I recently did a massive Pat McGrath Labs beauty haul from Sephora. A large number of you have asked me for a review on the MatteTrance Lipsticks ($38 each for 0.14 oz/ 4 g) and since I’ve never really been big on matte lips I did not plan on looking into these. I don’t think I’ve ever received so many review requests on a single product so once I saw that she launched a creamy formula called LuxeTrance Lipstick ($38 each for 0.14 oz/ 4 g) I ordered a handful online sight unseen. I also added some of the MatteLuxe Lipsticks, Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils ($25 each for 1.2 g/ 0.042 oz) and one shade of the Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner ($25 each for 1.2 g/ 0.042 oz) to my cart to try out. A couple days ago I finally saw the line in person at my local store and everything is just stunning! Since I just received my order recently this is more of a first impressions rather than a detailed review.
A look at the stunning display in store:
First can we talk about the box packaging? I know super pretty boxes and packaging can be a waste, but the presentation is just so pretty. Opening any of the lipsticks or pencils is like opening a present. I don’t know if the gold embossed icons on the front have any meaning but everything is so artistic and creative.
The Permagel Ultra Lip Pencils and Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliners are super smooth and creamy. They glide onto the skin and are waterproof. They have about the same smoothness as the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On pencils (which last long but aren’t budge-proof on me). The Pat McGrath Labs pencils have VERY impressive lasting power. I swatched them on the hand and they would not come off easily. On the lips they stay put all day long. The liner on the eyes does not smudge all day. They have enough of an emollient smooth gel-like quality that you can apply and blend it out a little before it dries and sets. But once it sets it stays put. Pigment is ultra rich, there’s no tugging with application, it feels comfortable and performs well.
Colors I bought:
- Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Buff is a medium neutral pink
- Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Done Undone is a lighter pink nude with a hint of pearl
- Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Bare Rose is a pretty soft rose with a slight sheen
- Permagel Ultra Lip Pencil in Suburbia is a deeper rose pink
- Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner in Blitz Brown is a deep bronze with shimmer
At the store I also looked at Supernatural and Contour. Both were more brown without any pink tones, along the lines of MAC Lip Pencil in Stripdown. I didn’t buy any more as I had already hauled quite a few. I don’t typically wear brown lipliners with the exception of MAC Stripdown and Oak so I felt the pinks and neutrals were my best bet. I do think I’ll consider other shades of the Permagel Ultra Glide Eyeliner but for now I love the one I have. All the pencils come with a sharpener.
Comparison swatches below to NARS Man Ray Velvet Eye Pencil in Santiago, Marc Jacobs Matte Highliner in Earthquake, Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude and Pillow Talk, MAC Lip Pencils in Boldly Bare, Whirl, Dervish, Spice and Soar.
Next are the lipsticks which are mind blowing good. It was pretty risky for me to order so many colors in a new-to-me formula sight unseen. The last time I did that with a brand I hadn’t tried before, it was total a fail. These Pat McGrath LuxeTrance and MatteTrance Lipsticks do not disappoint and they are easily among the best I’ve tried. I would say the matte formula tops all other matte formulas I’ve tried with the exception of the Louboutin Mattes. I’ve said that Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution Lipsticks (also swatched here) have been in my favorites list. That was before I tried Pat McGrath’s.
The lipsticks come in a sleek metal black and gold tube. Both formulas have the same packaging. They have a cute gold embossed/raised lip which I think could have been really tacky to be frank, but they managed to make it look sleek and luxe. There is a good weight to the tube so it feels solid. They are well designed in every way.
LuxeTrance of course is my formula of choice. It’s a creamy opaque lipstick with full coverage. All the shades are creams without shimmer. They’re one-swipe wonders and make the lips look full. They glide onto the lips, feel super smooth, have a comforting feel and have impressive lasting power. I would say you get similar coverage with the Hourglass Confession Ultra Slim Lipsticks. They are also just as opaque as the Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche formula but more creamy with a bit more slip. The LuxeTrance isn’t super thick but it does have substance and when you wear it, it looks like you are definitely wearing lipstick. Colors I picked:
- Donatella is a pale nude, it pulls pinkish on me
- Sextrology is a light salmon pink
- Realness is a perfect peachy nude
- Valletta is a light peachy pink
- She’s Heaven is a neutral brown-pink
- Beautiful Creature is a stunning plum
- Attitude is a neutral brown
For other nudes, I also saw La Beija in store. The online swatch made me think it might be too dark/brown so I did not order it. In real life it’s a lot lighter than the stock swatch. It’s a pretty light-medium peachy beige and I would have bought it but they were sold out.
The MatteTrance Lipstick formula has a unique almost whipped like feel. They glide onto the lips and have a nice sheen even though they are clearly matte. They don’t make the lips look dried out or flat. They didn’t dry out my lips and lasted a decent amount of time. The texture of the lipstick in the tube looks almost like they took a sponge to make an imprint on the exterior. There is no texture when you apply though – it’s 100% smooth.
- 1995 is a stunning light neutral pink nude
- Omi is the perfect rose pink
As far as I can tell there’s no detectable scent with these.
Bottom line pure love and lots to explore. There are a lot of bold shades in all the formulas. I did take a look at the Eyeshadow Palettes which are quite impressive in size and color selection. Each one had quite a few glitzy shades or at least 2 shades in each palette I didn’t think I’d use so for now I’ve passed. I do hope they launch more palettes or singles so you’d be able to pick and choose. For now I’m more than happy with my lip picks and eyeliner.
You can find Pat McGrath Labs exclusively at Sephora.