Friday, December 28, 2012

A Guide to MAC Cosmetics Part 2 - Lipstick Formulas

I did intend for this post to include powder, eyeshadow, blush, foundation and lipstick formula explanations
and what have you but since last night I have not been all that well so you must forgive me but hopefully come to tomorrow I'll feel a little better and be able to knuckle down!
As lipsticks are unlike any other of MAC's products it probably is for the best that they have their own
section for reference purposes at the very least, that and my gosh do MAC offer a variety of finishes etc!

MAC General Lipstick Line

Amplified: To me this packs all the pigmentation of a matte formula only without the drying quality
and with a light sheen finish. Unlike some MAC formula's these are opaque and really do pack a punch
when it comes to colour pay off, fairly long lasting with 3-4 hours of wear.

Summed Up - Great for bold colour without going down the matte route.

Amplified Creme: Amplified Creme lipsticks combine all the pigmentation of the Amplified formula

coupled with the creamy, high gloss finish of the cremesheen formulation.
Highly pigmented and hydrating but a little prone to slipping and bleeding, the wear time is also slightly
affected with this quality and tends to be around the 2 hour mark.
Summed Up - Comfortable, highly pigmented moisturising lip colour with a creamy sheen quality.

Cremesheen: All my favourite shades tend to come in this finish, Cremesheen lipsticks as the name would suggest provides a creamy mid level dose of colour with a slightly glossy finish.

On the lips most Cremesheen lipsticks have a milky finish/effect, they combine the pigmentation of a lipstick
with the glossy factor of a lip gloss and as you may have guessed for that reason alone they aren't the longest 
wearing - around 2 hours at the most. The softest MAC lipstick formula so do keep it away from heat/sun.
Summed Up - Non-drying creamy lip colour with a high gloss finish.

Cremesheen and Pearl: The newest formula on the block, apparently combining the shimmer particles of a frost lipstick with the creamy texture of the Cremesheen formula.

I have tried four of these shades which are permanent and have to say that although you can see the shimmer
element in the bullet it does not transfer on to the lips so the formula is essentially just MAC Cremesheen
with a fancy new name and a few extra new shades thrown in for good measure.

Summed Up - The same as the original MAC Cremesheen's.

Frost: The frost category can be split into two, you have the typical almost metallic shimmer based lip shades which I find really hard to pull off, slightly drying and a little dated such as Tanarama and then you have shades such as Angle and Costa Chic which admittedly are a little dry but don't have a shimmertastic

finish. When it comes to the frost finish by MAC do either swatch in-store or Google the shade as they can be rather inconsistent in texture. Wear time is average with around 3 hours on my lips but pigmentation
can be hit and miss.
Summed Up - The one formula that you can't take at face value, some are really shimmery others are more akin to the satin and amplified formulations.

Glaze: One of the poorer pigmented lip options with a reduced wear time (approx 2 hours) but on the

plus side they tend to be moisturising and very natural looking. Essentially a typical lip gloss in stick form.
Summed Up - Offers the same pigmentation and finish as a bog standard lip gloss.

Lustre: There isn't a great difference between the Lustre and Glaze formula in all truthfulness.

Lustre formula's tend to be a little more pigmented but do share the same glossy finish.
Summed Up - A little more pigmented than the Glaze formula.

Matte: No sheen, no gloss just flat opaque matte coverage, very striking in some shades such as Candy Yum Yum but can be a little drying but are well pigmented. Tends to wear longer than most MAC formulas but I do recommend slicking on a little lip balm before applying any of MAC's matte lip offerings.

Summed Up - Flat, bold and opaque lip coverage.

Retro Matte: This is the most drying of all the formulas but also the truest matte lipstick MAC offer,

Ruby Woo is the only Retro Matte formula I can think of straight off the top of my head but there could be more, as the name would suggest this feels like an old school formulation with no hydration what so ever.
If you have dry lips you will struggle with this shade and after a few hours of wear the lips will become
dried out so do carry around a good balm when using this shade.
On the plus side this is one of the few MAC lipsticks that can wear for up to 6 hours.
Summed Up - The mattest of matte formulas, very drying.

Satin: I'm not the biggest fan of Satin formulas, they are essentially only a step down from the matte formula
and are equally as drying just not quite as flat in colour. I would deem MAC Satin lipsticks to be semi-matte
in terms of finish and on par with the matte option on lasting power at 3/4 hours an application.
Summed Up - MAC's semi- matte offering which is drying.

MAC Non- Standard Formulas

Mattene - On of my favourite finishes, despite claiming to be matte they do have a creamy non-drying texture that never fully settles to an all out matte finish. Mattene shades tend to wear close to 4 hours and are great for those who like perhaps the Satin finish MAC offers but not so much the drying element.
Summed Up - Creamy, semi-matte, non-drying.

