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Lunch » Tags » Cosmetics » Reviews » MAC Multi Purpose Mixing Medium » User review

*TAP TAP TAP* Now CLASS, Pay Attention : MAC Mixing Medium 101

  • Dec 23, 2006
  • by
Pros: gives an extra edge to makeup, excellent, stay put, very helpful

Cons: you have to make sure you get the right mixing medium for the right purpose

The Bottom Line: If you love doing artistic makeup, MAC Mixing Mediums are for you. One of the most freeing tools in makeup, they are a MUST have for unique looks.

As a makeup artist and portrait artist, one thing that had been lacking in my life was the materials to do the creative and artistic things that I longed to do with makeup.

No matter how hard I tried, I just could not get my makeup art to stay on or look like I wanted it to using the products that I had been using.

It was through Epinions that I first became intrigued with the MAC company after having it recommended to me by a local friend on several occasions.

Although I got off to a rocky start with MAC, as I tried to meander my way through their inconsistencies and strange way of doing business at times, eventually I became a devoted customer. I not only use MAC products constantly in my makeup artistry but I also use it in my paintings as well.

In my journey of becoming intimately familiar with the MAC products, I have come to fall in love with a line of products at MAC that are indispensible for the makeup artist- MAC MIXING MEDIUMS.


Although this listing is for a multipurpose mixing medium, I am sad to say that one does not exist- AND IT NEVER HAS. The photo accompanying this category is the same tube that more than one mixing medium comes in, each has a different label on the back to delineate which one it is.

There are many mixing mediums available listed under the MULTIPURPOSE category at MAC pro, and in this review I will tell you about each one with a link so that you can find out about them yourself. This review is for the MIXING MEDIUM- of which there are quite a few types of at MAC.

Mixing medium is a base that you use with different shadows and pigments (a stronger color powder than eyeshadows without the intense filler) to create a paint or other product that is unique to you to apply to the body.


When you do a search on the MAC retail site, you will not find any mixing mediums anymore. You will be referred to the MAC Pro site which will allow you to peruse the products, but you have to call in an order as only MAC professional makeup artists are allowed to order online.

If you are lucky enough to live near one of the few MAC Pro stores, you can also purchase these products there. You do not need to be a Pro card holder to purchase, but you will be required to pay full price (Professional artists get a discount)



First on the list is the FACE AND BODY MIXING MEDIUM.

Here is what MAC says about this product:

"Formula to dilute and mix with M·A·C powder or liquid makeup. Used to create effects from sheer to opaque. Perfect to decorate the face or body. Mix with pigments and powders to create a number of custom shades and colours. It offers sheer, even coverage and long-wearing attributes. Create custom body lotions or use to thin down heavier foundations such as M•A•C Full Coverage Foundation. Use alone to give the skin a satin glow.
50ml bottle/1.7 fl oz."

The FACE AND BODY MIXING MEDIUM is what is used to do looks similar to the one that was used some years ago for DIOR's Jadore ads where the woman was painted all gold. It stays on quite well and is used often for full body coverage.

I have not had a chance to experiment with this very much, but colleagues of mine have told me that it is wonderful for doing certain body art for ads and commercials.

The price of FACE AND BODY is $15 at the time of this review.


Next we move on to the alcohol based mixing medium.

"Formula to dilute and mix with M·A·C powder or liquid makeup. Used to create effects from sheer to opaque. Perfect to decorate the face or body. Mix with Pigments and powders to form an ultra light gel that dries quickly upon application with minimal transference and ultimate wear. For use on body, from neck down.
50ml bottle/1.7 fl oz."

It is important to note that this particular mixing medium has harsh alcohol in it and is NOT to be used on the face or around eyes. It is used for specific art on the body. Think of fake tatoos and such. Where the FACE AND BODY MIXING MEDIUM is to cover the entire body, this mixing medium is for decorative art on the body.

I am not as fond of this product but it does work well for doing painting on the body of artistic decorative work.

Price is $15 at the time of this review.


Next in line is the water based mixing medium.

Here is what MAC says about this one:

"Formula to dilute and mix with M·A·C powder or liquid makeup. Used to create effects from sheer to opaque. Perfect to decorate the face or body. Created for those who like to design their own shades and colours. Mix with pigments and powders to create anything from full, opaque coverage to sheer. Useful for adhering M·A·C Glitter to the skin.
50ml bottle/1.7 fl oz."

This is the mixing medium that you would use on the face or body. Because of the multipurpose uses of this mixing medium, it is the one that I use most.

