MAC Topped With Brandy Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour

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These are one of my favorite matte and/or liquid lip formulas of all time… I said that when I reviewed another color but I’m still saying it because they’re up there with the ABH and Jeffree Star liquid lipsticks, to me anyway! I know people had complaints about this formula when it was initially released almost two years ago, but MAC has fixed all of those issues since then. Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolors are now very smooth and creamy, super pigmented, and they wear forever!

Since I’ve reviewed this formula before, I’ll try to keep this short and sweet! If you want to stay up to date with new products I’m testing or playing around with, or just want to chat, you can follow me on Instagram @lesley_makeup , twitter @lesley_makeup or add me on Snapchat, which is also lesley_makeup. Don’t be afraid to message me… I really enjoy hearing from you guys!


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. They’re also available at other major retailers overseas. Oh and btw, MAC is now available at Ulta! As far as I know, MAC is only at certain locations and online, so you’ll have to check your local store or the website for more availability info.

The packaging is a sleek, elongated bullet which is clear, so you can easily see the color of the lippie you’re searching for. The cap is pretty much visually identical to the one on MAC’s classic lipstick container, except 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. These have a very soft, tapered type of doe foot applicator that allows for a precise and even application, with no extra brush or blending necessary.

The formula for all of the 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 have not put the kiss-proof/transfer-proof factor to the test myself, I have plenty of customers who have tested that out for me and planted a kiss on their significant other right 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


TIP:   If you feel like liquid lipsticks dry out your lips after a while, as most of us do, make sure you apply a lip balm before putting on your liquid lipstick, and I mean WAY before! I like to put something super hydrating on my lips at least 30 minutes before my liquid lipstick and I just blot off the excess balm so it doesn’t mess up the formula or application of the lipstick going on after it. My favorite right now is Bite Beauty’s Agave Lip Mask because it soaks in really well and quickly and locks the moisture into your lips all day long! I actually just did a review on that product, which you can check out here: Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask.



Photo taken outdoors in indirect, natural sunlight. Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour swatched on NC15 skin.
Photo taken indoors in indirect natural sunlight. For reference, I was a MAC NC15 at the time.

Topped With Brandy:   This is described as a “deep dirty rose” and is a medium to medium-dark, cool toned dusty rose with a completely matte finish. I’ve seen people of all ages and skin tones wear this and it honestly makes a great every day sort of color on everyone! This is a little creamier than a few of the other shades in this line, but it’s still not too thick, so it’s easy to apply without using too much product or having it end up clumpy. It takes about a minute to set and fully mattify, so you have time to make sure your application is even. As you can see in the above photo, these don’t stick to the inner/center part of the lip very well, which is common with any lipstick and especially liquid lipsticks. Luckily, this problem is easily fixable by applying liner all over the lip THEN applying Topped with Brandy. Color payoff is fantastic but depending on your skin tone, this may look more or less cool toned… But don’t worry, that’s not a bad thing because it sort of adapts to be flattering on you whether you’re NC20 or NW50! Coverage is full and opaque using little product. Wear time was about 8 hours before I noticed any fading, which occurred first in the center of the lip. The fading in that area can happen even sooner if you eat food that’s oily or greasy but it’s an easy touch up!

Liners:   You can use SO many liners with this since it’s a pretty neutral type of rosy color, as in it works on everyone… A few of my favorite MAC Lip Pencils, from lightest to darkest, are: Soar (slightly more pinky and lighter, but it brightens up this lip), Whirl (nearly the same color), Plum (a little darker, more plum and cool toned), Half-Red (darker and more reddish-plum), Chestnut (neutral brown that looks beautiful to blend this color for dark to deep skin tones), and Vino (darker and more purple yet, but makes a nice ombre look).

Dupes:   Anastasia Beverly Hills’ Poet Liquid Lipstick is very similar, perhaps a bit lighter and more pink, but they’re close enough, especially if you pair and layer MAC’s Whirl Lip Pencil with Poet! NYX’s French Maid Lip Lingerie is also similar, but lighter, less cool toned and more pink, and not as pigmented. As far as normal lipstick formulas go, the closest thing I found was Whirl, also from MAC, which has a matte finish but is cooler and more plum.

Overall Rating:   5 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   5

Packaging:   5


*** This post expresses my own honest opinion. I purchased this out of pocket and did not receive any type of PR or compensation for this review ***


  1. Thanks so much for this review! I’m glad I read yours because the earlier reviews sort of discouraged me from trying it–but you convinced me to give this a try since yours is more recent (when Mac has straightened any issues out) The color looks perfect and I’m sure this won’t disappoint!

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