BEAUTY collection

MAC Lipstick Collection, Review + Swatches

18:48Alice Grace

mac lipstick collection review swatches beauty blog

MAC. A vast array of makeup must-haves, the most extensive shade ranges, a constant stream of run-and-get-it, limited edition collections and those futuristic, sleek stores full to the brim with hypnotising hues; it's enough to send any makeup lover into a frenzy. And that was me at one point. Constantly googling swatches, compiling most-wanted lists, lusting after anything and everything MAC. Like a moth to a flame, I was unable to innocently walk past a store or counter, without 'popping in', like a guilt-ridden addict. 

Now my whirlwind love affair has calmed down and I'm left with a MAC collection that I half adore and half regret, especially when it comes to my MAC Lipsticks. Not necessarily because the lipstick quality sucks, but because I struggle to wear them often enough to really get my moneys worth. Don't get me wrong, I still pick up a new purchase every once in a while, but now I'm much more clued up on what suits me and which lipsticks I know won't be abandoned, untouched, at the back of my drawers.

In total, I have eleven lipsticks from MAC, all from the permanent collection, ranging from subtle nudes, through to some of the most vibrant shades of my entire lipstick stocks. Whatever colour you can think of, chances are MAC will have it. No matter what skin tone, hair colour, or eye colour you have, you'll always find something to flatter you. Whether you fancy something less out-there and prefer toned-down neutrals, or you like to sport eye-popping pigments and conspicuous colours, there's literally a shade for everyone.

mac lipstick collection review swatches

MAC really don't do things by halves and the formula range is just as ample as the tonne of colours on offer, with nine finishes making up the classic, lipstick group. That isn't even counting the separate lipstick variations that MAC make, such as the Pro Longwear or Mineralize types. Personally, I favour creamy and moisturising finishes, over matte, which you'll notice from looking at my collection choices. 

With practically all of the MAC lipsticks that I've tried, the pigment is always strong and the majority sit nicely on the lips. Of course, those with a frost or matte finish tend to be more drying than others, but that's only to be expected. In terms of lasting power, I'd say that most wear extremely well, but those with a glossier formula need to be reapplied more often, to keep them looking fresh. All Mac lipsticks have a recognisable, fake, vanilla scent to them, which is far too sickly for my taste, but this soon wears off and becomes undetectable once applied.

mac jubilee lipstick swatch lustre collection review
MAC Jubilee Lipstick Swatch

Jubilee (Lustre) - My first MAC lipstick purchase and I still love it. It's a subtle, brown-toned nude, that is just so easy to wear. This is definitely one that you can top-up without a mirror and as you can see, I like it a lot. Personally, I find that a brown-toned, neutral shade suits my complexion best, compared to pinker nudes. It may not stand out or turn heads, but I love how it can pull a look together, especially when I wear heavier eye makeup. Free from shimmer, but with a lustre finish, this one has a glossy, moisturising texture. But, it also means that its lasting power is pretty weak, so you'll definitely have to slot this into your handbag when wearing it.

mac viva glam v lipstick swatch lustre collection review
MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick Swatch

Viva Glam V (Lustre) - First off, you can never feel guilty or have buyer's regret when picking up a Viva Glam lipstick. All of the money you pay for any of the range, is donated to the Mac Aids Fund. So, whilst you're bagging a little treat, you are also helping out such a worthy cause. 'Viva Glam V' is a reddy-brown nude, but the gorgeous, golden shimmer running through it, transforms this 'usual' shade into something more special. You can apply a sheer swipe for a toned down, 'my lips but better' look (cliché central) or ramp it up with a generous helping, to create a striking, frosty look. Even though this has a lustre finish, as it's saturated with so much heavy shimmer, it has a slightly gritty texture on the lips, which isn't the nicest.

mac ultra darling lipstick swatch sheen supreme collection review
MAC Ultra Darling Sheen Supreme Lipstick Swatch

Ultra Darling (Sheen Supreme) - A mid-toned, pinky-coral shade, containing a light dusting of very fine, white shimmer. The formula of the Sheen Supreme range is just incredible; so juicy and glossy that lips are left with a vinyl shine. Having the texture of a thick gloss, paired with a hit of pigment, they glide onto the lips, giving a sheer wash of colour that you can easily build up to become stronger. But that glazed finish does mean that they feel stickier, compared with the other MAC lipsticks. This lipstick isn't a long hair-friendly choice, when it's windy, believe me! Even when the glossiness has faded, lips are left with a slight stain, which is great if you can't be bothered reapplying often.

mac speak louder lipstick swatch cremesheen collection review
MAC Speak Louder Lipstick Swatch

Speak Louder (Cremesheen) - A bright pink with hints of orange that warm it up, making it an option for people who shy away from really out there shades and who don't suit, or fancy, blue-toned shades. It's not as full blown as other bright lipsticks but it still packs a punch. The cremesheen formula is another pleasure to wear, being moisturising, but longer wearing than glossier formulas. However, even after wearing this for a record time of about one minute, this holds on for dear life and can't be removed without a fight!

