Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme
Cute, yeah? Maybe I can start a trend! Overtime (pink), Extended Play (red)

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme Review, Photos, Swatches (Overall)

Pro Longwear Lipcreme seems to be a cross between satin and amplified finishes; it’s creamy without being thick, and they all have a slight glossiness when initially applied. The glossiness does seem to fade away within an hour or two, though. Every shade–with the exception of Sweet Ever After–was nearly opaque, with some being totally opaque on my lips and others being semi-opaque. It doesn’t take a lot of product to get opaque results either–I’d say about a layer and a half in total. They’re all vanilla-scented, just as MAC’s other lipsticks and lipglosses are.

The most important characteristic of this lipstick is the wear time, because it’s touted as:

Lightweight texture, creamy finish and comfortable longwear combine in this has-it-all pro-class lip colour. Slick in use, applies without need of a top coat- and still lasts up to 12 hours. Won’t feather or transfer, and the colour stays true. Helps lips stay soft and hydrated.

Because the timing demands a more immediate review, I applied Extended Play on half of my lips and Overtime on the other half. My reasoning behind this is darker shades (like reds, berries, wines) tend to outlast paler, lighter shades across the board, so testing one of the darker shades in the collection might be misleading–but what if the lighter shade did fade away quickly? Then I wouldn’t really know whether the darker shades could at least make it!

Product Photos & Swatches

The average lipstick lasts about three to four hours on me, while a gloss lasts two to three, and together, I get three to six, depending on what I’m eating/drinking during the time. I put on my half-and-half combo around noon, and by three, it had some noticeable fading, but overall, the color was still pretty strong. I sipped a drink through a straw (which is one way to avoid wearing off your lipstick!), but otherwise, I did not eat/drink. You’ll see in the photos how the lipstick just doesn’t look as “fresh” — some of the glossiness has faded away and the color isn’t quite as opaque. The good news is the pink side looks about as good as the red side does.

After about five hours of wear, it was dinnertime, which was perfect–I wanted to give the lipstick a chance to “set” so-to-speak before really challenging it with a meal! In the photo, you’ll see that there’s not a huge change between the slightly faded lip after three hours and post-dinner. The biggest thing I noticed was that the lip color was pulling into my lip lines the longer I wore it. My lips also looked a little parched, though I’m approaching the eighth hour of wear as I write this review, and they don’t feel particularly dry–no flaking or pilling at all.

Some color will definitely stick around for twelve hours, but keep in mind that it’s not going to look the same twelve hours later as it did when you first applied it. I think that’s a pretty unreasonable expectation, though — particularly if you’re eating/drinking, as most makeup is oil-based, so eating oily foods like anything friend can often breakdown a longwearing product. Similar to MAC’s Pro Longwears, a little gloss applied every few hours would “refresh” your lip look without mandating more lipstick or a total lip re-do.  It seems like you’d have to shellac your lips if you really wanted 100% perfect color all day long.

However, the fact that it does fade noticeably after three hours of wear, without eating/drinking (me just cropping photos and typing up reviews, so mostly… sitting, no talking!), is worth pointing out. I would probably recommend topping it with a little gloss or balm, to keep it glossier longer. I’d also like to note that I experienced absolutely no feathering or bleeding of color–not a single bit. MAC says it won’t transfer, and while it certainly doesn’t all rub off in a single kiss, it left a definite kiss-print on my boyfriend’s cheek.  I would say it transfers less than many lipsticks, but it can transfer.  Removal was surprisingly easy–I used my shu cleansing oil and all of it wiped off, no staining left behind.

The packaging is entirely cylindrical in shape–the base of the this against the original lipstick base is the same diameter, but the Lipcreme packaging looks thinner. The cap is long and thin, and it has a soft snap when you put on the cap to close. The outer packaging feels similar to their existing lipsticks, but it’s more of a matte black–the original lipsticks have a slight shininess to them. These retail for $16.00 a pop, as compared to $14.50 for the regular lipsticks, but these have 0.12 oz. as compared to 0.10 oz., so you are getting more despite the increased price. Though $16 starts to approach other high-end brands, and simultaneously shifts MAC more and more so out of that high-end with a mid-end price tag zone.

The range of colors is basic; none of these shades really have anything cool to them, you know?  It’s not like this blood red with golden sheen and teal flash–that’s not what this color range is.  This is a basic color range that is perfect for launching a brand new, permanent lipstick.  I do love that they didn’t stick with just wearable shades, though; they threw in an orange and purple, obviously non-standard hues!  I am confused as to why there was such an emphasis on deeper shades, though–there’s no real perfect nude contender here for the majority of skin tones.

