5 Makeup Artist Must-Haves from MAC

By Nita J., Virginia, Makeup Artist

Nita J is a strong advocate that true beauty lives in each and every individual. To her, makeup just enhances beauty and should never be used to mask the beauty that a person was born with. With her knowledge of makeup, cosmetic brands, marketing and the beauty industry, Nita J hopes to contribute as much as she can and instill in the minds of others that confidence and true beauty is soul-deep. You can check out her portfolio and her blog!

5 Makeup Artist Must-Haves from MAC

As you can probably guess, a major part of the journey of a makeup artist is the wonderful (and sometimes overwhelmingly frustrating) process of testing out products, falling in love with products, purging products and revisiting products. It sure can get exhausting but in the midst of it all, you come to realize what works and what isn’t so great when it comes to what products to include in your kit. Now, I do understand that we are all not makeup artists, but please keep in mind I am a makeup addict myself and this process also helps me decide what to keep for myself.

On my beauty blog, I am working on a series of makeup products, by cosmetic line, that are great for both personal and professional kits. Since MAC is a universally popular brand, let’s start by looking at five AMAZING products:


MAC’s eyeshadows ($14.50), although they are more expensive than other brands, have amazing quality and minimal fall-out, which I love. Worn with or without a primer, these eyeshadows tend to stay true to shade and pigmentation. The more neutral shades are normally the most popular staples found in many kits such as Satin Taupe, Patina, Espresso, Rice Paper, and Naked Lunch, just to name a few. Their staying power is what has me hooked!


MAC’s pigments ($20.00) are so multifunctional and easy to work with! For simple use, you can take your favorite shade and dust it over your lids for a quick pop of color or use to stain your cheeks. You can even get super creative by mixing with clear lip gloss or MAC’s Mixing Medium to create more artistic looks. The possibilities are truly endless with pigments. I suggest stashing at least one or two in your kit!


This is another awesome product that gets lots of buzz. MAC’s Fix+ ($20.00) is a skin-refreshing spray infused with lots of goodies such as vitamins, green tea, cucumber and minerals that calm the skin and finishes your makeup look to help it last throughout the day. It truly does feel great on the skin and has an amazing, fresh fragrance. For added makeup staying power, I like to spray this product on a client’s skin as a foundation primer when I don’t want the heaviness of a moisturizing cream.

Strobe Cream

MAC says that Strobe Cream ($30.00) “enhances the effects of light on all skin and in all lighting conditions from sunlight to spotlight.” That’s exactly what it does!  It gives your skin a quick wake-up call with antioxidants and botanicals that refreshes and rejuvenates the skin. I personally fell in love with it the first time I used it under my Studio Fix Fluid Foundation. It just gives your skin that extra oomph!

Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder/Pressed

I really like that Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder/Pressed ($23.00) not only controls shine, but it minimizes lines and imperfections. This easy-to-use product can be used as a quick fix on the go, even if you are not wearing much makeup for the day. Us makeup artists LOVE our multifunctional products!

What are some of your FAVORITE MAC products that you can’t live without? What are some that you would like to try? I would love to hear your comments!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Compare Any Two Swatches

Curious how two shades compare to each other? Type in the shades below to get instant side-by-side swatches!

We hope you'll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!


Comments that do not adhere to our comment policy may be removed. Discussion and debate are highly encouraged but we expect community members to participate respectfully. Please keep discussion on-topic, and if you have general feedback, a product review request, an off-topic question, or need technical support, please contact us!

Please help us streamline the comments' section and be more efficient: double-check the post above for more basic information like pricing, availability, and so on to make sure your question wasn't answered already. Comments alerting us to typos or small errors in the post are appreciated (!) but will typically be removed after errors are fixed (unless a response is needed).

We appreciate enthusiasm for new releases but ask readers to please hold questions regarding if/when a review will be posted as we can't commit to or guarantee product reviews. We don't want to set expectations and then disappoint readers as even products that are swatched don't always end up being reviewed due to time constraints and changes in priorities! Thank you for understanding!

Comments on this post are closed.

