Wednesday, August 3, 2011

MAC Sublime Culture: Cremestick Lipliner

MAC Cremestick in Sublime Culture seems to be one of those cult products that everyone has in their stash, so no one bothers to review it.  I am, however, fairly new to the MAC scene (I always just preferred other brands, and MAC was so overwhelming with its 2309482034 collections a year and um, unique MAs), so I figured I'd give it a shot.  I was looking for a lip liner because some of my darker lipsticks tend to bleed, and because I've never tried one before.  I was curious.  I picked Sublime Culture because it seemed like a nice, neutral shade that could be quite versatile.
MAC Sublime Culture Cremestick Lip Liner.

It's a retractable pencil, which is nice - the tip does go back down again, and you don't need to sharpen it - you just twist up for more product.  The product itself is creamier than I'd imagine some pencil products to be, though I've never tried any other lip liners, so, uh, take that with a grain of salt.  It goes on smoothly enough, and doesn't drag like I thought it might.  It's not as creamy as a lipstick, but the tiny tip does allow for more precision.  However, I did find that if I wanted to fill in my lips (as I would to provide a base for an intense red lipstick, for example), I ran through the entire tip shown above, and then some.  Maybe I just have fat lips?  My concern, however, is that if I put this through daily use, it might not last very long.  Can't say for sure, though, and let's be honest - I don't wear lip products that often.  If you do, that might be something to consider, though I don't know what kind of alternatives there might be.
My lips, filled in with MAC Sublime Culture.  I love the peachy pink color - kind of a "my lips but better" shade.  This was taken in direct sunlight.
I love the color and the matte finish; it's not overly drying, though I did notice that it was a tiny bit sticky, which surprised me.  But I guess that makes sense, if you're going to layer lipstick over it.  Since I was going for a bronzy, natural look the day I played with this, I wore MAC High Tea over it.  The presence of lip liner made the lipstick go on more evenly, smoothly and opaquely than normal; it also seemed to bring out High Tea's lustre finish (which I actually find is almost frosty).
MAC High Tea (lustre), layered over MAC Sublime Culture.  Shot taken in direct sunlight.
I guess that's what lip liners are supposed to do - bring out the beauty of your lipsticks, and make them more...lipsticky, if you will (yeah, I'm making up words here, but it's fantastic fun - you should try it).  I love High Tea like this!

Since I originally bought this to see if it tidied up my darker shades, here it is again, swatched under Dior's Serum de Rouge in 850 Red Serum.
Dior 850 Red Serum layered over MAC Sublime Culture.
It seemed to dilute the color ever so slightly and didn't seem to give the Dior much more staying power, either, but that could definitely be a fault of the Dior - it's emollient and moisturizing and has a lot of slip.  I think I prefer it without the lip liner underneath, though - it doesn't seep into my lip lines as much that way, and the color is a bit more intense.  I prolly need a red lip liner under red lipstick, but eh.  Too much effort!  Also, sorry for the messy application; I was trying to see if applying lip liner first would make the lipstick application somehow easier, but no.  I also kind of didn't line my lips fully - you can see the edge of my lips past the lipstick.  Why is putting on lipstick so hard???

Anyway.  Back to the lip liner.  I do like it - it's a nice neutral color, and easy enough to apply.  The retractable pencil is also great; I much prefer it to something I'd have to sharpen.  I actually like the color of the pencil alone, also, so maybe I could just slick some lip balm over that and call it a day?  I don't know.  What are your cool, creative uses for lip liner?  Do you have a favorite?  Otherwise, I'd have to say, I'm not sure lip liner is entirely necessary.  It does even out my lips and make more a more even application of lipstick, but I think I could live without it; that'd be one less step in my routine!  The exception could be: wearing lip liner under matte lipstick.  Is this necessary?  I will have to see - NARS Mascate is coming in!

$14.50 for 0.009 oz at MAC counters, stores, or online.