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
- 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.
- 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! Continue reading →
MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 9
These are some terms that are commonly used by MAC fans that may be a bit confusing to newcomers.
- Acronyms | Many things get abbreviated on the internet, and makeup is no different. If you’ve seen one and don’t know what it is, MakeUpAlley has an excellent abbreviation list that should help you!
- CCB | Cream Colour Base
- Depotting | This is the act of removing the eyeshadow pan/palette from the black container that it came in. There are several methods on doing this, the most common requires a lighter/candle and knife. To begin, you can pop out the plastic insert that lays in the container (basically, there are two pieces to the container, the entire outer casing and a little “plate” that holds the eyeshadow pan). You can easily do this by taking your knife point and inserting it where the two parts meet, which is the same place where the lid closes and clicks in place. After you have removed that portion, take a lighter and melt the bottom of the eyeshadow container enough that you can push a knife point up through it to pop out the metal eyeshadow pan. You can also quickly melt the label found on the bottom of the eyeshadow pot (just enough to make it easy to pull off, too much and you’ll blacken it) and adhere it to the bottom of the eyeshadow pan.
- E/s, L/s, L/g | Eyeshadow, lipstick, lipglass
- Eyeshadow “in pan/palette form” | The typical eyeshadow comes inside a black plastic container with a clear top that pops open. Eyeshadow bought in pan/palette (means the same thing in this context) is when you buy a metal pan that is filled with the eyeshadow color with a magnet on the bottom of it. Essentially, it does not have any protective case or black plastic container. It is the bare bones product. You would then place them in an empty quad or palette.
- Empty palettes, quads | When you purchase an eyeshadow or blush in pan/palette form, you place it inside an empty palette/quad. An empty eyeshadow palette can hold either 15 or 4 eyeshadows (referred to as a quad), and it is a slim black container. An empty blush palette can hold 6 blushes.
- FOTD (EOTD) | Face of the Day or Eye of the Day; essentially, it is someone’s makeup from that day
- MA | Makeup Artist
- MLBB | My Lips But Better
- OTT | Over The Top – as in, that bright blue eyeshadow is over the top for wearing to the office
MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 8
The “LE” Factor
The “LE” Factor refers to the Limited Edition collections that launch throughout the year. These are products specifically designed and developed for a particular collection that debuts in a month and is then sold out or removed from shelves shortly thereafter. Once this occurs, then it becomes quite difficult to track down the color you fell in love with.
How often does MAC come out with a new collection?
Quite honestly, it depends. Sometimes it seems like there is one a month, and other times it feels like there is one a week. It can be hard to keep up with what is coming out now, next, and when.
Should I buy everything just because it is limited edition?
If you can afford to, by all means! However, most of us cannot, and I would recommend checking products and perhaps getting at least one item from each launch (if you find something you like), but I advise strongly against giving into to the “LE” Factor. Certain launches, like 2007’s Barbie Loves MAC and 2008’s Fafi For MAC, do sell out incredibly quickly, and for such large, anticipated collections like these, I would be remiss if I didn’t let you know that you can’t deliberate too long! These collections had certain products sell out in a matter of days, not weeks.
Should I buy more than one item? Do I need back-ups?
I rarely buy back-ups of any product, because of how often MAC comes out with new items, I find myself constantly changing up my favorites and finding new things to fall in love with. If you find your perfect lipgloss or highlighter, I would totally say to pick up another if it’s available and it’s just that holy grail product for you.
What do I do if I fell in love with a limited edition product, and now it’s gone?
Take your favorite product with you and try to find a permanent item that is close to it, or be on the look out for potential new products that are similar. When all else fails, try to find a product that’s a dupe for it from another brand (gasp!).
MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 7
- Skin Care | MAC is not particularly known for their skin care, but they have been expanding it in the past few years to try and gain better market share in the skin care industry. Popular favorites have been the makeup removing wipes (raved for their scent), and Cremewash caused quite a bit of a stir when it originally debuted as a creamy, lathering cleanser. Cleanse Off Oil is known to get off even the most stubborn liquid liners. Moisturelush cream (face and eye) was recently released in late 2007, and it has been well received thus far as an extra hydrating moisturizer choice. There is a cult following for Fast Response Eye Cream (FREC) for its ability to de-puff and minimize lines around the eyes. Strobe Cream offers an easy way to give a glowy, dewy finish. If you enjoy water spritzes, MAC offers their Charged Water line, which infuses water with certain characteristics. Fix+ is known as a good way to finish makeup, and it seems to have quite a bit of a following amongst MAC users.
- Nails | MAC does offer solutions for nail fanatics, including lacquer (color coat), overlacquer (top coat), and underlacquer (base coat). There is a very small range of permanent colors to the nail lacquer line (it is rumored that they are revamping the formula), but some colors to look into would be Rocker, Spicemix, and Nocturnelle.
- Fragrance | There are five fragrances offered by MAC, from MV 1 (light feminine scent), MV2, MV3 to Hue: Turquatic and Hue: Pinkaura. There seems to be a split of those who enjoy the fragrances, and others who dislike them immensely.
- Accessories | Each year, MAC revamps, repromotes, or relaunches their line of bags, including MAC logo jacquard weave bags or classic black bags. They also have softsac bags which are really light and great for travel. In late 2007, MAC relaunched and added to their accessory line to include a range of travel containers emblazoned with the MAC logo, as well as sponges and puffs.
MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 6
- Face | These are the brushes I could not live without: 129 (for blush and powder), 168/169 (to contour), 182 (for buffing), and 187 (for stippling). Brushes that are good, but you could get away with not having are: 150 (good for powders), 188 (smaller stippling, more precision), 183 (flat buffer), and 194 (concealing).
- Eyes | These are the brushes I could not live without: 210 (for precision lining), 219 (for lining with shadow, precise crease definition), 239 (shadow application), 249 (cream product application), and 266 (for upper lash line lining and brows). Brushes that are incredibly popular: 217 (blending), 222 (blending), and 224 (blending).
- Lips | I like the 318 because it is a retractable version of the 316, which makes it convenient for on the go. The 311 is nice, but I find I can line well with cremestick liner already.
- Sets | Once or twice a year, MAC puts out brush sets with four to five brushes in them. Each set comes with a brush bag and then four or five miniaturized brushes. Typically, they have a basic set, which includes both face and eye brushes; an eye brush set; and a face set. I always encourage newcomers to check these out as a great way to get quality brushes for less. They also make excellent travel options.
- SH vs. SE | SH stands for “Short Handled,” which means the brush is specially made for a certain launch or collection. It may be pink handled or ornately decorated, but the brushhead is of the same quailty as the typical version. SE stands for “Special Edition,” which tend to be short handled brushes included in brush sets. These are man-made, mass-produced, and do tend to have less quality than a full-sized version. However, they are packaged in sets, which are much less expensive than individual, full-size brushes making them a good deal. To be sure, I personally find that the difference in quailty is not really that big. I mostly can feel it in a fluffy brush like the 129, which does feel a bit rougher compared to the full-size version.
MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 5
If I’m new, what are some good basics that I should get into first?
It is important to note that everybody is a little different, and their preferences for the type of makeup or kinds of products are not the same across the board. You should use this only as a guideline, but not as something that is universal to every person.
- Foundation | MAC has several varieties in foundation, and it is a good idea to go to your local MAC store to get color-matched and determine the appropriate foundation for you. Certain formulas are better for those who want full coverage, while others are preferential for light coverage. Lightweight formulas include Studio Mist, Select Tint, Select CoverUp, and Studio Stick. Medium coverage includes: Face & Body, Mineralize Satinfinish, Studio Fix Fluid, and Studio Fix (Powder). Heavier coverage includes: Studio Tech and Full Coverage.
- Powders | MAC offers a good range of different types of powder, including pressed and loose. Blot powder (pressed or loose) is designed to help reduce oil build-up for those with oilier skin. The line also offers several bronzing powder options and iridescent pressed powders/highlighters. Beauty powders, which are loose powder highlighters, are also fun to play around with.
- Concealer | While MAC offers several options for concealers, many rave about Select Cover-Up and Studio Stick Concealer. Studio Lights are great for specific kinds of concealing, like brightening dark circles.
- Powder Blushes | Pressed powder blushes are easy to use, and there is a large variety in colors to choose from. There are bold colors like Frankly Scarlet (deep red) to dark pinks like Dollymix to warm peach like Springsheen. Some blush colors that are often highly reviewed: Ambering Rose, Blushbaby, Breezy, Dame, Dollymix, Honour, Margin, Peachykeen, Springsheen, Sunbasque, and Well Dressed.
- Blushcremes | These are cream blushes, which means they give a bit of a shiny and dewy finish to cheeks once applied. These are ideally applied using a stippling brush like the 188. Some favorites are Blossoming, Brit Wit, Lilicent, and Sweet William.
- Cream Colour Bases | Similar to cream blushes, these are a creamy formula (though not as creamy as blushcremes) that are used as a multipurpose product, but they can be used to highlight and blush cheeks. Virgin Isle is gorgeous on apples of cheeks as well as lips. Pearl and Shell make amazing highlighters on cheekbones as well as on the inner tearducts.