MAC Cosmetics released a lot of well-loved lipsticks. Beauty girls can attest that any of these bullets were on their must-buy lists when they were just starting to grow their collection. One of the most iconic shades is Ruby Woo, a matte, vivid cool-toned red.
MAC Lipstick in Ruby Woo, P1,100, SM Megamall
Before it became a bestseller, it had an ~interesting~ journey. It was "discovered" by accident. The MAC Cosmetics product developers tweaked another iconic red lipstick, Russian Red.
Gregory Arlt, the company's director of makeup artistry, spoke to Fashionista to divulge the backstory of Ruby Woo. "In the late '90s, MAC made the decision to make all of our formulas globally compliant. So if you were in Japan or Germany, and you wanted to buy Russian Red, it would be the same formula [across the board], as opposed to what's compliant for each country," he explained. The reformulation made Russian Red's texture less matte and more comfortable on the lips, and fans took notice. "They missed that 'drag your lips off' dry, matte feeling," Gregory shared. MAC took the old formula back and never changed it since.
However, James Gager (the creative director back then) and senior vice president of global product development Jennifer Balbier found the less matte version of Russian Red a great color. "They were both like, 'Oh my God, that's an amazing color.' And that's how Ruby Woo was born. The product development team really tried to match Russian Red. It's the same combination of pigments, just put into a different base," Gregory detailed. "It was a little brighter and more dynamic [than Russian Red], and it just became a standalone color."
Ruby Woo was launched as a Retro Matte Lipstick (along with four other shades that have since been discontinued.). It was such a big hit, and it still is MAC's second bestselling shade (the top is Chilli, an intense orange-brown matte lippie shade). According to Fashionista's report, there are seven tubes of Ruby Woo sold every minute! We must say, this is the best accidental beauty discovery we've heard so far.
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