Pick Your Poison: Red Water, Hebenon, or Toxic Tale?
Originally from their Venomous Villains collection and recently re-promoted in RED RED RED, MAC’s Toxic Tale makes its comeback just in time for Valentines, also known colloquially as the ‘Day of Inflated Chocolate Prices’.
I stalked the MAC website for hours before snatching it within the quarter of an hour it was released as I feared that it would sell out before I got my hands on it, and I’m immensely proud of my decision to do so as Toxic Tales proves to be one of the more popular products in the collection.
On a side note, I have also promptly fell in tragic love with another limited edition product. Though the Joker wasn’t involved in the production of this drug, I’m sure they added their own dose of Smilex to Toxic Tale – else I wouldn’t have such a permanent grin stuck on my face while wearing the lipstick. It is that good.
Wear time is average, keeping up with me for around 3 hours. But then again- nothing ever lasts with me (even lipliners and YSL Glossy Stains only stay 4 hours max on me) so I’m not really bothered. Past that it fades into a punchy Shirley Temple stain on my lips. Since my lips are naturally quite pale but mauve toned, it makes me look like I just binged on Ribena.
Formula is pretty standard for MAC. Just enough slip to apply pigmented, with a comfortable lightly moisturizing finish. This doesn’t really provide any moisture, but this doesn’t emphasize any problem areas for me as well. One little problem I had with Toxic Tale was that it always tried to feather around my top lip area.
Touted as a bright coral with a Satin finish by MAC, it is a mid-toned coral with a dose of neon pink added in to produce the most stunning S/S season shade. Toxic Tale also creates the illusion of bigger, fuller lips due to its brightness and opaque coverage.
Though I’m wearing it full on in the swatches, my preferred way of donning this beauty is by applying a thick layer of lip balm over my lips and swiping the lipstick over my top lip once before pressing my lips together. This leaves a bright wash of coral over my lips and just lights up my complexion, making me look healthy and awake. This is also a great shade for gradient lips. If you’re a bit colour shy (*raises hand*) this is a great way to wear brights.
While swatching Toxic Tale it struck me that I already had a similar shade – albeit more expensive (a bit over £10 more) – but it is still a permanent product and the formula is also quite stellar.
MAC Toxic Tale and YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 52 Rosy Coral (aka. the rumoured lip colour of Gianna Jun in My Love From Another Star) are pretty much dead on dupes for each other. The formulas aren’t the same, but the finish is very much on point. Toxic Tale leans a little more red, while Rosy Coral leans slightly more warm and pink with more of a white base – on the lips, you can’t tell the difference. Both shades are very bright!
All in all, this is one of the better limited edition lipsticks MAC has released as they tend to be so divided in quality and I urge you to go check it out if it hasn’t sold out near you. Being such a versatile colour, if you’re weak against corals, pinks and brights – this is a lipstick worthy of holding a place in your collection.
Disclaimer: Red Water is a cocktail of alchemic catalysts (FMA). Hebenon is from Hamlet and Smilex is – of course – the signature toxin of The Joker.