MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches (Part 1)

MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks
MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks

The MAC Retro Matte Collection brings back MAC’s Retro Matte with a vengeance, as it includes seven new shades in the finish. The collection will launch online the week of September 3rd and in-stores on September 12th (North America), and September 2013 for international locations. There is some uncertainty whether all shades are permanent or only some; the answer I received from MAC’s PR was some, which is what I’ve gone with, but the nearest counter/store are both saying all are permanent.  Each lipstick retails for $15.00 and contains 0.10 oz.

If you love the Retro Matte formula, then enjoy and purchase these–I felt like these four were consistent with the formula in general, though creamier than a Retro Matte from five years ago (or older), and are similar to the consistencies of the Retro Matte finishes released with RiRi Loves MAC.  The real downside to the Retro Matte formula (in my experience, of course) is that they are drying.  I’ve worn nothing but these since getting them on the 29th, and if it weren’t for catching up on hydration while I was sleeping (thank you, Jack Black!), it would be difficult to keep wearing this formula back-to-back.  They have great pigmentation and wear exceptionally long, but for me, I would rather wear a more hydrating formula, or if I was aiming for matte, a formula that isn’t drying (Burberry Lip Velvets come to mind).

The always lovely xSparkage has a fantastic tutorial on making your lip color last that uses loose powder (and lip pencil) to really set and lock down the lip color, which also makes it appear matte, that can pretty much turn most of your favorite lipsticks into a long-wearing, mostly matte version. This is the same thing I do when I need all-day color and want to touch up very, very minimally (like at a conference).

All Fired Up is described as a “bright fuchsia matte.” It’s a brightened, reddish-fuchsia–the kind of fuchsia that almost looks warm, because it doesn’t have strong blue undertones to it. It has a fully matte finish. The texture is fairly dry but doesn’t tug too much on lips. It had opaque color payoff and wore well for seven hours and left a stain behind. I found it somewhat drying on lips, and I would highly recommend exfoliating and hydrating lips prior to application and potentially dabbing on a little bit of clear lip balm throughout the day to keep lips from drying out. Urban Decay Catfight is redder, luminous. Chanel Suspense is lighter, less matte. Revlon Sorbet is cooler-toned, sheerer, less matte. Guerlain Girly is more fuchsia. Guerlain Gigi is less matte. Guerlain Gourmandise is similar–especially as it sets. See comparison swatches.

Dangerous is described as a “orangey red matte.” It’s a medium-dark, orange with strong red undertones and a flat, matte finish. It had opaque color playoff, was just barely creamy enough to apply without tugging or dragging, but you will need firmer pressure. It doesn’t just glide across lips like it’s on ice skates. It lasted six hours and had a slight stain afterward. When I wore it, the formula was slightly drying. Maybelline Orange Edge and Maybelline Vibrant Mandarin are close in color but have a glossier finish. MAC Scarlet Ibis is similar–slightly brighter. MAC Sail La Vie is also similar in color but less matte. MAC Lady Danger is brighter, less red. Buxom Rogue is glossier, less red, brighter. OCC Psycho has more brown tones to it. See comparison swatches.

Fixed on Drama is described as a “rich wine matte.” It’s a dark, burgundy red with neutral undertones (reads almost warm on me, as it has a slight brown tone) and a matte finish. This seemed to have less of a flat matte finish compared to other shades, and it was drier and stiffer to work with, which resulted in less opaque color coverage, too. This would be best applied with a lip brush and then layered for best color payoff. It wore for six and a half hours and left a stain behind, but I noticed it faded unevenly. Like the other shades, this was somewhat drying. Urban Decay Shame is warmer, glossier. MAC Endless Drama is similar–a touch darker, maybe, and less matte. MAC What Joy is more berry-hued. Guerlain Gigolo is brighter, less brown, glossy. See comparison swatches.

Flat Out Fabulous is described as a “bright plum matte.” It’s a cool-toned, fuchsia-plum with a flat, matte finish. It had mostly opaque color payoff, and the consistency is slightly dry and does tug somewhat on lips. It does warm up as you try to apply it from the tube, so there is that, but your best bet would be applying with a lip brush to avoid dragging the product across the lips. This was the fourth I’d tested, and my lips were progressively getting drier and drier, so I’d also have to call this one drying. It lasted well for six and a half hours and then started to fade but did leave behind a stain. Urban Decay Anarchy is brighter, luminous. Maybelline Electric Fuchsia is brighter, lighter, less matte. Maybelline Hot Plum is slightly more plum and less matte. MAC Night Blooming is purpler, less matte. MAC Quick Sizzle is just slightly pinker. MAC Pink Pigeon is brighter, pinker. See comparison swatches.

MAC Lipstick All Fired Up
B+
Product
8
Pigmentation
10
Texture
8
Longevity
10
Application
4
Total
89%
MAC Lipstick Dangerous
A-
Product
8.5
Pigmentation
10
Texture
9
Longevity
10
Application
4.5
Total
92%
MAC Lipstick Fixed on Drama
B-
Product
7.5
Pigmentation
8.5
Texture
8
Longevity
9
Application
4
Total
82%
MAC Lipstick Flat Out Fabulous
B+
Product
8
Pigmentation
9.5
Texture
8.5
Longevity
10
Application
4
Total
88%

See more photos & swatches!

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick
MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick
MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick
MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick
MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick
MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC All Fired Up Lipstick
MAC All Fired Up Lipstick

MAC Dangerous Lipstick
MAC Dangerous Lipstick

MAC Dangerous Lipstick
MAC Dangerous Lipstick

MAC Dangerous Lipstick
MAC Dangerous Lipstick

MAC Dangerous Lipstick
MAC Dangerous Lipstick

MAC Dangerous Lipstick
MAC Dangerous Lipstick

MAC Dangerous Lipstick
MAC Dangerous Lipstick

MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick
MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick

MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick
MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick

MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick
MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick

MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick
MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick

MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick
MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick

MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick
MAC Fixed on Drama Lipstick

MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick

MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick

MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick

MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick

MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick

MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick
MAC Flat Out Fabulous Lipstick

Write a Review

Reader Reviews

4.4
5 Stars
656
4 Stars
480
3 Stars
144
2 Stars
40
1 Stars
25

Based on 94 Reviews, 1251 Quick Reviews

Rate It:
The Good
  • Easy To Apply (570)
  • Creamy (506)
  • Long-wearing (463)
  • Smooth (459)
  • Great Value (213)
  • Blendable (180)
  • Moisturizing (155)
  • Travel-friendly (94)
The In-Between
  • Highly Pigmented (642)
  • Scented (316)
  • Buildable (264)
  • Non-sticky (204)
  • Sheer (68)
  • Thick (43)
  • Thin (33)
  • Sticky (8)
  • Flavored (3)
The Bad
  • Dry (108)
  • Drying (94)
  • Tugs/pulls (38)
  • Uneven (34)
  • Hard To Apply (33)
  • Hard To Blend (14)
  • Too Little Product (4)