There is no why.
Like the Kraken, it is powerful and often frightening, but the true devotee has risen to that challenge, and walking around looking like a dysmorphic and possibly homicidal mime is just the haute part of the Way. The Way of Glamour. Lol. Haters gon hate, but haters also cry the desolate tears of an envious fool in private.
Is there even such a thing as lipstick fail? One's inner eye wanders almost immediately to the striking and seemingly eternal chiaroscuro of downlow brown encircling frosted nude- a lot of look, to be sure. From there, we might consider bruisy-purple lipgloss against fading orange hair, or perhaps the deathless goldy-copper sparkle over highly-pigmented lips, enhanced by a subtle ring-of-death effect after one too many chai lattes. But I don't know if we can call any of these stumbles on the road to glamour worse than chapstick vanilla bromide. The natural look happens post-mortem as far as I'm concerned. So no judgement here.
(Please respect my copyright on these pics since they took all day to put together. Cheers.)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
All MAC. Everyone knows Russian Red so I'll use it as the reference in these swatches.
1 Film Noir- Difficult to keep the ring of death at bay, even for an old hand at monster lippy. Will bleed. Bittersweet Pro longwear pencil solves most of its problems. A very vintage look.
2 Hang Up- The absolute ultimate berry, but will bleed. Vino pencil fixes most of its migration issues.
3 Strong Woman (LE) Not easy to pull off, but I warm it up with Beet lip pencil and it's fine after that. A very graphic suede-y matte, both long wearing and comfortable. A tad grey, but nothing that can't be amended.
4 Smoked Purple (Pro) - DRY. Uneven. But superdramatic. Good for butching up and matting other shades but you'd need to surveil this constantly if you were to try and wear it alone. Pretty niche, really.
5 Prince Noir (LE)- Perfection in a tube, worth every cent. A deep, complex, velvet jus shade, much nicer than it appears here and seems to magically adapt to your colouring. Wears endlessly and faultlessly.
6 Rebel- Just okay. I always end up mixing in something else like fuchsia lipmix or Beet pencil. I'd love it more if it were matte and more saturated. I wish Rebel + Strong Woman would breed. Will bleed.
7 Sin (Pro)- Fucking awesome darky smoky wine without being brown and the best mixing shade EVER. Sin+Ruby Woo is the ultimate vintage goth red. Why was it DC'd? Damn you, MAC!
8 Absolute Power (LE)- Strong, cool raspberry red; demi-matte. Not for the faint of heart- it can go eye-fucking mad on a pale face so only for peeps who like that sort of thing :) Will bleed slightly. Unique shade.
9 Ruby Woo- Yes it's dry. Add some balm, haters. Brilliant china red retro OG; you will get stares.
10 Russian Red- I'm a bit over RR. Maybe it's too classic, too MOR, too polite. Fantastic formula, though.
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
All MAC. 10 is Russian Red again for comparison.
11 Ruffian Red- Another OG red. I've reviewed it here. Sublime. Bought a backup while it was still around.
12 Chili - A great strong, old skool paprika; it's not red though, by a long shot. Comfortable matte formula.
13 Full Fuchsia- I wanted it to be brighter still, but that's just me :) A tad warmer than GAT. Will bleed. Fabulous with Beet pencil if you're going darker, or Fuchsia lipmix to double up on the PINK WHAT.
14 Girl About Town- Very slightly cooler than FF, but a pretty, flattering candy pink that is somehow more demimondaine than Barbie. Lovely comfortable formula. Will bleed a wee bit on a hot day.
15 Party Parrot- Somehow PP is more photogenic than it deserves to be, and I suspect that's why everyone raves about it. Very difficult to pull off on dark lips like mine. More milky yellow-pink than coral to my eye. I hit it with some fuchsia lipmix to take the edge off, or smudge it out. Nice silky matte formula though.
16 Party Line- Practically the natural colour of my lips lol. For big-eye days. Nice matted down.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
All MAC unless stated.
1 Crimson lipmix- These are pro items. Slightly cool true blood red, dries matte, will 'clump' a little if worked too much on the lip. Salvages those pedestrian reds you paid too much for ie Guerlain.
2 Fuchsia lipmix- Your passport to awesomeness. Rocket fuel for the face. Deeply saturated true fuchsia.
3 Orange lipmix- A bright, clean, matte orange orange.
4 MAC Morange- Slightly cooler than the orange lipmix, very difficult to wear successfully. Makes nice corals mixed. Will bleed.
5 Chantecaille Tigerlily- I know everyone wets themselves over this brand but it's a mediocre colour and formula; buy the Revlon version and save yourself forty bucks. A lot duller than it looks here. Will bleed. Brick pencil will oomph it up a bit.
6 MAC Brave Red- Everything the previous one was trying to be; some call it a 'starter' red and while it is sheerer than the others, it's not for the beginner because it can migrate like a bitch. Anchor it with Brick pencil. Warm, extremely flattering, uniquely beautiful 'ideal' gloss sheen. Not quite as orange as it looks here. I really enjoy it.
7 Max Factor Night Valley Red: Everyone should be wetting themselves over this range because it's fantastic and was almost completely ignored upon release. Deeply saturated blackened ruby red. Quite a good dupe for Sin in that the effect is the same. Will not budge. Superlative almost-matte formula, cheap as chips, probably discontinued.