When it comes to epic launches, I think we can all agree that Pat McGrath has already won 2017. It all started back with the kits - remember those? First, there were the Skin Fetish highlight kits. Then came the Lust Totale lip kits. Somewhere along the way we learned that Kim Kardashian was a fan of the Darkstar 006 eyeshadow kits....But time for a confession: neither one of us bought any of those kits. That's right. Beauty blogger blasphemy.
Unsurprisingly, this was only the beginning of our LuxeTrance obsession. We've added swatches of the new additions to our collections. Reviews to come..eventually. To skip right to swatches of the individual shades, click on the names below:
Emily: Honestly, my main takeaway from Pat McGrath Phase 1 aka 'the Kit Phase' was "...sequins!" Sequins galore. SO MANY SEQUINS. In fact, for a non-negligible period of time, I genuinely thought that the sequins were meant to be used as part of the ‘look’ for each kit.
Understandably, that sort of made me write off Pat McGrath entirely. Yeah, occasionally, I would hear her name get mentioned and I'd feel compelled to give those kits another look but the sequins/DIY vibe just killed it for me. I'm being totally honest here - those little pots of loose glitter, the tubes of sticky glue stuff...nope. Nuh uh. I am not a fan of self assembly. That's why I don't do IKEA.
Rachel: We aren't here today to talk about Pat McGrath's old kits though. Or, for that matter, the new holiday ones, which also have that weird DIY vibe. (Why Pat??)
We're here today to talk LuxeTrance lipsticks. If you've read this far, chances are you've bought a LuxeTrance (or two) already. If you haven't bought a LuxeTrance lipstick yet... um, you’re excused for the present moment. Go get thy self to Sephora's website and start filling up your cart. You can check back in with us here after. (But seriously, get on that.)
In the meantime, we're going to discuss packaging. Because whoever it was who said pretty packaging didn't matter was a) blind, b) a total liar or (c) both. Take it from us: packaging matters. And Pat McGrath came up with some crazy good packaging for her unlimited edition lipsticks.
Packaging - Pat McGrath 2.0 Style
Rachel: When Pat released her MatteTrance lipsticks over the summer, I had a hunch she was headed towards a permanent line. This was not the same generic sort of plastic packaging she'd used during 'the Kit Phase'. My first Pat McGrath lipstick, Omi, was weighty and luxe. To make something so stunning limited edition would have been beyond cruel especially with a formula as good as that.
Each lipstick is housed in a glossy black metal tube, with a pair of of gold lips that clasp the cap shut with a satisfying 'snap'. It could have easily veered into cheesy territory but instead the design immediately reminded me of of Salvador Dalí’s famous sculpture of Mae West’s lips. Even the cardboard boxes each lipstick comes encased in are works of arts with lips, eyes, and faces embellished in gold. The design of each box is supposedly the work of one of Pat's many artist followers on Instagram, who were specially commissioned to work on the packaging for her collection. Honestly, I don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to throw those boxes away. Each one of them is a piece of art in itself.
The LuxeTrance Formula:
Emily: Compared to the MatteTrance range, the LuxeTrance lipsticks are definitely more comfortable. I've broken down the formula in bullet point form below:
- Neither hydrating nor actively dehydrating. Expect your lips to be in the same condition when you remove this lipstick/it wears off as they were when you first applied it.
- The finish is extremely forgiving on dry, flaking, peeling and/or chapped lips. This is a similarity with Tom Ford's Lip Color Matte formula which also magically smoothes imperfections while adding a touch of fullness to the lips.
- The LuxeTrance formula is more matte than many 'matte' formulas on the market. When first applied, the lipsticks have a slight sheen which disappears after about 10-15 minutes, leaving behind a demi-matte finish. No glossiness here, nor that moisture-sucked pruniness characteristic of MAC mattes. Compared to other similarly-priced formulas on the market, the LuxeTrance lipsticks are similar to the older Tom Ford Matte Lip Colors, as well as Chanel's Rouge Allure Velvet lipsticks. Charlotte Tilbury's Matte Revolution formula, on the other hand, is definitely more luminous, and I question its credentials as a true matte (still a nice formula -just not a matte one).
- The LuxeTrance lipsticks are not lightweight - you'll definitely be aware that you’re wearing lipstick. However, rather than feeling heavy, the texture is rich and cushiony, almost plush. Both Rachel and I found it to be extremely comfortable, and we're pretty picky when it comes to evaluating lipstick.
- In general, the shades run dark compared to the swatches on Pat McGrath's official website. Only one of the shades in the 'Skin Show' nude range is a classic pale nude on either of us (Donatella). A better way to think of the Skin Show shades is as rich MLBB colours for every skin tone. Virtually the whole range is not just wearable, but also flattering, regardless of one's complexion.
- There is no discernible taste or scent to the lipsticks so this should be a plus for anyone who is sensitive to fragrance.
- The formula is extraordinarily consistent across the entire shade range - there are virtually no disparities, with each shade consistently ranking a 10/10. The only shade that felt a little bit 'thinner' was Sextrology, although it was by no means 'thin'. It just didn't have as rich a texture as the other shades we tried.
- You get bang for your buck with these lipsticks. Each $38 tube contains 4 grams of product which is an excellent deal, notwithstanding the fact that we both own enough lipstick to withstand the apolocalypse several times over. In comparison, Tom Ford’s Lip Colors and Lip Color Mattes ($54) only contain 3g of product. Charlotte Tilbury’s lipsticks ($34) contain 3.5g of product. Pat McGrath doesn't skimp when it comes to product.
Emily: This is a fairly lengthy post so we suggest settling down somewhere cosy with a beverage of your choice, and getting ready for some serious Pat McGrath talk. Today, we’ll be focusing on the 'Skin Show’ LuxeTrance shades, which are categorised as 'nudes' on Pat McGrath's website. As it happens, Rachel and I both love our nudes so consider the first installment in our review of the LuxeTrance lipsticks a paean to the best nude lipsticks out there….wait, that's not too strong a statement, right?
Rachel: Not too strong a statement at all. They're categorised as Skin Show ‘nudes’ but in the post-Fenty Beauty era we're now living in, ‘nude’ lipsticks are - definitively, I think - not limited to shades that only work on N15-N30 complexions.
Emily: Totally. So although not all the Skin Show shades are going to be classic ‘nudes’ on every complexion, in general I think they’ll mostly be wearable and flattering across the board. Undertones are neutral - neither overly warm nor cool - and are muted enough to be wearable everyday without being boring. For comparative purposes, we’ve divided up the Skin Show shades into three different groups. The formula is incredibly consistent across all shades, we’re super impressed.
Group 1 - The Light, Classic ‘Nudes’