mac lipstick swatches

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MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks - FINALLY

Yaaaaasss. They are finally here.

I remember some time around May or so last year, I sent a frenzied text to someone in Estee Lauder asking when the “new matte liquid lipsticks” would be available. I’d seen makeup legend Val Garland mention them online and couldn’t wait to see these for myself. (Little did I know it would be 2016 before they were actually launched.)

Still, much better late than never! 

Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks will launch in Singapore on 8 Jan (SGD$39), and I have 8 of the 9 available shades here for review, but haven’t had time to do lip swatches of these but I just had to get the wrist swatches up first. Honestly, they are so opaque anyway that what you see here will be what you get on your lips.

I’ll say from first impressions that:

  • they dry completely matte; more matte than the regular Retro Matte lipsticks, which is normal for liquid lipsticks which contain no waxes or oils
  • these take a couple of minutes to dry and set (after which they become transfer-proof), so make sure your lips are clean and don’t press your lips together for awhile or you risk messing them up
  • you should apply most of the product onto the center of your lips first, then slowly push and spread outwards so that you don’t end up with less color in the center and a weepy thick mess around the edges of your lips, as the doe foot applicators have a tendency to push product away from the center and concentrate them outwards
  • they do break down when in contact with oil/grease, as with any lip product, so you can’t put gloss over these without breaking down the formula
  • these are extremely long-wearing so make sure you have cream or oil-based (or at least dual-phase oil-on-water) removers handy; I couldn’t get most of the stronger shades cleaned off with micellar liquid OR wipes
  • I didn’t notice any darkening of the shades during my first try - many liquid lipsticks set and then slowly darken or change color on the skin over the next 15-30 mins
  • they WILL feel dry on the lips - let’s just be honest - I haven’t met a transfer-resistant lipstick that didn’t feel dry; they can’t have any emollients and be truly transfer proof at the same time

All in all, in terms of texture and performance, they are exactly what I expected them to be. 

The great thing is the colors are truly beautiful. I only wish there were more shades as the only con is a lack of more neutral, mauve-y, rosy lip-toned shades, warmer pinks or deep dark shades. Still, they’re launching an additional 6 shades in March 2016, so that should be cool.

I want a dark russet brown, dark purple, a blackened cherry…..

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My favorite lip looks that I did this week so far.

NARS Audacious Lipstick in “Anna”

MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in “Speak Louder” with Miley Cyrus Lipglass on top.

Any MAC addict is known to be obsessed with Limited Edition Packaging. I know I am!

These are just some random images I took of some of my MAC collection. I love the shape and the simplicity of the silhouette contrast against the purples of Kelly Osbourne’s lipstick or garnished with a coating of glitter like in the 2014 Christmas Collection.

-Kristy

Follow me on Instagram- @_KRISTYWOOD_

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MAC Ultimate Collection Lipstick Swatches

MAC’s Ultimate Collection, with prismatic gunmetal packaging designed by Marcel Wanders, is now available in Singapore.

If you haven’t tried this new permanent range, it’s designed to be a premium line for MAC, with luxurious, skin-friendly textures that lean closer to luxe brands. (In fact, those Ultimate lipsticks feel quite similar in texture to Chanel Rouge Allures.) 

My personal favorites in the lipstick range include:

Audacious - scarlet

Soft Pout - caramely nude

Marque - shimmery pink-based brown beige

Lover’s Street - perfect pink beige

Femme De-Luxe - bright pink

But what was more of a surprise hit for me was Sheer Mystery Powder.

This is probably the silkiest and least powdery-looking powder I’ve tried in awhile. I’d kinda dismissed it as a gimmicky new compact (the prismatic Marcel Wanders design looks cool but is more clunky than I’d like for clutches and small bags, but the texture of the powder totally won me over. 

It’s great for mid-day touch-ups because it:

  • doesn’t look cakey or build up unnaturally over makeup
  • evens out the skin subtly but doesn’t look heavy
  • mattifies but doesn’t look powdery
  • diffuses pores and fine lines (the before/after photos are un-retouched)

My only (minor) beef with it?

The sponge is a little too big and keeps getting stuck in the mirror compartment. You need to spend a few moments digging/pushing to release it every time you want to use it.

If anyone tries to convince me it’s meant to be like this by design so that you don’t drop your puff, they’re either lying or they don’t use compacts to touch up often. Because the two things you immediately need to do when you pop open your compact are either to:

  1. Check your face quickly in the mirror (can’t do that easily)
  2. Grab the sponge to apply more powder (can’t do that easily either)

If MAC can get over this little design flaw (and stock more colors than “pale ivory” and “medium plus” in Singapore), it automatically gets two huge thumbs up from me.

In either case, this collection is well worth checking out for those of you who prefer more luxurious lines and always saw MAC more as a brand for young ‘uns who like adventurous colors, and makeup artists. The colors and textures in this line are highly wearable and very flattering. 

Of course, there’s also the very much more “Adult” price tags. In Singapore, Ultimate lipsticks retail at SGD41 and Sheer Mystery Powders at SGD83.

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MAC Cardinal, Hollywood Cerise and No Faux Pas Lip swatches

For those who are considering the MAC Philip Treacy collection lipsticks, here are 3 lip swatches for you! 

It’s always tricky trying to do accurate lip swatches because the camera will keep auto-adjusting and changing the lighting in the pictures, but I corrected these pictures as much as possible so the lip colors would be as accurate as I can make them.

Hopefully these give you a better idea of how they look and whether you should get them!

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MAC Viva Glam Miley Cyrus 2 Swatches

You have to hand it to her. Miley picks some great lip shades.

I didn’t think I would like VG Miley Cyrus 2 more than Miley Cyrus 1 but I really did. This is a pair of chilli-reds with an orange undertone, and the lipstick is a bit warmer than the gloss, which has a hint of pink in it. Layer them together and they’re even better. You get a saturated red with a touch of orange, and in some lights it looks more warm, some lights it looks true red.

[UPDATE] Because so many people were asking, I added on comparison swatches of Lady Danger vs Miley 2, and also Impassioned just for reference. Miley 2 is slightly cooler toned than Lady Danger, and not quite as orange. If you like the idea of Lady Danger but find it too yellow-toned, Miley 2 might actually be great.

Great for a retro 50s-style makeup look with flicky liner and curled hair. (Back in the day in most lipstick ads, they had 3 popular variations of red; orange red, true red, and rose-red.) Honestly, I think this shade looks fab on pretty much everyone from pale to dark skinned.

And if you have very pink undertones in your skin, this is still intense enough that you might be able to pull it off. Just make sure you even out any uneven patches of red/pink in your skin with a good-coverage base and pop on a touch of a warm or orange-hued blush to balance out the lip.