MAC is one of the most popular brands amongst beauty bloggers and beauty enthusiasts, and rightfully so, as their products are generally very good quality, prices are not too shabby and there’s a wide range of products and shades to appeal to all kinds of tastes. What I love about MAC is that you can build a really good ‘makeup essentials kit‘ without needing to step foot anywhere else – granted, it will cost you more than shopping at the drugstore / high street, but you can be sure to get a full face of good quality makeup that will see you through from the simplest to the most elaborate makeup looks.
However, this plethora of products available can make it quite difficult for makeup newbies or MAC-virgins to know exactly what to buy without wasting your breath on things that are not worth it. The experience of shopping in MAC can be quite daunting and a little intimidating if you’re new to the brand – I know I found it difficult when I started my MAC journey, and I still sometimes struggle with the sales assistants! So, with all that in mid, today I’m sharing my MAC Must Haves – a list of my favourite products from the brand, the ones that are actually worth your time and money. Embarrassingly enough, my MAC collection is a quite a bit larger this, but if you’re looking for the best products to try, these are my top picks.
MAC Face & Body Foundation, £21.50 – John Lewis
A lightweight liquid foundation for everyday-wear with light to medium coverage. It evens out the skin tone and hides minor imperfections, leaving a satin finish on the skin. It’s water-resistant, very hydrating on the skin, it can be used all over the face and body, and it works well on most skin types. My Summer shade is C4 and my Winter shade is C3. (review here)
MAC Pinch O’ Peach Blush, £18 – Debenhams
It’s described as a ‘matte warm peach‘ colour, but I personally think it’s more of a warm pink shade. It’s highly pigmented, but very easy to blend on the skin and super wearable for the daytime and evening. Unfortunately, this shade has been discontinued – a similar shade to Pinch O’ Peach is MAC Dame Blush. (review here)
MAC Peachykeen Blush, £18 – Debenhams
The newest one in my collection, but I’ve fallen head over heels for it. It’s described as a ‘very baby peach‘ and I definitely agree that it has peach undertones, although I’m not sure about the ‘very baby’ part. It has a slight sheen to it, which I love because it gives my skin a warm glow and it highlights my cheekbones at the same time.
MAC Pink Swoon Blush, £18 – Debenhams
Described as ‘clearly pink‘, I cannot disagree with that! This is your classic blue-toned, Barbie-pink blush. I wouldn’t necessarily think this blush was flattering on me by looking at the shade on the pan, but when worn on the apples of my cheeks, mixed with a peach-toned blush on the cheekbones, it gives my complexion a super healthy and natural flush of colour. This is also a discontinued shade, but MAC Well Dressed Blush is very similar to Pink Swoon. (review here)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder, £23 – Selfridges
A do-it-all powder that mattifies the skin, controls shine and adds a little bit of extra coverage to your foundation. I have used this powder for years and, even though I’ve tried many powders throughout my life, I always seem to go back to this one, as it doesn’t enhance any dry patches on my skin and it’s very comfortable to wear. My Summer shade is Medium Dark and my Winter shade is Medium.
MAC Prep + Prime Skin Primer, £21 – Debenhams
A liquid silicon primer with a hint of shimmer that truly helps my makeup stay in place for longer. This was one of the first products I ever bought from MAC and I’ve always loved how it feels and looks on my skin; it’s not something I wear everyday, but I do like to put this underneath my foundation for an evening makeup look.
MAC Prep + Prime Highlighter, £18.50 – Debenhams
A liquid highlighting pen with sheer pigmentation to add radiance over or under your makeup, much like the YSL Touche Éclat. I like to use this is as highlighting concealer on my under eye area and on the bridge of my nose. It adds so much brightness to my face and it sets super quickly, leaving a very flawless airbrushed finish. I have the shade ‘Light Boost’, which is the lightest shade from the range.
MAC Lustre Drops, £17.50 – MAC (out of stock)
A water-based highlighter to add a sheer pearlescent radiance to the cheeks; it can be mixed with your foundation for an all-over skin glow or dabbed on the high points of your face for a sun-kissed look. I have the shade Pink Rebel, which is described as a ‘blue pink with golden pearl’, and it suits warm, neutral and cool-toned complexions. (review here)
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer, £17.50 – Debenhams
One of my all-time favourite concealers; super long-wearing, but not cakey, medium to full coverage and very comfortable on the under-eye area, on blemishes, redness and pigmentation spots. It’s creamy, but it quickly sets to a matte finish and it doesn’t crease at all. I wear the shade NC25 all over the face and NW20 on my dark circles. (review here)
MAC 239 Brush, £21 – Debenhams
A basic flat eye shadow brush with a rounded edge and synthetic bristles; it’s quite firm, so it’s perfect for packing a lot of colour on the lids, but also soft and dense enough for blending, which makes it a real makeup bag staple and one of the most useful eyeshadow brushes you could have in your kit. (review here)
MAC 217 Brush, £20 – Debenhams
A densely packed synthetic oval blending brush that takes away all the trouble out of blending eyeshadow on the lids. It’s firm for precise blending, but soft enough so you can achieve a smooth and diffused smokey eye makeup look with very little effort. It can also be used to apply eyeshadow all over the lid, and I even use this brush to blend when I contour my nose. (review here)
MAC Carbon Eyeshadow, £13 – Debenhams
Everybody needs a true matte black eyeshadow in their makeup collection, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Carbon is intense, rich, very smooth and you need very little product to achieve superb pigmentation. I use this eyeshadow everyday to lightly fill in my eyebrows, as I have almost black brows and very dark brown hair.
