REVIEW: MAC x Charlotte Olympia Lipsticks – Starlett Scarlet, Leading Lady Red & Retro Rouge

HAPPY 2017 EVERYONE!!!

It may already be the new year, but I still have a colossal amount of long-overdue beauty reviews that I would like to share so please bear with me while I take you back in time to March 2016 when M.A.C launched a collection of runway-inspired red lipsticks alongside other lip and eye products and accessories with Charlotte Olympia.

mac-charlotte-olympia

In case you didn’t know who Charlotte Olympia is, she is a young British luxury shoe and accessories designer who  founded her own eponymous fashion brand. You would probably have seen her products if you shop often at high-end online boutiques such as Net-A-Porter and Ssense, or even her retail stores in Bangkok, Hong Kong as well as many other cities.

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

When first pictures of the limited-edition lipstick packaging were released via news outlets, it drew mixed reactions in the beauty community. While there were those who thought the the packaging was a breath of fresh air from M.A.C’s classic black dome-shaped cap packaging, a handful of beauty critics expressed their displeasure online over the see-through plastic exterior of the lipstick tube. Many felt that the poor choice of material made the supposedly opulent-looking lipsticks seem cheap like a drugstore product.

For me, I belong to the camp that adores the packaging. The clear, sturdy plastic exterior that deliberately reveals the gold inner tube (a far cry from those that it was being compared to – like the old Neutrogena MoistureShine lipstick packaging – which very apparently used lousier and more brittle plastic and did not conceal the glue that adheres the lipstick to the tube as cleverly as M.A.C did) exudes a sense of luxury and prestige. I like that every product in this collection is adorned with Charlotte Olympia’s signature gold spider web motif instead of just boringly stating the name on them. Perhaps because my interest in makeup came at the time when beauty brands had already stepped up their packaging game due to immense competition, I had never seen anything like that in Singapore so it definitely stood out for me.

#1 Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

Brighten your smile with Starlett Scarlet, a true red with Matte finish. Unlike most M.A.C mattes, it has a slippery application with an incredibly intense colour payoff at the very first swipe, topped with a natural sheen to give that luscious luminosity. The highly opaque formulation conceals lip lines fairly well and does not seep into major cracks and thus, lip exfoliation is not necessary. Moisturising, it does not leave the lip feeling parched. Although matte, it has a creamy texture which allows colour blending (if you don’t want to go full-red lip) and yet has relatively high staying power.

#2 Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

Leading Lady Red is described as a deep red with Matte finish. As compared to Starlett Scarlet, this is slightly darker with cooler blue undertones. It does not apply as buttery and would occasionally tug at the lips but the excellent pigmentation and coverage of the colour compensate for that negligible flaw. The slight sheen of the lipstick gives the impression of hydrated lips but in actual fact, it feels slightly dry and heavy which could also be the main reason for its more lasting longevity.

#3 Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

The darkest red in this collection is Retro Rouge, a cool-toned deep brown-red with Matte finish, but it is also the most underperforming and least matte out of the trio of lipsticks, sadly. For a start, it has a little drag to it during application which feels as though my lips are being lightly rubbed against. Some of the products settle into my lip lines, causing the colour to lose its overall uniformity (as you can see from dark streaks around the center). This colour isn’t smudge-proof for sure as it fades when I purse my lips and thereby leaving a rather obvious ring of lighter red shade on the area of contact. Nevertheless, it delivers full opacity to give an alluring and satiny pout.

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 1

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 1

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 2, because these lipsticks reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show collection

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 2, because these lipsticks reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show collection

On the overall, I think this collection offers one of the best range of reds M.A.C has ever produced even though the colours and finish are very repetitive. They are very true to what you see on the bullet and in spite of the pretty packaging (that M.A.C surprisingly did not charge a lot more for), the quality of the product was not discounted as you can tell from the excellent colour payoff and luxurious and mostly creamy finish of every lipstick.

This line has already been discontinued but I’m certain you can readily find them in resale markets like eBay or Carousell. The last time I checked, the listed prices were lower than the sale price. If you don’t already have reds like any of these (which is highly unlikely as they are very dupable), you should go for it!

What are your thoughts on the lipsticks in this collection in terms of the product quality and packaging? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading and have an AWESOME new year ahead! ❤

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia was launched in March 2016 and is no longer available online.

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 x Star Trek Lipsticks – Kling-It-On & The Enemy Within

Ho, ho, ho-wdy everyone!

