Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Mac I think it's best we see other people

I'm in a ranting sort of mood at the moment so apologies if you'd rather see photographs or read a good review than just my silly ranting and ravings :P

As i've said in my previous post on the matter, for absolutely years if you asked me what my favourite makeup brand was I would have said, without hesitation, Mac. And they do still hold this place in my heart that when i think of lovely, high quality makeup, Mac instantly comes to mind. However lately i've been wondering why that is. I've not tried all of their products of course, but the ones i have are actually very hit or miss.

Their lipsticks are probably still my favourites, the amplified creams especially are rich and creamy and highly pigmented and, though not moisturising are not drying either. I love the look of the matte shades but some dry my lips, and personally I find Ruby Woo (which was my first mac lipstick and still one of the most beautiful coloured reds i own) so incredibly dry that i can't actually get it on my lips properly! The other formulas I can take or leave as i hate sheer lips and I find that some shades are sheer and some pigmented so it depends entirely on the specific shade. Their lip liners and glosses are nice but no better (though also no worse) than Barry M, Nyx or various other cheap brands i've tried.

Mac don't make a foundation anywhere close to my skintone. While the NWs are meant to be for pink toned skin they still turn up far too yellow on me and the lightest shade is far too dark. I did however try their blot powder and hated it. It just did nothing for me except cake up my skin and exaggerate any tiny dry patch of skin. But for some reason when it broke i actually went back and bought another one. Their blushes are nice, but nothing special, personally i find Barry M, Illamasqua and Sleek blushes (2 of which are obviously a lot cheaper) much more pigmented and just nicer in general.

The eyeshadows are, for me, like the lipsticks. The Veluxe pearl and Velvet finishes are nice and buttery and go on beautiful but i really hate the matte shades (which is a shame because i love matte shadows) i just can't get any off the pan and onto my brush, and then either less ends up on my eye!  The only Mineralize shadows i've tried are from the Style Black range and, while they do look gorgeous if foiled, are absolutely useless when used dry. I like their liqui-last liners and glitter liners but again i can find some drugstore brands that are either the same or even higher quality. And i've tried their eye pencils and, personally don't like them. I find that they smudge horribly and just 'melt' off my eyes quickly.

I've never tried their nail polishes but i've heard they are not good quality.

So yeah, basically I've had a very mixed bag in my of my Mac products. Now of course there are hits and misses with all makeup brands, however to be honest having read back on my list it seems that with Mac i really am finding more misses than hits. The only product i love are the lipsticks. Other than that i either actively dislike the products or find them fine but no better than a lot of high street brands.

Yet i keep being fooled, dragged in by the new collections, and keep crawling back to this old lover even though i know they're bad for me!
In my opinion the only great collections of the last 2 years have been the Style Black (though the lip products really sucked) and Dame Edna. With so many of their collections I have seen the concept photographs and got really excited, thinking there are going to be some great, exciting, new products and colours and then been so disappointed. It happened with spring forecast, where i thought there were going to be some very nice bright pinks and puples, but they all turned out to be pale, dusty and just rather dull. To The Beach was probably great to people who love nudes and tans, but to me there was absolutely nothing of interest. Liberty of London had gorgeous packaging and some beautiful lipsticks (Blooming Lovely and Petals and Peacocks were so lovely) but I found dupes for both of them which were actually made by Mac! Pret a Papier - more nudes and natural shades. Art supplies had some nice colours but i saw terrible reviews of the lip stains and, as i've said, i don't like their eye pencils. In the Groove just doesn't appeal to me. The purple lipstick  looks nice but i've heard that it's just a slightly cooler, sheerer Violetta (which i have) and as i don't like sheer lips i don't see a point in getting it. Hang Loose blush looks pretty too but i would want the lilac to be proper lilac, instead it's just sheer and shiny and only really works when mixed with the pink colour (maybe i'm wrong?). I also liked Chillin' as i love a blue lip and really liked the idea of a pastel, creamsheen blue lip but of course it's super sheer :(

The only collection released this year that i was really interesting in was Riverting, which of course we did not get over here!

