MAC Retro Matte - Ruby Woo

MAC Retro Matte - Ruby Woo

4.4

681 reviews

83% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.3

Price: $$$

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Age: 19-24

Skin: Acne-prone, Olive, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Black

I really wish this lipstick worked for me. It's touted as a classic but it definitely isn't a colour that will suit everyone.

I am Asian with cool olive skin (NC15-20). I used to love this because I kept hearing that it was a colour that worked on everyone. 5 years on after getting this, I realise that this just isn't for me. My lips aren't pigmented so when I slap this on, it's like "WHAM". It's very eye catching but obnoxiously bright (like a fire engine red). On me, it makes my lips really stand out in an unflattering way because they're thick and makes me really self-conscious. It's just too strong and maybe this is because I am a low contrast person who has fair skin and dark hair and eyes. (I've uploaded a photo to demonstrate how it looks). I personally prefer MAC's Russian Red to this because it's a muted darker red which isn't as stark.

The formula is OK - it's definitely not budgeproof. It's slightly difficult to apply but I don't mind it that much. It goes on great with the MAC prep and prime lip primer, which makes it less drying and last longer. Whilst pricey at $36 AUD, it definitely lasts a long time since I don't really wear red lipstick anymore. I've had my Ruby Woo since 2012 and the formula remains unchanged and in excellent condition. Love the tube and the packaging - it's simplistic and minimalistic. I think it's worth trying but I can't really recommend this to people who have low contrast colouring or those with olive skintones.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.



on 6/8/2017 9:49:00 PM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

After going through my lipstick collection and struggling to find a classic red that fitted my aesthetic of vintage velvet red, I decided it was time to remedy the situation. I didn't want to spend too much money (although I live in Australia and that's just bound to happen). My Chanel 19 and Dior 999 was okay on, but it was just that, an okay red but nothing spectacular and usually at the end of the night no matter what I did it would look like I've made out with a clown.

After doing a decent bit of research, I've narrowed my selection down into MAC's Russian Red, Lady Danger and Ruby Woo. Russian Red appealed the most to me after looking at online swatches, but I thought I better go try it on in store after previous purchasing disasters (I'm looking at you, MAC Ravishing). The lovely lady at David Jones counter was so kind and I tried them on one by one. They were all beautiful, but nothing really stood out to me until I put on Ruby Woo.

In the past I have heard of Mac's most famous lipstick, but being a warmer toned person (NC15, Nars Gobi) I didn't think the cool toned red would suit me and never thought of purchasing it. The one or two occasion that I swatched it in store I was put off by the dryness of Ruby Woo being constantly dehydrated person that I am. Ladies, do yourself a favour and TRY IT ON YOUR LIPS. It immediately changed my lips to a beautiful classic vintage red and looked velvety in texture. I had no make up on but I finally understood why in the olden days ladies would feel presentable even without other makeup as long as they had red lipstick on, because I felt beautiful just by wear this alone. It felt like I've put on feminism in a tube and the power of all women foremothers running through my veins.

I have noticed the online swatches doesn't do this beautiful lipstick justice, but it still looked beautiful on ladies who had much more tanned skin tones than mine. Ladies, don't hesitate or be put off by the cool-toned description or the dry feel of the lipstick, with adequate prep work I think anyone could wear this.

Tl;dr: Beautiful on lips, warm and cool toned friendly, day and night makeup friendly, pale to tanned tones friendly, vintage/glam aesthetics, makes your lips look velvety and confidence booster.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.


on 6/2/2017 8:27:00 AM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Other, Other, Other

Eyes: Other

I absolutely love the color, and the cool undertones, who works so good with my complexion. It is, however, extremely dry. I use the MAC prep+prime lip first to make it apply smoothly, but reapplying is a nightmare.


on 5/20/2017 10:09:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brown, Other, Medium

Eyes: Brown

I really, really wish this was one of MAC's regular matte formulas instead of Retro Matte. As many have stated, this is a beautiful, universal red. When I first bought it and applied it, it seemed a little dry but still went on pretty smoothly. A month went by and I opened up the tube again to apply it. The lipstick texture was so dry that it seemed to drag across my lips. I just can't wear it. It's not comfortable. If I want a drier texture like that, I'd get a liquid lipstick because at least those apply smoothly. Since I purchases it, it just sits in my drawer. If you don't mind the dryness, this is an absolutely beautiful red, but it's just not for me. It does help if you apply chapstick or MAC's Lip Primer first. I noticed too that as it wears it seems to get a bit patchy. I'm going to cross my fingers and wish for a reformulation. Until then, Ruby Woo....

