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Instigator is a very dark blackened plum with a matte finish. It looks slightly more creamy during the first 30 minutes, but after that it looks completely matte. This shade is SUPER dark. I wasn't expecting that at all, but I'm still happy with it because I like playing with makeup looks even though I won't wear it at the office.
I did experience some patchiness but it was only noticeable in pictures and if I looked closely. It was worst on chapped lips, but much better after a good exfoliation with my Sara Happ Lip Scrub. I wear it over my MAC Prep + Prime Lip, otherwise my lips would be crying all day for a thick coat of lip balm. I found this one to be more drying than my others Matte lipsticks, so I really need the primer.
MAC Dramatic Encounter is glossy and looks more reddish brown. MAC Nighmoth lip pencil is darker and less purple. Covergirl Sophisticated lip pencil is much lighter and less purple.
The MAC Matte Lipstick in Instigator retail for $18 CDN and it's a limited edition.