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Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Very Best of MAC

About two years ago, I went into a full-blown MAC Attack. I purchased item after item, just wanting to explore the brand and see what their products can do. Now, I'm not saying that this is a bad thing really. While I may have spent a lot of money attempting to try out all their products, it has given me a huge knowledge of the brand and is why I can give you this post.

As a whole, MAC is a fantastic, innovative and quality brand. While it may be classed as a 'high end' brand, which is it, the prices are significantly less than other brands in the same league. It's a great brand for Make Up Artists because of the incredible selection of products, I'm talking thousands here.

If you have ever been to a MAC counter, no doubt you have walked away flustered and overwhelmed. When 300 eyeshadows and 200 lipsticks are staring in your face I can understand why.

I wanted to create this post for those who are either new to the brand, for those who like to keep a small but quality collection or for those who just like to try new products.

There are many products that I love from MAC and use on a regular basis but these are the products that I personally believe are hands-down 100% worth the money. Products that perform exactly as they should and that deserve attention and praise.


Hopefully this post will help to take some of the confusion out of MAC products.


Paintpots
When I think of my holy-grail, never-fail make up items, MAC Paintpots are always among the top products. They're the perfect eyeshadow base, they don't crease and will last all day. The shades in the permanent range are classic Ivory's and browns but MAC are constantly releasing new limited edition shades.

With an honorable mention going to Bare Study and Rubenesque, all the paintpots I have ever tried have given a perfect result and I have always been impressed. They're cream eyeshadows so they can be worn on their own or as an eyeshadow base/primer.

Mineralise Skin Finish Natural
The Skin Finish Natural is a very finely milled baked powder. It can be used in the same way that any pressed powder would. It gives a light coverage and helps to even out skin tone and it is particularly good at neutralising red tones.

The reason I love this powder is because it is so finely milled that you can't tell you're even wearing powder. I use it to set foundation and it doesn't matter how much I pack on it still looks like skin, not powder. You can reapply throughout the day rather than using blotting papers/powder and you will still have that perfect finish. Nothing cakey or heavy. The result is something unique, a satin soft powder that doesn't settle into pores or fine lines.

Studio Tech Cream Foundation
Now THIS is a great foundation! Not many foundations can say that they will cater to all skin types, but Studio Tech will. It's a blend of water, powder and emollients (moisturisers) and feels so light and hydrating on the face.

I had this foundation sitting in my drawer for about three months before I actually used it, I kept swatching it and thinking that it would be too heavy or too much of a cream for me to wear during the day, especially during the summer. But, on one fateful day, I was putting on foundation just to run out and do grocery shopping and decided to just give it a try.

Your skin feels cool, refreshed and hydrated upon application of this product and the length of wear is really good. One layer of the foundation gives a medium-full coverage and during cool days there is no need to set it with a powder (I'd set the foundation in summer though). It's a matte finish, incredibly easy to blend and gives your skin an incredible luminosity. I apply it with a sponge and then buff it into my skin with a duo fibre brush.


MAC Opulash Mascara
Mascaras are hard to review because it really depends on your own preference and your own lashes. I am the first one to say that you definitely don't need to turn to a high end brand to find a good mascara. There are plenty of amazing low cost mascaras out there. MAC Opulash is a little bit different. It offers dramatic volume and length without overdoing it. I find it impossible to clump, it just works every time. It glides onto each lash and coats it evenly. It's incredibly black, doesn't flake and lasts all day. I am in love with this mascara, I've gone through many tubes of it.


MAC Well Dressed Blush
This is a controversial blush colour, some people love it, some people hate it. Here's why:
It is a very pale pink, it doesn't have a huge amount of colour pay off and it can look fairly non-existent on darker skin tones.
For me, and for every person I've applied this blush too, it is the perfect wash of dainty pink with a soft, feminine flush. It is a very gently colour but it is absolutely amazing.

MAC Lustre Lipsticks
Out of all the lipstick finishes, Lustre's are my absolute favourite. They are incredibly soft on the lips and have a perfect shine. They don't have a shimmer, they're just a cream. They're smooth and hydrating with great pigmentation. If your lips are dry or chapped, these lipsticks will help hide any imperfections while providing great moisture. They're flawless and a fantastic product. My favourite shades are Lovelorn and Syrup.


MAC Veluxe Pearl Eyeshadows
These are by far, without a doubt, my very favourite eyeshadowsVeluxe Pearl that I didn't love, my favourite shades are Sumptuous Olive, All That Glitters, Woodwinked and Twinks.


239 Brush
There is no shader brush like the 239, and I know many make up artists would agree. It picks up colour and deposits it evenly. It helps to minimise fall out and mine have maintained their shape through years of use. I highly recommend this brush in any collection, personal or professional.



217 Brush
For me, this is the holy-grail of blending brushes. I use it to apply colour into my crease and blend it out at the same time. It's the perfect density, perfect length and perfectly shaped to give you the best application. I have been searching for something comparable but can't seem to find anything that can stand up to the 217. If you are only going to buy one brush from MAC, make it this one.


Like I mentioned earlier, I have a long list of loved MAC products, these are the products that I think are completely unique to MAC and are must haves.

