How to identify the different types of MAC lipstick finishes

Wow two posts in one week! I must really be on a roll here =)..lets see how long it will last lol. I’ve had an addiction to MAC lipsticks for a very long time now but I know that when I started out (yes we’ve all been newbies at some point) I didn’t know that they offered different finishes and that each finish meant a different look or appearance to the lips, I just thought you go to the store you look at the options and you pick a colour you like!


Now maybe some of you are reading this and saying, but what do you mean different finishes? Don’t worry I thought that too. But now im here to help! Below is my guide to the different MAC lipstick finishes and how they differ from each other with an example of some of their more popular shades in each finish. Lets get started:

First off id like to make a note that in order to determine what finish the lipstick is you can look underneath the lipstick bullet and above the name of the shade it should identify the finish, so for example: This shade is called “Impassioned” and it has a “Amplified” finish.


1. Matte

This is a highly pigmented colour with a full opaque coverage (that means that it doesn’t let light through so its not sheer at all). It is very long wearing with so shimmer or sheen, the colour is completely flat. Matte lipsticks can be drying on the lips as they have no added moisture to them. Popular examples are: Candy Yum Yum and Styled in Sepia.

candy yum yum styled in sepia

2. Retro Matte

This type of matte is even more mattefying than the regular matte option. It is also highly pigmented and has a full opaque coverage. It can be drying to the lips and may be slightly difficult to apply as it is so dry. Popular examples include, Ruby Woo and Relentlessly Red.

relentlesly red ruby woo

3. Satin

This has a slight sheen finish to it. It is pigmented and has opaque coverage. It is less drying to the lips then the matte versions. Popular examples (I own both of them) are Myth and Rebel.

myth rebel

4. Amplified

This is a highly pigmented colour with some added shine to it and slightly glossy. An example of this would be the limited edition Rocky Horror Picture Show lipstick in Oblivion.


5. Amplified Crème

This is a well pigmented colour with a very creamy feel. It also has a glossy finish to it. It is not drying to the lips but does not have that long of a wearability as that of te mattes. Popular examples are, Girl About Town and Saint Germain.

girl about town saint germain

6. Cremesheen

This lipstick is creamy, and has a gloss-like shine to it. It is not drying but also is not that long wearing. Popular examples include Shy Girl and Crème Cup.

creme cup shy girl

7. Cremesheen Pearl

This is very similar to the cremesheen finish but it has a more frosty finish to it and is slightly less pigmented in colour. Popular examples include, Coral Bliss and Pink Pearl Pop.

coral bliss pink pearl pop

8. Lustre

This lipstick is not pigmented and can come across as sheer. It has a slight sheen to it and is not long wearing. Popular examples are Plink and Hug Me.

hug me plink

9. Frost

This lipstick has a medium coverage with a medium weartime. It is shimmery and slightly glossy. Popular examples, Angel and Costa Chic.

angel costa chic

10. Glaze

This is the most sheerest of the MAC finishes. It has a slightly glossy finish to it. Popular examples are, Hue and Pervette.

hue pervette

I really hope you found this helpful and that it assists you the next time you go MAC lipstick shopping.




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