Continuing holiday beauty reviews with a look at the Pat McGrath BlitzTrance Lipsticks ($38 each for 3.9 g/0.13 oz, made in USA). Pat McGrath continues to launch innovative colors and formulas in a way that makes me want to go beyond my usual conservative makeup comfort zone and try new things. These BlitzTrance Lipsticks have intense sparkle and pigment. They’re described as an “iridescent lipstick that releases a full-coverage blast of explosive color with multidimensional, high-shine effects” and I could not describe it better. They’re opaque, ultra-reflective, explosive in color pigment and luminous.
These lipsticks are very sparkly but the sparkle and glitter varies per shade. I’ll describe them in more detail next to each shade description. There is a little bit of texture from the sparkle with a couple of these but it’s not a harsh texture and once on the lips I barely notice it. Lasting power is really good – the color base is emollient and has a hydrating feel so it helps the glitter adhere and it doesn’t migrate. Only Pat McGrath can make me want to wear sparkle this intense. I was prepared to tell you that they are way too sparkly and intense for me based on the online swatches I saw, but some of the colors are really wearable and I think the bolds are going to be particularly beautiful for holiday parties or dinners.
There are currently 7 shades available. I received 6 of these as press samples and then picked up the 7th color from my local Sephora. There is another 8th shade listed online on her website as “coming soon.”
Nude Romantique is a refined peachy pink shimmer, it has lots of sparkle but this is one of the more subtle sparkles
Flesh Fatale is a medium bronze nude shimmer, also has softer shimmer
Fuchsia Perfect is an intense cool-toned bright blue based pink sparkle
Cyber Orchid is a bright cool-toned purple pink sparkle (it’s similar to Fuchsia Perfect, Cyber Orchid just has more blue tones)
Rebel Red is the most stunning metallic red I’ve ever seen, sparkle is chunkier in this one with a noticeable texture
Club Kiss is an intense plum-red shimmer, sparkle is also very metallic and bold
Blitz Gold is a yellow 24K gold metallic, it’s smoother in shimmer, but very foiled
Electra is listed as “coming soon”
I’d recommend looking at the @patmcgrathreal Instagram page for live swatch videos to get a better sense of the sparkle. The ones I have don’t capture the sparkle quality quite as intense as I see in real life. Although I do think the studio lights used on social emphasize the sparkle and glitz a little more intensely than they actually appear.
Close ups of each color below, Nude Romantique:
For me the only two colors I did not like are Cyber Orchid (it’s really blue on me) and also Blitz Gold (I just don’t like really yellow golds) – but this is just a matter of color preference. If you don’t like sparkle or glitter in your lip color I think it’s going to be a safe pass for you. If you like bold colors and don’t mind some shimmer and glitz I think they’re really worth checking out. Out of all the shades Nude Romantique and Flesh Fatale are the most conservative in color and shimmer.
I think these have the perfect festive holiday feel. For me they’re a little too sparkly for everyday wear but I do think the neutrals Nude Romantique and Flesh Fatale are ones I can wear without feeling too sparkly. Rebel Red and Club Kiss are my favorites out of the entire collection. I always feel like bold reds and plums draw so much attention to my already full lips – but these two are so stunning and festive I think they’re going to be fun for holiday. No detectable scent or taste with these! Lasting power is really nice.
The Pat McGrath Labs Opulence Collection Holiday 2018 is the most glamorous beauty launch I’ve seen all season. Nobody does it quite like Pat McGrath! There are three new limited-edition MTHRSHP Palettes ($55 each for 6 shades for 12 g/0.42 oz, made in USA) along with repromoted MatteTrance Lipsticks ($38 each for 4 g/0.14 oz) in corresponding colored packaging pink sapphire, aquamarine and ruby. I’ve put everything to the test for the past week and the entire collection is solid. As usual she has a number of different sets and bundles available on her website, usually at a price break rather than ordering items individually.
