Skip to main content

making faces :: the mystique of mystic

back when i did my "30 days of lips" project, wearing a different shade of lipstick every day, i closed off with mac's "mystic", my favourite mac shade of all time and one of my favourite shades period. although it had been part of their regular assortment for many years- as long as i've been a mac customer, which would mean about a decade- they discontinued the shade in 2010. since i'd never heard anyone else mention this as a personal favourite, i'd assumed that the discontinuation meant that there wasn't any real interest in the shade.

oh how wrong i was.

of all the search terms that lead people to my blog, consistently among the top is "mac mystic lipstick" or some variation thereof, especially searches for "best replacement" or "closest match". so this shade does have its fans and they're just as lost as i am trying to figure out how to fill the mystic void. ladies, i want to help you. and by help you, i mean let you benefit from months of experimentation on myself.

first, to describe the original mystic is a little tricky. i did find that the formula changed over the years that i bought it, which is one problem, but it's also just a difficult to pinpoint colour. i generally classify it as a cooler red, meaning that it has an undertone that is more blue than orange/ brown. however, when i was comparing it to other shades i thought might be similar, i did notice that it looked brownish in next to many of them. go figure.

it's described as a reddish plum and, indeed, it does kind of look like the skin of a red plum. it's what i like to call a "classic" red- not a full-on screen siren in-your-face red and not a bloodstained vampire red either. it's a very classy shade, looking timelessly conservative and at the same time very rich and sexy. it also has a lovely sheen- nicer than on a lot of mac's other satin-finish lipsticks- that catches the light and responds very well to flash photography. it's very much opaque and, while the colour can be intense, it fades to a very nice gooseberry-red shade over time.

despite my searching, i haven't come up with a true dupe for it, but listed below are the closest i've found.

l to r :: chanel rivoli, mac party time, mac mystic, ysl rouge vermillion, guerlain grenade
MORE INFO AFTER THE BREAK...


mac :: party time

i'm assuming that the reason mac thought to discontinue "mystic" in the first place was because they'd introduced a newer variation on the shade in their permanent line when they launched their "cremesheen" formula.

like "mystic", "party line" is a plummy red, medium to dark in tone. cremesheen lipsticks have a shine and an emollient consistency that has won them many fans. personally, i like the formula, although i find it can be a little drying. like many cremesheens, "party time" doesn't have a lot of nuance to it- there's no shimmer and, although swatches look similar on the arm, i find you can't ever get "party line" to build up to the intensity of "mystic". it's not quite as opaque either, but it is a very pretty shade. i have to admit that, while you can clearly see the difference under certain light, at a quick glance they look very close on the lips.

yves st. laurent :: rouge vermillion

this is part of the ysl "rouge pur couture" line, one of my very favourite lipstick formulas. rich and opaque, "rouge vermillion is a little lighter than "mystic" and a little closer to a true red, but it's still restrained enough that it looks similar. very, very elegant.

chanel :: rivoli

this is one of chanel's "rouge coco" lipsticks, which means it's intense and opaque, with a satiny sheen, much like the original "mystic". it is noticeably bluer/ pinker and a little lighter, which means i think it would work as a substitute chiefly for ladies with cooler complexions.

guerlain :: grenade

while this captures the understated red aspect of "mystic", it is quite a bit lighter. it looks more the way "mystic" looks after it's faded a little. "grenade", though, is the only shade i found that has the same quality of looking cooler or warmer depending on the light and, while the differences are clear, it is still in the same family.

since party time was the closest match i've found [makes sense that mac would be best at duplicating their own colour], i thought i'd show you how both shades compare with all other things being equal. here's a quick look i tried with both shades. [it also features mac's new "prolongwear" eye shadows. i picked up a few and i've been quite happy with the satiny texture and the selection of very wearable shades. i'm less happy about the price, but at least you get a lot of product. they are long-lasting, although honestly, shadows last pretty well on me to begin with, so they don't seem that much more effective than most other powder shadows.]


you are not seeing double
you are not seeing double












mystic
products used

face ::
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
diorskin nude concealer "001"

eyes ::
mac prolongwear e/s "sweet satisfaction" [frosted deep beige]
mac prolongwear e/s "one to watch" [soft terracotta brown]
nars e/s "night star" [sparkly light yellow-peach]
mac superslick liquid liner "desires & devices" [deep swampy green]
party line
mac pigment "partylicious" [super-bright tuquoise]
mac eye kohl "smolder" [black]
benefit they're real mascara

cheeks ::
mac blush "breezy" [shimmery red raspberry]

lips ::
mac l/s "mystic"
mac l/s "party line"


any other potential matches you've found?

Comments

as long as you're here, why not read more?

eat the cup 2018 :: welcome, comrades!

even regular followers of this blog might be surprised to learn that the longest-standing tradition on more like space is not tied to politics, makeup, mental health or even writing, but sport. i started the quadrennial eat the cup "challenge" [in quotes because i'm not actually challenging anyone but myself] way back in 2006 as a way of combining my growing love of soccer, my love for cooking and my still-new blogging habit. i determined that, as i followed the world cup, i would cook dinners to honour the winners of different games, meaning that the meal would, as far as possible, feature traditional dishes from those nations. in subsequent iterations, i started to do dishes that were combinations of different winners from the same day or, as the competition wore on, combinations of the different combatants.

finding certain ingredients can be a challenge, even in a diverse city like montreal [and i live on the cusp of some of its most diverse neighbourhoods], but what…

mental health mondays :: alarming

we have a huge mental health problem. it can be solved and that will take work on a lot of different fronts. people are killing themselves in astounding numbers. people are killing themselves at a greater rate than at any time in the last twenty years and the situation is getting worse. relationship problems, financial struggles and [or course] mental health issues all contribute to the staggering rise, along with a number of other factors. there are no rules about who kills themselves, although there are some groups where the risk is higher.

improving mental health care, reducing the desperation that financial struggles can cause, and finding effective ways to deal with problems like substance abuse take time because they require larger scale action, but relationship-building is something that is built from the ground up. so while we're all calling for change on a larger scale, it is at least somewhat mollifying to know that we can do some things that make a difference without h…

making faces :: written in the stars [in lipstick]

are themed collections of things you like dangerous to you? once you've started down a rabbit hole, does it become a necessity to complete the set, lest you be left forever feeling like something is missing from your life? are you interested in lipsticks? then stay away from the astrology by bite collection/ series that is rolling out month by month throughout 2018.

the collection is pretty much exactly what you think it is: a lipstick a month inspired by the zodiac sign that begins in that month. a lot of people are interested in getting the one for their own sign. but that's not me. i'm interested in collecting the whole damn thing. it helps that bite's amuse bouche lipstick formula is one of the nicest on the market and that i've been weeding through my collection of lipsticks to find those that have started to "turn" [smell like crayons or grow dry] so that in theory, i have room to add more. [you have enough lipsticks for three people who wear lipsti…