Last updated: September 26, 2020

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Since 1984, Make-Up Art Cosmetics, or M.A.C., has created waves of change in the cosmetics industry. It began as the dream of a makeup artist and a salon owner to create makeup that looked best in photographs. He rose to fame for a red lipstick that Madonna used on her tour and is now a popular culture classic.

M.A.C. has become a cult cosmetics company, partly because of its lipsticks. They come in a variety of textures, colors and styles that make them attractive to all types of people. In this guide we will tell you more about the company and how to find the perfect M.A.C. lipstick for you.

Key Facts

  • M.A.C. is a Canadian cosmetics company. Their star products have been lipsticks since their launch in the 1980s. Madonna was one of the first celebrities to use their products and put them on the map when she used a red lipstick. M.A.C. has now allied itself with superstar Drag RuPaul for his first Viva Glam campaign.
  • You can find M.A.C. lipsticks in more than twelve textures and finishes. These range from classic matte to metallic. In addition, the arsenal of colors that this company has seems infinite. From classic reds and fruity roses to blues and black. There is a lipstick for every taste!
  • In the shopping guide section we will give you tips on how to choose the best lipstick for you. You should start by identifying the undertones of your skin. Once you know this, you can experiment with the variety of colors that M.A.C. has to offer, and find the texture that you want for your lipstick.

The Best M.A.C. Lipsticks on the U.S. Market

Here are the best lipsticks M.A.C. lipsticks the can you find on the market today. These range from the classic red, which will look good with any skin tone, to a metallic purple ideal for people who like to change their image completely. In addition, you can find for lipsticks for day or night.

The Best Classic Red M.A.C. Lipstick

If you’re looking for the perfect red lipstick, then this is a great option for you! This red shade will work with any skin tone, as is meant to compliment almost any outfit. Whether you are wanting bold evening glam, or a casual day look, this is a great shade for anyone. It is a matte finish, so it will not look too shiny on your lips, but will give you a soft matte glow.

Best Dark M.A.C. Lipstick

If you want a bold shade, look no further than this lipstick! The shade is “Sin” and the color could not be more beautiful. This shade especially suits darker skin tones, but would also look great on light skin tones as well! This a perfect evening shade to wear when you want to dress to impress and feel sexy in a bold color. Past users have rated this lipstick very highly, saying it stays on all night and looks great with any outfit!

Best Nude M.A.C. Lipstick

Sometimes, all you need is a good nude lipstick and you are good to go! This shade “verve” is great for lighter skin tones, as well as medium tones. If you’ve been on the lookout for a perfect nude shade, this may just be it. This subtle glam is great with any day look, and will have you looking and feeling great. This shade as satin finish, so your lips will look silky and soft all day long!

Best Pink M.A.C. Lipstick

This shade “velvet teddy” is a great option if you are looking for the perfect soft pink shade. Similar to a nude, a light pink is great for adding a hint of color, while also looking casual. This is a great shade for a day or night look, and will suit many different skin tones. This lipstick has a creamy finish, so your lips will feel hydrated and smooth all day long! This is a very versatile shade, as it can be worn during the day, or dressed up for a classy evening glam look.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Need to Know About M.A.C. Lipsticks

M.A.C. is perhaps one of the best known cosmetics companies worldwide. Since its creation, the company has always kept up with popular culture. Their lipsticks have been very important in establishing the identity of the company and they come in many colors. Next, we answer the most frequently asked questions about these lipsticks.

Cute woman applying lipstick and looking at mirror

M.A.C. It is a brand that does not test on animals.
(Source: Dean Drobot: 37838961/ 123rf.com)

What is the history of M.A.C. lipsticks?

The company was founded by photographer and cosmetic artist Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo, who were beauty salon owners. Both worked as photographers for magazines, but were frustrated by the lack of makeup that looked good in photographs. Then they decided to make their own cosmetics, first from their kitchen, and then launched to the market in 1984.