Pro-Longwear - Not enough people speak about this formula but it really is a good send if you require full opaque coverage that is light in texture yet lasts the full day.
It really doesn't budge (they claim 12 hours of wear, I say around 8) and most shades tend to
wear down to a non-drying semi-matte finish.
Summed Up - MAC's longest wearing formula, non-drying with full colour pay off.

Sheen Supreme - In laymen's terms a hybrid of gloss and lipstick. This formula combines the pigmentation
of the likes of the Amplified lipstick with all the sheen of a gloss. As a result you have a highly pigmented
lipstick with a super shiny finish that is non-drying but prone to bleeding and slipping.
Summed Up - Not all that different from the Cremesheen formula just a little more glossy.

MAC Lip Palettes

The new palettes seem to be confusing some and I can completely understand, they were essentially launched under the radar with little rhyme or reason.
I can tell you that all of the palettes (Spring Forecast 2013 excluded) are permanent and include
permanent lip shades that you can find in the standard MAC Lipstick line.
The formulas of the palette lipsticks are true to the lipstick so should you want to know what
finish any pan/shade may have you only have to quickly look up the lipstick name sake.

As always I am by no means a professional but if you do have any questions please let me know
and I will respond to them A.S.A.P!

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  1. I have a lipstick in Glaze (Hot Tahiti) and Lustre (Charismatic) and I agree that they're sheer/lip-glossy. What I would say they have over lipgloss (which I don't 'do', like Mariah Carey doesn't 'do' stairs. Hate it!)is that it has none of the stickiness of lipgloss. Does that make sense?! I also have a Frost (New York Apple) which I love- and I'm not a frost fan, usually associating it with 1980s news readers! I have reviews of all three lipsticks on my blog, if anyone is interested!

    I'd really like to try a matte though, next!

    1. I really recommend Please Me as a matte lipstick!

  2. great post. dont like lustre my mom got one is not the most flattering on us

  3. Thank you for posting this it is extremely helpful! xx

  4. Such an in depth and helpful post. I hate it when i find a shade i like but its in the formula i dont get on with! But mac lipsticks have to be my all time favourite. Theyre unbeatable for quality xx

  5. I have matte, satin, cremesheen, lustre, sheen supreme amplified and frost formulas but now i really want to try mattene and pro long wear! my favourite formuila at the minute is definitely lustre as i'm liking the sheerer look. these guides are really helpful if not tempting me to buy more... ;)

  6. Very helpful post.

    Cremesheen has to be my favourite finish. I do love matte lippies but find MAC's matte shades suck out every ounce of moisture.

  7. Mac are by far my favourite lipsticks, especially the matte and satin finishes!


  8. I have some of those different formulas:

    Mattene (Eden rouge, one of my favourites)
    Amplified (Dubonnet and Half&Half, my second favourites)
    Satin (Rebel)
    Cremesheen (Hang up)
    Sheen supreme (Quite the thing, don't like it too much)
    Glazed (Counting lilac, a gift)
    Lustre (Cockney, for summer...)
    Matte (Smoked Purple and Diva)

  9. This is such a useful post, I've always wondered about some of the less popular formulas xx

  10. So many I want to try. Only have a cremesheen at the moment though!

  11. I am finally jumping on the MAC hype. It has taken me forever, but as I now love lipsticks, stains and balms, I might as well start with the best!

  12. I love matte's, amplified's and lustre's the most! These are so helpful, hoping your still going to do the eyeshadow/blush ones as a seperate post cos that sounds exciting! x

  13. Haven't tried MAC lipsticks, but always good to know when you're a blogger and you're posting about other brands than MAC so you can compare!! :) Thanks so much!! x

  14. I used to use a lot of Mac lipsticks but am now a huge fan of Dior.

  15. Great post! I don't have MAC lipsticks yet but I am slowly but surely compiling a wishlist! But all the different formulas do really confuse me. Ill definitely keep coming back to this post in the future :-) xx

  16. This was so informative - thank you very much! I was so confused about the many different formulas before, but this really helps.
    I got my first ever MAC products for Christmas (Viva Glam Nicki lipstick and lipglass) and I love them so much I feel a MAC addiction coming on already! But the price :/

    Which cremesheens do you recommend?

  17. thank you this was a really helpful post and loved the little summaries at the end:)

  18. I have 3 amplified creme's (vegas volt, chatterbox and brick-o-la) and 1 lustre (plumful) and I love all four of them :D i'm quickly increasing my MAC collection and it's great fun!! haha

    Fab post missy,



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