MAC The Matte Lip Collection

The Matte Lip Collection consisted of 22 Lipsticks (some new and some repromotes) to be added to the permanent line. Most of them had a matte finish, but a few had a retro matte finish. I purchased some online ($16.00 a pop) and some in-store (KD 8/750 a pop).

Tropic Tonic – full power coral (matte finish) *new*
All Fired Up – bright fucshia matte (retro matte finish)
Whirl – dirty rose (matte finish) *new*
Studded Kiss – dark oxblood red (matte finish)
Matte Royal – deep blue (matte finish) *new*

Velvet Teddy – deep-tone beige (matte finish) not shown
Pink Pigeon – bright cleanest pink (matte finish) already owned (here)
Please Me – muted rose tinted pink (matte finish) already owned (here)

L-R Tropic Tonic, All Fired Up, Whirl, Studded Kiss, and Matte Royal

I purchased Tropic Tonic because I’m forever obsessed with corals! I tried resisting it at first, telling myself that I already had way too many shades that were similar if not identical to Tropic Tonic but clearly, that didn’t work. Back when I first started becoming obsessed with makeup, I fell in love with Morange (reviewed here) (duped here), right off the bat. When Toxic Tale (from the Venomous Villains MAC x Disney Collection) came out, my obsession switched from Morange to Toxic Tale, up until I lost it in the original move. While suffering from coral withdrawal, I discovered Vegas Volt which was exceptionally beautiful, especially on blondes, and quickly become my new favorite, until I lost it as well (I’m pretty sure it fell out of my pocket somewhere in Dubai, which is how I learned my lesson, and always carry a handbag now). I plan on never taking Tropic Tonic out of the house, lest it disappear on me too. For reference, Morange is described as a vivid orange (amplified creme finish), Toxic Tale is described as a bright coral (satin finish), Vegas Volt is described as a full power coral (amplified creme finish), and Tropic Tonic is described as a full power coral (matte finish).

Back in the day (I wanna’ say 2008), Revlon came out with an all-matte collection (aptly named Revlon Matte Collection) consisting of matte eyeshadow, matte eyeliner, matte blush, and matte lipstick. At the time, I was all about nudes so naturally I purchased the single nude lipstick in the collection called Nude Attitude (which was pretty much a dry, patchy, chalky, hot mess on my lips, with the added bonus of making me look like a corpse) and I wore it with pride… for a very, very long time. Shortly after, Revlon added even more matte shades to the line. I was enjoying my tube of Nude Attitude so much that I went back and purchased Smoked Peach (a darker, peachy-nude), Sky Pink (extremely light pastel pink), and Strawberry Suede (pinky-red). Bare in mind that I knew next to nothing about skintones, as evident by my fondness for Nude Attitude (concealer-nude), and so I purchased the others, solely based on their pretty names. As such, I was sorely disappointed when I wore Smoked Peach, and later Sky Pink, and noticed how both of them looked so strange on me; clashing with my complexion, making me look “off”. To the extent that I didn’t even bother with Strawberry Suede, assuming it was more of the same. About a year or so later, (when I was more open to experimenting) I unsealed Strawberry Suede and wore it on a night out with my friends (my girlfriends would not stop gushing over the prettiness of the color), and I slowly started easing myself into wearing more reds and pinks, as opposed to only wearing nudes and corals. As I got more and more into makeup, Strawberry Suede was quickly forgotten about and abandoned in favor of other colors (and sorta’ just got shoved all the way to the back of my makeup drawer), until I pulled it out again, on a whim. After being a blonde for 10+ years I’d decided I was done (pictures here) and had also gotten married, and when my husband at the time saw me wearing Strawberry Suede for the first time, he wouldn’t stop commenting on how pretty it looked on me. In fact, he actually requested that I wear it more often which obviously I did, but also piqued my interest because 1) He’s a dude and generally they don’t care nor notice these things. 2) He’s never commented on my makeup prior to Strawberry Suede, nor since 3) I always got a lot of compliments every time I wore it, back when I was a blonde, and now as a brunette. Why? What was so special about Strawberry Suede? For starters, unlike the lighter lipsticks in the collection that did all kinds of weird things, from applying unevenly (making the lipstick look patchy) to collecting in the corners and (which just looks gross), to sinking into the fine lines, and basically just highlighting every single imperfection on the lips, Strawberry Suede did none of that. Sure, it still clung to the dry areas of the lips, just like the others, but let’s not forget that it’s a matte lipstick and that’s just kinda’ what they do, especially back when this was released (before so many companies had improved on the matte formula), and is easily remedied by prepping your lips beforehand with a balm. Strawberry Suede applied evenly, felt all creamy and comfortable on the lips, and wore like a dream! I suspect that the rest of the bolder, brighter colors (not Nude Attitude, Smoked Salmon, or Sky Pink, as these were all very light) in Revlon Matte Collection performed just as great. As for the color; My God! It was stunning! It had all these little nuances (that I hadn’t picked up on sooner, due to my inexperience), but after evolving as a makeup-junkie, I can now fully appreciate Strawberry Suede in all its glory. Strawberry Suede was a neon strawberry red, (almost fluorescent really) that’s so unique! For starters, it looked different on everyone, pulling a little more pink on some, and a little more red on others, yet somehow remaining incredibly flattering on all skintones, across the board! A lot of people describe it as a watermelon red but I don’t think that’s accurate and instead prefer to categorize it as a pinky-red. On my lips, it was a bright red that flashed pink in photos and proper lighting (daylight). By bright, I mean it had a glow-y effect (which I love!) but the color itself was quite deep (think along the lines of retro glam pin-up girls). All that accompanied with a matte finish? Like I said, Strawberry Suede was stunning, STUN-NING! I grew very attached to it, and always wore it out and about, even after my husband and I got divorced. Naturally, I went to Boots (Souq Sharg) thinking I’d just walk up to the Revlon stand and purchase one or two tubes of Strawberry Suede, but I couldn’t find it. In fact, I couldn’t find any of them! That’s when I realized that the entire Revlon Matte Collection was gone (and apparently had been long gone for quite some time now). I searched for it online and aside from the suspicious vendors on e-bay, I couldn’t find anything. It started slowly sinking in that Strawberry Suede was gone, forever. I was absolutely devastated (to this very day)! As such, I’ve been searching for a dupe ever since. At a glance, All Fired Up looks pretty close to Strawberry Suede. Unfortunately, what with the constant packing and unpacking, and all that moving around back and forth, I seemed to have lost the single tube of Strawberry Suede lipstick that I owned, so I can’t even swatch them side by side, to compare. After messing around with All Fired Up, I’ve come to the conclusion that although comparable to Strawberry Suede in some aspects, it’s just not the same. It does look different on everyone pulling more red on some, and pink on others but it’s also lighter, less neon, and pinker than Strawberry Suede. They are similar but All Fired Up is a pink (fucshia, respectively) whereas my beloved Strawberry Suede was most definitely a red. All Fired Up was an online purchase and the MOI in Kuwait must have left it out in the sun or something, because the lipstick arrived tilted to the side (like it had melted), and consequentially kept getting nicked by the rim of the tube (as you can see in the photos) every time I applied it (only twice), until finally detaching itself from the tube and falling off onto my carpet #thirdworldproblems All Fired Up is a beautiful color in it’s own right and I definitely want it in my collection, but I’m debating whether I should back-2-MAC some old MAC products or just shell out the money for another tube, again. All Fired Up is described as a bright fuchsia matte with a retro matte finish.

