This post may contain affiliate links.
MAC lipsticks can be found in nearly every makeup bag everywhere. There are shades for every skin tone and a formula for every lip. For decades, MAC has shown a comprehensive understanding of ideal color deposits that make them both an easy and difficult brand to shop in. The number of options and the beauty of the MAC lipstick colors can make it difficult to not just grab each shade that catches your eye.
To help you out, we’ve picked the best MAC lipsticks based on the skin tones they work best for. There are a few exceptions that will work on multiple skin tones like the famous, trendsetting Ruby Woo, but in this article, we’ll be specific to skin tone. You can shop for yourself or a friend and always manage to pick a fabulous shade.
Remember, choose MAC lipstick shades that will look best against your skin tone and undertones, not just one that looks pretty in the tube. It won’t make you feel any better to own it if you cannot wear it. On the contrary, people usually end up giving it to a friend and seeing it look amazing on them.
Work with your skin tones or undertones and pay attention to the tones of the lipstick as well. Choose the best MAC lipstick for yourself and let the color do what it is supposed to do, which is enhance your natural beauty. A great MAC lipstick that works with your skin tone will make you feel invincible, can go with any look and make you feel more confident immediately after application.
30 Best MAC Lipsticks for Every Skin Tone: Contents
- 6 Best MAC Lipsticks for Pale Skin
- 6 Best MAC Lipsticks for Fair Skin
- 6 Best MAC Lipsticks for Medium Skin
- 6 Best MAC Lipsticks for Dark Skin
- 6 Best MAC Lipsticks for Olive Skin
- 6 Best Selling MAC Lipstick Collections You Need To Know
Many of the best selling MAC lipsticks look good on most skin tones but have one or two problems – either they are too bright or they are too pale, making them either harsh or unflattering. Pale skin tones require a good color and a great finish. Sheer, buildable MAC lipstick colors are best, as you can create the color and look that you really want. Check out six different MAC lipsticks that are perfect for pale skin, below!
1. MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo
Of all the colors sold by MAC, Ruby Woo may very well be the most famous. As one of the best selling MAC lipsticks of all time, Ruby Woo is the matte, vivid blue-ish red lipstick of everyone’s dreams. On pale skin, the color is rich, soft, matte and moisturizing and provides an astounding boost of color that really makes the lips pop. It’s one of the best MAC lipsticks that flatter almost everyone, not only the ones with pale skin tones, so pick your Ruby Woo from maccosmetics.com or Nordstrom now!
2. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Capricious
A deep rosy tinted plum works wonders against pale skin. The color is soft but won’t wash even the palest face out. The color is visible, builds up from a sheer hint of promising color to a nice medium coverage providing MAC lipstick that is ideally pigmented for a stunning color. The formula is moisturizing and ideally suited for long wear. One of the best MAC lipsticks, this soft color can be picked up from MAC Cosmetics’ online store or Nordstrom as well!
3. MAC Satin Lipstick in Amorous
Satin finished lipstick is ideal for a day or night look depending on how you want to wear it. One of the best MAC lipsticks for pale skin tones, the color can be built up from medium sheer coverage to full coverage in a stunning shade described as lovestruck cranberry. It’s soft, but bold and cleverly formulated to be moisturizing and satiny in both look and feel. Get yours from Nordstrom or MAC Cosmetics!
4. MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva
Diva is THAT shade of MAC lipsticks for the paler skinned lovers of lipstick. Everyone wants a dramatic, stand out shade, and Diva is the dramatic, ultra-pigmented, intense shade of red-blended burgundy lipstick designed to catch eyes and flatter paler skin tones. This is the wow factor color and is easy to apply and stays well all day. This best selling MAC lipstick is also available online on maccosmetics.com and Nordstrom.
5. MAC Frost Lipstick in Fresh Moroccan
Medium coverage in brick red with highlights of gold pearl looks amazing on pale skin tones. Fresh Moroccan is one of the best MAC lipsticks for pale skin because it stands out refreshingly against pale skin without bleeding or smudging during all-day wear. Colors bleeding on pale skin can be a huge annoyance that won’t happen with this buildable-coverage, highly pearlized shade of MAC lipstick. Get yours from MAC Cosmetics or Nordstrom now!
6. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Syrup
Syrup is a weightless, lip-nourishing MAC lipstick that looks beautiful on pale skin. The color pops without being too red or pink and has just the right touch of pearlized shine for pale skin. This MAC lipstick shade looks warm against the palest of complexions. It’s available online at Nordstrom and MAC Cosmetics.
Most of the best MAC lipsticks for fair skin are chosen through two means – stunning contrast and impeccable color payoff that does not wash the wearer out. Like the greatest gift, your lipstick can make an indescribable difference in more than just your aesthetic.
Fair-skinned people still have to deal with undertones that run neutral, cool or warm even if they are obviously pinkish, the lightest of light coppery or pale. Find your undertones and work with them, and most of all, do not be afraid to swatch! Here are 6 great options for the best MAC lipsticks for fair toned skin.
1. MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red
Russian Red is the ideal red lipstick for fair skin tones thanks to its bluish red tonality. The richness of the shade makes it one of the best MAC lipsticks for fair skin, especially for those with blue eyes. The red manages to be both full of depth, smooth and beautiful and evenly opaque for a great long-lasting look with the perfect amount of shine for a refreshing, moisturized look. You can find it online on Nordstrom and MAC Cosmetics’ website.
2. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Giddy
Giddy is one of the best selling MAC lipsticks for fair skin because it is a rich yet light shade of pink accented with shimmering flecks of gold. The consistency is perfect for a smooth application that lasts all day without fading, moisturizes your lips and highlights all the tones of your fair skin. Get yours from Nordstrom or maccosmetics.com!
3. MAC Frost Lipstick in Angel
Angel is the perfect combination of shimmer and a soft pink lipstick color to work on fair skin. This is the frosted lipstick that won’t overpower but will sparkle and create a perfectly accentuated pout. The coverage is light to medium, thankfully soft and smooth and can be used with another complementary shade to add a bit of depth and sparkle to your lipstick style. This MAC lipstick is available online on the brand’s website and on Nordstrom, too.
4. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Hug Me
Hug Me is the perfect nude lipstick for a fair skinned person for a natural look pout with the perfect amount of shine. The formula nourishes lips and feels weightless, which means wearing this MAC nude lipstick will feel as natural as the color looks. This is the perfect lipstick to look and feel like an enhanced version of your naturally beautiful self. Pick up your nude MAC lipstick from Nordstrom or maccosmetics.com!
5. MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in All Fired Up
Some of the best MAC lipsticks are the bright and bold, heavily pigmented shades, like the bright fuchsia matte named All Fired Up. This is one of the better bold MAC lipstick shades for fair skin that will pull at the undertones to make certain the look is optimally balanced for your skin. All Fired Up is focus-stealing and eye-catching on fair skin without being overpowering. Available on Nordstrom and on MAC Cosmetics’ website, this is the shade for a standout lip and simple cat eye.
6. MAC Matte Lipstick in Honeylove
Honeylove is the perfect beige MAC lipstick for fair skin: it is light with a shine matte finish that looks a bit more like a tanned beige on fair skin than any other color. The touch of rose works with the beige to prevent washout and helps to boost the luster in the finish for a great everyday look. This one of the many MAC lipsticks with just enough color to visibly show that you’ve “put on a lip” and can be found online at Nordstrom and at maccosmetics.com.
Medium skin tones have a similar issue to those with olive skin. A lot of MAC lipstick colors look good on medium toned skin, but that one amazing color can be a bit more difficult to get a hold of. Essentially, most of the options look good, but the most stunning and the best MAC lipsticks for medium skin are much harder to find. You have a few great choices below, each with a perfect combination of flattering shade and a stunning finish.