I love the products listed and would ad Pro Longwear concealer. I wear it every day and it’s the best one I’ve come across. Also, Blot Powder and their now discontinued MoistureLush eye cream – I loved that stuff and wish it hadn’t been discontinued.

Magically cool powder! I love it!! I use truth and light because I’m NC15, which actually warms my skin tone itself to give you an idea of how cold and pale my skin is – so this powder really beautifully lets my skin glow and feels lovely to apply.

I have a question about the Fix+. Well, sort of. I had bought it and tried it a year ago. The thing is, it made my face feel really sticky, and it made certain areas of my face itch or break out. Does anyone else have this problem? I’ve only ever heard great things about it, so I was wondering if I could have had a bad batch or am I perhaps just allergic to some ingredient?

Missy, I have extremely sensitive skin and i have allergic reactions to so much, i surprisingly didnt break out with Fix+. i’m thought maybe you did get a bad batch, or maybe you had it in the heat and it changed the properties of the ingredients? you could be allergic to one ingredient, it’s hard to say. maybe you can go up to a mac counter and ask to spray some of theirs on, and see if it feels the same as yours? i actually use Skindanavia finishing spray, it’s a lot better i think, and i use my Fix+ as a mixing medium for my pigments, i just spray some of it on a concealer brush and slightly dab it in some pigment, if I accidentally pick up too much pigment, i spray it one more time with Fix+

I used to keep MAC eyeshadows in my pro kit, but the poor staying power made me get rid of them. I worked backstage at an awards show once, and 30 minutes after I did a presenter’s makeup (using Urban Decay Primer Potion), the MAC shadows I used on her faded and creased horribly! I was so shocked and mortified. If it had been after 5 hours, I would have understood, but it was only after 30 minutes.

I agree with you abour MAC pigments. I used Copper Sparkle on a model recently and it looked divine with her blue eyes. 🙂

I am not impress with MAC cosmetics at all. Although, I may be better than drugstore brands, the stuff that I have bought from MAC is not stellar for me. The only eyeshadow I like is satin taupe. Jealousy Wakes stains and isnt even that pigmented. There are other brands like Urban Decay or the Balm that are easier to apply and more pigmented. Yes, there are many lipcolors, but the formula is not impressive. The only thing I like about MAC are their brushes. And the most funny thing is that when you look at the makeup artists at the counter, they all have this same look on their eyes, brows, and foundation face.

Of course they do! They get issued what’s in the current big LE Collection and then wear it so the customers can see it on. When I worked at Lauder in the Eighties we wore the make up, but out of the back counter testers not public ones. Part of the job.

MAC’s Fix+ is really genius. I love this stuff. I just received my travel verison. My MAC faves are:

1. Studio Fix Powder Foundation C7
2. Mulch eyeshadow (great for everyday)
3. Saddle eyeshadow (great for the crease and adding dimension)
4. Arena (good on the lid and as a highlight)
5. Gleam (great for the inner corner)
6. Warm Soul Mineralized Blush (I get compliants everyday at work)
7. I just discovered MAC’s oil control lotion from Tina (The Fancy Face). I use this as a primer and it works very well.
8. Pro longwear concealer (mix NC 45 with NW 35)

Okay that was a mouthful. Hope I didn’t go over board.

I LOVE Mac pigments, I have naked, melon and chocolate brown. I had never applied it wet until the other day, I used melon and it turned out gorgeous! I think I’m going to ask for a few more (maybe Pink Opal? Golden Olive?) for Christmas!

My favorite Mac eyeshadows are Carbon, All that Glitters, Chrome Yellow and Girlie.

I am now intrigued by Strobe Cream.

Naked is by far the best Pigment. I fell in love after I got a small jar in last year’s holiday set. It’s the only pigment i’ve really reached for more than just once! I dislike neutrals because usually they’re a bit too far on the boring side but Naked is the exception, and it definitely lives up to the multitaker reputation that pigments have, i.e. eyes, lips, and especially as a cheek highlighter on various skin tones. <3

I like everything in a Pro Pan, but I’m with @Chris25 on the shadows’ hang time. It improves if you use one of the Paints underneath; some of the Paint Pots do that, too, but not all. The Paints are underrated and completely ignored by MAC and that’s silly from a business standpoint.

