MAC Lipstick Collection + Lip Swatches, Musings & Favourites

DSC_0396

DSC_0398 As were many first makeup loves, MAC (lipsticks) were my first form of lipstick love, back in grade eight- with a questionably pink shade and a few months later my beloved Creme d’Nude – so I thought it would be fitting to share my favourites, considering that I’ve been blogging well over a year. However, upon contemplating my favourites, I realized that I kind-of-sort-of adored all of my shades because over the years I’ve returned or back-to-mac‘ed all the ones that I did not love. And, I resolved this inner conflict by deciding to show and discuss all eight of my MAC Lipsticks but highlight my top five favourites in brackets. I’ll warn you that there are two limited edition shades in here and neither of them are available (from MAC, anyway) but don’t despair pleaseGet ready for some posing slash lip swatching awkwardness, dodgy lipstick application and terrifyingly rough lips. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…

P.S. MAC Lipsticks come with 3 grams a product and retail for $19 CDN/ $16 US

DSC_0349
the naked lips, pre-swatching and pre-rough

Recently Updated66

MAC Lipstick in Patisserie (Lustre) | “sheer creamy neutral pink” (1)

Recently Updated59MAC Patisserie came into my life during the late Fall of 2013 and hasn’t been neglected ever since, becoming my go-to purse lipstick as it’s foolproof to apply, doesn’t require a mirror and is essentially a glorified tinted balm with an extra dose of pigment. Being as moisturizing and dryness forgiving as it is, the formula is not the longest wearing, only lasting three or so hours but for me it’s worth it. It’s a mix between a nude and a my-lips-but-better colour, being slightly browner/darker and warmer than my lips but still staying in that nude-ish family; I don’t wholeheartedly agree with MAC’s description and I would be more likely to call it a pinky beige with warm brownish undertones. I have yet to find a makeup look that the shade doesn’t suit + its actually hydrating also! 🙂

MAC Lipstick in Creme d’Nude (Cremesheen) | “pale muted peach beige”

Recently Updated58Creme d’Nude is, to this day, my favourite true paler nude lipstick and we’ve had a love affair since I was in ninth grade (or maybe the summer before) and now I’m nearing the end of my third year of university… Cremesheen formulas are not always my favourite as I don’t find them overly creamy, moisturizing or flattering, – they tend to stick to any textured parts – this shade has the best formula out of all the shades in the range that I’ve tried. I’ve come to prefer this warm-toned beige-nude with strong peachy-orange undertones with lip-liner to avoid that concealer lips effect and add some shape, though and it is very pretty that way. It lasts for about four hours on its own and had medium colour payoff that makes it more wearable than other paler nudes – MAC Myth, anyone? – even though it swatches very light. I would not recommend this for anyone with extremely cool undertones – it might be questionable.

MAC Lipstick in Sweet & Sour (Cremesheen) | “soft peach cream” (5)

Recently Updated60Despite being of the difficult-to-wear pastel family and not being one of the better Cremesheens, I bloody love the muted peachy-coral shade but given that it’s a pastel and remains rather pale in colour, I might suggest a lip liner to make it look a bit more wearable and for your lips to look like they have actual edges. It lasts 4-5 hours, surprisingly with medium colour payoff and can actually remain on the lips through some light eating and drinking. This is one of my absolute favourite everyday lipsticks in the spring and summer, even though my lips don’t love the formula and it tends to highlight every bit of texture and dryness in the lips.

MAC Lipstick in Kinda Sexy (Matte) | “neutral pinky-rose” (2)

Recently Updated61In the summer, I was wandering around MAC, tried on this lipstick and I fell in love with the neutral rosy-peach shade with some brown to it. It’s up there with Patisserie as being my favourite lipstick and is in the neutral category as well, but with much more colour than a nude. I’m tempted to almost consider it a my-lips-but-better shade even though its quite deep to be considered in this category. The finish is matte but it’s not drying, wears a ridiculous amount of time and doesn’t look outwardly bad on my dry lips. It also doesn’t hurt that the rosy-hued neutral shade is just so flattering on my fair warm skin tone, blue eyes and dark hair.