With the lipsticks she has Flesh 3 in each of the packaging colors and then two other repromotes with each corresponding packaging. Colors in the launch include:
MTHRSHP Subliminal Eyeshadow Palette in Dark Star
MatteTrance Lipsticks in 1995, Flesh 3 and Guinevere
MTHRSHP Sublime Eyeshadow Palette in Bronze Temptation
MatteTrance Lipsticks in Omi, Flesh 3 and Elson
Pink Sapphire packaging:
MTHRSHP Subversive Eyeshadow Palette in Metalmorphosis
MatteTrance Lipsticks in Christy, Flesh 3 and Forbidden Love
The Pat McGrath Opulence MTHRSHP Palettes are on the bolder side but still very wearable, even for my neutral-loving self. I put each one to the test for separate full days and found they all performed well. Colors have a variety of finishes and textures. Pigment is intense and application is smooth! The shades layer beautifully together. In general I find her 6-pan MTHRSHP Palettes better than her 8-pan palettes for me because they’re easier to use and don’t have the super glitzy glitters that are so popular but challenging for me to wear. Some of you e-mailed me that you were disappointed in her latest Mothership V Bronze Seduction because of the glitter. The sparkle is indeed very intense there. With the MTHRSHP Palettes there aren’t any strong chunky glitter shades, although there are sparkles. The sparkles are more refined.
The MatteTrance Lipsticks are among my favorite lipstick formula, especially for mattes. I’ve had numerous chats with friends about these and they all agree that these lipsticks are THE best for mattes because they’re so opaque, feel light and whipped on the lips, but give full smooth coverage without drying or making your lips look shriveled. I think they’re 100% worth the price – I’ve bought many on my own. No regrets with any of them.
The first palette I tested was the MTHRSHP Subliminal Eyeshadow Palette in Dark Star – I thought this was the most interesting combination for a cool and warm smokey eye. I tend to avoid cooler tones as they often clash with my olive skin but this one was my favorite in the bunch. The mix of gold, grey, plum and violet blue make for such a pretty eye look.
Entice is a sparkling champagne with flashes of pink and opal
Deep Space is a soft matte dove blue grey, it’s matte but the flash added a subtle sheen to the swatch photo
Enraptured is an antique sparkling gold metallic
Dark Matter is a deep satiny black
Metroplis is a shimmering plum
Interstellar is a glistening violet blue iridescent sparkle with tiny flecks of micro glitter
The Opulence Aquamarine Packaging MatteTrance Lipsticks in 1995, Flesh 3 and Guinevere are all repromotes. 1995 is a neutral-cool nude pink with hint of mauve, Flesh 3 is a deep rose brick (on me it pulls reddish) and Guinevere is a matte crimson red. They’re matte but not flat. As usual I take all my photos with a flash because the colors pull better when I use the flash, but it adds a bit of sheen/shine to the finish.
I would say there’s a two-way tie between the blue and ruby palettes. The MTHRSHP Sublime Eyeshadow Palette in Bronze Temptation is one I did not expect to love because of the red and green shimmers, but this one is simply beautiful! Photos do not do it justice. The colors swatch more complex than what you see in the pan – if you try this one move it around in the light at different angles and you’ll see the red and green shift.
Celestial is a pale cool shimmering beige sparkle (this one is a bit sheer, I had to apply with a very heavy hand)
Burning Desire is a soft matte tan
Supernova is a deep forest green, appears to have micro glitters, but they’re super fine and apply without too much glitz (it’s not chunky)
Dark Paradise is a perfect warm matte brown
Corruption is the perfect duo chrome red and copper shimmer
Provocatrix is a shimmering golden tan that shifts into silver and copper depending on the light
MatteTrance Lipsticks in Omi, Flesh 3 and Elson are also repromotes. Omi is a classic medium rose, Flesh 3 is launched in all three colors of packaging, Elson is a vibrant blue based red matte.
The MTHRSHP Subversive Eyeshadow Palette in Metalmorphosis is very pigmented. The overall mix of warm and cool balance each other out for a beautiful complex eye. I did not expect to love this because of the sharp sterling and gold shades, but when you mix them with the coppery ones they make for a unique mix. If you feel like you’re more of the creative type this is the palette for you.
Colors in this one overall are the most metallic and include:
Metalurgy is a shimmering light taupe gold
Copper is a reddish shimmer with an intense metallic sheen
Sterling is a metallic pale silver
Smoked Amethyst is a matte deep purple base loaded with flecks of red and plum sparkle
Bronze is a orange metallic shimmer
Gold Standard is an intense 24K gold shimmer
MatteTrance Lipsticks in Christy, Flesh 3 and Forbidden Love are the shades for the pink sapphire packaging. I think the pink is such a princess-like pink. Christy is a pink beige, Forbidden Love is a vibrant red.
