REVIEW: M·A·C × Aaliyah – Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain’t Nothing & Lipsticks in Try Again, Street Thing & More Than A Woman

Hello everyone!

Every generation has its own distinct style. Hence, when the first page of your Google Images results yields only low-resolution pictures of the person you are looking up sporting an outdated hairdo and outfit that defined the ’90s, you immediately know something is amiss – this person had either retired from the industry and thus withdrawn entirely from the public eye or, in worst cases, had passed away.

Reaffirming my suspicion that Aaliyah – who suddenly came to my mind upon hearing “Try Again” on the radio some time in 2008 – was no longer around after seeing that there weren’t any recent pictures of her, I returned to the main search page and true enough, news about her death in August 2001 dominated the first two pages of the search results. I stared at my screen in disbelief. The songstress who was pretty much one of the icons of the ’90s had long gone? How did such major happening slip past my radar? (Come to think of it, I was probably too preoccupied with feeding my Neopets to be bothered with pop culture.. but yeah..)

Aaliyah for M·A·C

Aaliyah for M·A·C

Even though it has been 17 years since her demise, Aaliyah’s legacy lives on through beauty trends that are still relevant today. A capsule collection sparked by a petition (like the Selena collaboration) for M·A·C to reintroduce Aaliyah to the world was created in honour of the late R&B star who, at the mere age of 22, was tragically killed in a fatal plane crash with many others on board. Inspired by her beauty looks and M·A·C products straight out of her makeup bag (like Cherish and the now-discontinued Chelsea Lipsticks, Espresso and Biscuit eye shadows), the collection boasts tones of soulful neutral that will transport you back to the era of brown and frosted lips, as well as visible dark lip liners.

My M·A·C × Aaliyah haul!

My M·A·C × Aaliyah haul!

In this third posthumous range by M·A·C, expect classic ’90s beauty trends to make a comeback in a form of Lipsticks (Try Again / More Than A Woman / Street Thing / Hot Like…), Lipglass (Brooklyn Born / At Your Best You Are / Li Li’s Motor City / 1 In A Million), Lip Pencils (Nevermore / Follow Your Heart), Bronzing Powder (Baby Girl) and a 9-pan eye shadow palette (Age Ain’t Nothing).

A free limited edition bandana (as seen on me in the modelled pictures below) is included in every US$35 M·A·C × Aaliyah purchase, and Aaliyah faithful could also buy the entire collection (alongside other perks like the bandana and a poster, together with a special notecard to download the Aaliyah app for exclusive content) for US$250. Every product is encased in a sleek, reflective burgundy packaging (made in a way that would unfortunately turn it into a magnet for fingerprints) with Aaliyah’s signature printed on it in silver foil.

Eye Shadow X9:
Age Ain’t Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain't Nothing (US$32)

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain’t Nothing (US$32)

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain't Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain’t Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain't Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain’t Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain't Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain’t Nothing

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain't Nothing (click to enlarge)

M·A·C × Aaliyah Eye Shadow X9 in Age Ain’t Nothing (click to enlarge)

The travel-friendly compact (0.2 oz / 5.85g – the perfect size to carry around although some may argue that it is too small for the price) holds nine eye shadows in “moody deep neutral shade wave” and is designed with a magnetic closure to keep them secure. This palette is generally cool-tone, so the shades may be appear slightly ashy on warm skin tones. Although it also comes with mirror, it is unwisely tinted to the same colour as the packaging, thereby rendering it virtually useless because it doesn’t give an accurate depiction of how the eye shadows look on the lid (especially in a poorly-lit environment).

The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to Age Ain’t NothingKylie Cosmetics The Burgundy Palette · ColourPop You Had Me At Hello · ColourPop Element of Surprise · ColourPop I Think I Love You

Lovesmoke is described as a sterling silver in Veluxe Pearlfusion (VLXP) finish. This shimmer-packed warm silver with a beige undertone has a lightly creamy texture which applies smoothly on the lid. It has a semi-opaque colour but can be piled on to increase its intensity. This shade blends out easily and can be applied with a dampened brush to better bring out the shine although I find it soft enough to be used with a finger tip (usually at the inner corner or middle of the lid for an added pop of shimmer).

Swatch comparison for Lovesmoke

Swatch comparison for Lovesmoke

Magic Moor is described as a black with silver sparkle in VLXP finish. This finely milled black has slight red undertones and contains shimmer that is barely noticeable. Pigmented and smooth to the touch, it goes on semi-sheer but is buildable to full opacity. Although the edges can be easily diffused, the colour becomes one tone lighter once it is blended out. This is better applied with dry brush because the product doesn’t seem to come off the brush very well when wet. For comparison swatches, please scroll down to review on Dancing In The Dark.

