Happy 2018! I figured I would start this year's blogging marathon by sharing my thoughts on (quite possibly) the World's Best Matte Lipsticks aka. MatteTrance Lipsticks by Pat McGrath. Are they really worth the hype? Let's find out.
About the Brand
In case you've been living under a rock, her make-up majesty Pat McGrath has been taking the World of beauty by storm for quite a few years now. After a tremendous success of her limited edition "Pat McGrath Labs" kits, she then launched a brand new "core" make-up line, which is now sold permantently both on sephora.com and patmcgrath.com. At this point her line includes: lipsticks, lip pencils, eyeshadow palettes, eye pencils and a few holiday lip kits. MatteTrance Lipstick range was Pat's biggest launch last year, and being a true lipstick-addict, I just had to buy these to see whether they were any better than hundreds of other matte lipsticks I've already tried.
Price: 38 USD.
Claims: richly pigmented/ sensually creamy/ supreme hydration/ matte opacity/ blur imperfections/ strong finish.
Packaging: as you can tell, this lipstick screams sophistication and luxury. The craftsmanship here is simply exquisite: each bullet has a nice weight to it and as you twist it up or down, "golden lip" will always face an astonished crowd. This is [undoubtedly] the best high-end lipstick to pull out of your clutch and show off in front of your friends (or just strangers; jealousy is guaranteed either way).
Colour Selection: currently there are nine shades available. You get three neutrals, three reds and three vampy colours (violet/purple/burgundy). I actually placed my order back in July 2017 (when they first launched) and bought these as a set of three. I've figured that I would get most use out of red shades, so the ones I have here are: Full Panic (bright fuchsia), Obsessed! (bright orange red) and Elson (blue red). I paid 95 USD for the set, thus saving 19 USD.
*Update: 11 new shades were added after I posted this review.
Please click to zoom in
Formula: although these are supposed to have the same consistency, I have to say that from my experience certain shades are a touch more powdery than others. Out of three colours that I have, Obsessed! is slightly drier/more powdery than the other two. Texture-wise it reminds me a lot of MAC's Retro Matte finish (Ruby Woo is a great example here). Elson, on the contrary, is the creamiest, while Full Panic is a perfect in-between. On the lips, however, they all look equally beautiful, without accentuating dry patches/ lip lines/bleeding or moving around. These lipsticks are not scented; they also don't have a taste.
Please click to zoom in
Application: as you will see from my lip swatches below, I have applied these straight from the bullet, avoiding lip liner altogether (something I would rarely do otherwise, since I love a precisely outlined mouth). I did use a lip brush though and from what I can tell, these must be the easiest matte lipsticks I have ever worked with. They don't drag, don't feel chalky and give you a perfect one-swipe 100% opaque coverage. There is no need to go back and forth layering the colour; these lipsticks glide on exactly like high-end make-up should. If you want a lip liner, then you might as well check out Pat's newest Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils, which have a good rep in our restless beauty community.
Wear: these do stain your lips quite a bit and last a really long time; I would say about 7-8 hours on me. I do, however, touch up my lips after eating. This is - again - something I do with all of my matte lipsticks. I always carry a bullet and portable lip brush in my bag, so that I can fix any boo-boo I might have made while gobbling up my lunch. Once MatteTrance Lipstick is on your lips, you can hardly feel it; I honestly forget I even have such a bright lipstick on because it is pretty much weightless. I won't say these are that hydrating, but they are not drying either, which is a good thing since most traditional matte lipsticks can feel uncomfortable after a few hours of wear.
Finish: rich, seductive, sultry and simply perfect velvety pout. Not too matte, not too sheeny. Beautiful satin finish.
Please click to zoom in
Colour Dupes: having a rather impressive MAC lipstick collection, I figured I would give you guys more affordable colour options (in case you are not in the mood to spend 38 USD on a lipstick). I should go ahead and say: although these shades look very similar to something you might have seen before, it was not that easy to find an exact match. So, in two words, this is as close as it gets: Full Panic = All Fired Up (95% similar); Obsessed! = Mangrove (80% similar); Elson = Ruby Woo mixed with Russian Red (90% similar).
Formula-wise, these are indeed the best matte lipsticks I have tried so far. There is just something about MatteTrance Lipstick that takes my love for a classic lipstick to a whole new level. If you are a 50s starlet-girl at heart, then you will certainly fall for Elson in particular - it is the loveliest blue-toned red available on the market; one that will look incredible on every single girl (or boy). If I could only save and splurge on one colour, it would be Elson (no surprise as it is actually sold out at the moment). Other than that, I can't really think of anything negative to say. Okay, here is one thing - I wish we had more than nine colours to choose from; but I am sure as we chat, Pat is already working on it**. Price-wise, I think these are worth every penny. If you compare Pat McGrath to Louboutin (90 USD), Guerlain (59 USD), Givenchy (49 USD) - all of which don't even remotely compare to MatteTrance quality - 38 USD seems quite reasonable. Excellent job, Pat. You truly killed it!
**Update: Pat just launched 11 new shades! Yay!