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MAC Diva Lipstick Review, Photos, Swatches

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

MAC Diva Lipstick ($16.00 for 0.10 oz.) is described as an “Intense reddish-burgundy [with a Matte finish].” It’s a medium-dark, warm-toned deepened red with a slightly muted quality–it is a lighter and brighter burgundy to me–and has a semi-matte finish. NARS Charlotte (P, $32.00) is glossier, slightly redder. MAC Hearts Aflame (LE, $16.00) is warmer. MAC Studded Kiss (LE, $16.00) is slightly warmer. MAC Fixed on Drama (LE, $16.00) is cooler-toned. NARS 413 BLKR (LE, $26.00) is slightly warmer. NARS Amsterdam (P, $26.00) is similar. MAC Deeply Adored (LE, $16.00) is redder. See comparison swatches / view dupes.

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of questions asking whether such-and-such new shade was like MAC Diva, but I didn’t have it to compare to–now I do! I’d love to include more reviews of MAC’s permanent range, but with so many limited edition products, I try to use the time between launches to focus on other brands and products. Diva had rich, opaque color coverage that applied evenly and smoothly. The consistency was lightly creamy; just enough that it didn’t tug much on the lips, but it still retained its more matte finish. It’s one of the brand’s more comfortable mattes, and it lasts for six and a half hours while leaving behind a reddish stain. It didn’t dry out my lips, but I wouldn’t call it a hydrating formula either. As always, MAC’s lipsticks are vanilla scented but have no discernible taste.

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

MAC Diva Lipstick
MAC Diva Lipstick

Makeup Look
On face:
  • Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation
  • Urban Decay Naked Loose Finishing Powder
  • Tom Ford Stroked Contouring Cheek Color Duo
On eyes:
  • Tom Ford Nude Dip Eyeshadow Quad
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty Brown(out) Highliner


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Danny Avatar

Are you sure, that this is Diva? Mine is a lot more plum and darker. This doesn’t look like diva at all.
And I asked the girls on twitter and they agree with me.

Did they change the color completely?

Christine Avatar

Yes, I’m sure it is Diva. I wouldn’t have labeled the post as Diva otherwise – I am very careful and photograph labels, as well as make notes for swatches of shades as I do them. Your skin tone & undertone can influence shades like this – e.g. someone who is very fair can sometimes find that a shade like this may look almost vampy on them when they don’t look as drastic on me since I have a medium complexion. But this is how Diva looks like on me – I check my swatches in multiple lighting situations and as I edit 🙂

Elizabeth K. Avatar

I can back that up, for sure. I’m pale and cool-toned, so compared to me it seems like whatever Christine wears pulls warm-toned. For example, MAC Rebel looks like a dark, vampy purple-magenta on me, but on Christine, it’s more pink and mid-toned.

Irene Avatar

Christine is right! In her review of Studded Kiss, which is similar to Diva, it looked completely different to how it looks on me -on her it was a somewhat dark red, on me it’s almost pure black (I’m very very fair). This type of shade seems to change a lot depending on who’s wearing it.

Jessica Corona Avatar

I completely agree with you. Not in the lip swatches Christine, but in the tube itself mine looks a lot darker as well. I think that’s where the confusion was 🙂

Melinda Avatar

I’m so glad you decided to review this lipstick. I know I’m one of those people who have asked about this as a comparison to other shades. I have this lipstick, and I absolutely love it! It’s such a pretty vampy color to wear on my fair skin. Thx!

Anna Avatar

I don’t own anything that would be really similar, but I’m not sure if on my lips Diva would not lean too much brown. I should try at the counter, I guess 🙂

Vi Avatar

Oooo, this looks real nice on you! I’m a bit worried that it might be a touch warm on me; I’d go to the closest MAC store to try it but I was just there recently and they had a whole bunch of buff male models milling around to celebrate the Novel Romance collection and it was intimidating o___o

Karla Avatar

Thankyou so much for reviewing this lipstick ! I have been looking for reviews and comparisions swatches of it as i dont have any mac lipstick or any other lipstick in this color so this will probably be the first i buy

Dreadsong Avatar

Nice review but as a comment above mentioned it doesn’t quite look like Diva. I’m darker toned than you (NC42, NARS Barcelona, Indian Tan Medium) but it does look much darker on me and very much less bright (and I just purchased mine 3 days ago talk about timing !). But honestly, I think it must be because of the fact that my lips are also darker

sophie Avatar

For what it’s worth, I have deathly pale skin (Mac don’t make a foundation pale enough for my skin!) and Diva looks way darker than this on me, too. Mine is from a good few years ago, probably ~2010.

Elena Avatar

You look just beautiful in the photo! I adore this lipstick, which is more vamp on me due to skin tone variation. I find is a shade really does work on very fair skin to very deep skin. I get asked about this colour the most. MAC’s Beet lipliner works very well paired with Diva, even though it’s not a 100% match. Can (and did) last through a BLT sandwich with this combo without that dreaded red outline mouth. It’s like a party trick.