I then heard about some of the upcoming collections, Alice + Olivia and Venomous Villains. I was so excited when i heard that Alice + Olivia was going to feature a neon yellow lipgloss, and a glittery one at that. I saw the product images and was delighted by just how bright it looked. Then i saw swatches... Oh dear. So so sheer you can barely tell it's yellow at all! I understand that most women wouldn't want bright yellow lips, but i do! :(
Then there's Venomous Villains. Again so exciting when i heard about this collection. I adore Disney and all of the Villains chosen really appealed to me. And then i heard the details of what was coming in the collection and was really excited. Lots of gorgeous pigmented lipsticks, rich vampy colours, interesting, complex sounding eyeshadows and nail varnishes etc It all sounds lovely and the colours go perfectly with the characters attached to them. I even didn't mind that a lot of it is repromotes (as Mac loves to do with it's LE collections) because they go well with the villains. The only thing i thought is why the hell did they give the mirror to Dr Facilier when the Evil Queen is one of the villains???
But then i saw the photos and was so disappointed. There was so much they could have done with the packaging in this collection. Before i saw the pictures i was imagining what they could be like. I thought Cruella's line might well be whit with dalmation print, or black, white and red or something like that. With Dr Facilier i thought maybe they'd use the lovely voodoo doll things from the film. Maleficent i thought could be black with the neon green and purple colours of the magic in Sleeping Beauty, or maybe have something to do with the dragon. And, well i didn't know what it would be like with the Queen, maybe poison-apple red and metallic to represent the mirror. Or i really liked the sketch drawings of the villains that were released with the sneaky promo video thing so i thought maybe they would be included.
There were so many amazing possibilities. But we got this:

...Oh. Just the normal black Mac packaging with cheap looking stickers stuck on....
I probably will still buy quite a bit from the collection because i do love the sound of a lot of the products but i am so sad about the packaging. It just looks cheap, like something you'd get from Claire's Accessories. And it just shoes a lack of imagination i think. It's just the regular packaging with a sticker of the villain.
And some of the products don't even have the stickers! The nail varnishes and pigment jars are just exactly as normal! So disappointing.

So i think the glitter is finally lifting from my eyes. Mac will probably always hold a tiny part of my heart but I am now going to try my best not to get too excited about new collections or caught up in the hype that surrounds them. They have some great products to be sure but to me there just isn't anything special about them anymore. Mac used to be known for doing really unusual colours, especially for the lips but now personally i don't see any. The 'unusual' lip colours they've come out with recently, the purples, blues and blacks have all been so sheer and disappointing. The eye products are opaque and pretty but i find the quality changeable and you can now get good quality, bright, pigmented colours most places. Sleek, Barry M, Gosh are all cheap and cheerful but, in my opinion, just as good. My favourite brand, Illamasqua, has colours that range from 'safe' to incredibly daring and, with each collection, are coming up with brand new, innovative products. And then there's the countless Indie brands that are inexpensive, beautiful, higher pigmented and of equal or better quality and also have the added bonus of allowing you to support small businesses.

So yeah Mac, I'm sorry, it's not you it's me...


  1. I think MAC is trying very hard to appeal to 90% of the market whilst the economy is so unstable. Hopefully we'll see more adventurous collections from them in the future. I think Illamasqua is doing a really good job of filling that niche right now though.
    I think with the Disney collection they had their hands tied quite tightly with regards to packaging and products. I imagine Disney wouldn't want anything crazy or innovative in case it put customers off and reduced profits!

  2. Oh God that packaging is dire! Stickers, MAC? Really? They could at least print the designs on...

  3. I'm almost completely with you on these - the foundation goes on like milk, and the first thing I thought too when I saw the designs was they look like something out of the Disney Shop or Claire's.

    The lipsticks are such a let down for me, and I'm with you the more pigmented the lipstick, the more drying it is. When I wanted a very nude lip (almost like I had no lips with a dash of pink) I was recommended a lipstick by a girl who worked in the shop but didn't have time to try it on my actual lips (the concessions around where I live ALWAYS seem to be packed with giggling rah schoolgirls who never actually buy anything) it went on like a sheer gloss - no pigmentation whatsoever!
    I've found Barry M's lipsticks to be a lot better.

