Top 10: Best of MAC Cosmetics

This was a tough one, because MAC’s range is ridiculously expansive and most formulas have a lot of shades, so it can be difficult to narrow it down to a mere ten favorites! (You can check out my initial pull of favorites here.) I’ve only included permanent favorites, but these are some of my all-time favorite MAC products from over the years.  What are your favorite MAC products, past or present?

  1. MAC Satin Taupe Eyeshadow
  2. MAC Lucky Green Eyeshadow
  3. MAC Blue Peep Fluidline
  4. MAC Marque Lipstick
  5. MAC Sea Worship Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
  6. MAC Viva Glam I Lipstick
  7. MAC Be a Lady Lipstick
  8. MAC Copperplate Eyeshadow
  9. MAC Fathoms Deep Extra Dimension Eyeshadow
  10. MAC Lovecloud Blush

>> See side-by-side swatches! <<

106 Comments

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Katie Avatar

Lipstick:
Mystic was my signature color. I’m devastated it was discontinued.
Also love Del Rio and Half N Half.

Eye shadow:
Trax

Lip liner:
Spice

Katie Avatar

Sadly, no. Some have suggested Party Line, which appears similar in color, but doesn’t have the depth, complexity, or staying power of Mystic. Plus the Creamsheen formula bleeds more readily. So disappointed.

Do you know of any dupes?

Divya Avatar

Such a shame I have none of your picks Christine! That needs to change! x-D

My top picks would be Coffee and Teddy eye pencil, Dubonnet and Taupe lipsticks, Patina and Soba eyeshadows, Face and Body foundation, Pro Longwear concealer, Stud eye pencil and Gingerly blush!

I have in fact listed everything I am using right now and things I go back to all the time!

Kat Avatar

I’ve only gotten into MAC in the last 6 months or so, so I don’t have a ton of products to pick from. I’ll do my best though!

1. Retro Matte lipstick in Relentlessly Red. This is my go-to lipstick. I wear it everywhere, at least twice a week! No matter what else I’m wearing or where I am, I’m sure to get compliments! And it stays on for ages and ages. When I bought it I had no idea the love affair it would spark. Desert island status.

2. Studio Fix Fluid. The color match is great, I love the coverage, it’s neither totally matte or dewy on my skin (the perfect satin finish), doesn’t break me out, doesn’t cake up, lasts all day. Also, it doesn’t get weird when I mix it with liquid illuminators like a lot of foundations do.

3. Sumptuous Olive eyeshadow. I’ve only had this one for a week or so, but I’ve worn it pretty much every day since then! Makes my light brown/hazel eyes pop, especially when paired with a very warm brown like MUG Cocoa Bear in the crease.

4. Viva Glam V lipstick. I haven’t worn this a ton, since I feel like it’s more of a cooler weather shade on me, but it’s absolutely gorgeous. Shimmery but not frosty, sheer but build able, and that uber-flattering warm plummy mauve. Also, one of the best charities ever!

5. Mineralize blush in New Romance. Really pretty pink with hints of peach. Quite glowy which I like for the summer! Brings life back to my face.

And I think that’s it! I have other MAC products but none of the rest are like Holy Grail-Desert Island status for me. I’ll certainly take any recommendations though!

Nancy T Avatar

I will probably buy Studio Fix Liquid foundation very soon. It has a shade that when I apply it in store to touch up my face after trying on a bunch of lippys, actually looks like ME. My Skin But Better. C4.5. Finally something that doesn’t look fake or off toned! Not sure how great it will do on a daily with 56 y.o. combination, hormonal skin, though?

Kat Avatar

I have combo skin, usually normal-dry but lately normal-slightly oily and it stays on really solidly if you powder any oily areas. I don’t find it very drying or flaky on my dry spots or pimples either, even though it’s technically a matte finish (I consider it more satin).

Gillian Avatar

My top ten MAC favourites are (in no particular order):

MAC Mineralize blush duo in Moon River

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Blonde

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light

MAC Lustreglass in Budding

MAC lipstick in Angel

MAC Mineralize blush in Dainty

MAC eyeshadow in Handwritten

MAC eyeshadow in Vanilla

MAC eyeshadow in Parrot

MAC Paint Pot in Painterly

I could have added more but I stuck with my ‘can’t live without’, basic products. I notice that there are quite a few more limited editions than I thought and I only have back ups for one of them….oops. Time to find dupes. Good thing I have Temptalia. 😀

Tammy B Avatar

My favorite basic lip color from MAC is Brick-O-LA. The best MAC lip color ever for me is Hollywood Ceruse. I am having a moment of rediscovery with the eye shadow shades Cranberry and Star Violet (how can they still be so pigmented and fresh after 6-7 years since the date of purchase???). My two favorite blushes are Make You Mine and Fleeting Romance (I wear them together). And I would not want to be without my three favorite eye shadow brushes of all time: 239, 217, and 224. I use these brushes every time I wear eyeshadow. For reference, I am NC37.

