Did you know there are 13 Lipstick finishes produced by mac? I mean really? I didn’t. I only have 7-8 i think. And they can be confusing, jesus i mean whats the difference between amplified and creme sheen? They aren’t words i ever use in my vocabulary… ever. I thought I’d whip together a little guide to go along with a Lipstick Series I’m writing… to be revealed soon!

In this guide ill be talking about the standard mac lipsticks, in the classic bullet tubes, of which there are 11 formulas. ( i think…)

Generally accepted as the most long wearing of the Mac Formulas, they give a full opaque coverage of colour on the lips, and have no shimmer or glitter in. They are great for nights out when you don’t want to reapply your lipstick over and over, and generally have very little bleeding or feathering. General wear time for me is between 4-6 hours.

– Mattes Include – Russain Red, Viva Glam I, Please Me

Retro Matte
Although similar to the original matte formula, it is MORE drying, and can be difficult to apply due to the lack of emollients used. Provide flat opaque coverage. They have been said to be more long wearing than original Matte formula

– Retro Mattes Include – Dangerous, Riri Woo, Relentlessly Red


Satin finishes are still considered to be quite matte, but have a slight semi-matte sheen and are less drying on the lips, I find these a dream to apply, and generally have a good opaque coverage.

– Satin Lipsticks include Sail La Vie, Snob, Myth, Brave

This formula gives a heavy opaque coverage that is similar in opacity to the Matte formulas, Light Sheen finish. Great colour pay off!

– Amplified Lipsticks include Cosmo, Red Balloon.

Amplified Creme
Amplified Creme Lipsticks have a great creamy glossy finish, they have a short wear time for this very reason, but do pack a punch while they are on! they sadly are known for bleeding and slipping around your face! so be careful!

– Amplified Creme Lipsticks include – Violetta, Vegas Volt.

A Beauty girls favourite, Cremesheen lipsticks pack a hell of a lot of colour into a tiny bullet, they don’t wear for very long as they combine the pigmentation of the lipstick with the glossy texture of a lipgloss, and so suffer badly on wear time.

– Cremesheen lipsticks include – Speak Louder, Lickable, Shy Girl, Creme Cup

Cremesheen Pearl
These are quite new, and apparently combine the shimmer particles found in a frost lipstick and the glossy texture of a creme sheen. As far as i can tell, i don’t own any, so apparently not all that appealing to me!


This formula is difficult for me, its kind of bizarre, some of the lipsticks in this are overbearingly sparkly (I’m looking at you, Viva Glam Rihanna) and some are more like Amplified Formalas.. (Barcelona Red…) I find the sparkly ones to be very metallic shimmer based colours. All i can say for this set is, PLEASE swatch or google before purchase!

– Frost Lipsticks include – Viva Glam Rihanna, Barcelona Red, New York Apple

This formula is brilliant for those of us who love a quick swipe of colour that looks natural, almost like Chanel Rouge Coco shine, they offer sheer pigmentation which have a reduced wear time, but they are very natural looking!

-Glaze Lipsticks include – Hue and Hot Tahiti


I have a lot of these in my collection, apparently they are my favourite formula, relatively sheer but easily buildable with a nice glossy finish. expect a 3-4 hour wear from them. Think more pigmented Glaze.

– Lustre Lipsticks include Plink, Syrup, Hug me, Jubilee, Spice it up, Cockney

Think Glitter, only on your lips. I have only got one of these, its Caliente from the Rising Temperature collection of 2013. I thought id hate it, and i do without lipliner, but over a really nice red or pink lip liner they bloom.

If you made it this far! well done and thanks for reading! I hope this has been of some help to you! 🙂 Have i missed any? Let me know!