In the holiday set I’ve already reviewed all except 2 of the colors but thought it would be helpful for another swatch post. For quick reference, I reswatched all the lipsticks swatched side by side with Flesh 5 and Elson 2 for added comparison.
To me Flesh 5 is less intense than Flesh 3 – I prefer 5. Elson 2 is brighter and more orange than Elson. Based on the swatches below and in real life to me Elson and Forbidden Love both look identical on the hand, arm and lips. Maybe if you have lighter or deeper skin you’ll be able to see more of a difference in undertone – I triple checked to make sure and walked my arm around with both tubes to swatch and re-swatch. If you’ve tried both shades let me know if you see the same thing.
Overall the collection is just knock out gorgeous. To me the Pat McGrath Labs Opulence collection has the biggest wow factor out of all the holiday makeup launches that I’ve seen. Everything from the packaging, presentation and colors are so beautiful. I think the palettes are really unique and different. I think Dark Star and Bronze Temptation are the best ones, but my recommendations would primarily be to pick based on your color preferences. I’ve mentioned numerous times that palettes are tricky if you don’t love all of the shades. Quality-wise everything performs to excellent standards in terms of application, pigment, lasting power, minimal fall out. If you don’t like glitter I’d say that the 6-pan palettes are definitely a lot more wearable than her 8-pans. The colors in The Opulence Holiday collection have some intense sparkle and metallic sheens, but no chunky glitter.
All the MatteTrance lipsticks shades are repromotes. You can shop your stash if you already own a lot of colors although the limited-edition packaging colors are super fun and if you haven’t tried any yet but had some on your wishlist she has amazing bundles on her website. You get a nice price break with her sets! I already owned all except 2 of the holiday shades. I’ve already made a serious dent in 1995 and OMI so I’m really happy to have backups now.
Insiders/ Non-BI members get 15% off 11/16-11/19 with code: BIBONUS
Terms, conditions and exclusions listed here. I tried to narrow my absolute top picks and favorites limiting myself to under 10 per category. There are so many good products available right now, especially with holiday beauty launches. Most of these are products I consider tried and true staples but there are a few newer items I’ve tried recently I think are really worth the splurge. Products that are press samples have a * next to them.
La Mer Luminous Lifting Cushion Foundation is new, I was thrilled to find a match in Warm Bisque, review coming soon but it is amazing and it comes with a refill. I will say I do think there are color gaps, definitely try before you buy. I suspect when I lose my summer tan this color I’ve bought will definitely be too dark. It’s also very dewy in finish but will set well if you finish with a powder. I’ve since re-sampled the Soft Fluid Long Wear Foundation at the counter and really want to buy it, I’m in between Beige and Suede though.
Cover FX Power Play Concealer * is new, full review soon, this really impressed me for a full coverage concealer, it glides onto the skin without caking – if you found the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Away too thick but still wanted something full coverage, I’d recommend you check out the Cover FX option.
Armani Neo-Nude Fusion Powder is the best all over setting pressed glow powder, doesn’t make me too shiny, just adds the perfect amount of even coverage and glow, if you’re oily you should probably opt for an all matte option though. Review here.
La Mer Sheer Pressed Powder is one I have gone through several of Light and Medium, it’s the best sheer natural pressed matte powder I’ve tried, although I will say I think MAC Next to Nothing Pressed is a very close dupe that’s cheaper (but they don’t carry MAC at Sephora).
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray is my go-to setting spray to set makeup and help make it last longer. It’s available in a number of size options including a mini if you want to try one before splurging on the full size.
Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Honeymoon is probably my favorite warm neutral, it goes with anything and everything and brightens the face with any cheek color. Nude Dip comes in close second for neutrals.
Pat McGrath anything wins unless you’re not a glitter fan in which case I still think her MTHRSHP Subliminal Platinum Bronze Palette is amazing (review here). I’ll have a review of her Opulence collection posted tomorrow so stay tuned!
