REVIEW: MAC Blue Nectar Lipsticks – Give In, Riot House, Sweet Venom, Ablaze, Intoxica & Barbeque

Hello everyone!

How was your Cinco de Mayo weekend for my readers who are residing in the states? Did it leave you a few hundreds of dollars poorer overnight? I feel ya, babes… 😱

Sorry for the delayed beauty update because I just couldn’t muster up enough energy to turn on my computer after more than 8 hours at work each day.. *yawns* But I promise to post more often when my long break comes in about three weeks’ time. I have a mountain’s worth of beauty products – accumulated over the past few weeks – to talk about and I am sure you wouldn’t want to miss any of them. So please be patient, fellow beautyholics! 😆 I guarantee it’s gonna be worth the wait..

Unfortunately, if you’re here expecting my first update in three weeks to be on a latest makeup collection, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed again (there is definitely one in the works, so come back again in a few days or look out for updates on my Instagram â˜ș). For now, it’s throwback to yet another old M.A.C collection.

Remember nearly a year ago, M.A.C welcomed the summer season with a new collection called Blue Nectar? Since it’s going to get warm again in most parts of the world, I thought it’s about time I thrust it into the limelight since you can technically still buy them online.

M.A.C Blue Nectar, June 2016

M.A.C Blue Nectar, June 2016

Launched last year (in May online and June in stores), Blue Nectar saw the release and repromote of 12 lipsticks (Courting Seduction / Lured In / Invite Intrigue / Intoxica / Lush Extract / Riot House / Give In / Sweet Venom / Heroine / Ablaze / Breathing Fire / Barbeque) and 6 Plushglass (Fulfilled / Ample Pink / In Abundance / Robust / Fashion Fanatic / Full for You) in idyllic hues of orange, red and purple, but this review will only be featuring 6 of the said lipstick shades. Interestingly, despite the name of the collection, there was not a single blue lipstick.

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipsticks

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipsticks

Overall swatches

Overall swatches

Some of these shades may ring a bell to those who have been keeping track of all the M.A.C launches because one-third of them are either repromotes or already in the permanent line. If you had passed on them the first time ’round due to the price hike, you will be delighted to know that they have made a comeback in a somewhat cheaper price tag, sans the fancy packaging.

Although they were relaunched as limited-edition shades again, all of them (including the new ones) are still available on the M.A.C website the last time I checked. So in case you are interested to purchase any of them, I have hyperlinked the names of the featured shades to their individual product pages for your convenience 😉

Without further ado, let’s get started on the reviews!

#1 Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Give In

Since Blue Nectar was launched during the summer season, it seemed only right to incorporate some pastels and soft neutrals to add a touch of playfulness to the collection. Among those hues was Give In, a creamy natural pink with Amplified Creme finish. It runs smoothly on the lips without skipping and leaves a buttery but streaky texture with a slight sheen to it. The colour payoff can be somewhat sheer at the first swipe but it is buildable to a decently opaque consistency. It does not settle into the lip wrinkles no matter how much product is applied.

However, it is not long-lasting as its emollient quality makes it move a lot, so much so that frequent reapplication would be necessary. This shade leans more towards the hydrating spectrum.

#2 Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Riot House

Colours in nature change with the season, and so does makeup. In preparation for the impending humid months, it’s about time we tweak our makeup routine and opt for hues that enable us to stay seasonally appropriate. As beauty enthusiasts, when we think summer, minimally made-up looks come to mind, and along with that are bright attention-grabbing lips colours such the warm reds and cheery pinks to show that you so did not compromise on your makeup game for the warm weather. For the gutsier ones who don’t mind experimenting with something more unusual, why not adopt the neon lip look this summer using near-fluorescent shades like Riot House?

Described as a light vivid orange with Matte finish, Riot House – a repromote shade from the Kelly Osbourne collection launched back in 2014 – punctuates the traditional lip hues of summer with a fun pop of sandy beach colour. When applied, it tugs a little on lips as it leaves a mostly opaque and – unfortunately – uneven consistency while settling into my lip creases. It is slightly buildable but adding more product would mean accentuating lip dryness even further because of its flat matte appearance. On top of that, deeper cracks start forming around the lip lines with every little movement of my mouth. Even so, this shade feels neither drying nor hydrating on the lips.

