Metallic liquid lipstick reviews haven’t always been the most favorable. Remember Kylie’s KyMajesty fiasco of 2016? Good news, friends. The MAC Retro Matte Metallic Lipcolor collection is surprisingly wonderful, and I don’t say that lightly. Typically I hate anything metallic on my lips, even in gloss form, so this launch really took me by surprise.
I didn’t have the best experience with MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour. The colors I tried didn’t wear well (especially on the inner part of my bottom lip) and were very dry, so I wasn’t the most optimistic when MAC sent these over. I’m so happy I gave them a chance because although the two products share the same name, I had very different experiences.
The Retro Matte Metallic formula is comfortable to wear. It’s slightly moussey, making it fairly easy to apply, and the way the heart-shaped doe foot applicator was designed makes it possible to skip a lip liner (though some shades need it more than others). The biggest formula-specific challenge I faced during application was ensuring that product was applied between the lines in my lips, especially at the corners, and this isn’t typically a problem area for me.
These metallics are so sophisticated in a way that only tone-on-tone shimmer can be. There’s no chunky glitter or duochromatic filler in this formula (based on the colors that I tested). The metallic finish adds a new dimension to your lips without alerting anyone to the fact that you’re wearing a trendy liquid lipstick. The result is a look that can feel festive or amped-up, but never overdone. This isn’t one of those products that make everyone else think ‘oh, she must watch a lot of beauty videos on YouTube’.
I tried four shades from the range: Crowned (limited edition), Coral Plated (limited edition), In Retrograde (limited edition, and Metallic Rose (permanent). For an individual review of the shades, lip swatches, and a full overview of the collection, please click through the gallery below.
Each of the 15 shades retails for $21 at maccosmetics.com & MAC counters nationwide.
Officially described as a “blackened purple”, Crowned is reminiscent of shades like MAC’s own Nightmoth Lip Pencil, NARS’ Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, and Kat Von D’s Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Damned as seen layered here in this Instagram photo.
Like the other purple shades I mentioned, Crowned can be slightly patchy so I recommend applying either two layers or a liner/matte lip pencil underneath. Purple tones are notoriously difficult to formulate (I’ve been told it’s because of the specific challenges of working with red pigment) so I don’t hold the less than perfect opacity against this specific product.