Care 4 You is described as a mauve-plum with subtle shimmer and Lustre finish. Named after Aaliyah’s posthumous compilation album “I Care 4 U”, this purple micro-shimmer-infused warm mauve draws eyeballs due to its vibrancy. Sadly, it applies streaky with an uneven consistency and fades ever so quickly when used over a larger surface area. On top of that, there is also fallout. That said, all hope is not lost as I figured that it can be applied either with finger or with a really dampened brush to overcome these issues.

Swatch comparison for Care 4 You

Swatch comparison for Care 4 You

Creative Copper is described as a metallic gold with Lustre finish. Pigmented on the first swipe, this pale gold has plenty of sparkle, as well as a smooth texture that adheres well to the lid. The product, however, tends to stack up a bit when first applied, thus potentially causing chunky fallout, so you might have to work a tad faster to spread it out before most of it lands on your face (for those who do the eyes after putting on foundation). The edges diffuse rather easily and the intensity of this colour shows more when it is applied with a dampened brush.

Swatch comparison for Creative Copper

Swatch comparison for Creative Copper

That Somebody is described as a gold brown with gold shimmer and Satin finish. Perhaps due to its really inconspicuous shimmer, this mustard brown (which is probably named after her single “Are You That Somebody?”) goes on almost matte on the lid. But much as I adore this shade, it can be quite frustrating to work with as the kickback in the pan is atrocious and the product comes off in chunks, so it is advisable not to dig too hard into the pan. Moreover, the colour loses a heap of intensity the moment it is blended out. On the plus side, it does fade evenly enough to prevent it from looking muddy on the lid.

Princess of Soul is described as a muted golden brown in Matte finish. This finely-milled neutral cocoa brown has a flat and powdery smooth texture which adheres well to the lid, making it ideal for shaping and defining the lid. Although applies semi-sheer, it is buildable to full opacity. It is also streaky, but to a teeny-weeny extent. The edges, however, might be a challenge to blend out. For a darker payoff, this color can be applied with a dampened brush.

Swatch comparison for That Somebody and Princess of Soul

Swatch comparison for That Somebody and Princess of Soul

Deception is described as a cool medium brown with Frost finish. This cool-tone greyish beige appears metallic and reflects more light than Gingersnap (below). Despite its gritty texture in the pan, it applies somewhat smoothly on the lid. It is best applied with a light hand (or with finger) because it generally yields an uneven and messy consistency, and like That Somebody, comes off in chunks. Therefore, patience is key when trying to blend out this shade. Also, seeing how the swatch separates on my skin texture gives me the impression that it may crease over time.

Swatch comparison for Deception

Swatch comparison for Deception

Gingersnap is described as a muted pinky coral with Frost finish. This warm dirty pink. has a metallic appearance and consistency creamier than the rest of the shades. Opaque and beautifully pigmented in just one pass, this shade deposits a lot of product and yet adheres very well to the lid. On top of that, the colour stretches far better and blends with a seamless result while still maintaining its intensity. Needless to say, Gingersnap is easily the best shade in the palette in terms of application.

Swatch Comparison for Gingersnap

Swatch comparison for Gingersnap

Dance In The Dark is described as a deep cool brown with Matte finish. The colour is pretty intriguing – it is greyish brown in the pan, but almost like a black when applied to the lid. The texture is dry and dusty, and has tons of fallout. That said, the biggest faux pas has to be it becoming patchy and fading to nothingness when blended out. Semi-sheer upon application, it loses intensity the very moment it is blended out (which isn’t easy) but if harsh edges are your thing, it is possible to be built to full opacity. This isn’t suitable to be used on its own because it can potentially turn muddy on the lid.

Swatch comparison for Magic Moor and Dance In The Dark

Swatch comparison for Magic Moor and Dance In The Dark

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

VIDEO IS ALL THE WAY AT THE END OF THIS POST
Before putting on eye makeup. Eyes have been primed.

Before putting on eye makeup. Eyes have been primed.

Beginning with That Somebody

Beginning with That Somebody

That Somebody as the base colour

That Somebody as the base colour

Followed by Care 4 You

Followed by Care 4 You

Care 4 You on the outermost corner of the eyes

Care 4 You on the outermost corner of the eyes

Moving on to Creative Copper

Moving on to Creative Copper

Creative Copper towards the inner corner (at this point I'm just trying to use as many colours from the palette as possible haha)

Creative Copper towards the inner corner (at this point I’m just trying to use as many colours from the palette as possible haha)

Princess of Soul is next

Princess of Soul is next

Further defining the outer V with Princess of Soul

Further defining the outer V with Princess of Soul

We're nearing the end! Time for the darkest shade, Dance In The Dark, to shine!

We’re nearing the end! Time for the darkest shade, Dance In The Dark, to shine!

Dance In The Dark on the lower lash line to further define the eyes

Dance In The Dark on the lower lash line to further define the eyes

Gingersnap comes after..

Gingersnap comes after..

