Monday, May 30, 2011

MAC's Surf, Baby! Hibiscus Cremesheen Lipstick Review and Swatchesw

MAC released its Surf, Baby! collection on Thursday and I snapped up just two items - Hibiscus lipstick and the Surf the Ocean Stacked (post to follow). I had my eye on Hibiscus when I saw preview posts and photos of Surf, Baby! and since it's one of my weaknesses - a bright lipstick, I had to snatch it up.

First, let's take a look at the Surf, Baby! packaging. Isn't this cute? I admit I'm not a summer/beach-type girl but this surfboard-inspired packaging is really adorable. I also like that I'll easily be able to pick out Hibiscus from all my other MAC lipsticks!

The outside of the lipstick tube is white, yellow and grey with a little MAC label adorned by a hibiscus flower. On the inside is a red metallic seam and the black inner ring. The red seam matches the lipstick! 

Now the lipstick itself. Hibiscus is a Cremesheen, meaning it's creamy and has a sheen. Duh, right? But a brand naming a product texture and the texture being the same thing is not always the case. I really like this lipstick texture and the Cremesheen glosses are gorgeous too. I'd say that the Cremesheen lipsticks have a creamier texture than say the MAC Lustre lipsticks and they do have a sheen (slight shine) to them.  

Here's Hibiscus swatched on the back of my hand. I find that it can look quite pinky-red or more orange depending on the light. Regardless, it's great on my my lighter skintone being a bright and a coral and it would look great on most skintones. 

If you've never tried wearing a coral lip colour before, what are you waiting for? Get thee to MAC and try out one! You'll be amazed how pretty coral is on you.

NW15-NW20 skintone
Here are two more photos of me wearing Hibiscus. This is going to be a great summertime lipstick. Note to self: try some lipliner.

Did you get Hibiscus? If so, what do you think? 


Friday, May 27, 2011

A Canadian version of Sephora? How did I not know about this?

Canuck beauty lovers, rejoice! You can now get hard to track down beauty lines like Butter London, Paul and Joe and Kevyn Aucoin without having to figure out the Canadian pricing and paying customs charges. carries makeup, skincare, haircare, tools, fragrances and men's products. They've got Canadian lines like Cargo, Cake Beauty and PUR Minerals as well as beauty favourites Clarisonic, Frederic Fekkai, Kinerase, T3, Calvin Klein and Stila. 

Shipping is free on orders over $75 and it's $7.95 otherwise. You can sign up for their newsletter and create wish lists so you can remember what you want. 

Here's what I've already got my eye on:

Becca Cosmetics Eye Tint in Baroque

Clark's Botanicals Ultra Rich Lip Tint

Jemma Kidd Dewy Glow Radiance Cream

Lipstick Queen (everything!)

Butter London (everything!)
Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer

I wonder how long I can wait to place an order? What are you eying/ordering? Tell us!


Olay Line and Dark Circle Minimizing Brush Review

This product was initially reviewed by Cath here.

Here are my (Jill's) thoughts on this product. First to recap:

According to Olay, their Total Effects Line and Dark Circles Minimizing Brush features a smooth brush applicator that instantly provides tinted coverage and continues working to fight seven signs of aging for younger, brighter-looking eyes. It immediately reduces the appearance of dark circles, look of wrinkles and combined with massage, instantly reduces the look of puffiness. It hydrates for firmer skin appearance, visibly renews skin texture, evens skin tone and provides nourishing moisture.

The pen has a long, flat brush on one end and the product is released through clicking the button at the other end of the pen. The product comes up into the center of the brush for application.

The Olay Line and Dark Circle Minimizing Brush retails for just over $20 CDN.

My first impression of this product is that I think the packaging and applicator design is very smart. The brush does indeed provide a nice, firm and yet gentle massaging action to the eye area. I'm not a huge fan of "click brush" applicators (because of hygiene concerns) but since the only time you would apply this is after washing your face I think in terms of cleanliness it's fine.  

The formula of the product itself is nice - the cream has a good body and feels moist but not greasy on. I do find that it helps with puffiness, and the moisturizing properties in turn help with fine lines. In agreement with Cath, I do not think this is anywhere near comparable to YSL Touche Eclat. This product is neither a concealer, highlighter or combination of the two. It is a ever so slightly tinted eye cream with some reflective pigments.

I am skeptical if this product could take the place of concealer for anyone. Case in point, when I first broke out this item for testing, my boyfriend, in an unexpected fit of skincare enthusiasm (he curiously has them every once in a while) applied some to his eyes (actually grabbing it out of my hands and testing it before I could). He is probably NW 15 in MAC's foundation spectrum. It didn't seem to cover his dark circles, but it did make his eyes look dewier.

