8.19.2015

Ask Elle: MAC Lipstick Finishes 101


For this week's Ask Elle: Amanda wants to know,

"I want to buy my first MAC lipstick. Which one should I get?"

Amanda, I get this question often! With over 187 shades to choose from, the better question is which MAC finish would you like? Some are sheer, some are matte, and so on, so today I'll explain MAC lipstick finishes.


from l-r
Oblivion, Flamingo, Twig, Creme Cup

Amplified: Creamy, smooth, pigmented and a little shiny--this is my favorite finish since the color payoff is so wonderful.

Lustre: Sheer to medium coverage and very lightweight--this is very shiny but not sticky. Despite owning 3 in this finish, I usually skip this one.

Glaze: Not pictured because I do not own any of these--this is the closest to a lip gloss. Sheer, lightweight with a lot of glide. A semi-pearl finish.

Satin: Creamy with medium to full coverage--this has a satin shine to it.

Cremesheen: Creamy balmy formula with a medium coverage--semi-glossy


from l-r
Flat Out Fabulous, Angel, Strange Journey




Retro Matte: Very intense color and very matte--these last all day but can be very drying. Ruby Woo is the most famous shade from this finish. You recently saw the color I am wearing in this Raspberry Lips post.

Frost: Smooth with medium coverage with a semi-glossy pearl finish--I know the term "frost" sounds like something old school, but it's really a nice finish.

Matte: Creamy with high-color payoff--no shine and one of my faves






For more info visit MACCosmetics.com

See also: 

What's your favorite lipstick?
Leave your beauty questions below to be featured on a future Ask Elle

Extra Elle:
  • Notice anything different? I'm ElleSees.net--I changed it about a week ago.
  • I was chosen by FabFitFun as the best summer unboxing video! Made my day!!!
  • Officially over all of this rain! At least it is cooling it down a little.

51 comments:

  1. I love MAC’s array of colors! The ‘Angel’ color looks like a great everyday shade for you!

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  2. Ruby Woo is one of all time favorites. MAC does a great job with their colors with several being my everyday go tos. Great post Elle!
    xo, Whitney and Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

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  3. Oh loving all of these pretty shades! I always go for more of the satin finishs because the mattes dry my lips out...

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

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  4. I'm OBSESSED with Creme Cup! It's the perfect subtle lip shade!

    xx

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  5. I love all these lipsticks. I so need to get myself to MAC and get a lipstick. They have such pretty colors.

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  6. Great post Elle! I love me some MAC! And yay on the domain name :)

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  7. Congrats on the video love, that's so awesome you got props! I love the Oblivion shade!

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  8. I had that same question! I've been wanting a MAC lipstick, but didn't know where to start, so thanks for sharing!!

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  9. Great breakdown of the different finishes! I know I have been surprised a few times when I picked out a shade and the color payoff was different than I expected!
    Gina || On the Daily Express

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  10. Matte and amplified are my two favorite finishes too! Not really a fan of the glossy ones either. Love all your colors!
    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

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  11. Most of my favorite lipsticks come from MAC and I love their matte finishes!! xo, biana -BlovedBoston

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  12. I love MAC lipsticks, Elle....almost as much as their eyeshadows:D My fave is Verve.

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  13. I don't know why -- but I'm just drawn to everything matte, from eyeeshadow to lipsticks, so I'd probably shop in their Retro Matte or Matte section :-) My lips aren't always in the best condition, though (they flake a lot) so maybe the Matte finish would be a better one to start off with.

    This post was really, really helpful! I've never dived into the world of Mac lippies, but I've been wanting to :-)

    And, YES! I did notice that you're .net now. Congratulations on the move! I know that is SO much work behind the scenes, even if people don't really notice the change.

    Katie // FromMyVanity.com

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  14. Angel has been one of my favorites for years! And Creme Cup is another one I really like.

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  15. I love the Cremesheen and Matte finishes. MAC makes the best matte! Congratulations on the change and the video!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

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  16. Soooo pretty!!! I do not own any MAC lipsticks but have always wanted one - it's so overwhelming though so this post is perfect for me! I love flamingo and flat out fabulous!! So cute!!

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  17. Amplified delivers such great color payoff! Thanks for the guide on the differences!

    xoxo,
    little luxury list formerly Chic 'n Cheap Living

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  18. Gorgeous! Now I want to go buy a Mac lipstick or two or three... :D

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  19. Wow, so many different finishes! I wasn't aware of that at all... Fantastic reference guide, Elle! x

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  20. I'll have to try the amplified ones since they are your favorite! So far I like the satin and Lustre ones the best!

