Best of MAC Cosmetics Makeup | Temptalia's Favorites

I am, obviously, a long-time fan and user of MAC products. You know, the blog was started because of my love for MAC makeup, right? It’s only going through the brand’s permanent line that one realizes just how many memories and favorite products there have been over the years that are from MAC! Of course, with so many formulas and shades to choose from, I thought I’d share my favorites from some of their formulas since they are currently offering 25% off to MAC Select members (you can still join and get the discount!) both in-store and online through 12/4.

MAC Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadows

MAC Eyeshadow ($16.00 for 0.05 oz. / $6.000 for 0.05 oz. pan only) is an extensive range of shades from Matte to Luster, cool to warm, white to black. Here are a few of my very favorites: Soft Brown (crease/transition shade), Lucky Green (nice pop of shimmery green), Satin Taupe (shimmery taupe), Brown Script (reddish brown), Bronze (classic shimmery brown), Cranberry (warm, reddish plum), Sumptuous Olive (muted olive green), Antiqued (rich copper), Plumage (subdued teal), Blackberry (mauve, nice in the crease), Deep Damson (matte plum), and Vex (amazing blended with black or blue). But check out swatches of my long-time go-tos (a more extensive list) — I love a lot of the core, neutral mattes and Veluxe Pearl shades.

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MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Lipstick

MAC Lipstick

MAC Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) remains a staple in many stashes because of the extensive range of colors and finishes. The permanent line alone has around 200 options! A few months, I went through and swatched all of the existing shades, so I am well-prepared for this one! Some of the more recently released shades that I’ve enjoyed have been ones like Charred, Deep Rooted, and Lavender Jade, while some classics that I favor are Captive (bold plum), Cherish (one of my first beiges), Plumful (my first “dark” shade), Velvet Teddy (a nice peach-brown), Craving (rich plum, like a more pigmented Plumful), Twig (rosy mauve), O (a shimmery, reddish plum), Crosswires (pink-coral), Brick-o-la (warm, medium-dark pink), and Viva Glam IV (shimmery plum). Here is a larger list of a lot of shades I’ve loved and worn over the years that I would recommend, check out the list and view swatches.

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MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Liptensity Lipstick

MAC Liptensity

MAC Liptensity Lipstick ($21.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a recently released new, permanent formula that features a natural finish, rich pigment, and good wear. You can check out my round-up, but here are the top four performing shades: Marsala, Galaxy Grey, Claretcast, and Mulling Spices

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MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Viva Glam Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Lipstick

MAC Viva Glam Lipstick ($17.00 for 0.10 oz.) is a long-time favorite, because it is a charity line that donates 100% of the selling price–not proceeds, profits, or some unknown amount–every penny of the price goes towards the MAC AIDS Fund. MAC releases limited edition shades that are part of the Viva Glam family each year, but the permanent shades of Viva Glam are well-worth a look. (These aren’t included in the sale, but they are so, so worth checking out.)

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MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Lipglass

MAC Lipglass

MAC Lipglass ($16.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) comes in several options, from sheer to opaque, cream to shimmer. I tend to prefer the more shimmery ones, as they have longer wear (due to the tackier consistency) but have a high-shine, shimmering finish that works well alone or layered on top of another lipstick. Here are a few from the permanent line I’d recommend: Explicit, Lovechild, and Nymphette.

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MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow

MAC Extra Dimension Eyeshadow ($20.00 for 0.04 oz.) is a pigmented pressed eyeshadow that can be used wet or dry and has a lot of shimmer to it. Some of the ones I’ve loved have been Silver Sun, Sea Worship, and Fathoms Deep.

Availability

MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish ($33.00 for 0.31 oz.) is finally a permanent product! There are only four shades so far, but here’s hoping we’ll see even more going forward. From the permanent line, these are my top two picks: Double-Gleam and Soft Frost.

Availability

MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Pigment

MAC Pigments

MAC Pigment ($22.00 for 0.15 oz.) is a loose, multi-tasking product, but I tend to use mine on the eyes! They are a lot less messy than typical loose eyeshadows because there are binding ingredients in it, which help it apply, adhere, and blend on the skin without falling out during application. Here are some of my favorites: Chartreuse, Golden Olive, Museum Bronze, and Heritage Rouge.

Availability

MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Vamplify

MAC Vamplify

MAC Vamplify ($20.00 for 0.16 fl. oz.) is still a limited edition formula (make it permanent, MAC, please!), but there are several shades still available to purchase! Of the ones available, I highly recommend: Anything but Demure, Fab Tested, What’s Going On, and Tuned In.

