MAC Smoke Signals and Blue Storm Eye Products

Okay, I know this post is a tad too late, but it wasn't part of my plan, believe me. I should have posted some swatches last week, but due to unforeseen circumstances, I had to postpone it. Here are some of the gorgeous colors of the latest two collections from MAC. The most breathtaking however are not the eyeshadows, but the kohl power pencils. The minute I swatched them on my hand was a heart-stopping moment. I was totally floored by the smoothness of application and the gorgeous colors of these pencils. I love Mystery, it reminds me of Club eyeshadow and Teal pigment over a black base (either Blackground paint pot or Sharkskin shadestick). Raven is a blackish maroon that is very pretty, this one reminds me of Bare Escentuals Black Ruby shadow liner but a bit deeper and less vibrant. Orpheus is goldish black, and is nothing short of sexy. Really. Feline I heard is the blackest, darkest liner MAC has ever come up with, and it is thus perfect for smokey eyes.

The quads interested me because I am recently trying to dabble into smokey eye application, and since this is my first serious foray into smokey eyes, I need to have some convenient, no-brainer combination of shadows for smoking up the peepers. Also, I am flying to a different state to attend a relative's wedding, and so I need to have some ready-to-use shadows in quads which are perfect for travel. If I were to choose between the two quads, however, I prefer the cooler one, mostly because I have always wanted to have Carbon and the fact that it is packaged with three other complementary colors is a plus for me. The brown quad really isn't that unique; I already have Satin Taupe, but the brown lover in me couldn't pass up on it. I didn't care much about these collections' cheek and lip products, they really looked blah to me.

Apart from the quads and all kohl power pencils, I also got Cumulus from the Blue Storm collection, and Twinks from the regular product line (I saw an MA use Twinks with All That Glitters, and the combination was just so freaking hot).

Gentle Fume Eyes x 4
A monochromatic quad of four modern cool-toned Eye Shadows in the sultry spirit of Smoke Signals. Features three limited edition shades: Waft, Gentle Fume and Rondelle, matched-up with Carbon. Texturally: an intense mix of matte and velvet.
Rondelle: Light silver with white pearl
Carbon: Intense black
Gentle Fume: Mid tone grey with silver pearl
Waft: Deep blue grey

Smoking Eyes x 4

A smoking quad of four warmed-over neutrals that at its deepest starts with a rich, dark black. Features three limited edition shades: Next to Nothing, Smoking, and Showstopper, complemented by Satin Taupe.
Next to Nothing: Cream white with pink pearl
Smoking : Black with gold pearl
Showstopper: Muted grey
Satin Taupe: Taupe brown with silvery bronze shimmer

Kohl Power Eye Pencil
A kohl pencil that has all the intensity and colour power of ultra-soft carbon. Specially formulated to provide deep, fully opaque coverage, provides an intense, smoked finish with duo-chrome pearl. Versatile in application: blend or smudge.

Raven: Black with red pearl
Orpheus: Black with gold pearl
Feline: Black
Mystery: Black with green and teal pearl


And just for fun, here are some of my current faves/acquisitions:

On Monave Lip Glazes

One of my readers requested that I make a review on Monave's lip glazes, and of course, her wish is my command. I've stated in a previous review that I've fallen in love with Monave's lip glazes and that these are some of the best glosses I've tried. That statement still holds true to this day. I don't like very sheer lip glosses; I want a marriage of color and shine - I am partial to opaque glosses. Having said that, Monave's glazes are right up my alley. I prefer the sheer lip glazes over the regular ones, though, because the consistency of the regular lip glazes is a little hard to spread and apply evenly. It's rather puzzling though why Monave refers to the sheer lip glazes as "sheer", when these are really substantially pigmented. They really glide like butter on the lips, impart a luscious shine and have a pretty over-all finish, almost like liquid lipsticks.

As I stated in my review, I love, love, love Honey sheer lip glaze. This is my favorite among all the ones I have, but Maple, Jellybean and Petticoat are close runner-ups (okay, throw in Butterscotch and Antique Brick!). I have a couple of Honeys though and I keep one in my purse all the time for touch-ups. I really love the formula, and to think that Debbie of Monave once told me that her friend who formulated the lip glazes almost threw away the first batch of lip glazes, deeming them a failure. Little did her friend know that the consistency and finish of the glazes were exactly what Deb (and Monave fans) were looking for. The rest is history.

