Sunday, June 10, 2012

Favorites: Top 5 MAC Lipsticks

Top 5 MAC Lipsticks

It's no secret that MAC has a cult following. While I think the rabid fans who claim MAC is "the best brand ever" and "doesn't make a single bad product" are a little touched in the head, I also think that MAC makes a lot of wonderful products, especially when it comes to mid-end brands. I'm especially fond of a lot of MAC lipsticks, and every time they come out with a new shade for the all-for-charity Viva Glam line, I sit up and take notice. Hence, I decided to transplate the popular "Top 10 MAC Lipsticks" tag from YouTube to my blog, albeit in a condensed form. Be forewarned: I have a weakness for bright, strong, opaque colors, and 2 of these shades were limited edition.

#5: Viva Glam VI Special Edition -- Lustre, Limited Edition

Behold: the only Lustre I have ever loved, and the only not-opaque, not-super-bright lipstick on this list! Yeah, Viva Glam Cyndi was gorgeous, but it barely lasted on my lips and dried them out like CRAZY. VG6SE (as it is often abbreviated) is completely different from any other Lustre I've tried. It's a semi-sheer mauve, but can be layered for a stronger color, and it plays well with my naturally mauvey-pink lips. I can wear it on its own just fine, but I REALLY love to top it with a milky, light pink gloss, like MAC Viva Glam Gaga I or Butter London Teddy Girl. This shade was limited edition and apparently hasn't been repromoted, but I've been told that MAC Syrup is very similar.

(NOTE: worn with MAC Viva Glam Gaga I on top)

#4: Impassioned -- Amplified, Permanent

Impassioned is one of the most unique and flattering lipsticks MAC makes. It's difficult to describe the color, but I would call it a "tropical punch pink with hints of coral." Despite having tons of pinks--especially bright pinks--I don't own anything quite like Impassioned. The formula is also a dream: very pigmented, very creamy, and decently long-lasting. I prefer to wear this lipstick with Cargo's Key Largo blush, as seen below. If you love the color of this lipstick, but prefer a gloss, MAC recently came out with a collection of "color sets"; there was one for Impassioned that might still be available.

#3: Lady Danger -- Matte, Permanent

I've tried a lot of matte lipstick formulas, and in my opinion, MAC's formula is one of the worst. The vast majority of their Matte finish lipsticks feel like pumice when I'm applying them and dry the ever-loving crap out of my lips, especially the super-popular Ruby Woo. Lady Danger is the only MAC Matte I've ever liked, let alone loved, but I think it's a shade that's totally worthy of my amour. It's a warm red, perhaps best described as as coral red, and it's incredibly bold. It's so bright and neon-esque, I will actually wear it with no blush, which is almost unheard of for me! A lot of people dislike this shade and call it a "garish orange"; at the risk of sounding confrontational, I gotta say that a lot of those people just don't have the cahonies to wear something so bright. If you're gonna wear Lady Danger, you gotta wear it with pride!

#2: Viva Glam Nicki -- Satin, Semi-Limited Edition

Like Impassioned, Viva Glam Nicki is unlike just about any other lipstick I've ever used. It's a bright coral-pink, but it has an interesting pastel edge to it. You can dab it on for a softer "fresh pink" sort of shade, or apply it full force and add a cat-eye for a modern pin-up look. The formula is also surprisingly creamy for a Satin, but if you have a lot of lines in your lips, you may want to use a lip primer to prevent settling. As far as lip combos go, I love to top it with Butter London's Trout Pout gloss, which is surprisingly similar in color. Viva Glam Nicki is kinda-sorta limited edition: there's an unlimited quantity at this particular moment, but like most celebrity-promoted Viva Glam shades, it'll disappear after a year. Because this has a pastel quality to it, it's best for fair and light skintones; if you're medium or dark, I'd recommend something like Vegas Volt instead.

(NOTE: worn with Butter London Trout Pout on top)

#1: Kanga-Rouge -- Amplified, Limited Edition

I've tried just about every opaque red that MAC has produced in the past 5 years, and Kanga-Rouge is, without a doubt, the best of them all. It's a cool-toned, cherry-esque red with an incredibly creamy, opaque formula and a surprisingly long wear-time. My tube is in the limited edition Dame Edna packaging from about 2 years back, which some people find childish, but I think it's pretty darn cute. Despite being a truly fantastic bright red, MAC has pretty much never repromoted this shade (barring one of the kits from the last holiday collection), and I've yet to find a similar shade in their collection. I did, however, create a "dupe search" video that found some very similar shades.

And finally, here are swatches of all 5 lipsticks. Most of them are just 2 or 3 swipes, but I applied VG6SE lipstick pretty thickly so you could get an idea of the color when it's layered on top of my pigmented lips. The top image is in daylight, the bottom image is with flash.

Viva Glam VI Special Edition, Impassioned, Lady Danger, Viva Glam Nicki, Kanga-Rouge


  1. Lady Danger freaks the hell out of me.
    It's just too "too" for my taste.
    To red, to bright... Not my cup of tea.

    1. I absolutely love it, but it's definitely bright and not for the faint of heart! MAC does make less vibrant orange-reds, like Cockney and Ladybug, if that's more your cup of tea.