MAC Lipstick Collection: Bright Shades on Tan Skin

MAC bright lipsticks girlandvanity

For Part II of my MAC lipstick collection, I thought I would introduce the colourful shades I have picked up over time so I could write some reviews on these bright shades on tan skin. Just like the nudes from my collection, there are some that I really like, and some I don’t really care for. I usually am hesitant when it comes to buying bright lipsticks only because I know I don’t really reach for them that often, however there are some in my collection that I’m glad I took the dive for, and hopefully these swatches will be useful to some who are on the fence about any of these shades!

MAC Lipstick Collection: Bright Shades on Tan Skin

MAC vegas volt nc40 medium tan skin MAC sushi kiss nc40 medium tan skin MAC tats nc40 medium tan skin MAC relentlessly red nc40 medium tan skin MAC all fired up nc40 medium tan skin MAC von teese nc40 medium tan skin MAC ruby woo nc40 medium tan skin

Sushi Kiss

Sushi Kiss is described as a “midtonal coral cream” and has a satin formula. I usually don’t gravitate towards shades this light and bright, however I was absolutely in love with the Revlon ColorBurst Matte Balm in ‘Mischievous’, which is very similar to Sushi Kiss, so I went ahead and bought it thinking that I would like it. Unfortunately, this shade is one that I hardly ever reach for. It’s way too bright and pigmented, and although it is very similar to the Revlon matte balm, I think the ‘sheerness’ of the balm was what made it work for me. However, the formula is opaque, creamy, and moisturizing, so I can’t knock it based on that. I applied Sushi Kiss by pressing some product on my lips and blotting it out to spread the colour. This isn’t the kind of shade that you can just swipe on and go (for darker skin tones, anyway), because it ends up looking like frosting and will sink into the lip lines. Overall, I have to say it is a nice lipstick, however the shade was not for me.

Vegas Volt

Vegas Volt is described as a “full power coral” and has an amplified crème formula. I picked this shade up to be used specifically as a nice and bright summer shade, however I was disappointed in the way it looked on me because I felt it was too overpowering, especially on my NC42 skin which I had at the time. I haven’t touched it since, and I always thought that it was a dupe for Sushi Kiss, however, now that I swatched it and can compare the two, they are nothing alike. Vegas Volt is darker and looks more pink than Sushi Kiss, and I actually quite like the way it looks on my skin when I don’t have much of a tan. I applied it the same way I did with Sushi Kiss; by blotting the product with my fingers to sheer it out. Vegas Volt also has a creamier formula than Sushi Kiss, however it is just as opaque, so it’s easy to apply to the lips. I think Vegas Volt would suit individuals with tan skin or even people with darker skin tones, however I would recommend sheering the formula out a bit so that it isn’t so “in your face”. I would also recommend Vegas Volt to people who are more fair. I believe January Jones used this specific shade in some episodes of Mad Men, and she looked absolutely killer.

Relentlessly Red

Relentlessly Red is described as a “bright pinkish coral matte” and has a retro matte formula. This has to be one of my favourites of all the lipsticks I own. The shade is so beautiful and bright, although not too bright where it would make me look clownish. I find it very flattering on my skin tone, even when I’m get darker, so I would highly recommend this shade to anyone with deeper skin tones. I would also recommend this shade to individuals who are more fair. I think it would look like a pretty and bright strawberry pink. The only downside to this shade is that it has a retro matte formula, therefore it can be very drying on the lips. It does tug while applying the lipstick and it can sometimes be difficult to get an even layer of product, however once you get the product to work, it looks absolutely gorgeous.


Tats is described as a “bright hot pink” and has a matte formula. It was a part of the Giambattista Valli x MAC collection, therefore it is limited edition. To be perfectly honest, I only bought this lipstick because I loved the packaging. I don’t particularly like the shade on me much. It pulls a little too cool for my liking, however the formula is quite nice. Although it’s a matte lipstick, it is quite hydrating and applies well without being too patchy. I think anyone who has cool undertones and has an affinity to Barbie pinks would love this shade, however it’s not my cup of tea.

All Fired Up

All Fired Up is described as a “bright fuschia matte” and has a retro matte formula. This is also one of my favourite shades because it is bright and colourful without looking too intense. On me, it looks quite similar to Relentlessly Red, however I think it is a touch darker and is more pink than coral. Again, since it is a retro matte formula it is quite drying and can be a little difficult to apply on the lips. I also find that the retro matte formulas tend to crumble a bit on the insides of the lips, however it wears well throughout the day as  it fades. Regardless, I still love it since I get compliments every time I wear this shade, and would highly recommend it.

Von Teese

Von Teese is described as a “vivid tomato red” and has a matte formula. It was a limited edition shade from the Dita Von Teese x MAC collection in 2015. I have to admit, I didn’t think I would like this shade as much as I do. I always adored Dita Von Teese’s look; she reminds me of Snow White and I think she’s absolutely gorgeous, so when I heard she was collaborating with MAC to make her iconic shade of red, I had to have it. I thought that it wouldn’t look as good on me since my skin tone is completely different from hers, and what usually flatters fair skin tones doesn’t translate well on mine. However, Von Teese surprisingly looks great on darker skin tones. It definitely is very bright, however I don’t think it looks clownish. It also is very creamy and opaque for a matte formula, however I would say it leans more toward a satin finish since it has a slight sheen to it. It is very comfortable to wear and fades well throughout the day. I wouldn’t say that this shade is an absolute necessity, only because I believe it’s definitely dupable, however if you are able to get your hands on it (at a decent price), I say go for it! I think it will definitely flatter people with lighter and darker skin tones with warm undertones, however it may look a little too bright and clownish for those who lean more cool.

Ruby Woo

Last, but certainly not the least, is Ruby Woo, which I previously wrote a review about. It’s one of my all-time favourite shades and I don’t think anyone can go wrong with it.

Here are all the shades swatched together:

MAC vegas volt nc40 medium tan skin MAC sushi kiss nc40 medium tan skin MAC tats nc40 medium tan skin MAC relentless red nc40 medium tan skin MAC all fired up nc40 medium tan skin MAC von teese nc40 medium tan skin MAC ruby woo nc40 medium tan skin swatch

What are some of your favourite bright lipsticks from MAC?

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