MAC Café Au Chic Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

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MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour formula is one of my favorites out of all the liquid lipsticks I’ve tried. It’s incredibly pigmented, goes on smoothly and evenly, and gives you enough time to apply it and play around with it before it dries down to a perfect, long-wearing matte finish. While I can’t confirm it, I feel like MAC has changed and improved the formula of these since they originally came out. It seems like the first time they were released, they were more dry and patchy but now the formula is incredible, so if you didn’t love these at first, I suggest you give them another shot!

I have nearly all of the new colors, and a few of the older ones as well, so I’ll gradually be posting them. They are permanent too, so this won’t be something that ends up on your must-have list then disappears! I must give MAC a lot of credit for creating some fantastic new products that are staying in their lineup. They’ve really stepped up their makeup game lately as far as new formulas of products that are really on trend and popular, such as liquid lipsticks, highlighters, etc… so thank you, MAC!


Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks sell for $21 each and contain 5ml / 0.17 fl oz of product. They are a permanent product and are available at as well as partner locations such as Dillard’s, Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s, as well as other major department stores overseas.

The packaging is a sleek, elongated bullet which is clear, so you can easily see the color of the lipcolour you’re reaching for. The cap is almost identical to MAC’s classic lipstick container, although this one screws on and off. The inner part of the packaging keeps the liquid lipstick from leaking out and catches any extra product so nothing is wasted, which comes in handy! These have a very soft, tapered type of doe foot applicator that allows for a precise and even application, with no extra brush necessary.

The formula for all shades is somewhat liquidy, which allows you to play around with it for a moment and evenly apply it before it dries down in roughly a minute. Once it sets, it’s not going anywhere! While I may not have anyone to smooch, I have plenty of customers who have tested the stay-true factor and planted a kiss right on their significant other at my counter, and NOTHING comes off! The staying power is impressive, but the best part is that it’s non-drying, even though it wears for 7-8 hours with NO smudging or feathering. When these do begin to fade, it’s usually in the center of the lip and they fade gradually rather than coming off in uneven chunks like some liquid lipsticks do. You don’t even need a liner with these since they wear so well and apply so precisely, although can you definitely use one if you like. Most colors don’t seem to stain the lips but there are a few of the deeper ones that can… I’ll let you know which ones do as I review them individually!

MAC’s claims for this product include what’s listed below (taken directly from their website), which after testing, have proven to be accurate!

  • Long-wearing, eight hours
  • Colour wears evenly and smoothly, eight hours
  • Provides stay-true colour, eight hours
  • Non-feathering, non-bleeding



Swatch photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Product swatched on NC15 skin. This is not completely dried down, but you can see the matte finish and final color where it has dried.


Café Au Chic:   This color is described as a “greyed beige” and is a medium, cool toned brownish beige with both grey and rosy undertones and a very matte finish. The great thing about this color is that it works well on EVERY skin tone! I’m incredibly fair, and while it’s a darker type of neutral/nude for me, it’s still very wearable. It’s also a great neutral/nude for even the deepest of skin tones, since it isn’t super light, so it won’t wash you out. As mentioned above, the texture is somewhat liquidy, but still creamy enough to glide on evenly. It takes about a minute to set to and mattify. Color payoff is wonderful and looks nearly identical to how it appears in the tube. It only seems to darken very slightly after it sets. Coverage is completely opaque with very little product applied. Wear time with this particular color is about 7 hours.

Liners:   I know I mentioned that liners aren’t necessary for these Liquid Lipcolours, but a few from MAC that look really nice with Café Au Chic are Stripdown (light, cool toned neutral brown), Whirl (medium, cool toned pinky neutral), or even Chestnut (medium to medium-dark, cool toned neutral brown).

Dupes: MAC’s Viva Glam II lipstick is close, but has less brown undertones. MAC’s Yash lipstick is slightly lighter with more mauve undertones, and Naturally Transformed is more golden. Anastasia Beverly Hills Sepia Liquid Lipstick is darker and cooler, Stripped is much lighter and more pink, and Naked is also lighter with warmer pink undertones. There really aren’t any perfect dupes that I’ve found, so I’d say this is worth picking up if you like the color!

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5

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