If you have stumbled upon any of my tertiary school chronicles, you would know that I studied media and communications for a good seven years. But just because I am a communications graduate doesn’t automatically make me a movie buff.  In fact, I am probably one of the rare few who would fall asleep to action-packed movies in cinemas. It gets worse the more intellectual the film is (*cough*Inception*cough*) as my short attention span means that I won’t be unable to sustain my concentration for long periods. Admit it, ladies – surely, I’m not the only one with this problem, right?

So what better way to arouse the interest of women in a predominantly male-centric science fiction movie than to work on a makeup line with a crowd-favourite cosmetics brand? Well, Star Trek did, and they – together with M.A.C Cosmetics – launched a 25-piece collection in commemoration of their 50th anniversary as well as to raise awareness for the third instalment to the rebooted film franchise that was premiered in July. Even I, who am usually indifferent to movies, got a little hyped up by the news!

As I have never watched a single Star Trek episode in my life, my knowledge about the movie was pretty much limited to the Vulcan salute. But I must say that the beautifully-illustrated promotional poster above had successfully sparked my curiosity for the female characters featured in it, so much so that I actually bothered to read up on the plot. Well played, M.A.C, well played.

Drawing inspiration from the Trekkie girls (Deanna Troi, Uhura, Seven of Nine and Vina the Orion Girl), this collection is supposedly stylish with colours that match the futuristic costumes of the characters. Thus there are bound to be lots of gold and silver which M.A.C promised to be nothing over the top and absolutely complementary to any skin tone.

M.A.C X Star Trek

M.A.C X Star Trek

M.A.C X Star Trek

M.A.C X Star Trek

Fusing unmistakable elements of M.A.C (all-black matte tubing) and Star Trek (50th anniversary Delta Shield), the packaging speaks clearly of the partnership between the two big names. Frost finish (The Enemy Within / LLAP / Kling-It-On) dominated the lipstick lineup in this collection with only one neutral Lustre lipstick (Where No Man Has Gone Before) to fall back on for a bit of normalcy. Envisaging that I wouldn’t be utterly pleased by any of the finishes (‘coz I’m a Matte kinda girl but still want that limited-edition packaging 😄 ), I eventually settled on the uncommon shades that I felt would perform better.

#1 Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On (US$18)

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in Kling-It-On

Honestly, it was disappointing to see that the range of lipstick shades didn’t quite correspond with the lip colours worn by the characters in the poster because I really wanted a bright purple lipstick as seen on Deanna Troi, but in Frost finish.

Kling-It-On, a deep purple with fine pink glitter topped with a Frost finish, was closest to what I was hoping for. The bullet applies smoothly on the lips and it feels almost like a Lustre. It seems mostly sheer upon application but somehow evens out to a semi-opaque layer after a few minutes with some product settling into the lip lines (boo..). It’s a sticky mess up-close (friggin’ hair magnet, argh) but the microshimmers take the attention away from it from a distance with their collective metallic sheen.

Kling-It-On swatch comparison

Kling-It-On swatch comparison

#2 The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within (US$18)

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

M.A.C X Star Trek lipstick in The Enemy Within

The Enemy Within is described as a neutral gold shimmer with a Frost finish and it’s the only shade left for sale on M.A.C website (at clearance price now, not long after I paid full price for this pfffffft). I wonder why this shade isn’t getting the love it deserves. The colour payoff is drop-dead gorgeous although, true.. it has less-than-satisfactory consistency and a streaky appearance. But.. but.. this shade is buildable to a semi-opaque finish! Yes, it does undo the previous application with every swipe and yes, it requires the constant need of reapplication but hey, let’s be fair, we can’t expect a traditional lipstick to be as pigmented and long-lasting as a liquid lipstick, okay?!

GAAHH the gold is so sparkly pretty, it is clouding my judgement! But alright, for the benefit of anyone who might be interested to get this, it feels a little greasy on the lips and it also seeps into the lip lines. It would probably work better crushed, dried thoroughly and used as a pigment rather than an actual lipstick but heck it, the colour is so gorgeous I’m willing to overlook its imperfections and wear it out with pride.

The Enemy Within swatch comparison

The Enemy Within swatch comparison

All in all, I never thought I would say this (and I believe many would disagree with me) but I’m quite contented with the quality of the frosted lipsticks from this collection. My only gripe is that Frost finish tends to leave those sparkles even after the lipstick has been removed and it can be a pain to remove them entirely.