I will be writing a MAC Starter Kit post this week, stay tuned!

Disclaimer: I have worked with MAC on a professional level for many years and received a lot of my professional training from MAC. However I have never been employed by MAC and this product was paid for with my own money. I am not being paid for this review, all opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Josie Maran Argan Oil vs Moroccan Oil (Review)

I love Moroccan Oil and you can read all about it HERE. I am completely satisfied with the result and have no need to strive for anything better, if there is anything better. However, the product addict within me simply must try new things.

I have had a girl-crush on Josie Maran since I was about 13. I've completely idolised her and when she released a cosmetics line I don't think there was anyone more excited than I was. Then I found out it was a line of cosmetics infused with Argan Oil; double excitement.

Anyway, I switched my Moroccan Oil for a bottle of Josie Maran Argan Oil for about 10 days, just to see the difference and to properly try out the product.

The Josie Maran Argan Oil is fantastic, it's pure and organic. It smells delicious and is incredibly nourishing and hydrating to the hair and hands. It smooths and helps hair feel stronger with added shine, leaving it touchably soft.

It is easily absorbed and leaves no oily residue. It's a great product and I would definitely recommend it.

But, how does it compare to Moroccan Oil? Quite simply, it doesn't.
While the Josie Maran Argan Oil is a great product, it simply doesn't exceed the expectations left by Moroccan Oil.

Not only that, but Josie Maran Argan Oil is almost twice the price of Moroccan Oil and you need to use a lot more of the Josie Maran Argan Oil to get a similar result as you do from Moroccan Oil.

I can't give Josie Maran Argan Oil a bad review because it is a fantastic product, given the choice though, I'd choose Moroccan Oil every time. It performs better, it leaves hair feeling more healthy, silky, shiny and nourished. It's a holy grail hair product for me and I won't go a day without it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

MAC Shop/Cook Tendertones - GIVEAWAY (CLOSED)


MAC released four long awaited Tendertones in the Shop/Cook MAC Collection (released February in US, March in AU).

Tendertones first released in 2008 and lovers have been begging for their return since. All four of the shades are repromotes from the 2008 collection

Hot 'n' Saucy - A sheer posey, watermelon pink with no shimmer

Hush Hush - A sheer champagne gold with a golden shimmer

Purring - A sheer apricot with no shimmer

Tread Gently - A sheer lemon gloss with a greenish yellow shimmer

(All swatches sourced from Temptalia.com)

Tendertones have an SPF of 12 so while they do offer sun protection you will need consistent reapplication throughout the day to maintain the SPF. They're incredibly glossy and while they are moisturising, they're definitely not a real hydrating lip balm. They have more comfort than a lipgloss but definitely not as much as a lip balm.

The scent is incredibly sweet, which I don't mind. MAC describes it as 'Strawberry-Kiwi' as opposed to all other MAC lip products that use the scent 'Vanilla Cake Batter'.

They would be great to wear on their own instead of a lipgloss or over lipstick to add shine. They will keep your lips moisturised but you will most likely find yourself reaching for a lip balm later in the day.

Personally, I would only ever use them as a lipgloss, not as a lip balm.

GIVEAWAY

I decided to pick up a few extras to give away, I actually picked up all four but accidentally swatched both of the 'Hot 'n' Saucy' Tendertones, meaning it's now been used.

So, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment below listing which Tendertone you would like to win, please leave your first and second preference and I will pick three winners. This will give you one entry into the draw. 


You can enter as many times as you like, leaving at least half an hour between entries. 

For additional entries you can follow me on twitter and copy and paste the following, filling in your first and second preference of shade.
I'd like to win the MAC Tendertone in SHADE NAME or SHADE NAME from @ohrebeccalife Go to http://bit.ly/wpsYzT to enter! #EasyDress.org
You can enter as many times as you like, leaving at least half an hour between entries.

The tendertones available are Hush Hush, Purring and Tread Gently.

Of course there are a couple of rules below:

  1. You must follow my blog, just click on 'Join This Site' to the left of the screen, under the 'About Me' section. There are no exceptions to this rule, you must be a follower to be a winner.
  2. Following EasyDress.org and posting a comment on this post will give you one (1) entry into the giveaway. Following me on Twitter HERE (@ohrebeccalife) and posting the above tweet with the Tendertones you would like to win will give you one (1) additional entry into the giveaway.
  3. The total amount of entries you can receive per person is unlimited
  4. Only enter if you agree to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy policy found HERE.
  5. Winners will be chosen at random using random.org.
  6. There will be 3x First Prize winners of one (1) MAC Tendertone valued at $36 (AU)
  7. The total prize value is $108 Australian dollars.
  8. The giveaway will be open until 11.59pm AusEST on the 12th of March, 2012.
  9. The winners will be announced on the 14th of March, 2012.
  10. Winners will have 24 hours to contact me with their postal address  once I have sent them an email notifying them that they are the winner. Failure to do so may result in another winner being chosen.
  11. This giveaway is open internationally, anyone can enter.
  12. Previous EasyDress.org winners may enter the competition