Australian beauty junkies – rejoice! MECCA Maxima have released their own in-house brand ‘MECCA MAX’, offering over 200 products covering eyes, face, lips, and tools, with prices ranging from $5-$45. It’s their very own version of Sephora Collection, and if Sephora Collection has taught me anything, it’s that some products can be misses, while others can be total hits. I was lucky enough to receive 6 products from the range, and I’ve been putting them to the test for the last couple of weeks. Time to share my thoughts and tell you what products you should definitely grab, and what you can easily skip.
MECCA MAX is definitely being marketed as an affordable brand that will appeal to a younger demographic. They’ve done a fantastic job with branding colours, mixing oranges and pinks with classic white, black and golds. The packaging across the products I received is very nice – there’s no real weight to the compacts as with more expensive counterparts, but they still feel like they’re sturdy enough and great quality.
Onto the products themselves, I will go through them individually. Some I really liked, some I feel a bit ‘meh’ about. It’s a mixed bag, that’s for sure!
Eyephoria Vivid Impact Palette, $45*
This mirrored palette contains 10 eyeshadows, in a range of bronze and purple shades. There are three finishes – one matte shadow, a couple of shimmers and the rest are metallics. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it – it’s OK. I think this would be a great starter for a makeup novice, but for someone who’s not, the shade selection falls short. There is a lack of crease shades, so if you’re someone who likes to add depth and dimension to your looks, this will not cut it – you’d need to use another palette to complete your look. If you’re like me and you prefer matte shades, then this will never become a daily go-to, either. As for the formula, the more metallic shades in my experience swatch beautifully, but when you work with them with a brush, the pigmentation is not there. I’d definitely recommend using a wet brush to get the best colour pay-off, and do your eyes before the rest of your makeup as there is a lot of fall out.
Eye Max Power Couple Mascara, $38*
A dual-ended mascara with a thicker wand on one end, and a super thin wand on the other. I love the gold packaging – very luxe! MECCA recommends to start with the thinner wand, to get into the root of the lashes and coat them really well; then follow that up with the thick brush wriggling at the base of the lashes and curling up. I really like the effect this gives to my lashes; they look lifted, separated and lengthened. I didn’t notice any smudging and it was able to hold a curl quite well. I did have some flakes, but I touch my eyes a lot so this could be my own doing. The thin wand is life-changing – I can tight line my top lashes and it’s so easy to get natural, separated bottom lashes. I would definitely purchase this.
Shimmer Shot Highlighting Wand, $25*
This is a liquid highlighter in a clicking pen form, and it comes in three shades – Pearl, Soft Gold and Bronze. I got the shade Pearl, and funnily enough it has a very gold base when you first apply it. I’m in two minds about this, I want to like it but I feel like I have better liquid highlighters in my collection. The texture is a little bit tacky until it sets, and the shimmer is more on the chunky side of things… this is my main gripe with the product. It’s very subtle on the skin, but the shimmers can easily accentuate pores. The application wasn’t flawless either; I tried it with a brush and a blending sponge, and it seemed to move my foundation slightly. I had set my base with powder though, and have since discovered this blends easier before setting your face. With the blending sponge, it was almost impossible to get the product to spread – I had applied it in a line, and that damn line was so hard to diffuse. I was able to get a better result using my fingers. If you’re someone with small pores, who enjoys a subtle highlighter then you could make this work; however if you want a poppin’ glow then this might only work as a base for a powder highlighter.
Sunlit Skin Bronzing Powder, $22*
I love a good bronzer so I was mega-excited to try this one. MECCA describes it as a light reflecting bronzer with a silky finish, available in Light, Medium and Dark. I got the shade medium, and I’m glad to report it’s been my go-to bronzer since getting my hands on it. The texture of this powder is silky soft, making it a pleasure to blend out with minimal effort. It’s nicely pigmented, but not too pigmented – you can build it up to your desired intensity, and it has very fine gold specs, which give the skin a gorgeous glow. This particular shade works perfectly to carve the cheek bones, as it has no orange tones at all. If applied with a light hand, it could work well on lighter skin tones as well! Oh, and I really like using it as a crease colour or an all-over-the-lid shadow. One thing’s for sure: if the powder blushes and highlighters in the range are similar in quality to this, then I will have to get my hands on them, too. I can see this bronzer becoming a favourite for many – if you’re thinking of trying something from the range, then go for THIS – can’t go wrong for $22.
Pout Pop Lipstick, $20*
The Pout Pop lipsticks come in a range of 29 shades in three different finishes – sheer, matte and high definition with a hydrating, long wear finish. I love the packaging – it’s a pop out bullet, and it’s kinda addictive to play with. I got the shade Freedom Fighter (hi-def) which is a gorgeous bright orange. The formula felt nice on the lips – it glided on with ease, providing an opaque satin finish that felt comfortable and hydrating. My only gripe is that it settled a little into my fine lines and grabbed a hold of my dry patches. As it wore off, I just had to take it off because my lips looked funky. I’m going to give this a go when my lips aren’t so damn dry and see how it goes. I’m keeping my hopes up and I’m definitely going to try the sheer and matte finishes.
A-Lipster Liquid Lipstick, $28*
MECCA’s own matte liquid lipsticks come in 7 shades. I received Skinny Latte, a 90’s brown nude in the same vein as Kat Von D Lolita. The formula is very thin, but packs a punch in terms of pigmentation so I only need one swipe to evenly cover my lips. It’s easy to layer if you want more coverage, however I find the formula to stay semi-tacky and feels a bit crusty around the rim of my lips if I do apply more. I still think this is a good liquid lipstick, but as someone who has dry lips, I do find the formula to be drying. Within an hour of wear, I was licking my lips trying to bring the moisture back – eek! It IS bearable though, (I’ve had worse) and you can always apply a lip balm before hand. As for the longevity, MECCA didn’t make any specific promises, but I did notice quite a bit of fading after eating, so you’d definitely need to reapply throughout the day. The applicator itself is lovely, it’s long and flat, making it super easy to apply with precision without the need of a lip liner or lip brush.
That sums up my thoughts and opinions on this small selection of MECCA MAX products. Overall I think they’ve done a great job with the range and although there were a few misses for me, I’m sure there are more amazing products I’ve yet to discover. I’ve made a list of what I am going to try out, including their primers, foundations, concealers, their banana powder and tinted oils – to name a few. So keep your eyes peeled for more reviews to come in the near future!
Available at MECCA Maxima stores and via www.mecca.com.au.
What are your thoughts? What do you want to try from MECCA MAX?
* PR Samples. Thank you to the MECCA team for gifting me these samples ahead of the launch. All opinions are my own – please read my disclaimer.