MAC Eyeshadow Swatches (brown transition shades)

I thought it’d be helpful to swatch some of MAC’s transition shades side by side since it can be hard to see the undertone differences on the website. These are shades I find suitable for my skin tone (MAC is C7/C8 and sometimes I can get away with NC45). The brand does offer both lighter and darker colors than what I have swatched here, so if nothing here suits your skin tone, all is not lost.

MAC eyeshadows cork, saddle, brown script, soft brown, texture, uninterrupted
L to R: cork, saddle, brown script, soft brown, texture, uninterrupted
MAC eyeshadow swatches - cork, saddle, brown script, soft brown, texture, uninterrupted dark skin
Top, L to R: cork, saddle, brown script, soft brown | Bottom, L to R: texture, uninterrupted
MAC eyeshadows brown script, swiss chocolate, bougie babe (LE)
L to R, Bottom to top: brown script, swiss chocolate, bougie babe (LE)
MAC eyeshadow swatches brown script, swiss chocolate, bougie babe (LE) dark skin
L to R: brown script, swiss chocolate, bougie babe (LE)

I know that Bougie Babe was a limited edition shade, but anyone who does have it may want to know how it compares to some of the permanent shades. All of the shades swatched with the exception of bougie babe are still available in the permanent range. The refill pans like the ones pictured cost $8. If you want any shade in regular packaging, those cost $18. Unfortunately the shade brown script can only be purchased as a refill pan.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sticking around and checking out more of my content. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • Shop My Stash:  Join me as I share swatches of my products and occasionally search for alternatives to new releases. 

 **Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme Lipstick Swatches

As long as your lips are in good condition, the Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme lipsticks are what Chanel promises. But fair warning, anyone with dry or chapped lips will have to treat them before even looking in the direction of these lipsticks. The brand claims this “extreme matte lipstick features a non-drying texture that glides smoothly onto lips with intense, longwearing colour.” The glide onto the lips part, greatly depends on your lips. The lipstick does have slip, but it will catch and drag if you have dryness or chapping.

These originally stood out to me after trying a sample. I was impressed that such a powdery, matte formula didn’t dry out my lips. To me, this is a comfortable formula. It doesn’t look powdery on the lips, but that’s the feel compared to other matte finishes. For reference, the other mattes I’m familiar with are Maybelline creamy mattes, MAC mattes, and Urban Decay comfort mattes.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme Lipstick Swatches (114 epitome, 116 extreme, 122 chestnut)
L to R: Chanel 114 epitome, 116 extreme, and 122 chestnut

As I mentioned, if you have dry lips, then I would treat them by applying a lip balm and letting it sink in for a few minutes before applying these. If your lips are chapped, either exfoliate or wait until they’re in better shape. These lipsticks don’t dry out my lips, but they do drag if I don’t use a lip balm or lip primer first. Lately, I’ve been using Chanel Rouge Coco Baume, but MAC prep and prime lip also works for me. MAC’s lip primer doesn’t interfere with the formulas longevity the way the lip balm does. The formula is long wearing either way, but less so with a balm.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Extreme Lipstick Swatches (114 epitome, 116 extreme, 122 chestnut)
L to R: Chanel 114 epitome, 116 extreme, and 122 chestnut

On the downside of things, the bullet shape is less precise than the typical lipstick shape, which I think could be an issue for small lips. For some, the $40 price tag may also be a downside. I’m torn about that because while it is a lot, the formula on all three shades that I own are consistent. That precision and quality control isn’t always present at lower prices. So as with all things, you’ll have to decide if that matters to you. Lastly, these are scented, so if you don’t like fragrance in your lip products you’ll want to pass on these.

I think if you are in the market for a very matte lipstic, these are worth a look.

Do you like matte lipsticks or do you prefer a different finish? Let me know in the comments section below.

**Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

Lancome Makeup Round-Up

Lancome 435 bisque w canyon eyeshadow gold lame eyeshadow 25 brush dual finish highlighter dazzling bronze

Although this isn’t an exhaustive round-up of the entire brand, I wanted to talk about the current products that I own from Lancome before I let them go.  This is a great brand that I can truly show appreciation for, but I’ve just come to realize that it’s not for me.  I always have a good experience using their products and I’m always able to find items that suit my skin tone.  But on the downside, I’m continually disappointed by the packaging when considering the price I paid.  That is saying a lot considering I never pay full price for Lancome, and I still come away feeling like I overpaid.  As a military spouse, I can get Lancome products for 15% off and I don’t have to pay tax.  The products I’ve tried just feel lighter and cheaper than brands in a comparable price range like NARS and Bobbi Brown. 

