MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 5 -- Face and Cheek Basics

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.
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Avoid foundations that say anything about adding glow or dewiness, because that will probably make you look oilier (just as a general rule of thumb). You’ll want something with more of a matte or velvet finish. I use Studio Fix Fluid, which is a matte foundation.

I am truly confused when it comes to the difference in apply beauty powders. Between concealers, foundations and blush which I get, where to beauty powders come in, are they just to set makeup, when refering to highlighters are you saying on top of blush, where do you highlight? if they are pigmented, can you use them as blush? do you tend to apply certain color plushes with specific eye color combos? Sorry for the hundred questions but this is truly a mistery.


Hey Teresa!

Beauty powders are typically just highlighters, because they aren’t too pigmented and tend to have more shimmer than actual color. You highlight your cheekbones, tip of the nose, maybe your forehead and your chin – depends on you, but most highlight their cheekbones (the top of them).

If they are pigmented, you can sure use them as blush! People even use pink shadows and stuff as blushers!

I do lean towards certain colors for certain eyeshadow combos, but it’s not set in stone.

Beauty powders are NOT considered a highlight for your face. Its cover up for age spots, blemishes, and frecles. Also you could put powder one top of the cheekbones but that would only bring more focus to you face and it will start to look lumpy or patchy after a while. The best to do is to add a light blush or shimmer before appliying the powder or foundation.

I want a mix of coloured blushes from MAC for my NC 35 skin, but am not sure what to go for. I already have hipness and fashion frenzy from the fafi collection, as well as a blush in “style”. Anyone have any ideas?
Much appreciated,
Sammie xxx

sammie.. i also have nc35 skin.. i loveee raizin..this is a color i would typically put on clients in the 40-50 range.. but if u blend it out, it gives a nice glow.. great for the summer time!

Hi Christine!

I bumped into your site by accident and I’m so glad I did. I really love you’re segment on the MAC Products especially the Newbie section, I’m about to buy my first ever MAC product and find you’re site so helpful. Thanks again!

I’m linking you to my blog I hope you don’t mind 🙂

i wear nc42 fix…wat shade tech would i be? and colours in shadows and lips complement my skintone?
loveee your page!

NC42 in Studio Tech.

A lot of colors would compliment you, Theresa! I’d say lots of golds, greens, and warm toned purples. Browns, of course!

Hi Christine!! Have you tried MAC’s mineralize skinfinish natural? if so how do you feel about the you like it? is it natural?

I have, but it breaks me out, so I had to stop using it 🙁 I didn’t like it as a foundation, but it was nice as a setting powder.

Hello Temptalia, what would happen if you mixed a studio fix fluid with a face and body foundation to sheer out the coverage, do you think it would work? Thanks 🙂

I really love you’re MAC guide is so helpful!! I’m a MAC newbie and need advice. First of all, how do I determinate my skin complexion according to MAC? I know I have dry skin and tend to always use creamy/liquid foundation, I prefer the light weight ones. Any special suggestion about foundation and which style do you recommend? I love make up but just don’t have time to wear it during the day so my day routine is black eye liner (liquid pen style) blush and lipstick. I need a get a nice kind of “I know you have make up but look so natural” rose tone blush for my cheeksany recommendations. Night time, I wear from foundation to reddish blush and lipstick. I have short and thin eyelashes which mascara will fit me better? I tend to use dark shadow because light or brown ones look light I have none at all on my face! Concealer, do I really need to wear it? And finally brushes…..Im so confused about them, all I need is the basics ones for foundation, blush and showdown, which one are the best? Thank you so much!!!

Hi Vanessa,

If you aren’t into foundation, don’t wear it! 🙂 Just get a good moisturizer to help with your dry skin. If you do want a foundation, something like MAC’s Face & Body should work for you. Look for natural and water-based foundations. I prefer MAC Plushlash over all the other MAC mascaras. You don’t need concealer if you don’t want to wear it — I rarely wear it myself!

For brushes, basic ones for foundation – 189 for powder, 109 for liquid; 116 for blush; 134 for loose powder.

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