    I do think their pigments are really fantastic - especially with their shadesticks, they last all day and take an oil-based remover to get them off!

    But I'm with you - I've converted to Illamasqua and Smashbox for my favourite up-market brand.

  4. "Or i really liked the sketch drawings of the villains that were released with the sneaky promo video thing so i thought maybe they would be included. "

    EXACTLY what I thought! That would have been very pretty. I was picturing purple packaging, too. I know there will always be a little tackiness attatched to anything Disney, but if I may be frank this is a bloody piss take. In Disney in Florida, there is a Villains shop and they have some really cool stuff in there.

    As for MAC, well I love what I have but I have only recentley accquired it and its not a lot. I think I'm lucky in a way to have been too skint for it for such a long time, and I know its not the be all and end all.

  5. MAC was the pricey brand I started with when I wanted to be a little more polished with my makeup/needed some color in my life when my job told me I couldn't have hot pink hair anymore. I'd carefully select eyeshadows, and I still love them, but yeah! Easily dupable there.

    Studio Fix's NC shades either made me look sickly or fake baked but ALWAYS like I was wearing an inch of makeup on my face. And even though I didn't like the cakey matte look of Studio Fix, like you, I went and bought some more when I ran out! I was convinced it was the way to go. I bought their blotting papers when Studio Fix made me look like I spent my life at a french fry counter.

    I stopped purchasing MAC full stop when I read how they were screwing over freelance MUAs, but then guiltily bought more when I got a gift card for Christmas. Blushes, a paint pot and a boring looking case to put it all in. I was excited when the paint pot finally gave me the solution I was looking for to prevent shadow creasing - until YouTube showed me I could prevent it myself with ingredients from the dollar store - with brighter results!

    So yeah. With indie brands out there that have equal, if not better quality (yay, Sugarpill!) I've pretty much broken up with MAC. It was a flaky boyfriend that only sometimes lived up to his promise anyway ;)

  6. I so agree with you! There are so many small companies with great products or even the drugstore brands (which are getting better and better I think) seem to have products which are just as good as MAC! Although I do love the scent and wear of their lippies... xxx

  7. I totally agree about the sketches. I got so many ideas in my head and then we got... that. I mean, it's quite tacky. I wonder why they did it, and my mom pointed out that Disney probably told them to. I wonder why they don't do special packaging more often, tbh, they have the money.
    I totally understand you -- I have a budding Mac collection and really don't add many pieces to it -- maybe 1-2 per month and it's perm collection stuff mostly.
    I hate their eyeliners too, grrrr. All except my Petrol Blue one from Art Supplies, it's super waterproof and pretty :)

  8. I've never bought MAC, the Australian prices are ridiculous. I got into MMU at the same time I got into make-up, so I only ended up buying a few cheap drugstore items before I found the good indie stuff :)

  9. I already have enough eyeshadows from indie companies that I love, and MAC's stuff didn't look interesting... I don't know how to find my foundation colour or a suitable blush, and right now the only thing I use from them are their lipsticks and brush cleaner.

    What dupes did you see for Petals & Peacocks and Blooming Lovely? I heard Show Orchid and Up The Amp were pretty close. Petals & Peacocks is just lovely on me. I used to be so afraid of bright lippies - now I can't get enough of them. Thanks to you though! :) I'm glad I took a chance and got myself Gladiola after seeing it in your FOTD many entries back.

  10. I have the same issue with you with MAC's foundations, and that's ultimately what led me to experimenting with mineral makeup. NW15 and NC15 were took dark for me.

    I had problems with their eye shadows not always working for me but now that I use eye shadow primer things work a lot better.

    I still prefer my crazy colors from Morgana Minerals or Fyrinnae for bright lippies :)

    I am afraid I'll still be sucked in to buying some of the Disney Villains, because I can't help but love Disney and its villains.

    I'm also a bit frustrated at how fast the collections seem to come out these days.

