MAC Bronze Kit

Spotlight on MAC Cosmetics UK – the makeup artist favourite

20th February 2023 | Author: Victoria Woollaston-Webber

For the latest in our Brand Spotlight series, we take a look at MAC Cosmetics and pick out our favourite MAC products 

When many of us start experimenting more with makeup, and want to graduate from traditional high-street brands, MAC is the place to start.

It’s incredibly accessible, both on and offline, and recently went on sale in Boots, ASOS and Next.

It has makeup artists on hand to help out and the products themselves are great. Super versatile, highly pigmented, long-lasting, not to mention quality formulas.

These are just some of the reasons why MAC Cosmetics is the latest in our Brand Spotlight series.

Over the past few months, we’ve been shining a light on brands that represent and align with what we stand for – brands that offer great products at low prices; brands that champion inclusivity and diversity; clean, sustainable, and ethical beauty brands, and brands that are challenging the beauty industry hierarchy.

READ NEXT: Get cheap MAC Cosmetics makeup at 50% off

MAC Cosmetics UK: A brief history

MAC makeupMAC

Founded in Toronto in 1984 by make-up artist and photographer Frank Toskan with salon owner Frank Angelo, Make-up Art Cosmetics was created out of a need to find make-up that looked beautiful and photographed well.

In the decades since, MAC Cosmetics has become an international phenomenon, sold in 105 countries across the globe, finding its way into the make-up kits of film sets, photoshoots, and our homes. What makes MAC so amazing, is its universal appeal, versatile offering and high-quality products.

FURTHER READING: We’ve reviewed and ranked every MAC foundation to finally reveal which is best

♥︎ Why we love MAC Cosmetics UK

Everything MAC does – from its product lines to its community of makeup artists – is done with diversity and inclusivity at its heart. As the brand itself explains, MAC is “all ages, all races, all genders.”

It has a strong sense of social responsibility, and has been a pioneer with initiatives including its Viva Glam lipsticks (scroll down to read more) and the MAC AIDS Fund.

Then there are the products. They don’t come cheap – and are more expensive than many of those we tend to feature in our Brand Spotlight lists – but we believe they’re worth the extra money. The base products, in particular, are superb.

If you have mature skin – although it’s also great for all skin types – MAC’s Waterweight concealer is second to none. Its MAC Studio Fix foundation – in both fluid and stick forms – are fantastic, and we’re big fans of its Prep+Prime Fix+ Setting Spray. You can read more about all of these in our best concealer, our Studio Fix Foundation review, and best setting spray guides. 

Best MAC Cosmetics UK products


WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best concealer | Best makeup brush | Best foundation brush | Best eyeshadow palette | Best foundation | Best foundation for dark skin | Best foundation for oily skin | Best foundation for dry skin | Best contour kit | Best lip gloss | Best lip liner | Best mascara| Best primer | Best highlighter | Best brow pomade | Best blusher | Best setting spray| Best makeup sets | Best false eyelashes

♥︎ MAC Viva Glam Lipstick 

£17.50 | Buy now from MAC Cosmetics UK 

Who’s it for? Created in partnership with charities fighting AIDS and HIV, 100% of profits from any of the three current Viva Glam lipsticks help to fund the prevention of the condition as well as treatment and support for those affected by it.

Why we love it: MAC’s lipstick formula is up there with some of the best available. It’s a staple, and there’s a reason why it’s consistently featured on best-seller lists. It’s creamy, pigmented and great value for money.

How to use it: We like to pair Viva Glam II, a pinkish-hued mauve, with a similar lip liner and a nude eyeshadow look, that has a spot of gold sparkle. Perfect for the everyday.

MAC recently launched a new lipstick range called the Macximal Silky Matte range. It’s a reformulation of MAC’s Matte Lipstick and the brand says it’s now “bigger and better – with more colour, more comfort, more wear.”

The matte formula has been upgraded to a silkier, smoother texture with more pigment and it is said to last 12hrs. When we’ve had a chance to review, we’ll update this page to see if it’s worthy of being added to our best MAC products list.

Buy now from MAC

♥︎ MAC 224 Tapered Blending Brush 

£23.50 | Buy now from MAC Cosmetics UK 

MAC 224S tapered blending brushMAC

Who’s it for? A staple brush in every kit is a big, fluffy blending brush. The MAC 224 is a classic for achieving seamlessly blended eyeshadow.