MAC ‘A Fantasy of Flowers’ Lipstick in Dreaming Dahlia (Lustre) | “sheer red-coral” – limited edition

Recently Updated62I don’t agree with the description of the last spring’s limited edition lipstick because it’s surprisingly pigmented and not sheer in the slightest and I find it leans much more pink-coral than red but I wouldn’t be overly concerned as it’s limited edition and no longer available. It was from the MAC A Fantasy of Flowers Collection, which overall was an impressive collection in my opinion. I haven’t worn this lipstick as much as I should in the past because it’s not exactly a bold lipstick or a neutral one either but lately I’ve been giving the balmy comfortable formula more play. It lasts maybe four hours on the lips and has that hydrating consistency whilst providing even medium and slightly buildable opacity. If you’re looking for a shade like this that you could actually get your hands on without resorting to ebay or the like, I’ve found that the more affordable NYX Butter Gloss in Cherry Cheesecake to be impressively close, with a slight bit more orange to it and a balmy-gloss consistency.

MAC Lipstick in Dubonnet (Amplified Creme) | “deepened claret” (4)

Recently Updated63The Amplified formula does all that it promises, gliding over the lips with that hint of hydration, providing amazing pigmentation, being as comfortable as anything on the lips while lasting for 5-6 hours unless there’s been some oily-food eating or sliding before the colour has fully dried down on the lips. Dubonnet is my favourite and only MAC deep autumnal shade offering and I love its versatility, straddling the line between a more wearable berry or deep read and a true vampy shade. It’s one of those colours that believe MAC named aptly because it actually looks like the wine in colour, being a red-leaning berry hue with neutral brown undertones (in the best way possible). I have to say that the pictures do not do the shade justice because the glossiness does not show up favorable on camera, but this is fixed as soon as you let the lipstick set or do a bit of blotting. The shade is very similar to my other favourite NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Golshan and notably cheaper.

MAC ‘Hey, Sailor!’ Lipstick in Sail la Vie | “bright mid-tone orange” – limited edition

Recently Updated64As one might guess on account of the pretty nautical packaging, this neon orange shade with a little hint of red to it, was, in fact, limited edition and out almost three years ago before it sold out quickly. Believe it or not, I bought this shade to wear to my prom over the top of a reddish liner (to match my dress) and I’m some glad that I did. The satin formula wears for ages and ages and eventually stains the lip with more comfortable and easier application than a matte. It’s nice and pigmented, also and lasts on my lips for a good five hours. I’m sure that this is a dupeable shade but I can’t think of any options on the top of my head – and if you’re crazy and want to track this one down, I’ve seen it on Amazon for inflated but not absolutely ridiculous prices. I haven’t worn this as much since starting my blog, unfortunately – but I wore it loads before – just because I didn’t want to be wearing a shade that you couldn’t get your hands on in a post…

MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo (Retro Matte) | “very matte vivid blue-red” (3)

Recently Updated65The cult-favourite shade has possibly the most drying clay-based formula ever and is difficult to apply to the lips but it lasts so long on the lips and doesn’t move so it definitely has its merits; the formula is most certainly worth it because the flame-bright red with cooler undertones and a hint of pink is stunning and as universally flattering as its reputation assumes. The shade lasts a ridiculous amount of time on the lips and doesn’t transfer but when it does fade, it tends to leave that ring effect so I would recommend reapplication and it makes teeth look remarkably whiter without being jarring on my warmer skin tone. I’m tempted to say that this is my favourite red and I’m definitely one of those red kind of girls.

Do you have a favourite MAC Lipstick to share? What one should I try next?
Maggie, x.

August Favourites

DSC_0448

DSC_0451Ahh, I suppose the summer is now coming to an end and to be honest, I’m not particularly sad about it for two different reasons. First off, I’m beyond done with the hot summer weather and am ready for more than a little bit of cooling down and also, this summer wasn’t a great one for me and I’m ready for a change of scenery. I’m sure I’ll change my mind as soon as the stress sets in, though. This month brought a smaller selection of products than my usual but I’m definitely pleased with this bunch as a whole… This post does contain affiliate links too.

DSC_0450

The Bath & Body Works 3 Wick Candle in Beach Day ($10.50 on clearance – now) was my first foray into the world of Bath & Body Works scented candles and I’ve been obsessed with this light and unoffensive but potent scent. I smells like a relaxing beach day, reading on the beach and the gentle crash of waves with the light lemon and lime, saltwater and light citrusy musk scent. It’s a nice relaxing and low-key scent that lingers nicely. Plus, finding this one on sale was rather nice and it softened the blow of spending fifty dollars on candles.