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  21. The top left is my favorite! I would LOVE to see a picture of all your makeup :) I can't imagine how much you have!

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  22. I just purchased Flat out Fabulous which you reviewed in your Raspberry post and can't wait to wear it...love how that color looked on you!!

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  23. This is the perfect guide for anyone who wants to try Mac lipsticks. It's not only for newbies but even for me, I find this really helpful!

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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  24. Love the flat out fabulous!! I love the matte finish the best – I’m a big YSL girl but with all these colors I might need to do more of Mac…

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  25. I love that pink one on you in the second row. Nice pop of color. I actually don't wear any lipstick, but if I were to wear any, I like the flamingo, creme cup and angel. But I don't think I'd rock any of the bolder colors.

    liz jo @ sundays with sophie

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  26. CONGRATS girl on being chosen for FabFitFun - AWESOMENESS! And fabulous post, you know I'm still obsessing over Retro Matte. I need to just buy it already :-D

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  27. I have a ton of creamsheens and satins from MAC. I never knew there were that many finishes lol.

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  28. I didn't know there were so many finishes! Love the Twin color.

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  29. As someone who's been buying MAC lipsticks for years, I never actually knew what all the different finishes where. I would either just go to a counter, swatch one on my hand and be like this one! Or see someone else wearing it and ask the shade. Satin is totally my fav!

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  30. This is incredibly helpful! I have never tried a MAC lipstick before, but I really need to! They seem to have such a beautiful selection.
    www.amemoryofus.com

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  31. Congrats on the FabFitFun accomplishment, I loved that video too! You can't beat MAC lipsticks and I currently have 6 on my Makeup Wish List and after this post, I'm adding a few more.

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  32. I love NYC lipsticks. I had no idea there was so many finish's.

    http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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  33. Congrats on the FabFitFun video! I love Mac lipsticks but never thought about it this way. this was so helpful!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

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  34. I love the "Angel" color on you (middle pic)
    So cool you got best video - you always make such good quality videos!

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  35. I don't have a Mac lipstick but I so want one! I think I'd go with matte. I'd probably ask at the counter what shade(s) would work best for my coloring.

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  36. So many pretty colors you have here!!! I bought angel in either a lipstick or a gloss once from them and really liked the color but haven't gotten any others. I think I need to change that!!! Congrats on the unboxing video! You do a good job on those so I am not surprised!! And I am so over the rain too!!! It doesn't do kind things for my hair! But yes, at least it is a little cooler!

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  37. congrats on the fabfitfun video! that's awesome :)
    i love the first 4 colours / finishes on you. i don't own any MAC lipsticks, I would definitely be overwhelmed trying to choose so thanks for this detailed post Elle!

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  38. Congrats on the fab fit fun video that's exciting.

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  39. I really love that MAC has so many different finishes. I've tried a few, and I would like to try the Retro Mattes.

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  40. gorgeous colors!

    http://amoderngypsy.blogspot.com/2015/08/worn-43.html

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  41. i love matte, but it tends to be really drying for my lips, so i usually go for cremesheen.

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  42. I love that MAC offers lipstick in a variety of finishes! Congrats on being chosen as the best summer unboxing video :)

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  43. Congratulations on having your video chosen! I don't wear lipstick because I feel like it makes me look like a clown, but I appreciate you breaking all of the different finishes and types down in this post.

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  44. Ooo... I like Flamingo and Twig! I honestly had no idea there were so many types! I always thought: shiny or matte. lol

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  45. Wow, I had no idea there were so many types of lipstick finishes! This is so helpful since I would like to get my first MAC lipstick soon too! Thanks!
    ~Sara
    Sincerely, Sara

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  46. Looks like I'll be heading straight to check out your MAC collection. Recently I've had MAC on the brain and have compiled a list of probably 20 lipsticks I want haha..and the Vamplify collection that's coming out soon....ahh, so many beautiful lip pencils!

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  47. Ohh, I hope you write more about your MAC lipsticks. I have just 1 of their lipsticks and a gloss (its in a different tube) and I love both together or apart. I would love to buy more MAC shades, but have no idea where to start. I really need a fall color in a brownish color as I don't have that color anymore.

    Carrie
    curlycraftymom.com

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  48. This is so good to know! All the options confuse me and this will help me figure out what finish I am looking for!

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  49. These are all flat out fabulous shades, but that one in particular is the one I'm itching to try. Has been since you featured it in an earlier post. :) T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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  50. Really cool post idea!! My favorite MAC lipstick finish is matte, or retro matte, what am I saying my favorite finish from pretty much any brand is matte. I'm just a matte lippy girl 4 life! :)

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