REVIEW: MAC x Chris Chang of Poesia Lipsticks – Dddevilish, Gold XIXI, Plum Princess & Cloud Gait

Hey lovelies!

Just when you thought M.A.C couldn’t get any more flamboyant than their Trolls collection, the cosmetics giant returned with yet another purchase-inducing makeup line that no true beauty hoarders could resist. Get ready to stockpile if you haven’t heard of their collaboration with Chris Chang of Poesia, whose makeup line was launched last May.

Trust me, the entire collection is like a living kaleidoscope..

M.A.C X Chris Chang

M.A.C X Chris Chang

Raised in San Francisco and currently residing in Shanghai, Chris Chang has made a name for herself as China’s most outlandish fashion designer with her colourful, bold and intricate silk screen prints on her clothing.

The former General Manager of Prada Taiwan studied fashion design at Parsons (one of the top design schools in the world) and started out designing for young girls aged 4-14 on the principle that there should be no distinction between children and adult fashion. It was only after she was swamped with requests for adult-sized versions of her designs that she ventured into women’s wear with Poesia.

Poesia proved to be a huge success as it earned a string of loyal (high-profile) customers and was even showcased at the Shanghai Fashion Week. Since scoring this prestigious collaboration with M.A.C, I’m sure it has garnered a new cadre of colour-loving fans (one being myself) who had previously not heard of Chris Chang. For those who are interested to find more about her work, perhaps Googling her Chinese name (张文轩) would generate more results.

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipsticks

Like each piece of clothing from the Poesia fashion line, this collection emanates a fresh burst of colours inspired by one of the oldest performance arts from China, Kunqu, that adorns lavishly exaggerated makeup and costumes characterised by a “very specific, avant-garde look”.

Using silk screen print, the packaging features a collage of icons, symbols, and illustrations that Chang has used in her past collections. According to reports, it was no mean feat trying to glue over shapes smoothly as no makeup brands had ever done a packaging design as intricate as this. Clearly, the creative team’s effort paid off because everyone fell head over heels for the gorgeous packaging 😍😍😍 Never mind if you missed out on the Giambattista Valli collection, or the overpriced Guo Pei lipsticks. This collection is heaps better in aesthetic value, yet very reasonably priced (in USD). It is essentially a collector’s must-have. Buy it now or regret it later!

#1 Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Dddevilish

Dddevilish is described as a pastel hot pink with Matte finish. It does not tug at lips and applies opaque even on the first swipe, but with slight inconsistency (which can be easily touched up with additional application) and somewhat chalky texture. Although marketed as matte, the formula feels moist and also reflects light so the lipstick does not appear flat on the lips. The downside of such non-drying lipstick formula, however, is its poor staying power. It doesn’t require a lot of effort to remove unlike those M.A.C mattes released before the reformulation.

M.A.C X Chris Chang Dddevilish lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Dddevilish lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Gold XIXI

As one who isn’t at all a fan of light lipstick shades with sheer and glossy finishes, getting a pastel lemony yellow lipstick in the form of Gold XIXI, complete with my least favourite M.A.C finish to boot (i.e. Lustre), is certainly looking for trouble. But I was drawn to the fact that yellow lipsticks are hard to come by and having missed the sale of Playland (released before my love for makeup blossomed into permanence), that sense of yearning for a yellow lipstick roared back to life when I saw first pictures of Gold XIXI.

That said, I was quite prepared to be disappointed by it. After all, there seems to be no pastel lipsticks solid enough to provide a long-lasting and richly-pigmented wash of colour. They either result to a glittery mess or not show up on my lips at all. Yet, I had an inkling this was going to be different. So I took a gamble and hoped for the best.

But all expectations dashed upon the first application of the lipstick. Sheer with the yellow pigment hardly visible, Gold XIXI felt like a reminiscent of M.A.C’s past failure in creating a decent pastel lipstick. *sigh* Not wanting to pass a verdict so prematurely, I glided it over my lips the second time, and then the third, and the fourth, and gradually the pigment intensified to become the golden hue you see above. WOWZERS MAN, was anyone anticipating this? It’s surprisingly vivid for a Lustre! It may not be as opaque as I had hoped but I was truly impressed by the payoff 👏👏👏We finally have a yellow lipstick that applies like a true yellow! YIPPEH.