I've heard a lot of great things about the lip glosses as well, and I want to try them pretty soon. In the meantime, I'll just sit back, kick my heels, and sip a pinacolada with my puckered not-so-sheer Monave sheer lip glaze-painted lips.

Yay For Mary Kay

My first experience of Mary Kay products was a couple of years ago when a former co-worker came to the house as a Mary Kay agent for an afternoon of facials and sampling products from her huge makeup arsenal. Since then, I've been hooked on Mary Kay's products, particularly the skin care line. The concept is straightforward and easy - these claim to give you freshly-scrubbed, rosy, even-toned complexion - and amazingly, they deliver. Here are some of my favorite Mary Kay products that I have been using religiously to date:

Timewise 3-in-1 cleanser- I really love the feel of my skin after using this both in the morning and before I retire. I use the one for combination/oily skin and I love how it really cleanses my skin of dirt and grime without leaving it tight and dry. Simply, I just feel clean with supple skin. I love the simplicity of the product and yet it truly does deliver. I use this in tandem with my other skincare products (I currently use retinoids and benzoyl-peroxide based products for stubborn zits), and it's gentle enough to work with my daily skincare regimen.

Microdermabrasion set

Fight fine lines, refine pores and achieve beautifully smooth skin – immediately – with this simple, two-step set. Amazingly, Mary Kay does what it says, the operative word being "immediate". The first time I used this product, a co-worker immediately noticed the difference and complimented me on my "even skintone and rosy complexion". I also noticed smaller-looking, tightened pores and over-all better-looking skin. It's funny because I was even a bit skeptical about all these microdermabrasion sets cropping up everywhere, but this particular one from Mary Kay made me a believer. I have never used any other microdermabrasion line but I am very satisfied with this one, so I really have no reason to switch.

Satin Lips® Lip Mask
Satin Lips® Lip Mask contains miniature buffing beads that gently exfoliate dead surface skin cells that cause lips to appear dull and lifeless. - This is one of my favorite MK products! I just love how it sloughs off dead skin and turns my yucky, peeling, chapped lips into healthy-looking, pink puckers.

Oil Mattifier
Absorbs oil and helps control shine for at least eight hours. And you can reapply it throughout the day – even over your foundation.
I have an extremely oily t-zone and I use this to make me look polished once the digits soar. I use this either alone or in tandem with oil-blotting sheets and it leaves my makeup intact and fresh.

Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
I need to take off all the eye makeup that I do before I retire, that's a given. This is one of the best eye makeup removers I've tried. It is indeed non-oily (I can't believe I used to take off eye makeup with baby oil!), never greasy on the lids, but doesn't dry them out or make them look crepe-y. It doesn't sting my sensitive eyes, it gently but effectively takes off every last smidgen of eye makeup. I love this so much that I resort to eBay if I can't get a hold of my regular MK agent. I absolutely refuse to use any other eye makeup remover, and I stock up so as to avoid using other products should I run out.

Velocity Lightweight Moisturizer and and Facial Cleanser
This is MK's line of products for the younger set. I don't use this but I personally know teenagers who swear by this pair. They tell me that they break out if they don't use the Velocity facial cleanser. This line is both for sensitive and younger skin, and I am amazed that these really work. Best of all, it's affordable.

Medium/Full Coverage Foundation
Before I switched to mineral foundations, I've also found out that MK's liquid foundation was really quite good. It gave me this non-mask feeling despite the liquid medium, and I loved the finish it gave. For you non-mineral makeup fans out there, you might want to give it a try.

MK Signature concealer
Goodness, how could I forget the concealer! I had to add this to the long list after I've hit the "Publish post" button. If you see the list of products for all my looks, you'd always see this product, always. It's a staple and I can't live without this. It effectively covers undereye circles and makes me look a little bit more rested compared to the image I see in the mirror the minute I wake up. It conceals the shadows and just makes me look a little more like a human being every morning. I just truly love this. For $9.50, it lasts a really looooonnng time, and you can't go wrong with it.

