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MAC Strength Collection Lipsticks

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Strength: Lipsticks

Update: MAC has restocked Pink Pigeon and Party Parrot lipsticks and blushes from Strength! All are available as of 1/8 at 6:26 PM PST.

MAC Strength Lipsticks ($15.00 for 0.10 oz. each) includes five shades: Absolute Power (rich red), Firm Form (gilded black with gold pearl), Party Parrot (bright red pink), Pink Pigeon (bright cleanest pink), and Strong Woman (bright violet). Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon are repromotes.

Absolute Power is a pinky-red with a matte finish and blue undertones. It’s fully opaque on lips, and it has a creamy consistency, so it was easier to apply and get even coverage–no pulling or dragging. Guerlain Calligraphy is slightly lighter. NYX Chic Red is very similar. MAC Ruby Woo is more matte but very similar in color. NARS Dragon Girl is bluer.

Firm Form is a blackish-brown with a dusting of gold micro-shimmer. It looks a little purple-ish applied, as the lipstick mixes over my natural lip color. It is pretty opaque, and though it does not apply perfectly evenly, it does apply considerably better than a lot of other lipsticks in this shade family. MAC Grey Friday is grayer, lighter. Chanel Hysteria is cooler-toned, blacker. MAC Smoked Purple is much purpler and lighter.

Party Parrot is a bright pink-coral with a mostly matte finish. It goes on with full color coverage and has a creamy consistency that doesn’t pull or tug at the lips during application. This shade wears around six hours. Guerlain Gracy is a bit pinker, less bright. MAC Fusion Pink has pink iridescence, less bright. Make Up For Ever #37 is less pink, more coral. MAC Impassioned is pinker.

Pink Pigeon is a bright, blue-based medium pink with a mostly matte finish, though there’s a natural sheen initially. It has opaque color coverage, and it applied evenly and easily. It lasted for six hours when I tested it last week (used my original version). MAC Candy Yum Yum is brighter, a little cooler-toned. OCC Yaoi is metallic. OCC Nylon is much brighter, cooler-toned. MAC Dear Diary is cooler-toned, more magenta. MAC Quick Sizzle is darker. NARS Schiap is darker, less bright. Milani Rose Hip is a touch lighter and less cool-toned.

Strong Woman is a dark purple with subtle pink-red undertones. It has opaque coverage with a matte finish, but it is a creamier matte, so it doesn’t drag on the lips. I suspect MAC Up the Amp is the closest dupe for this shade–I believe it is less red-toned, a little grayer in a way. MAC Seasoned Plum is lighter, less red-toned. MAC Violetta is brighter and iridescent. MAC Heroine is pinker, more magenta.

With the exception of Firm Form, these lipsticks are great shades by MAC with a solid matte formula that doesn’t pull or tug at the lips, delivers even, full color coverage, and are comfortable to wear.  As these are richer, bolder hues, they have a tendency to stain and wear longer than the average lipstick.  Firm Form doesn’t apply as evenly as the other four shades, but it is worth noting that it is good for the kind of color it is, and kudos for being as opaque as it is, too.  MAC lipsticks are vanilla-scented and come in a black tube with a pop-off cap.

To be perfectly honest, I’m really bummed about quickly these sold out. I purchased them as soon as they came online and overnighted them, but they sold out within hours (some within an hour). It’s a mixture of disappointment for not being able to review them for you before they launched and general frustration over it–kind of leaves me feeling like, “Should I even review this collection?” When it comes to these shades, I wish you luck if you make an attempt to track them down. MAC changed distribution at the last minute, so only freestanding stores (which also means the only online option is maccosmetics.com) received it, and with today (the 26th) being a major shopping day, I’m feeling more cynical than usual regarding stock.

My recommendations for alternatives would be:  MAC Ruby Woo, MAC Impassioned, MAC Candy Yum Yum, and MAC Up the Amp.  (Unfortunately, I don’t have a good alternative to recommend for Firm Form.)

MAC Strength Collection Lipsticks

A
9.5
Product
9.5
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
10
Longevity
4.5
Application
96%
Total

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Urban Decay Flushed Lip Junkie

Urban Decay Flushed Lip Junkie
Urban Decay Flushed Lip Junkie

Are You Flushed With Milky Pinks?

Urban Decay Flushed Lip Junkie ($19.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “creamy mauve pink.” It’s a very rosy pink when swatched, but it turns a little more strawberry pink with a hint of mauve/plum on the lips. MAC Curvaceous is less pink, plummier. Illamasqua Move is cooler-toned, brighter. Neither of those shades is all that similar, so I don’t think I have a dupe for this shade.

It’s semi-opaque; it covers my lip freckle somewhat, but there’s a slight translucency that enables the natural lip color to peek through. If you have naturally redder lips, I would expect this to turn redder, too. This shade applied evenly, and it just barely settled into lip lines but the settling wasn’t noticeable from a normal viewing distance. It was comfortable to wear, lightly hydrating, and lasted for four hours. The texture was non-sticky, not too thick or too thin, and had a good glide on the lips. Urban Decay’s Lip Junkies are mint-scented and -flavored.

