Beauty Review – Pat McGrath MatteTrance

Our 1st Beauty Review had to be on a staple product that’s sitting on just about everyone’s vanity right now – lipstick.

There’s something about applying lipsticks that makes the act so gratifying. It can uplift us when we’re feeling crappy, embolden us when we’re feeling anxious or insecure & brighten up our faces when we don’t want to put a lot of effort into doing our makeup.

One of our favorite lipstick looks is a lush, fully pigmented, transformative matte & if yours is too, read on for our review of Pat McGrath’s Mattetrance formula.

Now you know we love a good matte lipstick, nothing makes our lips happier (unless it’s drying). Pat McGrath is definitely a luxury lipstick, it’s not every day that we are willing to drop $50 on a lipstick but this formula has caught our eye. Is it worth the price point? Yes and no. You can snag it on sale during one of Sephora’s seasonal discount events or head to the Pat McGrath website which is offering an insane discount that brings it down to a wee $17 (there’s not many shades left), but if you still aren’t sure about shelling out – you might be after taking our opinions into consideration.

The brand’s description:

A revolutionary lipstick so luxurious and richly pigmented, it drenches lips in a lightweight veil of opaque colour while delivering a mesmerizingly modern matte finish. Sensually creamy and brilliant in texture, this collection evokes the femme fatale siren with every application. Color and finish so sinful, your pout will speak volumes without ever whispering a word.

Now, now, after reading a snippet like that how can we not want to give them all our money? BUT how about a lil dose of realness before you break the bank?

It IS very pigmented and opaque. It doesn’t take more than a stroke and if you want more color it’s easily buildable. The finish seems to have a bit of a sheen to it but it does dry down to a true matte. The feeling of this lipstick is divine in that it doesn’t leave us feeling like we’re covering our lips with clay. This is a truly comfortable matte with staying power. We need to eat our salads (let’s be honest – pizza) without worrying about reapplication and we can confirm with gusto that this will cling on for dear life.

We pulled Sephora’s suggested usage for convenience –

-Use an exfoliant to create a smooth canvas, and then gently neutralize natural lip color with a touch of concealer.

-For extra definition and staying power, choose a coordinating PermaGel Ultra Lip Pencil (sold separately).

-Use the finger to press and roll color onto the lip.

-Start in the middle of the bottom lip and transfer color onto the lips with the index finger, working outwards to either edge.

-Repeat on the top lip.

-After applying lipstick, gently pull a tissue apart so you end up with two thin sheets.

-Press one of the sheets against the lips and lightly dust with Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Setting Powder (sold separately).

Listen – this is detailed for those of us who have never applied a matte lipstick before today. For the rest of us, it’s like riding a bike. BUT it’s always helpful to be reminded of the steps for application – especially for a matte lipstick. That way when you complain that it feels dry or it looks cakey – the professionals can say “refer to the usage crybaby.” In all honesty, Jasmine is very unlikely to follow all these steps and they lost Jennifer at lip liner since she only owns ONE. Jasmine has found though that all she needs is a good liner and this bad boy is on all day – but whichever way you choose to wear a matte – this is an ideal formula.


Let’s get into the shades we chose –

Christy – described as divine beige nude

Jasmine – On my fair to medium skin tone it leans toward a medium nude with hints of mauve. Smooth application, very opaque – dries down to a true matte very quickly. Lasted a good 6 hours without reapplication, even ate a huge plate of greasy nachos and didn’t need to reapply! Covid tip – holds up quite well underneath a mask, and by that I mean half of it wasn’t on my chin. Iused the Aqua lip liner from Makeup Forever with this and it really held it in place.

Jennifer – I liked this shade best. I like a lip that’s more cohesive with the everything else I got going on and something a little more natural is what I relish. It has a smooth, creamy feeling without dryness. I wore it with MAC Soar liner and the color combo is KILLER – I use MAC Prep & Prime for most matte lipstick application but I wanted to be able to report back on the formula by itself and can say confidently that my lips didn’t feel clay like. I got a good mauve-y overall look that’s perfect for both day and night & because I didn’t have my own (I did my color test with Jasmine’s and tried to create a diversion so that I could steal it) I’ve already ordered one. Once I wore it, I couldn’t image life without. V dramatic, V true. *We both agree that the pics on the Pat McGrath site aren’t indicative of the actual color.

Soft Core – described as a cool pink

Jasmine – Definitely a cool toned pink. Was hesitant to order this online and end up with frosty lips but it surprisingly works well with warm medium skin tones and isn’t too light. The pink can also be warmed up or even deepened with the correct lip liner. Does not dry down as quickly as Christy, I felt it did hold that bit of a sheen longer. Did need a slight touch up after 4-5 hours and didn’t hold as well as Christy under a mask, there was a little bit of slip. Looks great with Mac Edge to edge lip liner or Huda Beauty Muse.

Jennifer – Eh, not my favorite shade especially with minimal makeup. I thought I’d do a little experiment and try wearing this during a jog to see how long it would last. TMI, but it’s necessary – I, uh, glisten, a lot but the lipstick didn’t budge. I even swiped at my upper lip lightly and it was still there when I got home. Good to know if you plan on wearing makeup to the gym (c’mon) or are active throughout the day. I noticed that the color deepened with wear (I didn’t use any lipliner) but was WHOA upon initial application. I later tried it with Kylie Cosmetics liner in Dirty Rose and it was much more natural looking. I’d definitely wear it with a liner that you like to either lighten or deepen the shade to your preference. This lasted for about 5 hours for me – but I wasn’t being careful AND I love that all you need is ONE SWIPE with all of the shades we tried. Very creamy and smooth – no dragging, dryness or cakey feeling either.

Peep Show – described as a soft pink peach nude

Jasmine – This was the most difficult to wear as it’s a very light nude. It is more peach – don’t really see any pink in it. Requires a good exfoliation of the lips otherwise it will settle in cracks and make those lips look a lil craggy but I still really liked it. I can’t pull it off with all makeup looks but I do like it with a bold eye to balance things out. It really needs the right lip liner or it will make those with olive or medium toned skin look washed out. It’s not for everyone and not a color you can just put on and go, IMO. Wear time was good, especially for a lighter lipstick! Usually I need a liquid lipstick to hold up when it comes to lighter nudes and I went about 5-6 hours before reapplication.

Jennifer – It’s a no for me hunny. Listen – I know that nude shades are complimentary to a bold eye etc but I can’t seem to wear really light nudes without mixing them with darker shades. I knowww it’s not ideal to combine your lipstick but sometimes adding just a touch of something lighter or darker gets you that shade you were hoping for. I thought maybe it was my foundation (too dark?) so I tried it without any other makeup on (my skin tone is fairly light – medium) and I still felt like a child with a mixture of paint on my lips. I agree with Jasmine – it’s not for everyone. I definitely suggest that you use it with a liner and when you have a full face of makeup on otherwise it might wash you out. I know that if I had an appropriate liner to use it with I would have been happier with the shade. Also, it didn’t last as long as the others and both times I wore it it disappeared after a couple of hours, which IMO isn’t horrible wear time, just not the standard. I found that it felt a lot lighter as well & had no idea that certain shades of the same formula are still different in characteristics such as longevity of wear, finish & overall look (thanks Jasmine).

Our Verdict – we suggest you find your perfect shade/formula and make the purchase. It’s one of the most comfortable mattes we’ve ever worn but do keep in mind that each color is formulated a little differently so try before you commit. The packaging is beautiful and the “unboxing” is a event in itself. Let us know if you end up trying it and whether you agree, or hate us for even suggesting it.

4 thoughts on “Beauty Review – Pat McGrath MatteTrance

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