On top of possessing a larger vocabulary of colour names, research has also shown that women are better than men at distinguishing colours. In other words, while we perceive navy and cobalt as two completely different colours, our male counterparts may beg to differ. Even though this is backed by scientific facts (which has got something to do with our X chromosomes), I still can’t help but think that these capabilities could, too, be attributed to our exposure to the world of cosmetics. Years of comparing makeup swatches and the perpetual release of “new” lipstick shades with explicit colour descriptions by various brands would have undoubtedly trained our eyes to recognise any tonal differences and broadened our horizons of colour knowledge.
But just as we thought we’ve seen every colour in the visible spectrum on the Sephora racks, M.A.C pushed that boundary further and opened our eyes to a myriad of unexplored colours with its Liptensity collection which was launched online in September and in Singapore the following month last year.
Leveraging the skills of Maureen Seaberg, a tetrachromat who has the genetic ability to see up to 100 million hues (that is, a hundred times the number of colours an average person can), M.A.C unveiled 24 lipsticks which promise never-seen-before extreme colour intensity in just one stroke.
💥 FUN FACTS 💥
Tetrachromacy may seem like a fascinating deformity to have but in actual fact, it does at times pose great inconvenience to the sufferer and stir up insecurities about her image (as this condition primarily affects females).
As Concetta Antico, a tetrachromat artist, put it in an interview, tetrachromats “see colours in other colours” and can therefore see all the reds and blues in every vein and blemish vividly on their face, spurring them to level out the colours in their skin with a lot of makeup. Endowed with the ability to spot even the slightest difference in skin colour, tetrachromats can also easily tell the emotions of others, or if they’re sick.
(Jeez, I’d hate to have face-to-face conversation with tetrachromats since my dark circles, blackheads, acne and hyperpigmentation will all be intensified in their eyes 😲)
A permanent addition (with 6 LE shades) to the brand’s 14 other finishes, the Liptensity range is formulated to be the most pigmented lipstick by M.A.C to date. It contains presaturated pigment with a clear base to prevent our body chemistry from altering the original colour over time. Seaberg, whose role involved adjusting the shades to make sure that the colour stayed true, tested the formula in and out of sunlight to ensure its infallibility. I don’t know about you, but as one who has experienced firsthand the disparity in the colour payoff of lipsticks on the hand and lips (I don’t feel comfortable applying testers to my face), this sounds like a breakthrough!
The Liptensity line is so exceptional, even the design of the product had to be given a major overhaul. The shade names are pasted on the box that encases the lipstick (as opposed to having them printed on). and the seemingly slimmer-than-usual lipstick tube is made of a smooth matte material which gives it a nice grip.
Like the Giambattista Valli collection, the lipsticks each comes with a cap that coordinates with the colour of the bullet inside. It has remarkable aesthetic appeal – the differentiation in its outer packaging forms a glorious rainbow of colours when placed side-by-side. But most importantly, it is a lifesaver for those (i.e. me) who have to set time aside daily to go through their hoard of M.A.C lipsticks before deciding on what to wear for the day because you can just zoom into the colour you have in mind from side or top-view.
Furthermore, the bullet comes totally flat on top with concave edges which, from my understanding, marks the second diversion from the brand’s signature diagonal tip after the Sheen Supreme collection. Although it is the first of its kind in M.A.C history, it is not unique to the brand as Wet n Wild MegaLast Lipstick shares the exact same mould. That said, I’m not fond of how the bullet is shaped as it isn’t easy to draw a precise line with it. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Alright, too much talkin’ (as usual 😅) before the actual review, so here! I had the luxury of choosing two Liptensity lipsticks as part of my press kit at a M.A.C preview and trust me, it was the most difficult two choices I made in my life 😥 So, after much deliberation and graffitied my hand with beautiful swatches, I finally got down on..
#1 Smoked Almond
One of the highly-raved shades in this collection, Smoked Almond has not gotten a negative rating (but then again, there’s hardly any for the entire range) and it is not hard to understand why.
First of all, the colour is absolutely flattering on fair and medium skin tones. I was contemplating between this and Toast And Butter but the latter made me look tanner than I already was. Smoked Almond just complements my skin tone perrr-fectly. With a little tug, this bright rosebrown goes on creamy and pigmented on the lips and leaves a luscious shine. It applies like a Matte due to its thick consistency but has a Satin finish. I had a scab on the bottom left of my lip but you can’t really see it in the picture because it is fully concealed by the lipstick which wrapped around it like a second skin. Moisturing with an emollient effect, Smoked Almond doesn’t settle into lip lines but is prone to transfer and will leave discernible streaks after hours of wear.
Among my other choices (which I had narrowed down a lot *hits chest*) were a few crimsons and fuchsias, such as Claretcast and Cordovan, but I eventually settled on Marsala not knowing that this was also Temptalia’s top pick. Well, I guess it’s true when they say great minds think alike, aye? 😝
Accurately described as a deep magenta pink with a Satin finish, Marsala came across to me as a darkened version of Heaux when I first swatched it and for that reason, I had to pick it up because I loooove Heaux. It applies glossier and more buttery than Smoked Almond and lends a vibrant colour payoff in one swipe. You know how most sheeny berry-toned lipsticks tend to be blotchy? Marsala doesn’t have that sort of nonsense. It has a thick and uniform consistency, yet lightweight and super hydrating.
However, it is slightly tacky and definitely not transfer-proof. Still, you could easily eliminate these problems by gently dabbing your lips with facial tissue to remove the excess oil while still preserving the intensity. Please, just don’t let these minor drawbacks forestall you from getting this dreamy shade! Swatch this in store if you don’t believe me 🤗 Good thing this shade, together with Smoked Almond, is permanent so you don’t have to rush into buying it 😉
Based on the two Liptensity lipsticks I just reviewed, this collection does what it promises, which is to deliver unrivaled and unfaltering pigment intensity while nourishing the lips with maximum moisture (which warrants the price hike).. but if only these were more long-lasting! Moreover, perhaps because I don’t have an extra type of cone cell in my eyes, the shades look rather identical to what I already own. There isn’t much stark difference to make me go gaga over it.
What are your thoughts on the Liptensity collection? Let me know your thoughts below or respond to my poll ☺
Thanks for reading!