MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks | Review + Swatches


One of my favorite things about the beauty world is watching trends evolve. First everything was all about the super opaque and precise matte liquid lip look, and now we’re coming around to more sheer stains and glosses. MAC’s new Powder Kiss Lipsticks are coming at a perfect time - they promise a soft, weightless, velvety finish perfect for a blurred lip stain straight from the runway, that you can wear every day.

When I first saw the photos of these lipsticks, I was immediately intrigued. The bullets themselves looked SO matte that they seem like they could be powders pressed into a lipstick bullet shape. They also come in a rubberized matte tube - think NARS packaging. I’m all about a more sheer, worn-in lip look so the Powder Kiss Lipsticks seemed perfect for me.

When first swatching these I was surprised at how easily they glided onto my lips/skin. They truly feel velvety and are like nothing I’ve ever tried. They feel so lightweight as you apply them and while wearing them - it’s almost like you can’t feel them at all. They’re not quite as pigmented as MAC’s regular matte lipsticks, and they have a soft-focus finish to them that makes them look like a lipstain once applied. Weartime has been good for me, a few hours if I’m not eating, and they’re easy to blend back into place as they wear away, too. I’m surprised something with such a matte finish doesn’t feel dry on the lips - they almost feel like you’re wearing a lightweight balm, so even my prone-to-dryness lips stay hydrated throughout wearing them. They apply best on dry lips (with no balm), otherwise they can tend to go a little patchy. And just as a heads-up - the scent is a little different than most MAC lipsticks here: it’s like the normal MAC lipstick vanilla scent, mixed with a little bit of rubber (?), which isn’t great, but the scent doesn’t transfer to the lips. I just love the finish of these - it’s like you spent a lot of time blurring and blotting down your regular full-coverage lipstick, and you’re left with this beautiful blotted stain.

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks come in 16 shades (descriptions from MAC’s website)::

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks in (top to bottom) Devoted to Chili, Fall in Love, Lasting Passion, Impulsive, Sultriness, Style Shocked, Influentially It, Burning Love, Sweet No Sugar, Scattered Petals, My Tweedy, Shocking Revelation, Mull it Over, Mandarin O, Best of Me, A Little Tamed

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks in (top to bottom) Devoted to Chili, Fall in Love, Lasting Passion, Impulsive, Sultriness, Style Shocked, Influentially It, Burning Love, Sweet No Sugar, Scattered Petals, My Tweedy, Shocking Revelation, Mull it Over, Mandarin O, Best of Me, A Little Tamed

Devoted to Chili - warm brick red

Fall in Love - bright creamy fuschia

Lasting Passion - clean bright red

Impulsive - warm brown

Sultriness - baby blue pink

Style Shocked - clean red orange

Influentially It - nude beige

Burning Love - deepened red wine

Sweet, No Sugar - clean warm pink

Scattered Petals - pale clean pink

My Tweedy - blushy nude

Shocking Revelation - clean blue red

Mull it Over - dirty peach

Mandarin O - bright creamy salmon pink

Best of Me - pale milky beige

A Little Tamed - midtone pink

My favorite shades have been a mix of Sultriness and Devoted to Chili for daytime, and Burning Love for more special occasions. The MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks are out now and are $19. Will you be trying them?

MAC Powder Kiss Lipsticks were sent to me for consideration, but all opinions are my own.

Three Sheer Bases

I've written (probably extensively, by now) how much I love a good, light coverage base. My preferred method of base makeup is to use a light coverage all over, and then go in with concealer where I need it. I just like how this keeps my skin looking natural, and as I have quite dry skin, this keeps everything from going cakey and keeps it dewy.

MAC Next to Nothing Face ColourThis is the newest of the three I'm going to mention, and it's a new favorite for sure. It's meant to provide a sheer wash of color that gently evens out the skintone. It's a rather balmy consistency that beautifully melts in to the skin. It leaves quite a glossy, almost wet look without feeling super tacky or transferring. I've found it applies best with a beautyblender, although MAC did come out with a specific brush that I haven't tried. I hadn't tried a MAC foundation before, but I'm so impressed with this one. Bottom line - if you're looking for a sheer base that'll leave you with an almost editorial glossy (but not greasy) look, then this is for you.

