how small it is. Love the generosity of the South Korean retailers! It’s also a perfect excuse to return 😜

#102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry

There are several ways to use these triple-tone lipsticks. Depending on your preference, you may apply the base colour on the outer lip line and main colour on the inner, and glide it sideways along lips to create the standard gradient lips. Otherwise, you can also place all three sections of the lipstick vertically on the lips and glide it sideways to achieve a milky effect. I prefer the intensity of the gradient to increase as it spans outward (i.e. western style) because the colours look fuller and more pronounced on me that way. But I will update this post with additional pictures if I decide to do the Korean way. Perhaps.. tomorrow 😉 just added!

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #102 Triple Berry (Korean style)

Triple Berry consists of mainly low-contrast soft pinks/corals and so you need to exert right amount of pressure (on the darker pink, for instance) to show the clear distinction between the colours. It has an oily texture which enables it to work very smoothly across the lips and keep the lips feeling moisturised. On the downside, it is not very long-lasting and since the base colour only acts as a conditioning agent, it does not contain any pigment. Although it has a pretty even colour consistency (with minimal skipping), it requires several applications for the main and sub colours to be reasonably opaque. Still, Triple Berry lends a nice twist to conventional pink lipsticks and is a gorgeous everyday lip colour to wear for any occasion.

VDL #102 Triple Berry compared with Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar in #6 Pink Step

VDL #102 Triple Berry compared with Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar in #6 Pink Step

#104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (18,000 KRW)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag

I had bought Triple Swag with the expectation that it would give an ombré of the three depicted colours (because somehow I did not swatch this before buying), but only to realise later on that there is zilch colour payoff from its base colour. How disappointing ☹

Similarly, Triple Swag goes on slick and more opaque (as compared to Triple Berry) with a slight sheen to it. It has an emollient and lightweight texture but the greasiness can be a little too much to bear, which also causes the lipstick to wear off very easily. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a two-tone lipstick with a starker colour contrast, this is it. It has hot pink as the main colour and bright warm orange as the sub – almost like the colours of sunset and the combination looks absolutely unique and stunning. That said, it would require more effort to blend the harsh lines, and I think this shows up more prominently against fair skin tones.

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot EX (Awakening) in #104 Triple Swag (Korean style)

VDL #104 Triple Swag compared with similar-looking Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar shades

VDL #104 Triple Swag compared with similar-looking Laneige Two-Tone Lip Bar shades

Having already used these multiple-tone lipsticks, I kinda understand the hype around them now. Contrary to the strong and heavily pigmented lip colours made by western beauty brands, these lipsticks give a softer touch to our delicate Asian features while exuding a feminine and sweet vibe. However, I wouldn’t consider any of these VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot lipsticks three-tone since only two of the three colours show up on my lips. I feel a bit cheated.. 😣

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

Thanks for reading!

VDL Tint Bar Triple Shot is available in local VDL outlets in limited shades for 18,000 KRW / S$24 each. the EX Awakening series has been discontinued but you may be able to find the products in reseller markets.

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REVIEW: MAC Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 2) – Yellow You Dare?, Mud Wrestler, Gritty Girl, Cold Hard Cash, Secret # & Digging It

Hello everyone!

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 2)

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 2)

A few days ago, I wrote about the blues and greens from the recent Colour Rocker collection by M.A.C. To facilitate the ease of reading, I have split my review of this massive haul (my biggest to date from a single M.A.C collection) into two (going three) digestible parts. This second installment picks up where I left off and will cover the warms and browns.

Overview

Overview

Read the first part of the m.a.c colour rocker collection review here.

#7 Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare? (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare? (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

Thanks to research and development, even the most unimaginable bright hues have evolved into commonplace liquid lipstick shades with decent coverage in recent years. But it wouldn’t be possible to make bright regular lipsticks a decent ago because fluorescent matte pigments are notoriously hard to formulate. Therefore, it was completely understandable that bright lip colours by M.A.C had always been in crappy, less-than-satisfactory finishes.

