15 March, 2012

Sassy Review: MAC Vera make-up collection, butterflies and blooms galore!

15 March, 2012

MAC are having a great year so far. First, there were the two collaborations with renowned fashionistas (Iris Apfel and Daphne Guinness), then they released one of their strongest collections to date with MAC Shop Cook. And now they’re continuing to knock it out the park with the MAC Vera Collection.

A collaboration with the artist Vera (yep… me neither!), these are the perfect products to spruce up your spring. Full of playful pastels, brilliant butterflies and fabulous florals, it’s a breath of fresh air in your make-up bag!

My favourite items from this collection are the Pearlglide Intense Liners ($135). You all know by now how much I miss my beloved Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliners and since UD still shows no sign of being stocked here, these are the next best thing. Six super-creamy, super-soft, super-pigmented pencils in glorious gorgeous colours. They glide on effortlessly and stay put forever; needless to say, I bought the whole set on sight! The three shown above are (left to right): Undercurrent, an A-MAZ-ING peacock teal with a bewitching sparkle (worn in photo); Petrol Blue, a deep navy with yet more dazzling sparkle; and Industrial, an unusual but mesmerising periwinkle steely blue/grey. If, like me, you have more eyeliner pencils than real pencils, you have to get these.

There are also two beautiful powder blushes, stamped with an adorable little ladybug (Vera’s signature print) – I tried the Pearlmatte Face Powder in Flower Fantasy ($255), which I’m wearing in all these photos. I was surprised by how much I loved this as the gradation of pinks, salmons and beiges looked a little muddy in the pan; however, this was as smooth and silky-soft as cashmere and applied as a light breezy pale coral-pink with the merest hint of pearl shimmer, especially suitable for fair complexions.

I discovered another unexpected delight in the Plushglasses ($175). These are lip glosses that boast a plumping effect, with a slight stinging sensation and menthol scent similar to DuWop’s Lip Venom. The result is gorgeous glossy plump smackers that just make you want to pucker up and give someone a smacker! I have heard that some people have severe reactions to the formula so I would advise you to test them at the counter first, but for me the stinging sensation soon settled down to a moisturising, comfy and yes, plush feel. Angelina, eat your heart out! I tried Fashion Fanatic, a creamy pale pink that’s ideal for an au natural look with a touch of va va voom (worn in the earlier photo with Undercurrent Pearlglide) and Confetti, a warm orange coral with a hint of soft pearl shimmer (worn in the photo above, with Petrol Blue Pearlglide as a liner on the outer corner and Industrial Pearlglide over the eyelid).

The soft spring feel is also totally carried over to the two nail polishes in the Vera Collection, two pretty pastels. I tried Play Day Nail Lacquer ($110), a peachy-keen coral that delivered opaque glossy coverage in two coats. It’s a lovely feminine colour, perhaps a little too safe for me, and it’d be quite easy to find duplicates from cheaper brands if you are looking to save your pennies.

Finally, onto the most fun product – the sets of four Crushed Metallic Pigments ($315). These are the types of sparkly glittery gorgeous colour you dreamt about when you were little and played dress-up! I was totally smitten by the Butterfly Party set, which consists of (above, from left to right): Butterfly Party, a super-shimmery bright lavender; Dessert Cloud, a super-shimmery indigo; Raindrop, a super-shimmery vivid turquoise; and Moss Garden, a super-shimmery metallic pale silver-green. As you may have guessed, super-shimmery is the name of the game here!

Like the name suggests, these babies are SO pigmented. Just the lightest and softest of touches will deliver you more colour pay-off than some eyeshadows would achieve with their whole pot! I advise you to approach them with caution: they get very messy, very easily (not helped by the packaging, which the pigment in each pot contained under a flimsy plastic sheet). Use a brush if possible and try adding a tiny bit of water to make them adhere to your skin easier and minimise glitter fall-out. You can also add more water and apply with a thinner brush and boom, you’ve got yourself an eyeliner too!

I tried a look using all of them at once (see above) and quickly felt like I was a lost member of 80s cartoon band, Jem & The Holograms. ‘Hi Bowie-Eyes, when’s the audition for Cirque du Soleil’ chipped in the boyfriend. So yes, probably not ideal office-wear! But for a party and for days where you feel like having fun with your make-up, these are unsurpassed.

But if you stick to just one or two shades swept and blended over your entire eyelid (I’m wearing Raindrop and Moss Garden on the left and Butterfly Party on the right – yes, the life of a beauty blogger, mismatched eyes all the way!), it’s a vivid, vibrant and long-lasting but still wearable look. You could also try the Aloha Crushed Pigment set for more versatile and easy-to-use beige and gold shades.

I’ve probably been watching far too much America’s Next Top Model, but every item I used from MAC Vera made me want to sigh ‘Easy, breezy, beautiful!’ This is a gorgeous collection with plenty of quality products; the pretty colours and beautiful blooms may swoon spring but trust me, this stuff is good enough to use all year round.

MAC Vera make-up collection is available at all MAC counters now. See all MAC locations in Hong Kong here.

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