MAC Costa Chic Swatch

Costa Chic (Frost) - A perfect, Summer classic and a coral through and through. Having a frosted finish, it can be drying and if you have chapped lips, I'd steer well clear. Applied very heavily, straight from the bullet, it ends up looking extremely fake and a bit odd. However, if applied to well balmed lips, with a gentle touch and possibly a bit of blotting, this colour can look sensational. Personally, I think this only looks good with a tan, whether it's real or you've gained one from a bottle. Otherwise, the orange tones can look too stark and wash pale skins out, even further.

mac insanely it lipstick swatch sheen supreme collection review
MAC Insanely It Sheen Supreme Lipstick Swatch

Insanely It (Sheen Supreme) - An almost neon, blue-toned, fuchsia shade, infused with purple shimmer (the swatch hasn't really done it justice!). Like I mentioned before with 'Ultra Darling', the formula of this lipstick type is smooth, creamy and quite gel-like, I think. Considering how buttery they are, beware of keeping them in warm places as they melt easily. It does also mean that they wear down quicker than regular MAC lipsticks and, seeing as they're more expensive, that's annoying!

mac impassioned lipstick amplified swatch collection review
MAC Impassioned Swatch

Impassioned (Amplified) - This is the brightest colour in my MAC collection, being super intense and almost neon, thanks to the amplified formula. It's an orangey-pink and is so pigmented, that it's opaque with little effort. Paired with a toned-down eye look and a lightly covered complexion, this shade looks stunning. Feeling like your skin isn't up to scratch? Slick some of this on and it will detract focus away from any blemish blues. This does leave staining behind when worn for a while, meaning that it lasts such a long time on the lips, without the need for too many touch ups.

MAC Rebel Lipstick Swatch

Rebel (Satin) - This is a deceiving shade, as it isn't as dark as it looks in the bullet. Sitting somewhere between a rich raspberry and deep blackcurrant, this burgundy tone has a bright, vibrant undercurrent to it. Depending on my mood, I either layer this up for an edgy, vampy look, or dab it on lightly and pat it in with my finger, for a brighter, less dramatic finish. Perfect for Autumn/Winter, it has a satin finish, which is long lasting, but also feels more comfortable than a matte lipstick. As I'm sure you can imagine, this is another stainer.

mac craving lipstick swatch amplified creme collection review
MAC Craving Lipstick Swatch

Craving (Amplified Creme) - A deep, pinky-purple shade, with an amplified creme finish. A great choice if you're after something with a plum colour to it, but don't want anything too dark and dramatic. This is definitely a sophisticated, more grown-up shade, I think. Fail to look closely enough and you could completely miss the fact that this shade contains the tiniest amount of fine shimmer. Highly pigmented, creamy and long lasting; it's hard to find fault with the amplified formula.

mac shy girl lipstick swatch cremesheen collection review
MAC 'Shy Girl' Lipstick Swatch

Shy Girl (Cremesheen) - This is a love/hate shade for me. As my lips are naturally quite dark, sometimes, I think the light, peachy, beige nude is too pale for my complexion, making me look washed out and a bit dead, especially as there's some silver shimmer in there. On other occasions, I love it and end up going through a phase of wearing it every day. A great one for both pale and darker skinned beauties. If I go a little wild with this one and apply too much, it can sit on the lips, slip around and sink into any lines, which isn't attractive and that puts me off wearing it more often. Being a cremesheen, it's creamy (of course) and has a glossy finish to it.

MAC Hot Tahiti Lipstick Swatch

Hot Tahiti (Glaze) - One of my most recent additions, bought especially for the Winter season. Although the raspberry-red colour seems quite rich and deep in the bullet, the light formula leaves more of a build-able, sheer tint on the lips. Completely free from shimmer, but having a glaze finish, this has a juicy look to it. Less shiny than a lustre or cremesheen, but more comfortable to wear than a satin or matte, I find that the glaze lipsticks have a balmy, gel-like texture, which I really like. I also find that they stick around for longer on the lips, too, without being overpowering.

The standard, black and silver packaging of the permanent range is plain and not particularly luxurious, but they're instantly recognisable for the brand. With each limited collection, MAC usually adapt the casing to suit the theme, which helps to differentiate between shades. One positive is that they're lightweight and small, so ideal to carry around with you for top ups. 

The one thing that bugs me more than anything with these lip products, is that MAC continue to up the price of them. I can remember when they were sat closer to the £10 mark, but now the classic lipsticks have been hiked up to £15 for a meagre 3g. Add an extra 50p onto that price for a Sheen Supreme, £2.50 for a Pro Longwear or a whopping £5 for a Mineralize Rich.

Crazy about MAC lipsticks? Which shades are in your collection and which are you still lusting after?


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  1. I'm amazed that even the darker, brighter MAC lipstick colors look so PERFECT on your lips. So that shows no matter whether bright or neutral the lipstick colors are, they look beautiful on you!!!!!

    1. Aw, that's so sweet of you. You've made my day! Thanks, lovely x


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