What say you, fellow lipstick junkies?

Thanks for reading and Merry belated Christmas everyone! 🙂

M.A.C X STAR TREK IS STILL AVAILABLE ONLINE IN LIMITED CHOICES WITH A REDUCED PRICING OF US$10.80 PER LIPSTICK.

REVIEW: MAC x Good Luck Trolls Lipsticks – Dance Off Pants Off, Midnight Troll, Sushi Kiss & Can’t Be Tamed

Hello everyone!

Back in the olden days when children still played with dolls instead of getting hooked on mobile games, toys such as Polly Pockets, Furbies and Barbie dolls – basically those that would be sneered upon by kids today – thrived. Anyone who owned these heavily-advertised toys were the envy of everyone else. But I had never understood the immense popularity of Troll dolls among my peers. I don’t know about you but their wrinkled face, bulbous nose and bulging glass eyes were hardly ever adorable to me. In fact, they terrified me so much because they look like a meeker version of the evil Gremlins (the Trolls actually look a lot better in cartoons). Walking down the aisle filled with Troll dolls at Toys “R” Us would feel like being stared down by a hundred of miniature Chucky dolls and it never failed to give me the creeps!

The original scary shizzle original Troll dolls

The original scary shizzle original Troll dolls

As the years went by, children born in my generation grew out of toys and for a long while, the Troll dolls became passé and overshadowed by trendier ones, so much so that I hadn’t seen them for more than a decade. I was glad to have buried the thoughts of these creepy dolls in the farthest part of my mind. I reckoned it was finally the end of the Trolls, but how silly of me to even fathom that thought..

Apparently, some meanies decided it was a fantastic idea to bring one of my biggest nightmares back in the form of my favourite makeup brand (evil, evil, evil..). In conjunction with the release of the Trolls movie by DreamWorks Animation, M.A.C introduced a lineup of makeup products in August inspired by the vibrant and wild rainbow hair of the dolls. It was the least unlikely collaboration (I mean, seriously, makeup inspired by dolls – and creepy ones, to say the least – like, what the heck who would think of that?!) but arguably very expected of M.A.C who is known for their unusual partnerships (remember The Simpsons and the controversial Miley Cyrus?).

good-luck-trolls-mac

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipsticks

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipsticks

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick packaging

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick packaging

The colours of the boxes make them visually appealing and the lipstick tube itself is in bubblegum orange with the Troll artwork occupying a considerable amount of space on it. Despite not being a fan of Trolls at all, I would totally buy something from this collection just to admire the packaging. The packaging design ticks all the right boxes for me but I can’t say the same for the actual product, though..

#1 Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Dance Off, Pants Off

Dance Off, Pants Off is described as a frosted hot pink with a Frost finish. Given my not-so-positive past experience with Frost lipsticks, I had half-expected this to be another excessively shimmery party shade that I would just chuck aside after this review but, lo and behold, it turned out to have pretty decent wearability! I had to do a double take at type of finish on the bottom label to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. The microshimmers in this shade are too subtle to give as much of the icy foiled effect as other Frost lipsticks I have. Rather, I feel that this lipstick leans more towards the Satin end of the M.A.C lipstick finish spectrum and applies very smoothly and evenly. It lends a moisturising opaque layer of colour and leaves behind a lighter flush of fuchsia when it fades. There’s really nothing much to dislike about this shade!

Swatch comparison for Dance Off, Pants Off

Swatch comparison for Dance Off, Pants Off

#2 Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Midnight Troll

Midnight Troll is described as a rich blue with Matte finish. As with most M.A.C matte lipsticks, this shade has a rather drying formula (but doesn’t give a flat, dry finish) so it tends to tug slightly at the lips upon application and leave an inconsistent texture with tiny gaps here and there. The colour is intensely pigmented and does not budge but my lips felt increasingly parched over time (lip lines start to become more obvious for me) with this shade on. It also does not feel tacky so in a way it is also less prone to transfer as compared to other lipsticks here.

Swatch comparison for Midnight Troll

Swatch comparison for Midnight Troll

SHITZ SO SCARY SET THEM ALL ON FIRE

SHITZ SO SCARY SET THEM ALL ON FIRE

#3 Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Sushi Kiss

Sushi Kiss is an existing shade in the permanent line but this time, in a more fun and attractive packaging that costs only a dollar more. Described as a mid-tone coral cream with Satin finish, the colour reminds me of salmon flesh (or rather, salmon nigiri since clearly, the name of the lipstick is Japanese-inspired 😄 ) but instead of getting an application as smooth and clean-cut as when I slide my knife into my cooked salmon, it pulls the lips a little and leaves a streaky texture like the marbling of fat in raw salmon. Moreover, it accents flaws and dryness of non-exfoliated lips. That’s not what I would expect from Satin lipsticks..

