MAC Strength – Lipsticks: Photos, Swatches and Reviews

There are five lipsticks with the Strength collection… Two of which came out nearly a year ago with the Iris Apfel collection. For the most part, the lipsticks in this collection are bright and bold, which is right on trend for this time of year. Bright and dark lips are definitely going to be hot this Spring, so don’t be afraid to experiment with them!

Sorry that Party Parrot and Pink Pigeon look a bit used… These are the ones I purchased when they were released with the Iris Apfel collection.

Strength Lipsticks Top

Most MAC lipsticks give me about 4-6 hours of wear… Even more if they’re worn with a liner and a primer, like MAC Prep + Prime Lip. These are all Matte finishes, so they’re the longest lasting of any of the regular MAC lipsticks. One note about Mattes though… You want to make sure that your lips aren’t chapped! Mattes tend to show any rough, dry spots on the lips because they’re drier than other finishes, as well as highly pigmented. Use a good lip moisturizer a little while before applying your lipstick, and try a primer underneath, especially if you have dry lips. This will help tremendously and make the lipstick go on flawlessly!

The Strength lipsticks are all limited edition and are available now at select MAC freestanding stores and online at www.maccosmetics.com. Unfortunately, since I got this post up a little late, it seems that they’re all sold out online, but it’s worth checking your local MAC store, or even calling around… Sometimes they can ship to you! Like all MAC lipsticks, these sell for $15 and contain 3g / 0.1oz of product.

Strength Lipstick Labels

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Lipsticks swatches on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Lipsticks swatches on NC15 skin.

Absolute Power Lipstick

Photo taken with a combination of natural light and light from my OttLite makeup mirror.Absolute Power (Matte):   Absolute Power is a “rich red” that’s mostly neutral with slight blue undertones. It has a Matte finish, although it has a creamy sheen to it at first, which fades into a truer matte texture as time goes by. It glides on easily and has great coverage, looking completely opaque with very little product. It’s similar to Ruby Woo, but Absolute Power is a bit deeper and has a much creamier texture (which I prefer). If you want to use a liner with this, you could do Cherry Lip Pencil for a near perfect match. If you want to have more definition or add a darker liner for a bolder look, you could try Brick or Burgundy Lip Pencil… If you want an even deeper line or a vampy lip (this works well if you do a thicker line then smudge some of the pencil just inside the outer corners of the lip), you could use Currant or Nightmoth Lip Pencil.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Firm Form Lipstick

Firm Form LipstickFirm Form (Matte):   Firm Form is a “gilded black with gold pearl” and a Matte finish. This is definitely the most unique of the lipsticks from Strength… Probably the most unique lipstick that I’ve seen from MAC in a while! It has the Matte finish, but with the warmth of this black and the gold pearl, it adds a bit of a shine to it, only without making the whole lipstick shiny (if that makes any sense). It applied smoothly, but will definitely emphasize any dry spots on your lips. It’s not completely opaque, but I would say it’s about, ehhhh… 90% opaque… That’s a good thing with this lipstick! It makes it really versatile because you can pair up nearly any liner with this to alter the color and make it flattering for your skintone. I know it’s a black, but you can gently dab it on with/over a liner and play around with a black lip without going as dark with it as I have it on in the photo. Seriously… If you can find this, get it! On another note, this is slightly similar to Grey Friday, but Firm Form is warmer, deeper, and more black. It’s also much less frosty and shimmery.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Party Parrot Lipstick

I think the sun was extra bright in the room when I took a few of these photos, because Party Parrot doesn’t seem to look this orange in other photos! Oops!

Party Parrot appears more pink on my lips because of the change in lighting... For some reason I think the sun was brighter in a few of these photos.

Party Parrot (Matte):   Party Parrot is a “bright red-pink” with a Matte finish. It’s a warm toned, slightly coral, pinkish red that’s very bold! It gives completely opaque coverage and color payoff with very little product and goes on smoothly. It has a bit of a creamy sheen to it, similar to Absolute Power, so it doesn’t look like a true matte until you’ve worn it for a little while. For a liner, you can use Lasting Sensation Lip Pencil if you want something that’s nearly the same color as Party Parrot… However, I prefer to use Redd Lip Pencil with this so there’s a more defined, but blended, line. Although Lasting Sensation was promoted with this collection, it’s a permanent color… So is Redd.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Again, the color between the lipstick and swatch looks off... I think it was just lighting issues.

Again, the color between the lipstick and swatch looks off… I think it was just lighting issues.

Again, this photo looks really bright... I think it was the lighting. Sorry!

Pink Pigeon (Matte):   Pink Pigeon is “bright cleanest pink”. It’s a very bold, medium pink with cool/blue undertones. It has a Matte finish but it has a slight sheen when you first apply it, and that lasts for an hour or two after application, dulling down to a true matte after that. It goes on smooth and opaque, giving complete coverage and great color payoff. This looks best with a liner like Embrace Me Lip Pencil, which is limited and was rereleased with this collection, although it’s been promoted several times in the past year or so too. Another alternative is Magenta Lip Pencil, which will appear slightly darker but give you more contrast and definition.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Strong Woman Lipstick

Strong Woman on LipsStrong Woman (Matte):   Strong Woman is a “bright violet” with a Matte finish. It’s a medium-dark, bright purple with warmer, pink-red undertones. The Matte finish has a bit of a sheen, but that wears away and turns more matte after it’s been worn for a bit. It feels creamy when applied and gives opaque coverage. You can use a variety of liner with this, but my two favorites are Magenta Lip Pencil (for a close match in color) or Nightmoth to vamp it up a little bit… Strong Woman is unique and worth picking up if you’re into purples… Up The Amp is cooler toned and lighter, and honestly not much like Strong Woman. Heroine was closer, but it was more of a pinky-magenta type of purple.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

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2 comments
  1. I love these on you! I have party parrot and strong woman and I can’t get enough of them . I kind of wish I was able to get my hands on pink pigeon though

  2. I bought Pink Pigeon and Party Parrot when they were first released in an older collection 2 years ago- can’t remember which one!

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