Mac is a brand that I, for one, think is highly overrated. They may be the biggest name in makeup but that doesn’t, for one second, mean that they are the best. If someone tells me that they adore Mac, I always assume that they are new to makeup and haven’t tried some of the better and less overpriced brands out there! To me, Mac are like a label. You pay for the stripes on the side of a pair of Adidas runners just to say that they’re Adidas.
Don’t get me wrong, they do have some great products. I just don’t believe that they are the be-all and end-all of the makeup world the way some people do. It really came as no surprise when I posted a poll on Twitter asking what post people wanted to see next on here and the resounding vote was for my Mac lipstick collection. So today, I’m presenting to you my fourteen Mac lipsticks.
I should point out that I have been collecting these for years since I first started getting into makeup and I did depot several of them to use in my kit when I worked as a makeup artist so they are not the prettiest! I will definitely be bringing them Back to Mac and getting a new lipstick very soon!
I have decided the best way to show you the lipsticks is by finish but at the end I have some comparison photos to contrast similar colours.
Mac describe their mattes as having a creamy rich formula with a high colour pay-off and no-shine finish.
Mac refer to this as a deep-tone beige.
This is one of my most recent purchases and the only matte shade I own. I probably don’t need to tell you that this is one of their colours that recently reached cult status with the return of the 90’s brown lip. I had my eye on it for quite a while but it was sold out for a long time and when I saw it in stock on the Brown Thomas website one day I pounced and bought it. The one thing I was weary about was the matte finish as I had heard horror stories about Mac mattes although I think they are more to do with the retro matte finish.
This may sound strange but when I wore this lipstick for the photos, I was quite surprised by the colour of it. I always pair it with a darker brown lip pencil so I was shocked to see the colour is a lot lighter than I originally assumed. It is a warm medium beige and I think it is quite flattering against my pale skin. However, a girl I use to work with wore this often and I always found myself complimenting her when she did and her skin is a lot darker than mine. I think this is a good all-rounder that will suit most people and nods at the 90’s trend without being a full on mocha. The matte finish is surprisingly comfortable and reapplies nicely throughout the day. I suffer from dry lips so wouldn’t be the biggest fan of traditional mattes but this doesn’t cause my lips to ache, split or chap throughout the day.
This is one of my most worn Mac lipsticks and one I love a little more every time I wear it. If you’re a fan of neutral lips or the 90’s trend, I highly recommend giving this a go.
Mac describe their satins as having a creamy texture that breaks into a soft cushiony feel with medium to full buildable coverage and a satin finish.
Mac call this a muted mauve-pink.
This is another more recent purchase. When I first started buying Mac lipsticks, I always went for the boldest, loudest shades I could find – which you’ll see in a few moments – but I have been lusting over their more muted, every day shades that I see talked about often. Faux is a name that continuously popped up and so I bought it without really putting too much thought into it, just assuming that I would like it.
It is a soft pink-toned nude that is very wearable and perfect for every day although it is a little too light for my tastes. I know that it is a good bit darker than my skin tone and that there is no danger of my lips disappearing with this on but I have been more of a fan of the browner nudes for a while now so this just doesn’t pack the punch I’ve grown to love. With those reservations aside, I still like it and know a lot of others will fall for it, it just isn’t one I reach for too often.
Mac describe this as a light neutral nude.
Myth is a pretty infamous Mac shade and definitely one that divides opinion. Years ago when passing through the airport, I picked up an exclusive gift set designed for creating a smokey eye and this lipstick was included. I was very new to makeup at the time and didn’t really know better – I was just happy to experiment! I wore this lipstick pretty much every day, usually paired with something very black on the eye. May the Lord pray for my soul.
Why would I do this to myself?! I look like I have a bad case of concealer lips. This is a very light peachy-nude which does absolutely nothing to flatter my skin tone. It pretty much just blends right in. Not to mention, it streaks and is very difficult to apply evenly without your natural lip colour breaking through. I cannot get behind this lip colour and I apologise to those who saw me wear it every day. This is just so unflattering on me and I honestly think it could look even worse on those with darker skins.
Mac describe this as a midtonal cream plum.
This is one that had a popular phase about two years ago. It seemed every photo I saw online was of someone rocking this lipstick and I became obsessed. I had to have it. I am a fan of purples anyway but this looked so edgy and fun. Eventually I caved and picked it up.
While the picture looks quite impressive, this was a very disappointing lipstick for me. It didn’t have the bold opacity that I wanted and that everybody seemed to achieve in the photographs I saw online. Of course, I just saw pictures – I didn’t do research on the finish or anything like that. Writing this has inspired me to try this out with some different lip liners to try to achieve a bolder look. This is probably one of the most forgotten-about lip colours in my drawer. I know many people adore this shade and if you like the idea of a purple tone but would be too afraid to rock a straight-up strong matte, this could be one for you to try as it has more of a stained glass finish.