Swatch comparison for Give In and Riot House

Swatch comparison for Give In and Riot House

#3 Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Sweet Venom

If you’re not ready to trade your reds or pinks for neon hues just yet, no pressure – you can absolutely still look chic in hues you’re comfortable wearing on your lips. In fact, Blue Nectar explores an assortment of reds and pinks that you probably don’t have in your stash. So, if you’ve been using the same ol’ red or pink lipstick for the past couple of summers and have decided it is time for a change, look no further, for I have picked out four uncommon variations of the quintessential lipstick hue from this collection, beginning with the lightest one – Sweet Venom.

Described as an intense pink coral with Matte finish, it is a more of a full baby pink with cool undertones which complements light to medium skin tones best. Sweet Venom applies like a Satin without little to no tug at the lips and although it is supposedly a Matte lipstick, it actually has more slip than the first two nudes featured here. It has an opaque coverage with smooth consistency at the first swipe. The texture feels a little powdery but not obvious to the eye. It can stay on for hours but only if it does not come in contact with oily food. This shade is neither drying nor hydrating.

#4 Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Ablaze

Set your lips on fire with a ravishing red this summer! Described as a bright apricot cream with Matte finish, Ablaze adds a twist to traditional red with its bright reddish-orange hue and warm undertones and hence making it perfect for those who do not want to stray too far from safe colours.

This shade – which was first released as part of the Fashion Sets collection in 2013 – has great slip as it runs effortlessly on the lips to lend a smooth Satin-like finish. It provides a rich colour payoff and a buildable opaque consistency that allows for a full, uniform coverage while imparting a soft sheen. It clings comfortably to the lips with its emollient and lightweight texture but does feel a bit tacky at the same time. Similarly, this shade is neither drying nor hydrating.

#5 Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Intoxica

Described as a bright raspberry red with Matte finish, Intoxica appears as a vivid pink-red with blue undertones. It goes on creamy with some tug but no drag, coating the lips with an intense colour payoff with just a single swipe. Each application delivers an opaque coverage coupled with a smooth and seamless finish like a true Matte (minus the dryness and chalkiness), resulting in a fuller lip look.

In addition, it also has a subtle sheen to it so that it does not look completely flat on your lips or make them seem brittle and dehydrated. This shade is long-wearing but it feels heavy and can be a little drying on the lips, so make sure you use a lip balm before applying the lipstick.

Swatch comparison for Sweet Venom and Intoxica

Swatch comparison for Sweet Venom and Intoxica

#6 Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque (US$17)

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

M.A.C Blue Nectar lipstick in Barbeque

What’s summer without barbecue? Guess what – now there’s a lipstick to go along with the ambience of outdoor dining and the warmth of a real fire as M.A.C had relaunched a hue that would instantly remind you of your favourite summer tradition (and was even named after it). Described as a vivid orange red with Matte finish, Barbeque very much resembles the glowing embers of barbecue fire due to its punchy deep tangerine colour and warm undertones. This was first released as part of the Isabal and Ruben Toledo collection in 2015.

It has a similar creamy texture to Intoxica but perhaps due to its heavier, drier and thicker consistency, it also tugs slightly at the lips. The product spreads evenly across the lip upon application but somehow settles into lip lines after a few minutes. There’s absolutely no doubt about the colour payoff as you can see – it is so incredibly pigmented and opaque that you’d only need to run the lipstick over your lips ONCE to get full coverage. This is another classic example of why M.A.C remains ahead of the pack in producing lipsticks with the ultimate wear and colour.

Swatch comparison for Ablaze and Barbeque

Swatch comparison for Ablaze and Barbeque

On the whole, this collection is the bomb, which is also mainly why I persisted in doing a review on it in spite that it was launched nearly a year ago. Not only are the lipsticks super pigmented and creamy, the colours are also mostly workplace-appropriate. These colours are timeless as well, and can be recycled for the spring and fall seasons (if you know how to adjust the intensity). If you haven’t gotten anything from this collection yet, you should! 😉 I would say this is one of the better collections from M.A.C so trust me, you won’t regret your decision.

