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Trying to find your favourite finish in a MAC lipstick can sometimes be a daunting task. With so many different formulations and textures available and in such a vast shade range. If you’re new to shopping at the MAC lipstick stand then fear not, we have put together a complete list of their most popular lipstick finishes and what they actually mean.

Matte/Retro Matte

The best finish if you want full-on, opaque colour. This lipstick will last around 6 hours on the lips and is definitely the most long-wearing finish that Mac do. These lipsticks have no shimmer or sheen because (as the name suggests) they are totally matte. They can also be slightly drying due to the long wearing formula.

As with the matte lipsticks above, the retro matte is quite similar in texture but the colour range in these tend to be more bright and vibrant. These lipsticks are also slightly more drying on the lips than your standard matte lippie but last equally as long.

Amplified/Amplified Creme

Both of these finishes are quite similar in texture and they leave a glossy finish. They have great pigmentation and colour pay off but don’t last very long on the lips (around 2-3 hours) before you need to re-apply.


Our favourite type of finish from Mac is the Satin lipsticks. They also give full-on, opaque colour (similar to the matte formula) but with a very subtle sheen. These lipsticks feel so comfortable to wear and don’t dry out your lips. A Satin lipstick will last for a good 5-6 hours before the need to re-apply.


As the name would again suggest, this is a super creamy lipstick with a high shine finish. These are perfect if you usually like to add a little gloss on top of your lipstick. The pigmentation in these are also quite strong, giving a medium to high coverage and lasting for about 2 hours. A lot of Macs nude and pink shades come in this formula, making them perfect to wear on an everyday basis.


Probably the most shimmery finish that Mac do. These frost lipsticks are usually quite sheer in terms of colour pay off and don’t last for too long on the lips. Mac however, offer such pretty colours in this range, with the famous Kim K lipstick Frost being one of them.


These lipsticks are very similar to each other and by far the sheerest finish offered by Mac. With a natural looking finish and light coverage, these lipsticks tend to wear off in just over an hour. They provide a nice gloss to the lips if your looking for something a little less full-on and tend to be more wearable during the day. The Lustre finish does however provide a slight bit more colour pay off than a Glaze and also gives a more ‘shiny’ look to the lips.

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