Beauty Product Reviews

review and dupes: mac punk couture

January 30, 2014

After hearing one too many people wail about how MAC’s new Punk Couture lipsticks are sold out everywhere, I thought I’d share some makeup wisdom.


Guess what?

MAC actually carries fairly-passable dupes of both Studded Kiss and Instigator in their regular range.

For some crazy reason, the local MAC staff either don’t know this or don’t care enough to recommend options that would make a sale. I’m going to go ahead and blame Singapore’s stifling policies on LGBT-pride here; I refuse to believe that the fabulous drag queens who staff literally every other MAC store in the world would have missed that beat.

Now I’m not a fabulous drag queen. Or a makeup artist. Or even particularly good at doing my own makeup. However I did pass colour theory at art school, which I’m hoping qualifies me for this roundup. In any case, consider this a Plan-B for everyone else who was late to the Punk Couture party.


Quick tip: The trick to nailing the matte, dark lip look is to not skip on lip liner – clean lines are kind of a must with such dramatic colours.

Now, on to the good stuff. Diva, from MAC’s Matte range, is a pretty decent stand-in for Studded Lips – it builds to the richest, most beautiful oxblood I’ve seen. And while it’s not an exact match, I’m pretty sure anyone looking for the perfect dark red is going to love it – it’s been my go-to drama colour for a couple years now. For liner, I use Sephora’s Nano Lip Liner in #09 Pleasant Plum.


In lieu of Instigator, I’d recommend Soulfully Rich from MAC’s Pro Longwear Lipcreme range. Applied normally it does show up more burgundy than dark purple…


…but there’s a way to get it to look like a thick application of Instigator, or at the very least a cross between it and Hautecore.


Remember that bit about lipliner? I couldn’t find an exact match anywhere so I used MAC’s Bordeauxline, which is actually an eyeliner (you can use eyeliner on your lips, but not vice-versa). Colour-wise, Bordeauxline is spot-on…but it’s way more pigmented than the lipstick, so you’ll have to either blend your outlines inwards with a brush or fill your lips all the way in with it to avoid uneven wear. For this look, I did the latter before putting Soulfully Rich on top and was rewarded with a really dark almost-purple-almost-Instigator.

Honorable mention:


Miss Behavin by Benefit has actually been discontinued, but I’m including it because I just wanted to show you that a glossy raisin colour is a great way to test the water a little before really going over to the dark side. Most major lines carry a similar colour at the end of their spectrum – Revlon Colourburst in Grape is a pretty close match. Because it has a fairly thin consistency, I skipped liner and just used a lip brush to paint this on carefully.

Well, there it is – my first makeup review. Was that as weird for you as it was for me?