The fact that this product does not significantly reduce the look of dark circles is not a major drawback for me. Quite frankly, the only thing that can do that for me is medium to full coverage concealer. And as Cath mentioned in her review, this cream does provide a nice base for makeup. Overall, I think this product works nicely and is worth a try if even for the nifty massaging effects of the applicator.

The product was supplied to us for review.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

MAC Surf Baby in Stores Today!

MAC stores are launching Surf Baby today, one day early. Shades to sell out quickly include: Hibiscus lipstick, Sun Blonde eyeshadow, Hanging Loose nailpolish, Strange Potion lipglass, Summer Stash and Surf the Ocean pigment stacks and My Paradise cheek powder.

As an entire collection I think this may be one of the best we've had this past run, don't walk down to your nearest store to snap up some of these goodies!


It Pays (to Pick Up the Phone)

Anyone frustrated by MAC LE items selling out within mere days of their release both online and in stores? Anyone like me who can't get the the local MAC store the day of a launch because they are just too damned busy with life/school/work?

Here is something I found out only recently from one of MAC's customer service representatives over the phone - apparently sometimes they will mark an item as SOLD OUT when the stock gets to a critical low (but before it reaches zero). Which means that there is a decent chance that the LE item you want may in fact be in stock, albeit it in very low numbers.

Case in point, when Jeanius launched back in March, I was busy getting my work together to go to a conference down in St Louis and so completely missed both the online and in store launch. I didn't think too much of it (it didn't seem like a blow out collection) so I waited about 10 days before I headed down to my local store. They had everything I wanted except Pink Cult blush (which turned out to be the sleeper hit of the collection). I called around my city but all the other MAC stores were sold out as well as the Bay and online. I sent an email to my sister in Vancouver to check with the PRO store on Robson  Sold out. The Bay in Pacific Centre? Sold out.

I went to the conference and checked the website everyday in case it came back in stock. No dice. When I did finally get back home it had been around 4 weeks since the collection had been out. I called customer service thinking I might be able to get it through the "Gone But Not Forgotten" program.

It turns out they had Pink Cult in stock - just a few left, even though the website had listed it as SOLD OUT for at least 3 weeks. This experience was repeated again recently when Fashion Flower came out. Ever Hip lipstick sold out within days if not hours after the launch. I called customer service and yes, they did have a few Ever Hip lipsticks stashed away...

So there it is! Never hurts to ask...especially since Hibiscus from Surf Baby has just sold out!

MAC Customer Service Canada: 1 800 387 6707
MAC Customer Service USA: 1 800 588 0070


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MAC Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF35 Preview

Who isn’t in awe of the superstar multi-tasker? The high performance artist who attracts our praise because of the perfection of every single action…the awe-inspiring high – level results?  Our key candidate: M·A·C Prep + Prime Beauty Balm. Lightly tinted in a clear, nearly sheer beige tone to work on a universal array of complexions, it creamily re-texturizes the skin and then goes on to excel at being a colour perfector and face primer with high everyday UVA/UVB SPF 35/PA +++ defense. Beauty Balm lightly hydrates the skin and blurs out lines, adding the optical effects that illuminate the skin. A sublime case of: “She’s fabulous…How DOES she do it?”

Prep + Prime Beauty Balm is now part of the permanent collection and available NOW on only.

191 Square Foundation Brush
$38.50 CDN/$32 US

Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF35
$36.50 CDN/$30 US


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

MAC Surf Baby Preview


Grab the board, hop in the Jeep, quench your lips in Krazy Kahuna, cruise the Pacific Coast Highway…Surf’s up!   The lure of the endless summer starts here with aColour Collection that captures the spirit of a subculture obsessed by wild encounters with waves: Freedom, escapism and individual expression…where stylish survival meets grace under pressure and artistic invention. Surf Baby!Beaded and bearded beach boys strum their love in surf shacks and bikini-babes bring commotion to the ocean with My Paradise cheek powder, a Summer Stash of Crushed Metallic Pigments, Hibiscus Lipstick and ride the curl in Splashproof Lash Mascara that won't smudge in the surf. Colourful lustrous, and full of life...journey to a world where feeling the rush means taking a risk. Hang Ten! 

