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Best 10 MAC Lipsticks for Every Skin Tone in 2023

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There’s no denying MAC lipsticks are the best of the best. An iconic beauty brand, MAC lipsticks are a staple for celebrities, influencers, professional makeup artists, and more. They come in a variety of shades, from subtle nudes and pinks to eye-popping and sultry reds and purples. Whether you’re looking for the perfect neutral tone or something bolder, MAC has it all. 

Finding the perfect shade of lipstick can be tricky. Every color can look vastly different on each person depending on skin tone, makeup styling, and even hair color. If you’re not quite sure which lipstick color will suit your skin tone and give you that essential va va voom factor, we’re here to help. 

In this article, we’ll be highlighting the best MAC lipsticks for every skin tone. Some are iconic shades that have been around for decades, while others are exciting newcomers. With over 200 long-lasting shades to choose from, MAC’s selection is all-encompassing, so we made sure to include options for every style and skin tone.

Best MAC lipsticks overview:

How we chose the best MAC lipsticks 

To compile this list, we researched MAC’s selection in detail to create a short list of the brand’s top lipsticks. Then, we combed through detailed product descriptions, swatches, ratings, and reviews to find the best MAC lipstick for each category.

Our picks for the best MAC lipsticks

Best overall
MAC Matte Lipstick in Velvet Teddy

What we love

  • Natural, “no makeup makeup” shade
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable matte formula

What we don’t love

  • Not ideal for cool skin tones

Meet the ultimate warm-toned “my lips but better” shade. Velvet Teddy is one of MAC’s most iconic nudes, described by the brand as a deep-toned beige. It’s a deeper, peachy shade that gives off a natural-lip look, perfect for days when you want to wear lipstick without drawing too much attention to yourself.

It’s part of MAC’s Matte lineup, which boasts a natural matte finish in an incredibly creamy formula that sits comfortably on the lips, perfect for those with warmer skin tones (as is often the case with nudes). You can wear it as your one-and-done shade or pair it with a darker shade for a more gradient effect.

Color: Deep peachy beige | Finish: Matte

Best red
MAC Matte Lipstick in Russian Red

What we love

  • Glamorous deep red
  • Extremely flattering
  • Comfortable matte formula

What we don’t love

  • Not great for warm skin tones

Another MAC favorite, Russian Red, takes us back to the 90s during Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour/ iconic cone bra era. Since then, it has remained one of the world’s best-selling red lipsticks. 

While the Ruby Woo shade is famous for being MAC’s best-selling red since launching more than twenty years ago, Russian Red has a creamier, more neutral tone and provides more depth with its blueish-red color. It still gives off the old Hollywood glamour look, but it’s not as vivid or in your face, so we find it more effortlessly flattering.

However, this pick is still very cool-toned, so if your skin leans warm, you may prefer a brick-red shade like Chili instead. This lipstick has MAC’s matte formula, which is creamy, comfortable, and non-drying.

Color: Medium blue-red | Finish: Matte

Best pink
MAC Viva Glam Lipstick in Viva Glam II

What we love

  • Soft, wearable pink
  • Reflective satin finish
  • Revenue goes to charity

What we don’t love

  • Not very versatile

While some love to keep brighter and deeper shades for special occasions, we can’t help but fall in love with a soft, everyday-wear pink lipstick. There are three different Viva Glam shades in the MACs collection, but Viva Glam ll offers the lightest (and only satin) shade of the three.

This is a soft, neutral, and flattering option with a reflective satin finish, giving the lips a healthy and deep moisturized look. Viva Glam ll is a subtle, all-over color on lighter skin tones and the perfect highlight shade for those with darker skin. 

Our favorite thing about the Viva Glam range isn’t the lipsticks themselves, though. If you purchase a Viva Glam product, the entirety of the sale goes toward MAC’s charitable foundation to support women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people affected by or living with HIV and AIDS. 

If you still want to donate to the charity but aren’t feeling the nude-pink shade, Viva Glam l offers a deep red-brown shade, while Viva Glam lll is a darker brownish-plum color.

Color: Pink beige | Finish: Satin

Best warm red
MAC Matte Lipstick in Chili

What we love

  • Glamorous warm red
  • Flattering on warm and olive skin tones
  • Comfortable matte formula

What we don’t love

  • May register as orange on deep skin tones

Blue-red lipstick shades are always go-to classics, but this brick-red lipstick is an excellent option for those looking for a less-intense red. It offers a cozy warmth of color that’s extra flattering on yellow and olive skin tones. 

Chili is a bold but not too dark option, and since it’s part of the MACs matte line, you can expect comfortable, creamy wear with a natural matte finish. Worn opaque, it reads as glamorous but can also make for a soft, blurry look we see more with K-beauty trends. Some darker skin tones can register as a little brighter or more orange, but you can easily adjust this by applying a darker lip liner and blending as needed.

