MAC's Playland Lipsticks Sneak Peek: Quick Swatches, Comparisons, & First Thoughts

LEFT TO RIGHT: "Sweet Experience," "Toying Around," and "Happy-Go-Lucky"

It's the weekend of the week of MAC's Playland online and in-store launch dates - which means I have (some) lipsticks in my possession to share with you (and WEAR!), yay!

I don't know what collection Playland is supposed to be, except one of many April collections, so I can't say much about that. But I will say that I've been anticipating the release of this collection since January for two reasons: (a) the lipsticks are in bright pink-related shades, and (b) they're in the amplified (creme?) finish, which is my absolute favorite MAC finish.

So when it launched on Nordstrom's website this past Monday, I ordered my first two picks: "Toying Around" and "Sweet Experience," which I received in the mail yesterday. Then on Wednesday I ordered "Red Balloon" off of Belk, which has yet to arrive (one of the reasons I consider this post a 'sneak peek'). And finally, last night, I went to my local MAC store and swatched the collection's other lipsticks in person, settling on "Happy-Go-Lucky." That essentially means I bought all four lipsticks in the amplified finish for this collection, as the other two are frosts.

This post is a 'sneak peek' because I do not yet have pictures of me wearing the lipsticks, or full reviews on them since I've owned them for less than a day. I also will not be writing those until next week, when all four lipsticks are in my possession and I can create a master post for the collection. In this post I will share semi-detailed comparisons to lipsticks that have been said to have comparable colors, and I will share my brief initial thoughts on some of the lipsticks that I have worn already.

UPDATE 04/22/14: I received "Red Balloon" today and have since worn it and "Happy-Go-Lucky" so this post will include updates here and there to add my opinions on them (and swatches in terms of "Red Balloon").

LEFT TO RIGHT: "Sweet Experience," "Toying Around," "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Aren't these pretty?!

Of the four lipsticks I've purchased, I'm waiting on one to arrive ("Red Balloon," obviously not shown here) and have not yet tried one one ("Happy-Go-Lucky"). But I swatched the three that I do own to share with you today, since they are all limited edition and may either still be at your MAC counters or restocked online at some point. UPDATE 04/22/14: I received "Red Balloon" today and included a swatch of it at the end of my comparisons (near the end of this post).

LEFT TO RIGHT: "Sweet Experience," "Toying Around," and "Happy-Go-Lucky"

Right off the bat, I will say that after wearing "Sweet Experience" a few times (and you may be able to see this in the picture above), it is definitely the 'driest'/least glossy of the three. In fact, the appearance of "Sweet Experience" on the lips almost reminds me of the satin finishEverything else about that color, however, and "Toying Around" lived up to my typical expectations of the amplified finish lipsticks. UPDATE 04/22/14: The same is true for "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Red Balloon."

Speaking of which - on MAC's website, the Playland lipsticks are listed under the amplified finish, as opposed to the amplified creme finish. When I reviewed my first amplified finish lipstick, which I just linked above, I assumed "amplified" and "amplified creme" were the same finish - since I do own an amplified creme, "Vegas Volt," but never noticed any distinctions between the two. But now I'm confused, because MAC has taken the time to separate these lipsticks by an amplified finish as opposed to an amplified creme one.

To make matters even more confusing, printed on the boxes of my three Playland lipsticks is the finish "amplified creme." I wonder, then, if the two terms really are used interchangeably. Can anyone shed some light on this?

What the eff?


LEFT TO RIGHT: MAC's "Candy Yum Yum," "Happy-Go-Lucky" (LE), and Maybelline's "Fuchsia Flash."

While I don't have any lipsticks in my collection that truly compare to "Sweet Experience," I do have lipsticks that have been compared to the other two I already own (or simply came to mind while swatching the other two). First up is "Happy-Go-Lucky" with its MAC and drugstore counterparts: MAC's "Candy Yum Yum" and Maybelline's Colorsensational Vivids in "Fuchsia Flash."

Let's focus on the last column of colors on the right.
TOP TO BOTTOM: "Candy Yum Yum," "Happy-Go-Lucky" (LE), and "Fuchsia Flash."


Let's start with "Candy Yum Yum," since both are MAC lipsticks. "Candy Yum Yum" is one of the most neon lipsticks out there, and it was originally part of a few limited edition collections before popular demand brought it back permanently. That is when I purchased "Candy Yum Yum."

When I swatched "Candy Yum Yum" and "Happy-Go-Lucky" side by side in the MAC store, they looked fairly identical. "Happy-Go-Lucky" seemed a bit deeper/darker, but the glossy amplified finish lightened it up enough to make them near dupes for each other - color-wise. Why did I decide to purchase "Happy-Go-Lucky," then? Because "Candy Yum Yum" gets very little attention from me due to its patchy/streaky application. "Happy-Go-Lucky" does not have this problem.

Other than that, going back to finishes,"Candy Yum Yum" is clearly a matte. If "Candy Yum Yum" applies well on you and you don't care about finishes, I don't think you need "Happy-Go-Lucky."


Now let's talk about the money-saver: Maybelline's "Fuchsia Flash," from the Colorsensational Vivids line. When the Vivids came out, "Fuchsia Flash" was quickly likened - even considered a dupe - for "Candy Yum Yum." So not surprisingly I decided to swatch it against "Happy-Go-Lucky." I personally feel like "Fuchsia Flash" falls between "Candy Yum Yum" and "Happy-Go-Lucky": it has the glossy finish of "Happy-Go-Lucky," but the brighter/lighter pink color of "Candy Yum Yum."