What are your thoughts? Share them with me in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C Blue Nectar was launched as a limited edition collection in June and August 2016 online and in local outlets respectively. However, all of the shades at present are still available for purchase individually on MACCosmetics.com. found something you like in this collection? Get it while you still can!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!

Advertisements

REVIEW: MAC Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 2) – Yellow You Dare?, Mud Wrestler, Gritty Girl, Cold Hard Cash, Secret # & Digging It

Hello everyone!

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 2)

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 2)

A few days ago, I wrote about the blues and greens from the recent Colour Rocker collection by M.A.C. To facilitate the ease of reading, I have split my review of this massive haul (my biggest to date from a single M.A.C collection) into two (going three) digestible parts. This second installment picks up where I left off and will cover the warms and browns.

Overview

Overview

Read the first part of the m.a.c colour rocker collection review here.

#7 Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare? (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare? (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Yellow You Dare?

Thanks to research and development, even the most unimaginable bright hues have evolved into commonplace liquid lipstick shades with decent coverage in recent years. But it wouldn’t be possible to make bright regular lipsticks a decent ago because fluorescent matte pigments are notoriously hard to formulate. Therefore, it was completely understandable that bright lip colours by M.A.C had always been in crappy, less-than-satisfactory finishes.

This year, M.A.C pushes the boundaries of cosmetic formulation with not one, but several fluoroscent matte lipsticks including a yellow and lime green. While awaiting the latter to reach me from the States, let’s discuss about Yellow You Dare?. A first matte yellow by the beauty giant, this limited-edition warmed yellow skips on the lips a fair bit at the very first swipe but builds to a decently-opaque coat of colour with multiple applications to conceal most of the gaps (and bleeding into the lip lines in the process). Its drying and chalky consistency, however, accentuates every wrinkle on the lips and I also dislike the fact that it does not fade evenly, leaving a patchy pout at the end of the day. Nonetheless, taking into consideration the difficulties in perfecting one, I would say this is a pretty darn good effort 😄

M.A.C Yellow You Dare? swatch comparison (against Jeffree Star's Queen Bee as well)

M.A.C Yellow You Dare? swatch comparison (against Jeffree Star’s Queen Bee as well)

Before you write this collection off as one dedicated only to the adventurous and experimental, take a look at the muddy hues! With more than six tones of brown lip colours to choose from, there is no denying that M.A.C is trying to reinforce the notion that the ’90’s-esque brown lip trend is here to stay. Why wouldn’t it, anyway? Brown is such a universally flattering neutral that anyone would be able to pull it off, so long as you find the right one for your skin tone! Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t look good with earthy lips!

To get you started on the path to brown lip perfection, here are five (new) brown lip hues from this collection, starting with the lightest:

#8 Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mud Wrestler

Let’s get dirrrty with Mud Wrestler, described as a creamy neutral beige with Matte finish. Classified as a warm hue, this limited-edition pale brown has a satin-like finish and goes on mostly opaque with a good slip and glide although it takes me a couple of passes before the colour finally becomes noticeable against my medium skin tone. It leaves a tacky and streaky consistency as well as a drying, crayon-like texture. On top of that, it does virtually nothing to reduce the appearance of my lip wrinkles. The true potential of this shade would probably be realised on light skin tones 😉

M.A.C Mud Wrestler swatch comparison

M.A.C Mud Wrestler swatch comparison

#9 Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Gritty Girl

Not too far off from Mud Wrestler on the colour scale is Gritty Girl, described as a light cool brown with Matte finish. In reality, this limited-edition shade is muted, slightly grey-tinged and goes on smooth and somewhat sheer (as my natural lip colour can still be seen) with a small degree of buildability which gives its lightweight and hydrating texture. It offers a fairly uniform spread of colour after several swipes, topped with a balmy finish and a soft sheen. All’s good except that it fares poorly in the longevity department as it fades away entirely upon taking light snacks.

