$100 at MAC: What Should You Buy?


If you had $100 to spend at MAC, what would you get?  I get this question many times from all of you, so I thought I would put together a list of what I would get!

FYI:  My list is based off what I believe is most unique to MAC.   Yes, there are a TON of eyeshadows and lipsticks that you could easily get, but why pay $11 each if you could find the same color somewhere else for cheaper?  So…. I picked the more unique colors that other brands don’t have.  I hope this helps!

Fix +  Spray

This is by far my favorite products that MAC sells!  I use it everyday after I finish my makeup to give my skin that youthful glow.   You can also mix it with pigments to get a wet eyeshadow look, or spray in your hair to make it shiny and soft.

Price: $19

217 Brush

If you have watched any of my videos, you know that I swear by this brush.  I love it because it’s stiff and dome shaped which is great for smoking out eyeshadows, blending colors in the crease, or feathering colors together.  You can even use it to apply cream products to the lid as it gives a soft application.  This brush is a staple in my everyday kit!

Price: $22.50

219 Brush

This is another favorite brush of mine that I use every day!  It’s the perfect brush for smudging eyeshadow along the lashline, defining the crease, or creating the perfect “outer V”.    I don’t even remember what I used before this brush, but I don’t leave home without it!

Price: $24.50

Expensive Pink Eyeshadow

I realize that MAC has well over 100 eyeshadows, and most all of them are pretty.  But… this one is very unique to me and looks great on just about anyone!  It’s a medium pink color that works well for an everyday look, and since it is a warm pink, it is flattering and doesn’t make you look sick ;)  Plus, I can’t think of any other brands that have this exact color.

Price: $11.00  (for the refill pan)

Amber Lights Eyeshadow

This is another gorgeous color that looks good on everyone, and I mean EVERYONE.  I haven’t found a client yet that this doesn’t look great on.  It’s a warm golden bronze color that can be toned down for an everyday look, or paired with a black shadow for a fantastic date night look.   There are some brands that have colors close to this, but it’s not quite the same texture or richly pigmented like this one!

Price: $11.00

Blacktrack Fluidline

I am a 100% addict to gel or cream eyeliners.  They glide easily, last a long time, are rich in color, and are easy to apply.  I like this MAC one since the gel formula doesn’t dry out and look cakey on my eyes.  I love to dip an eyeliner pencil in it to line my waterline, or use a bent liner brush for that perfect winged liner.  You can choose from 6 colors of fluidlines, but the black one can be used everyday :)

Price: $15.00


Total cost for this shopping trip:   $105 (ok, so I was $5 off- give up Starbucks for one day ;) )


Comments are now closed on this article.


ok, so I m french but I love this website because i’d like to be an make up artist but don’t have enough money to go to make up school :( but being make up artist is my dream…

What is the real difference between MAC make up and the others?? because it s quite expensive but i don’t really know why?

Sorry for ma english….
thank’s a lot

je vous embrasse fort marlena vous etes geniale!!!!!!!!!!!!

The difference between MAC and all other brands is that MAC is high end brand and like they say you get what you pay for and MAC is kinda pricy but you get your money’s worth (:

Hi, I’m also a French girl and also love this website. Thanks for this list that will help me on next Satruday when I’ll go to Paris to buy my first MAC products!! Unfortunately in France you can’t get MAC products everywhere, you only find them in big cities…

Thanks for your blog I am learning a lot with you.

XoXo from Dijon!

That’s right We have no choices concerning these products and selling points
I agree with you….

I m from Rennes, britain!