I swear, I am NOT a Mary Kay agent lol! I just really, absolutely love their skincare line. At least you can be assured that this review comes from an unbiased source which is not affiliated in any way with Mary Kay. Try samples, and find a friendly neighborhood MK independent beauty consultant. Who knows, you might get hooked as well.

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Guacamole Greens and Mineral Foundations

I love MAC's Guacamole eyeshadow! It's just THE perfect green. I love my greens so much so having a really gorgeous shade in my palette is such a treat. It's not a grass-colored green but a little bit deeper, a little less vibrant and less lime-y than Wondergrass but, as the name implies, is kinda similar to avocado green but prettier. I did a mix of greens in my look so the Guacamole failed to stand out, hence its true color is not reflected in my EOTD. Nonetheless, I believe it brought some depth to the hues I used.

I also used my LaurEss mineral foundation today and I absolutely LOVE the velvety feeling it gives. I wore a mix of Pure Gold and Radiant Gold in the original formula. As much as I love LaurEss, I still prefer the original formula over the new elemental formula as the staying power is a lot better on my oily skin. I just love my mineral foundations, they can withstand the triple-digit heat and don't melt into a greasy mess at the end of the day. The feeling is uber-light despite the scorching temperature. Best of all, the feeling is so airy that you don't feel you have makeup on, and it gives flawless coverage without the goopy gunky feeling.

Speaking of mineral makeup, I gave my friend some Meow samples (naturally, she'd never heard of the company before). She's a makeup artist and does freelance work. She just called me today to tell me that she's fallen in love with Meow and just bought munchkin sizes of Naughty and Frisky Korat. I'm just amazed at how people can just drop their old foundations and convert to minerals without looking back. I guess there is truth to old adage that "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". You just have to try it (and try different brands not just the most popular ones before judging) to believe it.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Greenstroke paint pot on lid
MAC Guacamole eyeshadow on lid
MAC Juxt eyeshadow inner to mid lid
MAC Humid Eyeshadow on outer V and crease
MAC Surreal eyeshadow above crease to blend with highlighter
MAC Ricepaper eyeshadow to highlight
Maybelline XXL mascara
MAC Nightfish fluidline

Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
LaurEss original mineral foundation in Pure Gold and Radiant Gold (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
MAC blush in Fab
MAC Refined Golden bronzer

MAC lipliner in Whirl
Monave mineral lip glaze in Petticoat

Fyrinnae Fun

Last March, I made an entry about My Fabulous Fyrinnae Fix, and posted swatches of my Fyrinnae pigments. I tried them once or twice, then got waylaid by a bunch of other pigments I bought from other mineral makeup companies. I was cleaning my drawer and transferring my little pots in another tray which is more accessible to me in the morning, when I unearthed my precious little jars of Fyrinnae pigments. It then occurred to me that I had planned to buy a full-size jar (as if the uber-generous sample wasn't enough) of Macabre, a beautiful goldish rose that is so pretty as a wash. It is part of their Professional Color collection, and it's more pigmented (I don't need to foil it to achieve maximum color pay-off) and long-wearing compared to the regular pigments. Nonetheless, the regulars wowed me as well. Colors are really intense and I didn't feel the need to pack them on or use my mixing medium to bring forth the hues. Hey, how can a pigment called Sake and Sashimi go wrong? Or an eye color called Lousy Tip? Or OMGWTF? (You can use this pigment on a really bad day to match your mood.) I wonder who comes up with these names? I'd love to be a fly on the wall during one of Fyrinnae's Name That Pigment meetings. Here is a look using one batch of pigments I got from Fyrinnae.

MAC Beige-ing shadestick as base
MAC Rubenesque paint pot on entire lid and browbone
Fyrinnae professional color pigment in Macabre on lid
Fyrinnae pigment in Solstice on outer lid
Fyrinnae pigment in Sake and Sashimi on outer V and crease
Fyrinnae pigment in Lousy Tip mixed with MAC mixing medium to line
MAC eyeshadow in Cinders to highight
Maybelline XXL mascara

Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Purrfect Puss foundation in Naughty Angora and Naughty Chartreux (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
Shu Uemura M Wine 28 blush
MAC Pearl Sunshine beauty powder over blush

