Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

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.)

The Glossover

product

MAC Strength Collection Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

A
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.)

Product

9.5/10

Pigmentation

9.5/10

Texture

9.5/10

Longevity

10/10

Application

4.5/5

Results
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Dupes
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See more photos & swatches!

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Absolute Power Lipstick
MAC Absolute Power Lipstick

MAC Firm Form Lipstick
MAC Firm Form Lipstick

MAC Firm Form Lipstick
MAC Firm Form Lipstick

MAC Firm Form Lipstick
MAC Firm Form Lipstick

MAC Firm Form Lipstick
MAC Firm Form Lipstick

MAC Firm Form Lipstick
MAC Firm Form Lipstick

MAC Firm Form Lipstick
MAC Firm Form Lipstick

MAC Party Parrot Lipstick
MAC Party Parrot Lipstick

MAC Party Parrot Lipstick
MAC Party Parrot Lipstick

MAC Party Parrot Lipstick
MAC Party Parrot Lipstick

MAC Party Parrot Lipstick
MAC Party Parrot Lipstick

MAC Party Parrot Lipstick
MAC Party Parrot Lipstick

MAC Party Parrot Lipstick
MAC Party Parrot Lipstick

MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick
MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick

MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick
MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick

MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick
MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick

MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick
MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick

MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick
MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick

MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick
MAC Pink Pigeon Lipstick

MAC Strong Woman Lipstick
MAC Strong Woman Lipstick

MAC Strong Woman Lipstick
MAC Strong Woman Lipstick

MAC Strong Woman Lipstick
MAC Strong Woman Lipstick

MAC Strong Woman Lipstick
MAC Strong Woman Lipstick

MAC Strong Woman Lipstick
MAC Strong Woman Lipstick

MAC Strong Woman Lipstick
MAC Strong Woman Lipstick

Product & Review FAQ

Where can I purchase it? How much is it?

MAC Cosmetics, $15 each.

Is it limited edition?

Yes.

Any dupes?

See individual shade review!

What makeup are you wearing?

On eyes: Dior Iconic Mascara. On cheeks: MAC Amber Glow Mineraluze Blush.

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.

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206 thoughts on “MAC Strength Collection Lipsticks Reviews, Photos, Swatches

  1. Avatar of Teresa Teresa

    Does anyone know when will this collection launch in the UK? apres chic came out last week but there is nothing about strent in the website!

  2. Allie

    How does pink pigeon compare to MUFE 36?

  3. Avatar of chris chris

    Fortunately, I was able to snag several Absolute Powers online and from my closed MAC store location. I had purchased Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon earlier in 2012. I just e-mailed MAC (through chat). They have no plans to re-stock Strong Woman or Absolute Power. Party P. is sold out again on-line. I really hope they will consider making all the recent matte colors permanent. As there is a void in the texture.

  4. Avatar of Brenda Brenda

    Nothing makes me happier than to see the voice of the Women heard :) (in regards to your update on here that MAC released more Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon). (I’m a Community worker, can’t you tell LOL)

  5. Avatar of Alisa Alisa

    So firm form is not one that I would ever wear but wow it made your eyes look amazing Christine!! The contrast of that darkness just made your eyes really pop.

  6. How close would you say Party Parrot is to OCC’s Queen Lip Tar? Thanks!

  7. Courtney K

    I was soooooo disappointed with Firm Form when I saw it. It was not at all how I expected and frankly…kinda blah. I can get the effect I want putting Bling Black gloss over some black lipstick.

  8. Renee

    I cant believe how good firm form is! it suits my skin tone better than Black knight, and especially midnight media, because of the gold sparkles, combining with my warm skintone :)

    • Renee

      and before i forget, It also has the best staying power of any of the lipsticks i have. why didnt i buy 3!?!

      • Avatar of Ruca Ruca

        Have you tried any of the Pro Cream Colour Bases yet? Grab Pink Shock and then apply Firm Form over it. The results are really nice! I’m not a huge fan of layering 2 lipsticks, but the CCBs are awesome under some of these color. Grey Friday and Dramatic Encounter both work perfect with Pink Shock, too. ;)

  9. Ganny2Jax

    MAC restocked Pink Pigeon and Party Parrot again today (1/14), but by the time I found out it was online, all I could get was Pink Pigeon. I called their wonderful customer service THIS MORNING and of course all he could tell me was “keep watching the website.” Ok, sure I will…that’s all I have to do! Not! By the time I got to log back on, Party Parrot (the one I really wanted) was sold out. I was able to get Pink Pigeon, but still bummed that he couldn’t give me the courtesy of saying today’s the day. I wrote them another e-mail, but the last one got no response and I figure this one won’t either. I told them they should look on Temptalia to see how their customers are getting fed up with their tactics. I know nothing will ever change and I wish I would stop caring and go elsewhere. Who knows, maybe I will. I’m too old for this!

  10. My husband bought me a MAC lipstick for Christmas and I absolutely love it! But what I loved more was the MAC Studio Sculpt Foundation, even though he got the wrong shade (a little too dark) I still liked it and even compared it to another. The MAC Studio Sculpt killed the competition. You really do get what you pay for nowadays.

  11. Sarah

    The pro store om Armitage in Chicagonhas Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon in stock!

  12. Avatar of Sarah Sarah

    FYI Mac has pink pigeon restocked right now.

  13. Avatar of Lydia Lydia

    Christine and all MAC lipstick fans, they re-stocked Party Parrot and Pink Pidgeon again! Just finally picked up Party Parrot! Get it now! :)

  14. Sarah

    I have impassioned, do I really need party parrot also? They look the same in the pictures.

  15. Makayla

    I think Absolute Power is the exact same shade as Marilyn Charmed I’m Sure. It looks darker in the tube but on the lips exact match in my opinion. I put them on side by side and couldn’t tell the difference. I wanted a back up of Charmed I’m sure so I’m happy that Absolute Power is a dupe for it! Sucks they are both LE.

  16. Mietta

    I just picked up Party Parrot today from MAC and I’m in LOVE. I think I’ll buy another one for safe keeping!!!

  17. Natalie

    hey Christine,
    unfortunately I couldnt manage to get my hands on the Strong Woman Lipstick. Its sold out everywhere :/ Do you know any other Lipstick shade (not the ones you mentioned – maybe another brand) that could come near to Strong Woman?

    xx

  18. Avatar of Tracy Tracy

    Do you know when the heroine lipstick is coming back this year??

  19. Nessie

    Hello christine,
    i know this is a bit late but how does strong woman compare to mac’s heroine?

  20. Avatar of Carla Carla N.

    I stopped buying MAC in early 2012, and this collection, along with the Marilyn Monroe collection, has caused this bright-lipstick-lover some pain.
    Fortunately, though, I’ve found solace in Illamasqua (they have some great matte reds!), and Lime Crime, whose Poisonberry seems like a decent stand-in for Strong Woman.
    I already have Party Parrot, too, from one of my final MAC purchases.