Favorite. Lip. Color. Product. Ever.
Or. At. Least. For. Now.
Well, it’s certainly in my permanent top 5, anyway. MAC Pro Longwear Lipcolours (and their cousins, MAC Pro Longwear Lustre Lipcolours) are the best long-wearing lip color products I’ve found to date.
Like many long-wearing lip products, these are double-ended wands: one end contains the lip color, which dries quickly to a matte finish and stains the lips, and the other end has a gloss to go over it. The Longwear lipcolors contain a clear gloss, while the Lustre lipcolors have some sort of shimmery gloss (which are not really all that shimmery, so I don’t think you need to fear them). The one shown in the picture is an old limited-edition one called Gypsy Rose, and it’s got a gold-shimmer gloss; the ones in the permanent collection have either clear or silver-shimmer glosses.
The thing about most longwearing lipcolors is that as soon as you put the lipstain on you can feel the moisture getting sucked out of your lips with force rivaling that of an Electrolux. The gloss then becomes a survival necessity, because otherwise your poor dehydrated lips would crack every time you tried to speak or eat. By the time you get to the end of the 8- or 12-hour wear period, you’re counting down the minutes, trying to avoid moving your mouth, and swearing you’ll never, ever do that again if someone will just make the pain go away.
What a nice surprise that these are not at all like that for me. I don’t notice a single bit of dehydration (and my lips tend to be dry to start out with). And the stain lasts all day, through talking and eating. No, seriously, it does! I was astonished, because I’m a big skeptic about that. The gloss lasts the usual amount of time for a gloss, which is to say “not all that long,” but the color underneath lasts the whole day. When the gloss wears off there is occasionally a little bit of residue, but that’s easily removed and you can reapply. And if you don’t like their gloss, it’s perfectly OK to substitute one of your own; you can even add a colored gloss for a custom lipcolor.
The only drawback to these that I’ve found is that they are very hard to color-test. I own three — the Gypsy Rose LE one above and two from the permanent collection: Loyal (which is My Lips But Slightly Terracotta-Colored) and Passion Preserved (which is My Lips But Slightly Darker). Testing them on your hand (as I did) is both annoying and inaccurate. It’s annoying because man, those things STAIN. I wish other things that called themselves lip stains would take a lesson from MAC (why, yes, Tarte, I am looking at you). So once it’s dried on your hand, you will not get it off for two days. Ask me how I know. It’s also inaccurate because if your lips are well-pigmented, the color will look considerably different on your lips than it does on your hand. I had originally gotten a different, lighter color than Passion Preserved and I had to take it back and exchange it because although it was gorgeous on my hand, when I put it on my lips it was way too light and gave me Corpse Lips. (Eeeeew.) But given the depth of the stain, they’re also hard to test on your lips, because you can’t keep swabbing it off and applying new colors — there’s too much residual stain. You can test a couple, but beyond that your lips accumulate so much color that it’s hard to get an accurate look, especially if you’re testing both warm and cool shades. I’d advise taking a lipstick that’s around the color you want to the store or counter with you so that you can at least get close to the right shade/tone. You’ll still need to do some testing, but hopefully this will help you avoid the shades that won’t look good on you (and they all look pretty in the tube, so it will be hard to tell).
You can also mix the stain colors together to create in-between shades, but tread carefully, because once it’s on there, it’s on there. And if you put on too much stain, you will get some crusty residue which is kind of yucky.
I do wish they were a tiny bit cheaper, but they work so well that I feel like I should shut up and count my blessings rather than my dollars. So I will. ;)
(I am wearing the gold gloss in this picture and as you can see it’s hardly shimmery at all.)
Provenance: Purchased (check your local CCO if you have one for past-season limited edition colors)
Price/Value Ratio (high-end: poor/fair/good/excellent): Fair. I do wish they were about $3-4 cheaper.
Purchase again? Oh, you betcha. “Loyal” ain’t just a river in Egypt one of the shades I purchased.
(Have you used this product? Love it? Hate it? Want it? Give a holler in the comments!)