2 of 2 people found this helpful.


on 5/13/2017 1:51:00 PM

Age: 19-24

Skin: Normal, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Love this color and the packaging is cute. When I first tried this it was fine on my lips, using it again later, the lipstick felt really dry to put on. I decided to put a little oil on the lipstick just to make it feel softer. It's great when its not too dry. It smells a little sweet, very little not over powering. I don't like sweet smells but I can ignore it.


on 4/27/2017 11:37:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Other, Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

the most universal red lipstick shade it literally suits every skin tone.


on 4/10/2017 12:41:00 PM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Normal, Medium, Cool

Hair: Black, Wavy, Fine

Eyes: Brown

Oh Ruby Woo! I am so torn about you!
On the one hand the colour is absolutely gorgeous on me - incredibly lifting, flattering and brightening to my whole face. Vibrant, look-at-me red that garners instant compliments from everybody. But on the other hand, the formula is notoriously dry, and I definitely feel it when I use this lipstick. I usually just suck it up when it comes to lipstick, but this is REALLY dry. When I bought my first tube of Ruby Woo I bought MAC Prep and prime along with it, and that helped somewhat, although it made applying this a two-step process which was kind of annoying, but then I lost my prep and prime :/ I also lost my Ruby Woo, which made me panic and get another tube....and then I lost it again, and I got my third tube.. haha. I had already decided I couldn't live without this lipstick. My conclusion is, this is fine in the more humid months like spring and summer. But when the dry, punishing winter comes, my lips really can't deal with this without a primer or balm underneath, and then it just gets to be too much trouble. But I do have two tubes of this knocking around! And it really is beautiful. A well-deserved reputation overall.

This is a little more orange than Russian Red, for those trying to decide between the two, and brighter. Russian red is definitely more moisturizing, too, if that's any help.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.


on 4/4/2017 8:36:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Other, Other

Eyes: Black

beautiful true red, long lasting, not that drying, love this.


Age: 19-24

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Wavy, Coarse

Eyes: Brown

HG red lipstick (Russian Red comes after) and here is why: Pro: - long lasting formula - matte finish - the real true red (my opinion) - fits every skin tone - makes you feel glam and sexy - not for the faint hearted but I like that Cons: - price but you get a real High End product, and you'll tell yourself: It was worth the cash


Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Love, love, love this lipstick!
I´m 40 now and used this lipstick for years.
For reference: I´m a MAC NC 10-15/ BB warm ivory with pale skin and a warm undertone. I have amber eyes, black lashes and eyebrows and brown hair.
The paleness of my skin makes it hard for me to find a good red, because I don´t want to look like a clown with red lipstick. Many red lipsticks look too dark or too clownish on my lips.
But this is a beautiful, blue-based clear red on my lips, very vintage, very glamouros. The matte formula makes it look classy, old hollywood and never ever tacky or cheap and not too old-fashioned. Despite the vintage-retro feeling this lipstick has, it also manages to look very cool, fresh and modern at the same time. Very important as I don´t want a red colour on my lips, that gives me a grandma-feeling.
Of course, the colour is bold and bright. I hadn´t had the courage to wear this colour when I was very young, but now, I love to wear this red. Makes me feel sophisticated, grown up and chic, but also sexy and goes with everything from torn jeans to a little black dress.
I wear it as a daytime lipstick and for me, it´s really suitable for every occasion. Whether I got to work and wear formal office outifts or go to breakfast /coffee with my girlfriends in used jeans, t-shirt and chucks, this always makes me look fresh and vibrant.
For years, I tried all of the nude tones, the my-lips-but-better tones and none of them did me any favours. I looked tired and washed out no matter which nude I was trying. For me, red lipstick does the trick of enlighten my face and counteract my somtimes sallow complexion.
To make it look young, fresh and wearable in daytime, I follow the rule to pair it with as little make up as I can get away with. Meaning for me, I wear mascara, brow gel, concealer, tinted sunscreen, subtle highlighter and blush, which sounds like a lot of products, but is actually a no make up look (which we all know is make up that doesn´t look like make up). I try to keep the base as light as possible and never ever use much eye make up with this lipstick. This make up plus messy tousled hair gives me a perfect effortless french-model-off-duty-with-red-lipstick look.
As I tried it on my best friend, who has pale skin with pink undertones, it was still beautiful and worked for her, but looked more yellow-based. Seems it develops differently on every woman, which is why I don´t claim this works on every woman.
The formula is a matte, which clearly isn´t everbodies darling, but I prefer this extremely matte formula over any other formula out there. Yes, it is drying, but I love the lasting power this formula gives the lipstick. You got to decide, if you can tolerate the formula, because it has the big plus of lasting and lasting and it´s easier to maintain than other red lipsticks. I had unnerving experiences with more moist lipsticks like Ladybug from MAC, which needs to be reapplied continuously and tends to bleed, which is not a good look.
Throughout the day, I usually drink several cups of coffee and tea, have breakfast and lunch and only have to reapply this lipstick once. Plus it doesn´t transfer too much on coffee cups or disappears when you eat, which I like.
Since it´s drying, I prep my lips with good layer of Eight Hour cream overnight and the lipstick goes on beautifully.
If you´re still on the search for a red lipstick or unsure about how to wear it, here are some videos form Lisa Eldridge, which I found very helpful:










I love this lipstick and I encourage you to try it at the MAc counter if that´s possible. I dare to say, it looks good on many women, but you´ve got to test, how it works on your personal skin and lip tone.
For me, Ruby Woo is instant glamour in a lipstick tube and incredibly flattering.
Love it.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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