I have been waiting for this collection for a good while, or at least ever since the promotional images started floating online!
I wouldn't say I'm a fan but I have heard of Gareth Pugh before this (stumbled upon while researching for projects during college years) and admired his structured avant garde pieces with a geometric flare so I was honestly pretty stoked about the collaboration.
From what I know (about the collection) the prices are a little on the crazy side, like that one collection that MAC puts out every year that you might not even care to consider because it's not worth it. Though I would say I'm too hung up on the collaboration idea and needed at least one thing from this collection but I ended up with 2.
Here's one of Gareth Pugh's trademark runway pieces...
...and also of his more wearable ones (really like that dress!)
But anyway on to the makeup products.
From reviews online nothing really stood out to me aside from the nail polish in Ascension (see Temptalia's swatch/review). It was that one thing I would pick up just cause. However when I chanced across the collection at TANGS Orchard it was already sold out, how sad.
I ended up picking up another polish, Inert, which in truth isn't too special or unique but I did like the creamy grey look from within the bottle.
MAC Nail Polish in Inert
The Gareth Pugh polishes cost about S$43, which is even more then Chanel and that's kind of crazy but I am just going to sit in the bliss of the haul and try not to think about that. heh.
Color-wise Inert is a light neutral-toned (maybe a little tipped on the cool side?) grey and for a MAC polish it swatches pretty well. My last encounter with a MAC polish was during Give Me Liberty of London so it has been an improvement since then or at least this time around.
I don't have very many true greys (not grey-blues) in my collection so I know this is unique in my stash though in the polish realm it's probably very dupable by polishes a fraction of it's price.
If you happen to know of a dupe or think something is dupable, do let me know! One can never have too many grey polishes!
I'll also do a general swatchfest with the greys in my stash and I'm thinking I'll only need 1 hand to swatch them all. That's how little greys I have!
The next item is one that many have casted aside in this collection and I really don't blame them because I see the rationale in that but again, I couldn't help it!
MAC Beauty Powder in Elude
Before I get to the product, this beauty powder is certainly not travel friendly because the casing is really quite heavy! I'm not a material expert so I don't know what was used but it doesn't seem all plastic. On a frivolous note, I also like how all the compacts (eyeshadow, blush, beauty powder) snap to a shut with magnets.
The powder itself is embossed with a geometric design that looks like it could withstand some usage. Shade-wise it looks befitting to be labeled a highlighter with the pale yellow-toned shade. It also contains very subtle bits of shimmer within, so subtle that you don't have to worry about the disco ball effect but to shimmer lovers this could be too plain.
The powder picks up easily and is soft to the touch though I can't use terms like creamy or luxurious to describe it. Texture-wise it's good but sitting on basic.
When swatched heavily it does leave a white cast so while it's termed a beauty powder, I wouldn't suggest dusting it all over unless you are very fair or do it very light-handedly.
Once blended out it becomes a very subtle glimmer. In photos it disappears to nothing though you could see a faint highlight where the swatch was.
The creepy close-up shows the subtle shimmer within the blended out swatch above.
Initially I thought it was similar or close to NARS Nico but the minute I took Nico out I saw the difference - Nico is pink-toned while Elude is more yellow-toned and a shade lighter.
In the swatch Elude seems to disappear into my skin and I want to reason because it is yellow-toned and in tune with my skintone, as compared to Nico that is pink, but I also agree that Elude is not the most prominent highlighter.
I still like Elude for the subtle pearly finish. I say pearly because the shimmer factor doesn't show up and the word sheen fits Nico's effect more then what Elude does, which is more of brightening when the shimmer flecks in it catches the light. It seems to lighten the spot in a gentle way that doesn't make the shimmer or sheen too apparent.
For S$115 one would wish for it to show up a little more on the skin but I guess I'll stick to being one of those consumers suckered in by their marketing tactics. I had read the not-so-favorable reviews of the highlighter before getting it and my intention was along the lines of collecting it over it's usage. I mean, I feel my ELF Healthy Glow Bronzing Powder could do a more preferred highlighting job and it's only what, USD1?!
So with this I have settled my own Christmas present to myself, heh.
Are you going to gift yourself anything special for Christmas?
Or at least justify one of your upcoming purchases as that so you feel a little better about it :p