Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick Review and Swatches | Realness

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.

A post shared by @truthlackslyricism on

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance review Realness

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.

View this post on Instagram

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.

A post shared by @ truthlackslyricism on

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.

swatches luxetrance Pat McGrath Realness, Tom Ford Pussycat, Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria, Givenchy Brun Créateur, Bite Beauty Pepper, Nars Dolce Vita
Swatches, from top to bottom: Pat McGrath Realness, Tom Ford Pussycat, Charlotte Tilbury Very Victoria, Givenchy Brun Créateur, Bite Beauty Pepper, Nars Dolce Vita (velvet matte lip pencil)

Check out my Instagram story highlights for more comparison swatches!

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance review Realness

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.

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance review Realness

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.

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance review Realness

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.

Pat McGrath LuxeTrance ingredients Realness

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:

The Beauty Blackout – one, two, three

Auxiliary Beauty – Madame Greige

12 thoughts on “Pat McGrath LuxeTrance Lipstick Review and Swatches | Realness

  1. Those claims really make me NOT want to buy the lipstick… “free radicals”, seriously? Hilarious commentary from you though 😀

    (Also you know you’ve watched too much RPDR when the word “Realness” makes you think of the RuPaul song EVERY TIME)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I really wish I’d liked these because there are some beautiful shades but the few I bought during the sale last year ended up being returned.

    I’ve heard a lot of people complain about the Bite Amuse Bouche formula being too thick but I found luxetrance WAY thicker and while I think it does wear beautifully, I could never forget that it was there because I could always feel it. I do really like the mattetrance formula but like you, I hate the lips packaging lol. Plus, I think the CDN price is much too high for something I don’t love 🙁

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who had reservations about these!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the shout-out! Your photos are gorgeous and Realness is a great shade. If I had one complaint about PML, (besides the ad copy, which I’ve actually grown to like because of how ridiculous and over the top it is- it has to be on purpose?) it would be the shades are definitely not always as described, and they tend to run darker than expected. Glad it worked out for you though!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I totally LOLed throughout reading your review – so many quotable lines haha! The bit about buying Realness “largely because it was one of the few shades in stock on Sephora’s website” rings very true I think in a way only true beauty junkies can appreciate!

    I totally agree with you about Christine’s reviews on the LuxeTrance lipsticks. I know that she graded them very well but her description of the formula was very different from my experience. Like you, I found it quite thick and it took some time getting used to. She makes them sound downright emollient!

    Isn’t it crazy how differently lipsticks look on everyone? I was like, huh, Realness isn’t a shade I see much brown in but reading what you said about the mauve / grey tones, I understand now. In general, I find Pat’s lipsticks to be not so much throw on shades but ones that require planning which isn’t a bad thing, just different from the Dior Lacquer Sticks lol.

    Thanks so much for linking to our reviews ❤ That means a lot, a lot to both myself and Rachel ❤️ You were one of our first commenters and your support has been invaluable, truly. Loved this review and am now going to backread a few posts I appear to have missed!! Perfect Sunday! xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and for all of your shopping guidance!

      I’m so confused by some of Christine’s reviews! I think we have very different definitions of certain descriptors lol.

      Yes, and I find that these colours in particular look especially different on other people! It’s so tricky when picking out colours. I completely agree; Realness feels like “a look” even though it’s such a basic shade – I think it’s because it’s so pigmented and There, whereas the Dior colours just melt into your lips.

      Thanks again ❤❤❤


  5. Hey, truthlackslyricism!

    OK, I‘ve always wanted to be Instagram-famous, too.

    If you’re like me, you have scrolled through Instagram, wondering “how do these darn people on Instagram get so rich and famous”?

    Picture this: You arise early in the morning, even before your alarm does.

    You spring up to check your phone.

    Navigate your way to Instagram.

    Wow, you think, Over 1000 likes on one picture.

    You rise out of your bed, meander to the kitchen. You want a drink, so you place the kettle on for some tea, and check Instagram again.

    Bam! Another 49 likes.

    Ding—another message pops into your inbox from a follower. They’re asking you for advice on how you manage your food, and are congratulating you on your third month of hitting the gym.

    A smirk makes its way on your face as you receive another message. This person emailed you to let you know she loves your posts.

    As you begin to write back, your phone buzzes again.

    It’s another message coming in. You glance up at the clock–almost time for the gym. You’ll have to reply later.
    Let’s stop the simulation there. Most people have a hard time getting what they want in life. People can hardly get themselves to eat a good breakfast.

    I’m here to show you how to take control of your Instagram.

    Imagine if you increased your popularity by 100%, or 1000%?

    It is not difficult to do, although almost no one does. Just visit our website. There, you will learn how to garner Instagram followers and likes like mad…easily.

    In just minutes after posting, you have your images piled with likes.

    The “Top Post” section, all of a sudden, does not seem that far away.

    Sound too good for reality? Just follow these steps to get a taste:
    1. Visit
    2. Plug your Instagram username.
    3. Your 3 most recent uploads are getting 10 – 15 likes. Just like that.

    Being a everyday name on that page will accelerate your growth 10x, easy. You know where the answer to fame is. Now reach for it. Are you ready?

    Chow for now.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s