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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REVIEW: MAC x Caitlyn Jenner Lipstick in Finally Free

Hello lovelies!

Whether you like it or not, the Kardashians/Jenners are the epitome of modern day phenomenon. They hold such immense influence that virtually anything they put out into the world would garner overwhelming response from the public. Even the male members of the family who don’t court the media as much as the ladies do get a fair share of the limelight as well. Hence, when Bruce Jenner (the father of the Jenner sisters, in case you’re wondering) went public last year with his new female identity, Caitlyn, it merely took 4 hours and 3 minutes for her freshly opened Twitter to reach 1 million followers, thereby smashing the Twitter world record previously held by President Barack Obama.

mac-caitlyn-jenner-2016

Not long after the big reveal, M.A.C Cosmetics, who is already recognised for their efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS with their Viva Glam campaign, announced their partnership with Caitlyn Jenner on an online-exclusive lipstick which 100% of the proceeds would go to the M.A.C AIDS Fund Transgender Initiative to further its work in support of transgender communities. As a pro-LGBT beauty aficionado, this is definitely one M.A.C release I wouldn’t want to miss.

Finally Free packaging

Finally Free packaging

Housed in the regular M.A.C all-black matte plastic body, Finally Free unfortunately does not share the same privilege as the lipsticks in the Viva Glam line of having its own specially-designed packaging (possibly because it is only a prelude to her second and more extensive collection that is slated to launch in early January next year). Without any hint of the collaborator on the packaging, this lipstick can easily be passed off as any Cremesheen in the permanent line.

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free (US$17)

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

M.A.C X Caitlyn Jenner lipstick in Finally Free

Finally Free is described as a midtone rosey nude with a Cremesheen finish. Staying true to the brand’s all-inclusive philosophy of embracing “All Ages, All Races, All Sexes” with their makeup, this lipstick boasts a universal shade that adapts to any skin tones. It glides on buttery smooth and leaves a very moisturising and buildable semi-opaque finish that sits comfortably on the lips. Although not very long-lasting as it stains everything it touches, this shade lends a healthy sheen without being too glossy and keeps the lips feeling supple and conditioned while still on. Dab lightly on the lips for a tint effect if you’re not in the mood for a full lip look 🙂

M.A.C Finally Free swatch comparison. It is quite close to Marque but with a cooler undertone

M.A.C Finally Free swatch comparison. It is quite close to Marque but with a cooler undertone

The ultra flattering wash of colour coupled with the fact that I would be, in a way, contributing towards a meaningful cause with my purchase makes me adore this lipstick even more and I’m already looking forward to her Spring collection which will also be online-exclusive. Likewise, 100% of the selling price from the second release will be donated to transgender organisations and it’s definitely going to top the US$1.3 million made from the sale of Finally Free. That’s a lot of money contributed by someone from a purportedly self-absorbed family, if you ask me.

What are your thoughts on this shade?

Thanks for reading! ❤

Finally Free is an online-exclusive and is available on MACCosmetics.com for US$17 for a limited time.

REVIEW: MAC x Ellie Goulding Lipsticks – Without Your Love & Only You

Hey everyone!

Just as everyone was speculating about a possible MAC collaboration with the newly-transitioned Caitlyn Jenner (which, by the way, has already been confirmed a while back), the cosmetics giant decided to drop a bomb on the beauty community by announcing the partnership with English singer and songwriter Ellie Goulding for a new holiday collection last December. Although I’m not really a fan of her music, I was genuinely stoked (as always, when it comes to celebrity beauty endorsements) for the launch and was already preparing to buy the lipsticks the moment I landed in Japan.

Ellie-Goulding-MAC-Cosmetics

Judging by the looks of the promotional photos, the colour theme of this collection is very obviously centered around shades of neutral which, according to the description provided by MAC, were inspired by the effortlessly au naturel look of the singer herself. I was half-expecting lustres in the lipstick line since they’ve been pretty much a common occurrence in limited edition collections. But as usual, MAC always has surprises up their sleeves.

My wallet heaved a huge sigh of relief when I learnt that there were only two lipsticks in this collection alongside two Plushglasses and two Patentpolish Lip Pencils and other products for the eyes and face – all of which encased in a sleek, mostly-black packaging bearing the official logo for Ellie Goulding like they were made for her merchandise. Look, even the products themselves have the logo debossed into them!