    I'm really glad to have read your rant and the views you expressed on the subject.

  11. I agree, too. My collection is small, and I like what I have, but I talk myself out of a LOT of purchases when I try them at the counter. So sheer or flaky!

    I was also using NC15 until I realized it was too dark for me and had to move on.

    And I wanted an opaque yellow lipgloss, too. So sad it's not as amazing as it looked.

  12. I totally agree with you on this. The only products I really buy from MAC are my foundations which really work for me and that's about it.

    The last time I bought an eyeshadow has to be at least 4-5 months ago.
    I love bright and pigmented colors just like you and MAC is just too safe for me.

    I used to get all hyped up on the new collections and wanted everything until I swatched them and they were just blah... I still look forward to new collections just to see if there is anything of interests but usually just stick to eyehadows, blushes and lipsticks.

    I think MAC keeps us coming because they are always releasing new stuff and they keep our curiosity up, they are very good for professionals offering lots of nudes and neutrals but for the daring MAC is just not that adventurous anymore unfortunately...

    So now Inglot has become my go to brand for color. Its cheaper and has a ton more products. MAC better watch its back and start reacting!

  13. No, it really IS Mac. Not you Lillian.
    Their nail polishes chip badly a/c to all the bloggers so why bother?

    I have no Mac and if those atrocities pictured above are an example of their oeuvre then they can shove 'em.

    What self-respecting female is going to purchase that load of nonsense? The sort of tat that goes in a 6-year old's party bag.

    Stargazer. Manic Panic (and Manic Panic is against animal testing). Strong pigments. Sleek.

  14. I've never tried any MAC except for the Alexander McQueen lipgloss I have. Just because I've read a lot of people either loving it or hating it. Mostly the people who love it have only tried few good products and then just vouch for the whole brand cause of it. Or it's just fashionable to like it.

    I don't want to spend 20€ on an eyeshadow that might not work at all and can get a dupe with less than half of the price. I'm not against the brand and I'd like to try it but bit too expensive just to try and hope.

    Even tho the Villain collection has stickers on them I wouldn't mind having one in my bag just since they look cute and I like Disney Villains :D

  15. Totally agree! This collection is such a disappointment, and so is the fact that they take some things from their permanent line and add it to LE collections. Not fair!
    Plus, I know not all of their products are fantastic. I had an e/s, Lightfall, which was "un-swatchable" either....

    So yeah, Mac is cool, but one must not be deceived by the label...

  16. oh and congrats, you're one of the finalists of the illmasqua mizz worthy competition....fantastic!!!! I hope you win!

  17. I totally agree. I have been swayed so many times by MAC but never end up satisfied with the products.
    The Villains packaging is so disappointing.

    Well written piece, I'm sure many a girl can relate to.

  18. mac was exciting when I was younger and didn't know what else was out there.. back when it was harder to find what you were looking for, etc.
    I have a few eyeshadows that were ok but once smaller brands like Cookiepuss became known to me, mac just became stuff of highlights and blending

  19. Hi just thought I'd put my bit in here I hope I don't annoy people by what I'm saying but this is just my opinion xI've been reading Specktra and according to people who have seen the packaging is most definitely NOT stickers, its printed and moulded like hello kitty. I'm not defending MAC in anyway but from what I've heard Disney would only release certain images and MAC had to deal with what they were given. Collections like this don't appeal to everyone but I am sure they willl appeal to enough to justify the collection - the same sort of thing happened before hello kitty was released, people arguing it was childish packaging, etc. to be honest I am holding fire till I see the products themselves packaging should never been the only reason why I buy an item although I admit I have let it sway me in the past- some of the beauty powders sound lovely and the new magic liquid powders sound really interesting I'm definitely waiting till I see swatches before I make a descion, also you mention the yellow lipgloss to be honest how many people would buy it if it was bright yellow less I's sure you'll agree then would if it was merely a hint of yellow. At the end of the day they make products to sell and I have to admit bright red lipsticks and daring colours to be honest aren't me I would rather buy them from the high street as there is a bigger risk I wouldn't use them. As a brand they get a lot of hype from the beauty community as do all high end brands and they all have stinkers of products e.g Chanel nail varnish is completly, Dior Amber Diamond whilst being nice is easily dupeable on the high street, and I've even started to hear bad things about Inglot recently. You pays your money you takes your choice - there are plenty of brands out there too choose from and thats as it should be

  20. MAC hasn't excited me since Hello Kitty, to tell you the truth, and even then it wasn't that incredible. I could never see myself buying everything in a collection, but especially not with the stuff they've been putting out these past couple of years.