PLease Merlana feel sorry for us, poor French! ;)

I got Fix + Spray because of you, Marlena, and I really like it so thank you!
If to talk about eye shadows – I’d get Vex(very pretty) and Patina(bot original but I like it). As for brushes, 217 and 239.

hi marlena i also got a fix + spray because of you! i don’t have any idea before about it, but after watching your flawless face video i’ve learned a lot, it seems that watching your videos was like learning from the actual make up school! i also want to buy products from MUG and i will get a c. card soon,, hope to have a transaction with you thank you and i’m thankful that you do sell internationally =) GOD BLESS YOU AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR BEAUTIFUL SELF MISS MARLENA

This was a great post! I have some things for my next trip to MAC! I don’t own any of their brushes, was always curious but didn’t know which to get. I’ll take your tips and see how it works out!

hii! i am from argentina! and i love your tutorials and make up. Ihave a problem because in my country i cant get mac, urban decay, cover girl, etc..andits a pity because al your tutorials are with mac make up!
i hope you will help! love you marlena thanks!

sorry for my english!


hi, I’m also from argentina, villa del parque jeje, and I also love make up and you CAN get MAC here… Once I found the store I WAS THRILLED!!!! you can get it at alto palermo shopping o en el unicenter en falabella. las otras marcas tampoco se consiguen, but you can still work beautifully as I do with high end brands as lancome, clarins, smashbox, dior, and chanel! those are the ones I most certainly love!!!!
hope it helped and best of wishes to my fellow Argentinian citizen.
Ademas en MAC las sombras solas estan 100 pesos, son un presupuesto pero cada vez que voy me traigo un par y delineadores… los amo!!
besos :)

Have you though on ordering by email? you can buy them through the web page and the can send them to you, it;s beneath the same country, so it shouldn’t be that expensive…. Estuve veranenado en madrid y me encanto! preciosa ciudad!! Somos varias latinas en este blog jeje solo hay que encontrarnos :D

En Galerias Pacifico tambien hay un MAC… y un Bobbi Brown!
La semana que viene supongo que voy a ir a ver que hay.

Mas latinas por estos lados, YAY! :D

bobby brown?? q bueno, creo q lo lei en alguna revista pero no me acordaba!! MUERO POR ESE CUBRE OJERAS!! jajaja me sientod dracula sino :p

Hello girls!
I also love Marlena`s website, and her tutorials! Y si chicas, tambien me alegra saber que habemos varias latinas aqui! yo soy mexicana. Un abrazo!

Hey there! I’m newer to mac as well, and as in France it’s hard to get hold of here (and it’s a lot more pricey…). but I decided to give it a try! luv it! HELP! now I’m an addicted girl! my little quad is already full, let’s see if I can get hold on an 15-pallette anywhere! thanks so much Marlena for all your advice and your lovely personality. every single video makes my day! god bless <3

Hi Marlena,
I really like your website and I’ve just done my second order in your shop. I love MAC products so I am trying to found dupes. Could you do a video of dupes of MAC products that you know? I found that angel from nyx is very similar to well dressed. But club eyeshadow from MAC is unique!
Thank you for your work, you’re very inspiring.

I think with $100, I’d definitely get MAC blushes and brushes. =) I’m yet to own any MAC brush, they cost way too expensive here in Australia (some of the face brushes can cost for up to AU$85-105). And the blush costs AU$40, Mineralized Duo costs AU$50, and MSF costs AU$46. But for the love of makeup and MAC, their blushes and brushes are “l-o-v-e” for me. teeheehee

Absolutely agree with this list. There are only a couple items I don’t own – aber lights and the fluid track. I debated getting amber lights but went with something else instead. I do t the fluid track because they dried out for me. I got one and my mom got one and they both were dry in less than a year. I prefer Stila’s smudge pots and Bobbi Brown’s gel liner.

Hi! I use Fluid Track and have had it, both the Dip Down and Black Track for 2 years. I often wet my liner brush just slightly and I have had no trouble with drying out. I’m to the bottom now and must finally replace them. I will not switch. I’ve tried the Smashbox as well as the Gosh and neither compare…

Love your makeup instruction. I got 217 , 219 and 239 brushes and love them. I alos got the Urban Decay “Naked” love it so much. Thanks Marlena

I love cream eyeliners too but haven’t tried the MAC. Have you used the Loreal HIP cream eyeliner, if so, is it comparable to MAC? That is the one I always seem to go back to. I’ve tried Urban Decay, Tarte and a couple others but they all seem to wear off quickly, even when they say waterproof. Thanks Marlena.

