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. Β 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. Β The real downside to the Retro Matte formula (in my experience, of course) is that they are drying. Β 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. Β 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.

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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

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Product Availability

MAC Lipstick $19.50/0.1 OZ.
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About the Reviewer

Reviewer

Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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114 Comments

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I just picked up fixed on drama and compared it to dark side and they are very similar! Both gorgeous colors but if you have dark side you could def pass on fixed on drama. I picked up runway hit too another gorgeous color from this collection!

Some of the colours are really nice and I may get that pink but been kinda disappointed that there’s not much MAC stuff I actually want. Even the indulge collection which came out in the UK today is disappointing. πŸ™

I’m having the same indifference to MAC this year too. I’ve taken the opportunity to throw my money at Disney with Sephora, NARS, Guerlain, and Urban Decay.

I stopped buying MAC when they stopped being cruelty free.
I have to say it was really hard at first, but lately they made it really easy for me. I lost any interest in the brand.

Same here, screamer77.
I no longer buy any of the EL brands, and it hasn’t been as difficult as I’d feared.
I’m finding plenty to amuse me from Illamasqua, Paula Dorf, Trish McEvoy, Inglot, FACE Stockholm, etc.
That said, I do love the looks of Flat Out Fabulous, but I’ll bet it can be duped.

I have medium Asian skin (NC30-35) with strong yellow undertones, and I love orangey lipsticks! Orange reds look better on me than true oranges, but your mileage may vary. Lady Danger is one of my top three favorite lipsticks; despite being so bright and loud, it really complements my warm complexion. Orangey blushes also look great on Asian skins in my experience, whether it’s a soft apricot, medium coral, or bright vermillion.

SO grateful for this collection! I would wear retro matts to bed, love that they stay put and dont smudge when I touch my face or kiss someone.

I don’t actually own any MAC lipsticks, because I only like their mattes, and up till now there hasn’t been that good a range of shades in the retro matte. Moreover, from the rest of their formulas, there is always a similar shade at another brand, which may cost a few bucks more, but ticks many more boxes (longevity, pigmentation, etc). This set of retro mattes, however, WOW! Love, love, love. I’m definitely getting Dangerous to start with.

I’m really interested in fashion boost liner and flat out fabulous. But the rest will have to wait. All fired up is really warm for fall and fixed on drama doesn’t apply as evenly as I would like. It also looks a lot like diva, which I own.

Heyy Christine!
Thanks for the swatches I’ve been DYING too see how they look!

Would you mind telling me how similar Heaux and Fixed on Drama are?

It was super over-filled and it wasn’t even secured into the tube, actually, LOL! It was stuck inside the cap initially.

Thanks for the review, photos and swatches =) Flat Out Fabulous looks very pretty, I like it and In my first glance, It looks like a Retro Matte version of Girl About Town to me, don’t you think???

They don’t looks as horrible as I expected but not worth it. I think if I swatched them on my lips in the store I’d immediately wipe them off as my lips beg for mercy :)))

Despite my love of matte lipstick, this is a pass for me. I find MAC’s formula slightly drying over all, so a formula that starts out as such dry is just painful to imagine. They are very beautiful though, so I hope people with more forgiving lips will enjoy them. πŸ™‚

(I don’t know about other people here, but most lipstick goes matte on me within a few hours anyway. It has to be a very glossy formula to stay shiny!)

Honestly, these lipsticks look dry & patchy. Kind of upsetting for MAC. I think their collections lately have been either hit or miss. I definitely agree with you about going with a more moisturizing product. You can get good color payoff and long lasting color without the drying effect. Come on MAC. Step up your game.

Hey Christine!

Thanks for the swatches again πŸ™‚ How does Fixed on Drama compare to Diva? Do you think I should get one if I have the other?

Thanks!

How does Fixed on Drama compare to Chanel Rouge Noir lipstick? It looks quite similar, maybe a little lighter, but Rouge Noir isn’t as pigmented I believe….

I actually love the Retro matte formula! I don’t find them anymore drying than most matte lipsticks. I can’t wait for these to come out! I must have Flat Out Fabulous and Fixed on Drama!

Hi Maira!

As noted at the top, the information has been conflicting, so I couldn’t make any guarantees. I have gotten my information from MAC corporate.

How does Fixed on Drama compare to Diva and Media? I don’t want to buy it and it ends up being a “retro matte” version of a lipstick I already own πŸ˜›

Hi Christine!

I’m really interested in Fixed On Drama. How would you say it compares to MAC’s Prince Noir? I think it may be a bit light in comparison, but due you think I could get the same color with say MAC’s Nightmoth or Vino underneath?

Thank you in advance! πŸ™‚

All fired up and Fixed on Drama look AMAZING on you! Can you tell me what the pink eyeshadow is that you’re wearing in your avatar, Christine? It looks amazing on your brown eyes and I’d love to get hold of it myself!

Is all fired up as matte as Ruby Woo or more like Russian Red? I really want to get it but i have very dry lips that will not be able to take a formula like ruby woo

I’ve been really hooked to bright pink colors lately! I just got Girl About Town two days ago, and I’m seriously digging Flat Out Fabulous but I’m afraid they might be too similar, color-wise. Are they? Is it still worth getting it?

I purchased fixed on drama, steady going, and flat out fabulous today. And I love them. But as I thought the Kat Von D lipstick in Rosary is an exact dupe for this. So if you missed out on fixed on drama just grab the Kat Von D lipstick in Rosary I promise it’s the same. I now have both.

Thank you SO much! I purchased Fixed on Drama, but unfortunately it went patchy on me just minutes after applying. But I loved the color! Thanks so much for this!

I love MAC lipsticks, but unfortunately in Brazil they’re way to expensive …. I think I’ll buy just one just to try the retro matte finish … I guess I’ll buy either Relentlessly Red or Flat ou Fabulous …
BTW Christine, How does Flat Out Fabulous compare to Candy Yum Yum and Shiseido RS320 Fucshia??? I own CYY and I’m thinking about buying RS320 …

Hi christine
Which is more similar to love goddess between all fired up and relentlessly red? I have love goddess and I don’t want to get anything close to it. Thanks
Ur blog Is simply the best!

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! πŸ™‚ If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!