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Here's a post I've been dreading to do! A compilation of all my MAC lipsticks! Not that I have that many (only 16) but doing lip swatches of 16 colors in one go is kinda tough on the lips. I'm just glad I got it all done! :)
The purpose of this post is to help you decide on the color since going to a MAC counter to buy a lipstick can be intimidating (especially if it's your first time). Not only do they have a ridiculously large spectrum of colors, they also have so many finishes to choose from, so besides the swatches, I'm going to throw in a brief review of each formula as well to help you make your decision easier. :)
Matte and Retro Matte
Full coverage and highly pigmented. Some shades are more drying than others and may accentuate flaws on the lips. I always apply a thin layer of lip balm prior to application to help the lipstick glide on easier. The longevity is excellent (5-6+ hours), in fact, I find them to be the longest-wearing among the finishes. They have flat, opaque color that applies with a very subtle sheen but quickly dries down to a matte finish. I find Retro Matte (the new matte formula) to be very close to a matte but with zero shine and more drying.
Medium to full coverage with good pigmentation. They are slightly creamy and glide on lips easier than a matte. They are not as dry and I don't find them to tug or pull during application. They leave a slight sheen that dries down to a semi-matte finish and they usually last well on me (3-4+ hours). I can get away without applying a lip balm since they don't seem to emphasize imperfections on lips.
Amplified and Amplified Creme
My favorite formula! Full coverage and great color payoff. They are mostly bright and fun colors (but there are amplified nudes, too) and are smooth, creamy and easy to apply. The formula is slightly thick and the color is opaque but without the drying characteristic of a matte. They go on with a subtle sheen and set to a semi-matte finish. The longevity is better than a satin but not quite as good as a matte (4-5+ hours). Amplified Creme is a hybrid of an amplified and a cremesheen – full coverage with creamy and glossy finish.
I believe this is the most popular formula of MAC lipsticks and I can see why! They apply smoothly without any tugging and provide a good amount of shine but I do find them to have quite a bit of slip and settle into lip lines just a little bit. The coverage is medium that can be built up to full. The longevity is similar to a satin (3-4+ hours) but not quite as drying. My first MAC lipstick is actually a cremesheen (Shy Girl).
These are the 6 finishes that I have hands-on experience with but MAC also makes Glaze (sheer and glossy), Frost (frosty/shimmery), and Lustre (sheer to medium coverage and glossy) formulas too that I have yet to try. And on top of the “core” finishes, they also have some newer formulas that include Pro-longwear (full coverage yet lightweight), Sheen Supreme (full coverage with glossy finish), and Mattene (creamy with a satin finish).
Pheww! That's quite a lot of information to take in! Hope I didn't make you even more confused. :) Now, let's move on to some swatches!
- Blankety – amplified creme; soft pink beige
- Siss – satin; golden beige
- Ravishing – cremesheen; peachy coral
- Creme d'Nude – cremesheen; extremely pale peach beige
- Shy Girl – cremesheen; coral beige
- Please Me – matte; medium rosy pink
- Saint Germain – amplified; pastel pink
- Pink Nouveau – satin; bright medium pink
- Candy Yum Yum – matte; bright neon pink
- Girl About Town – amplified; fuchsia
Purples, Reds, and Corals
- Play Time (limited edition) – cremesheen; light pink purple
- Heroine – matte; bright purple (see swatches here)
- Russian Red – matte; deep, intense red
- Morange – amplified creme; bright orange
- Viva Glam Nicki – satin; coral pink
- Riri Woo – retro matte; deep red (read review here)
I hope my review and swatches are helpful and that you enjoyed the photos (I know I had fun making those splatters!). Let me know if you have any questions or comments! :)