Strange Journey is just the kind of orange I've been looking for. I find too-bright or primary versions difficult and while the recent MAC True Red is delicious enough, that's an Amplified trick. I needed a really matty matte to show up in time for summer outdoor food scenarios and for once, my wish came true.
This shade might look like a hot red in the bullet shots, but it is a pretty true orange- as much as Lady Danger, anyway. And orange in a great way; richly saturated, a little dirty, slightly bitter and almost coolish, a tonal quality you might pick up in the swatches. Know how dark chocolate is a very specific, recognisable sort of brown? Strange Journey is the same; if it were an orange as in fruit, it'd be an heirloom variety and you'd expect it the flavour to be tart and complex rather than bubblegum sweet.
"I didn't make him for you!"
It's slightly depressing to acknowledge to one's elderly self that there are currently around a billion adults walking the planet who've never shouted that out loud in full knowledge of the historical context. So to me it's a wee bit weird that MAC chose to do a Rocky Horror collection, aside from the obvious Franky lipstick synergy. The RH packaging is a little unsophisticated (apart from the cool montage on the inside of the box), but I can live with it.
I bought Strange Journey (matte) because of the nostalgic association, and also due to boredom with MAC Lady Danger, that brassy little bitch. Check out the swatches at the foot of this post- SJ really does make LD look rather basic, don't you think?
Because of this complexity it's a bit kinder to off-white teeth than many other oranges, but if you're seriously nicotine or caffeine-stained, I'd still steer clear.
Other than that, I can't really think of anything even moderately critical to say about Strange Journey: it's all good. Great super-smooth 'new' matte texture (as opposed to the dread Retro formula) with immediate opacity, no clumping, no feathering and it's even quite forgiving to a rough lip. Silky and workable enough to be patted on a fingertip and applied as a matte stain, á la the Nars Pure Matte formula. If you didn't manage to pick it up upon release, it really is worth paying a little more for somewhere else.
Cool indoor daylight. Bottom swatch- filtered outdoor sunlight.