The product settles into the lip lines as well and it requires extra effort to remove. How annoying! Also, I don’t know if I am imagining things but this shade makes my lower lip appear a lot plumper than it should too. I was so self-conscious about my smile (see how awkward my expression is in the pictures above) the whole time because the lipstick felt like bricks weighing down my lips.

Swatch comparison for Sushi Kiss

Swatch comparison for Sushi Kiss

#4 Can’t Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can't Be Tamed (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can’t Be Tamed (US$18)

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can't Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can’t Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can't Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can’t Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can't Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can’t Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can't Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can’t Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can't Be Tamed

MAC Good Luck Trolls lipstick in Can’t Be Tamed

Can’t Be Tamed is described as a sheer lime yellow with Cremesheen finish and hold up… is this lipstick meant to be used alongside other shades? Because it is HORRENDOUS on its own. Just who in the right mind would have okayed such poor quality product? This lipstick is a complete mess and I don’t even know where to begin.

As a lipstick, it has failed its basic purpose of adding balance to the overall look – the colour payoff is incredibly patchy and the terribly uneven consistency does absolutely nothing to enhance one’s appearance. Any drugstore lipstick would be able to a better job than this. The only good I can see out of this is, perhaps, its hydrating factor. Other than that, it is tacky and its staying power is not even strong enough to qualify it as a tint. Why Cremesheen of all finishes? It could have performed better as a Matte. How long will it take for M.A.C to realise that we don’t need anymore of sheer and poorly-pigmented light-coloured lipsticks?! 😡

Swatch comparison for Can't Be Tamed

Swatch comparison for Can’t Be Tamed

Needless to say, this is my worst purchase from this collection and I feel foolish for paying full price for this trash. #shouldhavewaited #onlyUSD7freakin20now #argh

While it is interesting that M.A.C kept to the theme of the collection by matching the shades to the crazy hues of the funky-haired dolls, customers ultimately look for practicality over novelty especially for perishable products like cosmetics. In terms of product quality, sadly probably only half of lipsticks in this collection make the cut. Most would agree too judging from the relatively muted interest in this collection and how heavily discounted the unsold lipsticks are now online (I’ve honestly never seen M.A.C lipsticks selling for that cheap on their official website before). Geez, so much for tying up with the Good Luck Trolls.. guess they weren’t lucky enough to bring in the bucks for M.A.C, eh?

Trolls in 2016 - they had a makeover and now look less scary thank God

Trolls in 2016 – they had a makeover and now look less scary thank God

What are your views on this collection? Chime in below!

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C X Good Luck Trolls is still available online in limited choices with a reduced pricing of US$7.20 per lipstick. The whole collection is still available at some parts of the world, including australia.

REVIEW: MAC x Selena Lipsticks – Como La Flor, Amor Prohibido & Dreaming of You

Hey everyone!

The year is drawing to a close. Looking back, there had been some noteworthy M.A.C collections released throughout the year but nothing comes close to the overwhelmingly positive response the Selena collection had elicited. It was a complete sell-out success which saw every single item flying off the shelves. Being a fan of Selena and her English music (which I first heard on a local radio a few years ago), I was really anticipating this collection and had been following the news of this launch very closely since M.A.C announced plans were in the works to fulfill the wishes of over 30,000 petitioners for a limited-edition Selena makeup line last year. M.A.C could have turned a deaf ear to their pleas (after all, the sales of their Mariah Carey collection would definitely do well) but they did not 🙂 #respect

selena-mac

For the benefit of those who don’t know who the collaborator in question is, well, she is no longer around, hence making this the second posthumous collection by M.A.C (after Marilyn Monroe) in honour of the late American singer-songwriter. Dubbed the Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla was a one-time Grammy winner for Best Mexican/American Album and had made a name for herself in the English market back when Tejano music was virtually unheard of outside the Latino community. She was on her way to international stardom with her then-newly recorded English album but all these came to an abrupt end when she was brutally murdered by her psychopath fan club president in 1995.