Why we love it: Because its tapered bristles and larger brush head mean that blending initial crease shades is as easy as it gets. It picks up the right amount of product and distributes it evenly. Used with back and forth and small circular motions, blending and building up eyeshadow has never been easier.

How to use it: We use it to, first, set our eyeshadow primer with a white or bone-toned shadow and then apply our transition shades. We like to add new shades using a clean brush and go back to the first 224 to blend them all together.

FURTHER READING: Best makeup brushes: The best natural and synthetic makeup brushes

Buy now from MAC

♥︎ MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation SPF15

£27 | Buy now from MAC Cosmetics UK 

Who’s it for? Anyone looking for a flawless full-coverage foundation that stays all day and photographs well. Perfect for events!

Why we love it: Because of its unreal full coverage, Studio Fix will cover everything. And it’s buildable. It can be quite thick – so you only need a small amount if you want a more natural finish – but its staying power is worth it.

It has an SPF of 15 meaning your face is protected from the sun (though we recommend applying a separate SPF before your make-up to protect further), a matte finish, and comes in tonnes of shades and undertones.

How to use it: After priming, use a damp sponge or duo fibre foundation brush to buff a small amount into the skin. Add extra product where further coverage is needed and follow with concealer and set with powder.

FURTHER READING: MAC Studio Fix foundation review

Buy now from MAC

♥︎ Prep + Prime Fix+ Spray 

£21 | Buy now from MAC Cosmetics UK 

Who’s it for? Anyone who needs a versatile setting spray.

Why we love it: Fix+ is one of Mac’s most versatile products.

Primarily a prep spray, Fix+ can be used to prep and prime the skin, to set and finish makeup, to provide hydration throughout the day, or to give your favourite shimmer shades an extra pop.

It comes in a range of fragrances, too, for those who prefer an extra scent boost, as well as the original. Although the original is technically scentless, it’s not – it has a slightly odd chemical smell – but this soon goes away.

How to use it: Hold about 12 inches from the face and spritz a few times before make-up application to prime the skin. Apply after foundation and powder to set the face and add an extra glow.

Spritz throughout the day to refresh hydration and boost natural glow or spritz onto shimmer shades on your make-up brush to wet shadow, boosting pigment, shine and staying power.

READ NEXT: What does setting spray actually do?

Buy now from MAC

♥︎ Mineralize Skin Finish 

£26.50 | Buy now from MAC Cosmetics UK

Who’s it for? Anyone looking for a healthy highlight that complements natural glow.

Why we love it: Available in a range of shades to complement all skin tones, Mineralize Skin Finish is the perfect natural highlight for your face and your body.

Created using 77 different minerals and Vitamin E, it gives a gorgeous sheen and doesn’t look too overpowering.

How to use it: Apply to the high points of the face, such as your cheekbones, and your collarbones with a fluffy brush for an all-over natural-looking radiance.

For something a bit more metallic and intense, pick up the product on your brush and spritz it with Fix+ before applying it to your cheekbones.

Buy now from MAC

♥︎ MAC Skin Solutions Kits

£60 | Buy now from MAC Cosmetics UK 

MAC Skin Solution kits for dry oily combination and mature skinMAC

MAC has made it even easier to shop for products based on your skin type thanks to the launch of the Skin Solutions kits.

There are six kits to choose from (listed below) and as each of the names of these kits suggests, they include products best suited to those six particular skin types.

Depending on which kit you choose depends on which type of primer, foundation and setting spray you receivem, and you can customise each one to suit your skin tone.

Not sure which skin type you are? Check out our What skin type do I have? guide

Each kit costs £60 and while that may seem pricey, by purchasing these products as bundles instead of individually you can save up to £21.

The six kits are as follows:

FURTHER READING: Foundation samples UK: How to get free foundation samples online

Buy now from MAC

HyperReal Skincare

MAC Cosmetics recently launched a new skincare range called Hyper Real. It features a serum-moisturiser, a moisturising cream and a cleansing oil, as well as a skincare brush.

Each product contains what MAC calls its Pro-4 Power Infusion Matrix – a mix of ingredients designed to brighten the skin tone, nourish the complexion and repair the skin barrier.

Since the range launched, MAC has released a larger version of its Hyper Real Serumizer meaning it’s now available in 15ml, 30ml and 50ml.

It doesn’t come cheap – with travel versions starting at £18 – but we’ve ordered the lot and will let you know our thoughts. In the meantime, you can read more about the Hyper Real skincare here.

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