Lips: MAC's Lipstick in "Pure Heroine" (LE) [MAC x Lorde 2014]

Hi everyone. Today is the second to last day before my vacation starts, and while I'm excited, a plethora of things also makes me feel uneasy and stressed. I've been working a lot of hours and that plus my daily exercising has led to daily headaches, so I've been totally out of it. This post could have been written weeks ago, as the product I'm reviewing made it to my doorstep the first Friday of June. By the way, happy June everyone, and happy summer soon, too. We're in the year's gem month, which is already more than halfway over. (I'm biased; it's my birthday month.)

I saw Temptalia's review of this product in my Facebook feed before I even knew what collection it was from. I don't know or care about Lorde. The color, however, instantly caught my attention. I feel proud (and poor) to say that I love trying out all kinds of colors: purples, oranges, mattes, frosts, pastels, deep/rich tones, cool tones, warm tones - oh,  you get the point. I love being able to mold my appearance so that I can trick people into thinking I'm a certain kind of person, with a certain kind of style. I don't want anyone to know who I am - or maybe a human ditto* is exactly who I am.

*Pokemon reference. 

In any case, it turns out that "Pure Heroine" is one of the two items making up the tiny MAC x Lorde 2014 collection, which is apparently only available on MAC's website and in a very, very select few stores - I believe one or two of the three (is it three?) are located here in the disgusting city of New York. In saying that, I feel partially guilty for claiming my own from the online stock that people everywhere else have to fight through. Not that there was much fighting for this one. In fact, it's still in-stock on MAC's website at the time of this post.

So, let me refrain from making this introduction any longer and let's get to the review already.

Name: Pure Heroine
Net Wt.: 0.1 oz./ 3 g.
Price: $16.00
Finish: Amplified

On MAC's website, "Pure Heroine" is described as a "deep plum." I think that best describes the color, though I'm mainly going off the swatch that you'll see in a bit rather than the color in the tube itself. The bullet of this lipstick is incredibly dark - almost misleadingly so. It's the same kind of bullet as the ones we saw in the Punk Couture collection last year - and yes, I will be mentioning the two lipsticks I picked up from that collection near this post's end.

Was "Pure Heroine" named "Pure Heroine" for a reason? I think there is some connection or inspiration or something from MAC's now permanent "Heroine" lipstick, but I really don't know the details about it. ***EDITED TO ADD: Pure Heroine is apparently the name of Lorde's new album. Told you I didn't know a thing about her! Haha.*** In any case, unlike "Heroine" or the two lipsticks that come to mind from Punk Couture 2013, "Pure Heroine" is in the beautiful amplified finish. It has great color payoff, glides onto the lips, feels creamy and moisturizing, and has a lightly glossy finish.

Here "Pure Heroine" is swatched on my hand, and its truly deep, plum color comes to life. It is a mixture of purple, red, and, by consequence, the berry that the two result as when combined. The mixture of these colors is what makes "Pure Heroine" remind me so much of other colors I own from MAC, while simultaneously being completely different from them all. I'll get more into that in a moment.

Like nearly all amplified finish lipsticks, "Pure Heroine" appears on my lips as it appears swatched on my hand. It's a gorgeously deep color that looks great against my NC15-ish skin. I adore the plum tones that vary depending on the lighting, and think it looks great even now during spring's end and summer's beginning.

Lip swatches of "Pure Heroine" taken on two different days in different intensities of indirect natural lighting.
LEFT: Taken today.

The above picture is a great example of what I mean when I say "varying plum tones." To me, a plum is comprised predominantly of red and purple, and in the above two pictures - both lip swatches of "Pure Heroine" that differ only in lighting - the left swatch appears more purple, while the right one appears more red.

In the following full-face pictures, the same is evident. Like the above lip swatches, these pictures were taken on two separate days, in two separate intensities of indirect natural lighting. Yep, the commonplace battle between me and my room's window lighting.

RIGHT: Taken today. (Sorry that their order doesn't correspond directly to the previous lip swatches!)

And, lastly, another full-face picture from today:

Before I get into comparisons between "Pure Heroine" and other MAC lipsticks I own in the plum/purple/vamp family, I want to mention that in all of the 'swatch' photos, "Pure Heroine" photographs a hair or two lighter than it actually appears in person.

Now for comparisons! Brace yourself, because this will be quite picture-heavy.

"Pure Heroine" reminds me of three other MAC lipsticks I own, all unfortunately limited edition: "Goddess of the Sea" (Alluring Aquatic 2014), "Instigator" (Punk Couture 2013), and "Punk Couture" (Punk Couture 2013). I don't have a picture of all four lipsticks beside each other in their tubes, mainly because three of the four have misleadingly dark bullets (as I mentioned earlier), so if you're interested in seeing the other three lipsticks themselves then feel free to check out my reviews here ("Goddess of the Sea") and here ("Instigator" and "Punk Couture").

First, hand swatch comparisons:

LEFT TO RIGHT: Goddess of the Sea, Pure Heroine, Instigator, Punk Couture.

"Pure Heroine" brings these three other MAC lipsticks to mind because I feel like I see tones of each of the three peeking through it, at different times. In the above swatches alone, it most closely resembles "Instigator" while having some of the lightness of "Goddess of the Sea" and the subtle hint of purple of "Punk Couture."

The best way I could think of to further show these similarities was by showing a row of lip swatches, in different combinations. I have three separate combinations to show you, and I'll leave it up to you to decide which two of the three lipsticks would best seem to resemble "Pure Heroine" if they were combined. I did not actually combine said lipsticks in the following pictures - I simply put lip swatches of them beside the lip swatch of "Pure Heroine," so you can view them side by side.

LEFT: Goddess of the Sea
MIDDLE: Pure Heroine
RIGHT: Instigator

LEFT: Instigator
MIDDLE: Pure Heroine
RIGHT: Punk Couture

LEFT: Punk Couture
MIDDLE: Pure Heroine
RIGHT: Goddess of the Sea

Personally, I think "Pure Heroine" has bits and pieces of all three.

Overall, I love "Pure Heroine," even though I know not a thing about Lorde. It's in the same color family as my Punk Couture lipsticks, but in the perfect amplified formula that glides on full-pigmentation and makes my lips look smooth and full - even in a color of this depth and intensity. The rich plum color will look flattering on most, if not all, people, too. If vampy lips are your thing, definitely look into picking up "Pure Heroine."

As I mentioned earlier, "Pure Heroine" is the limited edition lipstick in MAC's MAC x Lorde 2014 collection. It is still available on MAC's website for purchase, so get it while you can if it seems like your kind of color.

Thanks for stopping by, and here's to the upcoming summer. 'Til next time. ('<>')>



  1. Wow this colour looks amazing! Really suits your skin tone! Pure heroine is the name of Lorde's album. :)

    1. Hey Melanie :D Thank you for the kind compliments ^_^ I just heard that bit of info on a video I watched today - it turns out the whole thing regarding "Heroine" that I remembered hearing about was referring to the actual lip look Lorde sports in the collection's promo image (lol). Anywho, it really is a lovely color. :)

      ~nikki ('<>')>

    2. Yup, its her signature lip look! But its interesting, on her the colour looks darker than on you, almost more vampy.

    3. Lol! And the pictures don't even completely translate the depth/intensity of this color when I wear it. x] I either need a better camera or have to reconsider my lighting situation. x_x