Fix+ is a MUST! I can’t believe I lived without it until recently.
It’s great for applying those pigments and mineralized shadows.

Unfortunately, strobe cream makes me look ridiculous. too shiny/glitterly/reflective lol

i cant believe their kohl liner isnt on this list! and fix+ and the strobe cream seem like they’re both things that you would put on your face before foundation, kind of redundant, i would’ve chosen a liner or a lipstick for the 5th one

Eyeshadows -> Cranberry is my favorite shade
Painpots -> They’re an awesome base! (Blackground and Rubenesque are my fav shades)
Fix + -> Can’t finish my make up if I don’t use it
Lipstick -> Viva Glam Gaga I is my go-to lipstick
Concealer -> Select Moisturecover 😀

I’m totally a mac addict haha!

Ditto. I’m embarrassed to divulge my substantial collection of MAC products. I use every bit of it! I keep one Fix+ on my makeup vanity and one in the refrigerator for a quick spritz on the way out, and absolutely a must during the summer months. MAC is not the most expensive brand on the market. I love Matchmaster and Face & Body Foundations, MSF Natural, Eyeshadows, Pigments &
paintpots OH MY. So shoot me 🙂

Macs single eyeshadows are $15 each now. And compare to other brands, they are just little bit expensive than drugstore, I don’t even compare them with most of the shadows on the market….why do you think it is expensive?! I am sure as a mua you tried a lot more fancy brands than us.

I totally agree with all off this! I absolutely love mac prep + prime transparent finishing powder and also their strobe cream. I use them both daily. I like fix + too, but I find I have to use it sparingly or I breakout. My favorite mac products would have to be hands down, their lipsticks. I love all the different colors and textures and yummy vanilla scent. I also love the eyeshadows and really want to try the fast response eye cream next, but haven’t worked myself up to spend 30 bucks on it yet:)

Eyeshadows, pigments, and Fix Plus? I’m already there with you! That transparent powder is on my list of Want. 239 and 219 eye shadow brushes, plus the new (to me?) 214 smudge brush.
There’s an LE brush, the 165 hilighting brush that should be permanent! It’s a smaller version of the 135, a teardrop shaped head and small to really control those hilights. I’m really liking smaller face brushes and the 130 duo fiber is working out well for me- I don’t get any thrills from the other two but this duofiber is needed!

Wipes! Essential to take it all off after. Nobody else even comes close to such a great product.

Last one, Paint Pots. Sparkly or shimmer Pots for week of great wear, lol! They stay on through anything. But better is that one flat color that matches your skin tone and is awesome shadow primer. Talk about stick on? My MAC MUA says it has a huge silicone content that does this; he knows his stuff too. You do need to plan a Paint Pot inventory though; The clock runs on those. And keep your fingers out or they’ll go Petrie dish.
Good make up habits are Clean make up habits; Mac brush cleaner. Sanitizes and gets germy goop out. Fewer zits from better make up hygiene.

My must haves from MAC (other than everything cuz I’m totally addicted to MAC products) are the brush cleaner, Patina e/s, and the 275 brush. This brush works well for me when I want to apply a product (like a pigment or a shadow) that has fall out. Using the 275 gives me better control and keeps the product where I want it.

Fav products:
-Fix+ is my holy grail!
-ALL their brushes
-MSF & MSF Natural
-Studio Fix Powder
-Lipsticks (except i notice the cremesheen line is really drying on the lips)& Lip pencils
-Blacktrack Fluidline
-Smolder Eye Kohl
-Lingering eyebrow pencil
-Studio Finish & Select cover Up concealer
-Paint Pot in Painterly

I really want to try:
-Iridescent Loose Powder
-Strobe Cream
-Lip Erase
-Lustre Drops
-Prep & Prime future lash length serum

We try to approve comments within 24 hours (and reply to them within 72 hours) but can sometimes get behind and appreciate your patience! 🙂 If you have general feedback, product review requests, off-topic questions, or need technical support, please contact us directly. Thank you for your patience!