I only wanted one of the Instagram-famous lipsticks to play around with, but couldn’t decide between Stone (muted grayish taupe brown), Velvet Teddy (deep-tone beige), and Whirl (dirty rose). I figured Stone would be the least practical (for everyday use), so I decided to skip it, and rather than risk getting an old tube of Velvet Teddy (because it was from the permanent line) I decided on purchasing Whirl (since it was new) in-store. As a lip pencil (of Kylie Jenner fame) Whirl was lovely, but as a lipstick Whirl was just so far out of my comfort zone, it wasn’t even funny. Don’t get me wrong; the color is lovely but just not something I’m used to. In comparison, Velvet Teddy seemed much more wearable to the extent that I just couldn’t get it out of my mind, so I just bit the bullet, went back several days later, and got it too. I’ve been giving Velvet Teddy a lot of love ever since. Consequentially, I’ve been gradually warming up to Whirl (I still find it intimidating, but less so), and have slowly been easing myself into wearing it out and about. Again, my lips are on the small side (you can see for yourself in this post) so the color of lipsticks tend to look more concentrated on me, when applied at full-strength, straight from the tube. Sometimes, I like that effect and at other times, I don’t. With Velvet Teddy, I do like it but with Whirl I really don’t. As such, I’ve taken to applying Whirl in the center of my lips, and spreading it out using my pinky finger (very hi-tech) to sheer out the color slightly. I’m very happy with Velvet Teddy because it pairs nicely with a whole bunch of lip pencils (which I’m slowly getting back into using) and my nude glosses (which I normally wear on their own)! I kinda’ regret getting Whirl (you could say I fell for the hype) because Posh Tone (hauled here) (reviewed here, with better pics) described as a soft warm nude cream, was perfect as my version of Whirl, but now that I’m slowly getting used to wearing Whirl, I’m actually excited about experimenting with different nudes lipsticks over it for an ombre lip look. I figured this was also worth mentioning, regardless of my comfort level with it, Whirl makes my eyes brown eyes pop, makes my dark hair stand out, and my Arab complexion look absolutely lovely (no bronzer, no blush, and most definitely no foundation). It’s surprisingly flattering everywhere else, except the one place I actually apply it to, my lips (but again, that’s more about me not being comfortable with the color, than anything else).