Gingersnap continuing from where Dance In The Dark left off to brighten the eyes a little

Gingersnap continuing from where Dance In The Dark left off to brighten the eyes a little

Lovesmoke as the finishing touch (literally)

Lovesmoke as the finishing touch (literally)

Dabbing Lovesmoke in the centre of the lid with my finger to give a more wide-eyed illusion

Dabbing Lovesmoke in the centre of the lid with my finger to give a more wide-eyed illusion

And because it's an Aaliyah-inspired collection we're talking about, the look isn't complete without a pair of falsies. Shoutout to Esquido for sending these lovelies over!

And because it’s an Aaliyah-inspired collection we’re talking about, the look isn’t complete without a pair of falsies. Shoutout to Esqido for sending these lovelies over!

The Esqido falsies came with a companion eyelash glue (sold separately) which doesn't pose much of a challenge to apply even for a novice falsie-wearer like me!

The Esqido falsies came with a companion eyelash glue (sold separately) which doesn’t pose much of a challenge to apply even for a novice falsie-wearer like me!

A quick look at the falsies I received, named Radiance and made with premium mink hair.

A quick look at the falsies I received, named Radiance and made with premium mink hair.

Putting it on after trimming it to suit the length of my eyes

Putting it on after trimming it to suit the length of my eyes

Final result

Final result

The whole process in 1.5 seconds

The whole process in 1.5 seconds 😁

As someone with hooded lids, wearing falses can be a difficult process but these Esqido falsies (Radiance) changed my perception completely. Not only is it extremely lightweight and easy to put on (trust me on this), it sits comfortably and looks flattering on my eyes without being too dramatic. The falsies are voluminous enough to conceal your natural lashes (so it doesn’t appear to be a separate set of lashes from your natural ones), and no eyelash curler is needed to achieve such beautiful curl!

The heavy-duty glue, which has an built-in applicator for a neater application, also deserves some credit because it holds the falsies in place for a long time without causing any discomfort to my eyes. Both products are exceptional and I would recommend them to any beginner in a heartbeat!

Esqido is based in the U.S. but ships internationally. For more information about Esqido, click here.

Lipstick: Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Try Again

Try Again is described as a soft muted beige with Matte finish. An essential to nail the nineties beauty look and also my top pick from this collection, this warm beige-brown applies mostly opaque without dragging or skipping, and has a bit of a sheen. The texture, however, feels slightly heavy and thick and has a slightly tacky film on top. Like most Mattes, it emphasises lip wrinkles a bit due to its drier consistency. So far, I’ve worn this out on two occasions and both times (the second was to a buffet) it stays on for about 6 hours before fading away evenly.

Swatch comparison for Try Again

Swatch comparison for Try Again

Lipstick: Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in Street Thing

Street Thing is described as a pure black with shimmer and Frost finish. Gliding across the lips to deliver an unidentified grungy colour filled with predominantly blue and purple flecks of shimmer, the texture feels very much like that of a Cremesheen lipstick because of the emollient (but tacky) feeling it leaves. Due to its sheer coverage, the natural lip colour is allowed to show through. But at the same time, it also alters the colour of the lipstick, eventually making it look slightly brownish.

On the downside, apart from the fact that this has a streaky and uneven consistency, it also settles into lip lines and gathers around rough patches. This shade is barely buildable too as applying more coats would just add on to its streakiness. Perhaps this is where the nineties makeup trend of filling the lips with lip pencil, and topping it with a lipstick with terribly uneven consistency like Street Thing comes to play. Fortunately for me, this isn’t drying over time.

Swatch comparison for Street Thing (all the black I could find)

Swatch comparison for Street Thing (all the blacks I could find)

Lipstick: More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

M·A·C × Aaliyah lipstick in More Than A Woman

More Than A Woman is described as a cool deep red with Amplified finish. Lightweight and emollient, this shade is a breeze to apply as it slips across the lips like butter to give an opaque payoff of reddish plum. This shade is one of those rarer reds which you think you already own but in actual fact, you don’t 🤣 The consistency is lightly tacky and it has a glossy finish that reflects light although from certain angles it can appear slightly patchy. Some product pulled into my lip lines after a couple of hours when I wore it but it mostly felt quite hydrating on me.

Swatch comparison for More Than A Woman. After combing my stash for an exact M·A·C dupe (I remember seeing such colour), I finally found it. Cordovan, you sneaky fella.

Swatch comparison for More Than A Woman. After combing my stash for an exact M·A·C dupe (I remember seeing such colour), I finally found it. Cordovan, you sneaky fella.

