Monday, 16 September 2013

A Guide to MAC's Lipstick Finishes

You have already read about the different eye shadow finishes that MAC has to offer here. There is one more product in which MAC has innumerable finishes, even more than the eye shadows. Yes. The lipstick. And can you guess the number of finishes (atleast the ones I'm aware of)? 15 of them and I'm not including the glosses!!. This guide will hopefully help you to know a bit more about the characteristics of each finish and the next time you are at a MAC store, you will know exactly what to buy. I've separated the finishes into two - Permanent and Non-Permanent (the ones that are not part of the regular line but release with LE collections) and have included names of shades to explain better. So lets get started.


1. Retro Matte - Till a few days back, MAC had only two shades in this finish - the iconic red Ruby Woo and its close sibling, the RiRi Woo. But looking at the huuuuge fan following of these two lipsticks, MAC recently launched the Retro Matte collection which features six new shades. I only have Ruby Woo so can comment only on that. It is by far the best red I've worn and 10 million women across the world will probably agree with me on that. Ruby Woo has excellent pigmentation and lasts for a really long time because of the matte finish. The downside is that it's very very very dry and you have to scrub your lips and wear a balm before applying the lipstick. And this goes for all kinds of lips-dry, not dry, all of them. If you prefer a hydrating formula and like your lipstick to have a glossy sheen, the Retro Mattes are not for you. But if you love intense color that goes on super matte, you need a Retro Matte in your life for sure.

2. Matte - This is my favorite MAC lipstick formula. Not as drying as the Retro Matte and lasts for nearly six hours on me. They give full, intense coverage and goes opaque in only one swipe. They have no shimmer or shine and go on very matte. Some famous MAC mattes are Russian Red, Lady Danger, Diva etc.

3. Satin - These are similar to the mattes but with a hint of a sheen and are not as drying. They give me about 4-5 hours and are very well pigmented. Examples are Rebel, Amorous, Cyber, Captive etc.

4. Amplified - Again similar to the mattes and satins in that they give opaque coverage but are much less drying and have a slight sheen. Wear time is around 4 hours. Examples are Vegas Volt, Chatterbox, Double Shot, Tabla, Brick-O-La, Cosmo etc.

5. Amplified Creme - My favorite finish after matte and as the name suggests they are creamier than the Amplifieds. Creamy, very well pigmented, fairly long wearing (about 3 hrs on me) and gives a slight glossy finish to the lips. They are absolutely not drying. Popular shades are Girl About Town, Craving, Fast Play, Up The Amp etc

6. Cremesheen - Finish is very creamy with a glossy shine. They are the softest of all MAC lipstick formulas so you have to be a bit careful while dealing with these. Pigmentation is fairly good. Maybe you do need a couple of swipes to get intense color but they are most comfortable on the lips. Because of the creamy texture, it is not that long lasting and you will need to re-apply after a couple of hours. Again, does not dry out my lips. Some shades are Creme Cup, Lickable, Speak Louder, Shy Girl etc.

7. Cremesheen Pearl - This is a relatively new addition to the line of permanent lipsticks. The formula is essentially Cremesheen but with a bit of frost added to it. Examples are Coral Bliss, Pink Pearl Pop etc.

8. Frost - Even though the name suggests the presence of shimmer, not all of them have the same level of shimmer in them so you really have to swatch these in store. Wear time of these is not that great (about 2 hrs) and they are not even that well pigmented. Buy only if you like shimmer on your lips. Examples are Tanarama, Angel, Costa Chic etc.

9. Lustre - Again a hit and miss range for me. They all have varying degrees of pigmentation so better to swatch at the store. Lustres usually give sheer coverage with a glossy finish and last for about two hours. I am not a fan of sheer coverage and stayed away from Lustres till I tried Midimauve a few months back. It is such a pretty color and has very good pigmentation. Other popular Lustres are Syrup, Hug Me, Patisserie, Lustering, Jubilee etc.

10. Glaze - Very very similar to Lustres but these are probably even sheerer. These also have a glossy finish and last for about two hours. Hue, Hot Tahiti and Pervette are some examples.

11. Pro Longwear Lipcreme - MAC says that this lipstick lasts for 12 hours but honestly, the one I had, Booyah did not really last for that long. It had a wear time of around 6-7 hours and felt very comfortable on the lips. No bleeding or feathering. Even though this range is a long lasting one, the lipsticks are not matte. They have a semi-matte finish, moderately creamy and are slightly less drying than the permanent mattes. Examples are Unlimited, Overtime, Prolong etc.

12. Sheen Supreme - The formula is a lipstick lipgloss hybrid. These have a part shine, part gloss finish and provide moisturisation. The wear time is around 3-4 hours. Some of the lighter shades supposedly settle into lip lines but overall they are comfortable to wear and are not sticky. Some shades are Bare Again, Behave Yourself, Full Speed, Can't Resist etc

13. Mineralize Rich - These have been made permanent pretty recently and cost much more than the normal lipsticks. Said to have a formula composed of 77 minerals, these have a super soft, melty texture with a creamy finish and rich pigmentation. The color glides on opaquely, but still gives a nice sheen. They are extremely comfortable to wear and last for about 3 hours. Some shades are Lady At Play, Divine Choice, Grand dame etc.

Non Permanent 

1. Mattene - They sound matte but are actually quite creamy and comfortable to apply. I love this formula and really hope that MAC makes it permanent someday. Now they only release them with limited edition collections. Mattenes give completely opaque coverage and don’t dry my lips out like the Matte finishes do. They last for an impressive 4 hours before they begin to fade. Some LE shades are Camden Chic, Delectable, Eden Rouge etc.

2. Dazzle - This range is specially for the glitter lovers and these lipsticks have a lot of chunky glitter in them. Unless you want your lips to shine and sparkle like a disco ball, stay away from these. The formula is gritty, frosty and not that pigmented. Some LE shades are Caliente, Win-Win, Sheer Seduction etc.

So there you go. All 15 of them explained in a single post. Do let me know if I have missed out on any finish. Will definitely update the post to add. Hope this is helpful to everyone who is reading and specially to Shivani, who requested for it :) .

What is your favorite MAC lipstick finish? 

Post a Comment