Mac describe this as a soft muted brownish-pink.
I bought this on the same day as I bought Faux when I was branching out into the more neutral side of Mac lipsticks. I wish I had saved my money and only bought this one. This is exactly what I wanted Faux to be so I have no idea why I splashed out on both!
This is a really flattering brown-toned nude that gives a nod to the 90’s trend, much like Velvet Teddy, but doesn’t look dated. This is one of my most reached for Mac lipsticks and every time I wear it, I remember how much I actually love it. This is another that I would highly recommend to anybody. I think this is universally flattering.
Viva Glam Nicki
Mac describe this as a bright yellow pink. It was limited edition and is no longer available.
A quick Google reveals this was released in 2012 which is worrying because A) how old is my makeup collection? and B) where is my life going?! I remember the excitement I felt when this was released as I am a fan of Nicki Minaj and I was obsessed with the brightest of bright lipsticks. This photo does it no justice. This is a screaming neon pink.
The one word that springs to mind with this lipstick is fun. I will never be able to capture it properly in a photograph but this is like a flamingo meets a highlighter. It is shockingly bright and a real stand out shade. Ever since dying my hair red, I haven’t touched a pink lipstick but trying something like this on has really made me nostalgic for them. If you’re good at internetting, I’m sure this is possible to track down somewhere despite it being discontinued. For me, this is a bit of a collector’s piece.
In all, the satin finish wouldn’t be my favourite and I’m actually really surprised that I own so many of them. The coverage is medium to full depending on the shade itself – for example, Twig is opaque but Rebel has a sheerness to it. I don’t find these last on the lips as long as some of the other finishes. I also find this finish to be a little drying, particularly if you are wearing it for the entire day. They do reapply perfectly fine but I find my lips crying out for some moisture after two or three reapplications.
The lustre finish is described as a lightweight formula with easy glide and sheer to medium buildable coverage and a lustrous finish.
Viva Glam V
Mac herald this as a neutral pink with pearl.
I remember owning a few Mac brights and then heading in store and asking one of the artist’s advice on an everyday neutral type shade. She recommended this and I blindly bought it, thinking people who worked at Mac knew everything in the entire world about makeup and whose words were gospel. To be honest, the shade isn’t bad and I wore it daily until it was just a nubbin. It went missing and I found it in my sister’s bag so it is literally inverted in the tube now. It is a neutral peach kind of shade with a translucent finish. It does contain glittery particles which aren’t obvious but which add an incredible sheen-y look to the lip.
This is a nice lipstick. I don’t think there is too much to say about it other than that. It is flattering on my skin tone and has a real glossy looking finish that you will either love or hate. I think this is one of the most wearable out of the Viva Glam range so definitely one to consider!
I am really not into the lustre formula. I find it very drying on the lips and not very long lasting. I also found that once it began to wear away, it could feel quite gritty and the glitter particles became far more apparent. I definitely got my money’s worth out of this lipstick back in the day but I wouldn’t repurchase it and it would make me avoid the lustre finish in future.
Mac refer to this as a creamy formula with smooth glide, bold colour payoff with full coverage and a semi-lustrous finish.
Mac describe this as a deep burgundy.
I have lusted over Mac’s Diva lipstick for a long time and when I finally decided to make the splurge, it was out of stock so I bought Dark Side as a consolation prize. While I still crave Diva, a Google search of swatches has proven there is little difference between the two. This has the slightest hint of purple in it while Diva looks more red but I think it is much of a muchness. Remind me of that when I’m at the counter buying Diva, please.
I love a vampy lip and this is a beauty. I actually forgot I owned this until I pulled it out for this post and it has definitely inspired me to wear it more often. I instantly fell in love with it. I’m not entirely sure why Diva is such a cult favourite and this isn’t often mentioned because this is well worth a look in my opinion. I have a feeling I’m going to wear this to death come Autumn.
Girl About Town
Mac describe this as a bright blue fuschia.
This is a classic Mac shade and one I had to have when I first got into makeup because it was so infamous. As I said before, I was obsessed with bright pinks and so this shade was practically made for me. I was so into this lipstick that I could identify it a mile away. I always knew when it was Girl About Town.
I really think that a few years ago, this was something special but now I believe it is quite dupeable. Every brand has a strong pink. I still love it and think if my hair wasn’t red, I would get a lot more wear out of it. It’s a classic for a reason.
Mac describe this as an amped-up fuschia.
This is yet another bright pink. Girl About Town is much more blue-based while this leans slightly more coral. This is such a fun bright colour and I am huge fan of it.