Laura Mercier Caviar Eye Sticks are my most worn shadow sticks, I don’t have oily lids so they last all day for me and don’t crease. Rosegold is my holy grail go-to shade I wear the most, followed by Copper.
Natasha Denona makes amazing eyeshadows, the pigment, intensity and complexity of her palettes are really truly beautiful. It’s hard for me to pick one but I think her Camel or 5-Pan in Color Option #2 are great ones.
Brows and Lashes:
Anastasia Brow Wiz * in Medium Brown has been a go-to until I discovered Dior and Hourglass, since getting highlights I’ve felt the need to change my brow color to match a bit more, Taupe and Caramel have been working great for me.
Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pillow Talk is my universal lipliner for days I feel like adding it. Most of the time I skip it, but this color seems to go with all the neutrals I own.
That wraps up my top makeup picks and recommendations for things you can find during the Sephora Beauty Insider Event! Hope this helps if you’re looking for ideas. It’s always nice to have these events each year to help save on new things or to stock up on favorites. I’ll have a haul post soon and will also have another giveaway when I post the haul.
Dates, codes and details, online and in store at Sephora:
Rouge get 20% Off 11/2-11/5 with code: ROUGEBONUS
VIB get 20% off 11/9-11/12 with code: VIBBONUS
Insiders/ Non-BI members get 15% off 11/16-11/19 with code: BIBONUS
Let me know if you hauled anything yet! Or any fun beauty items recently if you’re not shopping the Sephora Beauty Insider Event. Always love hearing about what you end up buying!
Press samples indicated with a * next to the product listings.
Pat McGrath Labs has launched one of the best tinted lip balms I’ve ever tried with her Lip Fetish Sheer Colour Balms ($38 each for 3.5 g/0.12 oz, made in USA). She previously released a clear version (reviewed here which I bought and love) and her sparkly Astrals (I bought the Nude one, but the others looked a bit too sparkly for me). This month she launched 9 new non-shimmers in tinted colors which I think are absolute perfection. I really liked the formula of her clear version even though the price point was pretty high. Having color added feels like I can justify the price point a little more for a lip balm, but seriously ALL her lip products are phenomenal.
There are 9 perfect colors ranging from nude, pink, beige, to bright pink, plum and red. I think the color selection is very good, there’s not a single bad color in the launch. I also really appreciate that she offers sets on her website that give us a price break versus buying individually. You can find the Lip Fetish Sheer Colour Balm Everything Kit for $275 with 9 colors or three variations of Lip Fetish Sheer Colour Balm Trios for $95 each.
For tinted balms my favorites have been the Dior Addict Lip Glows followed by any of the YSL Volupte line (Tint-in-Balms and Volupte Shine Oil in Stick). The Pat McGrath Balms aren’t as soft in density which makes them have a less slippery feel on the lips. As much as I love super emollient balms that have an almost buttery feel, the Florida heat can make those feel like they are sliding off the lips sometimes. The Pat McGrath ones have a balmy feel but without the sliding feeling. You can feel and notice lips are moisturized but it’s not heavy. There’s no detectable scent or taste to me.
Color swatches very sheer on the arms/hands. Once on the lips the color shows up in a sheer to medium coverage. Even with the light ones I see my entire lip covered with pigment. They’re sheer compared to her lipsticks but have enough color that you can see them on your lips. Application is smooth and perfect with every single color. Color descriptions:
521 Blow Up is a warm beige
522 Love Supreme is a cool rose cream
523 Succexy medium coral peach
524 Passion Flower is a light pink peach (turns pink on my lips)
525 Full Fantasy bright pink
526 Wild Cherry is a deep cherry red
527 Dark Devotion is a mulberry wine
528 Ultra Vixen is a deep wine plum
529 Flesh 3 perfect red brown rose
Also shown in direct sunlight below:
Swatches, first straight from the tube:
Swatches applied with a lip brush:
Lip swatches, done on bare lips, for reference my skintone is MAC Studio Fix NC35. Note Passion Flower turns pink on my lips, I triple checked and triple lip-swatched to make sure I didn’t have any remnants on my lips from other colors mixing in. Also quick note, I take my photos with a flash – depending on your screen the lip swatches may look a tiny bit more glossy below. I’d describe these as having a soft sheen finish.
