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My love of makeup artist Pat McGrath is well documented. Long before Instagram and her eponymous makeup collection, she was the Creative Director of CoverGirl and developed color collections for Dolce & Gabanna, Giorgio Armani, and Gucci. Miuccia Prada oversees her entirely black wardrobe and wherever she travels around the world, she brings several trunks filled with inspiration. Pat McGrath is one of, if not the most influential makeup artist of our time.
Last week my boyfriend surprised me with several items from her collection (reviews to follow, of course), but naturally, I was drawn the most to the Pat McGrath Mattetrance Lipstick in Obsessed!. Obsessed! is described as a bright orange-red, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Typically I reserve my warmer toned red lipsticks for the summer months, but to help add a bit of depth & cool undertones, I paired it with the Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in Mrs. Mia Wallace (LE, see swatches below).
Warm reds are my favorite lipstick shades to manipulate with lip liners. For the summer months, I’ll use an orange liner to bring out the warm tones in my tanned skin and bronze eye looks. In the cooler months, I’ll use a blue-based red liner, like MAC Cherry to neutralize warmer lipsticks. In a way, I wish that I hadn’t added a cooler toned liner as Obsessed! is less orange than MAC’s Lady Danger or NARS’ Lana, and ever so slightly warmer than Bite Beauty’s Cayenne, all of which I compare below, so the tone feels seasonless. Truthfully, if it wasn’t for perfecting my lip shape, I wouldn’t feel a need to wear a liner with Obsessed! at all.
Mattetrance is a long-wearing, comfortable matte formula that stays for hours, even through meals, and doesn’t dry my lips out. I haven’t had any color bleed outside my lip lines and I was easily able to achieve full pigmentation in one swipe. Obsessed! wears away evenly for me and I didn’t notice any discernible scent during application. When comparing Mattetrance to other popular matte lipstick formulas, frankly the others aren’t even in the same league when it comes to texture, pigmentation, and longevity. The closest formula, in my opinion, is the NARS Audacious, but the differences are minuscule.
As far as packaging, the lipstick casing itself is a glossy black with gold edging and a pair of gold lips that provide the perfect thumb rest when you remove the top. Each end of the tube feels slightly weighted, but the lid is not magnetized. When it comes to the outer packaging, aka the unit carton, Pat’s boxes are second to none. The designs were created from fan art on Instagram and are truly so beautiful that I don’t think I’ll be able to throw any of mine away. They’re reminiscent of vintage lipstick cases and close by winding a string around two loops in a figure eight pattern. For what it’s worth, Obsessed! is in a box with the same design as the Mothership II Subversive eyeshadow palette, though I haven’t yet been able to draw a correlation between the two products beyond that.
When I first started experimenting with different shades and tones of red lipstick, a friend recommended the NARS lipstick in Heat Wave, my gateway color into the world of orange-based reds. Sadly, I wasn’t able to add my tube of Heat Wave to the comparison swatches below because I have lost it somewhere in storage, but NARS Audacious Lipstick in Lana is a close match, if not slightly less orange. NARS Audacious lipsticks are also a superior formal than the original NARS lipsticks, so sadly Heave Wave has been dethroned.
After evangelizing Heat Wave, I tried Lady Danger at the urging of MAC Senior Artist Gregory Arlt. He frequently paints the faces of Dita Von Teese and Gwen Stefani, so when it comes to red lipstick, his is an opinion I trust. Lady Danger is the warmest red in my regular rotation and a true MAC classic lipstick, alongside Ruby Woo.
As for Bite Beauty’s Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Cayenne, it’s the most distinct both in color and formula from my collection. Cayenne is the least orange of the four lipsticks I’ve compared, as well as the thickest formula with the most emollient texture. The creamy finish of Lana and Obsessed! wears off, revealing a color just as matte as Lady Danger, but because of the formula, Cayenne stays creamier for longer on my lips.