Monday, February 25th, 2008

MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 10

This is the final installment of the guide, and I asked readers to share their questions about what I didn’t cover and should, and here are the answers.  Please feel free to suggest more topics in the comments!

Finish Descriptions — Tekoa

Eyeshadow Finishes

  • Frost | Most frost finishes have high amounts of shimmer, and the majority I have encountered are fairly smooth when a brush goes to pick up color and the pay off is decent most of the time.  MAC has a lot of shadows with this finish, including the coveted Parrot, as well as cult favorites Bronze, Goldmine, and Ricepaper.
  • Lustre | More of a chunky, glittery finish; lots of shimmer and tends to flake off when the brush bristles touch it. This is not the most popular finish, because a lot of people experience too much chunkiness/flaking.  However, several colors are nice (Aquadisiac, Greensmoke, Swimming, etc.).
  • Matte | Flat, no shimmer color with decent color pay off in some cases — they tend to be chalky in some specific shadows.  Some favorites are Chrome Yellow, Passionate, and Soft Brown.
  • Matte2 | An updated version take on matte finishes with a creamier, less chalky texture. Goes on smooth with much better color pay off.  Some favorites are Clarity, Newly Minted, and Prussian.
  • Satin | Similar to a matte, but it has just a slight touch of sheen to it.  Color pay off is good for most satins.  I do find some shades look like they have shimmer (e.g. Fade, Parfait Amour, Juxt) rather than just sheen, but it is a very seamless shimmer, which is why it is considered a sheen.
  • Veluxe | Again, a finish similar to mattes, but much creamier and smoother.  They tend to make think of going on like butter – the pay off tends to be intense.  Very few shadows have this finish–just four permanent colors–Brown Down, Kid, Samoa Silk, and Velvet Moss.
  • Veluxe Pearl | Good amounts of shimmer, but very smooth when applied.  This finish tends to give good color intensity and pay off, making them one of the favorite finishes.  Generally no flaking or chunkiness whatsoever.  Some of my personal favorites are Antiqued, Freshwater, Gorgeous Gold, Shimmermoss, Stars ‘N Rockets, and Woodwinked.  This is my favorite finish as well.
  • Velvet | A low-level shimmer finish that tends to be good in color and smooth when picked up.  Some great shades are Bitter, Contrast, Juiced, and Texture.

Lipstick Finishes

  • Amplified Creme | Very creamy, opaque, and has a high gloss finish.  This is my personal favorite finish, and it includes popular colors such as BLankety, Dubbonet, Girl About Town, and Vegas Volt.
  • Frost | High in shimmer with a glossy sheen, color pay off may vary, but tends to be on the opaque side. Popular favorites are Bombshell, Lame, New York Apple, and Sandy B; it is also a popular finish for many of MAC’s lipsticks.
  • Glaze | Sheerer colors that go on with a nice glossy finish, lipstick feels smooth. This finish is claimed by few permanent lipstick colors, but some to mention are Gleam, Hue, and Pervette.
  • Lustre | Less shimmer than a frost, but still some, and this formula tends to run sheerer than frosts, but with more pay off than galzes.  Usually color is fairly buildable.  Some favorites include Capricious, Hug Me, Plink!, and Sweetie.  This is a fairly popular finish for lipsticks.
  • Matte | Intense color pay off, drier textures (in some cases), no shimmer, no sheen/glossiness.  Popular favorites are Honeylove, Lady Danger, Ruby Woo, and Russian Red.
  • Satin | Kind of like a matte and a glaze–very subtle glossy finish.  Color pay off seems to vary, but usually decent.  Colors to think about include Brave, Cherish, Myth, and Snob.

False Lashes — Tekoa

  • Specific lashes: 20 (half lashes meant to bulk up the outer half of lashes), 30 lash (kind of like individual lashes to fill in where you want), 38 (outer half of lashes)
  • Natural length lashes: 1, 7 (really), 31, 32, 33
  • Full lashes: 3, 4, 7, 36
  • Dramatic lashes: 2, 6, 34, 35, 37
  • Lower lashes: 39, 40
  • Personal favorites: 7s, 36s (also known as “Sultress” lashes)

Keep reading to learn about Store Etiquette and Pigments!

Store Etiquette — Carrie

When you arrive…

If it’s busy, it’s a good idea to scope out the products you’re interested in.  Everything is pretty obvious in terms of what it is (like eyeshadows vs. lipsticks) and arranged in an organized manner, so you should be able to find it.  Feel free to swatch products on your hand while you’re looking, too.  If you find something you like, you can keep it on the side to let an artist know.  Grab an artist by either waiting for one to ask if you need help (passive), or stop one and ask them if they can get you an item or help you try on a particular product (aggressive).  Depending on why I’m there and whether I’m in a rush or not, I’ll opt for either.

If it’s not busy, don’t let any standoffish employees put you off–ask them for help. They are paid to help you and make sales, so don’t feel like you’re intruding or let them intimidate you in any way! In general, though, when it isn’t busy, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to be asked if you need help. As a MAC addict, I tend to tell them politely that I don’t need help at the moment, since I’m mostly there looking at the new stuff anyway, but then I will grab them when I need them to get the products I want to buy.

When you pay…

MAC usually asks you for your address, which is used to track your purchases.  They say this for those who come in telling about this lipstick they loved, but don’t know the name of, and they can cross-reference to your previous purchases.  It is also one way to get certain mailers for upcoming collections (but unfortunately, it is not a guaranteed method, sometimes you get them, sometimes you don’t).  You might want to ask about any upcoming events the store has on its calendar, because MAC is often coming out with new launches, they tend to offer events often, too.

Not sure?

First, MAC has a great return policy.  You are always welcome to return with receipt within thirty days of a purchase, whether or not it has been used.  Second, MAC does provide sampling containers to provide customers with samples of products.  If you’re timid, try saying something like, “Oh, I think I like X product, but I’m not sure if it’ll look good on me at home…” which might get the makeup artist to ask if you’d like a sample.  A safe bet is to ask for a sample of a foundation–I have never been turned down for a foundation sample.  In fact, I even encourage you to get foundation samples before committing to a color/formula–MAC lighting is not the best and not at all like “real life.”  Thus, I suggest you take a sample home and look at the foundation on your face in natural light, your bathroom light, etc.  There are a few “stingy” makeup artists who may not give out samples or simply may not know that they can, but I haven’t encountered anyone that has said no to me, and I know SO many who have gotten samples of various products (foundation to skincare to pigments).

Don’t let one bad experience phase you!

In the past, MAC has been known to have some snobbish employees, but there are definitely many makeup artists who work for the company who are fountains of knowledge and just waiting to help you.  Sometimes even a whole counter/store can give off a very bad vibe, and if you can, just avoid that one and go to another.  You can even send an e-mail to MAC Cosmetics’ customer service online letting them know about it.  My closest freestanding store used to be notorious for its snobby artists, and enough customers complained.  They did a major overhaul of employees and management, and now the store is full of some of the most amazing artists I’ve had the pleasure of meeting!  Don’t feel like you a) need to show up with a full face of makeup (hey, I go in bare faced all the time – you never know if you want to try something!), or b) like you have to buy what an artist is recommending.

At an event…

There are all sorts of events, but most of them are similar.

Master Classes:  Sometimes MAC stores will offer master/PRO classes that are open to the public.  They may be called seminars, too.  There is usually a pre-paid $50 fee (it may have gone up) that is redeemable in product after the seminar.  The routine at these is you show up, head up to a makeshift classroom, and a senior artist will talk to you about the seminar’s topic.  They usually do a demo on someone who has signed up for the seminar, and you can take notes.  Afterwards, they have artists on hand for makeovers and to help you make your purchases.  You are supposed to spend at least $50 on products afterwards, though some stores do not enforce this policy or simply do not keep track.

Typical Events:  These are events held to promote the latest launch at the store.  Higher volume stores will have their events the weekend immediately following the launch (usually on Thursdays), while slower stores and some counters will have them later on in the month (anywhere from a week to three weeks later).  For these events, you typically sign up to get a makeover done, which is where an artist (who is either an actual regular MAC employee or just a freelance makeup artist) will do your makeup using the latest products.  They tend to ask you what kind of look you’d like, and be prepared if you tell them to go wild, they may really go wild.  Like other events, there can be a pre-paid cost ($40-60) or they may simply tell you that you are supposed to purchase a minimum amount after you get your makeover.

Unveiling Events:  Higher volume stores may do unveiling events, which are when a store closes down for the evening to specially invited guests.  For example, for Fafi, it launched on February 13th, but unveiling events went on February 10th.  These special guests were allowed to preview and purchase the Fafi collection prior to its general public release on the 13th.  These do not include makeovers or require you to spend a certain amount.  In fact, they tend to be a bit crazy, as the store is filled to the brim with people.  You usually get a list of products from the launch and you can fill in the quantity and which ones you want, which you hand off to any artist you can locate, who will grab your stuff.  There are usually models representing the launch, as well as waiters serving appetizers and perhaps even a DJ.

Tell me more about employees…

MAC employees do not work on commission, but they do have sales goals.  So it’s definitely great to give your favorite MA your business, because it helps them reach their goals (or surpass them), and at the same time, don’t feel like you can’t ask the questions you want because you’ll waste their time.  Yes, if they’re busy and seem like they are running around without a head, I wouldn’t ask them to write out a novel, but a few questions shouldn’t hurt.

When is the best time to go?

Weekends tend to be busy across the board, but it will depend on your location.  It’s best to just go a few different times, and observe when it is busy yourself.  I know my local freestanding gets busy in the afternoons, weekends, and lunch time, which means I tend to go there in the morning.  My store is particularly high volume, though, which is why they are busy for most of the day all the time.

Pigments

What are they? They are jars filled with loose particles of color.  It’s almost like a “dust,” with some pigments running chunkier (tend to be from the frost family) with others more finely milled (like mattes).

How do I use them? This would depend on where you use it, but for the eyes, which is what I get asked about a lot, I always use MAC’s water-based mixing medium (okay, homemade version).  I put a droplet or two on my brush, and then I swipe a bit of the pigment off of the top of the lid of the jar and apply to the lid.  Mixing medium helps it adhere to the lid.  I use a homemade version, which is one part [liquid] glycerin (found in most first aid aisles) to there parts water.  Shake it up, and voila.

Where do I use them? Depending on their safety guidelines (usually they come with a paper insert if they are unsafe for either lip, face, or eye), you can use them as you please.  Glitters are not safe to use on the eyes, and the same can be true with more red and dark-pink based products (because red dye tends to cause a lot of irritation amongst test groups).  You can mix them with clear gloss for lips, dust on cheeks to highlight, mix into moisturizer to apply to face or body, use them as shadows… the list is truly endless.  You can even add it to nail polish!

What about samples? If you are interested in samples, you may want to ask your MA for one, if it’s just one you’re looking for.  If you want to buy a lot of samples, I recommend perusing sellers on www.livejournal.com/community/mac_cosmetics.  They are reputable and will be able to help you out.  I would look to pay between $2-3 per 1/4 tsp sample (which will last you several uses!) for readily available colors, and up to $4-5 for harder to find colors.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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95 thoughts on “MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 10 — Readers Q&A

  1. Nell

    If you had only one chance to go to a pro store, what would you buy? (Leaving out any financial considerations and assuming we are talking about a true addict!)

    In June I´ll go to the pro store in Rome and I want to be prepared, I don´t want to say “Why didn´t I pick that up, when I had the chance?????”, so please tell me everything you can think off! Thanks in advance, Christine!

    P.S. I loved this guide!

  2. Hi Christine!

    I need help with blushes!! so far I have two… ‘Sweet as Cocoa’ and ‘Peachtwist’ my skin color is ‘NC42′ so would you have any recommendations? I want more of pink-ish color but i’m uncertain of what to get.

    I love love your site!

    • Erin

      I think the best way to find out what you like is to go to the counter and say “hey, I’m looking for something pinkish!”.
      Springsheen is a really pretty pink/peach/gold color… Blushbaby is a simple nonshiny shade of darker pink. There are SO many choices…

    • Hi Denise,

      Try Dollymix, I think that would be really pretty on your skin! Or Ambering Rose for something more bronzy-red.

    • Hi denise! I’m nc-42 too and my fav pink blush is the creme blush in “sweet William”. It’s a baby pink n looks great. I wear it alone when I want my cheeks to be highlighted.. If I want to tone it down, I’ll put powder blush on top. I personally use “super orgasm” (nars brand found at Sephora)-it’s a deeper pink with gold flecks of glitter. The sweet William helps the glitter stick.
      I love mac but I love to experiment to find the best that fits me and that’s key to every individual.
      I walk in mac or Sephora, use makeup remover and put on a whole new face. If u don’t like a color, wipe n try another! Mac is good but sometimes they won’t leave u alone when ur trying on makeup. Personally I need to be alone in my own world when I apply makeup n judge what it looks like. At Sephora they tend to leave me be.I bring all my mac brushes with me in my purse for maximum applying quality.
      Thnx 4 reading
      &
      Ps love the site!

    • Yanna

      I’m an NC42 and ambering rose looks great on my cheeks!

  3. Tekoa

    The function of all the different eyelashes maybe? This series was a darn good one and you’ve answered all my questions!

  4. Sara

    do you reccomend getting pigment samples online? i’m considering it so i can try a bunch of new colors without committing to a 20$ pot. whats a reasonable price? ive seen about $2-4 for 1/4 teaspoon

    • Erin

      Check out http://www.shadesofu.blogspot.com . The blogger does mostly mineral makeup and is constantly linking to her favorites and discussing the different amounts of pigmentation.

    • Hey Sara!

      I think you could get them on eBay once upon a time, and they WERE good buys considering how much a full jar costs. However, you may want to try perusing http://www.livejournal.com/community/mac_cosmetics, because there are a lot of reputable sellers there.

      $2-3 per 1/4 tsp sample is a good buy. I wouldn’t pay $4 for anything that wasn’t LE.

      • Sara

        you know, i’ve been looking there a lot and i’ve requested to join a few times, but i can’t seem to get accepted! so i cant actually buy from a lot of the people if they post directly into community. :(

        i’m pouty_giles on livejournal, btw haha. i am in mac_addicts, though. no sales there :/

        • Yeah, the moderator is kind of weird and oddly not around and yet not around.

          I think the membership recently got opened up? I don’t remember for sure, though.

          • Sara

            i saw alot of people posting that they got in, but not me :( i did find a girl (passion) who had posted the sale directly in her journal and i was able to comment there. i’m excited! i’m getting 25 1/4 samples for 52 shipped…that sounds like so much money but..so many new colors! i’m going to be so overwhelmed!!

          • That sucks :( Have fun! I used to sell pigment samples, and 25 for $52 is a great price :)

            Enjoy!!

  5. Whitney

    I love your site and I love your eye looks but since mac has so many limited editions I can never exactly duplicate any of your looks unless they are newly posted. Can you suggest a brown or neutral look that would be good for day/work using things I could get from a counter this week?
    Thx

    • Erin

      I’m not Christine, but I just got a few good ideas!
      Tete-A-Tint (peachy caramel brown, matte2) with All That Glitters (champagne peach-pink) on the lid is a very pretty foolproof look. For nighttime all you really have to do is throw a black like Carbon into the crease and make your lashes more dramatic.
      You could also go for Shroom (subdued white) and Patina (taupe with gold frost), which is my favorite easy combo for every day. Shroom looks great on the browbone and lid with Patina in the crease.

    • Hey Whitney!

      Just take a look under Looks > Neutral :) There are a lot of looks there, several that are using permanent MAC colors.

  6. hi! i love ur articles! always the first to do M.A.C collection reviews :) (n the reviews r great btw!) i’m jus wondering wad’s the diff between liquid foundation and powder foundation? i read dat liquid has heavier coverage? i’m looking between getting Studio Fix fluid or Studio Fix powder =) *i hav combi skin too*

    • Hey Aurora! Liquids do generally have better coverage than a powder, but not always so. Powders are great for on-the-go, popping into purses, and travel. I feel like you can get that “flawless” skin look better with a liquid than a powder (it is harder and you tend to have to find the right powder product to get the same effect that’s much easier and universal with liquids).

  7. Carrie

    Actually, you know what might be missing for newbies from this [really really great] series? Something about, like, “MAC counter etiquette”. When I first started going to counters I was really confused about, could I get a makeover, was I supposed to buy products if i did, what was ok to ask the MA’s, was it OK to just sample the products without asking, etc, I just felt intimidated by the whole thing.

    Here’s what I’ve learned:
    1) Always sanitize your hands (they have sanitizer for you to use) before playing with products

    2) You can play with the products but always ask a sales associate to sanitize lipsticks, etc, before you try them on

    3) MAC sales associates need to make a daily sales quota, so don’t waste their time asking for free makeup applications and demonstrations if you don’t intend to buy anything.

    4) Any products that you return, even if they are untouched and unopened, can’t be resold and basically go in the trash. I think they also get deducted from the MA’s sales quota. I don’t know if that’s helpful to know, it just kinda makes me sad :(

    5) MAC will sometimes have special events where you can get a makeover using a recent release (like, a Fafi special event). You can get makeovers but there is pretty much always a minimum purchase you are expected to make. I once signed up for one thinking it was free and ended up being obliged to spend $60, oops! SO be sure you know what you are getting into!

    6) Counters will sometime have LE items still available…never hurts to ask. For example I know my local counter still has Antiquitease mineralize shadows, discontinued fluidline colors and until very recently, Kohl power pencils.

    this was really long, sorry! hope it helps though!

    • Tanya

      WOW super helpful!! Soooo question to go along with that…do I need to ask my MA to apply the lipstick to me, or can I just ask her/him to sanitize it and then apply it myself? Also what is the proper etiquette for wanting to try several lipsticks on?

      • Carrie

        Oh, glad it is helpful! For trying on lips, usually I will pick out a few lipsticks I like by swatching a bunch on my hand, then narrow down my choices and ask the MA if I can try them on, at which point s/he will automatically dip them in alcohol, wipe off the tip and hand the tube to me to apply it myself. But you can also ask for it to be applied by the MA. Sometimes, like when trying on a bright red straight from the tube without a brush, it’s embarrassing to do it yourself b/c it’s so easy to make a mess!

        • Tanya

          super duper big ol’ sloppy wet kiss on your cheeck!! I always feel like such a dork when it comes to counter etiquette….so I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this bit of info has been for me.

    • Noted, thanks Carrie! Great tips!

    • Shefali

      So true about the stores still having discontinued stuff. I went into the store in Pasadena and they still have all the Mattenes, some Stylistics stuff, and some interesting discontinued pencils (can’t remember if they are eye or lipliners). They also had some glosses from a discontinued collection. You never know…so definitely good to ask! I also ended up getting Feline b/c I checked it out after I discovered this website. Thanks Christine!

    • j

      “3) MAC sales associates need to make a daily sales quota, so don’t waste their time asking for free makeup applications and demonstrations if you don’t intend to buy anything.”

      I disagree with this. They are paid to help you – yes, they have sales goals, but it is not up to YOU to make sure they reach it.

      If you are curious to see how a product looks on you, you should be able to ask for it to be applied on you, whether or not you intend to buy it that day.

      • Carrie

        Oh, I should’ve explained this better. I was trying to be concise and you’re right, it came out weird. :(

        Yeah, the situation you describe is totally understandable…i mean, I think I do that every time I go to MAC.

        What I am referring to is when people want a free makeup application, but they never intend to buy *anything* and aren’t concerned with trying out products. They just wanted to look hot for a date or something, and treat the MAC counter like a free salon service, which it is not–it’s a product demonstration.

        Being curious about the products asking to try them out is way different from that.

  8. Fiona

    I’m not sure if this was covered already, but does MAC give out samples of products to bring home?

  9. tricia

    this series of info was really great and informational christine. keep up the great work.

  10. Tekoa

    Ah ha! I had an idea. Finish description definitions that are easily understood. For example, I still find some like Veluxe eyeshadow to be confusing. MAC says “VELUXE:
    Superfine pigment rich and very luxe. Supple to apply. Provides silky smooth matte finish.”

    Very luxe? Eh? And how is it different than a Matte or Matt2 for that matter….

  11. reecespieces

    i think finish descriptions is a good idea.. i really dont know the diff..

  12. Sovann

    Oh my gosh! Love your blog site! It s my favorite one. It s not too overwhelming.

    Questions:

    1. How does MACs PREP & PRIME compare to Smashbox photofinisher primer? Which is better?

    2. How do I make my powder blushes last longer? Should I apply Fix + or use a cream color bases underneath?

    3. I noticed you used mixing medium and pigments as a base. How is the staying power. Do you like paint pots or shadesticks for your bases?

    4. Do you like MAC PRO invisible set loose powder? Not sure of the name. I know it is white loose powder though. Does it give a matte finish? How does it compare to Bare Escentials Mineral Viel?

    Thank you!!!!!!!

    • Hi Sovann!

      A lot of your questions are really specific, and less like general info, so I’m going to answer here:

      1.) I haven’t personally tried either, so I couldn’t tell you! A lot of people seem to go either way, though Smashbox’s tends to break some out (more stories about this from Smashbox than from MAC).

      2.) Cream color bases will DEFINITELY make your powder blushes last longer. Also, setting with powders and keeping skin moisturized regularly will help combat oil buildup (which is what tends to dilute/make blushes disappear).

      3.) Amazing. I don’t use ANYTHING ELSE most of the time. I can cry through it, like SOBBING breakdown crying.

      4.) I have only used it once thus far (recently purchased it). It gives a matte finish, and it goes on “invisible.” It’s not white really, it’s invisible, so it just sets without adding color. I haven’t tried BE’s Mineral Veil!

      • n.fiona

        i use concealer and invisible set powder to go to work and it works great

        christine what are your thoughts on concealor and those select sheer loose powder.

  13. Ashley Samantha

    SO didn’t know about the 30 day return policy – there’s no MAC near here (hour and half drive to the nearest counters, 2 hours from the nearest freestanding store) so I usually order online. Is it ok to return/exchange online orders to stores/counters? I have an order from the end of January that needs returning so I need to get down there asap!

  14. I used to feel timid at the MAC counter, but i soon realised most staff really just want to help and you shouldnt be afraid to ask if you need something…. I still feel embarrassed to go without my face on tho LOL!!!

  15. catie

    Hi,

    I’m new to pigments. You mentioned that there are pigments that are chunky and the other ones are finely milled. Would you recommend buying chunky pigments? Are they difficult to apply?

    Thanks. You’re website is really helpful.

  16. reecespieces

    omg u put up finishes!! i love you!

  17. Patty

    Hi, I was just wondering, do any of you ever tip your MA after getting your makeup done? Christine, do you know any tipping policy for MA at MAC? Thanks!

  18. Sara

    its so funny, after i told you that i couldn’t get into mac_cosmetics…and now they let me in this morning! woohoo!!!