This year, M.A.C pushes the boundaries of cosmetic formulation with not one, but several fluoroscent matte lipsticks including a yellow and lime green. While awaiting the latter to reach me from the States, let’s discuss about Yellow You Dare?. A first matte yellow by the beauty giant, this limited-edition warmed yellow skips on the lips a fair bit at the very first swipe but builds to a decently-opaque coat of colour with multiple applications to conceal most of the gaps (and bleeding into the lip lines in the process). Its drying and chalky consistency, however, accentuates every wrinkle on the lips and I also dislike the fact that it does not fade evenly, leaving a patchy pout at the end of the day. Nonetheless, taking into consideration the difficulties in perfecting one, I would say this is a pretty darn good effort 😄

M.A.C Yellow You Dare? swatch comparison (against Jeffree Star's Queen Bee as well)

M.A.C Yellow You Dare? swatch comparison (against Jeffree Star’s Queen Bee as well)

Before you write this collection off as one dedicated only to the adventurous and experimental, take a look at the muddy hues! With more than six tones of brown lip colours to choose from, there is no denying that M.A.C is trying to reinforce the notion that the ’90’s-esque brown lip trend is here to stay. Why wouldn’t it, anyway? Brown is such a universally flattering neutral that anyone would be able to pull it off, so long as you find the right one for your skin tone! Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t look good with earthy lips!

To get you started on the path to brown lip perfection, here are five (new) brown lip hues from this collection, starting with the lightest:

#8 Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

Let’s get dirrrty with Mud Wrestler, described as a creamy neutral beige with Matte finish. Classified as a warm hue, this limited-edition pale brown has a satin-like finish and goes on mostly opaque with a good slip and glide although it takes me a couple of passes before the colour finally becomes noticeable against my medium skin tone. It leaves a tacky and streaky consistency as well as a drying, crayon-like texture. On top of that, it does virtually nothing to reduce the appearance of my lip wrinkles. The true potential of this shade would probably be realised on light skin tones 😉

M.A.C Mud Wrestler swatch comparison

M.A.C Mud Wrestler swatch comparison

#9 Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

Not too far off from Mud Wrestler on the colour scale is Gritty Girl, described as a light cool brown with Matte finish. In reality, this limited-edition shade is muted, slightly grey-tinged and goes on smooth and somewhat sheer (as my natural lip colour can still be seen) with a small degree of buildability which gives its lightweight and hydrating texture. It offers a fairly uniform spread of colour after several swipes, topped with a balmy finish and a soft sheen. All’s good except that it fares poorly in the longevity department as it fades away entirely upon taking light snacks.

M.A.C Gritty Girl swatch comparison

M.A.C Gritty Girl swatch comparison

#10 Cold Hard Cash 

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

If going by the rule of thumb when it comes to selecting the right shade of lipstick that we should pick a tone one or two shade darker than your natural lip colour, then perhaps Cold Hard Cash fits the bill for me. Described as a creamy neutral brown with Matte finish, the yellow undertones in this limited-edition shade complements my warm skin tone naturally without making exaggerated effort. Besides, there is a good amount of slip to ensure a smooth application. It lends an opaque colour payoff but has a slightly gritty and tacky consistency. This shade is neither drying nor hydrating.

M.A.C Cold Hard Cash swatch comparison

M.A.C Cold Hard Cash swatch comparison – Styled in Sepia is 99% similar!

#11 Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret # (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret # (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

If you’re already bored of safe neutrals, perhaps Secret # might just be what you need to amp up your lip game. Another limited-edition shade from this collection, it is described as a dark greyed brown with Matte finish and is ideal for seasoned veterans of the vampy lip look as well as those who are ready to take the plunge and go for something darker (that’s the spirit!). It applies creamy and effortlessly on the lips, leaving an opaque cool ash brown with excellent colour payoff. The grey tint catches light so it doesn’t look like a regular dark brown lipstick (it kinda looks metallic, minus the strong shimmer effect) but at the same time, it also somewhat emphasises the lip lines. It feels hydrating yet mildly tacky on the lips as it is, so some blotting would definitely help in removing some sticky residue (and make it more long-lasting).

#12 Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

Complete your grunge look while going a notch deeper with Digging It, described as a rich warm brown with Matte finish. Not for the faint-hearted, this limited-edition deep rustic brown lends a touch of allure and mystery to your bold makeup as it fills the surface of the lips smoothly with a thick and creamy coat of lipstick. Moreover, with its insanely-pigmented and opaque consistency, topped with a subtle sheen to enhance your sultry moue, it is guaranteed to make an impression. It is as dark as it can be on the second swipe not so this shade is not very buildable. Like most of the shades in this collection, it is tacky but feels hydrating on the lips. Well, at least it doesn’t dry the heck out of my lips like most traditional M.A.C matte lipsticks do!

M.A.C Secret # and Digging It swatch comparison - Stone is lighter and warmer as compared to Secret # while Antique Velvet is slightly darker and more pigmented with more red undertones than Digging It

M.A.C Secret # and Digging It swatch comparison – Stone is lighter and warmer as compared to Secret # while Antique Velvet is slightly darker and more pigmented with more red undertones than Digging It

And there you have it, my lengthiest review on a single collection with two more shades en route to Singapore! Keep your eyes peeled on this page for the next part 😊

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now available online and at local M.A.C outlets.