MAC x Ellie Goulding

MAC x Ellie Goulding

Inner packaging

Inner packaging

MAC x Ellie Goulding

MAC x Ellie Goulding

MAC x Ellie Goulding

MAC x Ellie Goulding (from left: Only You & Without Your Love)

With product names like Only You and Without Your Love, sharp-eyed readers may have already noticed that the lipsticks were aptly named after the singer’s hits 🙂 At first glance, both shades reminded me of those from the Guo Pei collection in terms of their coral hues, sheerness and how they are virtually devoid of pigmentation, which is strange, considering that they have Cremesheen finish instead of the dreadful Lustre that Zenith and Ethereal Orchid have. In fact, I found that the lipsticks from the Guo Pei collection were a lot more pigmented than these two addition here.

#1 Without Your Love

Without Your Love is a warm seashell pink with Cremesheen finish (US$18 / S$34)

Without Your Love is a warm seashell pink with Cremesheen finish (US$18 / S$34)

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

MAC Without Your Love

In a case that further blurs the line between Cremesheen and Lustre finishes, this pale pink has a very creamy and sheer quality with a glossy texture. Its only characteristic that sets it apart from Lustre is its micro-shimmers that lends an emollient effect on the lips.

The product, however, has a tendency to cluster around areas of unevenness which I felt was a little difficult to blend out. Although Without Your Love (WYL) sits comfortably on my lips, it does almost nothing to enhance my natural lip colour (hence it will probably show better on really fair skin tones) and because of how lightweight and slippery it is, it lasted under two hours when I wore it out.

#2 Only You

Only You is a muted mid-toned coral with Cremesheen finish (US$18 / S$34)

Only You is a muted mid-toned coral with Cremesheen finish (US$18 / S$34)

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

MAC Only You

The darker lipstick shade in this collection, Only You is in a sort of salmon colour that complements my warm skin tone. It glides on smoothly on the lips and has a thicker consistency with a more opaque finish as compared to WYL. The pearlised pigments are not as glistening too and hence seems less like a gloss unlike WYL. Although it does settle into the lip lines, it is only obvious upon closer examination.

Swatch comparison 1

Swatch comparison 1

Swatch comparison 2

Swatch comparison 2

Unless you’re an avid lipstick collector or an ardent Ellie Goulding fan, you don’t have to rush into buying these lipsticks because honestly, these shades are not new so there is a high chance you’d find cheaper alternatives in the permanent range or from other brands. But price-wise, US$18 is, no doubt, a steal for products created by a renowned celebrity like Ellie Goulding.

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

Thanks for reading! 🙂

MAC X Ellie Goulding is now available on MACCosmetics.com. This collection was also launched locally at M.A.C Bugis Junction, Sephora ION Orchard, Ngee Ann City and TANGS at Tang Plaza.

REVIEW: MAC Dark Desires Lipsticks in Boyfriend Stealer, Heavy Petting & Dark Night

Hello fellow beautyholics!

I’m so glad you’re still here! Thanks for sticking with me despite the lack of beauty updates (non-sponsored posts, that is) on this blog since the onset of this year. Many make-up launches have come and gone over the course of my inactivity, and yet I had only managed to find time recently to do a proper photo shoot for my beauty haul dated as far back as November last year.. because my final semester of college has been a bitch. Before my next major shipment of beauty purchases gets to my doorstep, allow me to bombard you with reviews that have been long overdue!

MAC (and many other brands I follow) had launched a series of collections in the few weeks leading up to Christmas last year and Dark Desires was among the first to pop up on the virtual shelves during that period. It was released online in late November and in U.S. stores in early December, but never internationally.

mac-dark-desires

Probably inspired by erotic films with the likes of Fifty Shades of Grey, the products were given risqué names to complement the dark and edgy shades chosen for this collection. I don’t know about you but considering that the aforementioned movie was screened in cinemas more than six months ago, I found the launch of Dark Desires peculiarly timed because it didn’t quite fit into the holiday theme.

