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The Iconic Lipstick Shades a M.A.C Newbie Should Always Start With

From Ruby Woo to Velvet Teddy.
Best MAC Lipsticks.
Allison Kahler/STYLECASTER.

Even those who’ve never stepped into a Sephora or Ulta have heard someone in their life — or Rihanna — utter the words “Ruby Woo.” Not only is it one of the most popular M.A.C shades to morph into a top-seller for the brand. It’s also an iconic beauty product, period, though there are other colors that have garnered just as much notoriety for their color payoff and long-wear capabilities.

Lipstick has long been regarded as a must-have for even the most novice makeup wearers and those who rarely wear it. We keep one in our purse, at our work desk, and in the car. There’s one or many tubes we rely on for date nights, parties and family gatherings. Even if it’s a simple nude or blush tone, lipstick is that old-faithful that easily elevates a beauty moment when our skills or time are limited. And for many, M.A.C is the go-to. Its lipsticks are about as classic as Chanel No. 5 and Pond’s Cold Cream
, meaning that even if lip color isn’t your thing, you’ve felt the pressure to try at least once.

So whether you’re a newbie or have simply never experienced the dose of confidence a M.A.C lippie brings, here are the shades that have earned cult status over the years and deserve your attention.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to the people, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.

MAC Chili Lipstick
M.A.C Cosmetics.


One quick glance will have you convinced this is a classic red, but linger a bit longer and you’ll see beautiful orange undertones begin to emerge.

M.A.C Cosmetics.

Ruby Woo

Everyone from Taylor Swift to Rihanna have name-dropped this matte red as one of their faves. Though it has blue undertones, countless reviews over the years have proven that it looks great on just about anyone.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Looking for another matte that you can wear on those low-key days when you still want to look put together? This light beige with a rose finish is just the ticket.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Like Ruby Woo red, this ultra-bright purple somehow looks amazing on all skin tones, thanks to a purple that isn’t too dark or too light.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Not too berry and not to mauve, this mid-level rosy tone gives off a lustrous finish that won’t flake or crumble after a few hours.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Whether you want to feel like a boss or simply find a dependable Bordeaux shade for the winter season, this rich burgundy is a must-try.

M.A.C Cosmetics.

Candy Yum-Yum

Not for the faint of heart, this neon pink delivers a matte finish, so keep your application as neat as possible with a matching lip liner.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Whether you want a sheer wash of color with one swipe or full coverage with several, this blackish-purple satin lippie is guaranteed to bring out your inner badass.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Another satin lipstick with sheer to full-coverage capabilities that’s a muted, plum version of the aforementioned Heroine.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


This pink with browner undertones makes for a lovely nude or blush-toned color against darker skin tones.

M.A.C Cosmetics.

Velvet Teddy

The name alone should indicate just how luxurious this deep beige with matte finish feels and looks on the lips.

M.A.C Cosmetics.


Though not as pink as Velvet Teddy or Pink Plaid, this satin-y yellow brown is also too pink to truly qualify as a brown lipstick.

M.A.C Cosmetics.

Russian Red

Though not as popular as Ruby Woo, this bluish-red with matte finish is just as bold and versatile.

A version of this story was originally published in January 2019.

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