Surf, Baby! Bronzing for every dude and dudette looking to hit the half-pipe with a killer (but totally harmless) tan. In between surf sessions, live barefoot and sand-caked, your skin sun-kissed by Solar Riche Bronzing Powder and brushed in Gold-go-Lightly with our NEW Studio Careblend/Pressed Powder. Capture the surf spirit with the NEW Skinsheen Bronzer Stick, sculpting and contour-creating, adding dimension in a way that a flat-out tan can’t! Defy sun-and-sea blasted lips with Full of Grace, Pink Tinge and Lilt of Lily, three Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balms. A LIMITED- EDITION, way epic collection for beach bums and babes of all ages, all races and all sexes.

Surf, Baby! is in North American MAC stores and at MAC counters on May 26th.

MAC Bags in Surf, Baby! 1
$33.50 CDN/$28 US
MAC Bags in Surf, Baby! 2
$33.50 CDN/$28 US

MAC Blush Brush
($41 CDN/$34 US)

MAC 129SH Brush
($41 CDN/$34 US)

MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed in Gold-Go-Lightly
Mid-tone golden tan brown
($33.50 CDN/$28 US)

MAC Studio Careblend/Pressed in Lush-Light Bronze
Mid-tone rosy pink bronze
($33.50 CDN/$28 US)

MAC Surf, Baby! Cheek Powder in My Paradise
Peach pressed powder with gold hibiscus flower overspray
($32 CDN/$28 US)

Crushed Metallic Pigment in Summer Stash
Light pink champagne (Frost)
Light white pear (Frost)
Light violet with silver pearl (Frost)
Brown bronze with gold pearl (Frost)
($38.50 CDN/$32.50 US)

Crushed Metallic Pigment in Surf the Ocean
Frosty platinum (Frost)
Light yellow green (Frost)
Gold bronze (Frost)
Dirty graphite with silver pearl (Frost)
($38.50 CDN/$32.50 US)

MAC Eyeshadow in Saffron
Deep coral caramel (Satin)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Eyeshadow in Short Shorts
Frosty white champagne (Frost)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Eyeshadow in Sun Blonde
Dirty yellow gold (Frost)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US) 

MAC Eyeshadow in Surf USA
Frosted teal (Frost)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Eyeshadow in Swell Baby
Mid-tone grey (Satin)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipglass in Girl On Board
Pale white gold
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipglass in Good Lovin'
Soft peachy pink
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipglass in Krazy Kahuna
Warm mid-tone brown
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipglass in Strange Potion
Soft coral pink
$18.50 CDN/$15.50 US

MAC Lipstick in Bust Out!
Dirty mid-tone violet (Lustre)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipstick in Hibiscus
Bright orange coral (Cremesheen)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipstick in Mocha
Peachy yellow-brown (Satin)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Lipstick in Naturally Eccentric
Creamy white nude (Lustre)
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Nail Lacquer in Hangin' Loose
Dirty pink nude
$18 CDN/$15 US

MAC Nail Lacquer in Ocean Dip
Mid-tone creamy aqua
$18 CDN/$15 US

MAC Pigment in Melon
Soft bright golden peach
($23.50 CDN/$19.50 US)

MAC Pigment in Nude
Fleshy beige with golden copper pearl
($23.50 CDN/$19.50 US)

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Blue Noon
Teal with gold pearl
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Gilded White
Yellow white frost
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Powerpoint Eye Pencil in Gilty Bronze
Coppery bronze with gold shimmer
($35.50 CDN/$29.50 US)

MAC Skinsheen Bronzer Stick in Tan-Tint
Soft suntan bronze
($35.50 CDN/$29.50 US)

MAC Skinsheen Bronzer Stick in Billionaire Bronze
Warm golden tan
($35.50 CDN/$29.50 US)

MAC Splashproof Lash Mascara in Blacksplash
($17 CDN/$14 US)

MAC Bronzing Powder in Solar Riche
Mid-tone deep orange brown
($29 CDN/$24 US)

MAC Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden
Finely spun golden with soft pearl finish
($29 CDN/$24 US)

MAC Suntints SPF20 Liquid Lip Balm in Full of Grace
Soft sheer rose
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Suntints SPF20 Liquid Lip Balm in Pink Tinge
Clean bright yellow pink with gold pearl
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

MAC Suntints SPF20 Liquid Lip Balm in Lilt of Lily
Soft creamy pale pink
($18.50 CDN/$15.50 US)

What do you think? Are you loving this collection? I think the packaging is cool and there's definitely some products calling out to me (the coral gloss and lipstick, the Crushed Metal Pigments...). What's calling your name?