The mac gel liner is amazing. I adore this product! I have always worn liquid liner, but tried this one and will never go back. It is easy to apply and you have much more control over the application.
As for the other products, there goes my savings!!!

Absurd list. Sorry, but a couple shadows that look good on other people and an over priced bottle of spray mineral water are useless. Just go get a spray bottle and some carbonated agua minerale from Whole Foods, dearies. If you even know what it’s for yet? Not every one does.

This list has leeway, because not every one looks good in black gel liner or needs an intermediate brush they can’t imagine how to handle.

Mac wipes because nothing cleans off make up and dirt better, an eye pencil in Smolder, a tube of their first class mascara- because why waste $10 on drugstore garbage when you can have the very best for $13? I like Plush Lash myself. And go to MACcosmetics.com for amazing tutorials. No, you don’t need $300 USD in product to put on lipstick, but at least Luc will show you how to do an elegant smoky eye with no black smears in sight. And how to apply mascara. See how he blots the tip of the brush on his hand?
If you are set for wicked black eyeliner, look at the waterproof pencils in a vast array of colors. Awesome products, they stay. And stay. Fluidline is good, but just the brush upkeep is a lot for neophytes to a MAC Store. I actually use RapidBlack, the felt tip pen liner and really like it. But I’m also shopping eye jobs and have those sags to work with.
Now you can get copies of MAC colors anywhere; I dare you to find me an Urban Decay anything MAC didn’t have first and better and CHEAPER! But no lipstick compares to the real thing from MAC so get a Viva Glam in the color that suits you. You will use up every speck of it- every body needs a Go-To.

$33 to go; every brush MAC has can be duped exactly at Michaels Crafts in the Loew Cornell water color section, (except the white goat angle blush brush and duo fibers but that’s down the line) but the 139 is the absolute basic starter brush for shadow application. I recommend you blow the cash on DazzleGlass though. There’s a reason people’s eyes glaze over even speaking of it. You can run in it, sleep, swim, go out in it, so try the legend for yourself. “Up The Amps” or “Rags To Riches” are good ones, but buy what you fall in love with. This should be fun, and you should test drive a toy.

If you bought the brush, you’re done. The DazzleGlass? Pick out the shadow color you adore. Go with your gut. It knows the one that will look amazing on you. Just one is in the budget, but you’ll see why MAC is universally admired as the benchmark in cosmetics. I suggest you avoid matte finishes though- harder to work with for beginners. Pearls and frosts lay down like silk velvet. Amazing stuff.

Every one will have a different list for you, so go look around the web site at possibilities. The stores can be overwhelming.

I sold Lancome in the Early Eighties- a decade before MAC was even a gleam in it’s daddy’s eyes. Then Lauder, then a creative job in advertising requiring me to dress to impress as a kooky kreative fashion forward type. My opinions come from decades either behind the counter or strutting Lauder Sequin lipstick- I have a few chops. And a BFA/ MFA in Painting, a BA in Media, an asst. Proffessorship in an un named but well known Southern School of Art which gives me opinions on brushes and where to start with them… It’s called Painting Your Face, lol.

One of the things I love most about this site is that Marlena gives her OPINION, and people respond with gratitude, thanks, and curiosity Its an extremely friendly site and super informative and helpful to some of us, and also very inspiring due to her delivery of information, tutorials, and personal success in weightloss and self esteem. Once in a while a bully will pop in and comment and Ms. Class Act Marlena will not respond to a meanspirited comment toward her OPINION. SO, if you don’t mind, Marlena, allow me. MUGS are not here to read rants ( is that what Im doing now?) but to seek out the guide to beauty that this offers. We get it. MAC is great. I’m not a pro, but if I were, I wouldnt be on this site undermining someones OPINION, I’d be on my own site teaching any one who sought my expertise. SO, Cheif Lancome From The Early 80’s, press on with your day, and we will continue to seek good energy and a positive OPINION from Mrs.Class Act Marlena. :)

I was thinking the same thing….. thanks Mariposa for saying what i was thinking! Anyhow, I LOVE this website and respect and value Marlena’s opinion. I have not yet been disappointed with any of her recommendations :) Thanks Marlena, for sharing your opinion and knowledge with us all.