The lipstick launched them into stardom. They already had a store in New York, when Madonna (yes, that Madonna) used a red lipstick for her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour. The condition was that the lipstick would last throughout the concert. Toskan and the make up artist Joanne Gair produced the Russian Red lipstick for Madonna. It was an instant success.

This was the beginning of a journey that would make this brand an element of popular culture, with marketing campaigns with RuPaul Charles, Lady Gaga, Sia and Rihanna. The black cases are also an icon in the world of beauty. Now M.A.C. is part of the Estée Lauder beauty consortium since 1995 and is sold in more than 120 countries worldwide.

close-up of red Lips applying red lipstick

There are dozens and dozens of colors from which you can choose from.
(Source: Jakub Gorajek/ unsplash.com)

What types of M.A.C. lipsticks are on the market?

For a long time, this company was one of the only brands of large cosmetics that had colors for the widest range of skin tones. The same goes for the lipsticks. M.A.C has a variety and diversity of lipsticks that will shock you! You can find a product that meets all taste, preference or need you have.

The collection has at least a dozen textures and finishes. The classic finish of this brand is matte, but they offer several other finishes for any occasion or particular taste you have. In the following table you can find the different textures of their lipsticks and what occasions you can possibly use them for.

Duration Finish
Matte Longest lasting: 8 hours Classic M.A.C. finish, high coverage, no shine, very rich color and creamy texture.
Retro Matte Long lasting: 8 hours Intense matte colors.
Pearl (Frost) Medium lasting Shiny and pearly. Medium coverage.
Glaze Medium lasting light, sheer coverage. It glides easily and has a pearly finish.
Gloss Medium lasting Shiny, less color, but provides more hydration.
Creamsheen Long lasting: 8 hours Creamy and smooth formula, semi-gloss finish. Uniform color.
Satin Medium lasting Satin, soft and moisturizing.
Ultra-creamy (Amplified Créme) Medium lasting High coverage, creamy and pigmented.

What is M.A.C. Viva Glam?

M.A.C.’s Viva Glam lipstick is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This lipstick was the way this company made its commitment to social responsibility and support to marginalized communities, but always maintaining its identity linked to popular culture. All funds raised by the sale of Viva Glam lipsticks are donated to M.A.C. Aids Fund.

M.A.C. looked for the now drag icon RuPaul, who appeared in leather boots, a bright red corset and drag along with the slogan: “I am the M.A.C. girl”. RuPaul is now an icon of popular culture that emerged from the drag culture of New York and Atlanta.

So far, the campaign has raised more than $500 million to combat HIV /AIDS and other causes. According to the company, with the purchase of a Viva Glam lipstick you help to provide HIV tests to 14 teenage mothers, and acquire 254 condoms to prevent HIV transmission, or buy a whole meal for two young people from the homeless LGBTQ community.

Can men use M.A.C. lipsticks?

Yes! Men can use lipstick. Makeup has usually been awarded to the female gender, but those stereotypes are breaking. Drag culture, for example, is a clear example of how the LGBTQ community uses makeup to push the boundaries of gender conception. Now, drag is increasingly part of the makeup culture.

Cosmetics have been a way in which women and diversity groups have given empowerment to their identity by being able to reflect their own beauty and individualism. In recent years, influencers have emerged in social networks that identify as men and show their techniques for using makeup.

Gwyneth PaltrowActress
“Beauty, for me, is being comfortable with yourself. That, or a bold red lipstick.”

Which M.A.C. Lipstick compliments my skin tone best?

If you do not want to go around in circles finding a lipstick shade, there is a color that works with all skin tones: red. M.A.C. It has intense reds that have changed popular culture like the Russian Red that Madonna used on her 1990 tour. If you don’t want to wear red every day or want to look for other shades and ranges that feel better, you should pay attention to what your skin tone is.