Individual close ups, I’m having a bad skin week so please excuse the patchy skin, I packed on tons of extra powder and foundation to cover up some scars and skin breakage. All lip swatches are taken indoors but with a flash:
Bottom line perfect. EVERY single one is perfect. Lasting power is better than your average balm, it still won’t last as long as her LuxeTrance or MatteTrance lipsticks, but for a balm I get several hours of wear without fading. Formula is hydrating and really does moisturize the lips nicely. I love the natural sheen these have and also the fact that once you apply they don’t feel like they’ll slide off. I still have some more lip product reviews from other brands that I’m working on including some of the new Tom Ford Boys and Girls, Sisley Le Phyto-Rouge and more, but being the gloss girl that I am, I love these balms. They’re easy to wear, effortless, apply flawlessly and the colors are perfect. I think it’s a little odd Passion Flower turns straight pink on my lips when it looks peach in the tube but I love it regardless.
Pat McGrath Labs launches keep getting better and better and her latest is the Mothership V Bronze Seduction Eyeshadow Palette ($125 for 13.2 g/ 0.47 oz, made in Italy). I’ve had my eye on many of her large 10-pan palettes but was a little intimidated by the glitter and bold colors. I am beyond thrilled to be able to test this one out and it does not disappoint. It’s quite glitzy so if you don’t do glitter shadows this will definitely not be for you and I’d recommend you check out her 6-pan MTHRSHP Eyeshadow Palettes instead. I am beyond obsessed with all three options and love very much. I consider myself to be a conservative shadow wearer but indulge in some glitters every now and then. Not all glitters are created equal and the ones from Pat McGrath are quite special.
The Mothership V Bronze Seduction Eyeshadow Palette has ten eyeshadows that have a variety of textures. The formulas are really good in terms of color payoff and ease of blending. Some apply better with fingers in a patting motion. Others work better with a brush. I do want to mention that I’ve only had this palette for a couple days so this is more of a first impressions post. I did two eye looks to test everything and have one of them shown later in the post.
The colors in the palette include:
Skinshow Divine Glow is a soft shimmery white gold champagne
Entrapment is a warm matte brown
Bronze Blaze is a sparkling bronze copper
Rose Gold 005 is an iridescent glitter pink copper
VR Fire Opal is a duochrome gold and flashes green
Xtreme Aubergine is a deep matte plum
Gilty Pleasure is a sparkling brass glitter
Disobedient is a warm red brown matte
Blitz Flame is a smooth metallic deep red
Astral Luna Gold is a chunky gold sparkle
My favorites are Skinshow, Bronze Blaze and Gilty Pleasure. For the two glitters I find patting them over the mattes with my fingers resulted in a super pretty bronzed eye look. The color Rose Gold 005 is a super sparkly rose pink that flashes copper sparkle – it’s also a nice top coat shadow. Blitz Flame surprised me as I’m not a red shadow wearer but when I layer it with any of the matte browns it transforms into a deeper almost plum bronze with a little bit of red.
With the glitters there is a little bit of fall out when you apply. This is why I feel patting with fingers is best. Once on the lids they stay put pretty well. By the late afternoon I only had a tiny bit of fall out under the eyes.
The mattes did not swatch well on my arm. I’m not sure why mattes do that sometimes but on the eyes with a brush they performed just fine. They blend just fine on the eyes as a lid or liner color.
I’ve never had so much trouble photographing swatches. These shadows are so multi-dimensional they flash different colors depending on the angle. I highly recommend you check out the swatch video on her Instagram @patmcgrathreal because it shows the dimension and color best.
Look wearing the following (press samples indicated with a *):
The Mothership V Palette is glitzy and full on glam but very pretty for special occasions or for when you want some extra sparkle. If you feel the sparkle is too much you may want to opt for the NARSissist Wanted Eyeshadow Palette (still available at Ulta right now) or the Singapore Eyeshadow Quad. They have a similar vibe color-wise but aren’t as glittery.
Overall jaw dropping gorgeous. Because it’s got a lot of sparkle I know it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but I think it’s worth looking into. Have you tried any of the other Pat McGrath Labs Eyeshadow palettes? What did you think?
