MAC Viva Glam Lipsticks (Permanent Colors)

I originally made a big jumble of a Viva Glam post a few years ago, which has these lipsticks in it, but it’s outdated and has pretty inaccurate and lame pictures so I wanted to redo it! Instead of grouping everything together, I’m separating Lipsticks from Lipglasses and from the new Viva Glam Launches. I apologize for these lipsticks being used. They probably look super gross and deformed because they’re wiped onto my palette all the time lol, so ignore that and just look at the color! Even with the way they look, it’s still a better representation of their color than the photos in the previous post.

Viva Glam isn’t just any line of Lipsticks and Lipglasses… It’s what fuels the MAC AIDS Fund, which helps people all over the world who are living with AIDS and HIV. Viva Glam started back in 1994 with Viva Glam I lipstick, which is a classic red, and is my favorite red lipstick of all time! To this day, the MAC AIDS Fund has raised over $315 million (last I heard, anyway)… That’s SO much!

As a former Viva Glam Ambassador and MAC Artist, this cause is really close to my heart. You have no idea how genuinely excited the Artists at MAC get every time they sell a Viva Glam product because they’re truly dedicated to helping people living with AIDS and HIV. I got to help out at a food bank one day when I was volunteering with the other Viva Glam Ambassadors of the LA area… What we did was help pack food a month’s worth of food for people who are affected by this disease… Even I didn’t realize how buying one lipstick can make a difference until I saw the results first hand… So yeah, long story short: Buying one of these lipsticks really does make a big difference in the lives of a lot of people… Thank you to everyone who helps support this cause! For more information about the MAC AIDS Fund, check out http://www.macaidsfund.org

Okay, enough talk… Here are the lipsticks!

Left to Right: I, II, III, IV, V, VI

Left to Right:   I, II, III, IV, V, VI

MAC Lipsticks are high quality and highly pigmented, though the amount of color payoff, coverage, wear time, shine, and shimmer differs between each finish. The Viva Glam line contains all sorts of finishes, so I’ll go into more detail in each individual review. I love that some of my favorite matte lipsticks ever are part of Viva Glam… It’s great because they made these so that anyone can use these and look gorgeous wearing them, no matter what age or skin tone you are!

With any lipstick, I suggest starting off by applying Prep + Prime Lip. This is especially important if you’re wearing a red or dark matte, like Viva Glam I and III, or a nude Satin, like Viva Glam II, since those are the most likely types of finishes and colors to emphasize dry, chapped areas… Prep + Prime Lip is a silicone based primer that contains Vitamin E, so it adds a bit of moisture, locks in that moisture, and smooths out the lip so everything glides on easily and wears longer! I also recommend using a liner before you put on your lipstick; This will help define and shape the lip, as well as keep everything in place and help prevent bleeding/feathering outside the lip line. Keep reading to learn what liners work best with each lipstick!

All of these are permanent colors and are available at any MAC store, counter, or online at www.maccosmetics.com. Each lipsticks sell for $17, with 100% of that sale going directly to the MAC AIDS Fund! Like other MAC lipsticks, these contain 3 g / 0.1 US oz of product and have a subtle vanilla scent but no flavor.

Viva Glam Lipstick Labels

Left to Right:   I, II, III, IV, V, VI

Left to Right: I, II, III, IV, V, VI

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight. Lipsticks swatched on NC15 skin.

Photo taken outdoors in natural sunlight (it was a little bright that day).
Lipsticks swatched on NC15 skin.

Viva Glam I

Viva Glam I

Viva Glam I

Viva Glam I
I know, it looks super gross, but I usually warm this up on my hand and apply it from there with a brush, soooo that explains it lol.

Viva Glam I

Viva Glam I
Photo taken indoors with natural, indirect sunlight.

Viva Glam I:   Viva Glam I is an “intense brownish blue-red” with a Matte finish… It’s a medium-dark, bold, blue based true red with slightly brownish undertones. The blue base will make your teeth look SUPER white, while the brownish undertones will tone this red down a bit, so it makes it easier for anyone to wear day to day. It’s matte too, but not so matte it’s dry, like the Retro Matte finishes. It looks creamy at first and dries down to be more matte about 15 minutes after application.