M.A.C Gritty Girl swatch comparison

M.A.C Gritty Girl swatch comparison

#10 Cold Hard Cash 

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Cold Hard Cash

If going by the rule of thumb when it comes to selecting the right shade of lipstick that we should pick a tone one or two shade darker than your natural lip colour, then perhaps Cold Hard Cash fits the bill for me. Described as a creamy neutral brown with Matte finish, the yellow undertones in this limited-edition shade complements my warm skin tone naturally without making exaggerated effort. Besides, there is a good amount of slip to ensure a smooth application. It lends an opaque colour payoff but has a slightly gritty and tacky consistency. This shade is neither drying nor hydrating.

M.A.C Cold Hard Cash swatch comparison

M.A.C Cold Hard Cash swatch comparison – Styled in Sepia is 99% similar!

#11 Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret # (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret # (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Secret #

If you’re already bored of safe neutrals, perhaps Secret # might just be what you need to amp up your lip game. Another limited-edition shade from this collection, it is described as a dark greyed brown with Matte finish and is ideal for seasoned veterans of the vampy lip look as well as those who are ready to take the plunge and go for something darker (that’s the spirit!). It applies creamy and effortlessly on the lips, leaving an opaque cool ash brown with excellent colour payoff. The grey tint catches light so it doesn’t look like a regular dark brown lipstick (it kinda looks metallic, minus the strong shimmer effect) but at the same time, it also somewhat emphasises the lip lines. It feels hydrating yet mildly tacky on the lips as it is, so some blotting would definitely help in removing some sticky residue (and make it more long-lasting).

#12 Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Digging It

Complete your grunge look while going a notch deeper with Digging It, described as a rich warm brown with Matte finish. Not for the faint-hearted, this limited-edition deep rustic brown lends a touch of allure and mystery to your bold makeup as it fills the surface of the lips smoothly with a thick and creamy coat of lipstick. Moreover, with its insanely-pigmented and opaque consistency, topped with a subtle sheen to enhance your sultry moue, it is guaranteed to make an impression. It is as dark as it can be on the second swipe not so this shade is not very buildable. Like most of the shades in this collection, it is tacky but feels hydrating on the lips. Well, at least it doesn’t dry the heck out of my lips like most traditional M.A.C matte lipsticks do!

M.A.C Secret # and Digging It swatch comparison - Stone is lighter and warmer as compared to Secret # while Antique Velvet is slightly darker and more pigmented with more red undertones than Digging It

M.A.C Secret # and Digging It swatch comparison – Stone is lighter and warmer as compared to Secret # while Antique Velvet is slightly darker and more pigmented with more red undertones than Digging It

And there you have it, my lengthiest review on a single collection with two more shades en route to Singapore! Keep your eyes peeled on this page for the next part 😊

Thanks for reading!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now available online and at local M.A.C outlets.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!

REVIEW: MAC Colour Rocker Lipsticks (PART 1) – Instant Icon, Jean Genie, Blue Bang!, Show And Teal, Deep With Envy & Mean Green Machine

Hello everyone!

It has become almost like an annual routine for M.A.C to launch a series of new matte lipstick shades, so this year is no exception! Launched in January in the U.S., the Colour Rocker collection saw the release of 28 lipsticks (categorised into browns, pinks/purples/greys, warms and blues/greens) in a spectrum of bright neon-esque hues and dark accents.

These lipsticks – some new, some repromotes – boast in their true-to-bullet-color payoff and come in the most avant-garde shades you can ever find in the market. What’s more, they are ALL mattes! YAY!

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017

M.A.C Colour Rocker 2017 (PART 1)

Still looking for more reasons to make the leap to the bold side? Think awkward social functions and high school reunions. What better way to break the ice and start a conversation with an unconventional lip colour? 😆

And here’s what I got…

Overhead shot of the lipsticks

Overhead shot of the lipsticks

Overview

Overview

TWELVE shades.. and soon to be thirteen (because another shade from this collection caught my eye and it’s now on its way to me 😅). Is there anyone more of a lipstick devotee than me?! This is, no doubt, my biggest M.A.C haul to date! I already tried narrowing down my choices. Still, I couldn’t help it – there were just too many shades I was lusting after!