    Everything looks amazing in the promos, but then when you test them out, that sky blue eyeshadow you were excited about looks just like Aquadisiac, or the gorgeous new lipglosses are as pigmented as water. It's so disappointing, since they're really the leading brand, and if anyone can get away with being creative, it's them.

    I want C-Shock back! I want crazy, crazy colors nobody else has ever thought of! Lipglosses that give Illamasqua a run for their money, nail polishes that compete with China Glaze! Until then, I'll likely continue to be barely even intrigued by each new collection that arrives, just as I've done for the whole past year.

  21. I have heard that their latest nail polishes (Blue India etc) have actually had an improved formula. I only own one MAC polish, Steamy, and I was given that for free!
    I only own a few products - one eyeshadow which I love (but again, a gift), a lipstick from the Hello Kitty collection, gorgeous (also free...long story about those 2 free items) and a concealer which I bought and I really like. I think if I'd paid prices for the other things I might hav a different opinion, but I definitely prefer Illamasqua.

  22. I've gone off MAC too, I don't think I've bought anything from them in over a year. I was quite looking forward to this collection, I love the idea behind it and some of the colours sounded lovely. The packaging is a total let down though, I'd feel a bit embarrassed pulling this out because it looks so cheap and tacky. I'm holding out hope that it will look better in person

  23. I'm up and down with MAC the packaging for Venimous Villians neither excites me or upsets me though so I'm quite happy about it since some of the colours look great!

    The only exciting thing's MAC have done recently is Liberty of London which had that lovely hot hot pink lipstick which I thought was the same as girl about town but it's got something different about it, and Blooming lovely since anything Lilac I must own! but for the rest I've been bored, the recent Mineralize Skinfinishes were nice but re-promotes and the blushes were all quite average.

    I agree about the foundations aswell, some of the formulas look lovely but the colour range is pants! NW15 is too dark and in some formulas were I could JUST get away with NC15 it's miles to yellow!
    NARS have Stolen MAC's crown as my favourite higher end make up brand!

  24. I once looked at MAC - and it looked back at me! And we said: "Oh, ok, let's just be total strangers for a lifetime pretty please". MAC is at least 4x more pricey here at Brazil and they never got my heart racing, you know?
    When I started getting interested in make-up, every single blog I saw screamed "MAC MAC MAC" at me, specially blogs in portuguese.
    But... the price.... I just couldn't spend THAT much money on a lipstick (about 35$) or pigment (about 45$) and feel everything was alright! I could buy my psychopathology book with this money or something like that...
    Also, I couldn't tell if their products were good or if people felt like they had to love it, 'cause it was from MAC.

    So, I decided I'd skip MAC.

    My sister's got a lipstick from them, so does my mom, and while they are good lipsticks, they did not steal my heart.

    I get great quality from Fyrinnae, Morgana Minerals, Meow and such, so I see no reason to buy from MAC unless they release some lip product or blush that makes me scream "DO WANT".

    I have to save up for a house, an office, a new computer and stuff like that. I still want to buy make-up, but I can't spend my money on a name...

    I found great products elsewhere for a price I can pay! Colorful bright stuff that make me smile everyday! - So, I guess MAC and I would rather stay away from each other!

    I'm not saying people that buy from MAC are wasting their money. Please, don't take it that way! But I'd not spend mine on them....

    (P.S: It's Cacau. I'm using my other gmail e-mail)

  25. I agree with the laziness of their packaging. I was hoping that the new dazzle lipsticks would come in a special glittery packaging, but nope.. just looks like any old mac lipstick on the outside.


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