For one day they’re having a 10% off discount with code on the palette with promo code SEDUCTION at checkout. Terms conditions: Offer ends at 11:59PM EDT on Friday, September 7, 2018. Enter code SEDUCTION during checkout at www.patmcgrath.com to receive 10% off MOTHERSHIP V: Bronze Seduction Eye Palette. Limit one use per customer. Offer applies to authorized purchases only; only authorized orders will be processed and shipped. We reserve the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized, altered or ineligible use of offer and to modify or cancel the promotion at any time. Other restrictions may apply.
I have a roundup of my Sephora haul picks from the Beauty Insider Appreciation Event for Rouge. I ended up purchasing a little bit from every category for makeup, skincare and hair care. I still have a few things sitting in my online cart but since I did a massive haul I will probably not be purchasing anymore items for the event. I just hauled everything on Friday so I haven’t had time to test everything. Notes and first impressions on the items I have been able to test.
Makeup Base Picks
There were a few new bases I wanted to try out. Foundation shopping kinda stresses me out with the matching process. Some oxidize to different levels and in store lighting isn’t the best, so it can be a little tricky. There are a few other formulas I’ve been meaning to try but testers weren’t available so I’m going to have to guess sight unseen. Ones I did pick up:
beautyblender Bounce Liquid Whip Long Wear Foundation in 3.50 and 3.60, they only had a tester of 3.50 and while it looked good in store it did apply a little on the light side. I bought 3.60 and tried it at home which is a perfect match. I am getting tan though with regular outdoor runs. The next shades up look like a big jump so I may have to mix when I get darker. First impressions are really good, I like the coverage, it lasts all day, it’s not irritating and didn’t oxidize too much. A more detailed review to follow.
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Cream Oil-Free Matte in Medium Tan – I’ve yet to try any of the It Cosmetics bases even though they’re extremely popular! Medium looked too light in store but after swatching Medium Tan at home I think it may be too dark. I will report back after I give it a test.
Natasha Denona Transformatte Pore Vanishing Matte Foundation samples in 27WY, 30W and 31W. These oxidized like crazy in store on my hand, but when I tried this on the face at home they did not. I still need to do more testing, but this is a full coverage true matte. I think my best match is 31W which is more yellow/olive.
Swatches below. Also included MAC Studio Fix Fluid in NC30 and NC35 for reference.
Also not a haul item but since some of you have asked, I wanted to share some swatches of the new First Aid Beauty Concealer. It’s available in 7 shades. I received press samples of this formula but haven’t had a chance to test this out. I will keep you posted. I think my shade match is going to be #3.
I have mostly skincare in my online shopping cart, so many things are either online only or not available in my local store. It’s tempting to stock up but for now I picked up:
I’m in need of a curling iron and had the T3 1.25″ Iron on my list. Part of me wants to wait until holiday to see if there are any sets. Part of me wants to take advantage of the discount and buy it now. Decisions, decisions! I hauled 3 items:
I’m always a sucker for a good lip. I actually bought the Fenty Beauty Mattemoiselle Plush Matte Lipsticks before but they were lost in all our moving last year. I repurchased S1ngle and Spanked, both are ultra smooth with full coverage and aren’t dry looking. I need to try more of these! I also picked up two of the Bite Beauty French Press Lip Glosses in Salted Caramel and Dirty Chai. Both are perfect neutrals. I tried Salted Caramel and think it’s the perfect pink beige. I also bought one of the new Anastasia Beverly Hills Lip Glosses in Estrella which is so sparkly I don’t recommend it. It’s not chunky, it’s very smooth but the shimmer is a little too much (it was an impulse buy). Last but not least the sparkles got the best of me and I picked up the Pat McGrath Lip Fetish in Gold Astral to try.
That wraps up my Sephora haul! If there are any items you want reviewed first let me know in the comments and I’ll try to prioritize those!
Have you bought anything yet for the Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciation Event? What did you haul? You can use the Sephora Beauty Insider Appreciate promo code once online and unlimited times in store. Valid in both US and Canada, dates for each tier:
Rouge Members: 20% off with code YESROUGE, valid 8/24 through 9/3
VIB Members: 15% off with code YESVIB, valid 8/30 through 9/3
Beauty Insiders: 10% off with code YESINSIDER, valid 8/30 through 9/3
First Aid Beauty concealers provided for review. Other items purchased by me.
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.
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.