Apologies in advance for the imperfect presentation of these pencils, but I aint sharpening no $$$ worth of product away to please no OCD types out there *gobs into spittoon*
So, MAC lip pencils. Have they started to feel a bit redundant to you, what with all these neo and liquid mattes happening in the last few years? They were standard goth and drag wear in the nineties and noughties, standing in for all those big reds and dark wines yet to be incarnated into lipstick form.
Now it's all wall-to-wall Kat Von D / Urban Decay superlippies, but back in the day a dramatic glamour seeker had little choice but to pile these things on and white-knuckle it through six hours of parched discomfort. Do. Not. Recommend.
I remember dropping all the crazy disco biscuits and still being horribly aware of the Nightmoth et al turning my lips into Moroccan poufs as I shook my shit to Groove is in the Heart. Incidentally, that song is twenty-six years old, people.
Unless one balm-preps like their life depends on it, MAC lip pencils are murder on the mouth, generally speaking, which is the toll exacted by their ability to stay utterly, stubbornly in place. Without having tried everything else out there, I'd say they're still fairly unsurpassed in that respect, especially since they don't rub or (shudder) flake like many liquid mattes. Their low waxy sheen saves them from another liquid matte drawback in that it stops them looking... mmm how do I say this nicely?
Unsophisticated. Like your mouth is a piece of powder-coated office furniture. Or a dying skin graft. Or the bald spot on a velour bar stool. Call me a conservative old ho but I'm going loud and proud with this public service announcement: liquid mattes look fucking ratchet. Tacky. Cheap. Minging. Janky. Nasty. On virtually everyone. Old enough to legally consume alcohol? You're too old for liquid mattes. Too young to drink in bars? You just get a pass for not knowing better yet.
Beet and Magenta can salvage and/or shake up a lot of fuchsias and pinks; Vino and Nightmoth drag your disappointing reds and berries into those inky depths you were looking for. Incidentally, Nightmoth can be built to a solid off-black, and is still the only reliable iteration of this shade that I would recommend for real-world wear.
Cherry and Brick are sort of slightly generic Ruby Woo and Russian Red-type deals respectively and don't really plug any gaps in my red collection, but I use them underneath some glossier shades when I really don't want them to budge. Stone does nothing for me. It's a fucking horrible colour destined for the resale pile since fridge mould/rotten khaki aren't looks I'm really into. I seriously hate Stone with the kind of white heat I reserve for all such stupid Instagram shit and every last damn person I've seen attempting this shade looks like they swapped their mouths for pooty necrotic haemorrhoids.
I don't recommend using any of these pencils without some sort of palliative intervention, especially if you're working them regularly. Extended all-over coverage will rough up even the most obliging lips. They are are generally so stiff and waxy that a balm-less application can create new lip lines where there were none, sucking the moisture out of your mouth to the extent that they can actually make you feel thirsty. Tis a terrible irony that the properties that make them so hard-wearing are precisely the ones that render them virtually unwearable; a nice thick, stable balm remediation can make all the difference, but if you suffer chapping or dryness, give them a wide berth.
MAC lip pencils, eh? Part of me would pour out a forty if they all died in a fire. The other part would be relieved.
a range of natural daylight, no flash. Yes, this is what Stone really looks like.