Mariposa you rock!! I was thinking the exact same thing. And cudos for articulating your retaliation in a very classy way. LOL

PS In response to Lizzy, I must add that to say Fix+ is nothing more than an overpriced bottle of mineral water is a travesty. I’ve used similar products as Fix+ and NEVER have I found something as versatile or that works as well for it’s pupose! Definitely on my $100 list!! :)

I agree with Mariposa response to Chief Lancome of the Early 80’s…this is Marlena’s opinion of what SHE would purchase with 100 bucks at MAC – SHE-WOULD-PURCHASE!!! Yes, everyone would have a different list – I certainly do but this post was not about that! RESPECT

Now, on to my own response to your list! I too bought the fix + spray due to your suggestion, and I love it. I tried mac lip & eyeliner pencils before and they turned me off instantly because they were very hard and dry, I think I may have even gone old school and burned the tip to get a better line, LOL! ( as the mac gustapos of the world faint). I loved the lip glass until about 5 years ago I discovered Wet n Wild’s Glassy Gloss in Clear, for 2bucks its the same, and I thought the formula was better,…. try it puleeze! Today I bought the makeup setting spray from Urban decay for $30 and I’m bummed because my shadow creased and my blush lost its glow:(. I’ll try it again but could you perhaps give me a tip on how to use it? Thanks for this list, but I blew the family fortune today at ulta on some new stuff I wanted to try, but you are all around the BEST at giving the info I seek on makeup. Happy Sunday!

I bought the Urban Decay spray as well- It was a HUGE rip off! I torn between trying the Model in a Bottle and the Fix+ spray…

RS, if you happen to look at this again, I purchased the fix+ , and MODEL IN A BOTTLE, I couldnt resist. The fix+ is just super nice, Really enhances the finished look. For $17 I’ll buy it again and again. The Model in a bottle is only a few bucks more, but a little less in the bottle. It doesnt spray as evenly, its very scented, but BOY does it work for staying power. I continue to use the Urban Decay Allnighter spray on days that my makeup isnt so serious, glamorous, or necessary. I’m still not sure if its doing anything favorable, so needless to say I’ll never buy it again. I love the other UD products I have. Maybe Marlena can do a color swatch test using all 3 and see what we end up with at the end of the day?

Hi Marlena!!!

Thank you so much for your advice. I bought the Fix + spray and the brushes long time ago when I started watching your tutorials and they work really well. even my sisters bought the same and liked it very much. I will definitely go to MAC counter and swatch the eyeshadows you recommend. you never let me down before and I’m sure I will them too. I also want to check out NAR sheer glow foundation. I heard about its magic before and you came now to confirm it!!!!!
love you girl. you’re so sweet and your advices and recommendations are the best :)

Marlena, wishing you the calmest emotions when dealing with other people´s jelousy :D :D
It is sad fact, that successful poeple are attact by those not-self-confident jelous ones :x :x
My best wishes :D :D :D :D

Thank you Marlena!

As always great advice and guidance.
Because of your tutorials, I already have many of these items and love them. I have yet to try those two eyeshadows but now I might go and check them out to see how they look on me.

Keep it coming, your readers are always happy to see your new articles and posts!