I’m curious to see whether MAC will convert its lipsticks to the new packaging and/or discontinue more shades to make room for these new SKUs.  They’ve certainly done a few packaging changes in the past year or so — pigments, eyeshadow quads…

SUMMARY: I really do like these lipsticks, but they aren’t quite as long-wearing as they claim, which is why they just can’t be A+ products. If you throw the wear time out the window, they’re quite lovely.  They’re creamy, richly pigmented, and apply with ease.  I don’t feel they impart a ton of moisture, but they don’t pull it out just because of the formula–if I don’t use a lip balm during the day, my lips feel similar as they did after removing this lipstick.

Well, if you actually read this whole review, kudos to you!  (And thank you!)

If you want to know more about how products are evaluated, read out Rating System FAQ! :)

  • Product: 26/30
  • Value: 9/10
  • Ease of Use: 4/5
  • Packaging: 4/5

RECOMMENDATION: These do seem longer wearing than the average lipstick and certainly the average MAC lipstick. It’s going to be tough to get great looking color for twelve full hours without doing something to refresh it. A little gloss will keep the color looking fresher longer without reapplying the lipstick itself, but without any gloss or touch of lip balm periodically during the day (just maybe once every three hours or so), the color may look rather faded.

AVAILABILITY: MAC Cosmetics

Get recommendations from me, by skin tone, what to skip… plus, see the results of the wear test yourself!

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme
Three hours of wear

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme
Seven hours of wear + eating/drinking

Temptalia’s Recommendations

Must-haves: Love Forever!, Perpetual Flame, Unlimited

Nice-to-haves: Extended Play, Goes and Goes,

Skip: Overtime (makes lips look drier than they actually are)

Skip if you have…

  • SKIP GOES AND GOES if you have UP THE AMP; unless, of course, you are a purple lip fiend, but they’re similar enough to just own one if you use it only on occasion.
  • SKIP LOVE FOREVER! if you have PINK NOUVEAU; they are very similar.
  • SKIP GOOD TO GO if you have NEON ORANGE OR MORANGE; all three are incredibly similar.
  • SKIP OVERTIME if you have CREME CUP–they’re close enough that you don’t need both, especially since they are both permanent.

Don’t forget to…

Check your stash for… nothing! These are all brand new shades, so there are no repromotes here.

Recommendations by Skin Tone

Please note that this section is merely suggesting shades that would complement a particular skin tone better than other shades, but these lists are meant to be rather exhaustive of the entire collection; it’s not reflective of must-haves for your skin tone. When it comes to cooler/warmer skin tones, these are products that lean noticeably cool/warm and therefore complement the corresponding skin tone better (but it does not mean you can’t wear a warmer product if you’re cooler!).

  • Best Picks for Lighter Skin Tones: Extended Play, Faithfully Yours, Love Forever!, Made to Last, Overtime, Sweet Ever After, Till Tomorrow, Unlimited
  • Best Picks for Medium Skin Tones: Extended Play, Made to Last, Perpetual Flame, Prolong, Sweet Ever After, Till Tomorrow, Unlimited
  • Best Picks for Darker Skin Tones: Goes and Goes, Good to Go, Love Forever!, Made to Last, Perpetual Flame, Prolong, Unlimited
  • Best Picks for Cooler Skin Tones: Extended Play, Faithfully Yours, Goes and Goes, Love Forever!, Perpetual Flame, Till Tomorrow, Unlimited
  • Best Picks for Warmer Skin Tones: Extended Play, Good to Go, Made to Last, Overtime, Prolong, Sweet Ever After, Unlimited

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I buy these? When can I buy these? How much are they?

Online at retailers like Nordstrom, Macy's, Dillards, Bloomingdale's, maccosmetics.com, or in-store at MAC Counters (e.g. Nordstrom, Macy's) or MAC freestanding stores. They are available online now and in-store on September 16th. They retail for $16.00 each.

Are these permanent?

Yes.

Are you going to review the Pro Longwear Foundation and Concealer?

Yep, I sure am -- but these require a longer testing period, so it will be a few days before I'm ready to render a verdict!

Can you Back-to-MAC (B2M) for the Pro Longwear Lipcremes?

According to MAC Livechat, you cannot B2M for these.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. may be in violation of our comment policy and subject to deletion. Please see our comment policy for more information.

