I don't normally do reviews on a singular makeup product unless it's a foundation BUT, it is Miss Pat McGrath and I owe her this luxury. I found out like a week ago or so that her products would be back in stock (not all of them unfortunately) and that they would be permanent, so naturally I did everything I could to be on top of this release.
Pat's makeup sells out unlike any other brand I've seen before and rightfully so. Her products are some of the highest quality makeup on the market in my opinion, you truly get what you pay for. I'm still so sad that I never got a chance to buy any of her pigments. I might have to find out where she lives so I can camp out at her front door and beg her to bring Gold 001 back.
Her products will be out of stock in the blink of an eye so when I found out there was a PRESALE? Yes yes yes. The presale was last week but I'm pretty sure the rest of her products are available to the public to buy now, though I believe the lipstick I'll be talking about is out of stock. I would like to think that's #myimpact even though I know it's not.
I hopped on my Pat's site on Sunday, entered that presale code, and bought this bad boy for $38. Thank god for free shipping. Shipping and delivery was pretty quick but I'm not surprised about that since it came from New Jersey and I'm in Philly. It shipped on Thursday and I got it Friday.
There's a nice selection of colors in both the matte and cream lipsticks, but if you mostly wear nudes then you may prefer the LuxeTrance collection since it has way more nudes than the matte collection. I went for matte because I don't like messy lipstick. I wear liquid lipsticks almost exclusively because I don't feel like having my lipstick smearing all over the place every time I move my mouth. Plus matte lipstick lasts longer and looks a little more chic in my opinion. Since I'm a nude kind of gal, my eyes went straight to 3 nudes in the MatteTrance collection, then straight to Flesh 3.
I will say that I'm pretty sure the swatches on their website are photoshopped which means they're still not even 100% accurate, Colourpop was caught doing the same thing with their swatches cause they not slick. And I don't understand it because the whole point of posting swatches is so consumers can get an accurate idea of what the colors will look like on them before buying. I can't do that if.. the colors aren't accurate and not actually applied to the model. Yeah it makes for a neater and uniform look but, that's not the goal here. So brands, please stop photoshopping your swatches. You're literally helping no one.
On the dark skinned model in the picture, Flesh 3 (along with the first 2 nudes) is goreous. It looks to be a muted and dark rosy brown lip color but that is not the case at all. I could only find ONE swatch of this lipstick on dark skin and I stumbled across it in a YouTube video where the YouTuber also swatched the other 2 nudes. Which also looks nothing like the picture. You would 100% need a lip liner with these despite what the picture below is telling you.
On me, it looks like a deep, rich rosy color reminiscent of that infamous 90s lip that's ever so slightly bright, but for dark skin. It actually sort of looks like the second lip swatch on me rather than the last. It's been hard to find the perfect 90s color for dark skin because everyone insists on just wearing dark brown lipstick and I'm like no! I want dark nude lips like the white girls! Newsflash: Salem by Lime Crime is not every Black girl's nude. I am not that dark, though I wish I was.
Before we even get into the lipstick itself I want to briefly talk about the packaging which I believe justifies the price. Because it's so damn beautiful.
It comes in this cute little box that stays shut by tying the string around the loop in the back. I feel like this is lowkey a small piece of art and I legitimately don't wanna throw it away, so I'm not going to. I'm gonna carry it with me everywhere I go and keep my lipstick in it. It looks fancy and artistic.
As you can see, the lipstick comes in a classic black and gold tube that reminds me of something my auntie would've had back in the day. We love a vintage look.
This might be my favorite product shot ever. This picture just screams autumn bougieness and I LOVE it. Flesh 3 is described on the site as "brown rose" which is pretty much accurate. Though I do think the darker you are the more rosy it'll look and the lighter you are the more brown it'll look, but there will still be elements of both colors present no matter what your skin tone is. At first I wanted to say on me that this was a straight up berry color but it's not, the brown undertones are definitely there. It just differs slightly depending on the lighting.
What kind of tripped me out was how much differently the lipstick looked on my arm vs. my lips, even though that's usually the case because the inside of my wrist is way lighter than my face.
I wanted to do swatches just to see if I had anything in my collection that was similar to Flesh 3 and thankfully I don't. I would've punched myself in the face for buying a $38 dupe. As you can see, I have a thing for rosy brown nudes. I just feel like they suit me best. Not to mention my obsession began when I first started watching Twin Peaks a few years ago. The makeup on that show is impeccably beautiful and classic, and the lipstick all the girls wore was something I knew I needed to find.
It was hard because all of the lipstick recommendations were for, you guessed it, white people. The first rec I bought was actually Bansar by NARS, which is in the swatches above. It wasn't as dark as I wanted it to be but it's still a cute little nude. Flesh 3 is IT for me though, I can see myself wearing this everyday. What's even better is that this is great for day or night wear on me since it's such a warm color that's not too dark.
I love love love this lipstick to pieces already, it feels like having a little piece of art that you get to carry around with you. It's one of my most prized possessions already and I'll spiral into a depressive episode if I ever lose this. And I love love love Pat McGrath for being the icon that she is. She's worked with brands like Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, Armani, Valentino, and all those other high-end bitches I can't afford. Which is why... I was hesitant to purchase anything from her for a while. Let me explain. *cracks knuckles*
As a black woman and a human being in general, she's made history in the makeup world and she's definitely made her mark. She's put in the work for 25 years working with literally and only the best of the best, doing what no one else has done. Maybe I'm sounding snooty and classist or whatever for saying this but I kind of hated her marketing and some of the people she chose to help promote her line. You're a member of the Order of the British Empire and has had the opportunity to beat Naomi Campbell's face on occasion and you're scouting Instagram models and youtubers for your campaign? I know you're probably trying to reach out to a certain demographic but sis...