Just so you know, this collection has received backlash from the beauty community because of what they deem as “boring choice of colours” that do no justice to the Princess of R&B 🙄 Well, I personally find the colours to be a breath of fresh air from the many warm-tone ones out there, and I can definitely see the relevance they have to Aaliyah. Also, news flash, people! This collaboration isn’t about us, but the singer herself. Besides, who are we to judge? Curating this collection were those closest to Aaliyah and I’m sure they know her style better than any Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Knowing that M·A·C actually listens to their customers makes me good about supporting the brand. Now, I secretly hope that some Audrey Hepburn and Lisa Lopes (also known as Left Eye from the R&B girl group TLC) super-fan starts a petition for their own M·A·C line too 🤣

What do you think about this collaboration? And what posthumous M·A·C collection are you currently waiting on? Let me know your views in the comments below, or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Aaliyah is now available on MACCosmetics.com. This collection is not (and will not be) available in Singapore.
False eyelashes were supplied by Esqido in exchange for a feature but all opinions are my own.

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REVIEW: M·A·C × Patrick Starrr (PART II) Floral Realness Full Face Kit in Me So Fleek – Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me, Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home, Lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey! & Lipglass in Queen P

Hello everyone!

If having a cosmetic line is any indication of success in one’s YouTube career (I mean, it has to be, judging from the announcements of new makeup lines we are inundated with by beauty gurus almost on a monthly basis 🤷🏻‍♀️), Patrick Starrr has hit a home run by scoring an unparalleled five collections – which will be rolled out over the course of this year – with the world’s most influential makeup brand, M·A·C.

Following his holiday collection last December, Patrick returned with a second instalment (we are well into the third as we speak) that had a floral theme to it just in time for spring. And to make our lives easier, he had specially curated two kits for the entire face, each comprising a Lipstick, Lipglass, Eye Shadow Quad and Powder Blush Duo, all of which are not sold separately. But don’t worry, at under US$50 per set (with a US$97 value), they won’t break the bank either.

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr (PART II) - Floral Realness (lol he looks like me in my cover picture above)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr (PART II) – Floral Realness (lol he looks like me in my cover picture above)

Available in on-trend hues of Me So Fleek and the natural everyday shades of Me So Chic to choose from, this collection covers both ends of the style spectrum with colour schemes that cater to the adventurous and sophisticated crowds. Consolidated in a box alongside a face chart, the products – which are individually wrapped in purple crepe-like paper to prevent breakage in transit (but failed – you’ll know why) – are designed in pink packaging with a kaleidoscopic floral motif that serves as the backdrop for Patrick Starrr’s signature.

Inside the Me So Fleek kit

Inside the Me So Fleek kit

It was tough choosing between the two worthy contenders but my daredevil nature eventually led me to pick the Me So Fleek kit which is centred around deeper and more unconventional and contrasting hues. Me So Chic may look generally fuss-free and easy to work with, but it lacks variety in my opinion.

Eye Shadow X4: Stay With Me

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Eye Shadow X4 in Stay With Me

Reading stories about makeup arriving broken in the mail might have geared me up for this dreadful nightmare since most of my purchases have to be subjected to long-distance air travel before they reach me. But for it to happen to an order that seemed to be far more protected from shock was certainly what I would have least expected.

So, imagine being so psyched about your order only to find one of the shades in the eye shadow palette crumble into a powdery mess, and it had somehow spilled over on to the case and ruined the aesthetics of it. Unlike fixing a snapped lipstick, reconstituting a broken eye shadow can be a real pain in the neck because modifying the formulation with an additional ingredient (e.g. rubbing alcohol) to revive the product will not only affect its performance, but it also is just a temporary fix. Hence, I’m leaving the damage as is and review it in its flawed state.

According to M·A·C, these eye shadows are ophthalmologist tested and safe for contact lens wearer. They can also be used wet or dry but personally, these work better dry because the colours (apart from All’s Rosy) lose a ton of their intensity when applied damp.

The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to Stay With Me: Too Faced Rebel · M·A·C × Rossy De Palma Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow · Juvia’s Place The Masquerade

The said victim of this misfortune is In Living Pink, a muted warm peach described by M·A·C as a pinky coral with gold micro-shimmers and Frost finish. Perhaps because it has disintegrated in the pan, the texture felt incredibly soft and smooth like baby powder, which could also explain why the loose heap exacerbates and breaks down into even finer particles every time it is utilised.

When applied, it renders great colour payoff and blends very well without sheering out too easily. The shimmers are rather fine and not chunky (but you can definitely tell they are there) so they add a beautiful sheen to the lid without being too in-your-face. Unfortunately, because of the mess it causes on the palette every time I dab my brush into it, I feel compelled to knock some scores off its grade.

Swatch comparison for In Loving Pink

Swatch comparison for In Loving Pink

Hickie is described as a bright pink with pink micro-shimmers and Frost finish. This hot pink has a semi-rough texture which looks kinda matte at first glance. Although applies with nearly sheer coverage on the first coat, it builds up to a more opaque pigmentation with three or four coats (which is also when the shimmers begin to be more conspicuous). As this shade is being blended out, it loses its intensity very quickly (the pigment couldn’t even hold up past 1 cm when I swatched it on my wrist) and can turn out to be quite patchy especially when applied on larger surface areas. Hence, in order for the colour to show up more vibrantly, I had to employ the pat-and-dab technique a few times on my lid.