Again, with my hair I don’t wear pinks although I don’t think this one clashes as much. This is one that always gets a heap of compliments and enquiries whenever I wear it. I think this is less dupeable than Girl About Town and may be even more worthy of cult status!
Mac describe this as a clean pastel pink.
This is a very white and blue based pastel pink and is another that is quite infamous. Back in the day I had turquoise hair and colours like this looked quite quirky and fun with it. Nowadays (am I getting old?) this colour looks absolutely ridiculous on me.
I couldn’t hate this any more. I really hope that it looked better back in the days when I use to wear it! I found the application of this one really difficult too. My lips got a little stained too from all of the swatching but it was hard to get opaque coverage without this going streaky. This is an unusual and out-there shade but it is definitely one that not everybody can pull off!
Mac describe this as a full power coral.
I usually avoid any orange lip colours like the plague – I just don’t like them on me at all. I have seen others pull them off but I am not a fan. I picked this up on a whim one day because it stood out as bright and different. This is probably the one exception in my entire lipstick collection to the no-orange rule.
This is coral enough that it looks flattering on my skin tone and is nowhere near a true orange. It is a shade that absolutely screams summer and is another that this post has reunited me with. I will definitely be getting more wear out of this, particularly in the summer months. When people think of a Mac orange, I think Morange springs to mind but this is far nicer and more universally flattering. If you want to delve into oranges but are a little hesitant, I highly recommend giving this one a go instead!
Overall, the Amplified formula is my favourite. The lipsticks are bold and highly pigmented, the formula is creamy and comfortable to wear, they are long lasting and don’t dry out the lips at all. If you’re new to Mac, I’d start off with one of these. I really can’t fault them!
This texture is defined as a creamy balmy formula with a comforting feel, medium buildable coverage and a semi glossy finish.
Mac describe this as a deep berry.
I bought this several years ago to wear to a cabaret show. I was looking for something dark and 1920’s looking and this was a bit of an impulse buy. It was my first cremesheen finish and I was quite disappointed with the level of pigmentation. I ended up layering and layering but you will never get fully opaque coverage with this.
I don’t have a full face photo of me wearing this as the photographs ended up too washed out to see the colour. I will try and get one up within the next few days though! This colour is nice and probably one for those who shy away from bolder shades. At the end of the post, I have swatched this next to Dark Side and I was surprised at just how similar they are. Dark Side has the level of pigmentation that I prefer though. It definitely isn’t worth getting both.
Mac describe this as a bright clean blue pink.
This was an airport impulse buy a few years back. Again, I just opted for the brightest colour I could see with no research done beforehand. I do love this shade and considering the poor payoff of Hang-Up, this is very pigmented.
You could, of course, ask if I really needed another pink but sure, that is the life of a makeup hoarder, isn’t it? This is another colour that makes me miss being able to rock a bright pink! It is fun, it is bright and the pay off is bold. This is a pink that should be talked about a lot more.
I am not a fan of the cremesheen finish when it comes to Hang-Up because the pigmentation is much sheerer than what I prefer. However, Lickable is bold and opaque so it is probably just something that differs across the shades. This is another that I found a little drying on the lips after a full day of wear, similar to the Satin finish. It isn’t something that would put me off purchasing another cremesheen but it is something to think about if you can’t stand your lips feeling tight or they are particularly prone to dryness and cracking.
Here are the purples swatched side by side. As you can see, Hang-Up and Dark Side are pretty much the exact same colour with the finish being the only difference. Rebel leans a lot pinker next to these burgundies.
This picture of the neutrals shows that Faux and Twig are very similar in tone with Twig merely being a little darker. You can tell here that Velvet Teddy is more matte and Viva Glam V is very pearlescent.
Seeing the pinks side by side, you can really see their differences and that they are all quite unique. Saint Germain is definitely the most blue although Girl About Town and Lickable also lean that way. Viva Glam Nicki and Impassioned are more on the red or coral side.
And here they all are on the lips for comparison.
I would always have labelled Mac lipsticks as up there amongst my favourites across all brands but this post has really brought to light some of their flaws. There is a huge difference between the finishes and some lighter shades (Myth and Saint Germain) are difficult to work with as well as just being really unflattering colours. I am certain that I won’t stop buying Mac lipsticks although I find them very expensive to be more than a rare treat but they no longer impress me the way they once did. I really feel that drugstore and budget brands have upped their game and it is really only Mac’s name that puts them on the top of everyone’s list.
A Mac lipstick will now set you back a full €20 (I remember when they were €16.50!) and are available from Brown Thomas.
What is your favourite Mac lipstick?
What is your ultimate lipstick brand?
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