MAC Carmine Rouge Lipstick Review and Swatches (Prabal Gurung Collection)

Prabal Gurung teamed up with MAC for this collection.  This was released last December 2014 here in Manila. He’s a Nepalese American fashion designer based in New York City.  He’s pretty young at 35. His designs have been worn by famous celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, Lady Gaga among others.

I wasn’t planning to buy anything in this collection when I saw Temptalia’s post on this. But when I passed by MAC’s counter in Glorietta one weekend last December, I swatched Carmine Rouge and I was super impressed by the texture and shade and I knew I had to go home with it.

After seasons of backstage-to-runway beauty partnerships, M·A·C and Prabal Gurung debut their highly anticipated makeup collaboration. The modern glamour and immaculate style of the designer comes to life with M·A·C in an exclusive colour collection featuring smoky, gilded hues for eyes, lips and cheeks in ultra-luxurious, custom gold packaging.

MAC Prabal 3 MAC Prabal 1 MAC Prabal 2

The packaging looks immaculate. Come on, look at that. It’s a far cry from the usual MAC bullet that can be a little boring. This packaging reminds me of YSL Rouge Pur Couture lipsticks. It has a weight on it too, so it feels more luxurious than the black bullet. Packaging gets an A+  from me!

Read more about this shade after the cut. 

When I was swatching this in the counter, the SA said that this is a better version of Ruby Woo since this glides more easily and doesn’t have a super matte texture. She showed me swatches of the two and they looked pretty similar, if not, Ruby Woo is a little bit deeper. Just a little bit, and of course more matte. She’s right about the texture too,  Carmine Rouge is waaaay more comfortable than the retro matte finish of Ruby Woo or Ririwoo. I owned Ririwoo before so I know how drying that feels on the lips. Since it’s matte, it clings and stains your lips so it’s yes, it’s long-wearing. You won’t really need a touch up unless you eat super greasy food throughout the day. I love this shade for days when you’re not up to wearing a lot of makeup. I’d wear this, quickly do my brows and put on mascara and I’m good for the day (or night). It’s a bright red that leans a little bit on the pink side.


I swatched my red lipsticks and I think  NARS Cruella is the most similar to Carmine Rouge – CR being a touch redder. The rest looks more orange than CR. The last photo shows how this fades throughout the day – that’s taken after 6 hours. I had lunch and did not re-apply.  Well, it really does not fade as you can see. It’s still bright  as stoplight daylight.  It looks slightly orange in the picture though, I think it’s just the lighting. It was taken under fluorescent light.

MAC Prabal 6
Carmine Rouge swatch

MAC Prabal 7 withtextUpload

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I am not sure if this is still available in MAC stores. If I am not mistaken, this was the last collection launched here in Manila. It’s not cheap at 2,000 pesos though. I really got it for the packaging and I was looking for a more comfortable version of Ruby Woo. If you’re on a tight budget, I suggest you skip Carmine Rouge and get Ruby Woo or Wet and Wild’s Stoplight Red instead as they say it’s a pretty good dupe.

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