1. MAC Amplified Lipstick in Vegas Volt
Vegas Volt is the perfect coral colored MAC lipstick for medium toned skin. The pigments used to create this bold coral color pick up on and enhance the undertones of your skin to create a stunning look that is eye-catching and flattering. The semi-lustrous finish, full coverage, and ultra-creamy formula mean that this MAC lipstick will not look chalky or dry out while you’re wearing it. Pick your coral bullet from MAC Cosmetics or Nordstrom!
2. MAC Frost Lipstick in Fabby
Frost lipstick is not for the faint of heart or for those lacking in style. The formula provides a semi-lustrous finish on a buildable color. A quick swipe is enough for a visible difference but if you want a significantly frosted look, keep layering until you have medium coverage and can really appreciate the pearlized color. Find the right balance of coverage for the MAC lipstick and watch the pearlized, shimmery finish work wonders next to your skin. One of the best MAC lipsticks for medium skin tones, this one is also available on Nordstrom and on MAC’s website.
3. MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Ginger Rose
Ginger Rose is a bright, heavily pigmented pink from the MAC lipsticks’ liptensity line. The color will pop and dazzle solely because of the heavily pigmented nature of the enhanced shade. The gel-based formula will give you 8 hours of comfortable, non-sticky wear that does not fade. Go bolder with this pink MAC lipstick available online at Nordstrom and maccosmetics.com!
4. MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour in Back in Vogue
The peachy nude color Back in Vogue is a retro matte liquid lip color that is perfect for medium skin tones. The pink is just enough to stand out, and the peach of the color is what makes this MAC lipstick so flattering on the medium skin. The finish for retro matte MAC lipsticks is a liquid suede texture that feels great, thanks to the moisturizing formula that will not dry out your lips. You can buy your peach liquid lip color from MAC Cosmetics or Nordstrom.
5. MAC Viva Glam I Lipstick
Red always provides a bit of va-va-voom when applied correctly and in the ideal shade. Viva Glam I is the ideal shade of rich, bright red MAC lipstick for medium-toned skin. Every penny from this popular MAC lipstick shade is given to charity so you can look good and feel good on the inside and out. Hurry up to pick one of the best MAC lipsticks online at maccosmetics.com or Nordstrom!
6. MAC Lustre Lipstick in Fresh Brew
Fresh Brew has a lightweight, pearlized finish that perfectly personifies a stunning nude MAC lipstick. The color is just enough to be noticed but not so bright as to seem horrifically unnatural. Smooth application and buildable color are key to building a lustrous light to medium coverage look. This is also one of the best selling MAC lipsticks that you can find online on Nordstrom and on MAC’s website now.
Darker skinned consumers used to have a difficult time picking MAC lipstick shades, but the true key is depth. Lipsticks with a deep and visible color payoff will make a big difference against dark skin tones. Personal glamour and style will always include utilizing the right touches and the right shade of MAC lipstick can make all the difference in your day-to-day looks.
Once you find that perfect shade that can carry you through the day and any outfit changes you have to make, you have essentially got it made. Here are 6 great contenders for the perfect shade of MAC lipsticks for dark skin tones.
1. MAC Matte Lipstick in Chili
Orange undertones in MAC lipsticks look exceptionally good on dark skin. The orange undertones work beautifully with the warmth of darker skin through the mix using the right amounts of brown and red for a deep and rich color payoff. The matte finish provides no shine but the color is deep and smooth enough to allow for a quick gloss overlay if you want a shine finish. Get this gorgeous color from maccosmetics.com or Nordstrom!
2. MAC Matte Lipstick in Beatrix
For darker skin, Beatrix offers the deepest red with a hint of copper as a beautiful, full-coverage matte MAC lipstick. The color has depth and beauty that other reds just cannot pull off. The shade is rich and distinguishable on darker skin with a tint to it that accentuates the reddish tones. One of the best MAC lipsticks for dark skin tones, this deep shade also sells through MAC’s website.
3. MAC Satin Lipstick in Spirit
The softer nudes with the right amount of brown look great on darker skin. For light, soft looks that have a sparkling sheen to them, Spirit is the ideal shade of MAC’s best selling lipsticks with a satin finish. The color looks lighter on dark skin than on other skin tones, giving Spirit a bit of levity on darker skin. Get this perfect nude MAC lipstick for dark skin tones from MAC’s online store or Nordstrom!
