MAC Verve. I've stared at internet depictions of this shade for about a year, chanting what are you over and over in my head. Because I mean... what the hell is Verve? Brown? Neutral? Pink?
It is not really possible to tell from all those shitty iPhone shots so I hope to clear a few things up for the similarly bewildered with this review.
I wish I still owned MAC Whirl; I think they're fairly similar in their dusty, slightly ashy cool-morning pink stirred into clay qualities. I shot these pics on a rainy day because direct sunlight just flips Verve over into too-warm territory, making it look caramel when there's nothing warm or toasty about this shade.
It really is a hard bitch to describe, which explains all those conflicting accounts. I'm calling it 60% milky latte brown and 35% dirty pink with a 5% dollop of cool taupe.
Verve is one of those colours that you can really get the wrong idea about from a tube shot. Nor can anyone really determine if it will suit them without a test application because, like many of these shifty mid-depth neutrals, it interacts heavily with your native colouration. When lightly applied it is so close to my dark natural lip pigmentation that it just makes my mouth look tidier without screaming lipstick. This is precisely why I personally love Verve- it is great for giving darker lips that elusive sense of flattering definition without ever seeming overdressed.
Like Whirl, there is a lot of shadowy river-stone dust/cool taupe buried in its DNA. Neither shade is very cutesy and Verve borders on looking slightly patrician on a non-bimbotic face. I've included a swatch at the foot of this piece from the Whirl review for comparison, although the light in that one is slightly brighter. Verve is easier to wear just because of the forgiving and malleable nature of the Satin formula versus the matte; that lustreless finish can make Whirl a pretty fucking dusty prospect, which is why I moved it on. All things considered, I prefer Verve.
There's nothing negative to report about the formulation. MAC Satins tend to be stable and generally quite long-wearing; Verve dries down to a low sheen and stays put without doing anything nasty. I don't find it drying.
While I've seen Verve described as 'dark' or 'deep', such statements are very relative and it's really not particularly dramatic to someone who tends to favour massive reds, although it does provide a decent amount of contrast on a pale face. It's conservative to the point of primness to my freaky eye and utterly safe for work. This is not a criticism, and a concentrated application will certainly give you more of a definite after-hours look.
Not sure Verve would work on deeper complexions with warm leanings. Ash-blondes and Indian girls with pinkish or neutral tones should check it out. I have a fairly evenly-divided set of undertones and Verve drags my whole face into cooler territory; this is a really useful effect because it means you can get away with eyeshadows that are otherwise a dodgy prospect.
Hope I've not just added to the confusion with this somewhat garbled monologue.