Ever Wonder Why Mac Label Foundations Are So Confusing?

We have been demystifying the whole process of choosing the right foundation for you and today we are going to tackle MAC foundations on their own. This is because these are labelled slightly differently and can cause the ultimate confusions when you’re at the make up counter.

Mac label their foundations NW or NC. So what does that actually mean and why are they labelled like that?

  • NW: Neutral Warm
  • NC: Neutral Cool

And the meaning behind this is as follows. See, Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo were possibly drunk the day they labelled all their bottles. Ok, no, not really but that might be a good explanation. The real reason they do this is because MAC was designed to be a professional make up brand; it wasn’t created with the high street originally in mind.


It was designed originally for the make up artists to use backstage at fashion weeks and on photo shoots and all good make up artists are trained in colour theory.

So for example if someone had a warm skin tone (yellow) in Mac we would give them NC because it takes three colours to make up a skin tone – if you have a warm tone in your skin already, you need to add cool and neutral to balance it.

So with all other make up brands, you’re choosing the same tone as your skin tone. But with Mac, you are choosing the one the opposite.

Head on over to Beaut.ie to figure out whether your skin tone is yellow, pink or neutral, for once and for all!