I'll start off by saying that I do find MAC lip colours pretty expensive (especially considering I get my Studio Fix foundation from them for only £7 more than the lipstick and £5 less than the two together), but it was a case of me finding a shade I really liked. I think if you do just really love a particular shade you might as well go for it instead of buying 2 or 3 cheaper lipsticks which aren't quite a perfect dupe. I don't think the pencil was a hugely necessary purchase (I easily could've found a similar one elsewhere for less) but I was in a splurge-y mood...
I generally find matte lipsticks difficult to deal with, but this one was comparatively easy to get on, even when I hadn't put Vaseline on my lips beforehand (which does ruin the matte effect a bit). I generally don't use a huge amount, so it goes pretty far for me, but it is easy to build up the look for a brighter red colour.
Top: Chili Matte Lipstick (three coats)
Bottom: Chicory Lip Pencil
As you can see the matte lipstick is actually reasonably glossy compared to the pencil, which may be why it goes on so easily. The pencil is also a little darker so can be worn with more brown-hued lipsticks. It is also possible with these lip pencils not just to line your lips, but fill them in completely before applying the lipstick on top of it. I do this and I think the browner shade of the liner is why this red suits me better than other reds (this is why I've reviewed these two products together).
Top: Chicory over Chili
Bottom: Chili over Chicory
Both swatches show a heavy application in a well-lit rom, so I think it looks more of a conventional red than it is in reality, it really isn't a glossy 'Hollywood' red, it's quite subdued and earthy with definite terocotta tones. This is how it looked when I filled in my lips with the Chicory pencil before applying Chili on top (I also exfoliated and moisturised my lips beforehand):
* It goes on easily compared to other matte lipsticks I've tried
* By applying more or fewer coats the lipstick can have a very different look (as you can see in the difference between the swatch and the picture of it on me), and another look can be achieved by using the pencil differently
* It seems like it's going to last me a while
* It's a really unique colour I haven't seen a decent dupe of on the high street
* It's perfect for browner skintones and for people who are a bit scared of a full-on red
* It's really long-lasting, which is perfect for a night out
* However you put it £27 for a lipstick and lipliner is pretty steep
* The fact that it can look very different depending on how much you apply and how you use the pencil, you have to be careful when applying or it can end up looking similar to a conventional red
* Can still have a slightly drying look (as with most mattes)
Value for money: ***