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.