photo from specktra.com
CultureBloom Collection review from Cavewoman
Beauty Editor at Large at Blogdorf Goodman
Fresh and fast on the heels of the beautiful Catherine Deneuve Icon Collection, MAC has now released Culturebloom, a Spring palette of color which seems at first glance to bring back the concepts for which MAC is famous, their unusual combinations of colors and textures, but to me was still a bit safer and more muted than the collections of previous years. "I'm underwhelmed," to quote my favorite Project Runway judge Michael Kors. I don't think I'm alone. Buzz on the makeup chat boards is echoing these same thoughts. I really like when I can look at a color collection and think to myself "hmmm, I get it!" but I did not "get" this arrangement of color. Let me go through the collection shades and perhaps you'll be able to visualize and maybe even explain the collection to me!
Lipsticks: Always the most anticipated item in each collection. The clear hit of the six new lipsticks is the one named after the collection, Culturebloom. So bright and red and moving a bit toward cool in tone, this one item commanded my attention. I'm thinking of "One of these things just doesn't belong here" -that little ditty from Sesame Street. It's the brightest item on the display. Other lipsticks are Plant A Kiss, a light brown (ok MAC, you really needed more brown lipsticks), Awaken, a pale frosted coral, Poppy Hop which is apricot frost, Florabundi, a lilac-frost dead ringer for the discontinued Madame B, and Fresh Buzz, a milky neutral peach with a cool pink iridescence. This last one is a most unusual finish for MAC, I don't remember any other lipstick with this duochrome attitude.
The other lip product offering is the group of Lusterglass, a pigmented gloss that is applied with a brush wand instead of the sponge-tip of the LipGlass glosses. Budding is a warm pinky-coral frost, Tranceplant is dark dark muddy brown, Flowerosophy is the palest apricot, and Petal Pusher is a blue-based pale pink. To me there is nothing new about these shades, other than the fact that most of them are similar to other LipGlass shades but just made into the Lustreglass formula and its brush applicator container.
Cremestick lip liners come in four shades that to me did not even correspond well to the lip colors I've just described. Smoothberry is called a 'deep rose' but it is not a cool-toned shade. Softwood is supposed to be coral-brown but to me it is more of a tan shade. Sublime Culture is, according to the website description, "pink-caramel fusion" but I couldn't find the pink in it at all. Summerfruit is pale coral. Are you catching a theme here?
Eyeshadows come in individual pots, there is no pre-made palette here. Most of this group seem to be a tweaking of previously-released shades, sometimes to the point of "what's the point" in my humble opinion. MAC already has a great array of peachy-frosty shadows, so why is there yet another one here, LoveBud? Botanical is very close to Satin Taupe but just a tad warmer. The difference is almost indiscernible on the skin. Overgrown is acid lime green and is the most out-of-place shade in the group. My SA had paired it with Spring Up (bright yellow with very little shimmer) for her own eye look, and although she had applied them with a light hand, they were startling on the eye. Not in a good way startling. The two prettiest and most wearable shades are Lavender Sky, a red-based medium purple, and my personal favorite of the group Iris Print, which is a blue-based violet.
I happen to be a fan of MAC's Blushcremes, and was anticipating Sweet William to be a very cool-toned pink shade, according to photos I had seen on the MAC website and on a few of the makeup chat groups online. Even though I did cave on this one, it is definitely not cool toned. It's a pretty, warm pink shade, but still I wish MAC would listen to me and bring out some more truly blue-based cheek colors. The other blushcreme is Blossoming, which in a side-by-side comparison is so close to the Deneuve color Summer Lily that I wonder again, why? If you have one, you won't buy the other, and isn't the buying what these collections are all about?
Rounding out the collection are an eye kohl liner pencil (you sharpen this one) in Violet Underground, a blue-based shade that is bright enough to actually appear dark violet on the eye, and the Zoomlash mascara in Black. Your reviewer knows the reputation of MAC mascaras and did not even test this product.
My overall impression is that MAC threw this collection together with little regard for unity or innovation. After so many beautiful, cutting-edge shades and stunning collections from the last two years , for which people are still clamoring to obtain long-discontinued shades and products, I don't think that in six months people will be searching eBay for anything from Culturebloom.