Dark Desires lipsticks

Dark Desires lipsticks

Out of the four lipsticks (Ring My Bell, Heavy Petting, Boyfriend Stealer & Black Night) that were released alongside eye shadows, eye pencils, eye glosses and nail lacquers, I had my eyes on only three because I was too broke to get the pale cool neutral which is unlikely to show on my lips anyway. With the exception of Boyfriend Stealer and the eye pencils, everything in this line-up is new in the market. There is actually quite a substantial number of products in this collection so I was a little perplexed why the sale wasn’t expanded beyond the U.S. Could it be due to the suggestive product names that, perhaps, were deemed inappropriate for the largely conservative Asian market?

Lipsticks (from left): Black Night, Heavy Petting & Boyfriend Stealer

Lipsticks (from left): Black Night, Heavy Petting & Boyfriend Stealer

Swatch (from left): Heavy Petting, Boyfriend Stealer & Black Night

Swatch (from left): Heavy Petting, Boyfriend Stealer & Black Night

All the three lipsticks have a Cremesheen finish but I thought Matte or Satin would make a more suitable choice for this theme because of the bolder and more defined appearance it lends the lips. The provocativeness of the colours seemed to be toned down by the translucence of the finish.

#1 Boyfriend Stealer

Boyfriend Stealer is a blackened plum with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

Boyfriend Stealer is a blackened plum with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

MAC Boyfriend Stealer

Typical of Cremesheen lipsticks, Boyfriend Stealer has a sticky and balm-like texture that sits comfortably on the lips. It has a semi-opaque (leaning more towards sheer) pigmentation as the natural colour of my lips could be seen even after applying several layers of it, therefore it feels more like a lip gloss. However, I didn’t like how it tends to amplify the imperfections of the lips – most of the product seemed to gather at the scab on my lower lip (which has been chapped for the past couple of weeks due to dehydration) so instead of concealing it, it had actually made it more obvious. The consistency of the colour isn’t uniform throughout as well – some parts of my lips had a heavier payoff than the rest. Unsightly!

MAC Boyfriend Stealer swatch comparisons

MAC Boyfriend Stealer swatch comparisons

The texture and opacity of Boyfriend Stealer are quite similar to those of Power My Spirit, which had also received a low rating on my scorecard for its poor colour consistency. But on the bright side, I don’t have any shade that’s identical to Boyfriend Stealer.

#2 Heavy Petting

Heavy Petting is a burgundy with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

Heavy Petting is a burgundy with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

MAC Heavy Petting

The colour on the bullet of Heavy Petting differs greatly from the colour that appears on the lips – how frustrating! I had bought it with the thinking that it would be a dark brown but it turned out to be a lot lighter than that. It has the same tacky texture as Boyfriend Stealer but not so intense. The formula hugs the lips and provides a hydrating veil that bounces light off the surface. Although sheer, the colour shows with just a single swipe. When the colour overlaps with multiple applications, it leaves a darker tint on the lips which fortunately isn’t very noticeable from a distance.

MAC Heavy Petting swatch comparisons

MAC Heavy Petting swatch comparisons

Heavy Petting is a sheerer dupe of Good to be Bad (a reddened burgundy with Sheen Supreme finish, launched in 2011).

#3 Black Night

Black Night is a black with red and gold pearl with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

Black Night is a black with red and gold pearl with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

MAC Black Night

Black Night is the second black lipstick by MAC, with the first being Hautecore. It has very prominent and well-distributed gold microshimmer (the red isn’t very noticable) which gives the lips the added sparkle without looking too glitzy. As compared to its matte counterpart, Black Night is definitely more hydrating and emollient but sheerer in pigmentation and has colour inconsistencies. And perhaps due to its low pigmentation, the lipstick does not turn out to be entirely black on the lips but instead, an intense deep plum. Although sheer, the colour is buildable but the additional layers would slip away after a while and leave the lips looking patchy once again like in the pictures above. It is, nevertheless, still the easiest to work with among all the lipstick I bought from this collection and certainly the most gorgeous-looking one.

MAC Black Night swatch comparisons

MAC Black Night swatch comparisons

You can see the the opacity of Black Night fading from the left above.

Despite really liking most of the cremesheen lipsticks I own, the performance of the lipsticks in this collection surprisingly upsets me because they generally apply unevenly and appear extremely untidy and variegated on the lips. The colours are pretty but I wish more attention could be paid on the pigments when these lipsticks were formulated.

What are your thoughts? Share them with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more lipstick reviews comin’ up! 🙂

Dark Desires is NOW AVAILABLE ON MACCOSMETICS.COM.