This was one of my most highly anticipated releases from MAC this year. When I saw the promo shots for this collection, I just went "WOW".
This is a really special collection coming from a collaboration between MAC and Chris Chang, the China based designer behind the brand Poesia. It's interesting that MAC has chosen to collaborate with a China based designer, probably to tap into the huge Chinese market which loves luxury.
The design, choice of names and colours of the designs reflect a Chinese background. They are themed around Chinese Opera and iconic Chinese imagery, portrayed in the Poensia fashion style of which Chris Chang is the designerThis is a most delightful and thoughtful collection.
The full collection includes: 5 lipsticks; 4 eyeshadow singles; 3 cream bases; an eyeliner and the finishing pressed powder.
From this collection, I chose:
"Blue Pipa" - Slight electric blue eyeshadow
"Electric Mandarin" - Deeper Coral shade almost a true mandarin orange eyeshadow
"DDDevilish" - Matte bright pink lipstick
"Plum Princess" - Matte grey purple lipstick, I'm really into my purples and this is so unique
Cream Color Base in "Peony Pavilion" - A deep pink
Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Pressed Powder in Transparent/White
What I liked
I LOVE the packaging. I think makeup has become very much about the packaging just as it is about the quality. The designs are superb and even the boxes have the printed designs in them. They are so unique which makes this collection such a collectible.
I really liked the names Chris Chang chose. Like "Blue Pipa", pipa is a chinese instrument, kinda like a cross between a guitar and a banjo/cello. It is such an elegant instrument.
The color selection was nice and reflects the fashion these days. It is more of a Summer toned color palette, but honestly, I would still try to incorporate this into my all year round makeup palette.
Of the lipsticks, I chose the grey plum (Plum Princess) and the pink (DDDevilish - how funny, triple d!). There was a gold one and a greenish one which I was tempted to get, but these were USD$20. The lipsticks are in the matte finish. Not drying, not dragging, very opaque especially for DDDevilish. Plum Princess did then to drag just a tiny bit but was overall comfortable on the lips.
The cream color base "Peony Pavilion' is just gorgeous. It is a dupable color, but hey, it's got that amazing packaging. It performs just as well as your better performing cream bases from MAC.
I love the pigmentation of the eyeshadows and blue eyeshadows are coming back into trend. So that's why I chose "Blue Pipa". "Electric Mandarin" is nice as a wash of color. These were USD$17 each. Of the 3 eyeshadows available, I felt these were the least dupable colors.
What I didn't like
The eyeshadows were a tad bit dryer than my other MAC eyeshadows, particularly Electric Mandarin. They are still easy enough to work with though.
Unfortunately, the Prep/Prime Finishing Powder did nothing for me. It didn't blur out anything and wasn't particularly mattifying as well. I also felt that it left a white cast which went away when my natural oils came through. As a finishing powder it did nothing to prolong the wear of my makeup, unlike my favorite Japanese one from the brand Chacott (which I really must show you one day).
BUT, and here's a bit BUT, when you take out that compact, it's a real conversation starter. It's just too pretty to pass. I felt in that sense alone, the USD$29.50 was o.k. but just.
Photos and Swatches
Blue Pipa and Electric Mandarin
Plum Princess (on the left) and the "oh look at my pretty lips" test!