Nightmoth is a beautiful darkened muted purple. It has got to be one of MAC's if not, darkest lip liners. I am a big fan of dark lips (I often use OCC's Lip Tar in Tarred -- which is straight up black). I pair Nightmoth with Tarred to make sure there is no feathering around my lip line. I also use Nightmoth to darken other lip colors, such as darkening the outer corners of my lip when using a red lipstick or a purple toned lipstick. It contours and gives my lips more depth when I am on stage. To simply put it -- I find this lip liner to suit most colors for me (except light colors of course). Nightmoth can also be used as a tool to give other lip colors dimension. The color payoff is pigmented, the texture is just right -- not too creamy where it'll slide off your lips, but not too dry where it tugs your lips. I highly suggest that if you enjoy wearing dark colors such as myself to pick up Nightmoth.
I bought Sweet Heat (and a back-up) to use as a highlighter more than an eyeshadow as I missed out on the Superb highlighter from the MAC In Extra Dimension collection. Now onto the eyeshadow, it is a light peach/champagne color. The eyeshadow is very shimmery. The shimmer is not glittery, but more of a sheen and provides high shine which can definitely be layered for more intensity. The texture is smooth and unique in a sense that it feels like a mix of powder and cream. However, it is not too creamy where it felt like cream on my cheekbones (I am not a fan of cream blushes since it disturbs the powder already on my face). I apply this product with a small stippling brush similar to MAC 188. As I mentioned, I bought this eyeshadow as a highlighter and haven't used it as an eyeshadow. In comparing it with Superb (from when I tested the sample on the MAC counter), the texture of the two are very similar. Sweet Heat is a great dupe for Superb. The *ONLY* differences I noticed between the two is that Sweet Heat is a smidge warmer and is more pigmented. I would definitely re-purchase should MAC choose to release this type of formulation again.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skinfinish Natural - Medium Dark
XP0S3D 7/11/2012 7:15:00 PM
This powder is a good powder for those looking for a light to medium coverage (I've read from Karla Sugar that it can provide more coverage if used wet -- although I have not tried it myself). The finish of this powder leaves a satin/semi-matte finish on my skin. I have oily skin and I notice the product "melts" into my skin right away and does not oxidize during the day. It doesn't look powdery and cakey, but I would have to blot with a tissue and re-apply later on (which is no problem -- I have come to terms I will get oil no matter what). Anyway, I use this powder to set my L'Oreal BB cream and MAC Studio Finish and Pro Longwear concealers. It does a fabulous job at holding these products in place. What I enjoy about this powder is the finish it leaves. You can definitely layer it for more coverage, but it never looks flat or dry. In the pan, the powder itself isn't matte. It has particles in it that has a very LIGHT sheen. My two gripes with this powder is that I have to mix two colors to fit my NC30-35/C4, yellow asian skin tone and its price. Medium Plus is slightly light and neutral/pink for me while Medium Dark is too dark is golden/yellow, but slightly too dark for my coloring at the moment. Therefore, I would use MAC 187 or MAC 109 brush and dip the brush in both powders to get a proper color. I wish the price is lower too compared to other MAC powders (such as Studio Careblend or Select Sheer) for the same, if not, more product. I have learned to not rub the brush over and over to pick up more powder, but to dip and layer on for more coverage. I will continue to buy this as I enjoy the finish it provides. EDIT (as of 07/27/12): I returned this along with Medium Plus. The color even when the two are mixed together still left a pink cast on my face. Having to pay almost $60 dollars and having to use two powders and still not get a proper color match was not worth it. I also lowered the overall rating to a 3 (used to be 4) and price to a 3 (used to be 4). The color seems to suit more cool toned and neutral skin tones as these powders have a red-dish tint to them. A MAC SA mention to me when I returned the powders that these powders tend to lean a little more pink/red than yellow/golden. For reference, I started using NYX's Stay Matte, but Not Flat powder foundation. The coverage is similar to MSFN and so is the finish and texture. I am using Medium Beige and the color suits me better.