Rimmel 1000 Kisses stay-on lipliner in Wild Clover
MAC lipstick in Hug Me
MAC 3D glass in Racy

MAC Blackground Paint Pot and Intense Eye Look

If you check out my eye looks here in my blog, you'd notice that I'm not really into smokey eyes. I feel that my eyes become too harsh when I pile on too dark eyeshadow or liner. I finally got over my fear of crossing over to the "dark side" when I saw my Blackground paint pot languishing forlornly in my drawer, and I'd hate to see it go to waste. I used it as my base today and picked up a generous amount of MAC Forest Green pigment and placed on my lid. I then used my Shu Uemura ME Blue 638 eyeshadow and applied it on my inner to a little past the mid lid. I took the time blending as I wasn't used to blending really dark pigments. I then used Indelible gel liner in Magnetism with a thick eyeliner brush to make a not-so-fine line, then used MAC Delphic fluidline on the bottom lashline with MAC Teal pigment over it, then black mascara. I used Beige-ing shadestick above the crease to the browbone as a base and used MAC Lustreleaf eyeshadow to highlight.

Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Purrfect Puss mineral foundation Naughty Angora mixed with Naughty Chartreux (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
Laura Mercier illuminating powder quad in Rose Pink as blush
MAC Refined Golden bronzer to contour
MAC Pearl Blossom beauty powder over blush

Rimmel 1000 Kisses stay-on lipliner in Wild Clover
Valerie Beauty mineral lipstick in Bonbon
MAC Backlit 3D glass

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MAC Bare Study Paint Pot and Neutrals

Last Saturday, I trekked to my local MAC free-standing store and exchanged my 12 empty MAC containers for two shadows. I had to drive all the way to the store because my MAC counter at Nordstrom only accepts the empties in exchange for lipsticks. Anyways, I picked All That Glitters and Passionate shadows as my freebies, and I couldn't get any happier with my choices. I also got the 222 and 224 brushes, and although I have a whole barrage of eye brushes in different shapes and sizes, I understand why these two brushes (together with the 217 which I have) are the stars of eye makeup application. These make eye makeup application and blending a lot easier and fool-proof. I sure wish they'd accept MAC empties for brushes (fat chance, I know), because I wanna stock up on these babies!

For my look, I used Bare Study paint pot as base and I love the neutral shimmer it imparted. I used the All That Glitters eyeshadow that I just got on the lids, Satin Taupe shadow on the crease and outer lid, Embark shadow on the crease and outer V, Stila Jezebel shadow on crease and above crease and to blend into Satin Taupe, Vex shadow to highlight, Graphic Brown fluidline, black mascara. I likewise used MAC Lighswitch 3D glass and I thought it wouldn't be that pigmented, but it actually showed up against my Viva Glam V lipstick.

Camellia Rose Skin Smoothing primer
Meow Flawless Feline mineral foundation Naughty Angora mixed with Naughty Chartreux (50-50 mix)
Mary Kay undereye concealer in Ivory topped with
Bare Escentuals Well Rested
Bare Escentuals mineral veil
Laura Mercier illuminating powder quad in Coral Red as blush
MAC mineralized skinfinish in Gold Spill over blush

MAC cremestick lipliner in Beurre
MAC Viva Glam V lipstick
MAC Lightswitch 3D glass

Beautiful Plums with MAC Artifact Paint Pot

I mentioned in my review that I didn't think I would be able to use Artifact paint pot as a base because it was too dark. I was dead wrong. I tried it and I was just amazed at how beautiful it looked on the lids even as a base. I added Whistle eyeshadow on the inner lid, Revved Up pigment on the lid, Cranberry eyeshadow on the crease and outer V and Beauty Marked on the outer corner to give it some depth. I also used Swish eyeshadow above the crease and to highlight browbone, and Almay Amazing I-liner (liquid liner) to line and black mascara. The pictures don't give justice to how smooth it looked in person. Now I know I'd always be using Artifact for those pinks, plums, mauves and even purples to create smooth eye looks. I just love these paint pots; it makes shadow application so much easier.

MAC Smoke Signals and Blue Storm Product Pictures

Here are some promotional pictures from the upcoming MAC collections.

Smoke Signals:

Blue Storm: