MAC Cosmetics – N Collection Review and Swatches

OVERALL, N Colour impressed me more than N Face, but it is not a collection that anyone should avoid because they dislike neutrals/nudes. I feel that it does offer a little something to everyone; you have two new mineralize skinfinishes, with one that is suitable to nearly everyone, while the eyeshadows are gorgeous with lovely color pay off and finishes. The nail lacquers were a little disappointing, but I kind of had a feeling I would be passing on them in the end (me wear brown polish? so doubtful!). I know paint pots have a huge following since their introduction, and I don’t think that either Quite Natural or Soft Ochre will disappoint. The stand outs in my opinion were 3N lipstick, 4N lipglass, Modest Tone eyeshadow, Nanogold eyeshadow, Neutral Pink eyeshadow, and Soft Ochre paint pot.

What did you get/will you get?ย  Favorites? Feel free to share your swatches in the comments or e-mailing me your photos (and I’ll post them).

Check out more swatches and in-depth reviews for individual products


  • 1N is a very sheer, creamy beige color with high sheen and low opacity. It is actually not the “lightest” by sight or in the tube. I think those looking for a very sheer nude would like this, but for anyone with pigmented lips, it wouldn’t add much beyond shine.
  • 2N is a pale, pinky nude that is also fairly sheer. This had more pay off than 1N, but it is still quite light.
  • 3N is a lovely medium glossy pink, and I think this is going to be a favorite, because it’s such a workable and wearable pink. It might even be the answer to people’s quests for the perfect pink lipstick. It isn’t too bright nor too pale or sheer.
  • 4N is a deeper beigey nude with pink undertones, and those with darker natural lips will find this one of the better choices from N, because the color pay off is much more intense. It is still more on the sheer side, though.
  • 5N is a dark, plummy-mauve with brown undertones that would work well on deeper skintones. It goes on with more color than the other N lipsticks, but it does have some sheerness to it that makes it a wearable deep color, even for lighter skintones.


  • 1N is a lovely beigey tan color with gold shimmer, and I think it would make an excellent gloss on top of any nude lipstick, regardless if it’s from N.
  • 2N is a warm medium pink with white-gold shimmer, much like N3 (though N3 is cooler rather tham warmer if I had to pick one way or the other), so obviously you could pair these two together for a nice pink lip. I did like the lipglass, though, and it is a good universal color.
  • 3N is a rich brown with pink-gold shimmer. It’s dark enough where I am not sure it would be the most flattering color on my skin tone, but I could see it as adding some punch to any nude lip.
  • 4N is the most gorgeous lip product out of the launch, because it is a rich, vampy, berry color with gold shimmer. In fact, I was kind of reminded of Real Desire from The Originals. It is more burgundy-berry than red, like Real Desire, though. I would say this is one of my must-haves!


  • Nanogold is a gorgeous opalescent pinkish-gold-white with a fair amount of shimmer/frost, but it is really a gorgeous color. I would say this is the only shadow I went in wanting to buy, and it didn’t disappoint. Though, I wouldn’t have put “gold” in the name, but that’s just me! It reminds me of a more gold Pink Opal pigment (or a more gold Whistle eyeshadow).
  • Modest Tone is a fleshy pink gold-beige color (wow, could I get more colors in that one?). It’s hard to describe these shadows, because it’s almost as if they’re duochromes. I think this makes an excellent pink for anyone who has been afraid to do a pink-themed eye look. It’s not at all bright, and it’s quite natural.
  • Neutral Pink is so rich and luxe; it’s an amazing shade of deep plum-berry. It has lovely shimmer, but not overwhelmingly so. Loved this one! Payoff was awesome!
  • Rich Flesh is a warm, milk chocolate brown. Anyone dying for a great medim brown that’s rich and warm with gold sheen, this is the one for you.
  • Remotely Grey is a greyish brown, dark taupe color. I was reminded a bit of Mothbrown eyeshadow, but probably not an exact duplicate. This would make a great smoky eye for the day time, because it isn’t black, nor is it straight grey, so it would be a nice compromise.
  • Dark Edge is a glittery dark black-brown with gray undertones. I felt like the shimmer was almost a bit gold in reflects, and this would be the chunkiest in texture out of the six shadows. It’s a nice color, but it isn’t a must-have.

Paint Pot

  • Groundwork is a dirty-gray brown, would make a nice base for a smoky eye or subdued eye. My store didn’t have it in stock, so please refer back to my Painterly swatches here. This is a permanent color, so no rush to get it.
  • Quite Natural is a rich, warm chocolate brown, much like Rich Flesh eyeshadow, only darker and with nearly no shimmer (maybe none at all, actually).
  • Soft Ochre is gorgeous, because it is a really lovely base color for any look. It’s kind of like a warmer Beige-ing shadestick, which lots of MAC fans use as their eyeshadow base. The texture was fabulous, really creamy and went on like a dream.

Mineralize Skinfinish

  • Light Flush is a lovely peachy-pink with gold shimmer. I can see this becoming a holy grail kind of color for many MAC and MSF fans alike. It should deposit just the right bit of glow for many skintones. As NC30, it would probably give me, just as it states, a light flush. I was reminded of Motif eyeshadow, which I do like as a highlighter.
  • Warm Flush is very different from Light Flush–it is a rich, coppery bronze with gold shimmer. I would love to see how people wear this color, because it has a lot of color pay off and it is quite dark. You would definitely need to use the 187 with this one (or else a very, very light hand).

Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

  • Light Medium is the lightest of the naturals to come out, and you can see it fades entirely away in my swatch (that’s my under forearm, the lightest skin I have!).
  • Medium has some pink undertones to it, so I don’t feel like it’d be great for warmer skin tones.
  • Medium Plus is more neutral than Medium, but it makes my skintone just a touch chalky.
  • Medium Deep is cooler with just the faintest hint of a peach-pink in it.
  • Medium Dark is a warmer, deeper color, probably too dark for me as a NC30, but it would make a nice bronzer for NC30ish skintones.
  • Dark is very rich and smooth, a deep warm bronze color. This is as dark as it goes, and I don’t think it would satisfy the entire range of skin colors, because it is quite warm.

Cremestick Liner

  • Creamola is a deeper tan-beige lip liner. I love cremestick liners, so I have nothing bad to say about them. I can’t imagine using Creamola very much, so I passed.
  • Sublime Culture is a pretty pink with gold undertones, which is definitely one of the favorited cremestick liners because it’s so versatile.

Nail Lacquer

  • N Colour is a sheer, pale beige polish that goes on quite thickly. It dries to a semi-sheer finish, but it makes a very nice, professional color.
  • Naturally Rich is indeed a milk chocolate brown, as described, and it just isn’t a color I could see myself wearing.
  • Demi-blanc has a gorgeous duochrome nature to it, with pink-purple iridescence. The only problem with it is that it is incredibly sheer, so even after two coats, I felt like I didn’t get near the color I would have liked. It also didn’t apply as evenly as I would have liked (it didn’t look as mixed well in the bottle, so maybe that was why).