Also, on the “non beauty” front, I’ve been obsessed with my Forever 21 Coffee Understands PJ Set ($15.80). This should not be a surprise because I’m one of those people who are obsessed with comfort and these fit the bill on that one and somehow seem more appropriate to be lounging around in at random hours of the day than mismatched tops and bottoms. The set is nice and lightweight which was key for the weather earlier in the month and I do adore the cheeky and true ‘nobody understands me like coffee does‘ lettering on the top and the printed shorts. I’m saying that I wore out the top portion in public but I may have been spotted leaving the house, wearing it with leggings…

Before venturing into the usual charted territory, I have two more mentionables of the more random variety. I’ve been really loving watching Suits this month and I may or may not have had a slight binge watching episode where I went through three seasons in less than 24 hours. Without paying attention, I grabbed the fifteen dollar special issue of People Style Watch and despite its purchase happening my accident, I adored the ad-free issue. I loved how it wasn’t based on actual pieces or selling of items but rather about styling outfits for everyday life. The price-tag on this one was rather hefty but it might actually have been worthwhile – it did help me with recognizing what kind of pieces I’m looking for and what is essential/extraneous.

DSC_0455

DSC_0167DSC_0270

By the second week of the month, I had pulled out the muted neon peach MAC Lipstick in Sweet And Sour ($19) and since, I have not put it down or gone many places without it. I will admit that it’s not gorgeous when my lips are looking a bit horrific but at a certain point, I couldn’t muster the effort to care and the gorgeous colour was worth it. It’s one of those shades that adds some colour to the face but isn’t out there in the slightest. In the latter half of the month, I had gotten lazy on the lip balm front and then managed to burn my lips — ow / ew — so I wasn’t reaching for the matte formulation as much, but I also enjoyed the flattering darker peachy-nude shade, known as the MAC Lipstick Kinda Sexy ($19). Despite being a matte formulation, this lipstick manages not to dry out my lips and isn’t completely unflattering on them either — unless they are both flaking and peeling…

Around the midpoint of the month, I picked up a few things at MAC, shortly after making an order to Sephora online and there are two products that were late to the party but I fell in love with so instantly that they were begging to be mentioned. It’s been almost every day that I’ve been reaching for the creamy and jet black MAC Kohl Power Eye Pencil in Feline ($19) and I’ve been adoring it. The pencil glides on as smoothly as any one has before with almost a liquid-like appearance and can be smudged nicely until it sets, when it becomes long-wearing. Its only faults are how difficult it is to remove without an oil based remover and that it transfers from lower to upper waterlines so easily. Because of the formula, this pencil can reach small spaces that other pencils cannot and I’ve been enjoying this.

DSC_0459

Since receiving the NARS Contour Blush in Paloma ($46) with my Sephora shipment, I don’t think I’ve put on any makeup without going for the contour portion of this duo. It doesn’t look that amazing in the pan — it’s really a rosy tan shade — but its formula is so amazing that it provides an ‘instant cheekbones’ kind of sculpted effect without much effort at all. I’m in love.

DSC_0461

I wore the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette ($67) consistently this month, as I had in July but this month I was much more consistently pleased with the result. To be honest, I don’t use the golden Radiant Light powder often at all, but the other two shades were consistently gracing my face. Dim Light is a nice finishing powder that adds a bit of glow while blurring things slightly and I’ve been enjoying this as I’ve discovered not to put this on the sides of my forehead – it tends to look weird and out of place there — and Incandescent Light is a lovely subtle highlighter that simply reads as a glow on the skin that I’ve also been using to set my under-eye section. I reviewed the palette in full here, if you’re interested.

What were your standout products this August?
Maggie, x.

May 2014 Favourites

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m not one to get all nostalgic and sentimental — in fact, the whole institution makes me feel slightly nauseous — but here I am anyways. One: where has this year gone? The fact that tomorrow marks the beginning of the sixth month of 2014 absolutely blows my mind. Two: today marks the one year anniversary of my little blog, as hard as that is to believe. It seems equally as shocking to me. But here I am, bringing you my little selection of essential products from May that I originally thought was going to be quite a small collection but somehow they piled up and I couldn’t be happier to share them with all of you amazing people. This month, the products seemed to take on more of an everyday staples kind of vibe and I can recommend them all, as you will be able to tell from the below ramblings. I feel that I should warn you that you’re in for a long one… 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

