I remember being all hyped up over fashion designer Prabal Gurung’s makeup line with MAC last year when news of the collaboration first broke, only to be taken aback by the prices (US$30 per lipstick if my memory doesn’t fail me) when it was launched. Therefore when I learned that another team-up with a renowned fashion designer was in the works early this year, I kinda gave an indifferent shrug, thinking that nothing in that line-up would be pocket-friendly once again. But just as I was about to mentally prepare myself to give the entire collection a miss, I spotted the price list somewhere and it stated that each lipstick was going to be sold for only US$17.50! Holy moly.
Mind you, Giambattista Valli is one fashion designer (and one of my all-time faves) with impeccable craftsmanship who has captivated the international fashion scene through his cutting edge designs. Best known for the femininity of his designs (stunning florals!), his dresses have been donned by many Hollywood A-listers including Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Sarah Jessica Parker and not forgetting eight-time Grammy Award winner Rihanna. Just three weeks ago, his label celebrated its first decade in the business by having a Paris blowout. At the same time, his new makeup collection with MAC was born as well!
With just five lipsticks and a gloss (MAC Crystal Glaze Gloss, US$23), this collection is guaranteed to be affordable for everyone especially the hoarders *raises hand* (and therefore also making it even easier for profiteers to wipe out the shelves and resell them at an exorbitant price.. thought I doubt anybody could do that on MAC website considering how terribly slow it was on launch day.. It took me about 30 minutes to check out grrrr).
What caught my attention, like many of you, was the product packaging. Each lipstick is encased in the signature MAC dome-shaped lid and sleek plastic tube, coloured according to the lipstick shade. How absolutely gorgeous.
What’s more, they are all MATTE! Hooray!
The fifth shade is Bianca B, a Matte pale white pink which would definitely wash anyone out unless you have really fair, porcelain complexion.. like, white paper. It kinda reminded me of Happy Hibiscus (which by the way was already sold because I disliked it so much) but in Matte finish. Strangely though, Bianca B was the first to sell out across all beauty stores that carried the collection and I seriously have no idea why.
This shade is brighter than I had anticipated but luckily it doesn’t pop too much. It’s mostly opaque but because of the dry finish, most of the product kinda settled into my lip lines, leaving my lips looking really streaky (and that’s the thing about bright, near-luminescent matte colours I guess). Probably exfoliating your lips before applying the lipstick would give better results.
Margherita leans more towards nude than orange as you can see from the picture above. Reel Sexy (from MAC is Beauty collection) is a close dupe.
The only wearable pink in this launch is a fuchsia which I noticed has been making its appearance in recent collections (refer to swatch comparison below), thus making it very dupe-able. It has great colour payoff with a single stroke and a smooth consistency which covered the lips evenly. Although it’s matte, it is actually quite creamy and not drying at all hence removal was a breeze.
Some similar shades (but of different finish) that were released in the last 12 months are Diva-ish, Catharina and No Faux Pas. No Faux Pas is quite identical to Tats in my opinion.
This classic red looks very similar to numerous other reds churned out by MAC, but it stands out from the pack with its creamy Matte finish. The buttery smooth texture coupled with the rich and intense pigmentation help to conceal the flaws of the lips by giving them a subtle sheen and a silken feel which in turn reveal a pair of hydrated and baby soft lips.
Charlotte seems to be slightly darker and less glossier than most reds. It can be a dupe for either Russian Red or Ruby Woo (which is very drying because it’s made of the old formula so Charlotte makes a good alternative).
Topping my shopping list was Eugenie, a plum shade that is in fact more semi-opaque than matte because the natural colour of my lips was still able to show through the many layers of the lipstick. The product also has the tendency to settle into my lip creases and gather along the top of my lower lip, making the colour seem uneven on the overall. I was generally quite disappointed with the consistency of this shade and I reckon it won’t last for more than 2 hours. But look, the colour is so gorgeous, I think it makes up for every shortcoming I’m unsatisfied about. 😳
I couldn’t find any dupe for Eugenie in my stash (the closest is perhaps Diva but it’s not exactly a dupe because it’s more brownish) so I believe MAC has finally produced a unique shade. *throws confetti*
What do you guys think of this collection? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more beauty reviews!