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Flushed
Flushed
Flushed
9
Product
10
Pigmentation
9
Texture
8.5
Longevity
4.5
Application
91%
Total

Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss La Creme Lipstick

Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss La Creme Lipstick
Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss La Creme Lipstick

A Rosy Pink for a Perfect Transition from Winter to Spring

Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss La Creme Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.11 oz.) is described as a “spiced brown.” It’s a subdued, rosy pink with a natural sheen. There’s none of the brown that you’d expect to see in “spiced brown,” but I would say that there’s a neutral element, like a beige or brown, that darkens and mutes the rosy color overall. Guerlain Ballade is redder, less pink, shimmery. Revlon Pink Truffle is less pink and more translucent. Bobbi Brown Nude Rose is lighter. MAC Glamourdaze is redder. MAC Offshoot is less pink, darker.

Cinnamon Kiss is opaque with very little product needed for full coverage. The consistency of the lipstick is smooth, creamy, and it glides on easily without pulling or tugging on the lips during application. This particular shade wore for five hours, which is really fantastic for smoething with as much slip as La Creme has. It wasn’t too thick or too thin, so it was comfortable to wear but didn’t bunch up or create lines if I pressed my lips together (I’ve had this happen with a few other shades from the formula). It was nicely hydrating during wear, and the hydration extended beyond just the wear of the lipstick.

Too Faced Cinnamon Kiss La Creme Lipstick

A+
10
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9.5
Longevity
5
Application
99%
Total

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Shiseido Cafe Creme (BE 201) Luminizing Lipgloss

Shiseido Cafe Creme (BE 201) Luminizing Lipgloss
Shiseido Cafe Creme (BE 201) Luminizing Lipgloss

Pale, Shimmering Beige Offers a Warm Glow

Shiseido Cafe Creme (BE 201) Luminizing Lipgloss ($22.00 for 0.21 fl. oz.) is a warm, peachy beige with pale champagne and gold micro-shimmer. MAC Lightly Prancing has a similar composition but the gold shimmer is larger. MAC Viva Glam V is also similar, slightly warmer. MAC Devilishly Stylish has white shimmer.

The Luminizing Lipgloss formula is supposed to be “intense, pure moisture” — really hydrating, in other words, with a non-sticky texture and “long-lasting color and natural luminosity.” I’ve been meaning to check out other shades in this formula, because Shiseido owns Cle de Peau, which makes one of my favorite glosses of all time (#2, for those curious) and the packaging and descriptions are similar for both glosses. So, on a whim, I added this to my Nordstrom order.

There’s a slight milkiness to the color that gives it more color coverage than anticipated–you can see how faded my lip freckle looks, despite the gloss having transparency. It adds mostly warmth and gold shimmer and ultimately evens out my lip color.  The formula is non-sticky, not too thick or too thin, comfortable to wear, but most importantly, hydrating.  It’s definitely one of the most moisturizing gloss formulas on the market from what I have tried.  This shade lasted just over three hours on my lips, which is a bit shy for average on gloss for me though on par with similar shades (light shades like these always seem to wear away faster).

Shiseido Cafe Creme (BE 201) Luminizing Lipgloss

A
9.5
Product
10
Pigmentation
10
Texture
7.5
Longevity
5
Application
93%
Total

Urban Decay Obsessed Lip Junkie

Urban Decay Obsessed Lip Junkie
Urban Decay Obsessed Lip Junkie

Are You Obsessed With Milky Pinks?

Urban Decay Obsessed Lip Junkie ($19.00 for 0.34 fl. oz.) is described as a “creamy baby pink.” It looks like a brightened, blue-based bubblegum pink in the tube and when you squeeze it out, but on lips, it is more subdued–more of a milky, light-medium pink with subtle blue undertones. MAC Going Casual is a bit cooler-toned. NARS International Velvet is very similar. MAC Pagoda is a touch cooler-toned and has shimmer. Tom Ford Sugar Pink is warmer.

It’s semi-opaque; there’s a lot of milkiness and creaminess, and you can see how it significantly diffuses and fades the look of my lip freckle (but doesn’t cover it completely). For something as milky as this shade, I was surprised at how well it applied–the color deposited mostly evenly, there wasn’t too much settling into lip lines. When I pressed my lips together, the product didn’t bunch up nor were little lines of product created. Obsessed wore for three hours, and it was lightly hydrating and comfortable to wear. Lip Junkies are mint-scented and flavored.

Urban Decay Lip Junkie Obsessed
Obsessed
Obsessed
9
Product
9
Pigmentation
9
Texture
7
Longevity
4.5
Application
86%
Total

Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick

Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick
Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick

A Sheer Dance of Fuchsia Shimmer

Dior Espiegle (687) Dior Addict Lipstick ($31.00 for 0.12 oz.) is described as a “punch of pink.” It looks like a fuchsia pink in the tube, but it’s much tamer swatched and applied. It’s a lightly cool-toned, medium pink with iridescent shimmer. On my lips, it brightened and added some cool-toned pink coloring. Guerlain Rose Ensoleille looks similar on but is a bit warmer overall. Guerlain Rose Piquant is cooler-toned. The shimmer was reminiscent of Revlon cupcake, which is more lilac and pigmented.

This shade wore away in a mere two hours, which is quick for a lip product–a lot of this range lasts three hours, which is decent for something as balm-like in texture as this is.  The texture is slick, lightweight, and very comfortable on the lips.  It also applies evenly and slides on without tugging or dragging.  It is somewhat hydrating but not enough where I’d describe the formula as a moisturizing one.  The color is sheer, which is on par with the range and expected results (supposed to have a “veil” of color), so don’t let the color in the tube intimidate (or mislead) you!

Dior Addict Lip Color Espiegle
Espiegle

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