We tried four MAC lipsticks from the brand's different celebrity collaborations

By Brittany Talarico
June 05, 2014 09:56 PM

We get pretty excited when MAC announces a new celebrity collaboration. So this week we (we being, from left, style news editor Alex Apatoff, writer/reporter Jackie Fields and associate style editor Brittany Talarico) decided to test out four new star lipstick collaborations by the brand. From Lorde’s dramatic “Pure Heroine” to Kelly Osbourne’s polarizing light purple shade and Rihanna‘s very-glam red, we decked our pouts (and polled the office!) to find out our faves. Check out the photos, below, along with our reviews and our ratings, from 1 (would never wear again) to 10 (we plan to wear this every day).

Rihanna’s “Viva Glam:” Below, Top Row
Alex: 8: I love a good red lip — I think I may give Zoë Saldana a run for her money in the “red lipstick collection” department. At this point, I felt like I’d tried everything, but I actually was surprised at how much Rih’s red stood out from the rest. It’s hydrating, long-lasting and flattering, which I like, but it’s got a fancy frosty effect that’s a little too glam for daytime. I’m definitely adding this to my arsenal for a party, though.

Jackie: 6: Every woman needs a killer red lipstick. I feel lucky to already have an arsenal of rouge bullets that work for me, but the thought of getting my hands on Rihanna’s “Viva Glam” lipstick sent a chill down my spine (I am sure RiRi would have wanted it that way). Sadly, it wasn’t my favorite red — the frost really turns me off. But when I attempted an ombré effect with her tinted Lipglass, it definitely created a fun look that I’ll try to recreate at a concert or two this summer.

Brittany: 10. If you told me Rihanna’s “Viva Glam” lipstick would be my favorite of the four we tested, I would have probably laughed in your face. The frosty sheen is so out of my element, and I immediately dismissed it as a holiday shade. But, I was totally wrong — I found my new go-to red hue. It glides on really nicely, and the “frosted” effect gave the perfect hit of shimmer to my pout, without feeling too over-done. And according to my tally, it was voted “Most Wearable” by most of my co-workers.

Courtesy Alex Apatoff; Courtesy Jackie Fields; Courtesy Brittany Talarico

Lorde’s “Pure Heroine:” Bottom row above
Alex: 3: I put this on for a Johnnyswim concert with friends, mostly to get reactions from girls (since I already know how this one would go over with guys) but also because it was the darkest venue I was going to and I was pretty sure I wasn’t pulling this off. As you can see from my skeptical face above, my feelings about this hue did not grow stronger over time. Not because I don’t like the color (I think it’s pretty!), but because I look insane in it.

Jackie: 8: I am always disappointed by plum lipstick. It’s definitely because, against my skin tone, they always look lighter than the tube would suggest. And even after I pulled out the big guns (that would be a lip brush) to apply it, that was definitely the case here, too. Most people would shudder to wear such a deep lip during the day, but this is shade feels kind of low-key for me. Still, it’s a pretty purple, even if it doesn’t channel my inner teen angst.

Brittany: 4: As you can see from the photo above, I tried to do my best brooding teenager face when I swiped on this deep plum shade. I love the idea of it (the muted purple hue with a glossy sheen) and how it looks on the singer, but I definitely don’t think it complements my complexion. Maybe I’d test it out at night concert (and I would definitely follow Jackie’s advice and start with a liner!), but I know I won’t be grabbing it for everyday wear.

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Kelly Osbourne’s “Dodgy Girl:” Below, top row
Alex: 6 My husband, who is used to these experiments by now, politely faked enthusiasm when I came home with electric blue eyeliner and took these mortifying photos of me with a minimum of laughter. But even he couldn’t hide his feelings about this lipstick. “No. No. No. Nope. No.” he told me when I tried it on. Well, I think he’s crazy — I actually really liked it on once I patted it in a bit with my fingers (swiped on straight out of the tube, it is a little Intensely Purple). I’ll definitely rewear this, but not for date night.

Jackie: 4: OK, I took one look at Kelly’s “Dodgy Girl” and muttered: “Hell no”. But I was a little surprised by this pale purple. I definitely thought I looked dead — so not cute — until a few people in the office actually complimented the lipstick (thank you, you’re far too kind). As matte as the color looks, I was surprised by how creamy the formula is — and loved most that once I put it on, I went all day without a touch up! I will likely be shelving this wild shade, but I appreciate Kelly’s willingness to push the limit.

Brittany: 3. I’ll never dye my hair lavender, and I’ll never wear lavender lipstick again. I did however, love how this color glided on my lips and was surprised by the creamy base. It also stays on through lunch and post-lunch snack. Luckily, I much preferred Kelly’s hot-pink “Yum, Yum” shade which has the same great texture and durability.

Courtesy Alex Apatoff; Courtesy Jackie Fields; Courtesy Brittany Talarico

Sharon Osbourne’s “Ruby:” Above, bottom row
Alex: 4: I was so prepared to love this — the color is right in my wheelhouse and I prefer a crayon-like formula to a lipstick for everyday. But something about this formulation just didn’t do it for me. I liked that it was sheer and felt moisturizing, but it dried out my lips like crazy and faded right off my lips while I was sitting at my desk — well before lunchtime. I like all the colors and am willing to give another one a try, but if I’m going to go MAC red, I think I want something with more staying power.

Jackie: 10: True story: I’ve already given Sharon’s “Ruby” a permanent spot in my purse. Nope, I was NOT expecting this. I love a bold color (my motto: go big or go home), but this is the kind of lipstick I never knew I needed — something I can throw on to create a look when I don’t want to put any thought into applying makeup. I should have known she’d come through. Moms always know best. P.S. If none of Sharon’s Patentpolish shades work for you, I implore you to try one of MAC’s other options from the same range. I’m obsessed with how insanely silky they are — like nothing you will have seen from this chubby pencil trend before.

Brittany: 7: “MAC makes a great chubby stick.” I’ve been hearing this beauty claim for a while now, so I was excited to try our Sharon’s “Ruby” shade from the Patentpolish line. And while the formula was a little bit thicker than I was expecting, I did like the finish. The cranberry red shade is also fun, but I much preferred her “Patent Pink” crayon. It’s the perfect one to throw in your beach bag for those times you head right to happy hour in your bathing suit and coverup.

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