Swatch comparison for Hickie

Swatch comparison for Hickie

All’s Rosy is described as a dirty midtone pink with a matte finish. Although a repromote from the Padma Lakshmi collaboration, this version appears to be slightly different as it has more of a muted brown-toned plum hue to it and without the gold pearl. In terms of application, this doesn’t apply as pigmented and, on top of that, has the tendency to ball up. It also gives a semi-sheer coverage with a mildly dusty and uneven consistency which renders it a bit more difficult to work with. This shade blends out fairly easily and adheres well on the bare skin.

Swatch comparison for All's Rosy

Swatch comparison for All’s Rosy

In The Shadows is described as a vibrant dark blue with cobalt-blue micro-shimmer and Frost finish which appears almost metallic-like due to its densely-packed shimmers that reflect light to add sparkle and glamour to the eyes. This electric blue has a lightly creamy texture and a finely-milled formula which goes on opaque on the lid with little effort. Although it packs a punch of pigment (which makes it not-so-forgiving towards mistakes during application), it can also cause quite a bit of fallout on the face, so it is best to apply it before putting on foundation (so that any stray specks of the eye shadow can be erased with ease). This shade blends out exceptionally well without sheering out too much.

Swatch comparison for In The Shadows

Swatch comparison for In The Shadows

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Below is what I had come up with using the aforementioned palette because I felt that the suggested look on the given face chart had placed too much emphasis on the blue that it sorta overshadowed the other shades. Furthermore, this look is less intimidating and more suitable for everyday wear.

My face before applying eye, cheek and lip makeup

My face before applying eye, cheek and lip makeup

First shade - All's Rosy

First shade – All’s Rosy

All's Rosy as the base colour

All’s Rosy as the base colour

Jumping straight to the deepest colour next - In The Shadows

Jumping straight to the deepest colour next – In The Shadows

In The Shadows to define the eyes

In The Shadows to define the eyes

Bravely applying In The Shadows in the inner corner of my eyes as well which, if not careful, would have really ruined the whole look

Bravely applying In The Shadows in the inner corner of my eyes as well which, if not careful, would have really ruined the whole look

Then, going into the Hickie pan

Then, going into the Hickie pan

Filling Hickie in the centre of my lid to create an ombré with the blue

Filling Hickie in the centre of my lid to create an ombré with the blue

Blend harsh edges with the help of some All's Rosy on the brush

Blend harsh edges with the help of some All’s Rosy on the brush

Last but not least, the messiest pan on the palette - In Living Pink

Last but not least, the messiest pan on the palette – In Living Pink

In Living Pink to make the eyes pop a little bit more. You can also use this as a topper above the more pigmented shades

In Living Pink to make the eyes pop a little bit more. You can also use this as a topper above the more pigmented shades

Duplicate the whole process on the lid onto the lower lash line

Duplicate the whole process on the lid onto the lower lash line

Without eye shadow → with eye shadow → with eyeliner (As you can tell, Hickie had started to fade the moment I tried to blend it with In The Shadows)

Without eye shadow → with eye shadow → with eyeliner (As you can tell, Hickie had started to fade the moment I tried to blend it with In The Shadows)

Powder Blush Duo:
Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home - Soft Coral Pink (top shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home – Soft Coral Pink (top shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home - Soft Coral Pink (top shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home – Soft Coral Pink (top shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home - Soft Coral Pink

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home – Soft Coral Pink

The powder blush duo (0.35 oz / 10 g) comprises a soft coral pink (top shade) and a muted pink plum (bottom shade) with Satin and Matte finishes respectively, and it was the vast contrast in both shades that sealed the deal for me in deciding to purchase this kit. Both blushes are pressed very densely in the pan so do not kick up any excess and dirty the mirror within.

The soft coral pink is a muted warm rose with sparsely-distributed silver shimmers that aren’t very obvious and do not catch every light. The blush goes on fairly pigmented when pressure is applied, and yields quite a lot of product as compared to the muted pink plum when swatched on my wrist although it somehow does not show much on my cheek (which, in all fairness, could be due to the fact that I had used a tapered brush instead of a buffing one). It has a smooth and silky texture without being too powdery or dry on the skin. Sheer on the first pass, its opacity can be built up with more layers without emphasising the pores or rough texture of the skin.

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home - Muted Pink Plum (bottom shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home – Muted Pink Plum (bottom shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home - Muted Pink Plum (bottom shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home – Muted Pink Plum (bottom shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home - Muted Pink Plum (bottom shade)

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home – Muted Pink Plum (bottom shade)

The muted pink plum, on the other hand, is a muted cool plum with a flat matte finish. Even though it appears deeper than the other shade in the pan, it is actually somewhat lighter and sheerer on the skin but is moderately buildable to a semi-opaque coverage. This shade applies with an uneven consistency unless on a sticky and moist surface, and would leave harsh edges if pressure is not applied uniformly on the skin. Hence, to get a more consistent payoff, you may have to sweep the brush lightly on the cheeks back and forth a couple of times. This shade blends out easily and does not appear dry or cakey on the skin despite its being a matte.

