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Product Review: Eyes on MAC

I have been using MAC for close to 20 years. It was a little niche brand back then, and way ahead of its time. The counter girls (and some boys) were outrageously made up, and I would feel a cross of desire and fear to visit the counter. Everyone looked so glam, so chic and so put together… I felt dowdy and unworthy even though I myself worked in a beauty department. That was also a long time ago when a drug store carried only drug store makeup… many things have changed since then my Foxy Friends! If you are a Canadian reader, or visit Canada, you will know that our drug stores have staggering beauty departments that fulfill all of you beauty wishes!

I ventured into MAC more often once a good friend started working there. My addiction was Studio Fix Powder in C20. I went though one every two weeks and often looked almost doll-like with my thick layer of base…. I loved that look and it is definitely one that you can only rock before any fine lines or wrinkles start to set in, so I am glad I wore it in my youth.

Over the years I have tried almost every product they have, and often return to replenish. I guess recently though, MAC fell off of my radar as more and more new niche brands have been popping up all over the internet. Then, someone I know that works at MAC offered their new eyeshadow palettes for me to try out. I welcomed the gesture as I had just been thinking that week how my eye shadow collection was going either too old or too boring or too colourful (I know… first world problems strike again). photo 1-2

Imagine my delight when the palettes arrived! This absolute angel sent me not one, not two, but THREE of their new palettes to try out!!! That would be 39 NEW eyeshadows in total! Oh boy did I need this… I had been busy having two babies in an 18 month span and so much of my creativity and zest for beauty products had been put on the back-burner while I figured out how to keep the tiny humans alive and quiet.

So, to get you up to speed on what I received (as per MAC website desciptions):

  • photo 4-2Purple Times Nine – This well-edited palette features a colour wave of petite purple hues that offer countless shade combinations. It provides an array of textures from matte to satin to frost for creating a variety of looks for both day and night. The saturated, soft and smooth hues are all packaged in one compact for easy portability. Retails $48 CAD, value of $63.
  • photo 3-2Eye Shadow X 15: Cool Neutral – An Eye Shadow Palette in fifteen cool shades: Flounce, Sweet Allure, Sun Tweaked, Blackberry, After Dusk, Pick Me Up, Crushed Clove, Cozy Grey, Deception, Brun, Silver Fog, French Clay, Cumulus, Pearled Earth and Black Tied. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully. Retails $99 CAD, value of $192.
  • Eye Shadow X 15: Warm Neutral – An Eye Shadow Palette in fifteen warm shades: Hey, Warm Breeze, Gingersnap, Dark Brew, Dance in the Dark, Brule Vanilla Extract, Honey Lust, Amber Lights, Saddle, Lemon Tart, Butterfudge, Creative Copper, Unwind and Divine Decadence. The highly pigmented powder formula applies evenly, blends and builds beautifully. Retails $99 CAD, value of $192.photo 2-3
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The gold I used in the corner here looked awful on camera, but cool in real life

Immediately I am drawn to the purples. I looooove to wear purples and they look so good with my eye colour. They make my hazel eyes POP and purples pick up on my flecks of green. I have to confess something that I am slightly devastated by though… I have an aversion to purple eye products. Something about the pigment cause my eyes to start to tear and get a little red, and the longer I leave them on, the more intense the ouch factor gets. I was truly hoping that these ones would be different, or that perhaps I had outgrown my sensitivity. Alas, I had not. I played with this palette one day and it looked so pretty, but by the end of day my eyes were telling me “no-go”. Sigh…. at least I tried.

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This is a rare soft look for me, and I loved it. Wish I could wear purples!

Full disclosure: I tried them more than once to make sure. These two photos represent two looks I created with them.

That said, this palette of 9 shadows also comes in three other collections with the focus on Amber, Navy and Burgundy. The pans are slightly smaller than a normal MAC eyeshadow, but unless it’s a favourite you never use up a whole pan anyhow. At $48 these are great little collections with a range of intensities and textures in each palette, and I would not hesitate to pick up all four. They are a great way to get a ton of colour options that you can use on their own or pair with neutrals.