For lighter skin tones, with cooler undertones, you can look for red, pink or brown lipsticks that have shades of purple and blue. If your skin is light, medium or dark with a warm undertone, you can go for warmer colors such as orange and pearly ranges.

Image of woman being make up

The M.A.C. Matte finish lipsticks are the best known of the brand.
(Source: andice Picard/ Unsplash.com

If you have light or dark skin, but with a neutral undertone, you can choose between many shades and color ranges. Darker skins also lend themselves to using pigmented and bright colors that have a beautiful contrast, such as yellow or blue. Whatever your skin tone, we invite you to experiment and play with your look.

Shopping Criteria

M.A.C. has many lipsticks with different textures, tones and effects. Before deciding to buy one, consider factors such as your skin tone or the occasions when you will use that lipstick. Next, we will go over some basic criteria that can be used to evaluate which M.A.C. lipstick is ideal for you.

Colors According to Your Skin Tone

The tone of your skin, but above all the undertones of your skin will help you determine which colors of lipsticks are best for you. In general, undertones can be cold, warm or a mixture of both. The warm ones tend to have a yellow tint, while the cooler ones have a more pink tint. You’ll see what we mean on this list:

  • Warm undertone. Skin with warm undertones benefit from lipsticks that have yellow and orange ranges in their mix. Among these you can also find colors like peach or brown that have shades of oranges and golds. If you are looking to highlight bright and saturated colors, look for contrast with bright pink and orange, blues and purple lipsticks.
  • Cooler undertones. If the undertone of your skin is cold, you can buy lipsticks with pink and purple shades. These can range from light ranges to combine with light or dark skin. When looking for strong colors that contrast with your skin, choose roses or electric oranges.
  • Neutral undertones. These skin tones have a mixture of undertones that makes them neutral. In other words, they can move between the spectrum of hot and cold with no problem. If you have dark skin, you can go for very saturated and bright colors, such as yellow or primary blue and stand out like nobody else.
redhead women with sunglasses and lipstick.

There is a color that works with all skin tones: red.
(Source: Massonforstock: 32994188/ 123rf.com)

Textures

M.A.C. lipsticks offer more than twelve types of textures and finishes for you to choose from. If you want bold lips, with strong colors, you can buy a lipstick with a matte finish. These are perfect for anyone looking for a stunning and very pigmented color. M.A.C. has different variations of the matte lipsticks, from a more intense matte to a creamier matte.

If you want more brightness, you can choose among different textures: frost, metallic or glossy textures that have different brightness levels with multiple colors. When you want a more classic look, you can go for the creamy, satin or pearly textures that will also keep your lips hydrated.

Did you know that lipsticks came around between 2500 and 1000 B.C.? They are very old!  

Occasion

Lipstick color can help you create a distinctive image. Before buying a lipstick, ask yourself what you want it for. Depending on whether you are looking for something for everyday use, a color to experiment, or a lipstick for a special occasion, you can determine which is the best lipstick to buy.

If you are looking for something for daily use, look for more brown or dark red tones, which have less pigment. But if you want to be bolder, look for tones that contrast with your skin or, of course, a classic red. Also, look for textures that contain more pigment. If you want to experiment, try bright and unusual colors.

Summary

M.A.C. is a cosmetics company that is a staple in today’s pop culture. The Canadian company that became famous for a red lipstick that Madonna used in 1990 is one of the favorite brands of the millennial generation. In addition, the company raises funds to fight HIV / AIDS and help youth in the homeless LGBTQ community.

One of the factors that make this company so popular is the variety of finishes and color ranges it offers in its products. The lipsticks come in more than twelve textures and in hundreds of colors. It is an ideal brand for anyone with any skin tone, fulfilling its motto: “for all ages, all races and all genders.”

If you found the history of Make-Up Art Cosmetics (better known as by its acronym M.A.C.) interesting and if the shopping guide helped you, comment on this article and share it on your social networks!

(Source of featured image: Eleni Koureas/ Unsplash.com)

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