Back in the early days of beauty blogging, when YouTubers didn’t have book deals and millions of subscribers, MAC was the make up brand. The world was a less-make up obsessed place and few other brands offered as many new and innovative products as MAC. I remember being a teenager and watching haul video after haul video from the latest collections as they came out. This was when I was only just getting interested in beauty myself and I definitely didn’t have my own money to spend on fancy lipsticks.
Fast forward nearly 10 years, I’m a grown-ass 23 year old woman with a full-time job and control of my own finances. I like to think that teenage Rachel would be so proud if she could see my MAC lipstick collection today.
Despite many, many other brands proving themselves to be just as good, if not better, than MAC in the past few years, I still consider MAC a go-to for incredible lipstick shades. Their range is huge, both in colour and finish, plus the price point isn’t as eye-watering as many other brands.
I still don’t own all the shades I’d like, but I’m well on my way. At least I can say that I definitely wear all of these, except perhaps 2 or 3 I keep more for nostalgic reasons than anything else.
THE TRUE REDS
Diva (Matte) – Not for those who fear a bold lip or who haven’t meticulously scrubbed their dry winter lips, Diva is one I pull out for nights out or special occasions. It’s a dark blackened-red that makes a simple make up look instantly look super glam.
Viva Glam III (Matte) – Purchased for me as a secret santa gift this past Christmas, I’d never owned a Viva Glam lipstick before. 100% of the sale price of all Viva Glam lipsticks goes to support the MAC AIDS Fund, which is an incredible cause. This shade is a great alternative to those who are afraid of how dark Diva is.
Russian Red (Matte) – A classic warm-tone red, Russian Red leans on the brick-red side of things. I wear a red lip at least once a week and, as someone who knows red lipstick, I consider it a must for your lipstick collection.
THE ORANGE REDS
Chilli (Matte) – Perfect for summer, Chilli is a gorgeous burnt terracotta shade that brings some edgy colour into a sea of sheer or shimmery summer glosses and lipsticks that brands often bring out. I haven’t seen many other colours like it.
Lady Danger (Matte) – A cult fave. Lady Danger is bold, almost neon, and packs a punch with a matte finish. Not a completely true orange, this shade leans on the coral side somewhat but always makes me look more alive and alert.
Rebel (Satin) – I consider Rebel one of my all-time favourite lipsticks, from any brand. I bought it in my first year of university and it holds a special place in my heart. It applies a smidge less dark and intimidating than it appears in the tube and, with extended wear, leaves a lovely dark berry stain on the lips.
Up the Amp (Amplified) – A beautiful creamy finish in an unusual muted lavender shade, Up the Amp is super unique. At times, with the right lip liner, it can almost be an everyday shade, but it’s also great for a night out. Versatility at its lipstick-formed finest.
Craving (Amplified) – I call this one my Autumn/Winter nude. Because I don’t really do true nudes – I’m a girl who favours a bold lip, so this plummy shade is the perfect go-between. I like it, but I don’t love it ever since I bought NARS Anna, which is like Craving’s pricier, sexier older sister.
Impassioned (Amplified) – I have a theory that this lipstick looks like a completely different colour on everyone who wears it. I know, I know – so do most colours. But this one’s a chameleon. Plus it suits everyone. It’s a deliciously vibrant watermelon pink that makes me want a cocktail on a beach somewhere, stat.
Lickable (Cremesheen) – Cringe-worthy name aside, Lickable is a lovely colour. But I never wear it. It’s just not the kind of colour I reach for. Plus it has some glitter in it, which is a big old No from me. I’d recommend Girl About Town as a much better version of this colour.
Candy Yum Yum (Matte) – There’s nothing like Candy Yum Yum. Think early Nicki Minaj. Think super neon. I have yet to lay eyes on a brighter, prettier cool-toned bright pink. Great to wear on an especially fatigued (read: hungover) day to make yourself look bright eyed and bushy tailed.
Lollipop Loving (Glaze) – This was my first MAC lipstick purchase. It was limited edition and the colour is revolting. Truly. MAC’s Glaze formula is super sheer and pointless, avoid at all costs. And Lollipop Loving is a bizarre coral with a green sheen through it. It does absolutely nothing for me, but I hang onto it for nostalgia.
Costa Chic (Frost) – I want to love Costa Chic. I want to wear it all summer long with sundresses and a floppy hat. But it’s a Frost formula. Which gives it an odd elderly grandmother vibe as it settles into the fine lines of your lips. A beautiful colour, but I have yet to find a way to make it work for me.
Paramount (Satin) – A true deep brown shade, Paramount is the ultimate ’90s lipstick. A cross between vampy and grungy, this is the newest addition to my collection. Definitely one that needs a lip liner though, as the Satin formula gives it a little bit of slip.
Taupe (Matte) – My favourite ‘nude’ lipstick, ever. Taupe gives me Twin Peaks, Audrey Horne ’90s look vibes. Everyone I know who loves lipstick bought this colour after seeing me wear it. It is, in a word: fabulous.
Modesty (Cremesheen) – A pinky brown shade, Modesty is easy to slick on and head out of the door. It’s one I keep in my bag in case I forget a lipstick in the mornings. It does, however, need a lipliner to give it some oomph or it can make me look a bit tired and washed out.