Swatch comparison for Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

Swatch comparison for Powder Blush Duo in Take Me Home

Lipstick: Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr lipstick in Hey, Boy, Hey!

Hey, Boy, Hey! is described as a dirty pinkish plum with Retro Matte finish which is notoriously known to be incredibly drying. However, it was not entirely the case for this medium-dark reddish purple which, even though isn’t slippery on the lips per se, applies with very minimal tugging and skipping. This lipstick deposits an evenly, semi-opaque pigmentation (but buildable to full coverage in just a few strokes) across the lips with a consistency that is negligibly streaky. Although some product did settle into my lip lines, the formula generally did not suck out all the moisture off my lips like the other Retro Mattes that I own (I’m looking at you, Ruby Woo) and leave them chapping like crazy at the end of the day. This shade adheres to the lips very well and stayed on for more than 5 hours.

Swatch comparison for Hey, Boy, Hey!

Swatch comparison for Hey, Boy, Hey!

Lipglass: Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr Lipglass in Queen P

Queen P is described as a neon pink with blue pearl. This warm fuchsia has a glossy finish infused with a mix of blue and purple shimmers. As someone who absolutely loathes the tackiness of lip glosses, this is actually quite wearable and lightweight despite the thick consistency. The texture isn’t exactly tacky to the point that it makes me want to remove it the very instant I put it on, and it has the ability to camouflage any imperfections on my lips.

Fairly pigmented (enough for me to properly line my lips) with a semi-opaque coverage, this Lipglass can be used on its own or as a lip topper. When used in conjunction with the lipstick, the shimmers blend into the purple without altering its colour much or moving it while giving the lips a luscious and juicier shine, as well as a fuller appearance. Queen P is neither drying or hydrating and it stayed on my lips for about 2 hours (until I took a sip of my drink, that is).

Hey, Boy, Hey! + Queen P

Hey, Boy, Hey! + Queen P

Hey, Boy, Hey! → Queen P → Hey, Boy, Hey + Queen P

Hey, Boy, Hey! → Queen P → Hey, Boy, Hey + Queen P

As the brains behind this partnership, Patrick Starrr had, no doubt, put a lot of thought into developing such coherent collection while still living up to the high standards of the brand. But quite frankly, the choice of colours for both kits didn’t quite blow me away because I’ve already seen similar schemes (of the eye shadow quad in the Me So Chic kit especially) a couple of times in past M·A·C collections. That aside, just judging based on the quality alone, the Me So Fleek kit is certainly a bargain at this price so if you haven’t own anything from M·A·C yet, now is the time!

What do you think about this collection? Did you snag any of the kits?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or simply take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Patrick Starrr (Part II) Floral Realness Full Face Kits are now available on MACCosmetics.com and M·A·C ION Orchard Outlet.
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REVIEW: M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset, Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink/Mossy Green & Lipsticks in Apricot Gold & Nude Fudge

Hello everyone!

These days, with influential figures like Rihanna paving the way for inclusivity in the beauty world, and an extensive spectrum of hues being held up as the standard to meet for every international beauty brand deliberating over new product launches, dark-skinned people seem to have it easier when it comes to makeup selection. But instead of pushing out tens of similar products to please everyone (especially people of colour) which makes little sense logistically, M·A·C decides to partner with American-Indian Padma Lakshmi on a collection that is mainly dedicated to brown skin. And quite frankly, I’ve never encountered any makeup specifically developed for brown skin that does not look great on other skin tones.

Padma Lakshmi for M·A·C 2018

Padma Lakshmi for M·A·C 2018

Padma Lakshmi is an author, TV personality and a former fashion model. But as glamorous as her credentials may seem, her life has been far from smooth-sailing. Growing up in Los Angeles in her teens, she had to cope with racial taunts and persecutions which heightened her insecurities of being a minority. Living with endometriosis also meant that she would experience chronic pelvic pain (among many other issues) during her menstruation, causing her to be bedridden every month for a week and as a result, miss out on important occasions throughout the years.

Instead of wallowing in self pity, Padma concentrates on leveraging her shortcomings for the betterment of life. In the hope that no other sufferers would slip under the radar like she had been, she co-founded The Endometriosis Foundation of America, a non-profit organisation which focuses on bringing awareness of the disease to the general public and helping to find a cure for it. Her choosing not to cover up the seven-inch scar on her arm inflicted by a car accident is another testament of her bravery to break the mould in the entertainment industry which is often unforgiving towards any forms of imperfection. Now, turning her struggles as an brown-skinned girl into a makeup collaboration with M·A·C, she has created a 17-piece collection that caters to darker skin tones, yet complements fair complexions at the same time and effectively hitting two birds with one stone.

