MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl: Take ’90s Lips for a Whirl With This MAC Matte

Published in: Lips, MAC Makeup

mac whirl lipstick

Wearing MAC’s new Matte Lipstick in Whirl ($16)

5 Things you can do TODAY to transport yourself to the ’90s

  1. Listen to your favorite Salt-N-Pepa CD (or, alternately, cassette tape) on repeat, and sing/rap the lyrics to Whatta Man aloud, because you know them back and forth, and inside out, and upside down. My man is smooth like Barry, and his voice got bass! A body like Arnold and a Denzel face!

  2. Slip on a flannel shirt as a nod to the crispy Seattle weather (or to just stay warm in front of the refrigerator)…
  3. On that note, quote the movie Clueless with ABANDON.

  4. Dust off your little black backpack (it’s in the back of your closet next to your Doc Martens), and use it as your purse for the day.
  5. Wear new matte rosy brown MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl ($16), one of 22 matte shades in the upcoming The Matte Lip collection, coming to the MAC website May 28 and MAC stores and counters June 11.

GIRL, funny story. My friend Jen’s been more or less wearing the same color of brown matte lipstick since the ’90s, and I’ve been bugging her to break out of her comfort zone for years.

Corals, pinks, reds, nudes — seriously, any shade other than that same ’90s matte brown, but now that the ’90s lip, also known as (airquotes) “the Kylie Jenner lip,” is back in style, I don’t feel like I need to bug her anymore, LOL!!


The lip Jen’s loved all these years has made a comeback, and you can bet she’s ready for it. 🙂

Me, on the other hand, to be honest, I require some handholding. Back in the day I loved wearing matte brown lips, and it was all I wore, pretty much 24/7, but I’m having a hard time now re-seeing myself in the color.

I’ve gotten attached to fun brights and nudes!

But, in the spirit of breaking out of comfort zones, I’m trying to take my own advice by giving these circa-1995 colors a whirl.

Enter MAC’s new Matte Lipstick in Whirl ($16).

mac whirl lipstick

A swatch of MAC Whirl on my NC42 skin

Freaking Whirl…

If I had a dollar for every time I responded, “MAC Whirl Lip Pencil,” whenever someone asked me for a Kylie Jenner lip recommendation, I’d have enough to take a trip around the world. Twice.

Yup, Whirl Lip Pencil. It’s a matte rosy brown in the MAC permanent line, and it’s been around for ages.

Whirl Lipstick is Whirl Lip Pencil’s fellow lip-loving cousin. Both are a similar rosy brown with a flat matte finish, but the Lipstick feels thicker and isn’t as dry.

Not to say that the lipstick is moisturizing, because it isn’t. In my experience, the MAC Matte formulation is pretty drying, but that’s not unusual for matte lipstick. If you stay hydrated and befriend a moisturizing balm (particularly if you apply it regularly at night before bed), this matte rosy brown, and MAC’s other mattes, should not suck all of the moisture from your lips (at least not every ounce)…

After wearing it the past couple of days, I’m surprised by how much I like it. Because of its rosy tones, it’s not like wearing a full-on matte brown (which I’m sooo not ready for).

And, uh…this is probably going to sound weird, but it’s almost the same color as my gums! — so I guess you could call it an MGBB color. My Gums But Better. Haha!


I like it, and I’ve gotta give it and the other MAC Mattes major props for lasting as long as they do on my lips. The wear time is so boss. Whirl lasts six or seven hours, and that’s through a meal and lots of chugging water from my bkr bottle.

mac whirl lipstick

Wearing new MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl ($16)

I think if you want to do the whole ’90s lip thing but aren’t ready to jump feet-first into brown or taupe territory, Whirl’s pinkish brown could be a lovely way to test the trendy water.

Whirl joins the MAC permanent line when it arrives with the rest of the MAC The Matte Lip collection on the MAC website May 28 and at MAC stores and counters June 11.

PRICE: $16 (one of 22 lipsticks in the MAC The Matte Lip collection)
AVAILABILITY: Permanent, and coming May 28 to the MAC website and June 11 to MAC counters and stores
MAKEUP AND BEAUTY BLOG RATING: A- (retro beautiful, but yes, pretty drying)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 22 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Tulipthecat says:

    I really want to get Whirl when it comes out. It’s on my list of lippies to buy. I remember in the 90’s when I would wear the dark brown MAC lipsticks my mom would just stare at me and say “Ummm your lipstick is too dark…what kind of color is that.”

