There’s just something about purple lipsticks; I’d pick a smokey purple or a bright plum over a pink or red any day of the week. Other girls might have their signature red (that shade that makes you feel like a million bucks) but I prefer something like MAC Smoked Purple (review) to give me that I-can-do-whatever-the-eff-I-want feeling.
It took me a few years of experimenting with “vampy” shades to figure out that the less red there was in the lipstick, the more I was likely to get on with it. I stuck to light plummy shades with sheer finishes for much too long, but now I’m willing to go as purple as possible. (Maybe in preparation for blue lipstick but until I can get my hands on a good one in a good formula, that is a story for another day.)
The MAC x Nasty Gal Collection takes inspiration from the edgy website of the same name and Sophia Amoruso, Nasty Gal’s CEO and the #GIRLBOSS herself. I’m admittedly not too familiar with Nasty Gal because international shipping is a pain (I do know that their styling is kick ass and way cooler than I will ever dress) and I haven’t read Amoruso’s book, but the collaboration with MAC took that #GIRLBOSS vibe (which I think is self-explanatory?), put it in 3 lipsticks, and placed them within my reach. Stunner, Runner, and Gunner are “power shades” without a doubt. I nearly picked up Runner (the burgundy) because it looks so cool in the promo image (center) but Gunner is a purple. So… that was that.MAC Gunner (1,000.00 Php) is a”deep purple” with a matte finish. I would actually describe it as a bright purple and not a deep purple, but that’s what MAC is calling it. It’s nearly a cartoony shade, especially when put up against or beside black. Many have said that it is a dupe for Illamasqua’s Kontrol, but even from swatches I can see that Kontrol is slightly more grey and muted. I know I’m going to get questions about how this compares to MAC Smoked Purple, so there is a comparison swatch for you guys at the end of this post.
Gunner almost looks bluish in this photo. The undertone is definitely on the cool end; If this were on a colour wheel (where purple and violet appear between blue and red) it would be situated closer to blue than red. I wouldn’t have thought of Smoked Purple as a violet before, but compared to Gunner it is more accurately a violet fore sure.
I have only worn this once before (bought it on Friday and it is now Sunday) so this is more of a first impression than a review, but with MAC I can usually tell quite easily if I will like a shade for long or if it will fade from memory and find itself hidden in a drawer forever. Gunner, bright and loud as it is, will not be spending much time in a drawer. Here’s why:
MAC is killing it with their matte formulas. In her review of this shade Temptalia mentioned that it is more like a satin finish than a matte, but I disagree. Initially it will look like a satin and it certainly applies like a satin (so smooth!), but it dries down to a true matte within half an hour. I have trouble applying Smoked Purple because it has the characteristics of MACs older matte formulas–it tugs and it skips. Then Living Legend (review) and the other new matte shades came around and marked the beginning of this crazy-good new formulation. I do believe there are better matte formulas out there overall (Lipstick Queen and Charlotte Tilbury come to mind), but those are not widely accessible brands. Maybe they’re not THE best, but I find it difficult to complain about these MAC mattes that glide on and sit comfortably. And here she is, worn. If you’re wondering to yourself: Where on Earth would I wear a purple lipstick?? My response to that is: Where wouldn’t you? Haha. But really, it’s all about what makes you feel good. If you feel funny wearing this to meet your boyfriend’s parents for the first time, then don’t. Or do, because if that’s who you are then that’s that. If you zoom in the lipstick doesn’t seem to be evenly applied, but it looks fine from at least two feet away I would say. The unevenness also seems to be more apparent in photos than in real life. Trust me, this looked pretty damn solid when I was checking it out in the mirror throughout the afternoon.
I went to coffee with the boyfriend wearing this. There was minimal fading from drinking the coffee and I did not get a chance to test it out on food. When I eventually wiped it off at the end of the day, there was a slight deep pink stain on my lips, which I found funny because I don’t see any red at all when wearing it. Comparison swatches of MAC Smoked Purple on the left and MAC Gunner on the right, as promised. They are nothing alike. Smoked Purple is muted and is more of a violet, while Gunner is a true blue-purple that is quite vibrant.
My absolute perfect dream lipstick would be a mezcla of these two lipsticks: the colour of Smoked Purple bumped just a notch towards the blue end of the colour wheel and with the formula of Gunner. Can MAC just reformulate Smoked Purple actually? That would be beyond awesome. As I said earlier, I like Gunner loads. It’s the shade I knew I was getting when I bought it, which is always a good thing. I was trying to wear it blotted down this morning but it doesn’t seem to work that way, which is a bit of a limitation. I will just have to wear it full-on whenever I do, which is perfectly find by me!
Did you guys pick up anything from the MAC x Nasty Gal Collection?