Of course, it’s still far from perfect. The lipstick appears very streaky on the lips, no thanks to the unevenly-dispersed pigment and the super glossy texture. It settles into my lip lines like craaaazy and budges as soon as the upper and lower lips meet. Eh, what’s the point of wearing lipstick if it’s going to make you look better without it? 🤔 Nonetheless, it lends a pretty comfy wear.

M.A.C X Chris Chang Gold XIXI lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Gold XIXI lipstick swatch comparison

#3 Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess (US$20 / S$39)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Plum Princess

My favourite shade from this collection, Plum Princess is described as a pastel plummy lavender with Matte finish. It goes on mostly opaque and evenly coats the lips in saturated, never-seen-before shade of universally flattering smokey purple (how rare!). It lends a soft but sultry vibe without bordering on looking too goth as it also brings out the eye makeup.

The dryness of the matte formula can be felt in Plum Princess as it skips and tugs a bit upon application but on the whole, it is still creamier and more hydrating than the older matte formula and even has a slight sheen to it. It felt more like a Satin. Furthermore, it does not slide into the mouth creases as much as Dddevilish. Love it!

M.A.C X Chris Chang Plum Princess lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C X Chris Chang Plum Princess lipstick swatch comparison

#4 Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait (US$20 / S$37)

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

M.A.C X Chris Chang of Poesia lipstick in Cloud Gait

We have seen plenty of reds and nudes from M.A.C. Now, how about a sky blue for a change? Apart from the captivating packaging that this collection is housed in, Cloud Gait was another key factor that landed the entire makeup line on my watch list as I had seen Chris Chang wearing a blue lipstick in the promotional video and thought it looked really amazing.

Argh, stop toying with my feelings, M.A.C!

Argh, stop toying with my feelings, M.A.C!

Since this was the promotional video for her collaboration with M.A.C, it’s only natural to assume that she was wearing Cloud Gait, right? Maybe, except that more colourant was probably added to the lipstick to make it seem more vibrant and pigmented because in reality, this pastel turquoise Lustre is a patchy nightmare with incredibly poor colour payoff. If you ask me, the actual Cloud Gait is a failed attempt in integrating lipstick and gloss and it’s gross. In comparison to Gold XIXI, the latter offers better coverage and a more uniform application, though both share similar lightweight texture and longevity.

Some points to note, though – this shouldn’t be used like a normal lipstick. When drawn across the lips laterally, it settles into the fine lines and leaves a very streaky and almost-invisible finish. But the lipstick deposits more colour when the dab-and-go technique is used instead (like seriously, ain’t nobody got time fo dat). Still, no amount of dabbing is able to conceal those unsightly inconsistencies unless you mix in your own pigment (such as eye shadow).

So, the bottom line is: Cloud Gait (as it is) is trash 😒

But on the whole, I’m quite satisfied with the quality of the lipsticks!

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 🎈

M.A.C X Chris Chang was released on MACCosmetics.com and in Singapore in May 2016. Although The collection is no longer available at M.A.C Cosmetics, it still is on Nordstrom and (probably) in resale market. Grab ’em (the mattes, obviously) before they’re gone for good!
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REVIEW: MAC x Halsey Lipstick in Halsey

Hello everyone!

It is not uncommon for beauty brands to roll out sales promotions on International Women’s Day to allow us ladies to pamper ourselves without feeling much of a pinch. This year, however, M.A.C took a different approach in celebrating women’s achievements by teaming up with four female artistes – Tinashe, Halsey, Lion Babe and Dej Loaf – who are dynamically impacting the music industry in a series of exclusive collaborations, launched one after another throughout the month of March.

Titled Future Forward, the campaign empowered each of these female visionaries to create a product that best represents them. As one who clearly hasn’t been following the pop culture of late (it must be the age), none of these names rang a bell for me so I supported the one with the lipstick, obviously! 😄

Halsey is an American singer-songwriter best known for her guest vocals on the Chainsmokers’ hit song ‘Closer’. Even though she debuted in 2015 and had been touring with popular acts such as The Kooks and Imagine Dragons, she didn’t quite gain traction until her explicit cover of Justin Biebers ‘Love Yourself” went viral a year later. Apart from her music, people like her because of her badass attitude too. You go girl!