  2. Bernadette says:

    I literally just bought this last weekend! This is a shade that looks great on practically everyone!!

  3. JackieC says:

    It looks like I’ll be adding this color to my next shopping list. How does this color compare to Mac’s Brave and Velvet Teddy?

  4. Rhia says:

    Just as I thought, it looks as awesome as the lip liner!

  5. Lauren says:

    You Crack me up! And go, Jen! This brings me back to my high school lip color, but better. I love this on you!! Is it identical to the lipliner?

  6. Pavithra says:

    Your hair looks great! 🙂
    This one reminds me of a slightly subdued version of MAC’s Half Red pencil. The swatch also looks similar to Creme in your Coffee.
    Pavithra recently posted … Balmy, Pigmented goodness – MAC’s Huggable Lip Colors

  7. kwmechelle says:

    I’m so ready do take the plunge, while rocking out to Express Yourself, courtesy of Salt N Peppa, of course. I’m a bit nervous about whether or not I can pull it off but that won’t stop me from tryin. And while I’m at it, I might whip out my overalls with the one strap up, one strap down style just to take it back & make it real authentic 🙂

  8. Divya says:

    Now I want this lipstick EVEN MORE! Love how it looks on you Karen! xx
    Divya recently posted … Keeping Tabs On My Face Mask Stash

  9. E.D. says:

    Pretty sure I need this one. My lips are basically that color anyway, so it could be a matte YLBB.

  10. I would love to try on Whirl, just so see how the color translates on my lips. Too bad it’s so drying though… It’ll have to get along really well with my Labello lip balm then so I can mix the two.
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Review | MAC Wash & Dry Permanent Press Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadow, Matte Bronze Bronzing Powder & Domestic Diva Lipglass

  11. Jen says:

    I love this! MAC Whirl is my favourite lip liner ever (just amps up my natural lip colour so nicely), so this lipstick must be mine! And I’m actually old enough to remember wearing shades like this in the ’90s, so I totally feel justified in bringing this colour back once again 🙂

    Looks great on you, Karen! xo
    Jen recently posted … Dr. Blogger!

  12. sara says:

    You know, this is a different than that of the 90’s. I see more pink in this one. I see in the top pic at least it looks like a lovely nudish shade on your skin tone. Very lovely

  13. Fieran says:

    Whirl looks great on you Karen but what looks even better is that plaid shirt! Where’s it from? 🙂

  14. Kim says:

    Oh, you’re making me laugh as usual. You know Jen and I are like sisters from another mister with our 90s lip color love. I’ve never completely broken the habit so I’m glad it’s back in style. So much more flattering on my lips than tangerine. 🙂

    Speaking of grunge, have you seen the Kurt Cobain doc on HBO? I think I sobbed through all of it. So very sad. Makes you want to squeeze your loved ones tight. 🙁

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim,

      I’ve seen the doc but haven’t watched it. I was curious but I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it, to be honest. I’ve been watching quite a lot of HBO — but mostly light stuff that I can watch before bed. Have you seen the show The Comeback starring Lisa Kudrow? It’s really funny, and she is great it in. I also started the Mildred Pierce mini series with Kate Winslet, who I ADORE.

      • Kim says:

        I completely understand. It’s not that I expected it to be happy but I guess I wasn’t prepared to be that affected. It’s well done, for sure.

        I haven’t seen either of those but thought the ads for The Comeback looked funny. And it’s strange that you mention Mildred because I watched the movie on TCM a week or so ago (with Joan “no more wire hangers” Crawford). When I was looking it up, I saw that there was also a miniseries. 🙂

  15. Michele DiCola says:

    You didn’t mention your pretty bag!
    Where did you get that ?
    That size is my new obsession !

  16. Fancie says:

    I loooove this lipstick on you! I grew up in the 90s but wasn’t old enough to wear makeup so I’m super excited to see the trend coming back. I can’t wait to get my hands on this and Stone!
    Fancie recently posted … On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

  17. Bea says:

    Wow, Karen that is so your color! It looks freaking amazing on you! New subbie btw 🙂

  18. KK says:

    It looks pretty on you! I was born in 1976, so I was a major brown lip 90’s lover. Who remembers revlons, ‘toast of new York’? That lipstick was EVERYTHING!

  19. Amy says:

    Love this post! I’m a 90s girl. Do you know how Whirl compares to MAC Brave?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge