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MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC & Carine Roitfeld: Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick ($16.50 for 0.10 oz.) is described as a “sheer translucent nude.” (I will also note that MAC’s website only describes it as “nude,” which is more misleading than the press release’s description.) It’s a wash of warm beige with a soft, frosted finish. It has a lustre finish. For all intents and purposes, it looks like I put lip balm on, because it looks completely colorless on my lips. As far as dupes go, any lip balm that has more of a sheen than a glossy shine would substitute.

It was hard to judge how long this worn on me, truly, because the only thing I could see visually was that lustre-like finish, kind of frosted but barely. Instead, I took a napkin and pressed my lips against this after two hours (at which point, it seemed like it was gone), and there was nothing on the napkin.  I repeated this experiment twice more – the second time, after an hour and the third time, after three hours. There was a little bit of product visible on the napkin after an hour, and again, none after three hours. The fact that color is coming off shows that it’s not 100% clear or invisible, but because your lips are not invisible or clear, they tend to “absorb” the color so it’s less noticeable on. I’m not a big fan of lustre finishes, as I tend to find them drying, and Tropical Mist was no exception, as it was somewhat drying after wearing it for six hours (back to back).

It’s sheer. It’s translucent. It’s pretty much exactly as described by MAC, except it’s nearly invisible. Sheer doesn’t mean clear, right? Translucent is the adjective more likely to suggest clear, though after reading about ten definitions across various dictionaries online, it suggests something that allows light to pass through but in a slightly diffused manner (e.g. frosted glass).  On that note, I’m going to go with this needs a wee bit more color to give it a more diffused quality but only take off one point.  Since it’s somewhat drying, it’s not something I can recommend, and I think some will be hard-pressed to shell out $16.50 for something that’s going to look virtually colorless and not hydrating. I imagine some will expect a lower grade, but remember: MAC said this was sheer and translucent, so that’s the starting point for discussion.

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MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick
MAC Tropical Mist Lipstick

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Product Availability

MAC Tropical Mist $18.50/0.10 OZ.
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About the 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 information, please check the FAQ.)

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71 Comments

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Please read the post! Because there is a fine line between sheer, translucent, and clear, I spent a whole paragraph talking about it. Unfortunately, reviewing makeup is not an exact science where “sheer” doesn’t mean one specific opacity (let alone that I have the equipment to test for it!). Lipstick that’s drying comes out of claims (product – it lost 2.5 points there), not texture – the texture is just fine. It’s soft, fairly creamy, and glides right on. It’s somewhat drying – not the most drying lip product I’ve used – but not hydrating.

I love a pale lip, too, but this is ridiculous. I was just considering a Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick *very* similar to this. I think I’ll go back for that one, as it’s half the price, hydrating, and likely more pigmented.

It’s hard to tell since the lighting between the two shots of your lips are just slightly different, but I think you need to give your lips more credit. I’ve heard you say you think your lip color is corpse like, but I’m just not seeing it.

Anyway, boo on this clear-why-bother lipstick.

Maybe it’s my monitor, but it looks to me as if this lipstick evened out your lip color a little, like tinted moisturizer is supposed to do for the face. Not that you have splotchy lips, Christine!

Except for the hydration issue, this may be what I’ve been looking for. The women in my family suffer from “faded lip syndrome”, for want of a better term, and we’re always searching for subtle, natural lip color to enhance what color we have left. Cherry chapstick is my Mom’s old standby.

Now, if there was only a MAC store nearby so I could try it first!

Nars do a lipstick called Little Darling which is a sheer nude – looks totally different in the tube to this lipstick, but at least the Nars one deposits some colour! Maybe worth checking that out? It’s not an all out dealthy pale nude, but it just kinda of tones down and evens out your own lip colour 😀

Whenever I see a brand launch something like this I wonder WTF were they thinking… especially if you consider it was a collaboration! 16 bucks for a non-hydrating clear lipstick? Pass.

it’s invisible, drying, doesn’t last, costs 16.50 for something that looks like random lip balm and it gets 7.5 out of 10? what does a product need to do – or rather NOT do – in order to get a 3 or 4?

Are they serious? We can buy lipbalms with more coverage for a fourth of the price. Before your review I was sold on this puppy but now Im gonna skip it. Depending on your review on the sets I might skip the whole collection. It has never happen before!
Thats a shame, I really liked the packaging 🙁

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! *holds sides and tries to breathe* I’m starting to love MAC again for the sheer amusement factor alone. But, in a desperate attempt to be nice, that blush looks really pretty on you, Christine. I can’t spot any real difference between the two cheeks & blushes but…. er… yeah, I like the colour on you. There, that’s my attempt at remaining positive.

Wow, it pretty much looks like… nothing.

In the tube it looks like a similar shade to Charm from the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm, except Charm’s color and frost is actually VISIBLE on the lips!

it’s the color of carine roitfeld’s signature lip look. as also the palette, which looks like it’d effortlessly give you her smudged, non-intense, smokey eye. *shrugs*

Why the dry, difficult to blend textures? Why use Carbon, which has been described as an “intense black” for years (and described as such in this campaign)? There’s nothing wrong with a sheer lip, but why not release or repromote lip conditioner or tinted lip conditioner? It would have been hydrating, barely-there color.

I agree there’s no excuse for this. I wouldn’t even begin to insult myself buy buying anything in a collection that would barely touch much dark skin tone. Shame on MAC. They deserve a big smack in the face.

I could’ve sworn Suntints have got more pigmentation than this, more benefits and I think i recall they’re cheaper, aren’t they?. I don’t know, my pricing is in euros… Anyways, the whole collection was pretty much a huge let down…

For something like this I’ll stick to my Fresh lip treatments. The original gives me a bit of a sheen *AND* is moisturizing. If I want a hint of color, I can use the Rose. This? No way.

I’m really disappointed in this entire collection. Carine Roitfield is one of the top fashion magazine editors in the world and made Vogue Paris THE magazine with her unique branding and DNA. She consults for numerous luxury brands and she played a huge part in transforming Gucci under Tom Ford. You’d think she would demand that a limited edition line of products with her name associated with it would be top quality BUT it’s not. And I will not talk about MAC because you’d think they would at least be able to do dark smoky eye palettes. I better buy more brushes before that goes downhill too….

I am somewhere around NC45 (MUFE 173 perfect match) in MAC and this evened out my lips and gave a nice bit of shimmery color. I googled a few pics of women of color where it showed up on them as well. Not a total bust I suppose if you have darker lips.

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