Category Archives: MAC Cosmetics

Faux Glowing: The Best Self Tanners at Every Price

Sunless tanning is a way of life. From the maintenance, like regular exfoliation, and of course, proper application. No sugar coating here, a lot can go wrong in the self tanning process. Everything from streaking and patchy spots to orange skin and burnt looking hands. It’s all of these factors that lead me to take great pride in my faux tan. In fact, most everyone mistakes it for the real thing. But I’ve got no interest in exposing my skin to actual sun – at least not without my SPF 30! Here’s my tips, tricks and product recommendations for achieving that perfect faux glow.

Best in Skin: Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Pads. I cannot say enough good things about these. I pretty much use these exclusively to tan my face. The color I get is natural looking and healthy, and it’s fragrance free. I love that it’s not only a sunless tanner, but skin care. It has anti-aging properties and encourages that much needed cell turnover. Oh, and it contains active Vitamin D. $32 for a box of 20 at Sephora.

Best in Longevity: TanTowel. I actually am not the hugest self-tanning towelette fan, believe it or not. I find that this is where streaking and blotching is most likely to occur. But I do like TanTowel, a lot. I get amazing colorwith these, and it seems to lasts longer than any other iteration of this style of product. I’d say I can get about 4-5 days out of this until it really starts to fade. And even then, I get a few more days of semi-tanned skin. The key here is apply in circular motions repeatedly to ensure you’re not missing a spot, and to open a new towel if it starts to dry out. I use about two TanTowels at a time, at night only. The citrus smell is lovely at application, but the self tanning smell does appear once the color develops. $27 for 10 applications, Ulta.

Best in Budget: Jergens Natural Glow Express. This gets our vote for best drugstore self-tanner. It transforms your skin shades darker in just three days (I was satisfied after just two!), and there’s two different versions based on skin tone, so no worries if you’re on the fair side. When I first used this earlier this spring, I was winter white and it worked magic. $8 at the drugstore.

Best in Natural: Josie Maran Argan Self Tanning Cream. Not only is this the first self-tanner to contain 100% organic Argan Oil, the natural formula is infused with caffeine molecules to wake up cells and tone the skin’s surface. It can be used head to toe, and is scent-free! The secret is DHA derived from sugar beets and sugar cane that work together with your skin’s proteins to create a natural-looking tan. $32 for 4oz., Josie Maran.

Best in Maintenance: St. Tropez Everyday Gradual Tan for Body. St. Tropez gets the gold star for its self-tanning products — it’s what they’re known for. I especially love the Everyday Gradual Tan lotion for maintenance. I use it as a body lotion post-shower (no tanning smell, at all – promise!) and it deepens and maintains the tan I’ve already built daily. I use the Light/Medium. $30 for 6.7 oz., Sephora.

Best in Temporary: MAC Skinsheen Leg Spray. There are times where a temporary tan is needed. When you’re wearing a skirt, shorts or just out for the night. I love MAC’s formula – it’s a hybrid mousse gel that looks so good on the gams. This offers a subtle sheen and evens everything out very nice. It can also be used on other areas on the body if needed. Once it dries, it stays until you wash it off. Your white clothing is safe. $26.50, MAC.

Any self-tanning tips and tricks to share? Or…any horror stories? We’re all friends here – dish!

Ten or Less: MAC Cosmetics Sized to Go Collection

I use to take my old bottles of MAC’s Fix + and transfer them it into smaller bottles so I could keep some with me, I love stuff and every version of it since.  Now with the new MAC Sized to Go collection arriving in MAC stores now, I can just pick up bottle of Fix + in a carry-on approved size  just in time for the summer travel season. Half of the collection is priced at $10 so I thought it was perfect for this week’s Ten or Less.

In travel, small has a virtue that goes beyond size. It’s mandatory! And in your M·A·C skincare formula of choice, small universally approved volumes of 30 ml. or less are not only more tote-able, they allow you to carry on all of your favorite regime: Fix +, Cleanse Off Oil, Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil, Pro Eye Makeup Remover, Demi-Wipes, Studio Moisture Cream, Strobe Cream, Green Gel Cleanser and Oil Control Lotion – everything you need to keep your skin cleansed, refreshed and hydrated. In anything but a round-the-world marathon, small is most likely all you need. These handy sizes also favour local jaunts and can be great for the space-challenged. Exclusively at M·A·C stores.

At $10:

  • Fix +
  • Cleanse Off Oil/Tranquil
  • Cleanse Off Oil
  • Pro Eye Makeup Remover
  • Green Gel Cleanser

At $15:
• Demi-Wipes
• Oil Control Lotion
• Strobe Cream
• Studio Moisture Cream

If you have never tried some of these products, I like that these travel versions give you a way to try a substantial amount of product without the full price. The Strobe Cream, for example, costs $29.50 for 50ml so why not give it a shot?