79 thoughts on “MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme Review, Photos, Swatches (Overall)

  1. Elly

    Great review, Christine! I’m excited to check these out after I’ve recovered from Venomous Villains! And the two-tone lip is great for us fickle girls who can never commit to wearing just one lipstick in a day! lol

  2. Kat

    Christine, I’ve been thinking about buying Creme Cup for a while, but now that there’s Unlimited, which one would you recommend?

  3. Adrine

    Wow Christine, thanks for this awesome review! I will definitely be picking up Overtime! thanks again :)

  4. First off I want to say thank you for your blog. You put so much time and effort into each post, and it has helped me save AND spend money lol.

    Second, great review. I want to try a couple of these…after the VV collection since these are permanent.

  5. Rae

    Holy cripes, this was indeed an epic review! :P Thanks, Christine! I definitely had my doubts about this collection, but now I’m pretty excited for it.

    A quick question, though – I know you said your lips didn’t feel dry, but moisture-wise, which perm MAC formula would these compare to (if they compare to any at all?) My lips are super, super dry, and a lot of the times when other bloggers talk about lipsticks not stripping their lips of moisture, they *still* make mine feel parched! Thanks :)

    • I know, right? Way easier when MAC just releases new shades of existing products :P

      If MOST lipsticks seem to dry your lips out, I don’t think these will be an exception. Particularly if you don’t put anything on top of them all day long. The thing is, they’re not really imparting a ton of moisture – probably locking it in for a bit and not stealing it or anything.

      They probably compare most closely to satin finish lipsticks. It’s like they’re similar to an amplified at first, but then they become more satin after an hour or so.

  6. Hannah

    I hope they don’t change their usual lipstick packaging… MAC lipsticks fit my lips the best!

  7. Liz

    Thank you so much for the review and swatches. I have been so excited for this launch because I love wearing lipstick, especially red lipstick, but I hate having to remove my lipstick everytime I eat. I hate seeing my lipstick on my food and utensils blech. From the looks of it, the fading doesn’t seem too bad and I’m digging the no bleeding. The Too Faced lip insurance primer is the best lip primer I’ve used; you can feel the lipstick actually sticking to the primer, so maybe if I combine that with the MAC prolongwear lip cremes, I’ll get A+ long lasting lips haha.

    • Sure thing, Liz! :)

      If you hate lipstick on food, I think you’ll like these. Well, I mean, unless you’re eating 10 minutes after you put it on, then you’ll probably see the norm transfer over onto your food. Anyway, my point is the transfer looks pretty light on food/drink, even with a red.

  8. wow, great IN DEPTH review, christine!

    i love how opaque the shades are so i might purchase one or three :p.

    also, regarding the kiss print, i’m curious to know how long were you wearing the lipstick for when it left the print. will these lipsticks always leave a print or is there a certain time when they’ve “set” where it leaves less of a trace?

    • I tried it after about 2 hours, I’d say. I figured that’d be PLENTY of time for it to do any “setting” if necessary! It doesn’t all blot off, but it’s enough that it’s like, “Hey, you better clean that up!”

  9. Mia

    On my lips Good to Go lasted pretty long and I liked that it lost the glossy sheen very quickly, because it gave my lips that stained look without the glossiness.
    The transfer is minimal – just compared to for example the Rimmel show-off lippies that I tested today, which transfered like crazy – but it is also less than a normal satin Mac lip stick.

    I think I’ll get a red one just to give my lips some colour without any gloss…I don’t know I think it looks just more interesting after the gloss has faded. As if you had eaten a lot of cherries or something. I like them – thanks for the review!

  10. Elle

    I am consistently amazed at the thoroughness of your reviews, Christine. You really put so much thought into everything you write. Thank you so much! I might pick up some of these…I already ordered the pro-longwear foundation from my Nordstrom counter to get triple points… :)

  11. alyssa

    I’ve just recently become a new fan of this blog, and I just wanted to say that you are awesome, Christine! So informative, thorough, and helpful. This blog is quickly becoming one of my favs.

    ps. your lip freckle is such a wonderful indicator to test lip products’ opacity (is that a even word?).

  12. victoria

    what a joy to read. its like the battle in search of the best longwearing lipstick. we’ve know the nature of longwearing lipsticks, its pros and cons that puts this product through all the test and you sure did. i am going to try till tomorrow first b/c i’ve always yearn for lighter shades to last longer and i hope this doesn’t dry my lips like others did. i can’t wait for more reviews on this line, christine you’re the best.

  13. Great review – love the lip swatches and your recommendations. Some sources state that warm skin tones are yellow based while cool skin tones are more pink based. Other sources say the complete opposite.

