MAC Dubonnet is a stick of pure old skool grungy goodness. I always remembered it being so, despite wildly varying internet descriptions ranging from 'blue-tinged scarlet' to 'classic red'.
Scowl. I hate to see a great shade being traduced so let's untwist this shit; Dubonnet is neither a blue-based nor a classic straight red. It's one of those deep, warm, complex, dirty brownish reds, and if you're having trouble trusting that description, check out the squiggle swatches directly below. That's Dubonnet on the left in each of these natural-light pics, next to Urban Decay F-Bomb (Revolution version). For context, F-Bomb is a warm, clean, brilliant red/red. Dubonnet- not the same thing.
I think the confusion may spring from the fact that some peoples' faces eat either the red or the brown in shades like this and render them more one or the other on the actual lip. My own face tends to play down the red in Dubonnet. This natural modification almost always works in your favour, so whichever way Dubonnet pulls for you is probably ultimately for the best. Hoping that makes sense.
Or did I lose you at brown?
I wear a lot less foundation since hitting 40, am enjoying getting reacquainted with my natural skin tones, lol, and in that process I've gone back to some of these super-wearble earthy retro reds. Dubonnet is queen of them all, really, a cousin to things like Nars Golshan and Cruella in its utility and complexity. It has a beguiling chameleonic quality, an intriguing depth of character missing from some of its more pure-toned contemporaries and is such a beautiful companion to both warm pale and deeper complexions, freckles and green/gold/brown eyes.
The MAC Amplified formula allows smudgy sheer to full coverage; I find it streak-free, very comfortable, non-drying and quite non-staining. Patting Dubonnet on lightly with a fingertip uncovers all its secrets, exposing those brick and ochre undertones and yielding a muted baked earth shade that's perfect for a conservative daytime situation when you're sick to death of low-IQ neutrals.
Building it up gives 100% coverage and a glossier satin finish; my partner called it 'dark blood red' when asked his opinion of an opaque application and didn't mention brown at all. He said it reminded him of Omega plums (which are a rusty oxblood red rather than the purple you might be imagining). Oxblood isn't too bad a descriptor, actually; I hesitate to use that word because it is so widely abused, but Dubonnet is pretty darn oxbloody, to be sure.
Like Moroccan leather, stained red.
Urban Decay F Bomb, Lady Danger
I'm really enjoying Dubonnet the second time around. It's one of the few lipsticks I ever wore down to the bottom of the tube when I was younger and I'm glad to have it back in my regular rotation as an older bitch. It's ageless, like most good things.
These two swatch pics were taken in coolish winter daylight without flash so they tend to minimise the earthier aspects. You might be able to see what I'm talking about in the 3rd and 4th images. Nars Golshan is earthier still, and I thought Dubonnet would be closer to VGI than it is.
Urban Decay F Bomb, Lady Danger