MAC The Matte Lip Collection – Review, Photos & Swatches

So finally the MAC The Matte Lip Collection has reached Singapore and it feels like it took forever!

MAC Matte lipstick pic 1

If you aren’t already in the know, some of the colours released are repromotes of existing shades and some from previously limited edition collections. Of course there’s a nice selection of brand new exciting colours as well, so if you’ve already got a stash of MAC mattes going, you still won’t be disappointed.

From the newly launched shades I was most excited for Whirl. I already owned the lip pencil so I ‘needed’ the matching lipstick too.I mean, if there’s a lipstick to match my liner, why not have it right??? Makes perfect sense!

Senseless ramble aside let’s get down to reviewing these babies.

MAC Matte lipstick pic 2

Seen above are all NEW shades that are added to the permanent line.  (Top row, L-R: Steady Going, Runway Hit, Dangerous. Bottom row, L-R: Whirl, Stone, Naturally Transformed, Instigator.)

I don’t have all the shades to review (22 in total) but I do have these and a couple of the older ones which i’ll be swatching separately.

The Matte Lip Collection contains two popular lipstick finishes, the Matte and the Retro Matte. If you’ve owned the iconic Ruby Woo, you’ll know all about the Retro Mattes.. They are THE most matte lipsticks you’ll ever find. And fittingly, drier than the desert! Steady Going and Runway Hit are both Retro Mattes. Gorgeous but needs a little prep before applying.

The others are just Mattes (thankfully) and didn’t leave my lips dying for lip balm. In fact I feel they are a little less drying than MAC Mattes used to be. Hmm..

Onto some colour descriptions and observations

MAC The Matte Lip Collection 2015

Steady Going (Retro Matte) – A light-medium cool toned pink with medium colour payoff in a single swipe. The drier formula tends to tug on the lips on application and felt continuously drier as the day passed. Wear wise these wore forever! Although after 2-3 hours they did look a little beat and reapplication is a must just to rehydrate lips and keep the colour looking fresh.

Runway Hit (Retro Matte) – A neutral toned peach with a heavy white base. I found this to have noticeably less pigmentation in comparison to the rest and needed a bit of layering to get opaque cover. The formula was pretty similar to Steady Going and did end up looking drier and drier as the day progressed. On the plus side I wore this an entire day with no touchups and it didn’t look too bad. Even after meals I only saw slight wear in the centre of the lips and that was about it. Pretty hardcore!

Dangerous (Retro Matte) – A orangey red. The colour went on with difficulty due to it’s dry nature. Although the final result was a velvety plush red lip once layered over a lip balm. I adore this for the colour, but as i’ve said before the formula isn’t my favourite. Also noticed that this felt quite heavy on the lips.

Whirl (Matte) – A rosey brown. This applied creamy and smooth and the finish was surprisingly comfortable for a matte! Pigmentation was good and full coverage in about 2 passes and didn’t feel drying during wear. Absolutely love this one <3.

Stone (Matte) – A neutral brown with heavy grey tones/ taupe. The formula and texture of this was identical to Whirl. Love how it feels on the lips when worn and is pretty interesting as far as colours go. Since grey toned lipsticks are all the rage atm, i’m sure there will be plenty of takers for this. Definitely a statement colour if you are feeling bold enough to sport this.

Naturally Transformed (Matte) – A medium beige with heavy yellow undertones. This too was creamy and applied very smoothly.

Instigator (Matte) – A warm deep purple. This applied smooth and creamy with no tugging, but emphasise flakey patches. Unfortunately the colour also seemed to settle within the lip lines which became even more noticeable as it wore off.

Lip grid

Velvet Teddy (Matte) – A mid tone warm nude. Applies evenly and smooth without catching onto lip texture or emphasising it. A wonderful nude that would suit most complexions except maybe the deeper tones (NC45 and up).

One more set of swatches with the new + repromoted shades

MAC Matte lipstick swatches

Bottom Line

The best thing about the MAC mattes is that they are super intense and so long wearing (a good 4 hours while still looking fresh all throughout). You really don’t have to be on the look out, lipstick in hand, waiting to touch up every five seconds. They are quite lovely in that sense.

I highly suggest you try Whirl, Velvet Teddy and Dangerous. All so beautifully intense and flattering on the lips. Certainly must haves for any lipstick junkie!

Product Info

All lipsticks are part of the new permanent Matte Lipstick collection and currently available at all MAC counters.

