POPSUGAR Photography | Ariel Baker
POPSUGAR Photography | Ariel Baker

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Growing up, I didn’t think I had much in common with Taylor Swift. I mean, one of us sang in front of millions of people for a living, and the other did imaginary sold-out world tours in the shower. Still, there was always something I loved about the star, and that’s her affinity for a bold red lip.

Whether she is fresh-faced or wearing a full beat, Swift has been known to keep her signature lip color close by, and ever since her romance with Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce became public, fans have been obsessed with finding out her go-to lipstick shade, particularly the one she’s been wearing at his games and during the couple’s date nights. Turns out it’s the Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Legendary Wear Matte Lipstick ($34) in the shade Elson 4, a formula extension of its popular preexisting shade.

As someone who prides herself on being a red-lipstick connoisseur, I knew that I had to try this one out for myself. Plus, after watching the video of Swift and Kelce post-concert in Argentina, I figured what better way to see if it’s really worth the money than to put it through a kiss test? Thankfully, my fiancé makes it a point to indulge in my shenanigans, so read ahead to see if this formula beloved by Taylor Swift is actually worth picking up for yourself.

About the Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Matte Lipstick

  • The entire LiquiLust line has 14 shades with both matte and shimmer finishes.
  • The shade Elson 4 is a blue-based red that provides a whitening effect to the teeth.
  • The formula is nondrying and has a soft matte finish.

What I Like About the Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Matte Lipstick

When applying the color for the test, I carved out my lips with my favorite red lip liner, the Lip Bar Straight Bawse ($10), just to make sure that the lipstick didn’t bleed. I then applied one coat of the liquid lip and let it dry for a little over two minutes to ensure it set. Immediately, I liked how opaque the formula was after just one swipe. Additionally, the tear-drop shape of the applicator made it easy to get to the corners of my lips without having to deposit a ton of color that I’d later have to wipe off.

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While I was waiting for it to dry, I enjoyed how velvety smooth the lipstick felt. I’ve tried my fair share of formulas that have been matte but to the detriment of my lip’s moisture levels. My experience with this one was noticeably more comfortable.

Kiss Test For the Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Matte Lipstick

POPSUGAR Photography | Ariel Baker

For the actual kiss test, I made sure that my partner had no product on his lips before laying a big smooch on him. Of important note: we both kept our mouths closed to make sure that if there was any transfer, it would strictly be because of lip-to-lip contact — not saliva, tongues, or teeth.

After the kiss, I noticed some slight transfer onto his mouth, so I waited another moment to see if the formula needed to dry a bit more, and kissed him again. There was still some transfer the second time around. I waited about five minutes and then kissed the back of my hand lightly with the same results. As you can guess from my findings, the Pat McGrath LiquiLust Lipstick isn’t smudge-proof, per se. (If you’re looking for one of those, my favorite long-wearing red lipstick is the Maybelline Super Stay Liquid Ink ($8, originally $11), which truly does not budge.) Still, the LiquiLust formula is slightly more comfortable on the lips than most other formulas on the market, and has more of a velvet matte finish, similar to the Lisa Eldridge True Velvet lipstick ($36).

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POPSUGAR Photography | Ariel Baker

What to Consider About the Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Matte Lipstick

From my results, I would say that this formula is not exactly transfer-proof and recommend using a lip liner when wearing it. This doesn’t seem to be an issue for Swift (there were quite a few red kiss marks present on Kelce’s cheeks earlier in their relationship), but if you want something to stay put all day, this might not be for you.

I personally like the color and formula itself, so when I want to have it on for a while, I’ll just bring the tube with me to reapply as it rubs off during the day. That said, if you’re looking for a liquid lip that feels comfortable and not drying, it’s worth trying. Or, do what I’m going to do: buy it in a few neutral shades so that the transfer isn’t as obvious as it is with such as bold color like red.

Where to Buy the Pat McGrath Labs LiquiLust Matte Lipstick

You can buy this lipstick at Net-a-Porter, Sephora, and the brand’s website.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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