MAC X eL Seed Collection, Review
"Everybody must have a fantasy." - Andy Warhol
A couple of weeks ago I was one of the lucky bloggers to preview MAC Cosmetics exciting new spring collection in collaboration with eL Seed, Dubai-based French-Tunisian artist and sculptor. eL Seed is famous across the World for his unique style of transforming traditional Arabic calligraphy into one-of-a-kind street art masterpieces. MAC x eL Seed Collection launched on 21st of March in the Middle East and will be available on maccosmetics.com on 8th of April, as well as at select US stores starting 11th of April. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few intriguing sneak peeks from the launch party and in today's post I am going to finally introduce you to some of the most exciting items in this collection. If you're curious, then please keep on scrolling!
About the Collection
MAC x eL Seed Collection was a long work in process, that finally came to fruition after three years of meticulous, hands-on collaboration between the brand and artist. As a result this limited-edition collection includes: a "full face" palette, highlighter, brush set and four lipsticks. While the palette has a few re-promoted permanent shades in it, everything else here is exclusive and brand new.
Cicero Full Face Kit
Let's start off with the most intriguing item - Cicero Full Face Kit (66 USD; Made in USA). This must be one of the best variations of classic x15 pan pro palette, in my [not so] humble opinion. As I have mentioned earlier, a few colours are the brand's cult favourite shades such as: Shroom, Honey Lust, Texture, Carbon, Handwritten (this guy was discontinued a while back though), Carnal Charm (was a limited edition shade).
Now, according to the brand, you can easily use these powders on both your eyes and face. Two colours are labeled as "blush" (Gabrielle and Vidigal). This kit offers you a nice selection of matte, pearlescent and even semi-glittery shadows, that come in both - neutral and daring hues.
I love the fact that you get to play with such a fun variety of shades here. When I first saw this palette online, I was instantly inspired to get creative with it. I also think that the ratio of neutral vs. bright colours here is perfect; you can always spice up even the most basic eye makeup with a pop of pink or blue.
Now, this is when things get a little bit tricky. If you want to achieve that same magical, vibrant opacity (that you see in the pan) - you will need a potent eye primer and a bit of patience while layering some of these colours. I recommend using Prep + Prime Fix+ with glittery shades, in order to make them appear foiled (rather than dry) and as for the actual primer- either Pro Longwear Paint Pot or Prep + Prime 24-Hour Extended Eye Base will be your best friends.
Please click on images to zoom in
As per this blog's tradition, none of my swatches are "edited" (no added saturation, brightness etc. here). Products are swatched on top of clean skin; I always rely on natural daylight only. On the fourth photo above I applied shadows on top of an eyeshadow primer to demonstrate a striking difference between raw and advanced application.
While I am happy with most shades here, you can't deny a noticeable quality inconsistency (especially in the third row), which I wish would not be the case since I love the overall colour story that both the brand and eL Seed have come up with. Some shades are smooth and buttery, while some are a little bit too sheer and dry. Again - nothing a good eye primer can't fix. As an experienced makeup user, I do understand that certain shades like blue, purple or pink are generally hard to develop, so this is not a big issue for me personally. However, at this price point, I do see why it could be a deal-breaker for some.
With a primer, these last all day long on my lids. Certain shades will gradually fade after 6-7 hours, which is pretty normal for most good quality eyeshadows. Colours in Cicero Full Face Kit blend and layer easily, leaving little to no fallout. Just like most pinks and blues, these too will stain your skin (which is nothing to panic about, just a friendly FYI).
Verdict: despite the fact that there is a bit of a learning curve when it comes to this palette, I still think that it is beautiful and user-friendly. It is certainly geared towards an experienced user, rather than a beginner in my book. All fifteen shades here can be easily mixed together and you can create a plethora of looks with this guy alone. Not sure how often I would use them on my face, but as far as eyeshadows go - these are lovely for the spring/summer season. After weighing both pros and cons, I give it B-.