MAC – Punk Couture – Punk Couture Lipstick: Photos, Swatches and Review

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There are a total of four lipsticks in MAC’s Punk Couture collection, which was released the day after Christmas… I realize this post if a bit late but I didn’t even receive my products until earlier this week! Because I’ve received these lipsticks in different shipments, I’m reviewing them individually rather than as a group… I may start using this format anyway, so let me know how you like it!

This post will be reviewing the namesake Lipstick of this collection… Punk Couture. Since purples are super trendy right now, I’m sure that a lot of you are going to fall in love with this lipstick, especially since it’s what I would consider to be more wearable every day than Instigator is. Hopefully you all can find it… It really is unique for a purple and worth addend to your collection, even if it’s only something you want to wear out from time to time!

Punk Couture
Punk Couture

MAC’s Matte Lipstick formula is one of the most highly pigmented, long wearing formulas that they make. For this reason, Matte’s are my favorite! Because the drier, though still creamy texture, they really adhere to the lips and wear well without feathering or fading for an average of 5-6 hours. That’s a pretty good wear time for any lipstick, BUT you can make it last even longer! With a liner, you’ll add several hours of wear time, extending it to closer to 7-8 hours. The purpose of the liner is to keep the lipstick in place and also give it something even drier to stick to, especially if you line, then fill in around the edges and corners or even all over the lip. Another trick is to use a primer, like MAC’s Prep + Prime Lip, before applying liner and lipstick to add even more wear time and smooth out the lips for a super easy application.

The texture of Matte Lipsticks is dry, but still feels creamy and glides on without tugging on your lips. The benefit to this is an intense, bold lip without shine. I feel like when you’re going for a bold or bright lip, Mattes are perfect because sometimes too much shine and intensity can seem like it’s overdone. The only down side I can think of with Matte texture Lipsticks is that the drier texture can potentially emphasize chapped or dry areas on the lips… However, there’s a very simple solution for this! Once again, Prep + Prime Lip works as a lifesaver… It’s a color-free lip primer that gives the lips a tiny bit of extra moisture on in addition to locking in your lip’s natural moisture. On top of that, it smooths out the lines and texture on your lips so everything applies smoothly and stays in place. I’ve also found that when wearing dark, more intensely pigmented lipsticks, Prep + Prime Lip will help prevent staining!

Punk Couture Label

The Lipsticks with the Punk Couture collection are all limited edition and were released on December 26th both online at and stores and counters and are now available IF you can find them… Unfortunately, these sold out insanely fast, so I can’t promise that your local MAC will have it in stock but there’s always a chance that the website and/or local MAC will have more for sale at some point, so keep checking! Like the majority of MAC Lipsticks, these sell for $15 and contain 3 g / 0.1 US oz of product. They have a faint vanilla scent but no flavor. There is also no special packaging with this collection, which is why they sell at the normal price (thankfully!).

Punk Couture
Punk Couture
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Punk Couture swatched on NC15 skin.
Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight.
Punk Couture swatched on NC15 skin.
Photo taken indoors with natural sunlight + light from my OttLite makeup mirror. For color reference, I’m a NC15 in MAC terms.
Photo taken indoors with natural sunlight + light from my OttLite makeup mirror.
For color reference, I’m a NC15 in MAC terms.

Punk Couture:   MAC describes this Lipstick as a “deep blackened grape” with a Matte finish… It’s a medium-dark to dark, cool toned grapey purple with a soft, natural sheen to start with that fades into a Matte after an hour or so has passed. The color payoff is pretty close to the color this lipstick is in the tube, though maybe slightly lighter. Same with the coverage… In the tube and even in the swatch photo, it looks more intense but it’s not completely opaque without some layering. In the photo, I actually didn’t apply much product, so getting full coverage shouldn’t be too difficult. Since it seems to have more of a sheen than the other lipsticks in this collection, it also feels creamier, making it easy to apply and also making Punk Couture less likely to show any dry areas on the lips, which is common with the Matte formula. I did notice that I got slightly less wear time with this lipstick, with only 4-5 hours with no liner and 5-6 with one. Perhaps that has to do with the creamier texture.

There are several liners that I like to pair with this lipstick… Of course you can use Heroine Lip Pencil (limited edition) if you have it, but you can also use Currant, Vino, or Nightmoth Lip Pencils. Rich Purple Chromagraphic Pencil (MAC PRO) also works well. You can always try this with a deep red like Burgundy as well if you want to play around with the color a bit.

Dupes:   Man, finding a good dupe for purples can be tricky… Rebel is more berry hued and is a Satin finish. Cyber is much darker, more blackened and is also a Satin. Heroine is sort of close, but lighter, bright and much more Matte. By Starlight from Melt Cosmetics is pretty darn close, but has a much drier texture and is even more cool toned and flat looking.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:  5

Packaging:   5


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