Availability

MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Pro Longwear Blush

MAC Pro Longwear Blush

MAC Pro Longwear Blush ($28.00 for oz.) has some of my real must-have blushes from the brand, as I tend to prefer blushes with more of a satin to luminous finish. These are my favorites: I’m a Lover, Make You Mine, Eternal Sun, and Fleeting Romance.

Availability

MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

MAC Brushes

MAC Brushes

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MAC Brushes are well-known; despite having numbers, so many of them are used by those in the beauty community! The ones I reach for the most are: 239 (all-over eyeshadow application, blending), 242 (cream eyeshadow application), 266 (brows), 205 (mascara), and 158 (cream blush/contour)

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MAC Cosmetics / MAC Cosmetics (Canada)

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I received 3 MAC orders already this week. I have one being delivered today. And I just placed another order this morning. Can you hear my credit card screaming?

Seriously, I don’t recall ever seeing such a good sale with MAC. I was going to wait until last minute to place another order but I noticed this morning 2 items I wanted have already sold out. Thanks for your list(s). I may take just one more look. 😉

I want to say they did it before… once or twice – it is definitely not business as usual, and the timing was off. I wonder if they saw all the Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales, saw a dip themselves, and went, “We missed out…”

I originally found you on the MAC_Cosmetics LiveJournal (wow that was over 10 years ago!) and haven’t looked back since. This blog has grown into something way more than I ever could have imagined and I am so pleased for you! I find it a real beauty resource and really appreciate how thorough you are with your reviews and descriptions. One of my favourite memories is when Shaun proposed to you on Christmas day through the blog – you had my whole family in tears!

Time flies! It feels like yesterday and forever ago, you know?

Thank you, Charlotte! 🙂

Haha, when I go back to the post, it makes me tear up even now!

MAC is, was and always will be a staple in my makeup wardrobe. On occasion they will push out a dud or two- but you can’t beat the quality and price on many of their products- especially their lipsticks.

I am someone who loves all the various collections they put out. I hear the complaints that it’s overwhelming sometimes, but hey- don’t buy it!

I’m going to check out your lists Christine and see what we have that’s similar. I’m sure we are on the same page with many products. Great post- Thanks!

Thanks for this list! Very helpful, esp. to people like me, who are relatively new to MAC. I can’t believe MAC is having a 25% off sale, they never seem to have sales! It’s awesome!!! They’ve been sending me 5 emails a day reminding me, so I can only imagine the zillions of emails they are sending out to everyone else. At this rate, everything will be OOS by 12/4, except for 10 million Carbon shadows of course. I don’t think they can even give those away for free 😉

I just came back from the MAC store at the mall on my way home from school (it was pyjama day today at school – I looked a bit odd hurrying through the mall in my pjs and slippers!) and used the email I got thanking me for signing up because I knew of no other way to let them know I’d signed up for MAC Select (or whatever it’s called). I got the very LAST pot of Mysterious Influence they had in stock (so it clearly was MEANT TO BE!!!)

I got into makeup with MAC lipsticks and eyeshadows. Then I kind of moved away from the brand to explore other brands. But now I’m getting back into more of their products. I love the Mineralized powders and kohl pencils. I bought my first pigment a week or so ago (Kitschmas) and I love it. A lot of my “all time” products are from MAC. Viva Glam I lipstick. E/S in Patina and Copperplate. Powersurge eye kohl. Sheertone blush in Tenderling and Blushbaby. MSF Natural I use every day. Zoom Lash is one of my fave mascaras. I want to get more of their pigments, but ’tis a slippery slope…..

I swear, they have actually improved Kitschmas over time, as it seems finer (still a chunkier pigment but not as hard to use). Pigments are what made me fall in love with makeup! 🙂

Thanks for this round-up Christine! After a Mac lesson in one of the shops here I realised how much I love certain Mac products. Your recommendations are helpful when I want to fill in gaps in my stash! ?

I sometimes forget how many gems they have in their permanent line, as I focus mostly on the LE stuff throughout the year!

It was my daughter getting me back to my makeup game by showing me MAC eyeshadows she had, and then introducing me to your blog many years ago that led me on my gradual MAC stash obsession! Haha! ?
The size of which has become practically bursting at the seams. So, today, as I perused your list of MAC eyeshadow singles, I added as many as I could remember to “My Vanity”. A rather obscene amount!!! And my lipstick collex, too. Lest I forget!

