With almost every colour on the spectrum made into cosmetics, much of consumerism now boils down to the aesthetic appeal of the products. In this aspect, we can always trust M·A·C to come up with irresistibly enticing packaging design that has the ability to trick you into wanting makeup you might already have, such as those in the NICOPANDA collaboration.
Founded by Italian-Japanese fashion director Nicola Formichetti and his brother Andrea in 2015, NICOPANDA is a New York-based street brand best known for its edgy and playful approach to ready-to-wear and accessories, and it revolves around the panda cartoon that looks like Nicola whose bear-like chubby frame and long beard during his younger days had earned him the nickname “Nico Panda”. Despite the relatively short time the fashion line has been on the market, Nicola has, in fact, more than a decade of experience in being the creative force behind some of the world’s most influential brands, publications, and pop stars including Lady Gaga and Brooke Candy. Busier than a one armed paper hanger, he currently serves as fashion director of Uniqlo apart from managing his personal business venture.
Launched in April, this M·A·C collection features an infusion of fresh spring colours in the form of matte lipsticks (Kawaii Party, Pink-Off, Toung ‘n’ Chic, Nico Kiss, Galactic Mint & Pop Babe), Lipglass (Sugar Coat, Dreamz, Panda Kiss & Glitter Parade), a Gleamer Face Powder, Full Face Kits (Stay Cute, Primapanda & Preppy Panda), lashes, an adornment and a brush bag, all of which come entirely in the most adorable panda-centric packaging (which, I have to admit, isn’t too practical storage-wise). But in spite of the fancy presentation, the prices of the lip products – surprisingly – remain largely the same (at least in the U.S.), so purchasing the three lipsticks below didn’t feel much of a pinch on the wallet.
Galactic Mint is described as a clean seafoam green with a matte finish. Moderately emollient with some slip, this bright cyan deposits a great deal of pigment (a rarity for a fluorescent shade) upon application but most of it ended up settling into my creases and putting a spotlight on the rough texture of my lips. A fairly thin coat gives an opaque but awfully chalky consistency (marked with gaps that are impossible to fill) which amplifies with additional layers, hence making it a challenge to get an even coverage out of this problematic shade without the aid of a primer and a lip brush. It is probably more suitable for creating a small portion of an ombré lip as opposed to being used as the main lip colour.
Pop Babe described as a bright clean pink with a matte finish. The only sold-out lipstick shade from this collection online, this non-drying cool-toned fuchsia applies easily while providing an intense and opaque colour payoff with a subtle shine in a single swipe. The texture is lightweight enough to comfortably and evenly conceal all the creasing and cracking going on. As someone who isn’t too big on vibrant colours, I think Pop Babe is a gorgeous and versatile colour that suits most skin tones. Whether you are going for a rebellious bombshell or a quintessential girl-next-door image, this lipstick can also somehow be paired with various looks.
Toung ‘n’ Chic may be described as a deep plum with a matte finish, but this medium wine is nowhere near as drying. Gliding effortlessly on the lips without tugging or pulling, it imparts a lightly glossy sheen that could pass the lipstick off as a Satin one. Although fully opaque in one swipe, the product tends to build up on drier and uneven parts of the lips, resulting in an inconsistent texture and unsightly dark patches like those in the pictures above. It also sinks into the lip lines within the first hour of wear, further intensifying the parched condition of the lips. Hence, exfoliating the lips before applying this lipstick is a must to achieve optimal payoff from it.
Usually when reputable brands go the extra mile to market their products in gimmicky packaging, they usually fall short in terms of quality to make up for the cost of attracting eyeballs. But I have to admit that this collection generally ticks all the right boxes. If not for space (and money) constraints, I would have gotten more shades!
What are your thoughts about this collection? Did you manage to get anything? Let me know in the comments below or take a quick poll!
Thanks for reading!