I know it’s my usual practice to compile my review of every shade I bought from the same collection in one post, but this is just too massive and it would possibly take me days to complete it. Hence, for your convenience and mine, I will split my review into two parts. The first shall feature only the blues and greens. If you’re interested to know how the others perform, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the next part!

#1 Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Instant Icon

Blue is probably the most unlikely colour for a lipstick as it is a complete opposite of our natural lip colour. But since celebrities like BeyoncĂ©, Rihanna and Olivia Palermo had been spotted rockin’ that hue on the red carpet, it has been normalised (sort of) and made popular. Therefore, it was only a matter of time before M.A.C introduced its own line of lipsticks in different shades of blue to catch up with the bold lip trend (albeit a rather passĂ© one by now because it has been going on since 2014?). If you’ve never considered this unusual lip colour before, it isn’t too late to try one now 😉

Starting with the lightest blue in this collection, there is Instant Icon, a bright baby blue with Matte finish. Ardent fans of M.A.C may feel a sense of dĂ©jĂ  vu because the brand actually added an almost identical shade going by the name of Dreampot (with the same finish, no less) to the permanent range last year as part of the Bangin’ Brilliant collection which I passed on. This limited-edition pale blue provides good slip for a Matte lipstick, but has a drying and crayon-like consistency which accentuates lip wrinkles. It goes on fairly opaque at the first swipe, but builds up to your preferred intensity easily with subsequent applications. It does not have the staying power of the traditional matte as it starts to wear off when I incidentally purse my lips. It also leaves an uneven stain on the lips after fading.

#2 Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Jean Genie

Up next on the colour wheel is Jean Genie, a limited-edition sky blue with Matte finish and probably M.A.C’s (late) answer to Serenity, one of the two pantone colours of 2016. This denim-inspired periwinkle blue does not drag or tug at the lips much but has a rather patchy and satin-like consistency which takes away the matte texture. Highly pigmented, it gives considerable coverage on the first coat but builds to an entirely opaque colour with more passes. Lip cracks are, however, still obvious as the product tends to settle into the lines. Although it feels drying, I would say this offers a longer wear as compared to Instant Icon.

So many choices, too little money! If you can’t decide on which blue lipstick to get, I recommend Jean Genie because it is just so gorgeous 😍 But I personally think it is more compatible with light to medium skin tones..

#3 Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang! (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang! (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Blue Bang!

Electrify your lips with Blue Bang!, described as a limited-edition bright cerulean blue with Matte finish. A guaranteed head-turner, this striking blue provides a high colour pay-off and an opaque coverage in just a single stroke, but not without first applying with some drag. Buildable to a solid blue that conceals most lip lines, it has a thick consistency which feels a tad heavy and drying on the lips. But it does not appear as such because of the delicate sheen it imparts to the lips. This lipstick removes easily but does not fade uniformly as it will leave visible traces of the lipstick.

Swatch comparison among all the blues. Proof that I don't own any blue lippy at all.. (Trashy Cloud Gait doesn't count)

Swatch comparison among all the blues. Proof that I don’t own any blue lippy at all.. (Trashy Cloud Gait doesn’t count)

#4 Show And Teal 

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

SAM.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Show And Teal

Moving on to the greens… WHOOT! The most underrated lipstick hue is finally here! Believe me or not, I had waited all my life for a warm teal lipstick like Show And Teal to take form because the existing ones in the market either lean more towards aqua or turquoise, never in between. Hence, I was really psyched to lay my hands on this!

Described as a bright green blue teal with Matte finish, Show And Teal has relatively good slip but bleeds into lip lines. Not only does it pack a punch of pigment to bring forth that excellent colour payoff, it has a thick and opaque coverage that lasts for hours and a subtle sheen to boot to give that semi-matte (almost satin-like) finish. The consistency, however, isn’t as uniform as I had hoped and it does feel slightly drying on my lips. This lipstick fades to a stain after a heavy meal.

