A universal lipstick with the Lipstick Bandits | MAC Viva Glam V review, photos, swatches

The product: MAC Viva Glam V Lipstick (Lustre)

The purpose: One thing that I love (absolutely love) is seeing how the same shade will translate onto different skintones. Luckily for me, my friends are just as crazy.

For the April round of the Lipstick Bandits, we all bought the same tube of lipstick: MAC’s Viva Glam V. I believe it was Tracy who suggested the shade, and if you ask me, it’s absolutely perfect. Viva Glam V is one of those great MLBB shades that wears well on almost everyone, and today, you’ll get to see how it wears on twelve different skintones. 

(Can you tell that I’m excited? I’m really bloody excited.)

Both images above: Viva Glam V, in slightly different lighting. (Isn’t it a weirdo?)

The cherry on top is that MAC’s Viva Glam line donates 100% of the purchase price to the MAC Aids Fund, which is pretty much as good as it gets, as far as charitable products go. Most companies will donate a dollar or two per tube, and more often than not, there’s a cap on how much they’ll donate overall.

So, without further adieu, I bring you MAC Viva Glam V!

The formula: Unfortunately, I’m not much of a fan of MAC’s Lustre formula. Like Desire (a gorgeous creme-finish burgundy, and my autumn Lipstick Bandits choice), I find VG V to be a bit okay, more than a bit shoddy in the moisture department. It’s more comfortable than a cheap matte, of course, but I find my lips are begging for moisture by the time this wears off.

As always, the MAC lipstick formula is paraben-free and scented solely with vanillin.

Bare lips

MAC Viva Glam V lip swatch

The shade: Viva Glam V is an interesting shade, though. Based on how it looks in the tube, I had expected a more dense colour, and with more brown tones in it. When swatched, though (whether on my lips or just the back of my hand), it’s unexpectedly pink – sort of a neutral-rose, rather than a lightly pinked brown.

In line with many of MAC’s other Lustre shades, Viva Glam V is sheer with quite a bit of shimmer. I find it rather unforgiving on my dry, too-wrinkly-for-their-age lips, but you’ll have to check in with the other Bandits for the final judgement on that one! (I’m excessively picky. Y’know, in case you hadn’t noticed.)

MAC Viva Glam V swatch – heavily, then lightly.

Wearing VG V – it’s quite a natural-looking shade!

The verdict?

Okay, so I’m not thrilled with Viva Glam V on its own. I’m excited to see the shade on the rest of the Bandits, though, and I know a number of them are crazy about it!

If your lips aren’t too dry, and you’re looking for a neutral rose with a bit of shimmer, I’d give this one a go. There isn’t a better lipstick to put your money toward than the Viva Glam line, so I’d definitely say they’re worth checking out on the whole! Give the lustres a skip if you have lips as dry as mine, though, and beware of this particular shade if you’re not a huge fan of shimmery lipsticks.

A few links: Karla has the permanent Viva Glam lipsticks swatched here, as well as swatches of the current LE Viva Glam products (Nicki and Ricky) here; Bluebell’s Beauty Blog has lip swatches of the first five Viva Glam shades here; and finally, The Shades of U has the permanent VG lipsticks swatched on a darker skintone here.

And now, the good stuff! See Viva Glam V on the rest of the Lipstick Bandits:

Hope you enjoy the posts! I can’t wait to see this one on everyone else ;o)

A few last (packaging) shots

MAC Viva Glam V (Lustre) Lipstick – ingredients

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  • It looks great on you – it really is your MLBB shade! I'd get this lippie but I feel like I have too many similar shades. I wish I would've gotten this one however since all the profits go to charity!
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    • Thanks, Annie! Maybe give this one a try if/when you finish up some of those other lipsticks?

  • Wow, it's so natural and polished! I've yet to own any mac lipsticks and when I do get one I think I'd like something like this, easy to wear and versatile! :)
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    • Yeah, it's a great shade to go with if you're looking for versatile & easy to wear! :)

  • What a fun idea! I love it :). It looks so nice and polished on you :).
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  • the post on leather jackets went away, but as a vegan I say go with the faux leather! You'll feel better about your purchase!
    And I think you may like this Express faux leather jacket:

    • Yes it did – sorry! I had intended to schedule it for later this week, but hit the wrong button >.<

      I do actually like that Express jacket (surprising, because I'm typically quite picky), but I don't think we get the line here :(

  • What a great idea for a post like this for one lipstick! Sometimes its hard to judge when the lipstick is swatched on only one skintone! I have been toying with the idea of buying Viva Glam V for a couple weeks now. I was scared that it would be to brown as well, but looks like its not all that brown after all!
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    • Nope, not even a bit! I was so surprised at how pink it swatches – I think it's due to the sheer pigments + large amount of (lighter) gold shimmer.