MAC Cosmetics Bloggers' Obsessions Collection

By now you’ve heard about MAC’s new Bloggers’ Obsessions collection coming out (online only) on the 21st. This collection tugs on my heart strings a little bit for a few reasons. I love that a company like MAC took beauty bloggers seriously enough to collaborate with them is a definitely a big deal. MAC has embraced beauty bloggers in a way that no other brand has. Plus my gals definitely created some interesting shades!

  • Amber from Beauty Blogging Junkie created Sparkle, Neely, Sparkle!, a deep rusty brown with champagne-colored sparkle.
  • Christine from Temptalia created Jealousy Wakes, a seething emerald green with teal and gold pearl.
  • Lesley from Lipstick Powder N Paint created Parisian Skies, a muted grey-blue.
  • Lianne from The Makeup Girl created Hocus Pocus, a dark sooty grey with silver pearl.
  • Karen  from Makeup and Beauty Blog created Evolution Revolution, a warm peachy pink with subtle purple, green and blue micro glitter.
  • Patrice from Afrobella created All Of My Purple Life, a deep purple/grape with subtle sparkle.
  • Lilly from Beauty Maverick created Caqui, a persimmon orange.
  • Aileen from The Shades of U created Sonoran Rain, a deep coral-red with gold and silver pearl.
  • Wendy from Nitrolicious created Nitro:licious 2046, an intense shiny red.

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MAC Prep & Prime Highlighters Do All of the Above

MAC expanded its Prep & Prime line with a few new additions in the Primed for Perfection launch earlier this month. It may be a small launch, but its a powerhouse in my opinion. I’m particularly liking the Prep and Prime Highlighter, a click pen-style highlighter that does just about anything you need it to. I think it veers into new territory and is quite a useful tool for my makeup bag. It’s a mix of primer, concealer, highlighter and can be used for all of the above and everything in between.

Radiant Rose (L), Light Boost (R)

There are three color options, and I’ve found a great match in the pinky Radiant Rose and yellow Light Boost. Both are probably intended for those with light-medium skin tones, but the other option Bright Forecast (not shown here) should have a broader range for dark skin types.

As you can see, these aren’t shimmery or what you’d consider a typical highlighter — which is why I love them. They do brighten the skin and add a touch of radiance, they just do so without the usual suspects of glimmer and shimmer. I like to use them 360 around the eye as a primer and a concealer. The Light Boost evens out any redness in my eyelids and provides a great base even if I’m not planning on layering makeup over it. They are the ultimate in multitasking, and are great for touch-ups.

At $23, these are an affordable alternative to other concealers/highlighters on the market. Bobbi Brown’s and YSL’s both come to mind and are upwards of $15-20 more. And a final piece of great news – these are a permanent addition to MAC’s collection!

Shine Reigns in MAC's Sheen Supreme Lipstick

L-R: Full Speed, Tempation, Behave Yourself, Supremely Confident

Perhaps the greatest innovation to hit the beauty industry in the past year or so is the hybrid lipstick/gloss formula. Yes, we all love lipsticks and you know I love my gloss, but a girl needs one product to suit all of her needs, ya know? MAC has hopped on the fusion trend with the release of Sheen Supreme Lipstick, and is staying there. Sheen Supreme, available now in 14 shades, is a welcome addition to the brand’s permanent line-up.

L-R: Supremely Confident, Behave Yourself, Full Speed, Temptation

The formula is lightweight, not sticky in the least and nice and cushy on the lips. I find the Sheen Supremes to have the ideal mix of color and shine. I’m obsessed with Behave Yourself, a very mod pink. Full Speed definitely satisfies my coral curiosity and Temptation is one of the least intimidating reds I’ve encountered.

At $14.50 they are a more budget-friendly option than other variations in the market. And they are Back-2-MAC-able. Save your empties ladies!

Coming Soon: MAC Surf Baby Collection

This new MAC Surf, Baby collection is changing my mind about summer collections. I’m more of a fall collection kind of gal but lately all I can think about is being out in the sunlight and feeling the warmth on my skin. Not because I want to tan, but mainly because I’m tired of the cold and the rain! When this collection comes out, at least I can fake some sun-kissed skin.

SURF, BABY! 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 a Colour 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.

Here’s what is in this collection:


  • Naturally Eccentric – creamy white nude (Lustre)
  • Hibiscus – bright orange coral (Cremesheen)
  • Bust Out! – dirty mid-tone violet (Lustre)
  • Mocha – peachy yellow-brown (Satin)

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MAC Cosmetics Wonder Woman Collection

This weekend I searched through my mother’s photos to try and show you a picture of me as a kid dressed up like Wonder Woman but I struck out. As a child of the 80’s, I know I dressed up as her for Halloween at least once. How about you? The new MAC Wonder Woman collection will let you re-live some of the Wonder Woman magic.

