What Is MAC Lipstick Made Of?

What is mac lipstick made of

If you were to ask the average person, they would probably know about MAC lipsticks. That is the global phenomenon that is MAC and its various lines of lipstick! They make affordable lipstick that is of great quality and of wide variety as well! Different shades for different skin tones and makeup look is what you get with MAC lipstick. But what is MAC lipstick made of?

Some ingredients in MAC lipstick are common in all the different MAC lipstick but what is different is the different ingredients needed for the color of the MAC lipsticks. So let’s see what these ingredients are and how they help the lipstick and see if these ingredients are vegan or not!

20 Common Ingredients In MAC Lipstick Explained

20 common ingredients in mac lipstick explained
20 common ingredients in mac lipstick explained

Most if not all lipsticks have certain ingredients that are common and MAC lipsticks are also made with such ingredients. So let’s see what these different ingredients are and how they help the MAC lipstick quality! For these ingredients, I will be taking the example of the MAC Velvet Teddy Lipstick.

  1. Octyldodecanol: A clear emollient that helps to spread the colors of the MAC lipstick on the lips. It also has a nice perfuming smell and works in a range of products as well.
  2. Castor Seed Oil: Another emollient (you will be seeing this a lot) in MAC lipsticks. While castor seed oil has been widely used for many centuries, in lipstick it helps to add a shine to the colors.
  3. Silica: A viscosity-controlling ingredient that helps to absorb oil and give lipstick its buildability.
  4. Tricaprylyl Citrate: A natural ingredient that acts as a preservative that replaces other types such as parabens.
  5. Ozokerite: It is a hydrocarbon wax that helps to keep the shape of the lipstick in the bullet or tube and makes sure it stays that way.
  6. Isononyl Isononanoate: Another one of that emollient but this time this particular emollient helps to keep the lips nice and supple, preventing dryness.
  7. Paraffin: A mineral oil that is in solid form to help keep the lipstick shape. It also ensures that the lipstick stays on the lips.
  8. Phenyl Trimethicone: A silicone fluid that is non-oily, non-greasy feeling helps to spread on the lips. It also has some water resistance to it that it adds to MAC lipstick.
  9. Microcrystalline Wax: Type of wax helps to keep the color of the lipstick on the lips and repel water and sweat.
  10. Ethylhexyl Palmitate: Another emollient! But this one acts as the helper to the other emollients to make it easy to spread on the lips.
  11. Capric Triglyceride: Coconut oil and glycerin emollient that makes it safe to use on all skin types because of its compatibility with the skin.
  12. Cera Carnauba: Hard natural wax that again helps to keep the lipstick in shape while also providing a gloss to the lipstick.
  13. Ascorbyl Palmitate: Form of vitamin C that has an antioxidant property to it.
  14. Tocopherol: Fat-soluble vitamin C + E that gives the lipstick good protection against UVB.
  15. Polyethylene Terephthalate: Unites the bonds in the lipstick and gives the MAC lipsticks their thickness.
  16. Stearyl Stearoyl Stearate: This does a whole host of things, one of which is that it enhances the texture of the MAC lipstick.
  17. Vanillin: If you ever wondered why MAC lipstick smell like vanilla, it is because of the alkene vanillin that is able to give it that scent. It acts as a perfuming ingredient in MAC lipstick.
  18. Acrylates Copolymer: A thickening agent in the lipstick that helps to trap the color in the lipstick and make it shine.
  19. Mica: Mineral powder that helps to do a lot for MAC lipstick! It gives light-reflecting abilities, increases spreadability on the lips, and does not cause the lips to cake up.
  20. Colorant: A whole host of different pigments that make up a MAC lipstick that gives its unique color, hue, and shade.

Differences Between MAC Lipstick: Colors

Differences between mac lipstick: Colors
Differences between mac lipstick: Colors

The main difference between one MAC lipstick to another is the colors that are used in them. Take for example the MAC Love Me Lipstick – 423 E for Effortless and the MAC Cremesheen Lipstick – Brave Red, you will be shocked to see exactly how many colorants are used!

MAC Love Me Lipstick – 423 E for Effortless: Mica, Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Bronze Powder (Ci 77400), Carmine (Ci 75470), Copper Powder (Ci 77400), Manganese Violet (Ci 77742), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 (Ci 15850), Red 21 (Ci 45380), Red 27 (Ci 45410), Red 28 (Ci 45410), Red 30 (Ci 73360), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 22 Lake (Ci 45380), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick – Brave Red: Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Bismuth Oxychloride (Ci 77163), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Carmine (Ci 75470), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 21 (Ci 45380), Red 6 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Red 30 Lake (Ci 73360), Red 33 Lake (Ci 17200), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Yellow 6 Lake (Ci 15985)

As you can see from both these different lipsticks, there are many, many different colors that are used in lipstick! Some of them might be common but there are some that are used for one but not for the other. And you have to understand that this is only for ONE particular shade, different shades will need different colorants to it. This is the main difference between one MAC lipstick to another.

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Are MAC Lipsticks Vegan?

Are MAC lipsticks vegan
Are MAC lipsticks vegan

Vegan ingredients are slowly becoming more and more popular since they are made with natural, plant-based ingredients. Based on my own research, unfortunately, MAC lipsticks are not vegan. While the common ingredients can be made entirely from plant-based ingredients, I can’t say the same for the colors.

The colors in certain MAC lipstick, for most lipstick for that matter, cannot be made without the use of certain synthetic ingredients which unfortunately rules out the lipstick lines of MAC from being vegan. There are other vegan lipstick brands out there but MAC is not one of them. Even though MAC is not a vegan brand, they do take some initiatives to protect the environment like the Back 2 MAC, a recycling program dedicated to recycling unused MAC products.

If you are searching for vegan lipsticks, then these vegan lipsticks might interest you:


1. Does MAC lipstick contain animal products?

MAC lipsticks do not use animal-based products. However, certain lip balms might contain beeswax as an ingredient.

2. What is the main ingredient in lipstick?

The main ingredients in lipstick are wax, oil, and the different pigments that make up the color and shade. The wax and oil help the lipstick adhere to the skin.

3. What is natural lipstick?

Natural lipsticks are made with natural ingredients and colorants like shea butter, oil, and wax to help keep the lips nicely moisturized.

Final Thoughts

MAC lipsticks are primarily made up of many common ingredients that are usually emollient and other ingredients that help the colors look great on the lips! These common ingredients ensure that the lipstick keeps its shape inside the tube. The main difference between MAC lipstick shades and colors is the pigments used to make the colors! Each individual shade of MAC lipstick is made with a number of different colorants and a combination of them is what makes MAC lipstick unique. Sadly, MAC lipstick is not vegan because of the colorants used but they still provide some of the best lipsticks on the market!

Key Points

  • There are about 20 or so common ingredients in MAC lipsticks that help to make sure that the lipstick sticks to the lips and protects them as well.
  • The only difference between different MAC lipsticks is the colorants used. Each unique shade of MAC lipstick requires a different combination of these colorants.
  • Unfortunately, MAC lipsticks are not vegan due to the presence of synthetic ingredients in both the common ingredients and pigments used in the lipstick.

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