September 16, 2012

MAC Heavenly Creatures Cremesheen Glass - Astral and Meteoric

In the "better late than never" category, I have a review and swatches of two of the Cremesheen Glasses from the MAC Heavenly Creatures collection. These are still available on the MAC website, though they are listed under the Limited Edition selection so I don't imagine they will be up for that much longer.

I wasn't terrifically impressed with the Heavenly Creatures collection, which was both a disappointment and par for the course with the way MAC has been performing lately. (Too many collections have been either boring, under-performing, ill-conceived or just plain awful - but that's a post for another day.) I was mesmerized by the beautiful galactic swirls of the eyeshadows and blushes when I first saw pictures online, but swatched in person, they just didn't live up to the allure. Too much glitter, not enough pigmentation, they were all flash and little substance.

The lip glosses, however, are a different story. I had to grab the two prettiest ones, namely Astral and Meteoric.

Top to bottom: Astral and Meteoric

Top to bottom: Astral Meteoric

If you've tried the Cremesheen formula before, these will not be a surprise in any way. If you haven't, you can expect a smooth, lightweight feel on the lips, contrary to the thick and tacky feel of the regular Lipglass formula. This also means that they tend to fade off at about twice the rate. I get maybe a couple of hours of wear before I need to reapply.

They are not particularly hydrating, but not drying either. I can't say that the formula is the best out there, but it is far more comfortable that the Lipglass one, at least for me, and I'd rather re-apply than put up with wearing my hair in my mouth for half the day.


The colors for these are lovely. Astral is a raspberry pink with silvery rose shimmer, and Meteoric is a warm-toned pink with golden shimmer that is absolutely stunning in the tube, but less obvious when worn. The combination of the glossy finish and the fine shimmer gives a really lovely, succulent look to the lips. Neither one of these go on very opaque, but they do give more coverage than the Cremesheen formulas I've tried in the past.

Availability: Currently on the Nordstrom website and MAC website, may still be in some stores or counters. Price is 22.50$ CAD, 19.50$ USD.

Pros: Beautiful colors, refined shimmer. A good balance between opaque and sheer. Nice feel on the lips, very comfortable to wear.

Cons: Wear time is about half that of stickier glosses. The re-application needed combined with the smaller volume (2.4ml compared to 4.8ml of a regular Lipglass!) makes these a much pricier option in the long-run.

(I purchased these from a MAC store.)

September 03, 2012

Kat Von D Little Saint and Little Sinner Palettes

I wish that the Kat Von D makeup line was not eponymous. I have a really hard time enjoying the products knowing that they are attached to Kat Von D (even though I'm sure she has far less input into the formulation than the press releases would have us believe). I don't like judging anyone for their personal style, but there is just something about her that I find grossly unappealing, especially since she started dating Jesse James. (He of the infamous adultery so publicly perpetrated upon Sandra Bullock. ) They're just so ooky.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), I've generally liked most of the stuff I've purchased from the line. These Little Saint/Sinner quads are no exceptions.

top to bottom: Little Saint and Little Sinner Palettes

left to right: Little Saint and Little Sinner Palettes

How cute is the packaging?? I really love the tattoo design that all the palettes bear, and how each one is tailored to the particular palette. The rubberized exterior is easy to grip and seems to soften the impact if the palette is dropped. I know some folks hate the way rubberized packaging like this seems to collect dust (as per the Nars line), but honestly I don't find it to be such a problem. I also like that the palettes include a nice mirror and don't include flimsy, useless brushes.

KVD is of course a Sephora co-brand, meaning it is manufactured by the same people who do the Sephora in-house line - which doesn't have the best track record with eyeshadows. I find they do a LOT better with their co-branded lines though.

The eyeshadow formula on these is generally commensurate with that of most of the other KVD eyeshadows I have tried: fairly dense and buttery, applies and blends easily and with great payoff. Some KVD shadows have a tendency to fade or wander after several hours, but I didn't experience that with these. They wore for a full day over a primer with no problems.

Little Saint Palette.
Natural daylight.
left to right: Be Mine, Empathy, Hummingbird, Pray For Me 

Direct sunlight.
left to right: Be Mine, Empathy, Hummingbird, Pray For Me 
Be Mine is a matte nude shade that is barely visible on my skin tone, and makes for a fantastic natural highlight shade. The texture is not quite as dense as the others, but it is still soft and silky and blends easily.

Empathy is a lovely light blue, Hummingbird an intensely pigmented bronze and Pray For Me a smoky purple. These are all shimmers, and have the same ease of blending and lovely texture. I was expecting the purple to be more difficult to work with, but it was just as nice.

Little Sinner Palette.

Natural daylight.
left to right: Galore, Swan Song, T-Rex, Brave Awakening.

Direct sunlight.
left to right: Galore, Swan Song, T-Rex, Brave Awakening.
Galore is a shimmery pale golden and out of the four shades, it has the sheerest pigmentation. T-Rex is a shimmery sage green, that leans almost olive in some lights. Brave Awakening is a gorgeous burgundy shimmer. The latter two are almost metallic when applied heavily.

Swan Song is the odd duck in this quad, with a less buttery, somewhat more powdery texture that  needs some care when blending or it can go on a little chunky and blend away too easily. It's a white with a soft pink iridescence that adds beautiful dimension, and looks particularly interesting as a highlight, or blended next to Brave Awakening. I'm not sure how well it tracks next to the other two shades.

Availability: These are still available at Sephora stores, though only Little Saint is still featured on the Sephora website. Little Sinner was still available a week or so ago, so if you're ordering I would do so soon. The price is 15$ CAD, down from 24$ CAD.

Pros: Cute packaging, interesting colors that generally work well together, easy texture to work with, great pigmentation. Be Mine is really great matte highlight, which is hard to find.

Cons: The unfortunate association with KVD herself, but your mileage will vary on that one. Swan Song, while a cool shade, is finicky to work with and is a bit of a puzzler within the context of the other shades in the quad.

(I purchased both of these from Sephora.)