MY HAUL!

MY HAUL!

Breathtaking lipstick packaging

Breathtaking lipstick packaging

Released in March, the gold-emblazoned collection with Mehndi-inspired design includes 6 Lipsticks (Sunset Rose / Nude Fudge / Mittai Pink / Sumac / Apricot Gold / Blue Blood), Cremesheen Glass in Nefertiti, 2 Powder Blush Duos (Moon & Shine / Melon Pink), 2 eye shadow quads (70’s Sunset / Desert Dusk), 3 Powerpoint Eye Pencils (Iced Heather & Kerala Sun / Indian Ink & Mossy Green / Bordeauxline & Molé Brown) and 3 brushes (#168 / #275 / #213) – out of which 4 across different product categories will be reviewed in this post.

Eye Shadow X4: 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset (US$33)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset (US$33)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70's Sunset

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Eye Shadow X4 in 70’s Sunset

70's Sunset swatches using damp brush and dry finger

70’s Sunset swatches using damp brush and dry finger

Picking the right eye shadow colours can be a tricky business for most Asians since our non-existent eyelid creases and limited lid space do not allow for much leeway in creativity. The wrong choice of eye shadow can easily ruin our overall look, and too much makeup can also overwhelm our teeny-weeny eyes. But what other options do we have apart from boring ol’ neutrals? The answer – if I may jump the gun – lies in this specially curated palette of four unusual yet harmonious shades in a luxurious gilded case (with a push-to-open latch) which by far has the best colour combination that M·A·C has ever produced in the history of my makeup-obsessed life.

The following palettes were selected for comparison purposes due to their similarities to 70’s Sunset: Too Faced Clover Eyeshadow Palette · M·A·C × Rossy de Palma Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow · Urban Decay × Jean-Michel Basquiat Tenant Eyeshadow Palette

Sand & Clay is described as a midtone cool beige with a matte finish. Although rather low-contrast against my skin, this no-frills warm-toned apricot is pigmented with a delightfully smooth and even consistency, adhering well to the lids with no fallout when applied. Semi-opaque on the first pass, it is buildable to full opacity with the next layer and can simply be diffused around the edges. It can act as a base for heavy colours to build on and bring out the eyes. When used wet, the colour becomes darker with a tinge of glossiness. But once blended out, it loses its intensity and becomes as vibrant as its original dry state. Either way, this shade didn’t crease on my lids.

Sand & Clay swatch comparisons

Sand & Clay swatch comparisons

Cardamom is described as a cool light green with white frost and Veluxe Pearl finish. Infused with silver microshimmers, this shimmery pale cool-toned green has a smooth texture with very minimal fallout even though it has seemingly sparse particles. Sheer upon application, it is not quite visible on my lid unless hit by direct light. This shade works best as a topper or when applied at the inner corners of eyes to add a pop of sparkle or downplay tired-looking eyes. Adding it on the lower lash line can also help camouflage dark circles when light reflects off the eye shadow.

That said, only when it is wet that it can be used to its full potential. In its moist state, it transforms to a slightly metallic finish, and shimmers become visibly more densely packed which makes it more pronounce on the lid. Despite it being more rigid when wet, I was still able to blend it out with ease.

Cardamom swatch comparisons

Cardamom swatch comparisons

Mumtaz is described as a copper with gold sparkle and Veluxe Pearl finish but a swatch reveals it to be more of a cool berry than the rose-pink in the pan. A colour that defines the socket of the eye, it packs a lot of pigment while providing a smooth and even consistency. The intensity lightens a great deal when blended out even though it is still buildable to your desired level of impact. The texture certainly feels grittier when it is dry so some fallout and kickback are expected. To get around this issue, the eye shadow can be applied wet but the tradeoff would be that it would form harsh edges that are almost impossible to diffuse.

Mumtaz swatch comparisons

Mumtaz swatch comparisons

All’s Rosy is described as a midtone plum with gold pearl and a matte finish. This eggplant purple has microshimmers of a somewhat lighter colour and is cooler than Mumtaz in undertones. Although offers pigmented payoff, the texture can be a tad chalky. It is prone to leave fallout due to its loose consistency but on the plus side, it makes it easier to blend out the edges and add a little more depth to the eyes. That said, this shade is best applied wet as it intensifies the colour and it would also be more manageable when the shimmers become more densely packed. But doing so would take you awhile to soften out the harsh edges.

All's Rosy swatch comparisons

All’s Rosy swatch comparisons

APPLICATION & SUGGESTED LOOK

Primed my lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Primed my lids with Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion

Starting with Sand & Clay

Starting with Sand & Clay

Sand & Clay as the base colour

Sand & Clay as the base colour

Followed by Mumtaz

Followed by Mumtaz

Mumtaz to define my eyes (and to create a subtle ombre!)

Mumtaz to define my eyes (and to create a subtle ombre!)