Glossier Perfecting Skin Tint (20% off here) | I just had to mention this one - it's probably my number one favorite base ever. It's super versatile, as it's a little bit buildable and also mixes with higher-coverage bases beautifully. I think I've heard this referred to as "Spanx for your face" somewhere, and it really does seem to firm and subtly lift the skin. It's definitely good skin in a bottle. It doesn't cover blemishes at all really, but it somehow still makes them look better. It's just like adding a nice blurring effect to your face, without the FaceTune. It leaves a lovely dewy finish that lasts a decent amount of time on me.

L'Oreal True Match Lumi CushionI've tried several cushion foundations now, and this one is definitely my favorite (as well as the most affordable). It's quick and easy to apply on the go, and again, it leaves the skin looking glowy and almost juicy. This one lasts the longest of the three on me, and it never cakes up. It layers well up to almost medium coverage, I'd say, and there's a good amount of shades to choose from, especially for a drugstore product. I'd say this is more for normal to dry skin, but if you're looking for an affordable cushion foundation for more oily skin I'd recommend the Maybelline one - my sister swears by it.

What's your favorite sheer base product?

The Shy Person's Guide to Rocking a Bold Lip

As someone who doesn't like being the center of attention at all, the prospect of wearing a bold lip out in public used to scare me. I would always put one on, decide it was "too much," and replace it with a more understated nude. Over the last few months I've been working my way up and building up my comfort levels around wearing bolder lip shades, and I've finally started feeling like it's no big deal. I figured I'd share the tips that really helped me for my fellow lipstick hoarders out there.

Start with deep nudes & neutrals

The first step I took in branching out to bolder looks was to wear deeper nudes/neutrals. Since they were still a natural brown/pink shade, they remained in what I felt was "wearable" territory, while still looking a bit more "done" than my previous nude staples. Try to pick something a few shades darker than your natural lip color. My lip color is more of a cool-toned rosy shade, so something like the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Do Me Baby is my perfect deeper nude shade.

Blot, Blot, Blot

Once I started heading towards brighter shades and away from neutrals, I found them much easier to wear and get used to when I blotted them down. Starting with a layer of lip balm really helps to sheer out the color, as well. Deeper berry shades like the NARS Lipstick in Scarlet Empress or Audacious Lipstick in Audrey work really well as they add a really natural-looking flush to the lips. Or if you know what color family you're going for, a sheer matte lipstick like the Glossier Generation G's would be perfect - Jam is a good way to ease into berry shades, Crush into bright pinks, and Zip into reds.

Wear it around the house

This was the biggest one for me - I just had to get used to seeing myself in the mirror in these bolder shades, so popping one on when I had nowhere to be really helped. I did this with deeper liquid lipstick shades. It also helped me get used to how these particular shades wore throughout the day, so once I started wearing them out, I knew when it would be time to touch up. We're our own toughest critic, so we often think we can't pull something off, when in reality, you're just not used to seeing a different look on yourself. I thought I couldn't pull off bright reds for the longest time until I started wearing the MAC Lipstick in Russian Red and the Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Always Red around the house - once I got used to it, I realized I loved the look and bought myself the NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl, which had been on my wishlist for years.

Keep the rest of your makeup minimal

My biggest problem with a bold lip was that I felt a little too "done." I prefer to keep my makeup on the natural side of things, so I found that adding in a bold lip made everything look too much on my face. So I brought down the amount of makeup I wore on the rest of my face to keep everything looking fresh. A dewy base with bright, minimal eye makeup and fluttery lashes looks perfect with any bold lip - I had a whole post dedicated to that specific look here.

Do you wear bold lip shades? What are your tips for easing into them?