Cheek & Contour Brush #25, $40

Lancome cheek and contour brush 25 review
Lancome cheek and contour brush, #25

This brush was such a disappointment despite getting it for $32 instead of the $40 retail price.  It is a natural goat hair brush, which commands a higher price, but that is where the price justification ends.  It is not as soft as it should be at this price and I’m not impressed with the construction of the brush. It is technically put together better than a drugstore brush, but it doesn’t feel like a $40 brush to me. I can’t tell you how the small/contour end works.  Since I never intended to use that part of the brush, I never tested it. 

Lancome cheek and contour brush 25 review

Overall it doesn’t look as nice to me as other comparably priced brushes and the longer I’ve owned it the more it sheds.  As an example, my Estee Lauder blush brush is natural hair, cost $42, and doesn’t shed at all.  I’ve had the Estee Lauder brush since early-2019 whereas I just got the Lancome brush in March 2020. I guess I should give it some credit because it picks up just enough product and it does blend well. The problem is that I have used much cheaper brushes that I can say that about.

Dual Finish Highlighting Powder, $41

Lancome Dual Finish Highlighter Dazzling Bronze Dark Skin
Lancome 05 Dazzling Bronze

Even though this formula is too intense for my taste, I think this is a really nice underrated formula.  It comes in a nice range of shades and has a unique creamy texture.  I do have dry skin which I think makes some highlight formulas appear more intense.  In the height of summer when my t-zone produces some oil, I notice that highlights melt into the skin making them appear less intense.  You can see swatches and my full review here.

Color Design High Pigment – True Color Eye Shadow, $22

Lancome Color Design Eyeshadows Gold Lame and Canyon
Lancome Color Design Eyeshadows in Gold Lamé (left) and Canyon (right)

This is one of the nicest eyeshadow formulas I’ve used, but I still don’t manage to use them enough.  That just happens sometimes, we can think something is objectively better and still prefer something else.  For a point of reference, this formula reminds me most of the bareMinerals Gen Nude formula but is less dense.  They are somewhat hard pressed, but at the same time I wouldn’t lump them in with old school MAC eyeshadows.  I wish the lids were a flip top instead of sliding up to open, but that is just a personal quirk. You can see swatches and my full review here.

Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation, $43

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W
L to R: 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W

Lancome has just released an updated formula for their stick foundation and in doing so has dropped from having 29 shades to just 22.  The above shades, 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W, didn’t make it into the new lineup.  Both of these shades are available in the liquid version of Teint Idole Ultra so I decided to go ahead and show swatches of them. The brand seems to do a decent job keeping their shades consistent across formulas, so maybe that is still helpful for someone.

Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W swatches
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation (discontinued) L to R: 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W (heavy swatch, wet)
Lancome Teint Idole Ultra Stick Foundation 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W swatches
Lancome Stick Foundation (discontinued) L to R: 415 Bisque W and 435 Bisque W (blended, dried down)

As far as my untrained non-cosmetic chemist eye can tell, they have removed the sunscreen ingredients and the tambourissa trichophylla leaf extract (also called rosabora) from the new formula.  Based on the below ingredient listings, I have a hard time believing the new formula will perform much differently than the old formula.  However, I recognize that I am not a cosmetic chemist and that, at times, any change no matter the size can make a difference.

Discontinued Formula

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS:
OCTINOXATE 2.0 %, TITANIUM DIOXIDE 1.94%
COSMETIC INGREDIENTS:
CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, PHENYL TRIMETHICONE, ISOHEXADECANE, POLYETHYLENE, METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, ALUMINUM CALCIUM SODIUM SILICATE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ARACHIDYL PROPIONATE, TAMBOURISSA TRICHOPHYLLA LEAF EXTRACT, PERLITE, ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE, DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE, ISOPROPYL, TITANIUM TRIISOSTEARATE, LAUROYL LYSINE
MAY CONTAIN:
MICA, TITANIUM DIOXIDE, IRON OXIDES, FERRIC AMMONIUM FERROCYANIDE

New 2021 Formula

INGREDIENTS
CYCLOHEXASILOXANE ● PHENYL TRIMETHICONE ● ISOHEXADECANE ● POLYETHYLENE ● METHYL METHACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER ● ALUMINUM CALCIUM SODIUM SILICATE ● CYCLOPENTASILOXANE ● ARACHIDYL PROPIONATE ● ACRYLATES CROSSPOLYMER ● PERLITE ● ALUMINUM HYDROXIDE ● DISODIUM STEAROYL GLUTAMATE ● LAUROYL LYSINE ●[+/- MAY CONTAIN CI 77491, CI 77492, CI 77499 / IRON OXIDES ● CI 77891 / TITANIUM DIOXIDE ● MICA ●

