The sequins, limited releases, expensive prices, and the boring excuse that I have too much makeup deterred me from trying Pat McGrath’s makeup line when it first launched. The excessive alliteration and descriptive claims on her website reminded me of something I would have tried to write in grade five and I kind of hated the packaging. When the MatteTrance and LuxeTrance lipsticks were released, they received a ton of hype and praise . And they continued to receive a ton of hype and praise, and it was mostly from regular makeup enthusiasts on Instagram and Reddit. And eventually I knew that I had to try one.
I really struggled with choosing a colour from Pat’s line. The swatches looked soooo different on every website and Instagram post, and I had no idea where to start. After a couple months of researching (mostly pestering Instagram friends), I eventually decided on the shade Realness. This was largely in part because it was one of the few colours in stock on Sephora’s website, but it was also because I didn’t have any dupes and I would probably actually wear it.
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Today’s makeup: EYES: @viseart Sultry Muse – I appreciate that Viseart’s eyeshadows can be applied sheer or worn opaque, and the colours blend so well together. I find that it’s one of the few formulas that allows you to mix colours and end up with a shade that’s in between the colours and not all muddy. CHEEKS: @surrattbeauty Artistique Blush in La Rosée du Soir – I love this blush more and more each time I wear it. It’s the kind of nude pink that’s neutral enough to wear with anything, yet it’s still fun and exciting (to me, anyway). LIPS: @patmcgrathreal LuxeTrance Lipstick in Realness – The first time I tried this, I was put off by the thick, tacky texture and the cooler, mauve tones. It has a bit of grey in it and it makes me look a little dead if I have a bare face. However, I’ve really grown to love it. The colour looks great as long as I pair it with neutral or cool tones and wear enough concealer. I’ve gotten use to the formula and the heavy feeling goes away after a bit. The lipstick is very long-wearing; it won’t survive anything greasy like pizza, but my excessive drinking doesn’t cause it to fade. I hope you’re having a good week! We’re almost done with January 😅 This month, I finished more full size products (six) than I purchased (three), so I’m content. I think I’m going to force myself to keep track of my empties this year instead of just washing, recycling, and forgetting.
If you watch my Instagram stories, you may remember that I was initially disappointed with this lipstick. Realness is described as a “light nude rose,” on Pat’s website. I have a lot of lipsticks that fit that description, but Realness is remarkably cooler than all of them. Realness has a bit of mauve/grey in it that shows how truly dead inside I am. It’s definitely not a shade I can just slap on because it clashes a bit with my undertones. It looks fine if I’m wearing a medium coverage base and neutral-to-cool eyeshadow and blush, but it’s atrocious with anything light coverage or warm toned (too bad 90% of my eyeshadows are bronze/copper, but that’s on me). So yeah, effort. Ugh.
Check out my Instagram story highlights for more comparison swatches!
After really Temptalia’s description of the LuxeTrance formula, I was expecting a lot more slip. The lipstick feels thick and almost sticky on my lips, which is quite different from today’s bestselling formulas (Audacious, Amuse Bouche, etc.). However, it didn’t tug on my lips as I applied it and was comfortable all day. Here are the claims on the Pat McGrath Labs website:
- “lavishly laminate lips” – check
- “sensuously saturated colour” – check; the lipstick was pigmented in one swipe
- “rich hydration” – not as hydrating as a balm, but more hydrating than naked lips
- “protection from free radicals” – no comment
- “each signature shade offers every complexion a personalised couture look” – sure
- “hypnotize and exude luxury” – okay
- “lips transformed into objects of ravishing desire” – not exactly what I’m going for
I think the LuxeTrance’s main selling point is that it lasts incredibly well without feeling dry or uncomfortable. Realness didn’t survive pizza (and yes, I tested this several times as @faceonomics suggested), but it survived pretty much everything else, and it survived it incredibly well. There is very little transfer and the lipstick still looks amazing after drinking several litres of coffee, water, and tea. It doesn’t get patchy or flakey. It doesn’t bleed or feather. It doesn’t sink into lip lines or exaggerate texture. Overall, it’s very flattering.
In hindsight, I wish I waited for a colour I truly loved to be released, but I’m still glad that I decided to try it. Realness is very pretty paired with the right look. And the formula? I almost want to say “YAAAAS” unironically. It’s really that good.
I will also note that the outer packaging is beautiful. Each lipstick box was designed by a different artist. The packaging of the lipstick itself is quite sturdy and the lipstick clicks shut. I’m not a fan of the gold lips, but this time I’ll forgive Pat for designing a product without my personal interests in mind.
I would definitely recommend trying these lipsticks if you’re okay with a slightly thicker texture. It wears beautifully. I hope that Pat comes out with more shades.
Thanks for reading!
Check out these other great reviews:
Auxiliary Beauty – Madame Greige