MAC Retro Matte Ruby Woo Lipstick – Review and Swatches

Mac Ruby Woo, an iconic and retro matte lipstick is truly a Queen when it comes to reds. Timeless and classic, a red lipstick is a beauty staple that never goes out of trend. Red lips are synonymous with confidence and elegance, as well as in adding some serious glamour points. As Audrey Hepburn rightly said, “There is a shade of red for every woman”; you just need to select the one that’s perfect for you. Today we are going to talk about the shade that supposedly suits every skin tone and is universally flattering. Mac’s Ruby Woo is probably the most talked about shade when it comes to red lipsticks. MAC got all the limelight and fame from its iconic lipsticks especially mattes. Everyone raves about Ruby Woo and today I will share with you all if the hype is justified.

What it is:  It is a very matte vivid blue-red Lipstick from the MAC retro matte collection. MAC introduced the Retro Matte lipstick range in 7 beautiful shades, perfect for those who prefer timeless glamour and elegance. Ruby Woo is known as the most iconic and incredible lipstick shade in red.

What it Claims: It claims to be a long-wearing Lipstick formula with intense color payoff and a completely matte finish. It also promises to be long wearing, non feathering and fade proof.

Ingredients: Dimethicone, Isoeicosane, Kaolin, Ceresin, ParaffinIsononyl Isononanoate, Microcrystalline Wax, Silica, Carnuba,Hydrogenated polyisobutene, Vanillin, Tocopherol, Glyceryl linoleate, PVP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Methicone, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Mica, Titanium hydroxide, Iron Oxides, Blue 1 Lake, Bismuth Oxychloride, Carmine, Red 6, Red 6 Lake, Red 7 Lake, Red 28 Lake, Red 30 lake, Yellow 5 Al Lake, caprylic, orange 5 lake, red 33 lake, yellow 6 lake, yellow 10 lake

My experience and review of MAC Retro Matt Ruby Woo Lipstick

I received Ruby Woo as a birthday gift with matching headphones and it couldn’t get any better than this.  I love the formula of MAC lipsticks and the brand has a lot of famous reds like Lady Danger, Viva Glam Cyndi, Brave Red, Diva and Russian Red. But I’m very picky when it comes to reds so let’s see if the favorite red lipstick of Taylor Swift is worth the hype.

MAC Ruby Woo retro matte lipstick packaging
MAC Ruby Woo retro matte lipstick packaging

Packaging:  MAC doesn’t distinguish its ‘Queen’ product with the regular ones when it comes to packaging. Ruby Woo comes in a regular MAC black cardboard packaging with full description printed in white. This lipstick is housed in the MAC signature metallic case in charcoal color which speaks elegance and class. I love the fact that the MAC bullet-style tube lipstick cases are both user and travel friendly.

Fragrance: I have to admit that I’m swooned over with the waxy vanilla fragrance of MAC lipsticks. Did I say it’s delicious? This mild vanilla scent fades away in a few seconds, so you don’t have to worry if you prefer unscented products. The scent in this product comes from ‘Vanillin’ (check ingredients), which is not a skin irritant.

Swatch: Check the picture below- Swatch in both natural and sunlight

MAC Ruby Woo lipstick swatch
MAC Ruby Woo lipstick swatch

My Skin Type: Dry

My Skin Tone: Medium, Olive with yellow undertones

Texture and Application: I make sure to exfoliate and moisturize my lips before application of any lipstick. Exfoliation removes any dry or flaky skin and ensures a smooth application of lipstick. I applied lip balm 20 minutes in advance allowing it sufficient time to soak in my dry lips. After blotting the excess balm with tissue paper , I defined my lips with a matching lip liner. Since the lipstick is super matte in nature, using a lip liner becomes essential to get definition around the corners of your lips. Instead of using a lip brush which I normally do, I applied the lipstick directly with the bullet and Whoaaa…I got such a strong color in just one stroke! I have never before felt so much fierce and confident wearing a shade of red. It flatters my medium, olive skin tone perfectly and I feel it is a shade for everyone. Ruby Woo gives those Hollywood retro vibes to the one who is wearing it, earning some extra sass points. Since the formula is so matte, it kind of tugs at your lips when you first apply it.  As you layer it, the problem seems to go away and the application becomes smooth. The texture of Ruby Woo lipstick is similar to that of a lip liner or a lip crayon and you will have to apply it with firm hands. It’s extra dry but I love how it feels so weightless on the lips. If your lips are on the drier side like mine, it will be difficult for you to apply it without using a lip balm/lip primer underneath.

MAC Ruby Woo lipstick texture and application
MAC Ruby Woo lipstick texture and application

Pigmentation and Finish: Ruby Woo lipstick is neither too warm, nor too cool; just the perfect shade of red. The undertone of this shade has the power to bring out the best of many different complexions. The color is a classic red, so gorgeous and opaque on lips. It has intense color payoff as it claims and instantly brightens up the face and the mood. Post application of this lipstick, the color slightly varies in different lights. In cool lighting and indoor settings, it looks the blue-red shade it claims; and in the sunlight, it looks more like a warmer, orange-red shade. Nonetheless, the shade difference is subtle and the color is going to complement both pale and dark complexions. The finish of Ruby Woo lipstick is the kind of matte you won’t find anywhere else. There is not even a subtle hint of sheen or shimmer and it stays true to what it claims. The downside is it will show off every dry crease in your lips, so unless your lips are well prepared, avoid using it in haste.

Wear and Staying Power: After a couple of hours of wear, I noticed small chunks of lipstick coming off from the center of lips as I eat or drink, so I would say touch-ups may be required. Other than that, the edges of the lips remained super intact and didn’t budge. The lipstick being a matte formula doesn’t bleed or transfer. I have even worn Ruby Woo once in extreme weather conditions where there were snow and heavy rains, but it didn’t bleed a bit. Though it is definitely fade proof but I won’t completely agree with the non feathering aspect. It can sometimes flake on lips depending upon the weather conditions and wear but won’t fade. So, the overall staying power is great making Ruby Woo stay powerful and intact for 4-5 hours.

MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick review
MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick review


  • Universally flattering matte shade of red
  • Intense color payoff
  • Bleed and transfer proof
  • Good staying power
  • Travel friendly
  • Doesn’t fade easily
  • Opaque and has great coverage on lips


  • Accentuates fine lines on lips
  • A bit drying on lips due to super matte formula
  • Feathers sometimes
  • Touch ups required

Available: Maccosmetics/ Debenhems/ Arnotts/ Nykaa

Price: $17.50/ €20/ Rs 1500

DB Rating: 4.5/5

Recommendation: A happy, vivid and a perfect shade of red, Ruby Woo is a cult-favorite. Every time I wear it, I’m showered with a lot of compliments. Just a lip balm underneath, and you are all set to walk the ramp and slay the world. Strikingly sexy yet sophisticated, this shade is highly recommended if you are ready to get noticed and ooze confidence. If you haven’t yet found your perfect red , give Ruby Woo a chance! xx


  • Kritika Bissa

    Wow!! Such nice blog and it is explained so nicely that even the beginner can understand and make a decision on the purchase 🙂

  • Harini

    Oh..i love this lipstick from Mac.. Brought another one too called Velvet Teddy..i Mix these two up for a sober look and use ruby woo for ocassions.. Btw..loved ur blog..will be a regular visitor now. 🙂

    • idivablush

      Thanks a lot Harini. Velvet Teddy is one of the best nude shade lipsticks ! Would love to see your look in both the shades.

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