The texture of this lipstick is very creamy and easy to apply. Color payoff is great and looks just like it does in the tube. Coverage is also wonderful and fully opaque with very little product used. I get between 6 and 7 hours of wear with Viva Glam I, with closer to 7 if I wear a liner.

Liners:   Brick Lip Pencil is a nearly perfect match if you don’t want any color variation between your lipstick and liner. Cherry is lighter and brighter. Redd is lighter, brighter and warmer (more orange/yellow based). Kiss Me Quick Pro Longwear Lip Pencil is also close, but is brighter and lighter. It can be used with Viva Glam I if you want a brighter look and longer wear time, though. You can play around a lot with this lipstick… Liners like Chestnut or Mahogany can be used if you want to bring out the brown undertones. You can also try Currant, Vino, or even Nightmoth if you want a deeper, more vampy, ombre lip.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Viva Glam II

Viva Glam II

Viva Glam II

Viva Glam II

Viva Glam II

Viva Glam II

Viva Glam II:   This lipstick is a “muted pink-beige with shimmer” and has a Satin finish… It’s a light to medium (kinda depends on your own lip pigmentation), cool, beige nude with pink undertones. The shimmer in it is suuuuper tiny and just adds a soft, golden sheen. It’s actually nearly matte, so all the shimmer really does is add some dimension. Despite the fact that it’s a little light, it looks good on nearly all skin tones. It’s easy to play around with this lipstick and alter it with different liners, so you can create a lot of different looks with this kind of nude.

Viva Glam II feels really smooth, as most Satins do, and glides on easily. Color payoff tends to actually look warmer on the lips than it does in the tube, especially if you have naturally very pigmented lips, Coverage is almost (like 90%) opaque, but not completely. I typically get about 6 hours of wear with this lipstick, slightly longer if I wear a liner with it.

Liners:   There are SO many liners you can use with this! If you want something more nude, you can try Subculture or Stripdown. Oak and Stone will work too if you want to cool this color down. For more pink liners, you can use Dervish, Soar, or Whirl. To bring out brown tones or deepen it a little, you can use Chestnut, Cork, even Spice or Hover.

Overall Rating:   4.7 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Viva Glam III

Viva Glam III

Viva Glam III

Viva Glam III

Viva Glam III

Viva Glam III

Viva Glam III:   Viva Glam III is a “muted brownish-plum” with a Matte finish… It’s a dark, subtle brownish plum with a creamy Matte finish which starts out with a soft sheen, then soon dries down to a true matte. This is one of my personal favorite lipsticks, especially because I’m a sucker for a dark, matte lip. The best thing is that you can dab this on lightly for a stained look, or you can apply it like usual for a a beautiful plummy lip. The brownish undertones warm up the color and make it more wearable, so pretty much anyone can rock this lipstick!

For a Matte, it feels extremely creamy and applies very evenly. Color payoff looks just like it does in the tube, maybe warmer on some people, depending on your skin tone. Coverage is completely opaque. Wear time is about 6 hours without a liner and closer to 7 with one.

Liners:   To bring out the more plum tones of this lipstick, I suggest the Lip Pencils Plum, Half-Red, even Currant, Vino, or as deep as Nightmoth (my personal favorite dark lip of all time btw). If you’d like to play up more of the brown tones, try Chestnut or Mahogany. Burgundy also works and will warm up this lipstick and add some more red tones.

Overall Rating:   4.8 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  5

Color Payoff:   5

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Viva Glam IV

Viva Glam IV

Viva Glam IV

Viva Glam IV

Viva Glam IV

Viva Glam IV

Viva Glam IV:   This is a “mid-tone rose with gold pearl” with a Frost finish… It’s a medium, warm toned rosy pink with some berry-ish undertones and a beautiful golden pearly sheen. This is one of those “your lips but better and shinier” kind of lipsticks, so it’s universally flattering on absolutely everyone!

