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 Caitlyn Jenner Lipstick in Finally Free

Hello lovelies!

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

mac-caitlyn-jenner-2016

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

Finally Free packaging

Finally Free packaging

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are your thoughts on this shade?

Thanks for reading! ❤

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

REVIEW: MAC x 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: Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipsticks – Brick, Cork & Desert Suede

Hello everyone!

In case you haven’t noticed, my recent beauty reviews have been steering away from my usual favourites of MAC because there are a lot of buzz around some new brands lately and I wanted to share how their hot-selling products fare against my Asian skin tone since no one is doing it (well, not that I know of). If you’re missing those MAC updates, don’t worry – they will be back. Soon. But first, I wanted to put another brand in the spotlight today and that is none other than.. *drum rolls* Dose of Colors!

dose of colors logo

Founded in 2013, Dose of Colors (DOC) is the brainchild of Armenian makeup artist Anna Petrosian who aspired to have a brand of her own to experiment with colours. It is a relatively new indie beauty company based in California, USA, which is not only cruelty-free (verified by PETA) but also eco- and vegan-friendly.

I had been seeing this brand around a lot on the internet lately and I gotta admit that I used to dismiss it as another wannabe brand riding on the popularity of liquid lipstick until I checked out their Instagram page. Despite its young age and being largely an e-commerce business (although they do have brick-and-mortar stores in some parts of the U.S.), it has already garnered over an impressive two million followers on their Instagram account. That’s an even larger following than well-established and high-end brands like Laura Mercier (920k) and Clinique (one million). Surely, to have a following that massive (that’s unless they paid for it.. but I highly doubt that), it must mean something, right? So I threw in the towel, paid for my first DOC order… and I’ve never looked back since!

Dose of Colors

Dose of Colors

Dose of Colors

Dose of Colors

Traffic to the website must have been overwhelming that night I made my purchase as it was the day these three highly sought-after shades were restocked. Thus. I was half-expecting the order to be processed at snail’s pace. But I was dead wrong. Delivery was almost immediate – my order was shipped on the same day my payment was made (just four hours apart from each other) and it was received by my forwarder six days later. I think my eyes widened a little in disbelief when I saw the notification emails. Gold star for efficiency!

As a self-proclaimed advocate for creativity, colourful and stylish logo and packaging design like those of DOS drive me wild. The simplicity of the typeface in the logo is very distinctive to the brand, eye-catching yet professional-looking. I also love the semi-opaque packaging (super smooth to touch) which reminds me of the smart glass on the LRT trains that changes to translucent when passing by apartment buildings.

In terms of functionality, the cap “clicks” when it is securely closed. The reflective band next to it, although does add a more luxurious feel to the overall appearance of the product, isn’t reflective enough to serve as a mirror surface. It would be awesome if it is so it could save me a trip to the toilet when I need to reapply the lipstick. But I’m willing to forgive that minor flaw because the soft and cushiony doe-foot applicator is perfectly tapered for an extremely clean and precise application. Literally no lip brush needed to line the lips! Another gold star for product design!

*gasp* How now, brown cow?! Even before using the products, I’ve already fallen head over heels for them! 😳

#1 Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick (US$18)

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick (US$18)

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Brick

Most of the liquid lipsticks do not come with clear colour description on the website so I had to rely on the given images to judge the shades. I hate to do that because the colours may vary from computer to computer depending on the colour resolution of the screen, so what seems like warm red on mine may actually be a burgundy in real life. But thank God everything turned out pretty close to my expectations.

Brick is a deep brown-red. It has a faint chocolatey scent and applies evenly on the lips. It does not sink into the creases on my lips but it accentuates the lip lines to a small extent. Never mind, it is not very obvious from afar. It feels lightweight and neither hydrating nor drying but the tackiness remains even after several minutes of leaving it to settle. It dries down to an opaque matte finish with a natural sheen. It is not entirely transfer-proof although that makes it very easy to be removed.