Lotus Avatar

Many products last an incredibly long time without problem, especially powders, but if it’s sealed, new, not touched by air or fingers, you’re good to go but companies have to warn you and do want you buying more! 😀 I love hauling from my old stash more than new because I find more classics and staples there. 😀

Rachel R. Avatar

I don’t own a whole lot of MAC, so I was surprised I had four of these (Blue Peep, Lucky Green, Fathoms Deep and Satin Taupe). At least I’m getting the good stuff when I do buy it.

Rachel R. Avatar

I like their lipsticks best. Some of my favorites are La Vie En Rouge, Fusion Pink, Candy Yum-Yum, Heroine, Toxic Tale, Viva Glam Miley Cyrus (and the matching lipglass).

Fathoms Deep and Grand Galaxy are pretty high up on my favorite eye shadows list, now, too. I love those kind of deep, complex grayish purples.

Marieke Avatar

I absolutely love Brick-o-la lipstick!! I feel like it’s a really underappreciated color and formula. It’s very versatile. Creamy and lasts forever on me.
A limited-edition fave is Opalesse extra dimension eyeshadow. Very unique light purple pink glow. Sad they didnt repromote that one!

Maggie Avatar

Hi Christine! Satin Taupe had a C rating (in an LE version). I’m guessing the permanent version is pretty awesome if it’s one of your faves? Copperplate just isn’t graded, but I’m guessing it’s also pretty awesome if you love it? I ask, bc palettes with these sorts of shadows always get me–so I might as well have some singles put away to counteract that if these are already very good. =)

Mariella Avatar

My favourites…tough one, even sticking to products that are permanent but here’s a try:

Sea Worship eyeshadow
Charcoal Brown eyeshadow
All That Glitters and/or Naked Lunch eyeshadow
Mulch eyeshadow
Typographic eyeshadow
Craving lipstick
Plumful lipstick
Brick-o-la lipstick
Atomic Ore eye liner pencil
and I can’t NOT mention the Paint Pots (Painterly especially but also Constructivist and Groundwork)

A Avatar

Viva Glam I is the only one of these I own and I so agree! It was first red lipstick and still my go-to for special occasions. It seems so flattering on such a range of skintones too!
Aside from that, Soba and Woodwinked eyeshadows and Nymphette lipglass are mainstays in my stash.
I really like the look of Sea Worship, Marque and Blue Peep from your picks too.

Nancy T Avatar

Oh my goodness, this is going to be hard!!!
1. Marque Ultimate Lipstick ( Perfection)
2. Maria Moretti lipstick (yes, LE, but I wish this one was PERMANENT!)
3. VG III lipstick
4. Domestic Diva lipglass ( yes, I know, LE, but again, wish Permanent!)
5. Grand Galaxy ties with Fathoms Deep, as of yet I own neither, but having swatched, I’m in love with BOTH!
6. Indian Ink eyeshadow, absolutely LOVE it with Crystal eyeshadow (DC’d, boooo!!!)
7. Antiqued eyeshadow, lurrrve it with Woodwinked!!! 😉
8. Greensmoke eyeshadow, especially with Plummage and Patina!
9. Siahi Fluidline, even though it takes 2 coats, I get TONS of compliments every single time I wear it, so it’s worth the extra effort!
10. Another tie! : Lady Danger vs Morange, love both equally and get compliments on both all the time!
Very worthy of honorable mention: the ones I utilize the most, my favorite workhorses; Soft Brown, Orb, Satin Taupe, Woodwinked, Brown Script, Folie, Kid and Handwritten.

Nancy T Avatar

TY! Yeah, I am bummed about Crystal, it is always the good ones! I saw Tilt e\s on yours, I have a fun look I do using Crystal, Tilt, Indian Ink and Vapour! I love Tilt, but forgot about my using the whole combo. ;D

pePear Avatar

MAC Fluidline in Black Ivy
MAC Extra Dimention eyeshadows in Silver Sun
MAC lipstick in Vegas Volt and Impassioned
MAC Viva Glam III
MAC Mineralize Blush in New Romance
MAC Chromagraphic pencil in NC15
MAC Brow Set waterproof
just all of these baby that I can’t live without!