Sorry LIZZY,

If I wanted opinions from you, I would go to YOUR website. But I’m not. I have been following Marlena’s advice for a couple of years now and because of her I have improved on my makeup techniques. I find her to be classy, down to earth, and honest. I look forward to seeing her tutorials, reviews, and other advice that she wants to graciously pass along to us. Marlena has never bragged about herself and I believe that is the key to her success. She knows who she is and you either like her or you don’t (But if you don’t like her, I think that you’re a little nuts yourself).
Thank you for all that you have done Marlena!

No paint pots… I’m shocked you seem all about them :)

I really like your choice of eyeshadows, I think I might pick one of those up. After going through a few different drug store tries to get the right liquid eyeliner, and being disappointed, I think I’m going to get the blacktrack.

Marlena, you’re the best. I love lists like this… keep up the great work :)

For all of those wondering, it is 14 dollars retail for the non-refill eyeshadow….I agree that these are some of the top MAC products out there!!! Thanks for the review Marlena!

Hola! Yo tambien soy de Argentina!

No se si vas a encontrar una tienda MAC en Cordoba, pero por ahi si tenes algun amigo/a que viaje a capital, te pueden hacer la gauchada? :D

La linea MAC es genial, aunque bastaaaaante cara. Casi todo lo que dice Marlena lo podes conseguir con duplicas bastante buenas en la tienda de esta pagina; lo que no vi en ningun lado aca en Argentina es la Primer Potion o una paleta de eyeshadows neutros, o la Naked Palette que venden en el store. Probablemente me pida esas dos de la tienda de aca.
Asi que por ahi podes fijarte ahi con las alternativas que da Marlena. Hay un monton de NYX. Ni te gastes en tratar de pedir en Amazon, no mandan estos productos a la Argentina. Y si pedis en la tienda de esta pagina, fijate de que el envio no sea el mas barato… porque justamente, si no tiene un tracking device, entonces probablemente se empiecen a maquillar las esposas de los del correo. haha :P

Que bueno encontrar gente de Argentina :)

And sorry this is in spanish, I’m from Argentina also and i’m trying to help her in our native language.

jaja si, somos varias… pediste por internet aca? enviaron bien? xq sinceramente tengo miedo de que no me llegue nada…

Estoy en eso. Cuando llegue te comento :D
Igual, pedi bastantes cosas por internet. Lo unico que hay que tener en cuenta es que tenga tracking device y que este asegurado. De esa forma los del correo no pueden hacer nada mas que su trabajo haha.

This type of article was really interesting and a fun idea! I would love to see more like this one in the future.

Ciao xoxo

i would almost do that i wouldnt get the eye gel as iam hooked on wet/wild i would get a base for my eyes and to replace the first e/s i would get ricepaper instead. :)

I agree with Lisa M. I would LOVE to see more lists like this. It’s so interesting to me and I would love to see what suggestions you have for other lines too. Thanks for the great info!

Hey Marlena! Thank you for this list. Being a Black woman, it can be challenging finding the right colors to use. Because of your website, not only have I gained insight on colors to use, but the techniques to blend the colors without looking crazy! I’ve been following your website for almost two years now, and I’m going to continue supporting you. Thank you for your advice, and giving us your true self. Also, congrats on the weight loss Skinny Minny!!!

P.S. I’ve changed some things in my life, and I’ve lost over 30 lbs so far!!! Thanks for being an inspiration! Love ya bunches!!!

Oh yeah! I love Amber Lights eyeshadow. Amber Lights and Cork were the first two eyeshadows when I first went to MAC in ’03. Thanks again, Marlena!

Dear Godess Marlena.
Love to realise I have them all !!
MAC-addicted because of you too. Been a fan for 2years now. I spend much money in MAC, I have the 120 manly palette from ebay and the neutral too. Everytime i go back home after a MAC trip my boyfriend doesn’t even dare to ask how much I spent, because I never succed to stay under 100€. I went back from holidays and rush to your site (and the MAC one) to check out new stuff. And i absolutely love the Dare To Wear collection, i’m gonna have to head to Paris, just half an hour by car, to get some of it.
My girls call me Barbie cause I always wear crazy make up and konw many ythings about make up and nail art and hair care.
Thank you for making be a better looking girl.
muuuuuch love from France.