Back in the day, I used to absolutely hate red lipstick. Then while flipping through a yearbook, I saw this one girl wearing red lipstick, and made a mental note to experiment with it in the future, because it had looked so complimentary on that girl. I still felt intimidated by red lipstick because up until that point, I only wore Lancome Juicy Tubes (sheer tinted lipgloss) and then nudes, and then oranges, and corals. After reading an article in Allure about it, I went and purchased Russian Red (reviewed here) from MAC (Fanar branch) and fell in love! There was just something so incredibly flattering about the combination of bright blonde hair, an all black ensemble and blood-red lips! When you first apply Russian Red straight out of the tube, it does have a slight sheen. There is a dry-down period, but after that, it’s dry and matte, and does all the wonderful things that matte lipsticks do (cling to dry areas of the lips, refuse to go away with regular makeup remover, dry out your lips, etc…). That wasn’t an issue for me because I exfoliate my lips regularly, and always prep my lips with a balm (and wait for it to be absorbed) before applying a matte lipstick. Russian Red was a beaut! In fact, it quickly became my my be-all end-all of red lipsticks! Russian Red served me so well, I never even thought of swatching fan-favorite Ruby Woo or any of the other popular red lipsticks from MAC (limited edition stuff doesn’t count as cheating), until I went back to my natural hair color (my story with pics here). Russian Red looked so different on me; as a blonde it was vampy blood-red, but as a brunette is was more of a bright fire-engine red. At first I was understandably devastated, but quickly cheered up after it occurred to me that red is a common lipstick shade, and that literally every other brand out there (all across the globe, from high-end to low-end) has several red lipsticks shades available for purchase, and are always coming out with more. I was searching half-heartedly at first, because I didn’t have many events coming up where I’d actually need a red lipstick, and besides, I already had Strawberry Suede (stunning fluro pinky-red) that was so dark it looked vampy on me, until I didn’t (lost it in the move). Now however, it’s no longer a matter of want, but a matter of need, because I’ve got so many important events coming up, and a vampy red lip would be my first choice. As such, I purchased Charlotte (hauled here) and was so sure it was a dupe for Russian Red until I saw it in proper lighting (daylight) and noticed it was more of a bright tomato-red rather than a vampy red. Again, lovely color, just not what I was looking for. When the details about the The Matte Lip Collection came out, I felt an instant connection with Studded Kiss, based on the name alone, not unlike the connection I felt with Russian Red also solely based on its name. I mean, when I think Studded Kiss, I automatically think of Valentino Rockstuds (that have been having a “moment”, in Kuwait). When I read the description, that was it, I was sold. Once I picked it up, and tested it out, I knew this was “the one”. It was so dark and vampy, much darker than any of my previous reds, albeit too sexy for everyday use, but perfect for all the upcoming parties, events, and gatherings that I was going to attend. Unfortunately, it was just too fussy to work with, to the extent that my usual trick of applying lipstick to the middle of my lips before spreading it out with my pinky (which was how I usually applied Russian Red), did not work with this, at all. It refused to spread out. In fact, it was so dry that it kept dragging every time I tried applying it to my lips (straight from the tube). Worst of all, it bled so easily. If you’re not familiar with the staying power of darker matte lippies, these things don’t budge, so good luck getting it off (your cheek, or chin, or wherever else you’ve accidentally smudged it) without messing up the rest of your face makeup. Studded Kiss was so not an easy-breezy shade where you could just wipe off any mistakes and be done with it. I had to resort to using a lip liner beforehand, and a concealer afterwards, which was two more products than what I normally use. Even though I’m a product-junkie, I prefer to keep my routine simple (less products, less time, less effort) but with Studded Kiss I’m kinda’ forced into using more products, and therefore spending more time, and overall more effort, than I normally would. It is an absolutely beautiful red lipstick and I do love it very, very much, but I’m not always in the mood to deal with the extra steps, which honestly deters me from wearing it as often as I’d like. Russian Red is described as a mid-tone neutral red with a matte finish. Charlotte is described as a rich yellow-red with a matte finish. Studded Kiss is described as a dark oxblood red with a matte finish.

Last but certainly not least is Matte Royal (deep blue). I saw it. I loved it. I bought it. That’s pretty much it. I’ve always wanted a blue lipstick, and a green lipstick, to add to my collection. The only reason I hadn’t purchased any up until this point was because I wanted them to have a matte finish (which would make the crazy colors slightly more wearable). The only other lipstick I own that is even remotely similar to this, is a light blue lipstick from Nyx that clashes horribly with Arab complexion. For some reason I keep wanting to call this Matte Royale (as in Battle Royale) as opposed to Royal. Matte Royale is a gorgeous lipstick, but because it’s such an unconventional lipstick shade, everything else from your hair and outfit to your brows and eye-makeup has to be on point.

Here are some more swatches of Tropic Tonic, All Fired Up, Whirl, Studded Kiss, and Matte Royal in different lighting and angles.

8 thoughts on “MAC The Matte Lip Collection

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