    Question: What is your definition of warm skin tones and cool skin tones? I always thought I was a warm skin tone because my skin is more yellow based. However, all the colors you recommended for cool skin tones were the ones I wanted for myself.

    • Warm skin = yellow based; cool skin = pink based

      In general, the consensus is the above, but some brands (like MAC) use the color wheel, which reverses them!

      The majority of the launch is closer to neutral than overly cool or warm, so a lot of shades are easily worn by either side.

  14. Edelmc

    Thanks a mil for that! I was originally leaning towards love forever but now some of the reds have caught my eye!

  15. Great review! Awesome review actually… Thank you! :) Looks pretty good after 7 hours plus eating and drinking. I think most people would be checking their makeup/lipstick throughout the day anyway so a touch-up here or there isn’t too big of a deal. I wonder how applying a lip balm thoughout the day to keep it “fresh” will affect the lasting power?

    Excited to read your foundation review… I get mine tomorrow and will be using it for a week before I commit to anything… You’ll probably beat me to it! ;)

    • It seems like putting a little balm on (or gloss) here and there doesn’t seem to effect the color itself too much or the wear, but it does make it a little more comfortable and moisturizing!

  16. Pam

    Thanks for your review Christine! Can’t wait to try these out in stores!

  17. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of aradhana aradhana

    great review, christine!

    btw the faq section is a great addition, i hope you keep including it…i’m sure it will save you a lot of time!

    • Thank you! I’m starting to have a lot of problems keeping up with comments — like I am perpetually behind — so I’m hoping maybe a FAQ will clear out some of the easy but repeated questions to free up at least some time to answer more questions more quickly!

  18. Gina

    What a thorough and wonderful post on these new lipsticks! All of your hard work is greatly appreciated, sometimes you amaze me at how quick you get reviews up!
    Quick question: for future pictures do you think that you could take a pic of you smiling when lipsticks settle into your lip lines? I ask because I have this problem too and it doesn’t look to bad when your lips are relaxed, but if I smile it really showcases the striped lips effect that looks unpleasing. I have been wearing MAC prolongwear lip products for over 5 years because they don’t settle and they really last. It’s hard for me to believe that most people dislike them. They work for my normal to dry lips without being drying, you just reapply the gloss and it’s fine. I guess we all like different things!!

    • Thank you, Gina! :)

      I will think about it – I really hate the way it looks when I smile, lol! A lot of teeth!

      I like the PLWs in general, they have their purpose. It’s not my go-to for everyday wear, but if I’m going out all day, I love ‘em. My mom also LOVES them.

  19. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of Etaoin Baby in a corner

    Amazing comprehensive review Christine! I loved the wear test. Glad they’re not too drying!

  20. Ru

    Thank you so much for such an in depth review. The eating test is a huge one for me, and although it’s faded, most of the color is still there- which makes it a win! I’m fairly new to MAC and feel intimidated when I go in there, so THANK YOU for these in depth reviews so I can ask for what I’m looking for when I go in there. I’m in love with Sweet Ever After.

  21. Anne

    Can you trade 6 empties for one of these lipsticks?

  22. Linnea

    Loving Sweet ever after! and surprised I like Made to last.
    Unfortunately, I have very cool skin tones, and thus I don’t think they’d look good. :(

  23. Bernice

    Great review :)

  24. Nadia

    Hi Christine!
    you are so awesome for doing these reviews! ever since i found you last year i wait still i hear what you have to say before i make my purchase online, because in the past i’ve purchased items that i think would look good on me but didnt really like.
    i have a question, if you saw a picture of me, would you suggest colours for me?? i’m on facebook and on your facebook page! just curious :) I’m Nadia Blake on there.

  25. Shay

    Awesome review. I think I’m gonna get Made to Last and Faithfully Yours. In general i prefer nudes too but I can see why MAC decided to go dark w their longwear lipcolors. Because a really dramatic dark can look awful when it wears off but when a nude wears off its not as noticeable. I have Tribalist and it looks amazing on me but I don’t wanna have to obsess about touching it up every minute when i’m out having a good time. I think Faithfully Yours underneath it would help me out a bit, right?

  26. I super love it when you do extensive reviews like this with recommendations for skin tones and the like. I adore your blog!

  27. Natalie

    Have you tried NARS pure matte lipsticks? I have super dry lips, but surprisingly those aren’t. I wonder how these compare to NARS pm lippies.