  19. My MA told me yesterday that the reason they say glitters aren’t eye safe is to cover their own asses in case someone has a bad reaction to it etc etc and that she uses hers on her eyes all the time! Guess different things work for different people.

    • Hey Stacey! Glitters can actually be really unsafe depending on the formula, as some may have GLASS particles that will scratch your cornea and ruin vision in the long term.

  20. Erin

    I enjoy using Lustre shadows- but I use my finger to pack the glitter on, rather than losing it in the brush. Sometimes you want a hint of sparkle though, and for that you can use the brush.

  21. Erin

    Also, as far as glitter goes, I have a terrible time with getting gunk stuck in my tear ducts. I do not want to know what happens if a tear duct gets blocked with glitter. *shudder*

    • A good way to get that sparkly glitter eye look is to use the glitter applicators. It usually comes in a tube shaped like a skinny mascara tube and it goes on like liquid liner. I personally don’t use the glitter liner from mac but I think they have it. I use a brand called “two faced” and I like the gold; it’s called gold digger (found at Sephora for like $15). My best friend uses the silver, same brand. Also-important- I always only apply it in the corners on the bottom, on the space between the inner corner of ur eye and where ur bottom lashes begin. I get soooo many compliments on it and everyone always asks me what I use.
      Victorias secret also sells these glitter applicators. U can find them in the bins by the registers where the lip glosses are but their brush is too fine and thin. But it works, u just have to apply more layers.

  22. catie

    Hi! I have another question. What are your must have colors for pigments? Can you please recommend two to three top notch choices in each color family. thanks again.
    * Blacks
    * Blues
    * Browns
    * Golds
    * Grays/Silvers
    * Greens
    * Neutrals/highlighters
    * Oranges/Peach
    * Pinks
    * Purples
    * Teals
    * Whites

    • Hi Catie!

      I listed several of my favorites in the pigment part of the post :) There tends to be only 2-5 choices per color in terms of permanently available pigments, so it probably wouldn’t be that useful if I just re-listed all the permanent colors!

  23. Deb

    Thank you sooooo much! Seriously. I just started getting into makeup and wanted to stop by the MAC store but was so intimidated. It might sound a little silly, but I didn’t want to go in and not know the proper way of doing things. It’s very scary for a first time buyer especially when I’m not sure what to purchase. I don’t just want to walk around,lol. This guide gave me some products to try and an understanding of MAC as a whole. You’re kick ass!lol.

  24. aina

    Hi! i hope u can still answer my question… so im planning to get matched for a liquid foundation and also for concealer, my question is do i need to call ahead of time to make an appointment or can i just walk in there and ask the MA? im new to this whole make up thing and im really intimidated by the whole experience. i’ve had bad experience in the past where the MAs where just so rude and very snobby that it turned me off.

    • Hi Aina!

      Yes, just walk in and say you’re interested in choosing a foundation. Tell them which one if you know, otherwise they should ask you what you’re looking for. :)

  25. aina

    thanks for the response!!!

  26. Ola

    Hey Christine! May I just say I love this site :) I’m a big fan, lol.

    Well, I bought my first big haul with a lot of help from the lj mac_cosmetics girls. I got Parfait amour e/s, sploof e/s, bare study paint pot, greyprint technakohl [if you love technakohls, this is for YOU. I totally wasn't going to buy this but it's my new hg.] lark about pigment, an empty quad, party mate l/s, and finally…the 217! my question to you is how do you take care of your brushes? and also, what do you do to make sure your makeup stays on? for your face, eyes, and lips? (most of the time it’s easy to just reapply the whatever’s on the lips I guess…but is there any way to make lipstick stay on longer? I’ve tried UDPP and it was just OK for me – not the amazing thing I feel everyone makes it out to be. And I love my bare study, and it makes my colors a lot brighter but by the end of the day my eyeshadow is still all gone. Any tricks to applying it?

    Wow, that was a novel. Thanks!
    Ola

    • Hey Ola!

