REVIEW: MAC x Charlotte Olympia Lipsticks – Starlett Scarlet, Leading Lady Red & Retro Rouge


HAPPY 2017 EVERYONE!!!

It may already be the new year, but I still have a colossal amount of long-overdue beauty reviews that I would like to share so please bear with me while I take you back in time to March 2016 when M.A.C launched a collection of runway-inspired red lipsticks alongside other lip and eye products and accessories with Charlotte Olympia.

mac-charlotte-olympia

In case you didn’t know who Charlotte Olympia is, she is a young British luxury shoe and accessories designer who  founded her own eponymous fashion brand. You would probably have seen her products if you shop often at high-end online boutiques such as Net-A-Porter and Ssense, or even her retail stores in Bangkok, Hong Kong as well as many other cities.

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick packaging

When first pictures of the limited-edition lipstick packaging were released via news outlets, it drew mixed reactions in the beauty community. While there were those who thought the the packaging was a breath of fresh air from M.A.C’s classic black dome-shaped cap packaging, a handful of beauty critics expressed their displeasure online over the see-through plastic exterior of the lipstick tube. Many felt that the poor choice of material made the supposedly opulent-looking lipsticks seem cheap like a drugstore product.

For me, I belong to the camp that adores the packaging. The clear, sturdy plastic exterior that deliberately reveals the gold inner tube (a far cry from those that it was being compared to – like the old Neutrogena MoistureShine lipstick packaging – which very apparently used lousier and more brittle plastic and did not conceal the glue that adheres the lipstick to the tube as cleverly as M.A.C did) exudes a sense of luxury and prestige. I like that every product in this collection is adorned with Charlotte Olympia’s signature gold spider web motif instead of just boringly stating the name on them. Perhaps because my interest in makeup came at the time when beauty brands had already stepped up their packaging game due to immense competition, I had never seen anything like that in Singapore so it definitely stood out for me.

#1 Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Starlett Scarlet

Brighten your smile with Starlett Scarlet, a true red with Matte finish. Unlike most M.A.C mattes, it has a slippery application with an incredibly intense colour payoff at the very first swipe, topped with a natural sheen to give that luscious luminosity. The highly opaque formulation conceals lip lines fairly well and does not seep into major cracks and thus, lip exfoliation is not necessary. Moisturising, it does not leave the lip feeling parched. Although matte, it has a creamy texture which allows colour blending (if you don’t want to go full-red lip) and yet has relatively high staying power.

#2 Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red (US$18)

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Leading Lady Red

Leading Lady Red is described as a deep red with Matte finish. As compared to Starlett Scarlet, this is slightly darker with cooler blue undertones. It does not apply as buttery and would occasionally tug at the lips but the excellent pigmentation and coverage of the colour compensate for that negligible flaw. The slight sheen of the lipstick gives the impression of hydrated lips but in actual fact, it feels slightly dry and heavy which could also be the main reason for its more lasting longevity.

#3 Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick in Retro Rouge

The darkest red in this collection is Retro Rouge, a cool-toned deep brown-red with Matte finish, but it is also the most underperforming and least matte out of the trio of lipsticks, sadly. For a start, it has a little drag to it during application which feels as though my lips are being lightly rubbed against. Some of the products settle into my lip lines, causing the colour to lose its overall uniformity (as you can see from dark streaks around the center). This colour isn’t smudge-proof for sure as it fades when I purse my lips and thereby leaving a rather obvious ring of lighter red shade on the area of contact. Nevertheless, it delivers full opacity to give an alluring and satiny pout.

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 1

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 1

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 2, because these lipsticks reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show collection

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia lipstick swatch comparison 2, because these lipsticks reminded me of the Rocky Horror Picture Show collection

On the overall, I think this collection offers one of the best range of reds M.A.C has ever produced even though the colours and finish are very repetitive. They are very true to what you see on the bullet and in spite of the pretty packaging (that M.A.C surprisingly did not charge a lot more for), the quality of the product was not discounted as you can tell from the excellent colour payoff and luxurious and mostly creamy finish of every lipstick.

This line has already been discontinued but I’m certain you can readily find them in resale markets like eBay or Carousell. The last time I checked, the listed prices were lower than the sale price. If you don’t already have reds like any of these (which is highly unlikely as they are very dupable), you should go for it!

What are your thoughts on the lipsticks in this collection in terms of the product quality and packaging? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below! 🙂

Thanks for reading and have an AWESOME new year ahead! ❤

M.A.C X Charlotte Olympia was launched in March 2016 and is no longer available online.
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2 thoughts on “REVIEW: MAC x Charlotte Olympia Lipsticks – Starlett Scarlet, Leading Lady Red & Retro Rouge

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