And did you know that ‘Halsey’ is only a stage name derived from a rearrangement of the letters of her first name, Ashley? Cool.

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey packaging

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey packaging

Decked out in a limited-edition electric blue box with a stylised ‘Halsey’ printed on, the packaging stands out from the sea of black in the temporary storage space where I keep most of my M.A.C lipsticks.

“[Blue is] just my creative color. It’s like so many things at once. It’s electric, and it’s bright, but it’s also calm. It’s also ethereal. Blue is just an otherworldly color to me. Blue is the sky. Blue is the sea. Blue for me represents the unexplored territory.”

– Halsey’s interview with Complex magazine in July 2015

But the artwork ends there. All sense of exclusivity vanishes the moment the lipstick is taken out of the box. The lipstick tube itself did not receive any creative treatment so it looks just like any other regular M.A.C lipstick without the box. So basic.

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey lipstick

Thanks to Halsey, there’s finally a M.A.C lipstick shade which I can safely proclaim I don’t have a dupe for. I’m so glad Halsey didn’t go ape over her inspiration colour and opted for a blue lipstick which is so been there, done that.

Breaking away from the usual reds and pinks from M.A.C is Halsey, a true grey with matte finish. It is an edgy shade that can also be used alongside another colour to create a beautiful gradient lip. It is quite drying, though, so it tugs at the lips. Be sure to exfoliate your lips before application as it will accentuate any dry patches. Further, It doesn’t give a seamless application when I run the bullet over my lips, leaving certain areas look unevenly applied. The finish is mostly opaque but not flat matte as there’s some slight sheen to it. I say this shade complements fair skin tone very well!

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey swatch comparison

M.A.C Fashion Forward x Halsey swatch comparison

Since Halsey is my first grey lipstick, I don’t have other greys to compare it with (I do have ColourPop’s Petit Four, though, but it’s an entirely different finish). The swatches above serve as a rough gauge of how dark or light Halsey is in real life.

*UPDATED* M.A.C Halsey swatch comparison with other similar-looking liquid lipstick shades, as requested by a reader. This is under artificial lighting.

*UPDATED* M.A.C Halsey swatch comparison with other similar-looking liquid lipstick shades, as requested by a reader. This is under artificial lighting.

In case you’re wondering, M.A.C isn’t the first to launch a grey lipstick. A couple of beauty brands like ColourPop (Petit Four), Melt (Space Cake) and Inglot (Matte 436) are already ahead of the game but their grey lipsticks are nowhere as concrete-grey as this. Despite all the shortcomings mentioned about this lipstick, I still think this is a worthy buy because the colour is DOPE, true to what you see on the bullet and it is matte (not some Lustre crap).

To be the sole survivor from the Fashion Forward collection (the rest had already been taken down), it must be something, right? Perhaps that’s why M.A.C hasn’t been very eager to clear out the inventory of this lipstick with a substantial discount like what they did to some limited-edition lipsticks 😉

What are your thoughts on Halsey the lipstick?

Thanks for reading! ❤

M.A.C Future Forward X Halsey is an online-exclusive and is available on MACCosmetics.com for US$17 for a limited time.

REVIEW: MAC Faerie Whispers Lipsticks – Midsummer Night, A Sprinkle of Magic & Among the Fireflies

Hello everyone!

Seasons may come and go but lipsticks in wearable nude shades will never go out of style. Rounding off my reviews on the MAC Holiday 2015 releases, I bring you my thoughts on three lipsticks that were unveiled last winter as part of the Faerie Whispers collection. If you’re still on the fence about getting anything from this collection even after close to five months, hopefully you’d be able to come to a decision after reading this review!

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection

MAC is known to churn out new releases faster than we can replenish our bank accounts that was emptied from the last haul but apart from that observation, did anyone actually notice how creative and and stunning their promotional pictures usually are? My attention was immediately drawn to the dreamy and ethereal look of the artwork above. Everything is kept to the theme here – the colours, the choice of model (she’s peculiarly gorgeous) and the makeup all fused together to impart a sense of surrealism, just the kind of feeling you’d get in the secret, wondrous world of fairies.

