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June 20, 2016

MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil In Stripdown

As I delve deeper into my new found love of lip liners and continue experimenting with various nude lip shades to find the perfect candidate to compliment both my pout and skin tone, I have in the meanwhile cozied up to MAC’s Lip Pencil in Stripdown ($16.50 / 0.05 oz). Lip liners have steadily become one of my favorite makeup products because thanks to them I discovered the magic of contouring and shaping my lips into plumper, voluminous proportions.

While I first started my new adventure with a few drugstore lip liners – read about them here -, and the Nars Lipliner Pencil in Tonga ($22 / 0.04 oz) – reviewed here -, I found another favorite in Lorac’s Alter Ego Lip Liner in Socialite – reviewed here – later down that same road. Stripdown was a color on my to-get list and when my Nordstrom mini beauty haul arrived, I finally had the famed pencil in my possession. MAC lip liners have quite the decorated reputation on the market, and after seeing multiple Youtube beauty gurus using it, I decided I had to have it. The reason I said I had to cozy up to Stripdown is contributed solely to the fact that the actual shade was so much more darker in person than I thought it was going to be. Hence, I rarely buy makeup online because I have to see what I’m getting in person. Stripdown is a warm peachy flesh nude with a brown undertone – and it was the brown undertone that initially scared me off instantly due to reliving from some seriously bad 90’s trends. Don’t get me wrong, the overall color is gorgeous but on me I already knew it was going to look terrible.

That was until I started having fun with it.

One of the best things about makeup is that you are allowed to have fun and experiment with it. In that same vein, I decided to use Stripdown in multiple ways. First I used it to perfectly line and shape my lips, then proceeded to fill them in entirely with the shade. Not too bad, but I’m kind of stuck in this image of me not being able to pull off dramatically colored lips. And by dramatic, I mean nothing darker than a true nude. Sometimes I even find those too saturated. I know, I’m being a baby. Next I decided to contour and define my lips to make them appear larger by outlining, blending the edges inwards and then drawing 3 strokes on both the upper and lower lip. On top of that I used a lighter matte lip color and the contrast of using a lighter lipstick shade over a darker base created a very curious outcome. Nothing bad at all,  the darker base simply manipulated the lipstick color and I really liked the finish of it. Using the darker lip pencil as a quasi- primer opened up a lot more options in lip colors, even when my personal lipstick collection is on the petite side.

above image: Stripdown swatched by itself

The texture of MAC’s Stripdown is very creamy and when using it to apply the color went on incredibly smooth without dragging or unflattering chunks coming off the tip. The sharp tip provided accurate shaping, although just like with any other traditional lip lining pencil where a sharpener is required, the tip may never be the same again. When sitting by itself on my lips the product felt soft, not sticky and did not dry them out the longer it sat plus prevented any type of bleeding and feathering. The consistency is nice and provides even color time and time again. I was very surprised by how long-wearing the pencil was on its own, I would say about a good 4 hours before the intensity started fading and that was through some serious fluid and food abuse I threw at it.

above image: Stripdown swatched next to MAC’s Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme D’ Nude – reviewed here -.

Overall I really like the product itself, albeit I said that I cozied up to the color I might need some serious therapy or some kind of intervention that stops me from subconsciously limiting myself to nudes only because I think nothing else will look good on me. Other than that, it’s great for anytime wear, is long-lasting, has a beautiful finish and seamlessly pairs with just about anything I tried it with. 2 Huge thumbs up.

Below I swatched Stripdown in comparison to the other nude lip liners I currently have in my collection

MAC Cosmetics Lip Pencil in Stripdown ($16.50 / 0.05 oz) | Lorac Alter Ego Lip Liner in Socialite ($17 / 0.01 oz) | Nars Lipliner Pencil in Tonga ($22 / 0.04 oz) | Revlon ColorStay Lip Liner in Natural ($8.99 / 0.01 oz) | Rimmel Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in Natural ($6.99 / 0.01 oz)

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