April 28, 2016

You Must Choose: Urban Decay or MAC

urban decay mac

One day, soon, they’ll be a brand plague and all the brands will disappear from the entire planet forever EXCEPT for Urban Decay and MAC. Mass hysteria, pande-freaking-monium will ensure, people will threaten to jump off bridges if they can’t get their beloved foundation from their favorite brands!

It’ll be ugly.

Really, really ugly.

And scary.

And you’ll be forced to make a choice between a mere two brands!

Who do you choose?

There was a time in our country’s history or the world’s history for that matter where women and men didn’t have a 100’s of makeup and beauty brands choose from with millions of color options. That was just life. Let’s face it, if you lived in 1928 how many brand’s were offerings bright aqua eyeshadow? Likely none.

Nowadays we are spoiled with hundreds and hundreds of different brands to choose from that offer millions of color and product options.

What if you woke up one day and were forced to choose between two brands?

What if those two brands were Urban Decay and MAC?

Which would you choose as your life long brand?

I’m an Urban Decay fan girl just like the rest of the world but I’d likely go with MAC since their range of product is a lot more extensive than Urban Decay’s is. Skincare, tons of concealer options, a slew of different shades to choose from, and even fragrance! MAC has me covered. It’s not about liking one brand more than the other in this case but more about surviving a world with two makeup brand options and MAC offers more than enough product and color selections to keep me happy and sane.

What about you?

If you had to choose which would you go with?

You must choose one only though!

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Kelly Rivera

    Urban Decay, hands down. I am a die-hard fan and own most of the palettes. Although if they keep downgrading their quality as revealed by the new Alice palette swatches, then my answer will change. I was so excited for that one and was appalled when I swatched it in the store. Not at all the formula one expects from their brand. I’m hoping it was a dud and that I can give it another try when it officially releases, but I’m skeptical after seeing blogger swatches come out the same.☹️

    • Isabella Muse

      πŸ™ I know I agree. I gave it a rather poor review πŸ™ quality just was not there!

  • Carrie

    The first thing out of my mouth was “Urban Decay Urban Decay Urban Decay”! While I agree with you there about MAC’s selection which I adore, I’ve just had more success with UD. Their face products seem to match up with my skin perfectly which is rare for me.

  • Kimmwc03

    I’ve been a fan of UD for over 10 years now; however, I haven’t liked a lot of there recent releases. I’d still pick UD over MAC though simply because my hometown is completely lacking in MAC (no counters at our local dept stores and no stores anywhere close; just a CCO with few MAC items). I also like UD’s packaging more!

  • kim

    Urban Decay. All day, everyday. I don’t buy mac products often because their product range is so large, it is almost overwhelming. Their color names are also confusing. It seems like their quality can be hit or miss, especially with the limited edition collections. Urban decay has made huge improvements with their face products recently, and their eye makeup is always on point.

  • Caroline

    Ahhh this is like Sophie’s choice!! I am a diehard Urban Decay fan, but I truly hate their foundation offerings. In an apocalypse, I may not care about putting on my favorite aqua eyeshadow, but I’m still going to want my skin to look good, so I guess I’d have to go with MAC!! This is tragic. haha

  • michelle

    UD without a doubt. The formulas just work for me. And I would not want to live in a world without 24/7 eyeliners or Perversion mascara. Wear them almost exclusively.

  • Robin

    Urban Decay. Love their Naked foundation and I’m allergic to MAC. Love also Naked 3!

    • Thea

      I’m with you! UD has the only foundation that doesn’t break me out. MAC has an amaaaazing amount of selection, but I can’t wear half of it.

  • breyerchic04

    Huh. Until the most recent UD release I absolutely would’ve said MAC. But I like the new UD one and done skin stuff, so they have my base covered, their blushes and highlighters are nice, their eye liners are my favorite. So I could go either way. The things I like better from Urban Decay I like way better but MAC is so good too.

    • breyerchic04

      Also what the heck UD why are you discontinuing the revolution lipsticks. I ordered a backup rapture and think I need a couple of others as well. Are you coming back with better formulas? Are better formulas even possible?

      • Isabella Muse

        I imagine they are introducing something new and hopefully better πŸ™‚ maybe for Summer?

        • breyerchic04

          I kind of assumed that too, but man I can’t imagine how it’ll be much better than that formula, it’s one of my favorites. And that’s one reason MAC might win for me, because they leave things alone in the regular line for a long time.

      • Jill Be

        Yep! Just a packaging change. we just received the new packages for the lipliners at Ulta but not the lipsticks.

        • Melanie

          Ooh! Do you know how soon the products with the new packaging will be on shelves?