Pressed Powders -MAC - Mineralize Skin Finish Natural - Medium Plus
XP0S3D 7/11/2012 7:09:00 PM
This powder is a good powder for those looking for a light to medium coverage (I've read from Karla Sugar that it can provide more coverage if used wet -- although I have not tried it myself). The finish of this powder leaves a satin/semi-matte finish on my skin. I have oily skin and I notice the product "melts" into my skin right away and does not oxidize during the day. It doesn't look powdery and cakey, but I would have to blot with a tissue and re-apply later on (which is no problem -- I have come to terms I will get oil no matter what). Anyway, I use this powder to set my L'Oreal BB cream and MAC Studio Finish and Pro Longwear concealers. It does a fabulous job at holding these products in place. What I enjoy about this powder is the finish it leaves. You can definitely layer it for more coverage, but it never looks flat or dry. In the pan, the powder itself isn't matte. It has particles in it that has a very LIGHT sheen. My two gripes with this powder is that I have to mix two colors to fit my NC30-35/C4, yellow asian skin tone and its price. Medium Plus is slightly light and neutral/pink for me while Medium Dark is too dark is golden/yellow, but slightly too dark for my coloring at the moment. Therefore, I would use MAC 187 or MAC 109 brush and dip the brush in both powders to get a proper color. I wish the price is lower too compared to other MAC powders (such as Studio Careblend or Select Sheer) for the same, if not, more product. I have learned to not rub the brush over and over to pick up more powder, but to dip and layer on for more coverage. I will continue to buy this as I enjoy the finish it provides. EDIT (as of 07/27/12): I returned this along with Medium Dark. The color even when the two are mixed together still left a pink cast on my face. Having to pay almost $60 dollars and having to use two powders and still not get a proper color match was not worth it. I also lowered the overall rating to a 3 (used to be 4) and price to a 3 (used to be 4). The color seems to suit more cool toned and neutral skin tones as these powders have a red-dish tint to them. A MAC SA mention to me when I returned the powders that these powders tend to lean a little more pink/red than yellow/golden. For reference, I started using NYX's Stay Matte, but Not Flat powder foundation. The coverage is similar to MSFN and so is the finish and texture. I am using Medium Beige and the color suits me better.
I have tried this concealer on and off long enough where I can finally give my two cents on how I feel about this product. I primarily bought this concealer to use for my undereye area. To provide an overview, my skin tone i golden yellow, medium, about NC 30-35/C4 in MAC's coloring. My undereye area has darkness which looks a combination of brown/pink shadows. Initially, I chose NW 25 as the pink tones will neutralize and warm up my undereye area. When I tried on NW 25, I noticed that I could still see my undereye circles and had this *SLIGHT* grey-ish tint. I exchanged NW 25 for NW 20 and I am much more happier with the results. For some reason, the coloring of this concealer isn't the same as other MAC's concealers such as Studio Finish concealer (I use NW 30 for the rest of my face for blemishes), so you will definitely want to go one or two shades lighter than your normal color. Nonetheless, Pro Longwear concealer covers my undereye circles and brightens my undereye area as well (think of Kim Kardashian's undereye highlight -- though not as extreme). However, if I layer more of this concealer, a brighter and more extreme highlight can be achieved. I apply this concealer with my fingers by dotting it on first and patting the concealer with my ring finger. I find this applies the product best as it warms up the product. It blends effortlessly as all I do is tap, tap and tap! I do not need a lot of this product either as half a pump can cover both of my undereye. This concealer can be layered without looking cakey, but I highly suggest dusting powder over it to hold the concealer in place. Currently, I am setting my undereye area with MAC MSFN in Medium Plus with a MAC 188 brush by stippling the powder lightly. The end result is natural and I notice it doesn't budge or cake up (mind you my skin is rather oily even after working a 14 hour work day). The only con I would give this product would be the pump. One whole pump dispenses too much product. Therefore, to remedy this issue is I asked for a sample jar from MAC and pump the concealer in there. I found this more efficient for everyday use and I just refill the sample jar when needed. For those wondering, here are the steps I follow: - MAC Mineralize Charged Water Moisture eye cream - MAC Pro Longwear concealer in NW20 - MAC Mineralized Skinfinish Natural in Medium Plus
Blanc Type may seem just another highlight eyeshadow in the pan, but this stands out out of all the ones I have tried. I typically prefer a matte highlight on the brow bone especially if the look consists of a shimmer elsewhere. This color suits my skintone very well (NC35/C4), however, I think this is a pretty universal color. I would describe the color as a light creamy beige. It's not too yellow or too pink and the color is definitely NOT white (compared to MAC's Gesso). Gesso is your basic matte white eyeshadow and the finish and texture of it is nowehere close to Blanc Type. Blanc Type's texture is very creamy and like I've mentioned, the finish is matte (the formulation is Matte2 [pronounced "matte squared"]). This eyeshadow is quite pigmented, but you can definitely control how sheer or opaque it can be. For example, you can use it as a light wash of color all over the lid with a slight contour (think of Bettie Page, pin-up look) or to the extreme like a severe, opaque drag queen highlight. Whenever I do drag, I use Blanc Type as my highlight. When my eyebrows are covered by glue stick and foundation and set with a translucent powder, I use Blanc Type on top and it conceals my real eyebrows and looks smooth and flawless. Overall, I am very happy with this eyeshadow -- it's a definite staple in my kit!
