Once a year for the past couple of years, MAC has launched shades in their retro-matte lipstick range. And aside from Satins, MAC's Mattes are my favorite lipstick texture from them. It's not that Cremesheens, Lustres, Dazzle Lipsticks, and Frosts are not nice. It's just that MAC does matte so much better than most other brands.
Maybe I'm biased because MAC's mattes are some of the first mattes I ever tried, and they are certainly the first mattes that I fell in love with, so to some extent they have always been the benchmark against which all other matte lipsticks are compared.
Lipstick texture is a very personal thing, and I know not everyone loves MAC Mattes because they have quite a traditional texture. They are very dense, very pigmented, build up well and completely opaque. They aren't all the same of course. A few of the newer colors released in the past few years like Candy Yum Yum, Force of Love, etc have a slightly lighter-weight finish which many people enjoy more because it doesn't feel quite as thick.
But I'm old-school. I think if you're going to wear matte, you should go big or go home.
A lot of the newer matte lipsticks are quite sheer, overly waxy, and don't build up well. Revlon's Super Lustrous Mattes are so raved about, but there are actually several shades which are patchy, dry, sheer, and just all-round disappointing (Stormy Pink, Pink Pout, and Smoked Peach come to mind). Give me a rich, dense, retro matte any day - because nothing looks worse than a patchy matte that looks like your lipstick has dried up and worn off.
The great news is this year's releases from MAC are all pigmented and rich. Some are from a 2013 Retro Matte collection and some are old Matte releases, but all of them have that dense satiny texture that is more Russian Red (thick, sticky, creamy) than Ruby Woo (ultra-matte, dry and almost powdery).
There are a number of repromotes which I have not swatched here:
- Ruby Woo - classic true Hollywood red
- All Fired Up - rich pink-red
- Flat Out Fabulous - intense magenta
- Kinda Sexy - kitteny peachy-beige
- Please Me - soft nude-pink
- Heroine - deep vivid purple
- Pink Pigeon - vibrant fuchsia
I have all the shades except All Fired Up, and I recommend every single one of them.
As for the rest, some are actually re-releases from past years. I swatched them in generic groups of 5 by undertones.
- Runway Hit - subdued coral-hued nude; this makes a fab lip color to pair with strong eye makeup
- Tropic Tonic - this looks like a brand new shade but I might be wrong; I've never tried it. And it's gloriously bright. It reminds me of a warmer, more orange version of Force Of Love from the Chen Man collection.
- Dangerous - lovely intense tangerine; if Morange and Lady Danger had a baby, it would be this.
- Studded Kiss - a deep liver red with brown undertones; this would look BEAUTIFUL and quite dramatic on most skins.
- Antique Velvet - Ooh, I love this deep dark brown with a hint of prune. If you have dark skin, this would look gorgeous. If you have pale skin, try it only if you want a rather gothic look. It has almost no red or purple in it, so it will look very "noir".
Pinks and Violets
- Steady Going - bright doll pink; this is another retro-matte released a couple of years ago. If you want a deeper, more flattering alternative to Saint Germain, or a matte alternative to Viva Glam Gaga, try this one. It looks bright here but is a bit subtler in real life.
- Men Love Mystery - bright violet with pink undertones; another one I haven't seen before. This is SO FUN!
- D for Danger - rich burgundy rose. I can already see myself wearing this one quite often when I want to look dressy.
- Instigator - Deep dark prune purple. Heroine's more grown-up, more dangerous older sister.
- Matte Royal - intense deep violet with blue undertones. This is more purple in real life, but somehow the camera just keeps picking up and amplifying the blue in this lipstick. Regardless, it's an extremely dramatic color and will look quite blue against the skin, so be prepared for stares!
- Naturally Transformed - yellow-toned blonde beige; if you want NO pink and NO peach to your nude, this shade is it.
- Velvet Teddy - classic healthy-looking tawny beige for people who don't like nude-nude lips. One of my all-time favorite warm browny shades.
- Whirl - deep browny-rosy-beige for those girls trying to mimic that Kylie Jenner look.
- Persistence - true brown with a warm caramel undertone
- Stone - taupe, taupe, taupe
No shade stood out as being poorer in texture than the rest. They are gorgeous. And there are so many shades to choose from, including the unswatched repromotes, that there is probably at least 1-2 for everyone. I love that they were daring and came out with some vivid brights and dramatic dark shades, along with the requisite nudes, reds, corals, etc. There aren't many pinks in my swatches, but Pink Pigeon, Flat Out Fabulous, All Fired Up are available, and these are all the classic pink-tones.
If you love matte lipsticks, definitely check some of these shades out. If you hate matte textures, that's a pity because there are some flattering, fun shades here.
MAC's Matte Lip releases for 2015 will be available from 31 July in Singapore.