I can count on one hand (and not even using the thumb) the number of times this month that I haven’t used slightly amazing Dior 5 Colour Eyeshadow in 734 Grege ($61 CDN) and I can honestly say that I loved the results of this versatile palette each time, as shocking as that might be to hear from someone who easily feels a bit ‘meh’ from sticking to the same makeup routine for too long. I’m sure some of you are not surprised that I included this as it’s been consistently mentioned in my posts within the last month but the love I have for this has far exceeded what I can generally convey. I think that it’s easy to neglect these seemingly less economical and less exciting smaller palettes when larger palettes are consistently released but this quint is one of those smaller palettes that houses the essentials without forgoing interesting shades. As I’ve come to expect from Dior, the shades are the longest wearing on me with equally-as-fantastic pigmentation and zero fallout but this quint in particular features an excellent edited selection of varying finishes and depths – because of this versatility I deem this particular palette to be splurge-worthy. The matte chocolate brown is a great option to be used as liner as well as in the outer corner, the satiny warm caramel shade is ideal for blending through the crease on me, the shimmery ivory is great for lightening and brightening the inner portion of the lid, the sheeny grey shade is a nice one to apply more precisely through the crease to add smokiness and the pale taupe sheeny shade is a gorgeous-but-basic lid shade. Together these shades create a variety of different “looks” – I hate that word but anyways – and they’re also helpful to have to pair with other shadows.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After missing out on MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick ($19 CDN),the muted peachy coral when it was released last summer with MAC’s limited-edition ‘All About Orange’ collection so when it was recently made permanent, I made not and obviously could not resist picking it up for myself as soon as I finished my exams. It’s difficult for me to include lipstick in these favourites posts because it’s rare that I will be content to use a colour with this sort of frequency but I have been wearing this shade loads this month and by loads I wore it at least half of the time that I wore any sort of makeup. I don’t love the cremesheen formula of this one as it clings to any sort of texture problems on the lip area but it lasts and does not dry out the lips visibly so I can’t complain too much given the fun-but-everyday nature of the shade. This is not one if you want to make your teeth look whiter but you win some and you lose some…

When I wasn’t wearing the above lipstick, there was about a 90% chance that I was sporting the rose-hued Rimmel Kate Moss Lasting Finish Lipstick in 08 ($7-8 CDN) that with its brown undertones, gives that my-lips-but-better slightly deeper effect with a longwearing and hydrating formula to boot. I dedicated an entire post (here) to my newfound love of this lipstick that I rejected in the past for its overt brown hue. For me, the secret to pulling off this gorgeous everyday shade is to apply it with a lip brush for less intense colour payoff – and I wore it this way often.

I’m not ready to say that its superior to the ashy MAC Coquette eyeshadow for filling in my brows but I figured that I owed the L’Oreal Superliner Brow Artist in Blonde ($12 CDN) a mention considering that it’s a drugstore offering that actually does not look warm or red in my cool-toned brows and that it’s the easiest thing to use ever (only complaint is sharpening) and comes with both a wax to seal in the hairs and a handy little comb. All I have to say is that I really don’t think this shade would be ideal for blondes as I’m a medium brunette and this isn’t even particularly all that light. Did I mention that with this my brows stay put like a champ?

It appears that I’ve been enjoying L’Oreal products quite a bit this month which is kind of shocking as I hadn’t really noticed. Easily my most frequently worn blush was the L’Oreal True Match Blush in Innocent Flush ($13-16 CDN) a pigmented and finely milled peachy-coral with a golden sheen running throughout. It’s definitely not the most unique colour in the world, instead just another one of the many corals with golden sheen running throughout but these kinds of shades suit me and scream warm-weather-appropriate so I’m not one to complain about the lack of innovation.

The final L’Oreal product to grace this post is the Oleo-Therapy Oil Infused Conditioner ($9 CDN), I swear. I’ve been using this conditioner for a few months but this month was when I realized how great this product really was. On my dry curly hair this conditioner deeply nourished my strands, doing what it claimed, without any silicones (that I can see) and a high concentration of oils that remain lightweight. It’s rare that I find affordable conditioners to be as nourishing as this one and it also detangles nicely and smells luxurious to boot!

With the whole having curlier hair situation, the last thing I would expect to love would be a brush, considering that fingers are supposed to be adequate to detangle and all that but I have to say that I adore the Tangle-Teaser-copycat, namely the Goody Tangle Fix that I can’t recall the price of because I received it as a gift. I’m naughty and have been using it in the shower to detangle my hair prior to rinsing my conditioner out with this and I have to say its the most effective detangler that I’ve ever tried and I don’t even know anyone who experiences more tangles than me.