Just when the fate of the world is careening toward disaster, cue theme music! It’s Wonder Woman! She Kicks Sass! Her mission: Collaborate with MAC to fight the supervillains of the world – criminally outdated color, evil, un-dimensional skin finish, the disasters that drain drama – with that famous spin, a double-cuff of her wicked wrist bracelets and shazam! MAC Spring Colour 2011 is the feminine force (with a dash of comic fun) that saves the day! No nemesis can match the stamina, agility and speed of her SUPER-SIZED Mineralize Skinfinish, bold Eye Shadow quads, Pigment, Opulash, Lipsticks and OVERSIZED Lipglass, JUMBO-BIG Powder Blush and Penultimate Eye Liner, Nail Lacquer and Lash for this larger-than-life transformation! Our Artists work wonders every day – now with the help of one of entertainment history’s most exciting feminist figures…Since 1944, Wonder Woman is the original incarnation of what makes women forever wonderful!

No one understands the importance of a bag of tricks quite like our MAC Spring 2011 heroine! Her legendary bracelets were made from remnants of the Goddess Athena’s all-powerful shield, to award her The Sign of the Champion…In that same spirit of fantasy and wonder, M∙A∙C creates a vivid collection of accessories that are sure to bring you a sense of feminine infallibility, totally peerless power – you ARE Wonder Woman if you want to be. Bright, bold, superhuman designs in Makeup Bags – from raging Red to Bulletproof Blue, Utility Belt Brush Sets that Superman secretly covets, and exclusively online, the WW T-shirt and Invincible Mirror to make your mission – kaboom! – complete.

Let’s take a look at what’s in this collection:
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Beauty VIP of the Week: Eye Brightening Pencils

You guys, I’m living for the eye brightening pencil this week. I’ve happily added another step into my morning beauty routine and find it is well worth the 10 seconds (each eye) that it takes. I’m in a rut, which I blame on winter. I look tired, even though I’m well-concealed and brightened, and eyeliner on my lower lash line seems to be weighing me down. A few swipes of an eye brightening pencil along the waterline is saving me.

I’ve been using three:  Tarte EmphasEYEs Inner Brightener, Too Faced Mineral Water Eye Brightener and MAC Chromagraphic Pencil NC15/NW20, but have really grown to rely on one.

L-R: Tarte, Too Faced, MAC

Too Faced’s version has a nice pink tone that is flattering and it also has a cooling effect which I like. MAC’s Chromographic is the thickest of the three and a good multi-tasker — to cover a blemish or redness. But, Tarte’s EmphasEYES takes the cake. The color is perfect on my waterline and the best part? It lasts ALL day. As I type this, I’m nine hours into wearing makeup and it is still on my waterline. It’s definitely my savior this week, and I’m convinced I need this always.

MAC Stylishly Yours Beauty Powder in Play it Proper

Joining Cham Pale on MAC counters at the close of 2010 was the vibrant Stylishly Yours collection. But it wasn’t the bold colors that stuck out to me, rather, it was the gorgeous beauty powders, particulary Play it Proper. I had an instant magnetic pull to this pale pink compact and I was not disappointed one bit. I thought it would be more of a highlighter, but I actually like it as a finishing powder over cheeks and the areas I’d typically highlight.

Here’s a very heavy swatch of Play it Proper on my pale winter skin. It’s slightly frosty, but only because I layered the swatch heavily. Dusted on the face, it adds just the slightest glow. If you are a lover of MAC Beauty Powders, then you will be very pleased with Play it Proper. And honestly, if you like Mineralize Skin Finishes but are looking for a softer glow, I think you’ll like Play it Proper as well. It’s sort of like a hybrid of the two, in my opinion.

Anyone else drawn to the soft, subtleness of the Stylishly Yours Beauty Powders?

New! MAC Peacocky Collection

MAC Peacocky hit counters this past week, and in addition to providing us with a new adjective, the collection features two brand-new products: Kissable Lipcolour and Mega Metal Shadow.

Arrogance or elegance? The showy display, the undeniably sexual spectacle, the iridescent irreverence…it’s awe-inspiring. We fetishize the exotic peacock as a symbol of extreme beauty, an act of elaborate nature, raging against everything simplistic. Peacocky fans out in a foray of intense colour for Lips and Eyes, exotic and sophisticated with a touch of ’30s F. Scott Fitzgerald glamour and mesmerizing metallic sheen. Dramatic doesn’t even begin to describe the girl who knows she’s Peacocky.

I think the collection description above gives me a better sense of how to use Peacocky in a sentence. Great word:) Here’s a rundown of the collection:

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