Did someone say neutrals? Yes, I know that was me and my obvious segue to discuss the Warm Neutral and Cool Neutral palettes. First of all, these babies have 15 eyeshadows in each one! This is ahhhh-mazing! As far as I am concerned they are both MUST HAVES for any artist kit, and I think the average person should have at least one of these. You can create ENDLESS looks and even use them in conjunction with any pops of colour you want. I love that there are shimmers and mattes, and the only thing I would change is to have more mattes in the Neutral Warm, but that’s just me.

These larger collections are simply stunning and I wish they had created these years ago. I would have saved a ton of money over choosing all the individual shades myself and paying full price for each one. I am so impressed with MAC for releasing “value sets” that give the avid purchaser a chance to get something extra.

NOTE: Not posting pics of me wearing the neutral palettes at this time as going forward you will be seeing a lot of them! If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram all of my latest looks are created using one of the neutral palettes.

So it’s you turn now Foxes, have you tried any of these MAC palettes yet? Do you have a fave eye shadow palette already? Do tell….


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Day 24: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

slide_24_2092059aJenny Frankel is a beauty legend creator and you have probably worn at least one of the products that this chemical engineer helped to create at some point in your life (Lipglass anyone?). Her business acumen, her know how around a chemistry lab and love affair with the beauty industry helped birth a new product line that is genius in it’s simplicity. If you read the Day 20 post, you have already met her daughters and muses, Ally and Taylor. Their approach to makeup was fresh and natural, and together with their mom they made a user friendly line that is beautiful for all ages called NUDESTIX. Heck, I am almost (gulp) 40 and find this line enchanting because of it’s effortless application and natural, yet finished look. Here is the Day 24 tip from Jenny:

“For an instant lift that takes seconds – use your pencil as a highlighter. I like to apply NUDESTIX Magnetic Eye Color in Angel under and above my brow bone, on my cheek bones, down the centre of my nose, bow of my lips and centre of my bottom lip. Just draw and smudge and I look immediately fresh and brighter.”

In the darkest days on winter I will definitely try anything to look fresher and brighter. Thanks for the easy tip Jenny!

So Foxes, do you use a highlighter? Where do you like to apply it? Do share, and stay tuned for the last tip tomorrow along with a giveaway!


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Day 23: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

Teresa Browning Johnston has worked for 20 years as a makeup artist, and is currently the Beauty Boutique Manager at a Shoppers Drug Mart in Tecumseh, Ontario. In addition to delighting her lucky store customers, Teresa is providing us with the Day 23 Tip. This will keep your mascara from being contaminated and drying out making it last much longer, and in the long run Foxes, this one will be saving you some of your hard earned money!

10514288_10152163806707477_4343223163923463846_o“I pull the mascara wand out and spin the wand on the back of my hand removing ALL mascara. This creates a pile of the formula on my hand. I then dip wand into loose product and then apply to lashes. I get less clumps and more product at base of lash to build a false lash look..repeat on second lash.You only have to pull your wand once, therefore not pushing unnecessary air in to your mascara tube (which can dry it out faster). PLUS, any additional product left on hand, I use as a gel liner. Works perfect!!!”

This is a cool trick I am going to have to try out for myself! Thanks so much Teresa!

Foxes, on the topic of mascara, how long do you keep yours before you replace it? Did you know it should be disposed of within 3 months?


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Day 20: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

Well my Foxy Friends, we are only five days away from the big day! I trust that you have most of your shopping done… yeah I know, neither do I! Well maybe today’s tip will help you decide on a stocking stuffer for one of your Foxy Friends.

Ally and Taylor Frankel are sisters and the inspiration/ founders behind NUDESTIX. This brand is a simple collection of easy-to-use makeup crayons that cover all the bases and give you a fresh-faced, nude look that works for all faces, that you can apply in all places. Enriched with skin-saving vitamins, antioxidants and moisturizers, each multipurpose NUDESTIX is loaded with just enough colour to go nude, but better. Here is a tip from Ally and Taylor:

_ADL8598-R2-F“Smokey eye does not have to mean shades of black. Smokey neutrals are the new black for the eye. Neutrals make a great smokey look for both day and night! Smokey, luminous, sheer washes of neutral gold’s, plums, taupe’s, browns, greys and even smudgy black where you can see your skin is on trend.

