MAC Lipstick Finishes – The Differences

mac lipsticks

Shopping for MAC lipsticks can be overwhelming at the best of times. Walking into a MAC store or counter, you are faced with rows and rows of lipsticks in various (sometimes scary) shades. Here are my thoughts on what the differences between the finishes are.

Matte – long lasting. No shine. Can be drying on the lips but it depends on the shade. These tend to have a high colour pay off.

Cremesheen – Medium colour payoff and a creamy consistency. Lasts around 3 hours on the lips. Comfortable to wear.

Frost – Has a sort of “frosty” finish. Some can be quite shimmery. These aren’t my favourite but I guess if you like that sort of thing then Frost is for you. Has a medium colour payoff. Angel is a frost lipstick and is one of the most popular nude shades MAC does, so it’s always worth swatching them to see if there are any you like!

Glaze – As the name suggests, these add just a subtle glaze to the lips. These are comfortable to wear but have a low colour payoff and a sheen to them. Recommended for someone who wants something low-maintenance but doesn’t mind reapplying often (although you can do that without a mirror).

Lustre – Sheer, buildable coverage with a sheen finish. Lasts about the same amount of time as a Cremesheen.

Satin – Much like a matte in terms of colour payoff but ever so slightly more comfortable to wear. With the added comfort comes a lower wear time.

Amplified – Ooh, we are pulling out the big bananas. The colour payoff on these is loud. They’re very pigmented and often come in really bold colours. Not for the faint hearted. The finish is somewhere between a matte and a cremesheen and the longevity is similar too.

What is your favourite MAC lipstick finish?


Sarah. Almost 30. Craft beer drinker. South London resider. I like photography, boxing and visiting all of London's markets.


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