Past Experiences

Despite my occasional disappointment in packaging that seems cheap, there are some exceptions.  But even when I do like the packaging, it usually turns out those are the times I don’t like the product inside. For instance, I love the L’absolu Rouge lipstick ($32) packaging, but the scent of it bothers me.  Fortunately, in my experience, the scent of the lipstick doesn’t linger after application. It just bothered me so much I didn’t even want to open the ones that I owned in the past. I also think the packaging of their liquid Teint Idole Ultra Foundation ($47) is quite nice, although the formula didn’t work out for me when I tried it.  And taking it way back, I did like the packaging and included brush for the Audacity in Paris eyeshadow palette ($68).

So there you have it. As it turns out Lancome just isn’t a good fit for me personally. I do think they excel at formulating great makeup, and that for some people, it will surely tick all the boxes. For me, however, it just doesn’t live up to the price tag. I also think that someone who hasn’t tried as many products as I have over the years, would have a totally different take on the brand. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on this brand, but for now, I’m done buying from it.

What are your thoughts on Lancome? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh and last thing. If you are a Lancome fan, or have your eye on something, they have a 25% off sale on the website that ends at 1:59 PM PT February 12, 2021.

 **Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

The Wanderlust List #3 (Becca Light Shifter Veil Finishing Powder)

The wanderlust list is my way of enjoying and using items I already own. I hope to encourage myself and others to use some of the products we have rather than being so quick to buy something new. If this concept interests you, you can check out the previous versions of the Wanderlust List below.

Instead of buying the Becca Light Shifter Veil Finishing Powder, I’m revisiting some powders that I already own from Laura Mercier, MAC, and NARS.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (5), MAC Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder (dark), and NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (sunstone)
L to R: Laura Mercier Candleglow (5), MAC Studio Waterweight (dark), NARS Light Reflecting (sunstone)

As a dry skin person, satin or luminous powder is always intriguing. When I saw Becca release this powder, I was going to purchase it as soon as it made its way to Sephora. I’ve talked with Lili (a fellow blogger that you should check out if you haven’t) about it and I talked about it again in a Monday Edit. I still think it looks promising, but the more time that passed, the more I realized that I already have powders that have a similar finish.

Swatches of Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (5), MAC Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder (dark), and NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (sunstone)
L to R: Laura Mercier Candleglow (5), MAC Studio Waterweight (dark), NARS Light Reflecting (sunstone)

So the powders pictured above are the Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (shade 5), the MAC Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder (shade dark), and the NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (shade sunstone). All of these powders leave a satin to luminous finish on the skin and don’t cling if I have dry patches. It is important to keep in mind that if you do not have dry skin and need oil control in your setting powder, these may not be for you.

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (5)

Laura Mercier Candleglow Sheer Perfecting Powder (5) swatch

The Laura Mercier Candleglow Powder is the most luminous of the three products. It leaves a luminous finish and I try to be careful using this with non-matte foundations and I don’t use it if the finish of my foundation is luminous. If you want to learn more about this powder and see shade 4, I’ve featured it previously in Setting Powders That Work for My Dry Skin.

MAC Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder (dark)

MAC Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder (dark) Swatch
MAC Studio Waterweight Pressed Powder (dark) Swatch

The MAC Waterweight Powder is a natural finish with just a hint of luminosity to it. If you are familiar with MAC’s mineralize skinfinish natural, that is more matte than this waterweight powder. I typically just mix the two colors together, but I swatched them separately to show the different undertones of the two sides. There are only two shades left in stock on the MAC website, so this product may be getting discontinued. If you are interested in it, you could always try to see if a MAC counter has more shades in stock.

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (sunstone)

NARS Light Reflecting Pressed Setting Powder (sunstone) Swatch

The NARS Light Reflecting Powder leans more satin in finish but it still has a nice luminosity to it. This powder is the newest to me, but so far I prefer the Laura Mercier since this one is a little too orange on me. It is sheer, since it is a setting powder, so I do think that makes it more workable.

Even though the powders I own are all slightly different, they all get me to pretty much the same place. I’m just trying to be more careful about buying new products that duplicate something that is already a favorite. I’m not always good at it, but we’re all works in progress, so I just do my best.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sticking around and checking out more of my content. 

  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • Shop My Stash:  Join me as I share swatches of my products and occasionally search for alternatives to new releases. 
  • Window Shopping Wednesday: My thoughts on what’s new in beauty (or sometimes just new to me).

 **Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.