I so wish they wouldn’t discontinue some of their very BEST stuff – the Starflash eyeshadows (that was such a lovely finish/formula); the 222 eyeshadow brush; the Pro Longwear shadows (again, one of their most fabulous formulas, especially the original ones) and now the MATTE2 shadows – iconic shadows like Blanc Type, Typographic and Copperplate are now history! Why do they do this with products that are really successful and popular? And they really could do with some slightly more pigmented and maybe less frosty Paint Pots. They used to have a great one called Greenstroke (not to be confused with Greensmoke Lustre Eyeshadow) and it was a deep enough green that it worked really well with the disappointingly disappointing Greensmoke shadow to give it a kick in the pants, so to speak. It was discontinued (or maybe LE) and for ages they had no green Paint Pot and when they did come out with another one, it’s that basically “un-green” green, Antique Diamond.

It’s pretty nuts that they discontinued the 222! I feel like that was one a lot of people talked about.

But don’t get me started on Matte2!!!

I know….who makes a stupid decision like that? And they keep the Lustre finishes (the WORST, despite some very pretty colours) and get rid of Pro Longwear, Matte2 AND those wonderful Mega Metal/Peacocky shadows which I still use and love to bits (well, as much as one can love eyeshadow, as compared to people or animals, etc.)

Lustre just feels like an old school formula – like the Pressed Pigments are a lot like Lustres in effect but a better product. The decision making by brands continues to puzzle me!

I know! Earlier this year I kept going to the website to buy it, and it kept showing as out of stock. I was so frustrated. Then one day I checked, and it was gone! I couldn’t believe they discontinued it along with Blanc Type and Typographic! Three cool nudes for a perfect matte eye. I was so angry I felt like never buying MAC again! ???

Ginny, I was just at a MAC store today and mentioned this to the SA and she said they’ve had so many people comment about it (she didn’t say “complain” but you could tell what she meant….) She tried to be encouraging, saying maybe they’re coming out with something better but, honestly? Why not get rid of the Lustres and replace them? Maybe the Satins or the Mattes (which can be sort of dry and patchy). Why eliminate the BEST of what you have on offer?

I agree with you those are some of the best. I think the biggest one in the 90’s was Spice. I never had it but all my girlfriends did.

I remember the Spice lip pencil being all the rage as everyone said it was the perfect universal nude lip liner. I never used lip liner back then, so I didn’t try it.

Sumptuous Olive and Satin taupe would be some of the best shades ever – so versatile and easy to use. The Extra Dimension eye shadow range looks fabulous too.
MAC is just starting to have a few stand alone shops here in Melbourne as they have only been available through Myers in the past.
Thank goodness for MAC – because of them, we have you Christine.

I find all of your brand specific roundup posts to be so helpful and entertaining to read through, but there is always something a bit special about your Mac related ones. Your passion for the brand is palpable! 🙂

My first foray out of drugstore products was into MAC. Soft brown, saddle, brown script, texture shadows and the perfect blue eyeliner (‘midnight navy’ or something like that) got me started, and hooked. Then Uninterrupted pro longwear eyeshadow and Rich Ground eyeliner were my next favorites. Lately though I’ve been put off by the frenetic pace of and very short term LE releases , a sequence of unpleasant counter experiences, several discontinued favorites. It earned such brand-loyal customers, probably has opportunity to be a little more customer-loyal. This said, I do still check MAC when I’m looking for a particular something, and I’m always optimistic some of this will settle out.

Staples in my makeup bag for more years than I can remember: Shroom, Naked Lunch and Twinks eyeshadows.
I can mix drugtore impulse buy cheapies with these colors as part of the look and one would ever know.

Half ‘n Half, Gel, Patisserie and Viva Glam IV lipsticks and Subculture and Twig lip liners.

I kind of skip around with other blushes. As I’m getting more mature, MAC powder blushes are getting to look a bit dry on me. I love their Cremeblend blush but why do they have SO FEW shades to choose from???

Oh! I used and LOVED the MAC PLUSH mascara forever and received compliments on my lashes ALL of the time! Why that mascara was discontinued I’ll never know. THAT mascara came as close to my all time favorite makeup item as anything that that ever had or ever will.

MAC was never high on my radar. Though I’d s/t watch the young’uns getting weekend ready with the artists, didn’t often cruise the product or go much beyond lips. Thanks to you, have gotten some real classics, like Make YouMine, Burnt Pepper, Hot Chocolate, Deeply Rooted (which is def a purple, not gray on me?!?). If you go strictly on product, and overlook the hype-LE madness- glitch business, MAC is quite solid, with a vast array of color and finish: something for everyone, all ages.

First ABH now MAC! This is so exciting! Currently comparing eyeshadow swatches on your site between the two to make sure I’m not getting too many dupes ?? (just can’t resist all these gorgeous warm orange, red, and purple shadows!). Thank you so much Christine for putting everything on one page again! ??

Under brushes you listed the 158, but the link takes you to 159, and I couldn’t even find a 158. Could you please confirm which number it is? Thank you!

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