After embracing my paleness for years following my first foray into the gradual tanners, I’ve gotten to really appreciate the basic-but-noteworthy – to the point that I have completely ran out of my first tube of the Jergen’s Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer in Medium to Tan ($9 CDN) and have happily moved onto my second. I’m skeptical of the whole firming situation (and considering my age I can’t really comment to be honest) but this one is great because it’s intensely moisturizing and non-irritating as a moisturizer on my irritated eczema-laden skin, goes on evenly (with a few slight patches) without needing to exfoliate (my body cannot tolerate any sort of scrubbing action so self-tanner is generally out of the cards) and it doesn’t burn or irritate my skin despite its fragrance. I noticed that in the ingredients list, there’s no synthetic fragrance listed but rather caramel is included instead and I can assume that this is what gives it its authentic nice scent that my ulta-sensitive skin actually agrees with. The darker shade actually does suit my skin nicely, looking like an authentic tan on my warm-toned-but-not-golden skin with yellow undertones.

I haven’t been particularly obsessive about painting my nails this month but when I have made the effort, I’ve been consistently going for the pale cornflower Essie Bikini So-Teeny ($9 CDN) and haven’t regretted it once. It’s a gorgeous pastel hue and the formula lasts on my nails five days without major signs of wear so obviously it checks all the boxes. It’s not the most opaque formula (not shocking considering that it’s a pastel hue) but it doesn’t streak and goes opaque in two coats and therefore is impressive in my view.

I might just begin to have an actual emotional outburst if you recall my ramble on a few weeks back about rekindling my interest in style and I’m not one to display human qualities of the emotional kind. This interest has remained but a post hasn’t been in the works as of yet and style-wise, I’ve been obsessed with the comfortable and flattering, American Eagle High-Waisted Jeggings that I picked up towards the beginning of the month for mere third of the full retail price — $20 instead of $60 — in the pale grey shade. I’m a big fan of the store in general for the ease of shopping, the fit and general aesthetic of their clothes but I have to admit that this pair was something special – the regular length running a bit longer than usual so I didn’t have to order online to suit my strangely lanky legs, the slightly higher-waist sitting at the perfect height to flatter my not-so-tiny waist, the lightweight denim remaining comfortable even in the warmer weather.

This month, I’ve really fallen in love with Natalie’s blog, Thunderlove. I’ve mentioned her blog a few good times this month and when she commented on one of my posts where I linked her, I had a sort of fangirl moment – and I don’t have these easily. Both in videos and posts, she has an authentic and laid-back manner and also gives fantastic reviews, so obviously she’s golden.  At this point, she may fear that I’m stalking her but I promise that I’m not – I just kind found myself routinely scouring through her archives with no shame.

What have your standout products been this month?

Maggie, x.

 

The Acquisition: MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick

IMG_7051

IMG_7030

I’m actually free from all that exam-period loveliness and it feels strange indeed but I’m thrilled about it. In celebration, a beauty product or two was obviously in order and I went by the mall to pick up MAC Sweet & Sourand I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Sweet and Sour came out with the “All About Orange” collection last summer that I regrettably skipped on afterwards so I couldn’t have been more thrilled when MAC recently made it permanent with a good number of previously limited-edition lipsticks and glosses. And I picked it up when I spotted it. It retails for the standard MAC lipstick price — $19 CDN — and the muted orange-leaning coral lipstick has the ever-popular Cremesheen finish and while this finish as a whole isn’t my favourite as its not forgiving on the lips and can feel kind of grainy at times, this has to be one of the best Cremesheens I’ve ever tried. This lipstick lasts three to four hours on the lips, is not drying — but it can accentuate dry patches slightly — and feels light and creamy on the lips so it has my vote.

I seem to compare any peachy-toned lipstick in the light colour family to the popular MAC Shy Girl which I cannot wear much to my dissatisfaction but this one is honestly an amped-up version of the popular shade that sits much nicer on my warm-toned fair skin. This shade is a perfect spring-summer everyday one for me as it isn’t full out orange or anything but has that hint of summeriness to it. I would have to describe it as being halfway between a warm-toned nude and a true tangerine kind of shade and because of this its surprisingly wearable on an everyday basis. I love this and I’m actually happy that MAC has surprised me by making some glorious shades permanent – woo. I doubt I’ll even need to make an effort to keep you updated on my thoughts on this shade; I suspect it will turn into one of my instant obsessions. MAC Sweet & Sour Lipstick is glorious. That just about sums it up. Oh, and I’m slightly in love if I haven’t mentioned it before. And I don’t know what to do with myself.

Will you be picking up any of the now-permanent shades?

Maggie, x.