I noticed when we held our 100 Followers giveaway and gave the choice of a lipstick/lipgloss and an eyeshadow that a surprisingly large amount of entries said that they had not yet owned any MAC and weren't sure what to pick. I suppose I was just surprised because MAC has played such a big part in my make-up story that I, wrongly, assumed everyone else has the same relationship with the brand that I do.
So, I got to thinking and, while I can't afford to buy each and every one of you what I consider to be staple products fro MAC, I can impart what knowledge of the brand I have, having tried practically every foundation, every powder product and every finish of lipstick, lipgloss and eyeshadow over the years, so that you can create your own MAC kit.
I won't recommend a foundation or a concealer, purely because they depend on each individual's skintype and coverage needs but, for reference, the MAC liquid foundation I am currently using is Studio Sculpt and the concealer I prefer, when I need it, is Studio Finish (both in NC15). Similarly, I won't recommend a mascara because (a) I'm in the minority in that I LOVE MAC mascara and (b) the type of formula is really down to personal preference. My current MAC mascara is False Lashes and I adore it!
By far the best MAC powder is the Mineralize Skinfinish Natural (MSFN). This is a domed, baked mineral powder that gives good coverage (I use it as my daily foundation) and a flawless finish. It is one of my Holy Grail products and everyone I have recommended it to absolutely loves it.
I have two MAC blush palettes, purely because I adore the shades and finishes. If you're looking for a neutral, rosy shade, I would recommend Prism. For a peach/coral, Melba is beautiful and, for pinks; Well Dressed (baby pink) or Dollymix (hot pink).
|L-R Clockwise: Prism, Melba, Well Dressed and Dollymix|
If you prefer a dewier finish in a natural shade, try their famous Cremeblend Blush in Lady Blush.
MAC offer two options for bronzers. There is the Bronzing Powder ranger and then the Mineralize Skin Finishes (MSFs). My favourite bronzer though, and the one I think would suit most anyone is their Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden. It's a lovely rich brown (as opposed to orange) with light golden shimmer- just enough to give your skin a luminescence and it's very buildable.
For a cream highlighter, try their Cream Colour Base in Pearl and, for powder, my choice would be the MSF in Soft and Gentle.
|Pearl (L) and Soft and Gentle (R)|
It's tough just to pick a few as MAC's eyeshadow range is above and beyond anything else on offer in the market. To see my ultimate picks, see this post.
I love MAC's Eye Kohls as they are so super pigmented. The best black is Smoulder while the best brown is Teddy.
|Smoulder (L) and Teddy (R)|
While I love MAC Prep+Prime Eye, for a starter kit I would say to go with a Paint Pot. These can be used alone or under eyeshadow to provide traction and to prevent colour fading throughout the day. As a staple, Painterly is the best choice.
Again, a tough one as I LOVE MAC lipsticks but, if you want a good nude i.e. not death-toned, try Blankety. For a natural pink, give Créme Cup a whirl. Shy Girl is the perfect peach while Ravishing is an amazing bright coral. For something fun, try a bright purple/pink like Up the Amp and, for something showstopping, Russian Red is stunning.
|L-R Clockwise: Blankety, Créme Cup, Shy Girl,|
Ravishing, Up the Amp and Russian Red
Lipliners will depend on the colour lippie you choose and your MAC artist should be able to pick out the right shade but, a good nudey shade to have for most light lippies is Subculture.
While I amn't really a lipgloss girl anymore, Nymphette (Tinted Lipglass) is a gorgeous staple shade while Underage (Tinted Lipglass) and Ample Pink (Plushglass) are lovely nudes.
|L-R: Nymphette, Underage and Ample Pink|
MAC brushes are hella expensive (I have a massive collection of them and I can't bring myself to add up how much they are worth!) but, they will entirely transform your make-up and how you apply it. I could recommend pretty much them all but, my top three are; 217, 252 and 182. The 217 is a tapered crease brush, great for buffing colour into the perfect crease/outer corner but, also great for applying a soft wash of colour over the lid. The 252 is a flat shader brush that is amazing for packing eyeshadow onto the lid. I feel like the 182 is the Daddy of all MAC brushes. It is their kabuki brush and comes in somewhere in the region of €50 BUT it is well worth it. I use this everyday with my MSFN and also to buff out any harsh blush/bronzer lines.
|L-R: 217, 252 and 182|
Finally, MAC's setting spray, Fix+ is another of my Holy Grail products. If you want a natural, flawless finish that's not powdery, this is a must have.
To see prices for MAC in Ireland, please check this post.
All swatch/brush images via maccosmetics.co.uk
All swatch/brush images via maccosmetics.co.uk