Held off buying this shade for quite a while. Because it's a blue-toned purple. And that looks like... say it with me now... sounds like parse...
Arse! That's right- that word again. It looks like arse. I kept reading the orgasmic reviews and shook my crotchety head at the thought of a million people strutting round in nasty bubble gum mauve thinking themselves the very quintessence of sophistication.
Shades like Heroine make 90% of people look like something pinned in a rat trap after a meth binge, or like they've been tossing random clown salad. And not in a good way. It looks low-IQ, if you know what I mean. Unintentionally gacky. The exceptions to this principle are the 5% on either end of the spectrum ie. people with either deepest delicious darkness or icing-sugar pallor in their epidermal fortunes. Blue-purple can actually be conventionally pretty on those guys. Blame organised religion. If a monotheistic god fashioned us in such a manner and then imbued us with free will, it totally makes sense that we do dumb shit like buying Heroine.
As you can see, it's not at all like Rebel, (which is the fuzzy stick to the left in < this pic for comparison) despite what you might have heard. Rebel is much, much easier to wear, so don't buy Heroine thinking you're just getting a slightly more hardcore version. The two mix well, though, and amendment with the former can salvage the latter when you eventually come to accept that it's just not working ( I'll wait here). MAC Beet lip pencil is another life-saving addition and the one I favour personally.
The formula's very nice, a smoothly-pigmented matte that's really more like a cross between a good amplified and a stiff satin, with a slight sheen and acceptable mouth-feel. For a purple you get great even coverage. So all in all, Heroine deserves some of the hype; it's just a shame it's such a broadly unflattering colour. If you can embrace that difficulty and bend it to your will, good luck to you and wear it in good health. But I have a feeling my tube's going to end up on the resale merry go round.
As a final irony after all these years of Heroine's infamous unavailability, check out the swatches below- on the far left we have MAC Violetta (beside Ruby Woo) and to the right we have Heroine (sheer + max). I know Violetta is a frosty ho, but ignore the slight lighting differential- they're the same colour, folks. Monozygotic twins. The whole time.
EDIT: I've just discovered a really great use for Heroine- patted thinly over a neutral like Nars Walkyrie Velvet Matte, MAC Del Rio or Taupe. Sounds mad, I know, but you get a fabulous subdued, complex mauve-tinted off-neutral that is really beautiful with grey, taupe or blue-shot purple clothing. Try it!