How to Build Your MAC Makeup Collection

By Jacqueline Thomas

It's often daunting when people are introduced to the enormous MAC makeup brand. Questions include: What to buy first? What is necessary? What works for my skin? What is a waste of money? Here is an attempt to clarify the most essential items in the MAC makeup brand.

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Step 1

Determine how much makeup you're comfortable with using. If you're new to makeup, you'll probably want to start off with the basics. If you're more advanced, you may enjoy more product. This guide will cover both.

Step 2

Buy a foundation. The most popular MAC foundation is Studio Fix. It provides all-day coverage and is acceptable for most people. Studio Fix comes in a powder form, so if you're not familiar with liquid foundation, don't worry. You will need to go to the MAC store to find the correct color, because foundations come in warm and cool tones. The makeup artist will find a color for you, but you will probably need to wear it outdoors in natural light to determine how closely it matches your skin tone.

Step 3

Buy a concealer. MAC's Studio Fix also has a concealer with SPF protection. This concealer is effective for all small to medium blemishes. It works to cover dark circles under your eyes as well. You can buy a concealer that's your shade or even a shade lighter, but it's best not to go any lighter than that or it will appear obvious. The concealers come in warm and cool tones as well. If you're matched for foundation at the MAC counter, you can take that foundation number (i.e. NC45) as your guide for concealer.

Step 4

Buy basic eye shadows. Most people wear two to three eye shadows on their lids. The most well-known basic eye shadows are Woodwinked (gold), Vanilla (white), Mulch (brown) and Black Tied (black). This is by no means exhaustive; there are many colors to choose from. However, these colors are very popular and basic. MAC offers a huge array of bold colors, and all of them are worth a try. But these are colors to keep in stock.

Step 5

Buy eyeliner. MAC offers a product called Fluidline. It's a gel-based eyeliner. If you're uneasy with liquid or gel eyeliners, this isn't the product for you because it is unforgiving. It is long-lasting, however, and very popular. As an alternative to this, you may want to start off with L'Oreal HiP's copycat eyeliner.

Step 6

Buy brushes. Brushes are the most expensive products offered by MAC but are essential tools for proper makeup placement. The brushes are broken into three types: Face, Eyes and Lips. The four most universally popular brushes are 150 (powder/foundation brush), 239 (eye shadow), 217 (eye shadow blending) and 228 (eyeliner, also lips).