Where's the exclusivity? The glamour? The whole appeal of these iconic, high-end brands like Versace and whatnot was the allure of basically knowing you can't afford that shit and you'll never be able to have it, unless of course you come into some good money and float up to the ranks of supermodels and other rich and famous people. Keep that same energy, that's the appeal! It serves as an inspiration basically. Aspiring to be what you're not, to elevate! Aspiring to have what you know only the best have access to, because then that will make you the best by association! Aspiring to simply be a part of that upper echelon crust. Why on earth are you using people like Nikkietutorials and Mallory Murky as your models? They don't inspire me in any way. And they're trash people. It felt very off brand for her, to me at least.
If I saw a makeup promo full of lame ass youtubers and influencers like Jeffree Star, Jaclyn Hill, Nikkietutorials, and a bunch of other IG models that I don't feel like recalling, I would feel nothing. Because the appeal is not there, they are not appealing. There's nothing about them that I want to aspire to, because they're incredibly lame and mediocre in every way. They haven't made history or pushed the envelope, they're not phenomenal or iconic in any way. They got by simply on white/beauty privilege and being gassed by a bunch of twinks and white girls who suck at makeup. People like that didn't put in the work and make a long-lasting impact, they didn't make their mark and they sure as hell aren't icons. They're not here to stay. Never will be.
I don't aspire to mediocrity and I would never feel compelled to join the ranks of people like that. That's how I felt with Pat's campaign, she didn't aim high enough with the people she chose to represent and associate with her brand, some of those people cheapened it in a way. How do you have Naomi Campbell and MakeupShayla in the same campaign? That's confusing to me. I hated it. It felt like she was trying too hard to appeal to her millennial audience by including all these influencers when it really wasn't needed. Not everything needs to be relatable and inclusive, I like the idea of knowing only the best of the best were chosen for a specific brand or project. It would make me proud to buy something from it in a way.
Youtubers and influencers who lie in product reviews for clout and more free products and openly associate with racists don't inspire me. Everything they do is subpar, every product they put out is subpar. Posting selfies and making gimmicky videos is not something that inspires me, it's not iconic. It doesn't motivate me. It did at one point, when I was personally being lazy and thought I could get somewhere in life with clout and beauty but it's a waste of time and it's been done. It's being done. What's the point anymore? I have other interests and talents and I honestly don't feel like submerging myself in an oversaturated pool full of people who quite frankly don't really have the range for like, anything besides being pretty. If that's you, cool. I got bigger shit to do though.
Had Pat just kept people like Naomi, Duckie, and Jourdan Dunn in her ads, that would've been dope. Those are some widely known bad bitches, and they're Black. But I'm seeing people like Chantel Jeffries and Amanda Steele and I'm like what? Who the hell is Amanda Steele? What do these girls do besides be pretty and have a ton of followers? Where is the iconic-ness? The notoriety? The whole brand is based off of icons and being iconic but she barely featured any. I shouldn't be looking at your ads and going, "WHOM?", there should only be icons. There's a disconnect there there and it almost made her brand feel like the rest of these beauty brands that feature anyone from Instagram as long as they have a high follower count. It's terrible.
What's even worse is that she barely featured other Black women in her campaigns and on her Instagram. Instead she was too busy trying to get in with the likes of overexposed and overrated people like Kim Kardashian, as if anyone needed to see her cheekbone-injected face any more. That bothered me a LOT. How are you a Black woman not ptting on other Black women? That was such a disappointment to me and I honestly hope she cuts that shit out. The fact that I saw her featuring so many nonblack (mostly white, really) women, famous and internet famous alike, in her campaign felt very coonish to me and it put me off of her for a bit. It just didn't sit right with me and it still doesn't. But I still love her because she was my #1 inspiration for when I first fell in love with makeup, I wanted to be a makeup artist because of her. I'm side eyeing her but I'm rooting for her at the same time since no other black woman has done what she's done and no one is close to even following in her footsteps. So how could I not stan?!
She's not problematic in the sense that she should be publicly and heavily condemned or whatever (lord knows y'all have ruined the word "problematic" and I can't even use it the way it's supposed to be used now), cause she hasn't done anything wrong on that level at all, it's just a matter of personal opinion and preference with this. But she still needs to do better in my opinion and do right by Black girls. If you're featuring all these dull white girls, you can do the same for your own sistren. No excuses, fuck trying to appeal to your white audience. We don't need to see anymore of the Hadid sisters or anyone from the KarJenner klan. Pat has more than enough influence and buzz than to be relying on blandly popular women to promote her products, I truly do believe she's better than that. She has a huge platform with influence, I don't think it's wrong for me to expect her to actually use it right. And I don't care if you're mad either.
I also don't know how my reviews always end up turning into rants but oh well! I pay $16 a month to maintain this blog so I'll write about whatever the hell I want and say whatever the hell I want. All in all, I give this lipstick a 4/5 only because I wish it was a tad browner on me and actually looked the way it does in the swatch picture on her site. But the pigmentation is beautiful, it's long-lasting, and it's comfortable. I forget I'm even wearing lipstick when I have this on. Even though it's matte, it's not drying at all, probably since its mattifying properties aren't on the same level as a liquid lipstick. If this were a liquid lipstick it'd definitely be more of a satin finish, just slightly more on the matte side. This lipstick is very creamy and lightweight, the pigment is just insane. One swipe and you're done. I have dark, two toned lips and this covers my lips completelyand evenly. Because of that, it can look a little bright so I tone the edges down a little with my Mac Chestnut pencil and I'm good to go.
If you like matte lipsticks but find liquid lipsticks too drying, I would 10000% recommend investing in Pat's lipsticks. You can purchase them from her site here.