Review: MAC Pro Longwear Lipstain Marker in Purposefully Red

I almost always wear red lipstick. It’s a bit of a trademark of mine, and on days like today, when I wake up late and grumpy, still feeling the effects of jet lag and a summer cold, and I just can’t be bothered putting on a full face of makeup (or, er, washing my hair), I absolutely swear by a quick swipe of red lippy to create an instantly more polished look – even when “polished” is the last thing you feel.

Red lipstick is hard to maintain, though, which is why I’ve started to turn my attention more towards lip stains these days. Enter MAC’s Pro Longwear Lip Stain Marker, which I picked up on vacation, having read mixed reviews of it. As the name implies, this comes in the form of a marker pen:

I know some people dislike the “felt tip” nib, but I’m actually quite keen on it. Because this is a fairly bright colour it’s not one you can use without liner, but the tip of the pen is hard and fine enough to line the lips with before “colouring them in”.

The colour I chose was ‘Purposefully Red’, which is a fairly classic bright red. There are quite a few reds in this collection, though, and to be honest, I didn’t feel that there was a huge amount of difference between some of them – there were quite a few I’d probably have been equally happy with, and I was torn between this one and “A Classic”, the deciding factor being purely the fact that the MAC store I was in at the time only had this one in stock. I’ve made a mental note to try out some more of these when this one runs, out, though (which will probably be soon, at the rate I’ve been using it).

As for the application, at first I felt it was a little on the watery side, making it harder than usual to get even, but this tends to be the case with stains, and I got used to it very quickly, to the point where it now goes on very easily. It’s comfortable to wear, and not nearly as drying as lipstick (particularly longwear lipstick, which can really play havoc with your lips), and I love the way it looks when it’s just been applied. In terms of staying power, it doesn’t last quite as long as some other “long lasting” lipsticks I’ve tried: I get probably about 3 – 4 hours worth of “normal” wear out of it, which includes eating and drinking – it would last longer if you abstained from both, but there’s no fun in that, obviously.

I did find that it was less resistant to food and drink than I was expecting, too, so it’s not fantastic as a stain, but on the plus find, I don’t find it remotely drying, love the colours and can’t feel it on my lips at all, so it’s one I will probably be re-purchasing. It’s $16 from MAC.