All's Rosy is next

All’s Rosy is next

All's Rosy for an added depth, and to complete the ombre

All’s Rosy for an added depth, and to complete the ombre

Cardamom as the finishing shade

Cardamom as the finishing shade

Wetting the brush so that the shade would be more prominent on my lids

Wetting the brush so that the shade would be more prominent on my lids

Cardamom on the inner corners to add a pop of sparkle to the eyes

Cardamom on the inner corners to add a pop of sparkle to the eyes

Complete the look with some colours (can be in the same sequence as those on the lid) on the lower lash line

Complete the look with some colours (can be in the same sequence as those on the lid) on the lower lash line

Voila! A look that's not too subtle and not too heavy!

Voila! A look that’s not too subtle and not too heavy!

Optional: line the eyes for maximum impact (I'm using the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner which I had reviewed some time ago)

Optional: line the eyes for maximum impact (I’m using the Rollerwheel Liquid Liner which I had reviewed some time ago)

Finished!

Finished!

Powerpoint Eye Pencil:
Indian Ink/Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil

M·A·C is known to boast a plethora of eyeliners just like it does for lipsticks. Powerpoint Eye Pencil is one of its many ranges which promises waterproof, long-wearing in metallic, shimmery or matte finish. From experience, this range of liners does not give the most pigmented of colour but it does stay on the lid for as long as I want it to, and it does take a bit more effort to remove it. Although I’m not really a fan of the application, it was just too hard to pass up on the offer of having two shades for the price of one (to be exact, they’re 50 cents more than those in regular packaging but whatever). Furthermore, that green is GORGEOUS.

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink

Indian Ink is described as a pure black which is a complete lie (seriously, who does all these inaccurate descriptions on the website?) because anybody with a normal vision would be able to see that it is a cool-toned navy blue. The first stroke of this matte liner gives a sheer coverage but it is buildable to semi-opaque coverage with three passes. The texture glided moderately smoothly across the lid without tugging the skin and deposited enough colour for it to be prominent enough atop the eye shadow. As expected, it didn’t budge or smudge on my lower lid throughout the nine hours I had it on despite the oily surface.

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink & Mossy Green

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Indian Ink & Mossy Green

Mossy Green, on the other hand, is described as a deep green with a slightly metallic finish. This stunning cool-toned army green has tiny gold flecks which are aren’t conspicuous unless viewed up-close. It glides smoothly and has a lightly creamy texture. Smudge-resistant, it provides semi-opaque pigmentation in one stroke and is buildable to a full coverage. But much as I love this shade, it unfortunately doesn’t translate well on the lid especially on eye shadow because it kinda appears greyish? Nevertheless, this shade wore well on me for over nine hours.

NOTE: I just remembered that I do have blue and green eyeliners somewhere in my stash so check back soon for some comparison swatches of this eye pencil!

Lipstick: Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Apricot Gold

Apricot Gold is described as a midtone peach nude with Amplified finish. This terracotta orange glides on the lips to instantly brighten the face and give a glistening texture that feels both lightweight and comfortably moisturising. I can see it working beautifully on dark complexions as well, which could jolly well be true judging from its sold-out status online. But it accentuates lip lines and doesn’t really apply evenly especially on the wrinklier areas such as the inner corners of the lips. Still, it’s a lovely everyday colour which was able to withstand a light meal. It wore well on me for about five hours before fading to a stain.

Swatch comparison against Apricot Gold

Swatch comparison against Apricot Gold

Lipstick: Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge (US$18.50)

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi lipstick in Nude Fudge

Nude Fudge is another universally flattering shade described as a midtone neutral with a matte finish. This medium cool-toned rosebrown tugs slightly during application but offers an even and opaque coverage. It has a smooth and creamy texture that isn’t too drying despite it being a matte, which is a plus for my flaky lips. On top of that, it is also able to conceal imperfections pretty well. Similarly, this shade wore well on me for about five hours before some product noticeably settled into the cracks. But it didn’t make my lips look awfully parched so I’m willing to close my eyes to that. With such commendable application, it beats me why it hasn’t been wiped off the shelves yet.
Swatch comparison against Nude Fudge

Swatch comparison against Nude Fudge

The overall great quality and uniqueness (I’m lovin’ all the greens – such novelty!) of the products in this collection, as well as the element of surprise in them makes this collaboration one of the best that M·A·C has done so far. I like how certain shades appeared to be impractical for daily use but turned out to be subtle enough for those who shy away from bold colours and yet made a world of difference to the look. Definitely my best makeup purchase of 2018. I’m kinda bummed out that it isn’t given much airtime to garner enough hype before the next collection (*cough* Patrick Starrr *cough) was rolled out.

What do you think of this collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or take a quick poll!

Thanks for reading!

M·A·C × Padma Lakshmi is now available on MACCosmetics.com and AT ion & vIVOCITY tangs OUTLETS.

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