MAC Retro Matte Pro Longwear Lip Pencils
The MAC Retro Matte Collection also includes eight shades of Pro Longwear Lip Pencils ($19.50 for 0.04 oz.), and five the shades (all featured in this post) are new. 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.
The Pro Longwear Lip Pencils tend to have good color coverage, apply evenly overall, but they aren’t super creamy lip pencils, so they can skip, drag, and tug. They’re not the worst, but they’re not the most comfortable to apply or wear alone. I like them best underneath lipstick or gloss, as you get the benefits of a lip pencil–longer wear, more even color fade, no feathering/bleeding–without the drawbacks of wearing it alone. The formula is not one I would opt to wear alone because of how drying they are by themselves, and honestly, they have a drier texture that tends to cling to lips and doesn’t look as flattering. Even the Retro Mattes, though sometimes drying, look smoother applied. I wish they were creamier during application with more of a set/dry down, so you could achieve really even, smooth color that still wore and lasted well. I prepped by slathering lips with lip balm while sleeping (I used Hourglass’ Lip Oil, actually) and wearing lip balm for a half hour prior to applying (blotting off immediately prior to applying the lip pencil).
On their own, I’ve found that while they wear like iron–topping in anywhere from six to ten hours–the wear can be less flattering over time, as it flakes off in areas, rather than a gradual fade. The deeper colors stain, too, and so when they do, the fading appears more even as the product wears away. These feel like they shrink or cling to the lips, which is why I really think they are best underneath other lip products. I ended up wearing a lot of these two at a time (half on one side, half on the other), because after wearing one alone (and after all seven of the Retro Mattes), my lips weren’t going to make it through another four standalone tests.
Wearing them underneath lipstick adds anywhere from an extra hour to three hours, depending on the shortness of the lipstick to begin with and lighter shades always disappear faster. How drying the lip pencil is also can be mitigated by wearing a more hydrating formula on top or patting on lip balm and/or a hydrating gloss throughout the day.
Dynamo is described as a “bright peony.” It’s a bright, medium-dark coral-pink with a matte finish. The consistency is slightly dry but is able to cover with even, opaque color without too dragging or skipping around. On its own, it lasted well for seven hours. I’m not familiar with many coral lip liners, and Urban Decay Streak is really the only one I could think of, but it is not similar to this shade.
Fashion Boost is described as a “bright purple cream.” It’s a vibrant, medium-dark magenta purple with strong fuchsia undertones and a barely-there satin sheen. It had mostly opaque color coverage, but I couldn’t quite get 100% even, opaque color. It lasted seven hours and faded slightly unevenly. Urban Decay Anarchy is brighter, pinker. MAC Heroine is very similar–a touch more muted but just barely. See comparison swatches.
High Energy is described as a “bright orange red cream.” It’s a medium-dark, orange-red with a matte finish. It was slightly dry in consistency but didn’t skip too badly, and I was able to get opaque color that was very even overall. This shade wore well for eight hours but was drying on its own. Urban Decay Bang is slightly more orange. MAC Throw Me a Line is more muted. MAC Ablaze is slightly more muted. See comparison swatches.
Shock Value is described as a “bright pink cream.” More like a bright–nearly neon–light-medium, blue-based pink with strong fuchsia/magenta tones. It’s definitely pink, but it’s almost so blue-based that it looks magenta. This one was creamier than the others, but it tended to cling to itself as applied (seemed a little tackier than others). I highly recommend blotting with a tissue before you press lips together to avoid the product sticking and lifting from areas on the lip. This shade wore for eight hours well, though it was painful to remove and wear. I couldn’t think of any similar lip pencils to this shade, but I have no doubt it would pair well with MAC Candy Yum Yum and its dupes.
Trust in Red is described as a “bright cool red cream.” It’s a medium-dark, cool-toned red with blue undertones. It’s actually a bit muted–not as bright/bold as you’d expect. It had mostly opaque, even color coverage, was somewhat drying when worn, and lasted for eight hours and stained. Urban Decay 69 is not as blue-based, darker. MAC Cherry is darker. MAC Freehand is darker, less blue-based. See comparison swatches.