I’m baffled it is still not sold out online 🙁 Doesn’t anybody feel the same way I do about teal lipsticks? *cries at one corner*

#5 Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Deep With Envy

Blue lipsticks may have enjoyed a period of popularity but it could well be out of fashion soon now that their green counterparts are creeping in to claim their spot. On a side note, remember when green lipsticks first emerged, they turned out to be pink on the lips? Damn those colour-changing lipsticks… 😒 I couldn’t help but feel a pang of betrayal because I really wanted a green lipstick to complete my collection. But I need not have to yearn for it anymore as green lipsticks are going to be e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!

It all kinda started from Dolce & Gabanna (which Rihanna bravely wore to an awards night and got everyone gasping with awe), then Melt Cosmetics came up with their own version. Slowly but surely, more beauty brands followed suit. As a matter of fact, M.A.C had a couple of green lipsticks prior to this but they were all trashy and the payoff was nowhere near green at all (e.g. Summer Shower, Blue Eve – Google them and you’ll know what I mean). I’m glad M.A.C ultimately got their sh*t together and made green lipsticks that truly apply as green this time ’round!

One of them is Deep With Envy, accurately described as a (deep) forest green. This limited-edition piece, though, is nothing like a Matte lipstick because it goes on ever-so smoothly and buttery that all it takes is a single swipe to get an opaque colour payoff. It has a thick, creamy and almost-silky consistency with an alluring sheen to take the attention away from the patchy areas. Topping it all off, it has the right amount of moisture to keep the lips from feeling parched. No wonder Deep With Envy is the first (and only one thus far) to sell out online!

#6 Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine (US$17 / S$33)

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

M.A.C Colour Rocker lipstick in Mean Green Machine

Rounding off the greens division (for now) is Mean Green Machine, ambiguously described as a green (that’s it? 😒 how lazy can one get..) with Matte finish when in actual fact, the green pigment is hardly noticeable, even under strong lighting. It is so dark, I would say it is just a tone or two away from black.

Nevertheless, if the accuracy of the colour description doesn’t bother you, it is a pretty decent lipstick to have. It applies effortlessly with zero tugging to deliver a microshimmer-infused, semi-opaque but rather patchy texture. Buildable to full coverage, it does not settle into lip lines but does feel a bit tacky and drying at the end.

Swatch comparison among all the greens! I had absolutely no green at all! And strangely what I thought was black (Hautecore & Black Night) now look purplish to me against Mean Green Machine

Swatch comparison among all the greens! I had absolutely no green at all! And strangely what I thought was black (Hautecore & Black Night) now look purplish to me against Mean Green Machine

What are your thoughts on the blues and greens in this collection? Are they worth splurging your moolah on, or not? Let me know in the comments below! 😙

And do stay tuned for part two!

M.A.C Colour Rocker is now available online and at local M.A.C outlets.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for bite-sized beauty updates!

REVIEW: MAC Fashion Pack Lipsticks – Aim For Gorgeous, Stylist’s Tip & By Special Order

Hey beauties!

Paris Fashion Week is just around the corner and as we get excited for the coming season, let’s all take a moment to appreciate the backstage work, or more precisely, the makeup that has played a huge role in bringing out the beauty of runway pieces. When it comes to runway makeup looks, no other brand gets as much recognition as M.A.C.

M.A.C, having started off as brand exclusively for makeup artists before going down the mainstream path, is no stranger to the fashion industry. It employs hundreds of makeup artists every season to create beauty looks for fashion shows (I mean, it’s very evident from their Instagram page, isn’t it?) and is even touted as a favourite of many renowned celebrities among the plethora of luxury makeup brands in the market. For those who are wondering what beauty products were used at the fashion shows, this collection could very well be the answer!

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

M.A.C Fashion Pack for Summer 2016

Introducing Fashion Pack, a collection dedicated to trendsetters which fuses fashion into beauty. Inspired by high fashion catwalk models, it features bold jewel tones and fashion-forward hues you’d likely see on runway models or front-row fashion show attendees.