For a Frost lipstick, Viva Glam IV feels pretty smooth and applies easily without the dry drag that some Frosts can give. Color payoff is a little lighter and brighter than it is in the tube, but I like that. It definitely looks bolder and more pink the more pigmented your own lips are. Coverage is about 75% opaque, which is to be expected with this finish of lipstick. I get about 4 and 1/2 hours of wear with no liner, and just over 5 with one.

Liners:   For a more pinky liner, you can use Soar… It’s lighter and pinker, but blends in easily. Half-Red is also a great more reddish/pink/plum liner to use with this lipstick. Beet is just slightly deeper than Viva Glam IV, but very similar. Burgundy will also work if you want a more ombre look.

Overall Rating:   4.3 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  4

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   3

Packaging:   5

Viva Glam V

Viva Glam V

Viva Glam V

Viva Glam V

Viva Glam V

Viva Glam V

Viva Glam V:   Viva Glam V is a “neutral pink with pearl” and has a Lustre finish… It’s a medium pink with mostly neutral undertones, although the golden pearly sheen warms it up a bit. It looks amazing on everyone, and it, again, one of those type of “your lips but better” lipsticks… Since it’s not super pigmented, you don’t even have to use a liner with this if you’re just quickly applying something for shine and a little color. I honestly keep one of these in my purse, one at home, and one in my car at all times (on top of the one in my kit). Even if I just put on a little mascara, blush, and this, I feel like I’m put together and look polished. It really is the perfect lipstick for everyone!

This lipstick is pretty smooth, though it’s a bit drier than most other lipsticks in this post, but that’s typical with a lot of Lustres. Still, it applied well. Color payoff is great, especially for a Lustre, but because it’s so similar to lip color, it’s not a super obvious lipstick to begin with, so you won’t be like “OH SNAP that lipstick is poppin'” (Let’s just go ahead and pretend I never said “poppin'”). Coverage is good, though it’s semi-sheer but again, that’s the usual for a Lustre finish. Wear time is just over 4 hours without a liner and closer to 5 with one.

Liners:   Pretty much any nude to pink liner will work with Viva Glam V… A few I like are Subculture, Dervish, Soar, and Half-Red when I want more contrast. You can honestly play around with anything that’s not super dark and it’ll turn out looking great!

Overall Rating:   4.3 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  3

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

Viva Glam VI

Viva Glam VI

Viva Glam VI

Viva Glam VI

Viva Glam VI

Viva Glam VI

Viva Glam VI:   This lipstick is a “terracotta-plum with pearl” and has a Lustre finish… It’s a medium, warm, rosy plum with terracotta brownish undertones and a golden sheen… It’s kind of like the darker version of Viva Glam V, so if you find that one to be too light or pink, you can always try Viva Glam VI instead!

Viva Glam VI felt very smooth, though not quite creamy. Color payoff isn’t as intense on the lips as it is in the tube, but how bright it is also depends on how pigmented your lips naturally are since it’s not opaque… Speaking of coverage, this is obviously semi-sheer, just like Viva Glam V, but that’s not a bad thing! I like the fact that this kind of enhances your natural lip color without totally altering it. Wear time was about 4 hours without wearing a liner, and just over 5 with a liner applied first.

Liners:   Any warm pink or plum, or even some browns will work well with Viva Glam V… I like Dervish, Half-Red, Plum, and Spice the best, but you can play around with many others too!

Overall Rating:   4.3 / 5

Application:   5

Coverage:  3

Color Payoff:   4

Texture:   5

Wear Time:   4

Packaging:   5

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3 comments
  1. The Sartorial Coquette said:

    amazing post! these are great reviews 🙂 my favorite here is Viva Glam VI! they’re all beautiful though and you have an amazing collection! ❤
    Viva Glam VI:

  2. Angel said:

    Your reviews are the bomb! I own all of these but you have helped me so much trying to figure out what liner to use with IV, V and VI. I own a lot of MAC liners but sometimes the jumble in the liner cup is overwhelming. I think when all else fails, Half-Red is your friend. I didn’t know what to do with this liner for a while but it has suddenly become my go to liner. Thanks again for the super detailed reviews. These are my favorite to read and I appreciate the time you take to do them. Cheers!

  3. Sam said:

    Everything I needed to know on 1 page!
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge, super helpful 🙂

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