How to Spot Fake M.A.C Shadows

I love being one click away from buying something. The ease and connivence of online shopping has made it something practically everyone with a computer does, which is why it’s important to know that what you’re buying is the real deal.

Although I’ve done it in the past (like 6+ years ago) I’d probably steer clear of eBay for cosmetics. I’ve heard too many horror stories about paying $100 for a Jergens filled LaMer jar and it’s hard to track the sellers down for a refund.

Those stories make this detailed pictorial on how to spot fake M.A.C shadows all the more relevant. Unless you know the slight differences in the packaging, there’s really no way to tell if what you’re buying is the real thing. And, if it’s not the real shadow – what the heck is it?

Click HERE to see a side by side comparison of a real M.A.C shadow against a fake one purchased on eBay.

Lady Gaga for M.A.C Viva Glam

M.A.C Cosmetics and Lady Gaga are like peas and carrots, it’s a relationship that just makes sense with two over-the-top creative forces joining together, this time for the World AIDS Fund with every cent of Viva Glam sale donated. It’s a great cause and the lip shades are always universally flattering.

Find it HERE

M.A.C Cosmetics Team for Villains Collection

You know I’m not I huge fan of M.A.C cosmetics, but their Team for Villains collection (out September 30th) looks like it’ll be pretty darn cute. Here’s a photo from the WWD article (click to enlarge).

You can read the details of the launch in the entire article HERE

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Beauty Big 3: Bethany Karlyn

Y’all remember Bethany Karlyn right? She’s the celebrity Makeup Artist who invented PRTTY Peaushun, the lotion I love and reviewed HERE. She’s worked with the A-List women in Hollywood who are so famous, they only need first names ; Reese, Salma, Cameron, you know the drill.

I had to ask her to be a part of the Beauty Big 3 because I wanted to know what she was using to make these girls (even more) beautiful, so here are her top picks.

Here she is – gorgeous.


Studio Stick Foundation is the foundation she uses most on set. “I like it best applied over Prtty Peaushun which gives it a beautiful subtle luminosity. I’m also a fan of Armani luminous silk liquid foundation which I use in the same way.”


“My can’t-live-without mascara is Shiseido Advanced Volume in brown. I can exercise in it, swim in it, shower in it, cry in it, sleep in it, and it doesn’t budge! It comes off with any cleanser and doesn’t require a waterproof remover. I get compliments on my lashes every day, most commonly, I’m asked if I’m wearing false lashes. Essentially, it’s as close to perfect as I’ve ever found. Been using it for years.”


“My fave moisturizer is PRTTY Peaushun, of course! Gorgeous on the body, face and hair! Besides being gorgeous it also benefits the condition of the skin with a formula that is 92% natural raw ingredients. The plant extracts serve to lift, tighten, firm and help with bruising and sore muscles. The glow helps diminish the appearance of minor imperfections and creates a sexy slimmer silhouette.”

Thank you Bethany! To check out her new body lotion PRTTY Peaushun click HERE

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Dear Carissa- What’s the Deal With M.A.C Studio Fix??

From a reader last week asking the a question I get a lot.

Hi Carissa,

I love your blog! I have a question about foundations. I’ve been
using MAC Studio Fix Powder for many years and now I want to try something
new (esp. since many make-up artists don’t seem to recommend it for
whatever reason). What is your take on MAC studio fix?

I’m looking for something that is quick to apply and will provide a
matte finish for my oily skin.


Hi Betty,

Ok, here’s a painful and embarrassing admission. I once lived for Studio Fix. No, like seriously lived for it. I had one at home and one in my purse at all times and touched up constantly. Every time I would buy a new one, I would be color matched to something different and just went with it even when I looked a little orange. I can now, with 100% certainty, look back on photos and tell you when I was wearing Studio Fix and when I wasn’t.

I can’t speak for other artists (although I know it isn’t something they use) but I’m not a fan because It’s heavy, chalky, matte, and unflattering on 99% of the women who wear it. I liked it though for the same reasons you do- it’s easy to apply with tons of coverage that matted out my oily skin.

Then, one day the clouds parted and I saw the light. I no longer wished to look like Elvira mistress of M.A.C, I would *gasp* let my actual skin show through. You too, Betty, can make that change.

But it’s not easy.

See, you’re unconsciously addicted to seeing the actual makeup and not your skin, so when you’re using something that just boosts the look of your skin and lightly conceals redness, you probably won’t like it. Just know that from now. Look at old photos, are there any where your face appears mime-white from the talc-tastic formula? Let those be your inspiration.

Do what I did, move on to Stila’s Illuminating Powder Foundation. It’s much lighter in weight, gives your skin a beautiful luminosity, and some natural looking coverage.

Just know that you don’t want to replace Studio Fix, you want to rehab from it. It won’t be the same, but it will be better.



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Line High/ Low: M.A.C Cosmetics

Although M.A.C is probably my very least favorite line overall, I can’t deny its popularity. They’ve successfully marketed themselves as a makeup line for professionals by professionals, but I believe only the latter to be true. I do carry some M.A.C in my kit, but I find the line overall to be clumsy, adolescent, and impervious to the beauty needs of real women.

That said, I’ve pulled out what I believe to be their best offerings as well as their worst.


Tinted Lipglass is probably M.A.C’s main gateway drug - you start with buying the gloss, then once you’re hooked, you become strung out on foundations and eye liners. Lipglass is a simple, traditional gloss in every way from the sponge tipped applicator to its tacky feeling, and your options seem endless with 36 dazzling shades.

M.A.C’s most intense colors come from their Pigments , a healthy does of loose color that comes in a jar and allows for easy blending and intensity that goes from 0-60 with a sweep of a brush. I like the neutral beigy and pinky ones which I use on the lid over cream shadows to make them really pop, and I’ve also blended them with different lip glosses for pretty customized shades.

M.A.C’s Interactive Brush Finder  helps to finally make the most confusing part of makeup a little easier. Clicking over each brush photo launches a drop-down box of information on how best to use the brush.


I know I’ve already reviewed  their Studio Fix Powder, but simply calling it overrated was being kind.  Its heavy, opaque coverage has long been a favorite of drag performers who use it to easily cover their 5 o’clock shadows. Yes it serves a purpose, but probably not on you.

Do I have M.A.C Eye Shadows in my kit? Yes. Are they my 1st choice to use? No. Do I use them on myself? Never.

Yes, they do have what looks to be a broad shade range (many of the colors are redundant),  but I find them to be surprisingly low in pigment and a bit chalky. I found long ago that the shadows didn’t look good on women past the age of 35ish since the harsh finish gave life to every imperfection. There are a few shades I do like and use, but I layer them with other products like creme shadows to get the look I want.

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