MAC Nylon Eyeshadow, £13 – Debenhams
This ‘pale gold with icy shimmer‘ shade was my first MAC eyeshadow, and although I sometimes wear it all over the lid for an easy daytime makeup look, I especially like it as a highlighting shade on my brow bone and inner corner of my eye. It’s very frosty and shimmery, but the warm undertones make this shade quite flattering on most neutral to warm-toned complexions. It’s also one of the most pigmented MAC eyeshadows I’ve seen.
MAC Woodwinked Eyeshadow, £13 – Debenhams
Simply my all-time favourite eyeshadow. To me, Woodwinked is perfect in every way! Described as a ‘warm antique gold’, it’s just the right shade of bronze/gold; it’s buttery soft with no fallout at all, it applies vividly and intensely without needing too much product, it works well with brushes and with fingers, it stays looking perfect on the eyes for a super long time, and when blended on its own on the eyelid and crease, it gives the effect of a brown and gold smokey eye. (review here)
MAC Sketch Eyeshadow, £13 – Debenhams
This shade adds something very unique to an ordinary smokey eye. It’s described as a ‘burgundy with red shimmer‘, but don’t be put off by the ‘red’ part – it looks a lot more like a purple burgundy shade when it’s on. Sketch looks beautiful on green eyes when worn smoked out all over the lid, but it’s also stunning on any eye colour mixed with a brown shade on the outer corner of a brown and gold smokey eye look.
MAC Fluidline Gel Eyeliner, £16 – Debenhams
One of the best – if not the best – gel eyeliners on the market. It’s smooth, smudge-proof, long-lasting, it applies very easily with a small angled brush (even for people who struggle with eyeliner, like me), and this truly intense ‘solid flat black’ shade called Blacktrack makes it very easy to create the perfect winged eyeliner look.
MAC Pigment, £16 – Debenhams
A highly pigmented and very fine loose powder that adds a real intensity and vibrance to any eye makeup look. The shade ‘Rose Gold’ is described as ‘a smooth, tarnished gold with a touch of rose’, but I think it leans more towards a bronze gold, which I actually prefer, as it suits my skin tone better. Mac Pigments are extremely versatile and can also be used on your cheeks, nails and even on your hair. (review here)
MAC Paint Pot, £16 – John Lewis
The ‘yellow beige‘ shade called Soft Ochre makes this Paint Pot a truly multipurpose eye product that can be used to even out pigmentation on the eyelids, on its own as eyeshadow, as a primer before eyeshadow and as a creamy base for other eyeshadows. The pigmentation is great and the thick creamy texture, once blended, sets on the eyelids and it doesn’t crease.
MAC Please Me Lipstick, £15.50 – Debenhams
Described as a ‘muted rosy tinted pink‘, this is a true matte lipstick that feels comfortable on the lips and looks particularly nice on me when I’m skin is a bit paler. It pairs really well with all kinds of lipglosses and it’s very long-lasting on the lips. I would love to own a non-matte shade of this lipstick, so if you know of any similar shades, please let me know. (review here)
MAC Plink! Lipstick, 15.50 – Debenhams
This was my first ever MAC product, and although it probably shouldn’t, it is still going strong. Plink! is a described as ‘a warm seashell pink’ and it’s one of the most wearable lipsticks in my entire collection. It adds a sheer pink sheen that is not too cool or too warm-toned. It’s a lustre finish lipstick, which doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I think it really works on this colour as it can be used very softly to add a pop of brightness to the lips. (review here)
What are your MAC Must Haves? Do you have any product recommendations for me? If you want to read more of what I have to say about MAC products, click here to browse through every MAC-related blog post I’ve ever written here on the blog.
Previous MAC Reviews
Mac Pigment in Rose Gold (Review, Swatches & Photos)
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer Review (Before & After)
My MAC Eyeshadows (With Swatches)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Soft and Gentle (Review & Photos)
My MAC Lipstick Collection (Swatches)
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