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Which Mac satin lipsticks are best?

If you’re looking for a luxurious lip color in a flattering shade, Mac satin lipsticks might be your best option. Not only do they come in over 20 shades, but their lightweight, creamy textures keep lips soft and supple all day.

Mac satin lipsticks are the preferred formula for many wearers for their comfortable, cushiony feel. If you’re looking for a statement-making shade, Mac Satin Lipstick in Mac Red is a blue-toned red that flatters everyone. 

What to know before you buy a Mac satin lipstick

What is satin lipstick?

Satin lipsticks have a finish that falls somewhere between cream and matte. For many individuals, satin lipsticks are ideal for everyday wear because they keep lips soft and pigmented without having an overpowering finish or color. While they have a glossy sheen, satin lipsticks lack the glassy, high-gloss finish of cream lipsticks. They have the rich vibrancy of matte lipsticks, though they’re far less drying. 

What is Mac satin lipstick?

Mac satin lipsticks are known for their creamy formulas that leave lips with a soft, “cushiony” texture. They offer medium-to-buildable coverage, which gives wearers the option for subdued or bold color. 

Mac satin lipsticks are formulated without harsh ingredients, including phthalates, paraben, petroleum, formaldehyde, triclosan, coal tar and toluene. Mac products, including the satin lipstick collection, are not tested on animals. 

How to apply lipstick

While Mac satin lipsticks look great on their own, they’re not the only lip product you should have in your makeup collection. 

  • Lip primer preps lips by smoothing over fine lines and patchy areas, plus they maximize lipstick wear times.
  • Lip liners create borders around lips that prevent lipstick from transferring or migrating. 
  • Lip gloss is often worn over Mac satin lipstick to give lips a glossy sheen.
  • Nourishing lip balm coats and protects lips when you’re not wearing other lip products.
  • Lip masks can be used weekly to soothe dry, chapped lips.
  • Lip scrub is a gentle exfoliator that helps slough away dead skin. 

What to look for in a quality Mac satin lipstick

Shade variety

Mac satin lipsticks are available in over 30 shades that feature berry, brown, pink and red colors. The bestselling shades of the collection include Mac Red, Del Rio, Twig, Faux, Brave, Mocha, Retro and Paramount. Mac occasionally adds new shades to the collection, including limited-edition colors. 

Buildable coverage

Mac satin lipsticks offer medium-to-full buildable coverage. The difference between these coverage types, as expected, is how many coats are applied. Some wearers boost their coverage — and color vibrancy — with Mac lip liner. Other people use Mac satin lipsticks as a base color with medium coverage beneath Mac’s high-gloss Lipglass.


Full-size Mac lipsticks are 0.1 ounces, whereas Mac mini lipsticks are 0.6 ounces. While both are traditional bullet lipsticks, the mini varieties have much thinner barrels. Some wearers appreciate the smaller size, noting their tapered tips offer precision application. However, other wearers feel the smaller barrel means it takes a few more coats to achieve full coverage.

How much you can expect to spend on Mac satin lipstick

Mac mini satin lipsticks cost $13, and full-size lipsticks cost $19. Mac occasionally releases lipstick gift sets that cost $25-$55. These either include more than one Mac lip product or a variety of Mac lipstick shades. 

Mac satin lipstick FAQ

How long does Mac satin lipstick last?

A. Mac satin lipstick may last for up to 8 hours, making it a long-wearing formula. It’s common to reapply it after this time as well as after meals. However, if you’re looking for a formula that lasts longer, opt for one of Mac’s matte or retro matte lipsticks. Mac Powder Kiss Liquid Lipcolor, a liquid lipstick, is also a long-lasting formula that offers up to 10 hours of fade-free color. 

Why aren’t there more mini varieties of Mac satin lipsticks? 

A. Mac minis are a curated collection of the brand’s bestselling shades and formulas. The only four satin shades available as minis are Twig, Mocha, Captive and Rebel. However, Mac may add new mini shades from the collections if they grow in popularity.

What’s the best Mac satin lipstick to buy?

Top Mac satin lipstick

Mac Satin Lipstick in Mac Red

Mac Satin Lipstick in Mac Red

What you need to know: Lauded as a cult-favorite shade, Mac Red is universally flattering and photographs well given its rich pigment. 

What you’ll love: The versatile shade can be worn day or night, year-round. It’s easy to find a matching Mac lip liner shade. Many people agree it’s a popular introductory red lipstick that is suitable for all ages. 

What you should consider: A few people felt the color is a bit too bright for daytime use in certain environments. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s

Top Mac satin lipstick for the money

Mac Mini Satin Lipstick in Twig

Mac Mini Satin Lipstick in Twig

What you need to know: Twig, now available as a Mac mini, is a muted brown-toned pink that is popular as a signature everyday shade.

What you’ll love: The shade works well with all complexions. It’s a noticeable color, but it’s not an overpowering shade. Because it’s now available in a mini size, it’s a favorite lipstick to keep inside everyday cosmetics cases. 

What you should consider: Some people were surprised how light the shade appeared when it was applied. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta and Macy’s

Worth checking out

Mac Satin Lipstick in Paramount

Mac Satin Lipstick in Paramount

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a deeper red, Paramount is a reddish-brown shade that is warm and romantic. 

What you’ll love: It’s a unique shade that is memorable and fun to build a look around. The shade is dramatic and emphasizes cheeks’ color and flush. Paramount is a suitable bold shade that complements minimalist eye looks. 

What you should consider: The shade’s brown undertones might be more noticeable than expected. 

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s


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Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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