I have an entire set of MAC brushes – they are the BEST! I got many of them by getting the holiday specials where they package 4 or 5 brushes, admittedly with shorter handles, for about $50 or $60. These are always on sale aroud Christmastime, and they are totally worth it! Oh, and I swear by Fix+ and Fluidline and Studio Fix is my 1st choice for foundation. Yes, MAC costs more, but I have found it is worth it. The quality is higher than drugstore brands, the colors are more intense or vivid, and it lasts longer because you don’t need as much to get good results. Thanks!

Hi! I believe in investing in good make-up brushes. What I do is purchase the brush sets MAC has. This brush sets are usually available during the Christmas season or I find them when I travel. They cost over a $100 us but you can get 4-5 pieces which would last you a good 2 years.

Hello Marlena.
Greetings from Denmark.
First of all I have to say, that you are amazing and you are an amazing teacher!
I am a huge fan and love love LOVE your works.
Thanks to you one of my new rutines is the video where you explains your day makeup rutines. I have doing for some time know and it is fantastic!
I can’t live with out MAC makeup (I really want to try Urban decay primer potion and the naked eyeshadows edition and the NARS cosmetics, but unfortunatly it is not sold in Denmark yet, so the best for me now is MAC.. :-)) but especially Matte creme, fix+ spray, and of course the brushes 217, 224,168 and the newest to my collection 239.
I really just want to tell you that your vidoes and articles are appreciatet all around the world, and thanks to you you are making it easier and more fun to do my makeup rutines and I’m not so afraid of colors and try something new.
So thank you so much for your site you make it easier for me to choose my favorites in the makeup jungle.. ;-)
Love the danish MUG fan

I love your website, tutorials, opinion pieces,etc. I wish I had an extra $100 to spend on MAC products. I love this makeup, and am finding that it’s the only makeup for me. I would spend my money on their brushes. I wish I had all of them, but I only have 2 right now. I am planning on purchasing more. Thanks for having such a great website. I love Makeupgeek.com!


Love your make up tips Marlena, you are really great in what you do.

I live in Norway, but I really like to get hold of this mac fix spray, any suggetions on what shop online i can buy it from? anyone?

I am completely SOLD on the MAC paint pots! I bought “Rubenesque” to do the “Sexy Blue Eyes” look for my wedding day and I fell in love! It’s my personal favorite as far as color because I’m a peach-y kind of girl (the joy of being pale:)) but it has made for an excellent primer. I used it on my honeymoon in Antigua and it didn’t even come off in the water! Saltwater, might I add :) Again, that’s just my personal preference but it is, HANDS DOWN, one of the best cream shadows I’ve tried.

Keep up the beautiful work Marlena!

hi: i have just come across this great website of yours. i just need some help with make up ,well my skin is very dry and has dark spots over my nose and under lower lip area .i have been using mac makeup but i guess i am not getting the right shade or something . my skin just looks dry .i have indian skin tone.medium to sand skin type to say
please help

I totally agree with the fix plus. I loooooooove that stuff. It’s so invigorating and really sets my makeup. I think that I would stock up on eye shadows and blushes, considering that I think you can never have enough!

- instead of the Amber Lights eyeshadow, i would have definitely recommended a paint pot as a sub. for a eyeshadow base, like Painterly or one suitable for the skin tone, other than that, great list [=

hi i am from lebanon in my country single m.a.c eyeshadow cost 26$ and the pigment cost 60 $ and the 217 eye brushe cost 80 $ :D:D:D

I’ve never purchased any products from MAC before, and I’ve windowshopped on their website for several months now.

All prices in CAD

Fix+ Spray – $22.50
Beige-ing Shadestick – $20.00
Strobe Liquid – $38.00
Delft Paintpot – $20.00

Grand total: $100.50 (I think I can manage with the 50 cent overage.)