Black Dahlia: Deep, Dark, Luscious Lip Colors from Sheer to Intense
I have a weakness for deep dark black-cherry shades. But while all of them look intensely dark in the tubes, many of them are actually quite sheer or have different undertones.
A black cherry lip that has a bit of red/berry tone actually brightens the face and the darker/richer your skintone, the blacker you can go on the lips without having to change the makeup on the rest of your face.
If you’re very pale and you like dark lips, you might need to add a bit of warmth back to your cheeks with a blush that has some pink/red in it if you don’t want to look straight-up goth or 20’s Noir. Then again, I do love 20’s Noir makeup with smoky droopy eyes and deep dark lips.
Sheerer berry shades can look very patchy and uneven. The best way to wear it is as an ombre stain. Apply, blot to remove most of the color, then reapply just around the center or the entire bottom lip, and then transfer just a bit of color to the top.
For deep dark shades, do try to wear a lip liner or clear liner to prevent bleeding cos it will be VERY obvious.
The shades shown: (Tumblr isn’t rendering the lip images properly so check it out here if you can’t see it clearly!)
YSL Rouge Volupté Sheer Candy in No 5 Mure Exquise is a more berry/rose-toned version of Clinique Black Honey, which can pull a little brown and unflattering on me sometimes.
Michael Kors Lip Lacquer in Dame. This is actually not a fave. It’s almost impossible to wear this evenly unless you have very rosy or dark lips to begin with. If you’re not careful, you can end up with patchy, corpse-like lips.
Chanel Glossimer 176 Crushed Cherry. Gorgeous gloss that pulls a little purple. It’s gorgeous on top of nude liner and glorious applied around the center over red lipstick!
Shu Uemura Gloss Unlimited WN 20 S is a raisiny deep shade with soft shimmers. If you want a less cool-toned alternative to the Chanel, or a slightly more even application, this one is good.
Marc Jacobs 132 Saboteur is the darkest shade in his range, and unlike Little Pretty, the next darkest purple-toned shade, this one has a bit more red and goes on more evenly and more opaque.
Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet 327 La Desiree. It’s amazing how “bright” it looks compared to the other shades here! But it’s really quite a deep and rich rose-red shade in a velvety lightweight matte texture.
MAC Diva is a classic. It’s one of my all-time favorite dark liver reds. While it looks a little plummy and dull here, believe me when I say it looks beautiful on the lips. Perfect when you have hardly anything on your face except a little mascara and this dark, rich, intense lip.
Sephora Long Lasting Lipstick No 23. This is a nice alternative to MAC Diva, but it’s a little creamier to apply, and more lightweight. Doesn’t wear as intense and dramatic as Diva in real life though.
OCC Black Dahlia is one of the treasures in my Lip Tar collection. I knew I had to have it the moment I saw it. It’s a perfect black cherry red. So dark it’s almost black. For a 20’s look, this is a fantastic shade.
OCC Metallic Black Dahlia is one of my more recent purchases. I was repurchasing Pretty Boy, and saw this shade on their site. I usually steer away from the metallic shades because a lot of the lighter colors I’d tried previously went on patchy and looked unflattering, but obviously the same thing doesn’t apply to the dark shades because this thing is GLORIOUS.
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.
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…..
I thought I would swatch all of my MAC lipsticks after a few people asked for my favourites, so here they are, from top to bottom and left to right:
Morange, Scarlet Ibis, So Chaud, Must Be Red!, Viva Glam Rihanna, Charmed I’m Sure, True Love’s Kiss, Russian Red, Ruby Woo, Absolute Power
Love’s Goddess, All Fired Up, Flat Out Fabulous, New York Apple, Viva Glam IV, Up The Amp, Violetta, Heroine, Odyssey, Rebel
Snob, Pink Plaid, Viva Glam Nicki, Bombshell, Aristocat, Plum Dandy, Creme De La Femme, Candy Yum Yum, Impassioned, Relentlessly Red, Moxie, Milan Mode
Sushi Kiss, Reel Sexy, Sweet Sunrise, “Sandy B”, To Catch A Sailor, Enchanted One, Ramblin’ Rose, Velvet Teddy, Drive Me Wild, Shag, Sin
My favourite formulas are matte, retro matte and amplified, and some of my favourite shades at the moment are Enchanted One (a gorgeous nude), “Sandy B” (just adds a golden sheen to my lips), Creme De La Femme (for everyday wear), Moxie (my go to slightly-dark bright pink), Violetta (a gorgeous purple), Absolute Power (my favourite matte red from MAC, sorry Ruby Woo), and Morange (a friend of mine who passed away always wore this, so I like wearing it to try and channel some of her fabulousness).
Some of these shades are limited edition, but if there’s a particular shade you have a question about, message me and I’ll try and assist! Remember you can click the photos to see the full sized versions.
MAC’s Magic Of The Night Collection is totally a party collection. There is nothing here that is soft and subtle aside from maybe Please Me lipstick.
My favorites in the range are the 4 lipsticks. Really, I like all the shades. They’re all fab. Especially All Fired Up, an intense fuchsia red.
It looks a little more pink/cool-toned in press visuals but the actual shade is slightly warmer/redder.
Evening Rendezvous is a daring plummy-violet, and Dark Side is just a great Fall/Winter noir lip in a creamier texture. Please Me is beautiful but a re-release (or permanent in some markets), and I do recommend the shade for girls who like softer lips.
The 5 Colourdrenched Pigments are pretty interesting. I thought they would be like Luster shadows; crumbly and unpigmented. But they’re dense, slightly creamy-feeling sparkle shadows suspended in matte bases.
I initially thought I liked Ascent of Glamour (the purple) most but when worn, Tonight’s The Night (the deep cyan green-blue) is BEAUTIFUL. Pair it with a paler gold and a darker brown/black shade for an ombre peacock effect.
My tip for using these is to pack on a layer with your finger for maximum intensity first, and then using a soft brush to blend out the edges. These don’t get ruined when touched with fingers, the way some of the other regular shadows do. But if you want to use a brush, use a flatter, slightly firmer brush rather than a soft fluffy one so it grabs more pigment.
All the eye looks I have on above were done without any base or wetting the shadows.
There are 4 pencils with this collection. 2 Lip Pencils, and 2 Eye Pencils. I think the 2 sparkly eye pencils are beautiful. Very smooth and buttery, and the sparkle in them is gorgeous. But I find the shadows compete with them, so I personally would wear the liners on their own for the day, and whip the shadows out at night.
The In Extra Dimension Skinfinishes are more of a pass for me personally. Not because the formula is not good. They are gorgeous and smooth. But the tan shade, Shaft of Gold, is a little on the brassy side in my opinion. That means it only looks good on some deeper skintones. For lighter to medium skins, it can look quite orange. As for the paler shade Oh, Darling, it’s a beautiful champagne but very metallic and not as fine-grained as I expected. If you want a strobed, natural-glow effect, this won’t give you that. It’s a little more disco.
Have you guys checked out the collection and what are your favorite products?
MAC order!! So excited they’re finally here. Styled in Sepia is from The Matte Lip collection. Swatches from L-R Sushi Kiss, Styled in Sepia, Yash.
Sushi Kiss is a satin finish and the other two are matte. MAC matte formula is one of my favourites!
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:
Check your face quickly in the mirror (can’t do that easily)
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.