We like to use a black, bronze and gold eye cream based eye color that’s super blend able, fast and easy to apply a no-makeup makeup eye that looks just slept in. We like to use concealer first all over the eye as a base; then use your highlighting pencil all over lid, use black on the water line and take your finger to smudge it slightly outside of the waterline and beneath the eye for #iwokeuplikethis look! Try the Nudestix #GILTYLOVE holiday eye kit featuring the Magnetic Eye Colour in Night, Twilght and Gilt.”

 

Well said ladies! It is refreshing to see a neutral smokey eye and I think we are all a little tired of trying to perfect the smokey eye of the past with the shades of black as you mentioned.

How about you Foxes, do you or will you be trying a neutral smokey eye for yourself? I can’t wait to try this look!

 


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Day 17: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

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Courtney Kelly has been working for Shoppers Drug Mart for six years, and she is currently a Beauty Boutique Manager. Obsessed with the beauty industry since youth, she graduated from Humber College from the Fashion Arts program and knew she absolutely had to work in the makeup industry. Courtney gives us our Foxy Advent Calendar Tip of The Day for day 17….

“Glittery eye makeup is a great way to spice up your look for the holidays. Sometimes people are scared to work with glitter because it can be super messy. Apply an eyeshadow primer first to the eye as this will help the it adhere and last all night.Then, spray your eyeshadow brush with a makeup spray that is for setting and making makeup stay on longer (like Clarins Fix’ Make-Up) and dip it into the glitter. This helps the it from falling all over your face and makes the colour of the glitter pop! If you really going for an all – out full glittery eye, apply your foundation and other face makeup after your eye makeup. If you have any fall out you can just swipe it off easily with a makeup remover wipe!”

Yes! Glitter has always made this Fox pretty happy, and I am so pleased Courtney had a tip to make the experience a whole lot less messy!

Are any of you Foxes going to try this glitter tip? Maybe for New Year’s Eve? Please do… I would love to see your results!

 

 


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Day 16: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

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It is now day 16 and we are ever so quickly approaching the big day! I am so impressed that I am still able to pull great tips out of all my Foxy contacts! Becky Walkom has been a makeup artist for a decade, and is currently the Retail Manager for MAC Cosmetics in Kitchener. She was super generous with tips and I have chose a couple that are super relevant to the time of year and to what is trending, and pocketed the others for a future post 😉

“With the Christmas season, you may have to go from work to a party without much time to refresh. Create a smoky eye in a hurry! Take an eye liner pencil and smudge it all over your lid just up to your crease. Then pat a shimmery eye shadow of a similar depth on top. Finish with plenty of mascara and you’re good to go! Keep your lips muted with a smoky eye. Everyone is after that perfect 90’s nude lips that Kendall Jenner is sporting lately. Try MAC’s Brave or Twig Lipstick with Whirl Lip Liner. As a bonus, this combo works on everyone!”

Thanks Becky for those tips – I think a smoky eye is one thing we can really appreciate a short-cut on! And… I can finally pull that Twig lipstick out of my vault and use it again!

Are my Foxy friends comfy sporting the smoky eye? Tell me why or why not….


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Day 15: Foxy Advent Calendar Tip Of The Day

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Our day 15 Foxy tip comes from the wild west – Calgary. With 31 years of beauty industry experience, Carol – Ann Bezooyen Mysyk is a well respected and sought after expert. She has worked for Shoppers Drug Mart in various roles, and is currently a part time Beauty Expert at a Beauty Boutique. 

“When doing mascara do lower lashes FIRST. Then you don’t have to open your eyes so wide looking up to get them after. This prevents the mascara dotting in the eyeshadow. Works like a charm.”

Ummm…yeah…why am I only finding out about this now? I love when I get a beauty tip that I haven’t used yet! Carol – Ann, you have taught me a new trick today, and for that, I thank-you!

Foxy friends, am I the only person who didn’t already know about this easy trick?