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

M.A.C Fashion Pack collection lipsticks

Fashion Pack is a relatively small collection with two choices of eye shadow palette (Runway Worthy / She’s A Model), three shades of Fluidline Pen (Privet / Indelibly Blue / Retro Black), two vibrant Studio Nail Lacquer colours and four limited-edition runway-worthy lipstick hues, out of which only three made it to my shopping cart.

But despite being dubbed the ‘collection for fashion mavens’, the first impression of the products exudes none of the sort. Sold in the oh-so boring regular M.A.C black packaging, it’s quite hard to associate the lipsticks to the glitz and glam of fashion shows and red carpet events. Such disappointment, really.

#1 Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Aim For Gorgeous

For some, a love for fashion starts young. Indeed, we develop our sense of style though dressing our dolls up in stunning outfits we picked out at toy shops when we were little. So perhaps it’s only right this collection recaptures a little of our childhood enthusiasm for fashion with Aim For Gorgeous, a bright fuchsia with Matte finish which seems very much inspired by the signature hot pink lipstick Barbie wears (although this isn’t the case).

But it is far from being as emollient as the pink on Barbie’s pouting lips. This tugs at the lips and emphasises dryness as the product make itself at home in the lip lines, hence making parched lips look wrinklier than ever. The matte texture leaves a drying effect too. That being said, it does last longer on my lips than the newer and more hydrating matte formula by M.A.C.

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Aim for Gorgeous lipstick swatch comparison

#2 Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist's Tip

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in Stylist’s Tip

If you have been avoiding bold lipstick colours all your life, it’s time to throw that sense of apprehension right out the window because purple is the new black! Did you see Taraji P. Henson rocking the hue at the American Music Awards last November? Channel your inner femme fatale just like her with Stylist’s Tip, a  deep violet in Amplified finish!

While what you see here may not be the exact shade she sported on the red carpet, it’s a less intimidating purple for first-timers due to its warm/pink undertones. This universally flattering lipstick (especially on dark skin) goes on creamy, mostly opaque and renders an OK consistency. Although hydrating (look at that sheen!), the texture feels slippery and tacky which instantly turns my lips into a hair magnet (so annoying). This also does not impress me with its lower-than-expected staying power as it wears away from eating (to be fair, it probably would leave a slight stain if I had eaten like a lady but damn I was hungry). Avoid this lipstick if you have no dining etiquette like me.

M.A.C Stylist's Tip lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C Stylist’s Tip lipstick swatch comparison

#3 By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order (US$17 / S$31)

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

M.A.C Fashion Pack lipstick in By Special Order

Regardless of fashion trends, one can always expect to see red lipstick as a beauty staple. After all, red is arguably the first ever pigment (obtained from berries, plants, clay and yes, crushed insects, plus many more) applied to the lips way back in 3,000 BC. Several centuries later, the red lip clearly hasn’t lost any steam and is still going strong. Even though M.A.C has already made countless of red lipsticks, I agree it would be a beauty sin to pass on a lipstick hue that is largely popularised by fashion icons with the likes of Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I and Marilyn Monroe, especially in this fashion-inspired collection.

Described as a deep reddened fuchsia with an Amplified finish, By Special Order is, in reality, a bright red with cool undertones. As it glides smoothly like butter on the lips, it lends a very hydrating texture and even has a natural sheen to it to draw the attention away from lip wrinkles. The wash of pigmented colour from the lipstick, as well as the added pop of glossiness to the lips, enhances the overall look without being over-dramatic. On casual days, I dab this lipstick with a piece of facial tissue so that it fades to a tint. It would also help to remove some of its tackiness.

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

M.A.C By Special Order lipstick swatch comparison

All in all, the lipstick shades in this collection, although nothing unusual, are very wearable for any look and occasion because they are not too bold (great for the faint of heart) and yet are such head-turners. The finish is generally hydrating and ideal for dry, chapped lips. I don’t see any reason not to get them if you haven’t already owned anything similar.

How do you find these lipsticks? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading 😘

M.A.C Fashion Pack was a limited edition collection launched in June 2016. most of the products are still available on MACCosmetics.com.

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: 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.