Selena and her fan club president, Yolanda Saldívar

Selena and her fan club president-turned-murderer, Yolanda Saldívar (credit) Selena’s life is documented on her biopic Selena, starring JLo as the multi-talented singer

At time of her death, she had already accomplished more than most people would do in 23 years of their lifetime – on top of being a successful singer, she was also an actress and fashion designer having established two Selena Etc. boutiques which raked in millions of dollars before their gradual demise and finally closure in 2009. An inspiration to us all, she was a living proof that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance. She was such a prominent figure that her birthday was declared Selena Day in Texas by then-Texas governor George W. Bush after her death. Did you know Selena Gomez was named after her as well? That’s how big an impact she had made with her music and never-say-die attitude!

As an Obsessed member with M.A.C, I had the privilege to shop the collection a few days prior to everyone else online and I got myself all three lipsticks shades. If I had known that the lipglass was online-exclusive before it sold out, I would have bought that as well. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise as I hardly use gloss 😄

M.A.C Selena

M A.C Selena

M.A.C Selena lipstick swatches

M.A.C Selena lipstick swatches

M.A.C Selena lipstick packaging

M.A.C Selena lipstick packaging

On the performing stage, Selena was often decked out in purple outfits as purple was one of her favourite colours apart from black. Hence, it makes perfect sense to encase the entire 18-piece collection in purple casing featuring her signature in lavender and aptly named after her popular hits in her remembrance. For those who are dying to own a piece of Selena memorabilia but barely have the money to travel to Texas, this is the closest you can get to the actual stuff sold at the Selena Museum at Corpus Christi.

Staying true to Selena’s down-to-earth and charitable public persona, I noticed M.A.C did not attempt to mark up the prices for this collection unlike what they did to their Mariah Carey holiday collection *sniggers* The prices are kept low (with the most expensive item being the makeup brush only at US$35 but I can’t say the same for Singapore) so that fans across all walks of life could afford them. Amidst all the accusations of animal testing thrown at M.A.C, it is heartening to know that they aren’t all that money-minded.

#1 Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor (US$18)

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Como La Flor

Even before M.A.C revealed anything about the collection, everyone knew for sure a bold red lipstick was going to be included in this lineup because red lips were part of Selena’s iconic look. According to her husband Chris Perez and other commenters on his Facebook status update, the shades for all the makeup products in this collection were matched exactly to the original that Selena used to carry around when she was touring (provided by her sister Suzette who amazingly still has her makeup bag up till today *gasp*). That is to say, this is the classic red (rumoured to be Chanel’s Brick which has already been discontinued) that Selena wore on her lips!

Como La Flor (“Like a Flower”) is described as a dirty cherry red with an Amplified finish. Fully pigmented with great colour consistency, it applies very smoothly on the lips and feels unbelievably hydrating. This shade creates a luscious sheen (Selena’s red lips looked more matte, though) and does not settle into lip lines but will require a lot of reapplications because a whole lot of it will transfer onto anything the lips touch.

M.A.C Selena Como La Flor swatch comparison

M.A.C Selena Como La Flor swatch comparison

Other alternatives to get if you missed the launch in October are Von Teese and Brave Red. Brave Red is slightly lighter and less pigmented while Von Teese lends a more matte finish.

 

#2 Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido (US$18)

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido (US$18)

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Amor Prohibido

Since nude lipsticks are hardly associated with Selena, Amor Prohibido could most likely be added to balance out the heavy and vibrant shades in this collection because not everyone who idolises her is courageous enough to step out of their comfort zone with head-turning red lips, yes?

Amor Prohibido (“Forbidden Love”) is described as a pinky midtone brown with Glaze finish. It is a pale mocha brown shade that leaves a lightweight, sheer but slightly oily texture when applied, giving the lips an extra plump on top of the moisturised and nourished appearance. Even though this shade is buildable, you would need to apply multiple layers to finally see some colour. Glaze lipsticks are known to have the sheerest finish so I wouldn’t recommend this if you have naturally dark lips unless a glossy look is your go-to.

M.A.C Selena Amor Prohibido swatch comparison

M.A.C Selena Amor Prohibido swatch comparison

Among the Fireflies (from the Faerie Whispers collection) is quite close – it just has a bit more yellow undertones. No one would be able to notice the difference, trust me.