      Either way, it's quite pretty! ^.^

  • It is pretty on you! Now, I have to agree that I found it a bit drying on me, too, but then I think I find most Mac lipsticks drying and it doesn't stop me from wearing LOTS of them, haha!

    • Thanks, lovely! And oh my god, I know what you mean. It's just like – I know this lipstick is going to annoy the heck out of me, but I completely want it anyways! >.<

  • This post has been so much fun! It looks different on everyone! I have really dry, picky lips, too, but this particular lustre isn't as bad as some of the others, I feel. But then, I don't find the cremesheens and lustres as drying as everyone else seems too, even though I find some much-touted "moisturizing" lipsticks REALLY drying. My lips are…rebellious. ._.
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    • It has! And I haven't even seen it on everyone else yet – got a really late start to the day. :(

      Your lips *are* quite rebellious, Larie :p I find that if I layer this with Bobbi Brown's lip balm (my HG for a lip balm + base), it's surprisingly OK. *\o/*

  • mostlysunnybunny

    Wow, for you it's really barely there! Very sweet and natural :) I can expect a huge surge in the sales of this lipstick after today hehe
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  • Pretty Rae!

    I, too, was not thrilled with VGV. But I find layering it sheerly on top of lip balm makes it look much better on me :).
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    • Thanks, Dani! :) I'm wearing it over Bobbi Brown Lip Balm SPF 15 today – surprisingly comfortable. I swear, that balm can fix anything! /flails

  • I love this on you! :) Gorgeous, as always! I was so excited to see how this would look on all of us too!

  • You think it's drying??? :P It is so moisturizing for me. LOL oh how I love everyone's opinions on this lipstick, and even better… how it goes from brown to mauve to rose to pink depending on who wears it. Looks fantastic on you, Rae!
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    • LOL! Yes to all of the above :D I love seeing the same shade + formula on everyone, even if you lovely ladies can wear it better (not to mention, more comfortably) than I :p

  • I think it's a lovely shade on you Rae! It pulls pinker for sure, and I like that on you!
    I don't notice the sparkles so much in VG5-I just love the shade.
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    • Aww, thanks hon! I really notice the sparkles on me, but maybe it's just my lips. (Or my weird, finicky brain.) I do really like the shade, though – it would definitely be a HG MLBB contender if not for the formula and shimmer!

      (Which, in retrospect, changes quite a lot of this lipstick. Maybe I should stop talking before I completely burry myself in this hole :p)

  • I'm not sure what you're talking about when you mention wrinkly lips… I find it looks great on you!
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    • Haha, thank you! Idk, I'm convinced my lips (most lips, to be frank) are weird and wrinkly if you look at them too long.

      /crazy Rae

  • i might invest in some more viva glam as its all for good cause in both parts lol

  • naomihing

    Thought it would appear more brown like it looks in the tube!
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  • I loved your introduction! I was eagerly awaiting all of these posts myself this morning, it's such fun to see how much of a chameleon it is on different skin tones.

    Though I think this is among the better Lustre finish lippies from MAC, it's still a bit drying so I know what you mean.
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    • Yeah, I definitely find it more hydrating than Desire. Still not perfect, though!

      (Also, just for the record – I loved VG V on you. Super pretty!)

  • Gosh Rae, its literally your lips but better! I thought it would pull deeper on you but as I’ve learnt from this experiment, one can never tell! I had lots of fun with this one :D

    • I know! It was great to see how different it looks on everyone, but I really didn't expect some of the results ;o) It was a lot deeper on you than I had expected, though that made it no less lovely! ♥

  • Booooo, I should probably avoid this lipstick myself. Shimmers are rarely flattering on my lips – I has the wrinkly's too :(
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  • I can hardly see the frostiness of VGV on your lips Rae- it's just sheer pinky goodness. I'm not fond of any kind of frostiness in lippies either, so although I *like* VGV I don't *love* it.

    • Exactly! It's one of those "nice" lipsticks, but it didn't really GRAB me, either.

  • ohh it looks so gorgeous on you! Although the formula is too bad, I have very dry lips too so I'm guessing this formula wouldn't work very well for me.
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  • Amazing discovery LBs. I'm not a fan of dry lip unfriendly formulas but it looks lovely and sheer.
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  • toyarosie

    Interesting. I find this looks nice on you Rae! However, it is very subtle from the photos, so while its nice it's not particularly standout either. Looks like a MLBB to me. I never realized the Lustre formulations were more drying, that's good to know – I'll keep away from them in the future, as I do have drier lips. At least the purchase was for a good cause, even if you don't wear this! :)
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