Swatch comparison for Brick

Swatch comparison for Brick

#2 Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork (US$18)

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork (US$18)

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Cork

This is my favourite shade among the three reviewed here. Stand out with Cork, a medium-toned yellow-brown which goes on smooth and velvety on the lips to give an opaque finish. It leans more towards the dry side, thus definitely has the tendency to flake after some time. Its emphasis on the lip lines can be quite noticeable even from a distance and even though it doesn’t feel as sticky as Brick, it has a strange rubbery texture (rub your lips against each other and you’ll know what I mean). Nonetheless, this is a very unusual shade to have to complement any skin tone and style.

Swatch comparison after Desert Suede.

#3 Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede (US$18)

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede (US$18)

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Dose of Color Matte Liquid Lipstick in Desert Suede

Desert Suede is a matte dusty mauve with a strong grey undertone. The initial application glides on smoothly like the other shades with great colour payoff. Then, the horror comes once it dries down completely. True to its name, this shade makes my lips looks like mudcracks in deserts, especially on the upper lips (a very common issue I have with light-coloured lipsticks). It is a little drying so you gotta smile at all times with this shade on because those awful lip lines become intensely obvious when you don’t. On the plus side, it feels lightweight and the tackiness is pretty negligible here.

Swatch comparison for Desert Suede and Cork

Swatch comparison for Desert Suede and Cork

Generally, the formula hold up pretty well and has surpassed my expectations. Furthermore, Dose of Colours carries mostly wearable shades so I certainly see myself buying from them again (in fact, I’ve already added Black Rose to my cart – just waiting for the right time to cart it out!). If you’re conscientious about animal welfare and the environment, Dose of Colors is one guilt-free cosmetics brand you can consider supporting. The prices are reasonable for the high quality of the packaging and the incredible pigmentation of the colours but I would personally look out for their bundle sales (typically 5 for US$75 and they sell out snap) to take full advantage of that that shipping fee.

What do you think about these lipsticks by Dose of Colors? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

MATTE LIQUID LIPSTICKS BY DOSE OF COLORS ARE AVAILABLE ON doseofcolors.com FOR US$18 PER PIECE. Final Prices do not include flat shipping rate of US$5.50 for all shipments within the U.S. regardless of item quantity purchased. International shipping rate varies and will be calculated at time of checkout.

REVIEW: MannyMUA x OFRA Cosmetics Long Lasting Liquid Lipsticks – Hypno, Charmed & Aries

Hello everyone!

If there is one thing social media has taught me about gender equality, it’s debunking the stereotype about makeup being something reserved only for the ladies and drag queens. It made me realise that men can be as good as women at applying makeup.. or even at a more expert level! Just switch over to your ‘Explore’ or ‘Recommended’ tab on Instagram or YouTube and, depending on your activity, you may be able to spot men wearing the most wicked makeup looks and dayum do they look fabulous in it!

One such talented male beauty gurus is @MannyMUA733  (real name Manny Gutierrez), a professional makeup artist by trade who found fame on YouTube as one of the few premier male beauty vloggers. Prior to that, he was already sharing snippets of sped-up makeup tutorials on his Instagram page and that was how I discovered him (because I’m not the kind who has the patience to sit through an entire 15-minute video.. unless it’s related to popping pimples, of course). His makeup creations on his own stubbly face are truly second to none and it is really no wonder beauty companies are lining up to work with him since he has the ability to make you feel like buying every product he uses in his videos.

First, it was a liquid lipstick with Gerard Cosmetics. Then, an eye shadow palette with MakeupGeek that caused a frenzy online when it dropped. And now a collaboration with one of my favourite beauty brands on a trio of universally flattering neutral liquid lipsticks? Shut up and take my money!