Crème -Unlisted Brand - Mehron Celebre HD Pro Cream Makeup
XP0S3D 2/26/2011 4:24:00 PM
For quick reference, my skin type is oily and is sensitive to breakouts. This cream foundation blows ALL the foundations I've tried in the past (liquid, mineral, powder - both low-end and high-end prices) out of the water! I use to stray away from cream foundations due to my oily skin (I dislike the feeling or cakiness), but I thought I would give this foundation a try after seeing several YouTube gurus giving it a thumbs up. This foundation comes in a black plastic container with a clear screw top. When I first swiped it with my finger, I noticed instantly that its consistency was creamy and it blended effortlessly. For face application, I use MAC's 187 brush which is a good if you want a buffed/airbrushed finish. I first stipple the foundation all over my face then swirl and buff in little circular motions to blend everything together. The finish of this foundation is medium to full coverage and should be used sparingly. At times I can go without applying concealer on my problem areas and undereye area. This foundation must be set with powder to secure it in place or it will shift. I found that Ben Nye's Banana luxury powder works well with this. I pat on the powder with a powder puff and blend the excess powder with a kabuki brush. The longevity of this foundation is very good as well. It stayed in place over 10 hours with minimum touch up (on my forehead, nose and chin). For those who are curious, here's the breakdown of my face make-up application: Moisturize with Murad's Oil-Control Mattifer SPF 15, prime with Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel, Mehron Celebre HD Pro cream foundation, pat/dust away with Ben Nye Banana luxury powder. I have this cream foundation in Euroasia Japonais and is a perfect match for me golden/yellow skintone (I am Filipino). For comparisons, I am NC35/C40/C4 in MAC Studio Fix powder, MUFE HD 123, Bare Minerals Matte in Golden Medium. I highly recommended this product if you prefer a medium to full coverage foundation finish. This is an excellent product for drag make-up (which is why I bought it), but I now use this too for everyday sparingly (of course). The price is quite cheap ($9.95 off Mehron's website). For .9 oz/25 grams you can't beat that!
I am a *BIG* fan of this lip liner along with OCC's Lip Tar in Hoochie! This lip liner is creamy, isn't rough on the lips and stays in place! It is a bright, fuschia color and I find it would work with most purple toned lip products. Like I mentioned, it looks great paired with OCC's Lip Tar in Hoochie or even on its own!
I'd have to admit, I strayed away from this lip liner because I felt that there were other dupes out there for cheaper the price and boy was I wrong! Brick's shade is what I'd consider *that* classic red lip pin-up look. The longevity of this lip liner is amazing. It glides on easily and the color stays in place. It is long wearing enough where my lips would still be slightly red once wiped off with a baby wipe. I don't own a lot of red lip products as I mainly use Brick with OCC's Lip Tar in NSFW, but the two combined together for me is AMAZING! When compared to other red lip liners by MAC, Brick is more blue-based, Redd is more orange-based and while Cherry is also blue-based, it is slightly lighter than Brick. I have also used NYX's lip liner in Hot Red. While it has a good consistency, the color is slightly lighter and less blue-based than Brick.