This mixing medium has glycerine in it which will hold the glitter, pigment or other color bases in place very well- in many cases all day. It works on the eyes and can be built up to a nice bold look, or sheered down for a wash look.

Price is $15 at the time of this review.


There is yet another Mixing Medium in a gel form. Here is what MAC says about this one :

"A mixing medium base that can be mixed with pigments and glitters to create unique custom shades for face and body. Provides superior adherence and hold of pigments and glitters to the skin. Protects against environmental aggression. Non-irritating and suitable for all skin types. An easy and effective way to create custom body paints and glitter gels. Not for use around the eye area.
120ml/4 fl oz. tube"

Again, please note that this product is not for use in the eye area. When MAC says that with a mixing medium, take note. This mixing medium works a little better for the glitter adherence than the alcohol version for the body. However, because it is not for eye use, it is not as versatile and I tend to turn once again to the water based mixing medium in my work.

However, for doing face and body art to a great degree, I would probably use this mixing medium a lot more often.

Price is $20 at the time of this review.


Now we are getting to my two favorite products. I absolutely LOVE this mixing medium. If you have any pigment or eyeshadow or eyesafe glitter at all that you would LOVE to make a liner out of, this is the product to try. Here is what MAC says about it:

"A colorless, translucent mixing medium that can be mixed with pigments and glitter to create unique customized eyeliner shades. Contains Vitamins A, C and E to buffer the delicate skin around the eye area from environmental aggression. Non-irritating and suitable for all skin types.
10ml/0.33 US oz tube"

Some people are sensitive to the EYELINER MIXING MEDIUM but I am not (miracle!). If you do not pile it on thickly, it works beautifully. I like to put a tiny dot on the back of my hand, dip my liner brush into the mixing medium and then dip it quickly into pigment or glitter and then apply.

It is a bit tricky to use at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is one of the most wonderful products if you want to make your own unique creations. It stays on beautifully unless you or your client happen to have runny eyes that day, then it will wear off more quickly.

Price is $11 at the time of this review.


And here last and certainly not least is one of my ultimate favorite mixing mediums- the LASH. Oh my, I have had some serious fun with this product. You can mix ANY MASCARA THAT YOU WANT TO WITH THIS PRODUCT.

Here is what MAC says about it:
"Colorless Pro Long Lash mixing medium base that allows you to create unique customized shades of Pro Long Lash Mascara. Strengthens and conditions lashes. Provides superior adherence of color and extended wear, curl and lengthening. Suitable for all skin types.
10ml/0.33 US oz tube"

I have had more fun with this stuff. What I do is take a disposable mascara wand (or just a clean one if you have it) and run a tiny line of product from the tube down the bristles in one spot. Then I take the glitter or pigment that I want to apply and gently crumble it over that line. I tap the brush lightly against my hand to shake off excess and apply.

I had heard so many bad things about the MAC Pro Lash that I did not think this would be very good stuff, but I was wrong. The quality is wonderful and it stays on well too. I have had no adverse reactions either. It is not water resistant, but it does stay on well.

Washes off with soap and water. (I use a sodium lauryl sulfate free cleanser).

This product is $11 at the time of this review.


Although MAC does not have a mulitpurpose mixing medium, per se, you will find these mixing mediums at www.macpro.com under the category of multipurpose.

Although you will not see the prices listed unless you are a member, the prices I have listed here for you will be close unless there is a huge price hike by the time you read this.

You can also see these at the MAC Pro Stores and occasionally at a MAC store if they happen to carry some.

MAC has a very strange way of promoting their products. Sometimes you will not be able to find any of their PRO products anywhere but Pro stores and other times they will show up at tiny MAC counters in department stores.

They might be on a promotional or they could just show up there for a while.


If you are like me and do not have any MAC resources nearby, you can call one of two numbers to order MAC Pro products.
In the US:


or there is another one at the Markham branch that US can also call, but it is located in Canada...



MAC MIXING MEDIUMS are one of the most fabulous products that MAC offers. It gives creative license to makeup artists and to those who just are not satisfied with neutral natural looks. If you have always wanted to be free to create unique and fun looks, MAC MIXING MEDIUMS is a fabulous place to start.

I have a review of MAC pigments- another of MAC's wonderful art oriented makeup products that you can get to use with these mixing mediums. If you look up MAC pigments you will find more ideas of how to expand your makeup horizons if you are so inclined.


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About the reviewer
Capri G ()
Ranked #788
   I am a woman of many hats.      I am an artist with makeup and other media. I am a clothing designer. I have such a huge list of things that I like to do that sometimes … more
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