Mine were samples sent for review* (except for Velvet Teddy & Kinda Sexy which I already had in my possession)






29 thoughts on “MAC The Matte Lip Collection – Review, Photos & Swatches

  1. This is such a great review!! I love all of your pictures and your swatches are so beautiful -you have the perfect lips to swatch lip products! haha ❤ Loved reading this! Whirl is so gorgeous… I think I may need it in my life now! lol

  2. Oooo good review! I picked up D for Danger which looks like a very pretty deep raspberry and I already own Relentlessly Red. I 100% agree that the retro mattes are the most uncomfortable lipsticks I’ve ever worn, but Relentlessly Red is so pretty!

    1. Thank you! And yes, D for Danger is a beautiful shade. I don’t normally wear such deep colours but it’s gonna be a great shade transitioning from summer to fall 🙂

    1. I know the feeling! The matte lipsticks aren’t easy to wear. You do need to have a little extra prep time before applying.. scrub and balm the lips up! But luckily, Whirl isn’t too bad. In fact it’s less drying than the usual MAC Mattes. You should check it out anyway. And just add balm 🙂

  3. Very detailed post and review! Matte lipsticks are very tricky for both the producers and users: you really need perfect lips to wear them and it’s not that easy to find a long-lasting but hydrating formula, with vibrant colors and affordable pricing…I never tried a Mac one before…

    1. I have to agree with you there! You really do need great lips to wear these. I always have flakey dry lips and some matte formulas really kill them. However I found a few favourite shades that I can’t stop wearing as the colours are so beautiful! I have resorted to topping with a sheer gloss to retain the colour and wear these beautiful lipsticks! 🙂

  4. Fell in love at the first glance on your swatch for Runway Hit, why do they need to make it retro matte.
    Matte ones already don’t go well on my lips. Retro matte ones will definitely make my lips fall off my face. Such a pretty peach .. why retro matte Mac.. why.. LOL I’m sorry I ended up whining here -_-

    1. From all the lipsticks swatched here Runway Hit was what I wore the most! 😀 If you like this shade, try it over an emollient balm. And then you can add a tiny bit of sheer lip gloss to hydrate the lips. That’s how I have been wearing it. Btw, I found that NARS Tasmania lip gloss is the perfect match for this. It doesn’t change the colour of this lipstick.

  5. Oh I really like how whirl looks, but is it worth getting if you already have the lip liner?

    Also stone looks pretty badass. I wish I could pull something like that off lol!

    1. I think you probably need to buy that lipstick even though you have the pencil. It’s much more comfortable to wear than just the liner alone 🙂
      And yes! Stone is pretty awesome, though i’m not gutsy enough to wear it either…

      1. Hmm interesting…. I’ll see how long I can hold off until I cave into whirl.

        I saw stone in-store today, it looks nice but it might look too corpsy on me. From your lip swatch it looks nice on you, upload a full face pic with that one! (Although I have to admit, I’m a little shy with bold lip colors too – my fiancé doesn’t seem to like anything that appears “unnatural”)

  6. Hi Michelle I love all your reviews! I’ve always been a fan of MAC, but I was afraid of trying nude colours. Sometimes they make me look like…ill… but I love how nude colours make ladies celebritious… haha. Do you have some tips on choosing nude lipstick colours on complexions, and how to apply them properly? Do you usually use lip primer? Thanks!

    1. Hi Adora, Thank you for your positive feedback!
      When it comes to nudes the best shades are the colours closest to your natural lip colour, just so you don’t look like you have ‘concealer lips’. Also don’t pick anything too close to your skin tone which can make you look washed out. 2-3 shades darker than your foundation should be the perfect nude lip.Then you can pick from a range of undertones, pink, yellow, peach or mauve. Pull out several nudes at the counter and try them back to back, you’ll see which undertone looks good on you.

      Overall I find nudes with a soft cream finish to be the most flattering. Some people pull off mattes really well but they can look ageing and hard to wear if you have dry lips. Anyways, finish is up to you! I’m sure you already have a favourite formula that suits your needs 🙂 If you are looking to wear mattes tho, a thin balm and some exfoliation works well. You don’t really need a primer.

      So for wearing nude lips, it’s important to have all your other makeup slightly more defined. Make sure your eyes are well emphasised with liner and lots of mascara. Also use a nude blush with a hint of pink to bring some colour to the face. It brightens up the complexion and makes the nude lip look more fresh.
      Most days I do wear a liner as it makes the nude lip look more polished. You don’t have to of course but if you do, find a neutral that’s pretty close to the nude lipstick so you don’t look like you have a liner at all 🙂 I usually fill in my whole lip when I wear nudes so that the colour wears longer and the liner blends well with the lipstick.

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