MAC Lipstick Finishes: A Quick And Dirty Guide

And by "dirty" I mean that I put them all over my face.
Publish date:
December 27, 2013
lipsticks, mac, favorites

I have always loved lipstick. I remember testing out my
mom’s various shades of pink as a child and feeling so grown up.

When I was a
bit older, lip gloss was more du jour, so I slathered that on like the best of
‘em. My return to lipsticks began when I bought my first-ever MAC lipstick. The
colour! The texture! The consistency!

It smelled less like traditional lipstick
and more like a vanilla hug, and for that I was glad. I have a very sensitive
sense of smell, and I can’t stand lipsticks that seem to smell like granny lair.
I also have always appreciated the tastelessness of MAC’s lipsticks, because I
tend to eat a lot of it during the course of the day.

So, thanks to MAC, I’m a lipstick girl now. The brand makes
some of my favourite lipsticks, and I am forever buying new ones--or getting
free ones with their Back to MAC program, hollaaaa!

Over the years, I have learned that there are about a
million different types of MAC lipsticks--OK, only, like, seven--and I’m
here to break it all down for you.

The MAC lipstick counter can be a little
overwhelming if you don’t speak MAC. But here are the seven most popular finishes
that make up their standard lipsticks--the ones in the black
tampon-looking tube.


Lipstick with the amplified finish are highly pigmented and
long-wearing but, unlike the matte lipsticks, they are smooth and don’t dry
your lips out.


The cremesheen lipsticks are extremely creamy and glossy.
They aren’t as pigmented as the other lipsticks, but are by no means sheer. Because
of the creaminess, they are quite hydrating, but not that long-wearing.


This lipstick offers medium wearing time, medium coverage
and medium gloss. What makes them stand out is that they are all shimmery and,
like the name suggests, they provide a frost-like finish.


The glaze lipsticks are the most sheer of all the lipsticks.
These are subtle and easy to use, because of the lack of opacity and
the glossy finish. My go-to everyday color, Hue, has a glaze finish. It’s an
amazing pinkish-nude colour that goes with every. single. look.


This finish is basically exactly the same as the glaze
finish, although I find that the lustre lipsticks come in much more colours and
are ever-so-slightly more opaque.


The matte finish, while one of the trickiest to work with,
definitely delivers the best colour payoff and is the most long-wearing of all
the different finishes. The downside, however, is that it will show off every
dry crease in your lips so, unless your lips are in smokin’ hot condition, stay
far away. These lipsticks also tend to be really drying and take forever to get
off. My first-ever MAC lipstick, Viva Glam I, was a matte finish lipstick. I
wore it to my matric dance (what most of you probably call a “prom”), and it’s
basically the only part of my ensemble that I still like.


The satin lipsticks are my personal favourite. They are
long-wearing and offer high opacity without being as drying as their matte
counterpart. I have never met a satin lipstick I didn’t like. It’s as though
the matte finish was introduced to some conditioner and they made sweet love.
Some of the best and most exciting colours come in the satin finish.

What's your favorite MAC color/finish? What's the first one you ever owned?