Lotus Avatar

Wow! I can see why those are picks for you! 😀 No pigments, though? Here are my 10 favorite MAC products, sorry they are not all available.
1. All pigments from the very beginning!
2. MSF (Original & bought backups thankfully) in Lightscapade!
2. DCd large pro pan eyeshadow in Mystic!
3. Cranberry Eyeshadow!
4. Tilt Eyeshadow!
5. Blush in Frankly Scarlet, Bikini, Dame, Well Dressed, and Coygirl!
6. Dazzlelight eyeshadow!
7. Plumage eye kohl!
8. Early Morning Eyeshadow!
9. Pandemonium quad from Baloonacy! (Backed up, yay!)
10. All original Matte2 Matte squared) eyeshadows!
11. White Frost Eyeshsdow gets an honorable mention! It remains one of top favorite smooth frosty pearl white! 🙂 Yay!

Lotus Avatar

I gotcha! I did that as well, but based on MAC products I would and do reach for most! 😀 I do have your picks and must say they are great picks and I see why your choices with your skin! Satin Taupe is a beauty! All shades you chose I’ve been through a few myself. Add patina, shale, bitter, steamy, lavender-dah, sweetie, there’s a good handful I’ve used completely and replaced multiple times…. Lol! Working with them made me love them but that affair stopped prior and after Alluring Aquatics & B2M.. I’ve probably not bought anything other than that for nearly a decade. Lucky Green & Bitter were both loved dearly.. I could go in but I’m stopping! 😛

Vanessa V Avatar

Top 10 is based on products I have repurchashed:
1. MSF Natural in my seasonal color
2. Eye Kohl in Teddy
3. Lip pencil in Soar
4. Viva Glam V
5. Lustreglass in Love Nectar
6-8. Shroom, Woodwinked and All that Glitters eye shadows
9-10. Mocha and Melba blushes

Lauren Avatar

Well, let’s see.

1. Blow Dry lipstick- my first Mac product ever, hated the lustre formula but it was such an awesome color.
2. Viva Glam Cyndi lipglass- omg everything I ever needed.
3. Malt eyeshadow- my go-to transition/crease shade.
4. Viva Glam Miley lipstick/glass combo- I’m just soooo weak for hot pinks.
5. Flatter eyebrow pencil- my perfect shade, lovely formula, devastated it’s discontinued.
6. Salad Dressed nail polish- probably in my top ten favorite polishes ever
7. Softsac in Mint- definitely overpriced but it’s my favorite makeup bag
8.Hyperion nail polish- just because it perfectly matches my engagement ring 🙂
9. Reubenesque, Perky, and Stormy Pink paint pots- all great for everyday looks
10. Teddy eye kohl- my go-to eye pencil

Honorable mentions: Redhead MSF, strawberry blonde veluxe brow pencil, Beautiful Moves mineralize glass, Spring Bean lustreglass, Fulfilled plushglass, Vanilla eyeshadow, Next To Skin blush, Bare Minimum and Artificial Earth eyeshadows.

Blue Avatar

Aw, I love your picks, they’re such well thought out fan favorites and it made me smile that you included VGI, IMHO it might be MAC’s most underrated red.

My top 10 in no real order:
Haux e/s
Ruby Woo l/s
Phone Number Kohl
Breath of Plum blush
Pearl CCB
Coppering e/s
Smoky Mauve e/s
Sketch e/s (Actually not my favorite texture but it can’t be beat for adding lowlights to berry eye looks. Or hey, if you know of something similar in color but better in texture please prove me wrong!)
Viva Glam II l/s
Free to Be e/s

Two very faves that were omitted because they’re DC:
Pink Swoon blush
Exxxhibitionist Kissable Lip Color

Staci Avatar

My picks:
Angel lipstick. This is actually tied with Bitch Perfect as my all time favorite.
Expensive pink eyeshadow. Soft brown would be a close second.
Prolongwear concealer. My every day concealer.
Mineralize skinfinish natural powder. Use this almost everday too.

Stephanie A Avatar

It’s odd–I would never have considered myself a super-fan of MAC. It could be because their disappointing products have been *real* disappointments for me. That said, though, I realize there are many MAC products that I really wouldn’t want to do without-more so, actually, than any other single brand. I have used, loved, and replaced several times over: Warm Soul blush, Teddy eye kohl, Blooz eye kohl, lipsticks in Impassioned and Modesty, and Hush CCB.

Tina Avatar

Viva Glam I was my first MAC lipstick and basically started my love for the MAC lipstick formula <3 It's basically the perfect red on me!!

Nicole Avatar

Oh, this had to be so tough for you! I can’t even begin to imagine your Mac stash. I need to check my stash to see if I have the viva Glam I. For some reason I think I may. But, I may not. if not, I need to add it and Be a lady into my collection. I agree on the shadows from Legendary Lure.. I still feel like mac hasn’t been able to top that collection!