Color: Brick Red | Finish: Matte

Best vivid red
MAC Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

What we love

  • Iconic, in-your-face red
  • Stands out against all skin tones
  • Excellent wear time

What we don’t love

  • Can be drying
  • May be too cool for warm undertones

MAC’s iconic Ruby Woo was an accidental creation in the late 90s when brand developers tried to tweak the Russian Reds formula, likely one of the most successful accidents in the beauty brand industry.

The unique, eye-catching shade has us confidently saying it’s the most iconic red lipstick in the world. Celebrities like Taylor Swift, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie, and Rita Ora have all worn the shade on several occasions.

The cool-toned shade offers a very vivid color that looks incredible on almost all skin tones, but it may be too cool for warm undertones. The formula is buildable and adjustable, so you can play around with the intensity you’re looking for.

Color: Bright blue-red | Finish: Matte

Best berry
MAC Amplified Lipstick in Brick-O-La

What we love

  • Natural berry shade
  • Very pigmented
  • Lustrous and moisturizing

What we don’t love

  • A little oily

When we think of natural makeup, nude lipsticks are the first to come to mind. But lipsticks like Brick-O-La deserve some major consideration here. Brick-O-La is a more accurate “my lips but better” shade on many wearers since healthy lips usually have a naturally pinkish tone. 

It shouldn’t be confused with a nude lip, though. Brick-O-La’s shade provides a medium berry plum color, and it’s part of MAC’s Amplified line, which means it’s very pigmented with a lustrous sheen that gives the lips a healthy, juicy look. The formula features castor oil and lanolin, both of which are moisturizing but might feel a little oily to some, so it’s important to consider that when shopping for your shade.

Color: Medium berry | Finish: Semi-lustrous

Best brown
MAC Matte Lipstick in Whirl

What we love

  • Flattering rosy brown
  • Excellent nude for those with deeper skin tones
  • Comfortable matte formula

What we don’t love

  • Unpredictable color

Whirl is our top brown lipstick in general and a go-to for nude looks. MAC describes it as a “dirty rose,” and it’s another one of the brand’s top sellers. The shade is a slightly deeper color than Velvet Teddy, making it a wonderful choice for those with deep skin tones who like their nudes more intense.

While it offers a beautiful deep pink-brown shade, once you apply it, it can be a little unpredictable in terms of how it appears. It can go from nude to pink to brown, depending on your skin tone and other products used.

Color: Rosy brown | Finish: Matte

Best orange
MAC Amplified Lipstick in Morange

What we love

  • Warm red-orange shade
  • Bright yet casual
  • Glowy and moisturizing

What we don’t love

  • Doesn’t look very natural
  • A little oily

MACs Morange shade comes off as an extreme look with its pigmented red-orange shade, but we promise it’s warm and sweet on the skin. This unique shade combines the perfect amount of red and orange to provide a flattering, vibrant color for most skin tones. While it is a bolder choice than some of the alternative options, it’s still casual enough for daily wear. 

That said, Morange may not be the best shade for you if you like a more neutral makeup look. And If your skin is cool-toned, you may need to adjust the rest of your makeup to avoid a color clash. It’s part of MAC’s Amplified line, so expect a creamy glow that’ll help your lips look full and lush, complete with nourishing oils that add moisture.

Color: Orange | Finish: Semi-lustrous

Best burgundy
MAC Matte Lipstick in Sin

What we love

  • Dark, vampy shade
  • Flattering on most skin tones
  • Longwearing

What we don’t love

  • A little drying

This stunning burgundy is one of our favorite fall lipsticks. MAC describes it as a “deep, dark blue red,” but we think deeming it burgundy or dark plum is probably more accurate. It’s bold and cool-toned, but it’s a shade that will still look amazing on almost all skin tones. On days when you want to feel dark and edgy, reach for this shade in your makeup arsenal.  

Some reviewers note that this formula is more drying than some of the other shades in their matte line, but as a plus, it offers a long wear time, so you won’t have to reapply as often as other alternatives.

Color: Burgundy | Finish: Matte

Best purple
MAC Matte Lipstick in Heroine

What we love

  • Bold purple shade
  • Easy to adjust with different application techniques
  • Vivid to show up on all skin tones

What don’t we love

  • Not great for olive skin

MAC’s Heroine shade is the perfect example of how fearless the iconic makeup brand is. It’s a true purple lipstick that’ll appeal to creative spirits and anyone who loves makeup as an art. It’s both a bright and deep bold purple and, coordinated with the right makeup colors and style, can be the perfect finish to your look. 

Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve, you can blot the lipstick for a more subtle purple look or layer a lighter-colored lip gloss to transform it into more of a pink color. It may be a little too cool for those with warm or olive skin tones, but if you’re cool- or neutral-toned, it’s stunning and works well across the depth spectrum.

Color: Purple | Finish: Matte

Mad for MAC

If there’s a brand out there with a broader range of lipstick colors, we’re not familiar with it. Our top pick, Velvet Teddy, is a crowd-pleaser that looks natural and flattering on most skin tones. But a big part of the fun with a brand like MAC is that you can find just about any shade and any undertone. Whether you want to go bold or keep it natural, there’s a MAC lipstick out there for you.  

Is MAC a cruelty-free and vegan brand?

MAC doesn’t test on animals or own any animal testing facilities. However, the brand does sell in countries like China, where governments conduct animal testing before selling products. This means we can’t officially label the brand as cruelty-free. MAC partners with IIVS (Institute for In Vitro Sciences) to raise awareness of this matter so that non-animal testing methods can become a global standard. 

MAC isn’t a vegan company and does use ingredients derived from insects and animals in its products. Some of the more popular non-vegan ingredients that you might find in your MAC products include lanolin, beeswax, and carmine.

How to pick the right MAC lipstick for you

MAC’s ability to offer so many different lipsticks in winning, time-tested formulas is unusual in the makeup world. It can make picking the best MAC lipstick difficult, but considering your coloring and finish preferences can help you choose the right shade.   

Skin tone

  • Light. Lipsticks can look surprisingly dark against your skin. To keep things simple, aim for lipsticks that are just three to five shades deeper than your skin tone.
  • Medium. Look for lipsticks that are either slightly lighter or darker than your skin tone. Anything that matches too closely can wash you out. 
  • Dark. The same rules apply to dark skin tones as medium ones: You can go lighter or darker with your lipstick. Additionally, very saturated shades can look great against your skin tone.


  • Warm. Those with warmer undertones should opt for neutral, warm-toned lipsticks like brick reds, corals, and warm pinks.
  • Cool. Look for shades that are cool purple or blue undertones, like blue-reds, pinks, berries, and mauves. This doesn’t mean you have to avoid warmer shades — just make sure they blend well with the rest of your makeup. 
  • Olive. Keep it neutral or warm with brown-based and orange-based lipsticks that likely flatter you the most. Try to avoid strong blue or purple undertones.
  • Neutral. The world of lipsticks is your oyster. Any shade will work as long as it offers some depth contrast against your skin tone. 

MAC ranges

  • Matte. You can’t go wrong with MAC’s Matte lipstick range. The matte finish is neither flat nor drying to your lips, which can work for any type of look. You can always go even more matte with these shades using specific application tricks
  • Retro matte. MAC’s ultra-matte range is perfect for those that like a very flat, matte lip look without any shimmer or shine, like Ruby Woo. Just keep in mind that these shades can be a little drying, so you may want to prep with a lip moisturizer before applying your lipstick.
  • Satin. These options provide more of a sheen and moisture finish and have buildable coverage. Plus, lipsticks with a satin finish are a big plus for those with dry lips. They are also a go-to if you prefer a more natural, nourished look (but their longevity may not be as impressive as a more matte range).
  • Amplified. Lustrous and pigmented, these lipsticks give the lips a beautiful, glowy sheen that’s juicy but not quite as dramatic as a lip gloss.
  • Powder kiss. MAC offers a powder lipstick formula with a natural matte finish and buildable pigmentation. It’s nice if you like a more natural matte finish, but overall, we prefer MAC’s more pigmented options.


What’s the most popular MAC lipstick color?

There are several MAC shades that are widely recognized and beloved by consumers, and Chili from the brand’s Matte line is one of the most popular MAC lipsticks worldwide. In addition to Chili, MAC has also named its other most popular sellers Velvet Teddy, Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Mehr, and Devoted to Chili (a similar brick-red shade).

How can I buy MAC lipstick?

MAC lipstick is available online and in-store at For online purchases, the following credit cards are accepted: American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa. They also accept PayPal, Afterpay and MAC gift cards.

What color lipstick looks good on everyone?

We love the idea of universal lipstick shades that flatter a wide range of people. One of MAC’s best-sellers, Velvet Teddy, comes close to complimenting almost all consumers’ skin tones. But it’s important also to base your lipstick shade on your personal taste and what makes you feel most comfortable and confident.

What’s the most popular MAC matte lipstick?

Most beauty bloggers agree that Velvet Teddy is the all-time most popular shade in MAC’s Matte range. Ruby Woo, one of the Retro-Matte line lipsticks (meaning more intensely matte and more drying than the regular Matte range), is another fan-favorite.