MannyMUA X OFRA Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks

MannyMUA X OFRA Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks

MannyMUA X OFRA Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks swatches

MannyMUA X OFRA Cosmetics Liquid Lipsticks swatches

OFRA Cosmetics recently underwent an appearance transformation and this collection had the honour of decking out in the new and improved slinky packaging right at its launch. But personally, I prefer the matte paper box used in the former packaging (sans the unsightly ingredient list sticker pasted on the front) as the material feels sleeker and more professional and I like the obscure yet very much visible brand name on the box against the all-black background. I don’t really like how flamboyant the logo is now on the packaging. But that’s not to say there is nothing noteworthy about the new design.

The current tube is noticeably much longer and thicker as if made of better quality plastic. Certainly, there seems to be a lot more product in the tube as compared to that of the older packaging so you would definitely get your money’s worth with this one! Moreover, improvements have also been made to the applicator to allow for more precision in application and control around the edges. And most importantly, there is no price increment even with all these changes. I mean, it ought to remain the same considering how kinda pricey the lipsticks already are for a mid-tier brand (FYI, MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks cost US$21 each).

#1 Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries (US$19.90)

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries (US$19.90)

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Aries

In keeping up with the trend of naming products after the creator’s zodiac sign (which I honestly feel, at this juncture, is getting very predictable and overused.. If I had the opportunity to launch my own lipstick line, I’d name the products after my favourite food like Carrot Cake, Salted Egg and whatnots – why didn’t anybody think of that?!), Aries was born into a form of nude with peach-pink undertones. It would actually make more sense if it had taken on the corresponding colour of Aries but hey,  who needs another red lipstick anyway? After all, pink nudes are a foolproof option because they will never go out of style!

Aries are supposedly feisty and aggressive in nature but this shade exudes just the opposite. It complements fair skin tones beautifully and softens one’s look without being over the top. Vanilla-scented, it has a creamy texture with semi-full coverage which applies buttery smooth on my dry lips but it tends to clump up significantly on uneven areas. However, it leaves a sticky sensation on the lips.

#2 Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed (US$19.90)

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed (US$19.90)

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Charmed

There is no explanation anywhere on how the name of this shade came about but I would like to think that it was named in tribute to my all-time favourite American television series (on a side note, anyone knows where I can watch all the episodes online? I’ve been searching for them for ages!) so that I have another reason to love it.

Charmed is a pink-nude mauve – very close to my natural lip colour – with a moisturising touch. It glides on creamy, thick and highly pigmented and accentuates the shape and curves of the lips. The formula is lightweight and feels exceptionally comfortable on the lips, yet provides excellent coverage and does not dry down to a completely matte finish. My chapped lips approve! This shade is perfect for light to medium skin tones.

Swatch comparison for Aries and Charmed

Swatch comparison for Aries and Charmed

“What?! Nothing for dark skin?” Fret not, sweethearts, why wouldn’t there be? It’s 2016! OFRA’s got your back!

#3 Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno (US$19.90)

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno (US$19.90)

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

MannyMUA X OFRA Long Lasting Liquid Lipstick in Hypno

The darkest shade of the trio is a hydrating burgundy that would look gorgeous across all skin tones. Transform from a daytime darling to a nighttime diva with just a change in lipstick colour! Best paired with smokey eyes, it is the shade to wear on any night out. It does not tug at the lips and it sweeps across seamlessly, leaving a slight sheen even after it dries. It simulates the look of a fuller pout without emphasising the fine lip lines. The first swipe is mostly opaque but it builds to a nice intensity with several passes.

Swatch comparison for Hypno

Swatch comparison for Hypno

I would recommend this shade if you only have the budget for one because, really, everyone needs a vampy lipstick in their stash! But if you weren’t fast enough to get your hands on any of these babies when they first launched as a limited-edition collection, you would be thrilled to bits to know that this lovely set of classic nudes are now set to stay for good! The last time I checked, they were still available online, so go grab ’em!

What are your thoughts about this latest collaboration with MannyMUA? Let me know your thoughts below!

Thank you for reading! 🙂

MannyMUA X OFRA Cosmetics is available permanently at OFRACosmetics.com at US$19.90 per piece or US$49.70 for a bundle of all three shades. Alternatively, you may purchase through an international distributor in your country of residence.