If you are new to this world of makeup, you might not be acquainted with those terms and numbers MAC uses to describe our skin tone. For example I am NC35 in MAC foundation and use NW 35 for a concealer. Today I am going to decode these codes that MAC follows and make it a little simpler for you. 🙂
Basically MAC has used the initials of skin undertones to denote the shades. Some people have Neutral / mixed undertones, some have Cool / pink undertones and some have Warm/ yellow undertones.
So this is what we got here.
Go on. mix the undertones in all possible permutation and combination and you get the shades. depending on what range of foundation you are checking you will find these 4 types of combinations, except for few like the Match Master variant where the foundation comes with numbers, from 1(Lightest) to 10 (Darkest). 🙂
Now you will tell me I am not pink-y fair so why am I using NC on my face and why is that concealer a NW. 😛 I am going to tell you exactly how I understood the concept when I was new to MAC. The rule is to use the shade that balances our undertone. For example if you have strong cool undertones, your foundation has to have W in it to balance out the pink. Or if it gets too confusing just get it in your mind to go for the opposite of your undertone when it comes to MAC shades.
As Indians, most of us have warm undertones so you will see a lot of NC around if you ask for our shade. 🙂
Found the above picture from thenotice.net and included it in the post to make you understand the shades better. As you can see. NW looks pink, so apt for cool undertones.
NC is a little more yellow in comparison. Apt for olive, gold, warm complexion like us.
C is the yellowest, apt for people with strong yellow undertones.
In short If you are Indian and not pink-y fair then opt for the NC shades. As far as the numbers are concerned the medium Indian wheatish complexion usually gets a match with NC 40. If you are fairer, then you can go down for 37, 35 or 30. If you are darker then move forward to 42, 43… I hope you got the drift. 🙂 The smaller the number is the fairer you are and vice versa.
When it comes to concealers it depends totally on your requirement. If it is for imperfections on face, go for the NC range and try shades around your foundation shade. If it is for the under eyes and dark circles, then it depends on the intensity of it. The under eye area usually is darker than rest of the face. So try one shade that is one or two shades dark than your foundation shade. But if it looks ashy or weird in any way that means you have to opt for the opposite undertone. I tried NC on my eyes but it looked really weird hence I started trying NW shades when NW35 matched me perfectly. 🙂
I hope that cleared all the doubts you had regarding MAC shades in foundation and concealer. 🙂 If you can add something to it then please do so by commenting below. Would love to know your thoughts on it. 🙂