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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

The Pretty Files: Play Time – MAC’s Playland Collection

I am a big MAC  fan. I am especially a fan of their lipstick and at any given time you’ll find about four tubes in various colors and finishes hanging out in my purse. I don’t go anywhere without my ‘lip glass’ (MAC’s term for lip gloss) in Beaux. Their products are a staple of my beauty life that I can’t really do without. Their colors are always fresh, cutting edge, and they run the gamut from super matte finish to sparkly and creamy. I love a lot of makeup, but MAC really serves a lot of purposes for me. I guess you could say they are both my comfy jeans and fancy dresses of the makeup world.

One of the things I love about MAC is that they have both their regular line and special collections. The special collections are where they take the biggest chances with color and styles and they serve as a great way to explore options that otherwise may be fully missed in my world. One of my all-time favorite lipsticks, Lady Danger (a gorgeous matte coral red) debuted in a collection and if it had just been introduced quietly to the rest of the line I wouldn’t have tried it. Their collections are also a great way to get a trend-forward set of colors that create a particular look without the customer having to try to figure out what will go with it. MAC will usually run multiple different collections at once, each with a different style so there is truly something for everyone.

Credit: MAC Cosmetics

Credit: MAC Cosmetics

One of MAC’s current collections is their Playland collection. Playland is a collection that is all about fun, bright, dazzling colors inspired by the fresh and fun of spring. The colors of the collection are bold—these aren’t your pastel takes on blue skies and flowers. Bright corals, rich blues, intense pinks and purples, and even a sheer gold make up this collection. Playland consists of four pigments, four pencils, six lipsticks, five glosses, and three all over color creams. I’ll be honest: at first look the collection is kind of wild-looking. Orange pencil? And those pigments, which can be used for a lot of purposes but make fantastic eyeshadows, are a little on the crazy side as well. The yellow/gold lipstick is a little off-putting. It was one of those collections where even after looking at it online I realized that I was going to have to see it in person for myself. That meant a field trip to my MAC counter. Twist my arm.

Some of the colors do look a little insane even in person. The pigments, while very lovely, are not products that I would wear or have a use for. I felt the same way about an orange eyeliner, though I did like the look of the pink one. The lip glosses, while all very nice, were not quite enough to lure me away from my precious Beaux or my recently-acquired Hoop. I’m not a huge fan of all-over colors in general, but the three colors for their Casual Color product were nice. The real winner for me was, you guessed it, the lipsticks. This is where the collection really shines. With six colors one has a choice from a very tame, soft pink (“Sweet Experience”) all the way up to a bright, pearly red (“Head in the Clouds”.) The gold shade that bears the collection’s name turned out to not be a weird yellow when put on. Instead, it offered up a sheen of sparkle and gold that worked great alone or with the other products. It was like having sunshine in a lipstick, which is probably why it was sold out online and at both the MAC store and counter here. Sad. However, my disappointment only lasted for a moment. Another color in the collection caught my eye and I found the perfect bright pink lipstick.

“Happy Go Lucky” is a bright, rich, true hot pink. Calling this lip color fuchsia would do it a disservice. This is a true, borderline neon hot pink. It’s neither matte nor pearl, but somewhere in between with the softness of a matte but the dimension of a lip color with iridescence. It’s a statement lipstick, but a polite one. It’s the only item of the collection that I actually bought and it has rapidly become my “holy grail” lipstick of the spring. It wears beautifully, with the color staying even and true, unlike some bright colors, and it doesn’t really change hue once on the lip. And the best part? Despite being a very bright color it is actually a universally flattering one. I’m a true neutral, super fair skin tone (I actually use a white liquid to blend into most of my foundations to get the right shade of pale) and Happy Go Lucky didn’t overwhelm me. It also looked equally gorgeous on one of the MAC employees with a medium skin tone and another with rich, dark skin. This pink is going to be a staple of my life. I’m going to need two.

My take-away? Definitely check out the Playland collection, especially if you are looking for some unusual color choices for eyes, but especially hit the lipsticks. I can’t say enough nice things about “Happy Go Lucky”. However, be a little patient. A lot of the lip colors have sold out online, but many are still available on other online retailers ad in stores. A little footwork will pay off and keep you satisfied until MAC’s next big collection, the upcoming Maleficent series. I can’t wait!

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