The Top Products From MAC Cosmetics According To An Ex MAC Artist

You might already know that I used to work for MAC cosmetics, and I've just made the horrifying realisation that that was over 6 years ago. Lord. When I started my YouTube channel I primarily used MAC makeup in my tutorials for that reason; it was pretty much all I owned, and so even to this day I get a lot of questions about the brand and what my top product picks are. 

Today I'm going to divulge my favourite items from MAC and honestly if you've been watching my videos for a while I don't think any of these will come as a surprise. Also before we get into it I do just want to point out that I love MAC eyeshadows and a lot of their 'colour' products, but I haven't included them here because I think at this point in time there are plenty of other brands that also make amazing quality colour cosmetics for less money (Makeup Geek, Zoeva to name a few). So these picks are kind of niche, the products that I think MAC does best and I have yet to find equivalents for in other brands. And so, in no particular order: 

MAC Strobe Cream

This pearlescent moisturiser can be used on the face or body to give an ethereal 'lit from within' look to the skin. There are now four shades availabe, each one with a different glowy undertone. I love to use it along the collarbones and sholders for a glossy 'awards show' shine to my skin on nights out, but it also looks amazing under makeup - especially if you naturally have a dry or dull complexion. It's essentially supermodel in a bottle. 

MAC Skin Refined Zone

This mattifying primer is the best I've used to keep oil at bay and prolong the wear of makeup. It feels more like an eyeshadow primer than one meant for skin, with quite a runny liquid texture that dries down to a rubberized finish (if you're not sure what that means, rub some nars packaging), so it really grips the foundation as you apply it - a troublesome trait that can be overcome following the tips in this video. The addition of salicylic acid acts as a 'decongenstant' for blackhead prone areas of the face, making it perfect for use on the t-zone to keep that shine under control! 

MAC Face & Body Foundation 

Although this foundation is not in my everyday rotation (it's much better suited to a dry skin), I still had to include it as a product any total noob to MAC should know about. It's an ultra lightweight waterproof foundation that can be used on the face or body (duh), and has been a makeup artist essential for years because of it's incredibly skin-like finish and versatile coverage. Amazing if you love dewy, creamy complexions that look naked from foundation. 

MAC Pro Conceal Palette

I use this product EVERYDAY. I bring it when I travel, I have one in my handbag, I have one for with tan and without; it's safe to say this is a makeup kit essential for me. It features the Studio Finish concealer that you can buy in individual little pots, but I love having a few nuanced shades to dib and dab my brush between so I can blend a bespoke shade on the fly and cover whatever needs to be hidden, from spots to dark under eyes. The texture is creamy, blendable, uber pigmented and long wearing. 

MAC Studio Fix Powder Plus Foundation

A full coverage powder foundation that is available in over 40 shades (!), this has been lurking in my handbags for many years. I use it as a quick full face foundation (it gives medium, matte coverage), or to set my foundation and add coverage. I use it to touch up my makeup when I'm out and about because it has great coverage so it instantly refreshes my complexion. I use it with a small brush to add dry matte coverage to a breakout. I use different shades for matte contour and highlight - it's truly an amazing powder product. So versatile, so smooth, so blendable, so good. 

MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural

Another face powder, although quite different to Studio Fix. It's more of a sheer-to-medium coverage with a much softer, satin finish. It's made from finely milled baked minerals and gives skin a soft focus effect, slightly blurring the look of pores. I love to set my foundation and under-eye area with this. A better option for those with dry skin or a preference for more a more natural looking base. 

MAC Lipsticks

I know, I know - I started this article by saying how I'm not gonna include 'colour' products on this list, but listen, MAC Lipsticks are the bomb. I really believe they are imcomparable when it comes to they're selection of colour and texture. If you're asking my own favorite texture is Matte, and three of my favourite shades are Ruby Woo, Kinda Sexy and Relentlessly Red.

MAC Lip Pencils

As above, I can't not show love for the lip pencils. You are pretty much guaranteed to find a colour to match your favourite lipstick, and the textures are devine. I prefer the traditional pencils that you sharpen (even though they are a pain in the arse) because you can get a nice point and so crispy edges to your lips. 

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer

I actually forgot to mention this in the video below (d'oh!) but believe me when I say that prolongwear is a desert island beauty essential for me. It has medium, verging on full coverage, very skin like finish (aka not too matte, not too shiny), that sets to an entirely indellible film that will not budge for the day. I particularly love it under my eyes as it's film like texture seems to be flexible enough to withstand the crinkly crows feet moving around my eyes, without cracking or gathering in them. I must mention that I absolutely HATE the packaging though; that little pump squirts out way too much product and it's just about impossible to not fully depress said pump every. damn. time. Results in lots of wasted product... grrr.  

MAC 138 Brush

This teardrop shaped tapered face brush is a multi-tasking dream. You can use it for powder, bronzer, blush, highlight - any of your base powder needs. It's shape means that depending on the pressure you apply it can either be pointy and precise, or big and broad. It's super soft and I have yet to find a brush from a cheaper brand that works as well (although Sigma and Zoeva both have some pretty close dupes)

MAC 217 Brush

Last but certainly not least, this icon of the blending world literally changed my life. I can vividly remember my first time getting to grips with this brush. I was working at the Benefit counter in Brown Thomas, Galway, and one of the other girls had smuggled a 217 off the MAC counter and was using it on her clients. I couldn't get my head around how such a big fluffy brush could possible do anything other than get large amounts of glittery eyeshadow everywhere except the eye. Oh how wrong I was! I managed to sneak a go when my co-worker wasn't looking and I swear I heard Angels singing hallelujah. No more harsh edges, no more dodgy lines of shadow. Hello smooth blended gradients and sockets so carved Michelangelo would be proud. Still one of my all time favorite brushes, never to be replaced. 


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