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The MAC Retro Matte Formula (And Cheaper Alternatives!)

23 April 2015


The MAC Retro Matte Lipstick formula can be a pretty dividing one. 

The clay-based lipsticks are undeniably dry and drag on the lips, but they're definitely a safe bet if you're after something long-wearing. Of course, there are other long-wearing formulas on the market that don't leave your lips in a sorry state, but I personally prefer my mattes to be as matte as can be, even if that means they're a little drying--call me crazy!

If you, too, enjoy the Retro Matte lipsticks but wish there were more colours (there are only five permanent colours as far as I'm aware), or are looking for a more affordable alternative, look no further than the Savvy Long Lasting Matte Lipsticks. At $7 each, these lipsticks have a similar thick, dry formula that stains the lips. I own 'Bali', a deep purple, and 'Tulip', a neon coral that was unfortunately limited edition. 

Other lipsticks that have a similar formula are the Illamasqua Lipsticks, many of which are matte in finish. These are pricier at either $25 or $30 (not quite sure why some are one price and the rest are another), but they might even be a closer dupe to MAC's Retro Mattes. Pictured are 'Shard', very similar to 'Bali' by Savvy except a bit cooler in tone, and 'Howl', an oxblood red.


L-R: Shard, All Fired Up, Tulip, Bali, Howl

L-R: All Fired Up, Tulip, Bali, Howl, Shard


Yes, the dryness makes the back of my hand resemble the cracks that lace the ground during a drought.

So while I'm in love with this kind of a formula, I'm not sure I need any more from MAC, especially having discovered less expensive options. The one I do have, 'All Fired Up' is what MAC describes as a bright fuschia, though I'd say it's less cool than your typical fuschia. I see a hint of raspberry in it. In any case, it's lovely and brightening on the face. Maybe I do need more of these in my life...
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