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

REVIEW: MAC Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 1) – Instant Icon, Jean Genie, Blue Bang!, Show And Teal, Deep With Envy & Mean Green Machine

Hello everyone!

It has become almost like an annual routine for M.A.C to launch a series of new matte lipstick shades, so this year is no exception! Launched in January in the U.S., the Colour Rocker collection saw the release of 28 lipsticks (categorised into browns, pinks/purples/greys, warms and blues/greens) in a spectrum of bright neon-esque hues and dark accents.

These lipsticks – some new, some repromotes – boast in their true-to-bullet-color payoff and come in the most avant-garde shades you can ever find in the market. What’s more, they are ALL mattes! YAY!

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 1)

Still looking for more reasons to make the leap to the bold side? Think awkward social functions and high school reunions. What better way to break the ice and start a conversation with an unconventional lip colour? 😆

And here’s what I got…

Overhead shot of the lipsticks

Overhead shot of the lipsticks

Overview

Overview

TWELVE shades.. and soon to be thirteen (because another shade from this collection caught my eye and it’s now on its way to me 😅). Is there anyone more of a lipstick devotee than me?! This is, no doubt, my biggest M.A.C haul to date! I already tried narrowing down my choices. Still, I couldn’t help it – there were just too many shades I was lusting after!

I know it’s my usual practice to compile my review of every shade I bought from the same collection in one post, but this is just too massive and it would possibly take me days to complete it. Hence, for your convenience and mine, I will split my review into two parts. The first shall feature only the blues and greens. If you’re interested to know how the others perform, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next part!

#1 Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

Blue is probably the most unlikely colour for a lipstick as it is a complete opposite of our natural lip colour. But since celebrities like Beyoncé, Rihanna and Olivia Palermo had been spotted rockin’ that hue on the red carpet, it has been normalised (sort of) and made popular. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before M.A.C introduced its own line of lipsticks in different shades of blue to catch up with the bold lip trend (albeit a rather passé one by now because it has been going on since 2014?). If you’ve never considered this unusual lip colour before, it isn’t too late to try one now 😉

Starting with the lightest blue in this collection, there is Instant Icon, a bright baby blue with Matte finish. Ardent fans of M.A.C may feel a sense of déjà vu because the brand actually added an almost identical shade going by the name of Dreampot (with the same finish, no less) to the permanent range last year as part of the Bangin’ Brilliant collection which I passed on. This limited-edition pale blue provides good slip for a Matte lipstick, but has a drying and crayon-like consistency which accentuates lip wrinkles. It goes on fairly opaque at the first swipe, but builds up to your preferred intensity easily with subsequent applications. It does not have the staying power of the traditional matte as it starts to wear off when I incidentally purse my lips. It also leaves an uneven stain on the lips after fading.

#2 Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

Up next on the colour wheel is Jean Genie, a limited-edition sky blue with Matte finish and probably M.A.C’s (late) answer to Serenity, one of the two pantone colours of 2016. This denim-inspired periwinkle blue does not drag or tug at the lips much but has a rather patchy and satin-like consistency which takes away the matte texture. Highly pigmented, it gives considerable coverage on the first coat but builds to an entirely opaque colour with more passes. Lip cracks are, however, still obvious as the product tends to settle into the lines. Although it feels drying, I would say this offers a longer wear as compared to Instant Icon.

So many choices, too little money! If you can’t decide on which blue lipstick to get, I recommend Jean Genie because it is just so gorgeous 😍 But I personally think it is more compatible with light to medium skin tones..

#3 Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang! (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang! (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

Electrify your lips with Blue Bang!, described as a limited-edition bright cerulean blue with Matte finish. A guaranteed head-turner, this striking blue provides a high colour pay-off and an opaque coverage in just a single stroke, but not without first applying with some drag. Buildable to a solid blue that conceals most lip lines, it has a thick consistency which feels a tad heavy and drying on the lips. But it does not appear as such because of the delicate sheen it imparts to the lips. This lipstick removes easily but does not fade uniformly as it will leave visible traces of the lipstick.

Swatch comparison among all the blues. Proof that I don't own any blue lippy at all.. (Trashy Cloud Gait doesn't count)

Swatch comparison among all the blues. Proof that I don’t own any blue lippy at all.. (Trashy Cloud Gait doesn’t count)

#4 Show And Teal 

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

SAM.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

Moving on to the greens… WHOOT! The most underrated lipstick hue is finally here! Believe me or not, I had waited all my life for a warm teal lipstick like Show And Teal to take form because the existing ones in the market either lean more towards aqua or turquoise, never in between. Hence, I was really psyched to lay my hands on this!

