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MAC has become somewhat synonymous with the word lipstick. The brand is known for its cult-favorite, best-selling bullets that have kicked off trends (for example, the vampy pout of the 90s) and adorned the lips of countless celebrities from Madonna to Nicki Minaj.
The brand’s lipsticks are coveted for the extensive shade ranges that work on a variety of skin tones and their innovative formulas that make them wear so darn well. Here, we pay homage to the best MAC lipsticks.
Best Overall: MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick
Here’s a fun fact: MAC sells one tube of Ruby Woo every seven seconds. This bullet holds the brand’s number one spot as a best seller. It’s billed as a red with a blue undertone, but it somehow looks amazing on every skin tone, light, dark, warm, or cool (both Taylor Swift and Rihianna are said to be huge fans).
Ruby Woo is a saturated shade with a velvety matte finish. The hue is so popular, it even has its own hastag on Instragram. Search #rubywoo and get women of all different skin tones rocking the perfect red.
If this red is too intense for you, press it into your lips with your fingertip for a toned-down, stained-like finish.
Best Budget: Mini MAC Lipstick in Twig
MAC lipsticks carry a similar price tag across the board—usually just under $20 a tube. But the brand has introduced a line of miniaturized-sized lipsticks in their best-selling shades, each for half the price of a regular lipstick. So, you can get a taste of the cult-status colors without spending a lot of dough.
This mini in Twig is a fan favorite. The soft pink with a hint of brown is beloved for being feminine, but not overly sweet pink hue. The infusion of brown gives it just the right amount of edge and makes it especially pretty on warm skin tones.
This shade is never overpowering; so, go ahead and slick this satin-finish lipstick on right from the tube.
Best for Fair Skin: MAC Brave
When you have light skin, bold, standout shades can have their place in your lipstick wardrobe. But sometimes you just want a hue that looks like your natural lip shade, only better. This is that shade. Brave is a top-selling pinkie-beige with a hint of pearl that adds a subtle touch of shimmer. The finish is satin, which is not too glossy and not too matte—just right for a natural look. Despite its name, you don’t have to work up the courage to try this stunner.
Since this lipstick has a pearlized finish, skip the frost or shimmer on other parts of your face. Keep the rest of your makeup clean and fresh-looking.
Best Nude: MAC Velvet Teddy
As you’ve probably noticed, nudes can be tricky to get right. A swipe of beige against most skin tone can look blah, drab, or even chalky if the hue is too pale. But this shade gets it so right. It no surprise it’s a best-seller for the brand. Velvet Teddy is deep enough to pop on all skin tones and has a hint of warmth, which makes lips look fresh and pretty, not flat and corpse-like. Plus, it has a creamy matte, attention-grabbing finish.
Matte nude lipsticks can call attention to flaky lips. Before applying, exfoliate and hydrate with a non-greasy balm.
Best for Olive Skin: MAC Lady Danger
Olive skin tones have a lot of yellow, gold, and green undertones and looks radiant when paired with orange-y tones. Enter this ultimate coral red. The bold shade cancels out any sallowness in your skin instantly, a common complaint amongst those with olive complexions, and makes a statement in a creamy matte finish that can work for both day or night.
Let this fiery shade be your main pop of color on your face. Skip the bright blush and pair it with a gold-flecked, terracotta bronzer.
Best for Dark Skin: MAC Diva
Finding the right red for dark skin is a challenge. All too often what looks right in the packaging is not quite right on your lips. Why? It usually comes down to undertones. The ideal red for a dark complexion is intense and deep with blue undertones that will standout against your skin. MAC Diva is one of those no-fail reds for dark skin tones. It’s more of a burgundy, blood red.
The creamy matte finish lends itself to a precise look. Use a matching lip liner to define lips before applying your color.
Best Matte: MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in Mull it Over
We love the way matte lipstick looks, but some formulas can be so dry and unforgiving on your lips. This innovative formula contains moisture-coated powder pigments that give you a no-shine look while hydrating lips, so you’re not left with that tight, uncomfy feeling of many matte lipsticks. It was designed to replicate the blurred-out, soft focused lipstick trend seen on the runways.
Mull It Over is one of the best-sellers in the Powder Kiss line. It’s a dirty peach, a muted coral with warm beige undertones that’s surprisingly flattering on most skin tones.
To accentuate the blurred look, after applying, use a cotton swab or your finger to soften the edges of your pout.
Our writers spent 2 hours researching the most popular MAC lipsticks on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 20 different MAC lipsticks overall, screened options from 1 different brands and manufacturers, read over 10 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 7 of the MAC lipsticks themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.