When it comes to beauty brands that hold a special place in my heart, few come close to rivalling MAC. And while, for many of us, the brand might hold nostalgic memories as the place that we bought our first fancy foundation or experimented with red lipstick MAC are undoubtedly a brand that has continued to move with the times—innovating new formulations, inclusive shade ranges and classic product pairings.
At this point, I'd hazard a guess that I have around 15 years of MAC loyalty under my belt and during that time I think I've tried a decent amount of the brand's beauty offering. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I've pretty much tried every single product. But with such an array of products on offer—foundations, lipsticks, eye shadow, highlighters, the list goes on—and with such an enormous selection of shades and colours for every product type, which MAC products do I actually swear by?
Ahead, keep scrolling to see the 18 best MAC products that I'd recommend to everyone across the lips, face, eyes and skin.
Rita Ora is said to be a fan of MAC's iconic Ruby Woo lipstick.
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo (£18)
What would a list of MAC recommendations be without possibly the brand's most iconic product, Ruby Woo? In actual fact, it's the brand's second best-selling lipstick (Velvet Teddy takes the top spot) but it has truly achieved cult status. With everyone from Rita Ora to Taylor Swift claiming it as a favourite, it genuinely ticks the boxes when it comes to a universally-flattering lipstick shade. It's bright, makes teeth look whiter and best of all it doesn't budge. It's one of the first red lipsticks that I ever bought and I'll always come back to it.
I only discovered this MAC lip colour this year while on a quest to find the best long-lasting lipsticks, but it's gone straight to the top of my list of favourites from the brand. It has a soft, almost blurry finish that feels more modern than other matte lipsticks in my collection and it doesn't leave my lips feeling dried out after wearing it. Plus, you can wear just one coat or layer it up depending on how intense you like your lip colour to be.
MAC Amplified Lipstick in Brick-O-La (£18)
MAC's Amplified formulas are one of my favourites—they're creamy, highly pigmented and with a slight sheen so they don't feel quite as full on as a classic matte. Brick-O-La is a pinky-berry that makes a subtle alternative to a red.
MAC Glow Play Lip Balm in Halo At Me (£18)
I love the look of a glossy lip but find them a bit of a hassle to wear—my hair always gets stuck to it and I'm constantly having to reapply. This lip balm offers that lovely sheeny finish with none of the stickiness and contains shea butter and mango seed oils to hydrate lips too. This untinted version has a pearlescent finish that looks great layered over lipsticks or worn alone for a healthy lip look.
MAC Versicolour Varnish Cream Lip Stain (£19)
I don't hear many people talking about these lip colours but they're seriously good. The formula is weirdly watery which means once it's on you can barely feel anything on your lips. However, that doesn't mean it compromises on colour: it delivers a glossy wash of colour that wears down into a long-lasting stain. Totally fuss-free and brilliant if you hate re-applying products throughout the day.
MAC foundations are staples in the backstage kits of legendary makeup artists like Val Garland, whose clients include the likes of Lady Gaga and Kate Moss.
MAC Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation (£27)
I've already raved plenty about the versatility of this iconic MAC foundation but it truly is a brilliant base product for whatever skin look you like to create from sheer to full-coverage. It comes in 67 shades and I'm always amazed at how good it still looks on skin after a whole day of wear.
This cult MAC foundation is a staple in the backstage kits of makeup artists and it's easy to see why. It provides skin-like, radiant coverage with a natural-looking glow that feels so hydrating on the skin. Plus, you can build it up if you prefer your base to have a little extra coverage. I hadn't used this for years and rediscovered it again recently and now I'm slightly obsessed.
MAC Mineralize Blush in Warm Soul (£24)
I love blusher but I recommend these baked mineral formulas from MAC too all my friends who are a bit nervous about wearing colour on their cheeks. They have a really lightweight powder finish to deliver just a wash of colour to the cheeks, or layer them up for extra pigment. Warm Soul is my absolute favourite as it give skin an instant dose of glow.
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer (£20)
This concealer is truly brilliant and no matter how many new and trending formulas I try I always come back to it. It covers blemishes, dark circles and redness with ease and never looks cakey. Yes, it is matte but don't let that put you off—it blends seamlessly with the skin and looks really natural once applied.
MAC Cream Colour Base in Hush (£20)
These little pots of cream colour are ideal if you have basically no makeup skills like me. They're multipurpose so you can use them on your cheeks, eyes and lips and they work best when applied with fingertips. I like this shimmery peach shade best as a blusher or subtle highlighter.
Supermodel Jourdan Dunn has been known to step out wearing MAC makeup products.
MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot (£18)
Another low-maintenance makeup product that I recommend to everyone are the MAC Paint Pots. They are little pots of creamy colour that can be worn alone for an easy eye look but also double up as a crease-resistant primer for powder eye shadows. Again, they can be applied using just your fingertips and they last for hours.
MAC Art Library: Flame-Boyant (£39)
This is a shout-out to the wonder of MAC powder eye shadows in general—although I have to say that this russet-toned palette is really calling me. Honestly, I've tried a lot of eye shadows over the years and very few come close to the colour pay-off and longevity of MAC's. They come in loads of finishes—mattes, frosts, shimmers and metallics—meaning that you're guaranteed to find a texture and hue that's perfect for whatever look you want to create.
MAC Pro Longwear Fluidline (£18)
As I'm totally useless at eyeliner, this is a bit of a recommendation by proxy but one of my friends who has been wearing a feline flick since she could practically walk absolutely swears by this stuff, and so many makeup artists and celebs do too. It's a silky, gel liner that you apply with a brush and apparently it's totally smudge-proof and intensely black. All I know is that it looks incredible on my mate and that's good enough for me.
MAC Prep + Prime 24-Hour Eye Base (£17)
I don't know what it is about my eyelids but no matter how meticulously I apply eye shadow it will have creased, flaked or faded away without fail by the end of the day. To prolong it and keep it looking fresh I swear by this eye primer. As well as keeping colours looking fresh, it's infused with vitamin E so it's kind to your skin too.
MAC Shape & Shade Brow Tint (£20)
When it comes to brow products, I gravitate towards pen-style products like this one because I like the precision it allows for when drawing on individual, hair-like strokes. This one from MAC is as good as they come but I especially like it for the powder tip at the other end which is deal for filling in sparse patches quickly.
Celebrity makeup artist Gloria Elias-Foeillet, who has worked with Emily Ratajkowski, swears by MAC's iconic setting spray.
MAC Prep + Prime Fix + Magic Radiance (£23)
This is essentially dewy skin in a bottle. It's packed with hyaluronic acid, essential oils and vitamin C to keep skin moisturised and radiant so it's perfect for dry skin. However, it even works for oily-skinned people like myself who want to add a little extra glow to a heavier foundation look.
MAC Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 (£26)
Skin experts always recommend wearing SPF—it's the one ingredient that not only protects your skin from harmful UV rays but it prevents visible signs of ageing too. I love this one from MAC as it isn't oily or greasy and it doubls up as a brilliant makeup primer.
MAC Strobe Cream (£26)
Part-moisturiser, part-highlighter, Strobe Cream is one of MAC's classic cult products and I always recommend it to friends who are on a quest for brighter-looking skin. I like the peach-tinted one for wearing alone on no-makeup days but it also looks lovely patted over a skin tint for dewy cheekbones.
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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