The formula is supposed to have "intense, ultra-creamy colour payoff" with an "ultra-smooth gliding texture" that has "even colour distribution and payoff." Just in case you weren't totally on-board with the idea that MAC meant for these to be pigmented, they also go on to describe these as having "an explosion of colour."
The pigmentation varied from shade to shade but over half of the shades had far under full coverage and none had full coverage. The formula struggles to apply evenly, as there's enough slip that the color seems to slide around and sometimes the glitter/sparkle clumped on itself when I attempted to build up coverage. A few shades looked visibly uneven and gritty on my lips, though I'll say they didn't feel gritty like you'd expect--a little texture at times but fairly smooth overall.
The texture was fairly smooth, emollient without being heavy or thick, and they were thinner (without being clingy), yet they had trouble adhering to parts of my lips, especially the inner areas. I was reminded of this line from the movie Clueless, "No, she's a full-on Monet... From far away, it's OK, but up close, it's a big old mess." The shiny finish coupled with lots of sparkle and shimmer--all reflecting light strongly--give the illusion that they aren't so bad from afar (like six feet away), but they are wretched if you look in the mirror (like a foot away).
The only way to make these "work" would be to layer them on top of a better-applying lipstick or lining lips underneath first and then using them to add sparkle. They had a subtle vanilla scent but no discernible taste.
These are also extremely similar to the Tom Ford Lip Sparks from an ingredient list perspective (they are almost the same) as well as from a performance perspective. (Both brands are owned by Estee Lauder.)
The average rating based on all reviewed shade(s) in this formula is shown below.
A constellation of six sparkling and pearlized shades with intense, ultra-creamy colour payoff. This all-new Lipstick texture offers an explosion of colour and a glittery finish, with lustrous pearlescent particles that add high shimmer – minus the gritty feel. The Lipstick bullet is embossed with stars and covered in glitter stardust. Specially designed in shiny black packaging with a gradient of multicoloured glitter and the M∙A∙C logo in rose gold.