MAC Pigments 101 – What Are They and How Do You Use Them?

MAC Pigments are basically highly concentrated loose color powders that come in different finishes: Matte, Metallic and Frost. They are a dream to blend, do not streak or cake and last forever. And since they go on super pigmented, you only need a teeny bit each time. You can also mix them together to get the color you want.

Another awesome thing about pigments is that they are multi-purpose. Below are some of the ways you can use them:

*Eyeliner: Wet your liner brush with saline solution or MAC Water Base Mixing Medium and line away.

*Blush: Use a small powder brush and apply with a light hand.

*Highlighter: Same as above. Some good colors are Vanilla, Lily White, Frozen White, White Gold, Pink Opal, Provence, Fairlite, Naked and Frost.

*Lipgloss: Mix with clear gloss and apply. Some good colors are Apricot Pink, Pink Pearl, Rose, Electric Coral and Fuschia.

*Nail Polish: Mix with clear nail polish and apply.

I know some of you complain about its price ($19.50) but a jar of pigment lasts forever so I really think it is worth it in the long run. Plus you can always buy samples or split a jar with a friend. Other cheaper alternatives are L’oreal On-The-Loose Shimmer Powder (sadly this is discontinued) and NYX Loose Powder.

*Note: Not all pigments are safe to be used around the eye area. Remember to check the little insert in the box.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. wow ~ Those pigments sounds amazing ! I am soo gonna get some! Thanks ~ They are sooo worth getting :] let’s get some everyone!

  2. Hello~
    I’m a new (used-to-be-silent) reader and noticed you’re a recent grad of UIUC…I’m a HS senior and am tormenting myself over whether I should attend UIUC for their #1 advertising program (need to decide before May 1! :X). It’s pretty much between UIUC and James Madison Univ. (which is in state-Virginia-for me). aka 40K vs. 15K. So I was jwing, if you knew how difficult it is to get into the college of communications>advertising when I apply the end of soph. year…also, if you could share some feeling about UIUC, I would really appreciate it..! You can email me at

    Thank you!!
    Jean :)

  3. thanks for the info!

    erm ok, i hope you make a post next time about HK/Korean/Japanese actors and their skin care tips (or secrets)! i hate my skin (oily type, one of the few unfortunate asians) and would like to get soft, supple, translucent (insert all nice adjectives) skin too! but alas, i don’t think that’s going to happen soon.

    i am interested about trying japanese skin care products but too confused with everything.

    have you heard of the 5-step cleansing regimen? it’s supposed to be the one used by a lot of japanese/korean ladies and works so well on them.

    and have you also heard of palgantong theatrical powder? it’s also supposed to be really fine loose powder. i couldn’t get much info from the net. :)

    sorry for the longish post. looking forward to your next post!!

  4. I want to get some now :)

    btw. have you ever done “tightlining” before?

    oh yeah, hope to see more EOTD pixs.

  5. Hi I have a question about the pigments. I have some and i absolutely love all the color options but i can’t gte them to stay on all day at all. By the mid day it’s almost all warn off. I’ve been hearing of a certain base you can put on before applying the pigments. What is good for that? I’m not to good with makeup so I need all the help i can get. And also should you apply with a brish or your finger? PLease help me out!!! :) Thanks!

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