Line High/ Low: M.A.C Cosmetics

Although M.A.C is probably my very least favorite line overall, I can’t deny its popularity. They’ve successfully marketed themselves as a makeup line for professionals by professionals, but I believe only the latter to be true. I do carry some M.A.C in my kit, but I find the line overall to be clumsy, adolescent, and impervious to the beauty needs of real women.

That said, I’ve pulled out what I believe to be their best offerings as well as their worst.

High:

Tinted Lipglass is probably M.A.C’s main gateway drug - you start with buying the gloss, then once you’re hooked, you become strung out on foundations and eye liners. Lipglass is a simple, traditional gloss in every way from the sponge tipped applicator to its tacky feeling, and your options seem endless with 36 dazzling shades.

M.A.C’s most intense colors come from their Pigments , a healthy does of loose color that comes in a jar and allows for easy blending and intensity that goes from 0-60 with a sweep of a brush. I like the neutral beigy and pinky ones which I use on the lid over cream shadows to make them really pop, and I’ve also blended them with different lip glosses for pretty customized shades.

M.A.C’s Interactive Brush Finder  helps to finally make the most confusing part of makeup a little easier. Clicking over each brush photo launches a drop-down box of information on how best to use the brush.

Low:

I know I’ve already reviewed  their Studio Fix Powder, but simply calling it overrated was being kind.  Its heavy, opaque coverage has long been a favorite of drag performers who use it to easily cover their 5 o’clock shadows. Yes it serves a purpose, but probably not on you.

Do I have M.A.C Eye Shadows in my kit? Yes. Are they my 1st choice to use? No. Do I use them on myself? Never.

Yes, they do have what looks to be a broad shade range (many of the colors are redundant),  but I find them to be surprisingly low in pigment and a bit chalky. I found long ago that the shadows didn’t look good on women past the age of 35ish since the harsh finish gave life to every imperfection. There are a few shades I do like and use, but I layer them with other products like creme shadows to get the look I want.

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Line High/ Low: Laura Mercier

I’ve used a ton of Laura Mercier, both personally and professionally so here are the products I love (and buy) along with those that just missed the mark.

High:

Mercier’s Tinted Moisturizer is probably their most recognizable product out of the bunch due to its many accolades over the years from magazine editors and real women alike. It maintains the impossible balance of weightless coverage that all skin types can enjoy.

Tight Lining is a technique I use all the time on myself as well as most girls in my chair because it’s an undetectable way to make eyes pop and lashes seem longer. Mercier created the technique and the Eye Liner specifically for it.

Satinée Crème Eye Colours are suitable for all women. On the go? Swipe em’ on with your fingers. Want staying power? Layer them with powder shadow. Mature eyes, young eyes, and everything in between, they will settle and wear perfectly.

Low:

I totally get what they were trying to do with their Flawless Fix Pencil- make an easy concealer for touch ups and also hard to reach areas like around the mouth for bleeding. Unfortunatley the consistency is too dry to blend into blemishes, and too creamy for along your lower waterline to brighten eyes like the one I use.

Their Mascaras aren’t horrible, but they aren’t great either. With nothing that special about either formula, why spend $20 when you can choose from several stellar drugstore finds for well under $10?

I’m all for some pretty, well-placed shimmer from time to time, but their Shimmer Bloc (and Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Bricks) are a shimmery nightmare waiting to happen. Pair this compact with a woman who hasn’t been shown how to use it, and the result can be a disaster.

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Line High/ Low: Bobbi Brown

Every line has a few signature items, the ones for which they’re known and others try and duplicate. Similarly, each line has a few items that aren’t that great and are eventually phased out or re-formulated. Here’s my Line High/ Low for Bobbi Brown.

Highs:

Their Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner is their hands down best formulated item out of the line. It wears as indicated and the color selection is perfectly complete. These are must-haves in makeup artist’s kits and something I personally wear all the time.

If you have yet to find a perfect foundation, go for their Foundation Stick which also doubles as a concealer. Adjust the coverage exactly they way you like it, adding more where you need it and less where you don’t. All skin types can use the stick except for very oily, and the 17 shades offered have you covered no matter what your skin tone.

Rarely talked about and totally underrated is their Lash Glamour mascara. What makes it unique is the gel formula (traditional mascaras are cream) that can be used over any mascara to give a glossy false lash look, or of course used on its own.

Lows:

I’ll never understand the Shimmer Bricks. Even using a light-handed approach can leave you with shimmer overload, especially outside in daylight. Adding a pink shade to the equation (versus a bronzer) adds another challenge since a shimmery pink face doesn’t seem like a desired effect.

Now I love their Eye Shadow colors as much as I love the new packaging for the custom palettes. I guess the only problem is the shadow formulas themselves. Creasing varies from color to color, and so does intensity. Some shades glide on easily, while others make you work harder than you care to trying to create depth.

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