I am picky when it comes to make-up, especially when it comes to face make-up. My oily skin is somewhat sensitive so I try not to switch my foundation too often so I experience breakouts (which I have kept at bay). I am a *BIG* fan of NARS' Sheer Glow foundation, not only for its quality, but as well as the color selection (my skin is more yellow toned). This foundation has been compared with Sheer Glow so when I was almost out of it, I went ahead and bought this foundation. I researched online which shade would best fit my medium yellow toned skin color (BTW, I use Stromboli in Sheer Glow) and I was stuck between 006 - Medium Beige and 008 - Golden Beige. In person, 008 was lighter than 006, which I found odd (which was no big deal), but as the numbers increased, the shades generally ran darker. I tried the foundation when I got home and applied it with MAC's 187 brush. My first observations were: 1.) It has a nice pump, which dispenses just the right amount (I used 1 1/2 pumps), 2.) Tiny (and by tiny, it's not the size of chunky glitter) shimmer/sheen is visible even when looking at the bottle. 3.) The foundation's consistency was creamy, not too runny or tacky - much similar to Sheer Glow). Once buffed in, I noticed right away this color was lighter for my liking and it wasn't as yellow or should I say "golden" as the shade name says it is, but more beige. The coverage is light to medium - but buildable (just like Sheer Glow). The finish is not dewy per say, but it does leave a nice glow on the skin. The shimmer/sheen didn't bother me since I set my face with MAC's Prep & Prime Translucent Powder or Bare Escentuals' Matte SPF 15 foundation (in Golden Medium). So I went back and returned 008 and exchanged it with 006 in hope that the color payoff would be better. I followed the same routine, however, I still feel like the color is not yellow enough for my liking (the color was still a *LITTLE* too light for me (not as light though with 008) and was still beige on my skin) and I felt that I had to touch up more times than I did with Sheer Glow (I don't blame the shimmer/sheen for this, but I felt that it's my skin's own reaction to the foundation that caused my face to become more oilier than normal). After several weeks of use, I noticed a few underground breakouts on my forehead. Not fun! I could not think of any other culprit as I have not changed anything with my skincare, until I tried out this foundation. Besides my three complaints, I give praise to this foundation. It leaves a nice finish, the consistency is nice and it blends easily. I chose not to return it again for the second time and instead, I use this foundation on my arms and chest to add that extra glow and it does the job fine (no breakouts there). Unfortunately, it will not a staple for me and I am still sticking with my Sheer Glow. For reference: I am C4 (in MAC's Face & Body foundation), Stromboli (in NARS' Sheer Glow) & Golden Medium (in Bare Escentuals' Matte SPF 15 foundation). I hope this review helps!
Pressed Powders -Maybelline - Dream Matte Pressed Powder
XP0S3D 3/8/2010 9:14:00 PM
I have a medium, golden/yellow toned oily skin. I primarily used this powder as a setting and touch-up powder with my MUFE HD kabuki brush. I did not notice any coverage from this powder so it worked well for me as a setting for my foundation and touch-ups during the day. The powder itself is not completely matte and the texture somewhat satin-like (think of MAC's Mineralized Skinfinish Natural), but not as fine as MAC's. I have this in Medium Beige 2-2.5 and I felt that it was a tad too light for my skin color (and the next color up, which is Honey, I believe is too dark for my skin color). The packaging is different and takes time to get used to, but I didn't mind it as I rarely reached for the puff it came with. I probably wouldn't buy again as I felt this was just another so-so drugstore powder. For reference, I am a NC 30-35 in MAC, Golden Medium in Bare Escentuals Matte, Shade #40 in MUFE's Mat Velvet + liquid foundation & Punjab in NARS' Sheer Glow liquid foundation.
This blush on my skin is a peacy pink with a hint of gold shimmer, just as how it's described off the NARS and Sephora website. The shimmer in this blush is far from being glitter (there is another blush, Super Orgasm which has glitter). The shimmer is very fine and it does not come off fake or too shimmery when applied to the skin (a very shimmery effect though can be possible if layered). This blush is pigmented that I only need one or two taps/swipes across the pan. I use the MAC 187 brush and I stipple it on the apples of my cheeks and moving upwards to my temples. Once stippled, I use the same brush and do circular motions to soften and blend out the look. If I want a more sculpted and countoured look, I apply NARS Laguna bronzer under my cheekbones and temple area and a light stipple of NARS Albatross highlighter on the top of my cheeks, both applied with the same MAC 187 brush.
