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Spring's Two Wildest Beauty Collaborations, Reviewed

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Every year, as Fashion Week leaves us in its wake, we're left with a barrage of beauty coverage that always says the same damn thing. "Clean, glowy skin was hot on the runways this season! Barefaced models at every show!" Then, for the next month, all we're seeing is makeup devoted to making you look like you're not wearing any makeup at all.

BORING. Here's a hot tip: Clean skin is always in.

But then, as sure as the sun will rise, a hero comes to save us: Festival season! It's those precious few weekends where really anything goes—bright colors, loud patterns, and basically everything you can't get away with wearing during any other part of the year. Sure, we might have hit saturation point with festival fashion, but where else are you going to wear neon eyeshadow?

Coachella might be over, but there's a whole summer of outdoor music fests coming our way. Luckily, two of the biggest players in the industry just released collaborations full of the bold colors, bright neons, and eye-catching finishes that are must-haves for whatever you're doing this summer.

MAC X Mia Moretti

Wear to: Bonaroo, Pitchfork, Burning Man.

Wear with: Cut offs, metallic tattoos, poorly thought out footwear.

As a full time DJ and part-time makeup collaborator (this being her third time teaming up with MAC) Mia Moretti's collection is exactly what a makeup collaboration should be: timely, intentional, and wearable. The collection is billed as the perfect makeup for the festival season, and as such, was debuted to coincide with Coachella. The multi-use products housed in pots and palettes are perfect to throw in your bag and carry around with you for quick touchups without any brushes or extra tools, whether you're hanging backstage or crammed in a porta potty.

The Mia Moretti Créme Color Base ($21)

MAC's Créme Color Base can be applied anywhere on your face for soft coverage, a highlight, or touch of color, and built from a sheer finish to lush, multidimensional coverage. Mia offers two shades: Desert Roadtrip, a golden bronze, and Summer Wind, a pale, luminous beige, which are both perfect for a diffused highlight. I simply tap the pads of my fingers into the pan and haphazardly place the color around my face on the places I'd like to bring out. Both of these shades are perfect for summer, would look great on a wide range of skin tones, and are essential grabs if you're already a fan of the Créme Color Base.

Mia Moretti Casual Color ($22)

Mia's two shades are the brightest of the Casual Colors that MAC has seen yet, available in Puttin' On The Spritz, an intense coral, and P.S. I Like You, a carnation pink. The colors aren't exactly groundbreaking in terms of lip and cheek duos, but they fit well into this bronzy, summery collection. Whenever any beauty companies release dual lip and cheek products, they always give us a bright pink and a juicy coral, so it would have been nice to see MAC hit us with something a little bit more unexpected, especially for a collection centered around festival season.

Mia Moretti Lipsticks ($16)

MAC's lipsticks are a cult favorite and their limited edition shades are almost impossible to score every season, for good reason.

The first shade, Maria Moretti, is a beautiful, bold, blue-toned cherry red named after Mia's grandmother. Normally, another red lipstick wouldn't really thrill me, but MAC is the go-to for those of you who are selective about your reds. From Ruby Woo to Lady Danger, they've got a library of different hues for every mood and skin color, so if anyone can release another red and get away with it, it's MAC.

Then there's High Tea, a pearly beige that applies sheer to add a touch of color to your lips with a frosty finish. This is more about bringing luster and dimension to your lips than adding tons of color. Instead of building to opacity and washing you out, as some light beiges tend to do, High Tea adds a warm frosty finish that flatters many skin tones.

Who's The DJ Lip Palette X 6 ($40)

NOW THIS. This lipstick palette is the obvious standout of the collection—a palette of six pastel lipsticks in a wide range of fun shades included lavender, blue, and seafoam green.

What's cool about this is that it shows that MAC, one of the biggest beauty brands in the industry, is taking a note from trends that have been put on the map from brands that are just starting out. Companies like NYX, ColourPop, and the many other indie beauty brands are turning out lipsticks in innovative, non-traditional colors and finding it impossible to keep them in stock because they're what people actually want. Face it, we've already got a classic red, but a mint green? That's what's flying off the shelves. I'm really excited to see what else MAC has lined up after the success of the lip palette.

NARS X Christopher Kane

Wear to: Lollapalooza, Electric Forest, Glastonbury.

Wear with: Mesh anything, glow sticks, hallucinogens.

This collaboration mixes the best NARS formulas with Christopher Kane's neon hues for a brilliant, eye-catching collection that pulls out all the stops when it comes to bright color.

The blushes ($30)

These blushes are our first taste of the new formula that NARS is rolling out. They're even smoother, more buildable, and more cooperative that their predecessors. NARS blush is already a favorite, and now there's even more to love.

NARS gives us Silent Nude, a muted beige, and Starscape, a hyper-neon pink. Silent nude is the only piece of the collection I'm not wild about, as I'm not sure how flattering it would be on a wide range of skin tones.

Starscape, however, is a super pigmented, Malibu Barbie hot pink. It's a punch of color that immediately jumps off your face. It's so bright that I focus more on diffusing the color than building it. I love a good pink anywhere on your face, and Starscape does not disappoint.

The shadows

Parallel Universe ($35) is an eye shadow duo of iridescent lavender and a shade that's somewhere between copper and pewter. Outer Limits ($25) is a multidimensional rose gold. Each shadow is packed with finely milled sparkle that's going to give you a metallic, almost mirror-like finish. If you like shimmer, pick these up. They're both buildable and blendable, so if you like a more subtle shimmer, you make these go a long way.

As with any finely milled glitter, you're going to experience some fallout during wear. So make sure you prep your lid with a primer first before reaching for the flat brush.

The multiples ($39)

NARS Multiples are one of my top three favorite beauty products of all time, so I was stoked when I saw they were including two awesome shades within this collection. Violet Atom is a pearlescent lavender pink that goes on sheer for a bit of glow and color. Quantum is a magenta with more of a satin finish—less  shimmery than Violet Atom.

The lip glosses ($26)

The collection is rounded out by four glosses: Mezmer, a neon watermelon, Nebulous, a neon tangerine, Nucleus, a petal pink beige, and Glow Pink, a neon fuchsia. These colors are awesome, and make great additions to the collection. I only wish they came as a lipstick or lip pencil instead, which would provide more color payoff and longer wear.

Everyone knows that half of the fun of going to music festivals is picking out what to wear, and these two collaborations couldn't have come at a better time to have you locked down all summer. They're bright, luminous, and perfect to wear all season, both on the festival grounds, and to the office the next Monday morning.