Described as a bright green blue teal with Matte finish, Show And Teal has relatively good slip but bleeds into lip lines. Not only does it pack a punch of pigment to bring forth that excellent colour payoff, it has a thick and opaque coverage that lasts for hours and a subtle sheen to boot to give that semi-matte (almost satin-like) finish. The consistency, however, isn’t as uniform as I had hoped and it does feel slightly drying on my lips. This lipstick fades to a stain after a heavy meal.

I’m baffled it is still not sold out online 🙁 Doesn’t anybody feel the same way I do about teal lipsticks? *cries at one corner*

#5 Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

Blue lipsticks may have enjoyed a period of popularity but it could well be out of fashion soon now that their green counterparts are creeping in to claim their spot. On a side note, remember when green lipsticks first emerged, they turned out to be pink on the lips? Damn those colour-changing lipsticks… 😒 I couldn’t help but feel a pang of betrayal because I really wanted a green lipstick to complete my collection. But I need not have to yearn for it anymore as green lipsticks are going to be e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

It all kinda started from Dolce & Gabanna (which Rihanna bravely wore to an awards night and got everyone gasping with awe), then Melt Cosmetics came up with their own version. Slowly but surely, more beauty brands followed suit. As a matter of fact, M.A.C had a couple of green lipsticks prior to this but they were all trashy and the payoff was nowhere near green at all (e.g. Summer Shower, Blue Eve – Google them and you’ll know what I mean). I’m glad M.A.C ultimately got their sh*t together and made green lipsticks that truly apply as green this time ’round!

One of them is Deep With Envy, accurately described as a (deep) forest green. This limited-edition piece, though, is nothing like a Matte lipstick because it goes on ever-so smoothly and buttery that all it takes is a single swipe to get an opaque colour payoff. It has a thick, creamy and almost-silky consistency with an alluring sheen to take the attention away from the patchy areas. Topping it all off, it has the right amount of moisture to keep the lips from feeling parched. No wonder Deep With Envy is the first (and only one thus far) to sell out online!

#6 Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

Rounding off the greens division (for now) is Mean Green Machine, ambiguously described as a green (that’s it? 😒 how lazy can one get..) with Matte finish when in actual fact, the green pigment is hardly noticeable, even under strong lighting. It is so dark, I would say it is just a tone or two away from black.

Nevertheless, if the accuracy of the colour description doesn’t bother you, it is a pretty decent lipstick to have. It applies effortlessly with zero tugging to deliver a microshimmer-infused, semi-opaque but rather patchy texture. Buildable to full coverage, it does not settle into lip lines but does feel a bit tacky and drying at the end.

Swatch comparison among all the greens! I had absolutely no green at all! And strangely what I thought was black (Hautecore & Black Night) now look purplish to me against Mean Green Machine

Swatch comparison among all the greens! I had absolutely no green at all! And strangely what I thought was black (Hautecore & Black Night) now look purplish to me against Mean Green Machine

What are your thoughts on the blues and greens in this collection? Are they worth splurging your moolah on, or not? Let me know in the comments below! 😙

And do stay tuned for part two!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now available online and at local M.A.C outlets.

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REVIEW: MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Lipsticks – Authentic Red, Rockit! & Understanding

Hey lovelies!

From gracing the cover of Vanity Fair (and subsequently Sports Illustrated) to becoming the first to reach one million followers in four hours on Twitter to fronting a cosmetics campaign for a rather prestigious brand to scoring her own reality TV show, Caitlyn Jenner seems to be receiving a lot more recognition than when she was still known as Bruce Jenner, an established Olympic decathlete. After all, she has defied all odds in this still largely transphobic and homophobic society (unfortunately) and transitioned into the woman she felt she had always been in the public eye at the ripe age of 66. If there is anything I can learn from her, it’s that there are no limits to achieving your dreams, no matter how old you are and what others may say. You are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.

Therefore, if you ask me, I’m actually glad that M.A.C decided to partner with Caitlyn Jenner again on a second makeup line, following the great reception of its predecessor last year.

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017 (why this picture though)

Granted, she may not be the best role model for everyone. But she’s famous (and I’d say even more popular than Laverne Cox, as evident from their net worth) and she’s using her fame for good cause. I thought it was a wise move to engage Caitlyn again as their spokesperson as it would help raise awareness of transgender people especially in the more conservative Asian countries like Singapore where her second collection would also be launched. If M.A.C had chosen Laverne Cox as their new face, I dare say it wouldn’t have triggered a response as intense as this.