Kari Avatar

yay diva! my favorite favorite shade ever. i know i’m also one of the people who’ve asked if other lipsticks compared to diva lol so i’m happy you’ve finally reviewed it! the color on me, looks like your swatches but maybe a tad bit darker so i’d definitely say this was on point with the color shade imo.

Helene Avatar

I like it. When I stand and look at all of the lipsticks at the MAC counter I just want to take them all with me.
I love all the MAC lipsticks I have, I will keep an eye out for this one, next time I stand there looking and longing.

Christine Avatar

All I can say is I take a LOT of steps to ensure color accuracy from color calibration, checking my photos across multiple devices, using blackout curtains wherever I photograph, in addition to just looking at the swatch in various lighting types while I do the initial photographing as well as when I do the editing. This is how it looks on me, which is all I can go off of 🙁

Lisa Avatar

I think I’m going to have to see this one in person. I’ve considered this particular lipstick for a while, but was always worried it would be too vampy. I have a medium complexion as well, so maybe this won’t look so dark on me either? We’ll see.

Annie Li Avatar

OMG how funny. I was googling Mac Diva swatches yesterday and your site kept popping up with people questioning if that lipstick you were reviewing compared to Diva lol. It kept saying you didn’t have it to compare and now today you did a review on it. Haha just found it funny and as always thank you for your review. I trust and value your opinion on beauty products.

Alla Avatar

Diva is such a great lipstick! Another good dupe (at least for someone quite pale with not very pigmented lips, like me) is Mac’s Dubonnet; last year, I was talked out of buying Diva by a Mac assistant who said that it’s basically just a matte Dubonnet on me.

Esther Lindinger Saxild Avatar

That color is so beautiful on you! However as other commentators mentioned – it doesn’t look like the Diva that I own; mine is much, much darker and a lot more matte it seems. I have similar complexion to yours, but my lips are a bit more pigmented. Even in the tube it looks darker than on your photos.. Mine is from a few years back – but it makes me wonder if they changed it? 🙂
Kind regards, Esther

Esther Lindinger Saxild Avatar

Hope this isn’t a stupid question 🙂 where do you see the batch number? Is it the letter/digit combo on the bottom of the tube?
I guess it really just depends on pigmentation and complexion 😉
All in all it looks absolutely fantastic on you!

Ester Avatar

This lipstick color is a classic. Indispensable for any woman. Blends with any skin tone and transforms a makeup. This lipstick is must have.
I have and love it.
It’s amazing and wonderful lipstick.

Barbara Avatar

So happy you reviewed this one, Christine! My sister and I collect Mac lipsticks and this one is by far our favourite. To everyone else saying it looks different, this definitely looks like Diva to me! We’re NC25-30 though. It’s my go-to lipstick during winter, when I want something a little more muted than a bright red lip. Love it!

Christine Avatar

I googled as well, and it didn’t seem out of the range of normal variation to me – I could google for virtually any shade and get at least a few differences since skin tone, lighting, undertones, swatch methodology – even how tight (or far) the crop is – can change the perception.

Ginny Avatar

If it helps, I have both of those lipsticks and on me (very pale) they look pretty much the same. On Christine they looked a bit different, with Roxo being a bit lighter and pinker.

Marina Avatar

It’s really funny how lipsticks vary so much across skin tones and lip pigmentation. I don’t have Mac Diva but I have Nars Charlotte and it pulls a little darker and a lot more berry on me than you. I have also have Mac Sin, which is very similar on me to Mac Diva, so similar I didn’t think I needed both, and it is much darker and vampier on me.

Such is the world of make up 🙂

Veronica Avatar

Very pretty. I love deep, muted reds. This is part where I bemoan the fact that MAC’s lipstick tends to be drying on me. The darker shades do seem to be a tad friendlier toward my skin, though, so it may be worth a look anyway. 🙂

Jillian Avatar

Absolutely gorgeous – thank you for reviewing Diva! I’ve picked it up several times while at MAC, but never purchased because I don’t like taking a risk on products which haven’t been reviewed by you yet 😉

This may be a long shot – but how would this compare to Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro #201? They seem somewhat comparable to me, but maybe 201 is a bit darker? Would love your thoughts if you have #201 by chance! 🙂

Ginny Avatar

Thank you for swatching Diva, Christine. It’s the darkest lipstick I own and while it does look darker and purpler on me, it is helpful to see how it looks on you. Twice already I have bought a color that looked unique on you and when I got it home I was like–darn it looks just like Diva! Your skin tone is good for picking up the differences in darker colors. On pale skin (at least mine) they tend to all look the same. Now when I look at your other swatches I can (hopefully) determine whether a new color is going to look too similar to Diva on me. Thanks!

Miss J Avatar

This is one of my favorite reds, so happy I picked it up. On me, this is darker, and actually kind of neutral. I am so excited to start wearing my fall favorites!

Shamil Avatar

Diva is my absolute favorite mac lipstick!! I gravitate towards colors like these and cyber.. not so much the fuchsia campy colors. My only gripe about diva is that it bleeds and I hate it. Any advice on how to keep it from doing that?

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