Faerie Whispers promises to enchant with an impressive variety of single eye shadows (eight of them, to be precise) as well as a manageable selection of lipsticks, glosses and other face and nail products in soft, shimmery hues of coral and pink. In other words, don’t expect solid colours or anything matte from this collection.

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection (lipsticks)

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection (lipsticks)

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection (lipsticks)

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection (lipsticks)

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection (lipsticks)

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection (lipsticks)

Once again, I’m slightly bummed out that no effort was put into the designing of the lipstick packaging especially with the gradual climb in their prices. I believe it wouldn’t hurt to add a little sparkle to the box or something.

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection - lipstick swatches

MAC Faerie Whispers Collection – lipstick swatches

The lipstick shade that I had no affinity with was Gossamer Wing, a dirty beige with a Lustre finish which I reckoned would be non-existent on my naturally pale lips considering how sheer the darker shades already are when swatched on my hand.

#1 Midsummer Night

Midsummer Night is a mid-tone coral nude with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

Midsummer Night is a mid-tone coral nude with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

MAC Midsummer Night

This is one bewildering shade, so much so that I had to do a double take when I first wore it. It seems more like a bright orange than coral when I swatch it on my hand but the moment I apply the colour to my lips, the opposite happens! Are my eyes playing tricks on me?

Although Midsummer Night leaves a smooth and moisturising finish, the colour fails to distribute evenly. You may not be able to see it in the pictures but the pigment is, at some parts, segregated from the glossy coating that gives the lipstick the creamy and high-shine appearance. Fortunately, this imperfection is only visible upon closer inspection so it shouldn’t be deterring you from getting it if you like nude shades.

MAC Midsummer Night - swatch comparison

MAC Midsummer Night – swatch comparison

Someone at the laboratory probably took Soft Pout (also a limited edition shade) and added a small percentage of orange tint to create Midsummer Night…

#2 A Sprinkle of Magic

A Sprinkle of Magic is a dirty orange nude with Frost finish (US$17)

A Sprinkle of Magic is a dirty orange nude with Frost finish (US$17)

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic

I am fully aware that this collection is inspired by the magical realm of fairies and whatnot but I swear some kind of sorcery is indeed going on here because this lipstick literally transforms from a reddish-orange on my hand to a baby pink on my lips. I’ve done quite a couple of lipstick reviews the past few years but never once have I seen any lipstick shade change so drastically when swatched at different places like these ones.

But mysteries aside, I was sorely disappointed by the colour disparity because I had anticipated it to be the “dirty orange nude” on the bullet. Don’t get me wrong – the pink is nice, but I already have tons of similar shades in my stash so I was also hoping to get something different. On top of that, the colour payoff is atrocious as I had to apply several layers on the lips before I could finally see lipstick (it’s great in a way, I guess, since it’s buildable). The finish is also nowhere near what you would expect of a Frost lipstick. The micro-shimmers somehow don’t translate to the alluring shine it promises but instead, make the lipstick look very disintegrated upon application. It kinda reminds me of the texture of asphalt roads – messy, coarse and inconsistent.

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic - swatch comparison

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic – swatch comparison

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic - swatch comparison

MAC A Sprinkle of Magic – swatch comparison

How is A Sprinkle of Magic a Frost lipstick when it has almost the same texture as my Lustres?

#3 Among the Fireflies

Among the Fireflies is a soft mocha with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

Among the Fireflies is a soft mocha with Cremesheen finish (US$17)

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

MAC Among the Fireflies

By now you should have picked up on my subtle hint not to blow your money on the lipsticks from this collection but if you’re adamant about owning at least one from every MAC release, then perhaps you should consider getting Among the Fireflies. It feels extremely lightweight on the lips and the soft brown blends into my natural lip colour perfectly without looking too prominent. Furthermore, it is emollient with a close-to-seamless payoff (although only after multiple application to even out the colour). It is easily the best performer among the trio of lipsticks I have featured here.

MAC Among the Fireflies - swatch comparison

MAC Among the Fireflies – swatch comparison

What’s more, it’s pretty much a shade of brown that hasn’t been released before!

On the whole, unless you’re into light makeup or anything iridescent, the money is better spent elsewhere. Do you agree with me on this?

Feel free to share your views with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

MAC Faerie Whispers collection is now available on MACCosmetics.com. It was also released in local MAC outlets.