(ADV) Apart from lipsticks, what else can you get your sister on her birthday? Check out some gift ideas on ThatSweetGift! You’re welcome.

I agree, though, that it would be a lot more meaningful if some of the profits from this collection were donated to help the transgender community. But then again, there is already a lipstick sold for that purpose, which has raked in proceeds estimated at US$1.3 million for the M.A.C AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative. Besides, this collection is about Caitlyn Jenner, not the transgender community, so I don’t quite get the hoo-ha.. 🤔

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner 2017

This eight-piece collection features lipsticks in three gorgeous shades, three Cremesheen Glass (Kindness / Beautifully Bare / Tolerance), two Lip Pencils (Whirl / Soar), three single eyeshadows (Glowing Gold / Malibu Bronze / Worthy), one Eye Kohl (Teddy), individual lashes (#30), a Powder Blush Duo (Buddy) and a Mineralized Skinfinish Natural (Compassion), all decked out in luxurious soft-touch black (made with rubber material which will eventually turn sticky just like the NARS packaging 😐) and shiny metallic gold. Beautiful colour combination, I must say!

Interested to find out how the lipsticks fared? Read on!

#1 Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Authentic Red

Celebrating her newfound femininity, Caitlyn Jenner chose a lipstick hue that’s often seen as a statement of confidence and rebellion, and there is no other shade of lipstick that accentuates femininity like the good ol’ red does. Perhaps that was why she included Authentic Red – a deep red with Cremesheen finish – in her second M.A.C collection.

This warm red tugs slightly at the lips when applied but lends an opaque and great consistency of colour at first swipe. It leaves a glossy and tacky texture which feels thick and heavy for a Cremesheen and probably because of that, it is lasts longer on the lips than Rockit! and Understanding. It fades to a stain after a few hours. This lipstick, unfortunately, is slightly drying on me even though the subtle sheen does not make it seem so.

M.A.C Authentic Red swatch comparison

M.A.C Authentic Red swatch comparison

#2 Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit! (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Rockit!

Much as red lipstick is a classic, not everyone feels comfortable sporting blood red lipsticks à la Taylor Swift that scream, “Look at me!” In that case, why not go for the barely-there appeal? Described as a midtone beige with Cremesheen finish, Rockit! provides a flush of My-Lips-But-Better rosy brown for those who are not ready for a strong red lip just yet.

Like Authentic Red, it drags and weighs down slightly on the lips. It is drying and I don’t know if it’s me but somehow there is this little tingling sensation when I wear it 🤔 The colour payoff is sheer at the beginning but builds to a seamless and decently opaque coverage after a couple (3-4) of applications (I can see the apparent difference even though this shade is very close to my natural lip colour), topped with a healthy, dewy shine that goes perfectly well with both light and heavy eye makeup. Still in awe over Alicia Key’s natural look on The X Factor? Well, envy no more! You can now spruce up the no-makeup look (but still with a teeny weeny bit of makeup, lah) with this flattering nude lipstick 😉

M.A.C Rockit! swatch comparison

M.A.C Rockit! swatch comparison

#3 Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding (US$17 - online exclusive)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding (US$17 – online exclusive)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Understanding

With names deriving from personality traits such as Understanding, Kindness, Compassion, Tolerance and Worthy given to the products in this collection, it’s hard not to think that Caitlyn Jenner is taking this opportune time to impart some sort of message to the transvestite community and their detractors. I thought the names are very well-thought-out and more impactful than say, launching a full-scale LGBT acceptance campaign because we ladies remember nothin’ but our makeup 😁

Of course, I’m all for supporting inclusivity but the limit to my funds (surprise, surprise, this ain’t sponsored) meant that I could only get Understanding, an online-exclusive hot red with Cremesheen finish. This lipstick glides on smooth and has a nice slip. It is sheer at first but builds to an opaque warm coral. Although it tends to accentuate the dry parts, it feels very comfortable on my lips. It enhances the pout further with a hint of sheen and moisture. Sadly, this does not stay past three hours. Very lovely colour, nonetheless!

M.A.C Understanding swatch comparison

M.A.C Understanding swatch comparison

In general, the lipsticks are very wearable despite the less-than-hydrating formula. As Caitlyn Jenner settles into her new life as a woman, it is probably too early for her to make a bold statement, and since this collection revolves around all-inclusive beauty, the hues picked out have to be pretty much universal. Hence, you can see that the hues border on the safe side with nothing too funky. In just a few strokes, they bring out the feminine charm within the user and I think that’s what Caitlyn herself wanted to achieve with both collections.

What do you think? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner is now available on MACCosmetics.com. This collection was also launched in Singapore at M.A.C ION Orchard.

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