#3 Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You (US$18)

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You (US$18)

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

M.A.C Selena lipstick in Dreaming of You

Despite debuting as a Latin artist. one of Selena’s biggest dreams was to reach success in the English market. This dream was realised when her English studio album (also her last) titled Dreaming of You peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 selling 175,000 copies in it’s first day of availability. This achievement – which she unfortunately didn’t have the chance to witness – was what drew attention to Latin music. Selena also recorded an English track of the same name for this album and coincidentally, it was the first song I heard by her some years back. This lipstick is a great way to remember her by, at least for me.

Dreaming of You is described as a deep wine with Matte finish. It gives a mostly opaque colour payoff that guarantees a long-lasting wear. Instead of a flat matte texture, this actually has a natural sheen to it. The result is a richly pigmented dark red with blue undertones that makes teeth look whiter and faces fairer. Somewhat creamy, it tugs on my lips slightly. The consistency feels a lot more drying than the other two lipsticks and does not apply evenly across the lips. It does not fully coat the lips unless with several applications. Still, for a matte, it delivers a rather moisturising finish.

M.A.C Selena Dreaming of You swatch comparison

M.A.C Selena Dreaming of You swatch comparison

Dark Side has stronger hints of purple while Diva is slightly darker. I personally feel that the latter is a closer match.

As you can tell from the swatches, the lipsticks in this collection are nothing out of the ordinary. If you’re a lipstick aficionado like me, you’d probably already have something similar so unless you are a supporter of Selena (or a sucker for LE packaging), I don’t see any reason why you need to have them. What say you?

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C X Selena was launched online in October 2016 but has since sold out. Stocks may still be available in M.A.C. Ngee Ann City outlet (the only one that carries this collection in Singapore). An online restock is scheduled for early January 2017.

REVIEW: MAC x Brooke Candy II Lipstick in Witching Hour

Hello everyone!

American rapper and singer Brooke Candy returns to MAC with a full beauty line comprising an array of products for the eyes, lips and nails. In case you didn’t know, she had an online-exclusive mini collection last year that saw the launch of two lipsticks and a liquid eyeliner so she’s definitely not new to this business.

MAC Brooke Candy II

MAC Brooke Candy II

If you hadn’t manage to lay your hands on anything from her introductory collection, fret not, because one of the previously released lipstick shades (Mind Control) as well as the liquid eyeliner will be made available again and this time, you can buy them off the shelves in Singapore too!

MAC X Brooke candy ii Collection Information, Product Availability and Prices in Singapore

Lipsticks (S$34) – Mind Control, Witching Hour, Doo-Wop & Whirl
Lip Pencils (S$34) – Night Crawler & Whirl
Vamplify (S$40) – Till Death Do Us Part & Pamela
Bronzing Powder (S$48) – Golden
M.A.C Studio Eye Gloss (S$45) – WhiteYin & BlackYang
Liquid Eye Liner (S$39) – Boot Black
Haute & Naughty Lash (S$38) – Haute & Naughty Black
M.A.C. Studio Nail Lacquer (S$26) – Madame Candy & Black Stallion

For product description, please refer to MACCosmetics.com

Apart from Mind Control, the other repromoted lipstick is Whirl (review here) which is one of the most highly sought-after shades of all time, mostly popularised by Kylie Jenner who had used the same colour as a lip liner to create her signature pout. It is so immensely popular that stocks were quickly snapped up like hot cakes when it was first released as part of The Matte Lip collection in 2015. This time, history repeats itself and Whirl is once again wiped off the shelves online.

Doo-Wop and Witching Hour make their debut in this collection in a less-than-unique shade of pink and purple but nevertheless in a matte finish (and not some lustre rubbish again yay) that is, on the whole, well-pigmented and neither hydrating nor drying.

I was allowed a sneak peek at the collection a few weeks back and had managed to swatch all the products at the back of my hand. For this review I will give particular attention to the lipsticks because I know you guys adore them as much as I do ❤

From left: Doo-Wop, Mind Control, Witching Hour & Whirl

From left: Doo-Wop, Mind Control, Witching Hour & Whirl

Bottom labels

Bottom labels

MAC Brooke Candy II

MAC Brooke Candy II

Although the mattes appear a lot drier than Mind Control which has an amplified creme finish, they do not tug at the skin and instead, apply rather smoothly and evenly. The colours are generally wearable and carefully picked out to match different skin tones. Still, those who have been following my blog would know my preference for unusual and quirky lipstick shades so I was absolutely thrilled to be receiving Witching Hour to review on 🙂

MAC Brooke Candy

MAC Brooke Candy

MAC Brooke Candy

MAC Brooke Candy

In contrast to the first Brooke Candy collection, special efforts are made to the packaging in this latest lineup with products encased in a reflective box and tube adorned with black and grey paint splatters. The improvement in packaging, however, also meant a slight increase in price as the lipsticks now cost US$18 each, up from US$17 the last time.