I have never used the original formula, so I cannot give my own review as to whether which of the two formulas work better. However, when I swatched the orignal formula on my hand and did notice that it provides a glow-like finish. The matte formula doesn't have this finish, but it does offer a semi-matte finish. I'm not a fan of a completely matte finish because it doesn't look attractive to me for regular use. Selecting a color for me was not hard (for me atleast). For anyone seeking shade help, I'm normally between NC 30-35 in MAC. In BE shading, I fall under the medium category. Now, prior to buying this foundation, I noticed that under each category, there are three colors that fall under it. For example, under the medium category, there are Medium, Medium Beige and Golden Medium. I'm guessing (don't hold me accounable with this) that there are three sets of shades per category to fit several skin tones - one for warm toned skin, cool toned skin and neutral toned skin. Since I am warmed toned, I went ahead and chose Golden Medium. At first, I had to swatch this shade on the back of my hand because it looked more yellow than the other two medium shades. However, once blended, the yellow is mellowed out and it's fine. I stuck with this shade also as my skin is more on the yellow-er side with a few red (from breaking out), brown/dark spots (from post acne). The container of this foundation is very nice because it comes in a rotatable sifter so not all of the product comes out at the same time (which is annoying when it happens). I am glad I can control how much product comes out and the closable sifter is nice when I need to bring this foundation on-the-go and the powder doesn't get all over the rest of my dumb bag. To apply this foundation, I usually shake some of the product on the cover and use my HD kabuki brush from Make Up For Ever (which applies very well). I don't use this foundation alone as I feel it doesn't provide the coverage I want alone. I use this foundation on top of MAC Face & Body foundation (in C4) or Coastal Scents HD Undercover foundation in (ST-04). I apply concealer after applying liquid foundation then use this foundation to set and hold my liquid foundation in place (this routine provides me a medium coverage). Since I have an oily skin, I lightly apply MAC Prep & Prime Translucent powder on areas where I get oily the most. On days where my face is in a good condition or I am lazy to put on liquid foundation, I use this foundation and concealer, providing a light coverage. Overall, I am satisfied with this foundation. I would buy it again as it covers fine and does not oxidize on my face nor has it broken me out.
Highlighters -NARS - Highlighting Blush Powder in Albatross
XP0S3D 1/8/2010 9:40:00 PM
I LOVE this highlighter! I can use it in more ways than one and the color is very versatile! I use this highlighter to highlight my cheekbones, browbone, inner corners (with a fluffy eyeshadow blending brush) of my eyes and to line my waterline (I like to use this instead of a white or light liner under my eyes because it's not as harsh, yet it provides just the *POP* without looking over-the-top). I have oily skin so I only tend to highlight only various areas of my face. This highlighter does not melt, oxidize or vanish once the oils on my face surface. It stays true to its color, which I would describe as a candle-lit gold. It has nice color because it's neutral and does not have orange or pink tones to it so I can see it suiting people with different skin tones. There is shimmer (obviously), but definitely no sign of glitter. If applied correctly, it provides a beautiful glow and luminosity which doesn't look fake at all. For reference, I use MAC's 187 brush to apply this highlighter.
While this product is not as expensive as other concealers out there, save your money for another concealer out there! I have only tried E.L.F.'s Studio line and have been impressed by the quality of their make-up for the price they come in. This concealer in my opinion is completely useless unless what needs to be concealed is very subtle and almost to nothing (which defeats the purpose of using a concealer if there is nothing to cover in the first place). I tried applying the concealer and mixing them with a brush and my fingers and neither one of them gave me the coverage or color correction I was looking for. The consistency of these concealers were somewhat creamy, but that didn't any justice as the colors were somewhat hard to mix as well. Besides the letdown of this product, the only positive things I could give this product is that it comes in a sleek packaging (similar like NARS' packaging, but not as rubberized as NARS') and that it comes with a mirror (useful if you're on-the-go). Overall, nice packaging and cheap price, but a horrible quality. I threw mine away and would not re-purchase this product.