So I've had the opportunity to play with my A Rose Romance goodies for a little bit. Not enough to give a thorough review (that will come later), but as I've done with big purchases on collections, a quick review and my initial thoughts of the products.
Overall: I really liked this collecton as it was right up my alley -- very natural, feminine and soft. All the shades are very wearable -- just a very pretty collection!!! If you could only pick up one item, I would say get the beauty powder or gel blush. Silverthorn and Rose Romance are nice to have but Love and Friendship and Way to Love can be skipped if you're on a budget.
Silverthorn: I had never really considered getting any of the eyeshadows in this collection, but one particular review got me intriqued with Silverthorn. It's a veluxe pearl finish, very soft and buttery and the colour is to die for. Silverthorn is a silvery colour with a very pretty golden olive sheen to it. As I was swatching it and deciding where in my palettes it would fit, I discovered that it's actually very similar to Cumulus (frost finish), except that Silverthorn has a more warm tone to it which is credited to that olive undertone and Cumulus is more blue/grey.
(Cumulus on the right, Silverthorn on the left).
Way to Love: I love natural, wearable lipcolours, so the lipsticks really appealed to me. Way to Love is a lustre, but the pigmentation of it wears like a Glaze. It is EXTREMELY sheer and you can't really see it unless you put a few good coats on (which makes it feel heavy on the lips). I have read reviews that it's a dupe of Cute-ster from the Hello Kitty collection, but Cute-ster is more gritty and sparkly. I do like this shade, but because of the lack of pigmentation, it may not be for everybody.
Rose Romance: This lipstick is also a lustre finish, but it is a little more pigmented than Way to Love, which really isn't saying much because it is pretty sheer as well. This is the prettier, more feminine shade of the two as well as more cooler in tone. If I had to choose my favourite between the two, this one is it.
Magnetique: This is such a gorgeous lipglass. A rich berry shade that is actually very pigmented and opaque, unlike the other lipglasses that MAC has launched recently (including the other two in this collection). I like shimmers and sparkes (helloooooo dazzleglass!), but it gets boring after a while, especially when it comes to lipglasses. So it's quite refreshing to see MAC come out with more rich colours such as Magnetique -- even though it's not technically new (repromote).
Summer Rose: This was definitely the star of the collection and as a beauty powder is definitely more on the pigmented side as compared to MACs other beauty powders. It's not POW! pigmented, but still visible on my NC30 complexion. The packaging/rose sculpted in the powder is just sOOOOOoooOOo pretty -- it doesn't change the performance of the product and definitely just a gimmick, but I don't ccaarreeeee =P It's a very SCULPTED rose that will keep it's shape after several uses... (I've used my HK BP a lot and the face is still very much intact)... so I would assume this would last even longer... Summer Rose is a lavendar shade and more cool than the other BP offered in the collection.
Just a Pinch: This gel blush that looks so scary intense in the packaging, is actually a very pretty sheer pinky-red when applied and actually very natural looking. The application is smooth (either with fingers or 188 brush) and buildable. As suggested by buzzfuzzbunny, when layered with Summer Rose BP, you get this very pretty-just-came-back-from-a-jog flush that isn't too over or understated. Bonus: it doubles as a lip stain!
Love and Friendship: This was a highly anticipated item for me and the reviews just made that anticipation grow and grow. When I saw it for myself for the first time, I wasn't super impressed but not yet disappointed. I am now wearing this lavendar shade nail lacquer and well... lets start with the good: I find that this polish is not as streaky as my other MAC polishes. All my other ones require THREE coats to get it streak-free and decent looking. This one only took me two, which I was REALLY impressed with -- since was expecting it to be a streaky mess like the rest.
The bad: the colour wasn't as "spring-like" as I had expected. I had thought this would be the nail polish version of Lavendar Whip lipstick... but it's actually a very dull/dirty lavendar that really (to me) seems to be more of an autumn shade. It's still a keeper though.