  • Dora

    I’m with you — MAC, easy. Like you say, just so much more range and so many more options. Also, brushes1

  • Kristi

    I prefer Mac, but I’m trying to go more cruelty free, so I have to say urban decay….but I’d totally loot the stores for the last bottle of Nars Velvet matte skin tint!

  • Lorraine

    Urban Decay…although I think MAC does face/base better U.D. does everything else so well! I’m getting worried though BC U.D hasn’t been as good lately.

  • Jay

    MAC for sure! Urban Decay is on my shit list for not making foundation products that are deep enough for my skin tone–and I’m not the darkest of the dark. Or months and months after a release they extend the shade range, like with the Naked Concealer. Plus they don’t have a good line of brushes or skincare.

  • TropicalChrome

    Urban Decay. I like their products. And after the way I was treated in a MAC store awhile back, I swore I would NEVER EVER buy another of their products. And I haven’t.

  • ElKay

    Mac. So much to love, the brushes, mineralized skin finish natural, fix spray, fluidline, eye shadows, blush, plus they have everything you would need for a complete look.

  • Theresa

    MAC is over priced middle of the line replay of the same old crap. Urban Decay. All day

  • Jay

    Urban decay all the way. MAC is overpriced animal testing crap that is not worth my money. I never did understand the hype about them. I think it is really just the name that gets people. There are tons and tons of brands that are cheaper and 100 times better than them.

  • Katk925

    Easy Mac. Just like all through high school and my early 20s before YouTube where urban decay was a random nail polish brand I forgot about along with reruns of My So Called Life.

  • Ana Victoria

    This is actually SO EASY. Urban Decay, obviously.
    Reason? They don’t test on animals. MAC is perverse.

    • AJ

      Hi, Ana. Good for you for avoiding companies that test on animals. Just so you’re up-to-date: Urban Decay has been owned by L’Oreal since 2013–and L’Oreal is notorious for not making efforts to move to in-vitro. They’ll test on animals so that they can sell in China. MAC is owned by Estee Lauder, which also sells in China. There is one difference that matters a little bit to me: Estee Lauder is working with a coalition to persuade the country of China to change their draconian laws that require any makeup brand selling in China MUST test on animals. For makeup. I avoid all those brands, as well as NYX, which was cruelty free and then was purchased by L’Oreal. You have to make your own decisions based on your own conscience. I’ve decided to just do my best not to support brands that sell in China. BTW, Estee Lauder owns not only MAC, but Bobbie Brown, Versace, Clinique, and a lot more. L’Oreal owns Urban Decay, NYX, LancΓ΄me, Maybelline, and many more. I can’t enjoy browsing department store makeup counters anymore because most brands aren’t cruelty free. There are a few drugstore brands that–as far as I know–don’t test: Milani, Physician’s Formula, Wet and Wild. PETA keeps their lists fairly up-to-date.

      • Domi

        L’oreal has developed methodes to not test on animals and don’t do so apart from the tests China requires but they are also working on trying to change the laws in China. At least, according to britishbeautyblogger who was invited to the L’oreal’s laboratory in France this year.

        • AJ

          Hi, Domi. That’s good to know about L’Oreal also trying to change the laws in China ! It can be so confusing. Here’s partly why:
          1. In the US, there is no Federal law about testing on animals (please correct me if I’m wrong on that)
          2. In Europe, cosmetic companies can’t test on animals because the practice has been outlawed (yea!)
          3. In China, which is a burgeoning and huge market, it is the law that cosmetic companies MUST test on animals. So if it sells in China, it will cause tests on animals. I’d love to do a trip to Beijing to look for myself what is being sold because this is a major market for these companies. Their compromise is to work for a change in the law. I hope that they are doing what they say.
          Back in the 20th century, there was still a lot of animal testing in the US. Then a method called in-vitro came along. It was cheaper and didn’t require animal testing, so eventually most companies could declare that they had “no animal testing.” Then the China market opened up. I can’t believe that there are still companies that DON’T sell in China. PETA has a good list. My faves are Too Faced, Tarte, ELF, Physician’s Formula, and Wet and Wild. If the company is also into fashion, watch to see if they sell fur. Many do.

          • Shana

            Urba Decay actually does not sell their products in China. They decided against that when Chin came out with that law. So they actually still have the cruelty free bunny on their products.

            Yes it is true that companies that are in Europe can’ test on animals. So while L’Oreal can’t test on animals.. they pay the Chinese government to do it for them. I remember when this came to light maybe 5 or 6 years ago. It was discovered that these companies weren’t directly testing on animals, but they are paying the chinese government to do it for them. Paul Mitchel decided to not to sell on animals either, They released a statement that Chinese consumers can go to the U.S. website and they will be more than happy to ship to China.