Could you skip "Happy-Go-Lucky" if you already own and love "Fuchsia Flash"? I think you could.

Moving on!

LEFT TO RIGHT: Revlon's "Snow Peach" (LE), "Toying Around" (LE), and MAC's "Vegas Volt"

Next is "Toying Around," which also has MAC and drugstore counterparts: MAC's "Vegas Volt" and Revlon's Super Lustrous lipstick in "Snow Peach" (LE).

This time let's focus on the second column of 'corals.'
TOP TO BOTTOM/LEFT TO RIGHT: "Snow Peach" (LE), "Toying Around" (LE), and "Vegas Volt"


Again, let's start with the MAC look-alike-maybe first: "Vegas Volt," distinctly labeled as an "amplified creme" finish on MAC's website. "Vegas Volt" is part of the permanent line and is either my first ever lipstick from MAC in the amplified creme finish, or my second lipstick from MAC in the amplified finish, depending on whether they're the same thing or not. I don't want to go into the whole coral debate again that I went through when I reviewed "Dreaming Dahlia." All I'm going to say is that I've been looking for a coral that's well-balanced between pink and orange, and "Vegas Volt" is one of MAC's corals that pulls orange on me.

"Toying Around," another 'coral,' was described by others online as being pinker than "Vegas Volt." That's the main difference here, which is evident above: "Vegas Volt" is indeed more orange than "Toying Around." Other than that, the two have the same glossy 'amplified' finish. I don't consider "Vegas Volt" close enough to "Toying Around" to justify skipping the Playland coral.


And the money-saver: Revlon's Super Lustrous lipstick in "Snow Peach" (LE). This is sadly a limited edition lipstick popping up in displays throughout drugstores for Revlon's repromoted vintages' collection. Therefore, if you think this is a close-enough, cheaper alternative to "Toying Around," you may still have a chance to find it, but not for much longer.

In any case, "Toying Around" was described by others online as falling on the opposite end of the coral spectrum, and being more orange than "Snow Peach." This, too, is true, though while "Snow Peach" is somewhat pinker than "Toying Around," I think the two are closer to each other than "Toying Around" and "Vegas Volt." "Snow Peach," a cream finish lipstick, is not as glossy as "Toying Around." Also, when I wear it without lip balm, it has the potential to turn hot pink on me, which "Toying Around" does not, so there's that to consider as well. Because of those distinctions, I also feel like "Snow Peach" can't be used in place of "Toying Around."

Which essentially means that "Toying Around" - as far as my collection goes - is a more justified purchase than "Happy-Go-Lucky."

UPDATE: For the sake of keeping comparisons in one spot, I decided to update this post to include a comparison I found for "Red Balloon," which I got in the mail today. I won't post a separate swatch of "Red Balloon" up with the others can see the swatch of it in the following pictures. For "Red Balloon," I only have one lipstick that came to mind from my collection, and it's a Maybelline Colorsensational lipstick in the color "Pink Grandeur" (LE).

LEFT: Maybelline's Colorsensational lipstick in "Pink Grandeur" (LE)
RIGHT: "Red Balloon"

LEFT: "Red Balloon"
RIGHT: "Pink Grandeur"


It feels like foul play when a person says "I've got something cheaper that might be a dupe!" and then proceeds to say "oh and it's from a limited edition collection that was released last year." Well, I'm going to do it. The color that came to mind right away when I was testing "Red Balloon" out today was Maybelline's Colorsensational lipstick in "Pink Grandeur" - one of the two limited edition lipsticks from Maybelline's winter 2013 Gilded in Gold collection.

If this eases the disappointment in any way, "Pink Grandeur" is noticeably darker than "Red Balloon" and almost reminds me of a berry color, while "Red Balloon" is more of a deep fuchsia. Both are reddish pinks, but when it comes down to it I don't think "Pink Grandeur" could substitute "Red Balloon." How they show up on the lips can be a whole other story, but I'm going off swatches alone in this post.

In terms of initial thoughts, I can only comment on "Sweet Experience" and "Toying Around." "Sweet Experience" is both bright and a lighter-toned pink than I'm used to wearing. Its lightness makes it accentuate my lip lines, but not as much as light colors in other brands (Too Faced comes to mind). However, I've worn this one the most since it arrived in the mail and I find that I'm becoming more accustomed to the look of this kind of pink on me.

As for "Toying Around," this one applied beautifully and made my lips look full. It's glossier than "Sweet Experience" and quite bright, but it's in a color family I'm much more comfortable wearing. UPDATE 04/22/14: "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Red Balloon" perform as well as "Toying Around" does.

Both All four stain my lips, with "Happy-Go-Lucky" and "Red Balloon" staining the most. This is good in terms of wear-time but can be a nuisance if you're the type that doesn't like to scrub your lips clean.

Anyway, I'm so happy to finally have these lipsticks, and I can't wait to get "Red Balloon" in the mail. I'll definitely do full posts on these lipsticks when that happens, as well as a master post, so stay tuned for that. Otherwise, I hope this post helped you to decide whether or not these colors are colors you want to add to your collection, while they still may be available for purchase (stupid MAC limited edition availability).

Thanks for stopping by!! 'Til next time! ('<>')>



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks ^^ After trying out all of the colors I purchased, I'm seriously in love with this collection!

      ~nikki ('<>')>