4. MAC Amplified Lipstick in Neon Orange
The brightest, clear orange color in MAC lipsticks’ amplified formula provides a serious boost of color to your lips. The balance between the bright amplified orange, with its semi-lustrous finish and beautiful full, creamy coverage looks incredible against darker skin. The formula for the amplified MAC lipsticks is super creamy and smooth and will not dry out and flake during long wear. This one is also available on MAC’s website and on Nordstrom.
5. MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Dangerous
Retro matte finish and a bright orange tinted red are the key features of the MAC lipstick dubbed Dangerous. The red has an ideal level of orange pigment in the color base for a bright pop that looks brilliant against darker skin. A brighter red with a great color payoff will stand out, while the warmth of the color corresponds well with the undertones of dark skin. One of the best selling MAC lipsticks, this red can be picked up online from MAC’s website or from Nordstrom, too.
6. MAC Matte Lipstick in Antique Velvet
Antique Velvet is one of the best selling MAC lipsticks for the rich, deep brown color and the smooth matte finish. The texture is as smooth, soft and rich as any velvety matte lipstick should be with long, moisturizing wear and incredible color deposit. The color is unmistakably flattering on dark skin and a beautiful addition that can work in any instance. So pick up your velvet bullet from MAC’s online store or Nordstrom here!
Olive skin is the glorious neutral of skin tones that can make it easy to find a shade that looks nice, but a glamorously transformative shade can be a bit more difficult to find. Pinks and mauves look good on olive skin, but reds can really add the wow factor that everyone wants from a good lipstick. These are six of the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, some of which work nice on other skin tones, too.
1. MAC Matte Lipsticks in Velvet Teddy
The best of the nude MAC lipsticks for olive skin is without a doubt, Velvet Teddy, available online on Nordstrom and maccosmetics.com. The color is pale but still slightly darker than the general natural color of lips. The final effect is a more defined pout that is not overwhelming or underwhelming – this is the visual definition of ‘just right.’
2. MAC Glaze Lipstick in Hot Tahiti
Finish is important, and Hot Tahiti provides a decent color payoff in a sheer formula that sits comfortably on the lips with a light hint of pearl in it. The pearl in the finish provides a different type of shine that works beautifully well the reds and browns in the Hot Tahiti shade. Hot Tahiti is one of the best MAC lipsticks for anyone with olive toned skin, and can be picked up online from Nordstrom or MAC’s website.
3. MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Brave Red
Brave Red is one of the ubiquitous MAC lipstick shades that look amazing on several skin tones making it one of the best selling MAC lipsticks, but the effect on olive skin tones is the astounding in its own right and more than worthy of mention.
Depending on how you choose to do the rest of your makeup, this shade can work for everything from a casual day out to a stunning evening look. The cremesheen lipstick formula provides a semi-glossy finish on this yellow-toned and rich red color, and the coverage starts at medium and can easily build up. This color is available at Nordstrom and MAC’s online store here.
4. MAC Satin Lipstick in Twig
Pinkish nude MAC lipsticks with just the right balance of brown and pink tones are incredibly flattering on olive skin with the satiny finish and buildable coverage. The application, thanks to the formula, is very smooth and does not get that unfortunate caked-on appearance when building up the color. If you want the color payoff, but a moderately opaque pinkish nude, a single swipe of MAC’s Twig lipstick is all you need. Get yours from maccosmetics.com or Nordstrom!
5. MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel
Rebel provides buildable coverage that starts at medium opacity and builds up to a rich, full-on opaque mid-toned plum. The finish is satiny rather than full gloss or matte, so it is perfectly between the two popular finishes. Because the color is bright yet deep, it has a lot of contrast on olive skin but is still bright enough not to be considered “too much.” Rightly considered as one of the best MAC lipsticks for olive skin tones, this one is available online at Nordstrom and maccosmetics.com.
