Colour-wise, Mocha is a medium roasted sand sort of shade with a small dash of elderly sunbleached brick. Like the sort of fine clay that wasps make their little urn nests from; a blonde terracotta, the latter shade being lighter, less orange and more muted than your memory may suggest. You can see its affinity with the weathered pots in some of these shots.
MAC Mocha. Nude but not rude. Well, as close to a nude lipstick as I'm ever likely to venture. I'm too old to pull off those estoopida fahckin Instagram stylings and no one with functional discernment wants to look like they just a blew a circuit and whoever else was in the room anyway. That so many nude looks = dumb really is one of life's enduring mysteries but you know, the whole aesthetic kills my curiosity and the phenomenon can stay in the bucket marked why, tho.
Mocha was a blind buy. When it arrived I was lightly to moderately appalled by its tube tonality and did not believe for a moment that we would form a blessed union. Still not convinced that we are soul mates, but if, like me, you find most lighter neutrals problematic, Mocha just might fill that void in your collection.
The only dick move Mocha pulls is a whacky colour shift I've noticed when standing directly under old-school incandescent lightbulbs; their overtly yellow shitty restaurant cast turns this shade flat and sour- against my pale mug, anyway. It generally reads modestly pretty and safe for work, with the slight idiosyncrasy of its natural, beachy tones rescuing it from appearing unduly conservative.
Above: some smudge/squiggle swatches alongside MAC Taupe, which is its matte twin. Mocha is on the left in these shots. Any real difference you can see is more of a product of their divergent textures than anything else. Taupe is... maybe five percent toastier, but you could wear them on either lip and no one would know.
Mocha's wearability on darker lips like mine owes quite a debt to the excellent pigmentation of this particular MAC Satin formula; it goes on well straight from the tube, spreads evenly and does a nice job of keeping the colour from settling into lip lines or skipping the middle. A moderate sheen remains even after a couple of hours and I don't experience bleeding or patchiness.
As fas as conventional compatibility is concerned, Mocha is probably best suited to a subset of paler peeps but its comprehensive and long-lasting opacity means it will hold its own beside deeper complexions for a more contrasty look. If you're working with J Lo-esque caramel tones or if you tan in that direction, this shade will definitely get you into übernude territory. Personally I don't think matching the colour of one's lips to one's forehead is strictly optimal, but there's a clade of you who clearly disagree and that, lipstick lovers, is a matter for your own conscience.
If like me you have issues with paler neutrals, try Mocha with a dash of something slightly deeper in the centre of your lips to preserve their natural gradient and offset any zombie-flatness issue.
natural indoor & outdoor afternoon sunlight