Every time I visited the MAC counter at Myer, Plumful would always call out to me before I could even pick up the lipstick and turn it upside down to confirm what shade it was. I'd already been heavily persuaded it was a must-have with Estée calling Plumful "probably [her] favourite MAC lipstick of all time", and this post by Cassie only added fuel to the fire. Even a somewhat negative review from Pam did little to dampen my resolve. It was only a matter of time before Plumful would be mine.
l-r: MAC Plumful, Australis Boogie Woogie, Revlon Soft Rose, Revlon Sugar Plum, Korres Wild Rose
Back in the day when Sarah Michelle Gellar modeled for Maybelline, I ventured into the world of lipstick for the first time, invariably finding myself drawn to some kind of unflattering, ageing (for a 13 year old), dark plummy rose colour. I can't help but feel that Plumful is like an updated, improved version of those lipsticks. The colour just seems very mature-looking and doesn't fit the mold of the pastels or brights I normally go for that I associate with being fresh, youthful and fun. I view lipstick as generally falling into two categories: "my lips but better" (some subdued peachy-pinky-nude shade), or an easy way to experiment with colour and sport something a little bold, unusual and attention-seeking. I don't tend to gravitate toward the more conventional, conservative shades that darken the lips beyond the MLBB spectrum, but not in a loud way.
Having said that, I was genuinely surprised at how many shades I have in my collection that are very similar to Plumful. Take Australis Colour Inject Mineral lipstick in Boogie Woogie — can we say dupe? The only difference to my eyes is the Australis is more opaque, not as glossy and sheer, slightly lighter and brighter with less purple. Otherwise they are the same. Revlon ColorBurst lipstick in Soft Rose is more brick red than Plumful, also a tad more brown. Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Sugar Plum is similar in texture, but not as magenta/fuchsia as Plumful. It's closer to Soft Rose in colour, more of a dull, slightly purplish, rosy red. Korres Lip Butter in Wild Rose has that same bright fuchsia tone of Plumful but is sheerer, more glossy with a tinted lip balm consistency, otherwise very close in colour.
I feel Plumful is perhaps more flattering on pink-toned, paler complexions (it looks stunning on Emma for example) than warmer, more yellow skin tones. For those uncomfortable with statement-making brights or chalky pastels that can potentially wash the face out, this lipstick might be an ideal pick. The main thing I like about it is the Lustre finish, which I find hydrating and lightweight, non-staining, sheer but buildable to full colour without feeling drying, and softly glossy without being overly shiny and reflective. It gives the lips a kind of saturated, plump appearance, especially with multiple coats. Plumful was a little on the drier side initially than the also Lustre Patisserie, but became softer and more "melty" with continued use. It's what I'd wear to run errands on the weekend or for a job interview, but not to a party, concert or evening out.