  28. Natalie

    I just returned from MAC and picked up perpetual flame among a couple of other things. I have to say it looks amazing on darker complexions just as you suggested Christine :]. The formulation does feel a bit tacky on the lips while it is drying but after that it really does stay. I’ve had a couple bottles of water and chinese for lunch. – And I’m happy to stay my lipsticks still intact ^.^.

  29. Profile wp-user-avatar wp-user-avatar-60 alignnone photo of marie marielouise

    Nice picture, Christine :D

  30. Drownrats

    I just bought Prolong, Faithfully Yours and Till Tomorrow yesterday night and when I twisted up Prolong today it stayed that way. I can’t get it to twist back down, all it does is make these strange little clicking noises.
    I was wondering if anyone else has had issues with the packaging on these. I was planning on going back and getting a few more but I might rethink that if I can only get one use out of them before they break.
    :((((((((((((((((((((

  31. How does this compare to Make Up For Ever Rouge Artist Intense in terms of pigmentation, durability, etc.? Which one do you prefer?

    • I really wouldn’t consider them equal formulas. Rouge Artist Intense has a much drier texture, though it’s not a drying lipstick. I haven’t tried enough of the Rouge Artist shades to really speak on whether pigmentation is across the board – the ones I’ve tried are pigmented, but I don’t know if there are sheerer ones in the range. MUFE stains but MAC doesn’t seem to stain, though they both last awhile. I would say MAC’s may edge out in a wear test.

      I don’t prefer either or, as neither are my favorite kind of lipstick formula!

  32. How come we don’t have the color Love Forever here in Hong Kong? :( I am soo in love with that color! T_T

  33. Nadia

    Hey Christine,
    I have a quick question for you. I consider myself a lipgloss kinda gal. Everytime i have bought lipsticks, i dont like the way they feel on my lips (feels grainy), i dont like the smell either which is a minor con, but its mostly the grainy feel. How do you compare the pro longwear lipcremes to lipsticks? Am i going to be happier with these? i guess i can always ship it back to Mac if i dont like it but i hate paying for the shipping charges.

  34. Louise

    I’ve been looking into OCC Lip Tars recently for a long-wearing lip colour, but then I found out about the Pro Longwear Lipcremes.

    How do you think the two compare in terms of staying power over the day, especially during eating/drinking?

    Thanks so much! All the effort you put into the site is greatly appreciated :)

    • Wow, they’re soooo different, I wouldn’t really think to compare them. The Lip Tars are really long-wearing, and with time, they’ve added a ton of colors that are wearable right outta the tube (vs. having to mix them). I like the scent of MAC’s lipsticks better (vanilla vs. mint), and they’re a little more convenient since it’s not a liquid.

      But staying power is about the same, IMO!

  35. great pic! love the pink

  36. Sarah

    I just bought Prolong – my first REAL red – I’m a red head – this is a big step! and I love it. I have dry lips but this actually stays on and doesn’t look flakey. I was using a stila lip stain before but it didn’t last long enough and for $22 I wasn’t willing to buy another.

  37. I’m very pale but my lips are extremely pinky. I bought Perpetual Flame and it runs somewhere between a cherry red and wine colour. I didn’t mind though I wanted that beautiful bright raspberry of yours! And it felt so drying… I had to apply lipbalm and the lipstick just transferred to the balm. It was a little disappointing, I must say. But I’ll just try with some primer or lip erase! :) Thanks Christine, the review and swatches were super, my friend really loved the formula.

  38. Hi Christine. I’m a makeup artist and I currently use the older Pro Longwear Lip Colours (the double ended gloss looking ones) on brides. I don’t like them all that much because they tend to get cakey looking if the bride doesn’t keep up with the gloss. I’ve never tried out these newer Pro Longwear Lipsticks, would you think they would be a better alternative to my kit? Thanks in advance..
    Lauren

    • Hey Lauren!

      They do last quite awhile, and deeper shades stain and wear longer, too. I love the PLWs but agree that if you don’t keep up with the gloss, they just don’t look as great. These will kiss off a bit, though, and some color will be left on glasses — it’s not a TON or anything but it’s not like the nothingness that is PLW! I know when I kissed my boyfriend on the cheek, there was some color left behind. I could see this being a concern/issue when it comes to brides. The color should last pretty well through any ceremony and reception, including eating/drinking (though if fried chicken is on the menu, it’ll break it down a little faster! but I know PLWs also experience this with really oily food from when I’ve worn them). The best part about these is that they’re not a drying formula, and I know PLWs can be a pain in the behind to wear because they take some prep work and upkeep.

      It’s a tough call. You might consider trying one yourself and seeing if the trade offs are worth some transfer!