Jan 21, 2011

Lipstick Finishes...MAC and GENERAL

Lipstick Finishes...MAC and GENERAL

Have you ever wondered about those fancy lipstick finishes on the bottom of a lipstick? What exactly do they mean anyway?

The finish describes the texture and appearance of an the lipstick. The lipstick finish will affect the color payoff, ease of use and overall result of the final look. This can apply to all forms of lipstick be it tube form, liquid, or pot form.

The easiest way to tackle lipstick finishes is to start with one of the most popular makeup companies in the world - MAC. Let's use their descriptions as our guideline.


MATTE - Pigment rich with intense color pay-off. No-shine, all matte finish.
Just like with eyeshadow, a matte lipstick will have the most intense color payoff. There is no shine or glossiness with this lipstick and some formulas can be drying. The key to wearing matte lipsticks is to have smooth, well exfoliated and primed lips to start with. The effect can be sophisticated and elegant to high fashion, artistic and editorial. Matte lipsticks can settle into and accentuate lip lines because of the dry texture. These tend to be long wearing because they cling to the lips and have little to no slip. Many companies carry matte lipsticks including MAC, Make Up For Ever, NARS, Chanel, etc....
SATIN - Color-rich, satiny semi-matte finish.
This is next in line to a matte when it comes to color payoff. It delivers full color but has a more silky feel than a matte with very slight sheen. This may be the best option for those with dry lips who still want intense color but with a bit of moisture. These are also long wearing but glide easier on the lips. The Satin finish is another popular finish for many makeup companies.

FROST - High color payoff with frosted shimmer.
The frost finish is just what it sounds like - frosty. It gives good color payoff with high frost usually from glitter or shimmer particles within the lipstick. The shimmer can vary from ultra fine to chunky depending on the brand and even by the color. Frost lipsticks can settle into and accentuate lip lines just like with mattes and can be slightly drying as well. Frosts are not for the tame since they will bring attention to the lips. they have decent color payoff but as they fade can leave behind the frost particles.

CREMESHEEN - Creamy, full color with soft shine.
The cremesheen finish is unique in its name to MAC but many companies have creme/cream lipstick finishes which is similar. These are creamy lipsticks that have decent color payoff and feel moist on the lips. Because of the slick feel of these lipsticks the wear time decreases. The overall appearance will be glossy without adding a lip gloss on top. This is a great option for those with dry lips. The cream/creme finish may be the most popular in the lipstick world since it's the most wearable and appealing of all the textures.

AMPLIFIED CRÈME - Ultra-creamy with soft shine.
This finish is unique to MAC and is basically an amped up version of the cremesheen. It is creamier with similar effects and greater color payoff but a slightly shorter wear time based on the glossiness of the lipstick.

GLAZE - Low-color impact with sheen-style finish.
The glaze finish has very subtle color and a glossy effect. It is actually similar to a lip gloss in stick form. The wear time on these is very short. This is best for those who want just a touch of color without being heavy or overwhelming.
LUSTRE - Demi-sheer with smooth wet-look finish.
The lustre finish is similar to the glaze but the overall look is more glossy to the point of appearing wet on the lips. There is very low color payoff and short wear time. The appearance is somewhat of a 'juicy' effect.

 Matte -- Matte -- Satin -- Satin -- Cremesheen -- Cremesheen
So Chaud -- Honeylove -- Snob -- Cherish -- Go For It -- Jazzed

Amplified -- Amplified -- Frost -- Frost -- Lustre -- Lustre
Blooming Lovely -- Up The Amp -- Victorian -- Bronzilla -- Red Full Stop -- Syrup


  1. This is a great post Tina and MAC is a great brand to select as they do a varity of finishes.

    I adore Mattes, Satins and Amp Creams. And thank you for including my love, Snob, in the swatches :D

  2. great descriptions! i always can confused with the different finishes, thanks for sharing :-)

  3. great post hun,I love Mac Amplified creme lipsticks they r e only ones I buy, so creamy and dont dry out my lips of coz I do want Pink Nouveau which is Satin lol

  4. hey tina this has nothing to do with the post but i think i remember you saying you were from new jersey. if you are there is an inglot at garden state plaza in paramus. i just went there today and wrote a post about it. now i see why you love them so much. talk about pigmentation! lol

  5. Very nice post. I am a big fan of matte lipsticks. I have tried to venture out and try different types of finishes but I always go back to matte.

  6. I think everyone needs to own a matte lipstick! They're great as long as you take care of your lips. And, I really love MAC's Amplified finish. Speaking of.. I still need that Up the Amp! :]

  7. Thanks Saadeh. I think MAC is a great guide to makeup period. They r great to use as a yardstick when discussing makeup. I am 100% with on your preferences! In that order! Mattes, Satins, Amp. Creme!

    No prob Ev. Glad it helps!

    Hahahhaaaa Sher! I hear that! Pink Nouveau is not bad at all as a Satin. I think u should go for it. :)

    Hey Kay Kay. Nope I'm from NY. :) My closest Inglot is in NYC. Inglot is so fab. I am glad u have them so close to u. Enjoy my luv!

    Thanks Vixxan. Mattes r my faves too...I guess for everything..LOL! I just love the pigmentation and effect of a matte.

    I agree Rachel! Mattes r the best but proper lip care is a must! U better go get Up The Amp! LOL! U will love it.

  8. Very detailed post. Informative! I enjoy MAC's Amplified Cremes & MUFE Satin l/s. Love the color payoff of MATTES. Thanks so much for sharing.

  9. This is REDICULOUSLY helpful found nothing like this on google, thankyou so much lovely :)


Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. Free to contact me via email with further questions or business inquiries at thefancyface@hotmail.com. Comments that include advertisements, self-promotion, insults, etc. are subject to deletion.