Niki Avatar

(1) Please Me lipstick – I go through tubes of this stuff. This lipstick makes me feel happy.
(2) Ricepaper- my must have under the brow highlighter
(3) All that Glitters- best transition/blender shadow
(4) Soft Brown- best base shadow
(5) Mac RED lipstick- made me fall in love with red lipstick
(6) Fix plus- love the smell

I love a lot of their stuff but these are things I could not live without.

BreTheMakeupGeek Avatar

MAC favs not in order

*MSFN dark gold
*fleeting romance blush
*make you mine blush
*coppertone blush
*keep it cool casual color
*lavender jade L/S
*relentlessly red L/S
*embrace me L/S
*pink pigeon L/S

impekkable Avatar

I just placed an order with MAC and these are most of what I like from them.
They have a coupon for $10 off every $50 till June 22.
1. Antiqued eyeshadow
2. Brown Script eyeshadow
3. Uninterrupted eyeshadow (pro longwear)
4. Deep Damson eyeshadow – but I went with Sketch as I read a lot of reviews where people found DD hard to blend
5. Moisture cream travel size (skincare)

Other 5:
6. Teddy eye Kohl
7. Strobe cream
8. Lightful c softening lotion
9. One lipstick – plumful/craving or a hot pink one from viva glam, the lipstick palette looked really good.
10. One brush – 239/217

Ashley Avatar

My permanent MAC Favorites (no particular order):

Eyeshadow: Woodwinked, Soft Brown, All That Glitters, Brown Script, Painterly Paint Pot

Blush: Melba, Modern Mandarin, Sunbasque

Lipstick: Brave, Crosswires, Kinda Sexy

Ginny Avatar

Great picks. I love Copperplate and VG I, such a rich but wearable red. I’d have to add Face and Body foundation (mixes so well with others), Lady Danger, Chicory lip pencil, Blushbaby and Full of Joy blushes, Sumptuous Olive, Cranberry, Stars n Rockets eye shadows. That’s ten!

Marissa Avatar

the only one that coincides with your choices is satin taupe. such a pretty shade.

my mac favourites are really basic actually haha

1. soft and gentle highlighter
2. whirl lip liner
3. 217 brush
4. satin taupe eyeshadow (i wish i had amber lights)
5. undercurrent pearlglide liner

the rest are lipsticks tbqh … twig, heroine, up the amp, rebel, russian red

… just got velvet teddy and viva glam v … and i think i will like them 😉

Helene Avatar

I have four of the ten. And now I must swatch VG1 and Marque as well as Be A Lady. I do think I have Be a Lady on my to get list,though 🙂
My favourite MAC products, this is a hard one to pick out, but I have some I use almost every day.
Malt, Quarry, Brulée, Copperplate, Smut, and Blanc Type eyeshadows. Then Trax, All that Glitters, Plum Dressing, Star Violet and Lucky Green eyeshadows.
Rebel and Violetta lipsticks, Miley VD lipgloss and Rhianna VG 1 both gloss and lipstick.
Frankly Scarlet blush.
Rebel nail polish.
I guess I’d really have to do a 20 favourites. To get this down to ten is impossible.
And now I have a few more to look closely at, thanks to you. I love getting inspiration for new hauls!

Astrild Avatar

No particular order:

Satin taupe and Sketch eyeshadows
Silver sun extradimension eyeshadow
Coffee eye pencil
MSF Natural in my winter and summer shade
Syrup, Plumful and Vegas Volt lipsticks
Fix +

Beary Avatar

I’m still newish to MAC bu I have a package coming today, so hopefully I’ll have some to add later. But here are my favorites so far:
Lipstick: Viva Glam V. It’s basically a shimmery MLBB on me and is SO pretty.
Eyeshadow: Uninterrupted. It’s my HG transition shade. I like to wear cooler blacks and greys, but cool tones do not play nice with my complexion. When I use this eyeshadow before applying cooler shades, it looks great and I can actually pull them off.
Brushes: 217 and 219–do these need explanation? 217 at least is pretty universally popular and if 219 isn’t it, it certainly should be.

chris Avatar

MAC Red, Ruby Woo, Dubonnet and Miss Dish Lipsticks
Viva Glam Cyndi Lipglass, Squirt Lipglass (it was green but gave a sheer honey color), Pop Mode Lipglass
Folie and Swiss Chocolate Eye Shadow
Studio Fix Powder Foundation

Charlene Avatar

I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to see COPPERPLATE on here… it’s one of my all time fave shadows. There are so many days where (I’m a NC30 slightly olive) all I do is contour my eye socket with Copperplate using a 224 brush and that’s it! It’s a perfect shade!!!

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