      You can try lining your lips with lipstick, applying the lipstick, blotting, apply lipstick, tap loose powder on, apply lipstick, top with gloss. Stick with MAC paint pots if UDPP wasn’t your thing. :) Are you waiting for the paint pot to dry? You aren’t supposed to put a very thick layer on, and you need to wait for it to dry!

  27. Shhh

    Hello everybody,

    I am writing from Germany, where MAC is not easy available.

    My questions are: What colour from the cremeblush range makes me looking very very healthy and fresh from outdoors (like I have exerciced or come from the beach, you surely know what i mean…)

    Second, I am looking for a lipstick that is totally identical with my natural lip colour and one that is only slighltly darker.

    It is so difficult to buy the products online, since colours are different when testing them on the face, right?

    And I trust you to have more experience with MAC colours, since the lady at a MAC counter was not able to recommend me the perfect shades (I did not want a pearly lipstick but she recommended me to buy BRAVE …)

    I have already ordered cremeblush LILICENT, is this shade close to my descriptions of lokking healthy and fresh or should I order LAID BACK (it really looks very nice online but it also could be too heavy on my cheeks, couldn’t it? )

    As for the lipsticks: TWIG is slightly too dark for my lips, HUG ME is too glossy, FAST PLAY a bit too heavy only BRAVE comes close to my lipcolour but I dislike its pearly shimmer, is there a colour without such shimmer and with a SATIN or AMPLIFIED finish?

    Thank you so much for your answers and have a nice day.

    SHH

    • Hi Shhh!

      1) Sweet William or Cherche. These are both really good colors for most skintones.

      2) I really couldn’t TELL you what your color would be since I don’t know the color of your lips, lol! Based on what did work, have you tried Faux, Velvet Teddy, or Half ‘n Half? If Fast Play is too heavy, could you use it sheerly instead?

      Lilicent is a good color, but I think Laid Back would be more dramatic than what you are going for.

    • Yes, sweet William is def a fresh healthy looking color, it is my fav.
      As far as lipcolor.. I had the same problem. I wanted the natural look with low maintenance. I finally settled on a victorias secret lipgloss in “tropicool”. I love it. It looks really pink in the tube but once uapply it, it fits in to ur natural lip color and looks great and natural but enhanced. It’s not too glossy thick or sticky and it stays on for awhile. U can find them in the bins by the register. 1 for $7 or 2 for $12 I believe..

  28. katie

    If I have eyeshadows that have not been used but no longer have the boxes or reciept will I be able to exchange them for other colores?

  29. Domenique

    Thank you so much for all the information you posted, it really helped me.

  30. claire

    woah… carrie, i might just love you. i tend to be painfully shy, and the idea of approaching a (what i imagined a MA artist to be) aloof, supercillious, gorgeous expert with my inept beginner questions was enough to make me cringe. your store etiquette was really helpful!

  31. Mona

    Had anibody bought Mac products from Rome-Italy? Are the products expencive? I will go on a trip soon and I would like to know if they have the same prices like in US. Thank you!

  32. michelle

    Can I return my purchases at a different Mac store then the one I bought from?

  33. Mia

    Christine, your guides and tips are SO helpful. I totally appreciate all your info. Thank you so much.

  34. Carol

    I went to MAC store located at the Galleria Mall in Houston, TX, I bought almost 500 usd worth of make up I asked if I get to choose some samples and the sales lady told me that they don’t give samples, I was very dissapointed, now that I’m reading your article makes me really mad the fact that I asked for them and still she said no…

  35. Amanda

    Hi epic fan of your site , I’ve only been invited to the wonderwoman Unveiling and that was a fantastic experience :D is there a reason I haven’t been invited to others ?

  36. Cecilia

    Hey christine!

    I have a question.. So i bought the careblend pressed powder in med plus at a mac store but its a shade dark so i want to exchange it for the med. But really mac stores are kinda far from me n was wondering if i can exchange them at mac counters like the bay?

    Love ur site!! It helped me alot in my decisions!!!