Witching Hour is a rich purple with Matte finish (US$18 / S$34)

Witching Hour is a rich purple with Matte finish (US$18 / S$34)

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

MAC Witching Hour

Wearing this lipstick gave me a sense of déjà vu as I felt like I had worn something very similar. Witching Hour delivers a semi-glossy and creamy purple without drying out and gives a mostly opaque coverage in two coats. It doesn’t seep into the lip lines so it is relatively easy to remove. With all these qualities, it’s almost hard to believe that this is a matte lipstick. But the consistency somewhat disappoint me as some parts of colour appear noticeably blotchy.

MAC Witching Hour - swatch comparison

MAC Witching Hour – swatch comparison

A-HA! Once again my intuition has been proven right (being a lipstick hoarder certainly has it upsides like the ability to identify a dupe right away LOL). If you’ve bought the purple lipstick from the MAC x Nasty Gal collection, don’t bother getting Witching Hour because Gunner is an exact duplicate of it.

What are your thoughts about this collection? Chime away in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

MAC x Brooke Candy collection is now available on MACCosmetics.com and at 313@Somerset, Bugis Junction, Ngee Ann City and Tangs at Tangs Plaza.

REVIEW: MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande Lipstick

Hello again, fellow beautyholics!

Since 1994, MAC has been actively involved in the fight against HIV and AIDS with its Viva Glam campaigns whereby every single cent made from the sale of the products in the Viva Glam line would be donated to its own AIDS fund. To further raise awareness of the cause, every Viva Glam campaign is endorsed mostly by controversial famous personalities (many of whom are also AIDS activists themselves) from the music industry. This year, joining the ranks of past ambassadors like Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Miley Cyrus is none other than.. *drums roll* ..Ariana Grande!

mac-viva-glam-ariana-grande

The announcement of the new face for the latest Viva Glam campaign had undoubtedly caused a stir among MAC fans considering the amount of bad press Ariana Grande had gotten for her “donut lick” incident as well as her unpatriotic remarks that were caught on video. But putting those criticisms aside, the Dangerous Woman hitmaker has performed a series of philanthropic work from supporting homosexuality to promoting animal rights and veganism despite being only in her early twenties. That’s very commendable if you ask me, so I have never once felt that it was a terrible decision to bring her on board.

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

Encased in a black tube marked by her signature on the inner cherry-red surface, the packaging of the lipstick is no different from the Viva Glam lipsticks released previously (apart from Viva Glam Rihanna which had a red rubber-textured tube). A shimmery pink Viva Glam lipglass has also been launched alongside the lipstick for those who are not fond of dark, matte lipsticks.

Viva Glam Ariana Grande is a deep dark plum with Matte finish (US$17)

Viva Glam Ariana Grande is a deep dark plum with Matte finish (US$17)

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande

Contrary to expectations, the finish isn’t matte at all although it does tug at the lips a little upon application. The product felt slippery and it leaves a sheen on the lips like a Satin lipstick. With streaks and patches of darker plum colour all over the lips, it is obvious that the lipstick is unable to provide an entirely opaque coverage even after multiple swipes. The colour tends to gather at the indentations on the lips but it was near-impossible to even our the texture. Due to the inconsistent payoff of the lipstick, the lips have to be lined before being filled with the colour or else they would appear messy and undefined.

Swatch comparison

Swatch comparison

The closest dupe I have to Viva Glam Ariana Grande is probably Living Legend which leans more towards maroon than plum. As compared to other Mattes like Eugenie and Smoked Purple, Viva Glam Ariana Grande clearly seems to have a creamier but patchy formula similar to those of the newer Matte shades these days. I kinda hope MAC would revert to the drier Matte formula because I’m not diggin’ the so-called improvements made to it.

But since all proceeds from the sale of this lipstick go to helping women, men and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, I’m going to encourage you to buy it nonetheless 😉 This is, as how Ariana Grande had put it, guilt-free shopping because you actually get to shop with a purpose!

What do you think of the lipstick? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

MAC Viva Glam Ariana Grande lipstick is now available on MACCosmetics.com and at all local MAC outlets.