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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  • Reply Annie

    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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    April 2, 2012 at 6:20 AM
  • Reply sharlynn

    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! :)
    My recent post Food: #1 March 2012 Chicken sandwich & salad and take out bits!

    April 2, 2012 at 6:23 AM
  • Reply bellachique

    What a fun idea! I love it :). It looks so nice and polished on you :).
    My recent post Revlon Coral Reef

    April 2, 2012 at 6:55 AM
  • Reply Sarah

    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:

    April 2, 2012 at 7:01 AM
  • Reply Courtnee

    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!
    My recent post Mac Lipstick – Fanfare

    April 2, 2012 at 7:05 AM
  • Reply Musing On Beauty

    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!

    April 2, 2012 at 7:43 AM
  • Reply Larie

    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. ._.
    My recent post All For One and One For All!

    April 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM
  • Reply 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
    My recent post Sneak Preview: Givenchy Summer 2012 Collection (Probably the FIRST Batch of Swatches You’ll See!!!)

    April 2, 2012 at 9:25 AM
  • Reply dani@callitbeauty

    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 :).
    My recent post All For One & One For All – The Lipstick Bandits' Universal Lipstick

    April 2, 2012 at 9:42 AM
  • Reply @BloominBeauty5

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

    April 2, 2012 at 9:44 AM
  • Reply Arianne

    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!
    My recent post Lipstick Bandits: MAC Viva Glam V Looks Good On All Of Us, And Here’s Proof.

    April 2, 2012 at 9:50 AM
  • Reply Beauty Reflections

    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.
    My recent post Lipstick Bandit Universal Lipstick Experiment

    April 2, 2012 at 10:23 AM
  • Reply Rocaille

    I'm not sure what you're talking about when you mention wrinkly lips… I find it looks great on you!
    My recent post Lipstick Bandits: Universally Nude

    April 2, 2012 at 11:00 AM
  • Reply stephanie

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

    April 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM
  • Reply naomihing

    Thought it would appear more brown like it looks in the tube!
    My recent post Feel the Summer Breeze, a NYX Matte Lipstick

    April 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM
  • Reply Jessica

    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.
    ♥ Jessica
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    April 2, 2012 at 4:45 PM
  • Reply Paris B

    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

    April 2, 2012 at 8:26 PM
  • Reply Makeup Kismet

    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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    April 3, 2012 at 12:33 AM
  • Reply Jen W

    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.

    April 4, 2012 at 2:52 AM
  • Reply Makeup Morsels

    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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    April 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM
  • Reply Eden-Avalon

    Amazing discovery LBs. I'm not a fan of dry lip unfriendly formulas but it looks lovely and sheer.
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    April 6, 2012 at 11:03 PM
  • Reply 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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    April 15, 2012 at 4:52 PM
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