6. MAC Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger
Lady Danger is the perfect opaque bright coral red MAC lipstick for golden toned olive skin. The shade is matte, so the red is bright and eye-catching, perfectly juxtaposed against olive skin for a ‘pow’ that you want. The texture is creamy, smooth and moisturizing so application is a breeze, and the color stays without fading throughout the day. This bright MAC lipstick can be picked up from MAC’s online store or from Nordstrom here.
The best selling MAC lipstick collections are the following six that you will find below. There are several very popular shades in each one, which certainly helps the popularity of each collection.
MAC has reached its level of domination throughout the makeup community by providing the MAC lipstick shades in the opacity, finishes, color payoff and formulas that they provide. The most popular of these collections have outlasted a lot of competition simply because they provide the options people want to buy and keep around.
1. Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour – $21 Each
With 15 different MAC lipstick colors that include nudes, deep plums and eye-catching, vibrant reds, the Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color collection is fantastic. If you want to try a lightweight formula that is really creamy and smooth on application, check out the long-lasting MAC lipstick colors in this collection.
It takes very little lipstick for full coverage, and the wear lasts all day. It has a tendency to be a bit drying, but it does not transfer off your lips and a bit of dryness is expected from a matte lipstick.
2. MAC Matte Lipsticks – $17.50 Each
MAC Matte Lipsticks are famous for lasting solid 7 hours without fading, even in the brightest colors. When new shades are added, they are usually added to this collection. Everything from subtle nudes to high fashion, runway MAC lipstick shades are in this constantly updated collection.
The shades are flawless and use the same formula for the Retro Matte line. As long as you exfoliate and moisturize your lips first, you are good to go for all-day wear of highly pigmented color throughout your day.
3. MAC Retro Matte Lipsticks – $17.50 Each
MAC lipstick collections do not get better loved than the MAC Retro Matte collection. The line is constantly updated, but there are four staple classic shades within this collection that have all found a happy customer base. Each color defines the lips, finishes with an ideal, perfect matte and legitimately can be worn all day without reapplying, reasonable 8 hours even while eating.
These MAC lipsticks have serious staying power. Wearing them requires the same treatment of any really good matter – exfoliate and moisturize your lips first and then rock your classic shade until the end of the day.
4. MAC Amplified Lipsticks – $17.50 Each
MAC Amplified Lipsticks are the colorful, impressively vibrant lipsticks that come in 21 impressive shades that are still wearable in a capacity that is not runway related. The MAC lipstick colors in this range are designed to be creamy and non-drying without being too glossy.
The pigment deposit is bright and unmistakable and will continue to be so throughout the day. The color is completely opaque so the one you purchase is the color you get, but the vibrancy means that the lipstick is not transfer proof. The non-drying factor of the formula keeps the final finish just between slightly glossy and perfectly matte.
5. MAC Cremesheen Lipsticks – $17.50 Each
The MAC Cremesheen Lipstick line features a huge array of colors in a buttery soft, smooth texture that lasts all day. Within 5 hours of wear, it doesn’t begin to flake or be uncomfortable, the formula is still smooth and hydrating.
The unfortunate feature of a moisturizing lipstick is that when you do need to reapply, you will have to build your color up to the level of vivacity you originally applied it at. The color will eventually fade out earlier than MAC lipsticks would, but rebuilding the color is easy, comfortable and even good for your lips thanks to the formula.
6. MAC Frost Lipsticks – $17.50 Each
Frost lipstick is identified by a pervasive shimmer. No matter which shade you choose, and this collection has many, the shimmer of a MAC Frost Lipstick can be seen from every angle and with every tilt of the corn of your lips. The formula is buildable, so you can go from a single swipe to get the perfect amount of glitz to complement another lipstick beneath it, or you can wear it alone as a complement to your natural lip.
The lasting power of this MAC lipstick collection is amazing because the formula does not allow for the shimmer to rub off on anything. Unfortunately, even after the color does eventually wear out by the end of the day, the shimmer of the frost finish is still there. On average, each application will last about 4 hours without reapplication.
Photos via MAC Cosmetics, @elizfindik