The Best MAC Lip Liners for Desi’s – Review & Swatches

Lip pencils can be used alone, under or on top of lip colors for shaping, lining and color.  You can use a lip liner to help your lipstick last longer, to adjust the colour of your lipstick and to make your lips appear a bit bigger or smaller. Lip liners are a must and lipstick doesn’t look the same without them.

This is a continuation of my post: The BEST MAC Lipsticks for Desi’s as many of you asked which lip liners are the best and suit Desi skin tones well.  You don’t need a different or even an exact match to every lipstick you own. Get one or two from every color category and it’s enough for an entire lipstick collection.  To give you an idea on how each of the colors look, find a swatch below and I’ve also worn filled each color onto my lips without any base or anything on top.  If you follow MAC numbering system I’m an NC25.




Cherry is a classic blue based red lip liner. Think classic Desi bridal bright red lips – this is that color.  It’s good for lipsticks from MAC like Russian Red and Ruby Woo.


Brick is an intense golden red.  Think of an actual brick red color.  This color works will with not in your face reds that look good on desi’s like Chili and Viva Glam III.  You can also wear this pencil with other cool tone reds if you want to warm them up to suit your skin tone better.


Beet is a beauuuutiful reddish pink lip pencil.  It’s nice to use with any red lipstick when you want to tone it down.  I like using it as a base with Russian Red or Ruby Woo, creates a beautiful shade of red that’s not so in your face but still prominent.  It also works well to darken up my brighter purple lipsticks if I want to change them up a little bit.



Strip Down

Is described as creamy Brown Beige and I’d say that’s a correct description of the color.  It’s a good nude lip pencil for NC20-Nc35 skin tones.  It’s a brown beige that works well with Desi nude lipsticks.  I like it because its not overly brown which can look harsh on light skin Desi’s. It’s a taupey brown that works well with colors like Velvet Teddy, Yash, Honey Love and Cherish.


Spice is probably the DESI lip liner of the century!  Our mom’s have worn this color it’s so classic and by-the-way back in trend these days. I heard that it’s one of the top luxury selling lip liners in the world! And I can see why, Spice is an awesome natural lip liner for desi girls who naturally have slightly darker lips OR if you’re a NC35-NC42 skin tone. It’s described as Pink Cinnamon Stick, which again is exactly the color.  Kylie Jenner lipsticks are a huge trend these days, so if your NC20-Nc35  you can also wear this lip pencil if you want a slightly darker or rose brown lip liner with your nude lipstick.  A good classic to have in any Desi girl’s lip liner collection.


Whirl is a mix between Strip Down & Spice.  It’s described as Dirty Rose which is like a brown rose color.  Nude lip liners need to be perfect otherwise it ruins the lip color, so if Strip Down or Spice don’t work for you then Whirl will.  I actually use whirl with pink lipsticks as well as nudes.  A good one! I like it with MAC colors like Kinda Sexy, Please me, Velvet Teddy and Hug Me.




Soar is my favorite lip pencil from MAC, it’s a great color for those everyday natural pink lip colors we love to wear.  It’s the type of color you can wear with lots of different pink tones.  I love to pair Soar with colors from MAC like Mehr, Faux, Brave and Please me.  Pretty much any pink that us Desi girls would wear Soar works with it.  A must have.

Process Magenta

Process Magenta is Chromagraphic pencil which is a multi-use pencil that can also be used on the lips.  It’s not available at all MAC locations only MAC Pro stores but it’s on this list because it’s the perfect bright pink lip pencil for Desi skin tones.  Colors like Girl About Town, All Fired Up, Show Orchid and Pink Pigeon are perfect with this pencil.  Hot pink lipstick – Process Magenta is a the liner for you.

Hip N’ Happy

Is a good light pink pencil for MAC lipsticks Snob, Pink Plaid and Angel.  I’d recommend it for Nc15-Nc25 skin tones.



Plum is another Desi classic lip pencil which has been around for ages.  It’s a redish plum which works well on Desi skin tones. A huge mistake I see Desi women do is using plum lip liners with dark skin. There’s something about purple with dark skin that doesn’t look right.  It makes the entire complexion look dark, so if your NC40+ don’t use this one.   If your a lighter skin tone like NC25-Nc35 Plum is a nice lip pencil to wear with your vampy lip shades without going overly dark.  It’s okay to go dark with the lip color but if you go overly dark with the lip liner it can look too much on light skin.  So choose this one.


Though the name is Half-Red this color is described as a Soft Burgundy.  To me it looks like a redish plum, it’s like a few shades lighter then the Plum lip pencil.  I discovered this lip pencil when I used to work for MAC, I got to see first hand how well it works on Desis! Like I mentioned you need in-between colors for your lip pencil collection so they can work with all your lipsticks. This one works well with plums, reds and certain pinks.  Works well with colors like Diva if you want to tone it down.  Berry colors like Craving and Captive and Reds like Russian Red.  Check this one out!


Magenta is a Purplish Pink which you can use with hot pink lipsticks, berries if you want to brighten them up and purplish pink shades like Flat Out Fabulous, Rebel and Up the Amp from MAC.


Currant is an Intense Redish Purple.  It’s the perfect tone for vampy lip shades like Diva, Smoked Purple, Sin and Cyber. You can also wear this with burgundy shades and deep plum reds. If you like to go dark dark on the lips Currant’s a good liner to have.


Lasting Sensation

If you like to wear Orange Lasting Sensation is the pencil you need.  Works well with MAC lipstick Lady Danger and Ravishing.


Which lip pencils do you love most from MAC? Comment Below

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Nilo Haq
Tagged as one of the five women to have shaped the beauty industry in the Middle East, Nilo is a pro makeup artist with stints at MAC Cosmetics, Toni&Guy, & Alexander Zouari Paris. Nilo Haq is the founder of iGlow Studios, Snobby Face lashes and creator of the first ever Online Makeup Course made for South Asian women. Nilo is now based in Toronto and is a sought-after bridal makeup artist who runs makeup workshops across three continents.

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