MAC’s Ruby Woo Retro Matte lipstick is a long-time cult favorite matte red. It’s a bright coral red, but the undertones aren’t overpowering – sometimes it even looks a little cool on me in certain lighting. I’m late to the game on this one!
I recently traded in some empty MAC cosmetic containers at a MAC store with their Back to Mac program and picked Ruby Woo as my reward. I’d heard about it for years but never tried it because I thought I couldn’t wear a matte. Was I ever wrong! Ruby Woo has some dimension despite being completely matte, and that makes it more flattering than some mattes.
One of the most striking things about this lipstick is how long it lasts on the lips. I get 6 hours of wear easy, if I only drink through a straw during that time. If I eat a meal, it generally only needs a mild touch up right in the middle. I’ve even eaten a salad with oil and vinegar and only had the oil take off a portion of the lipstick – I had expected it to be completely gone.
As you’d expect with a matte, the texture is dry. I don’t find it actually dries my lips out at all, nor does it make the skin pucker in that unattractive way some dry shades can do. It feels more like a lightweight second skin that’s dry rather than creamy. I have come across people who find it drying, which probably depends on what condition your lips were in to start with. You can put a little balm over it carefully without upsetting the finish. It’s also smart to put balm on your lips a half hour or so before you’re going to apply Ruby Woo, and that sets up your lips nicely for the dry finish.
I’m lucky enough not to get feathering with many lipsticks, but if it’s going to happen it’ll be a red. It has not happened with Ruby Woo at all. If you tend to have feathering, there are a few tricks to keep it at bay. My favorite is to gently paint a thin line of lip balm, Vaseline or concealer outside your lips to act as a barrier against the lipstick. Lip Primers can also help, as can clear lip liners which are basically the same effect as painting the balm or Vaseline outside your lips, or red lipliners.
It has the usual MAC vanilla scent that is light and dies away quickly – I never smell or taste it once it’s applied. This is a remarkable lipstick in every sense, and I totally see myself re-purchasing.