            Last time I checked, the Chinese passed a law that that Chinese domestic companies are allowed to not test on animals. As of now it is just foreign companies that are still required. So it seems likes progress is being made.

            I think India has the strictest laws. You aren’t even allowed to import there if your company tests on animals. http://www.loc.gov/law/foreign-news/article/india-no-import-of-cosmetics-tested-on-animals/

            I think that what bothered me the most was the lying that these companies did. While yes it sucks that China passed this law, I don’t feel like these companies had to lie about this.

            PETA keeps a good list. As well as another company called the Leaping Bunny. Cruelty Free International is also another great site that that keeps up to date info on news about testing on animals.

  • Chynna

    I love MAC lipsticks, but not as much as I love my Urban Decay Naked palette.

  • Dee

    UD definitely. With the naked line, they finally went light enough that I have a foundation for both summer and winter, and it doesn’t feel 2 inches thick on my face or smell funny (looking at you, MAC!) I’ve always felt that MAC is a bit overrated. I wish I could say I choose UD over MAC because of the “Cruelty-free” but I’ve heard that doesn’t matter since UD is owned by L’Oreal, which is *not* cruelty free, so I’m not sure what to believe.

    • Rachel R.

      UD is still cruelty free, but the parent company is not. So UD makeup is not tested on animals, but L’oreal is still making the money.

      • Shana

        L’areal is based out of Euopre where it is actually against the law to test on animals for cosmetics. Although and companies that are foreign to China have to test on animals. So what many companies do is just pay the Chinese government to do this for them. Urban Decay decided against selling their products in China, because they would rather not test on animals.
        Recently the Chinese gov’t made a law saying that any Chinese domestic companies are no longer required to test on animals. So hopefully they will make one soon banning this law all together.

        This law came to light 5 or 6 years ago after it was discovered that these companies were secretly paying the Chinese government.

        India has the strictest laws where you aren’t even allowed to import if you test on animals.

  • Victoria A.

    UD. MAC has not wowed me in a long time, unfortunately. I just hope UD isn’t switching to that cheap plastic packaging for all their lipsticks…

  • Jen

    Urban Decay. Cruelty free and I have had nothing but problems with Mac in that their products give me insane rashes.

  • blee

    I like them both, but MAC IF I had to choose. πŸ™‚ But I happy that I can still have some of both LOL

  • Rachel R.

    Urban Decay for me. I prefer cruelty free, so I don’t buy from MAC often. UD makes my favorite purples, blues, teals, and greens. I like UD’s eye and lip liner pencils the best. I love UD packaging. No contest.

  • Monet

    MAC for sure! Urban Decay just barely has products in my skin tone and MAC also has a more extensive range of products along with different finishes.

  • Bella0009

    I’m on the Urban Decay team! MAC’s permanent line is very good, and they have great blushes. However, their special promotions are often a big disappointment and I dislike their foundations. Urban Decay originally had me with the beautiful eye shadow and liner, but have upped the game with their face products in the last two years! What about those great new highlighters. They are life.

  • Ashley

    Urban decay. Never been impressed with mac. I think it’s over priced for what you get. Urban decay has the best eyeshadow colors around.

  • Joanna

    Mac! I like urban decay but out of the two brands I seem to use Mac more often.

  • angie

    UD for sure! Love their lipstick, blush, foundation, powder, eyeshadow palette, etc. I think MAC is really extensive with their line & their new launch is like every, month? Makes me a little bit dizzy

  • kellly

    MAC for me, mostly b/c they seem to use less carmine in their eye shadow formulas and recently they’ve had some great colors with lots of shine, which I love. I love UD’s colors, especially the sparkly, shiny ones, but the ones I like best seem to all contain carmine, which I’m allergic to around my eyes. I have a love-hate relationship going with MAC over their endless LE collections. Sometimes I don’t bother, and with the ones I’d really like to see before buying, they never seem to produce enough to even half-meet demand, and things sell out in 4 nanoseconds, so I end up on the disappointed list. And MAC has my holy grail of eye shadow colors, Mineralize Skinfinish in Superb, which I was lucky enough to score a few years ago and am still using. When I use it up I can always snag another one on eBay for $800 (!) unless MAC gets really generous and re-releases it again (are you reading this, MAC?)

  • Raven

    LOL no contest. UD for sure. plus mac has so many issues….too many releases the exclusivity is annoying because of how it sells out so fast and quality is lacking….

  • LouAnne

    I like some of UD but I use primarily MAC products…. so MAC it is.

  • zVintage Fashionizta

    Because they sell a large variety of cosmetic products & are a good choice for people of all ages it would definitely be MAC.

  • Anne

    Ugh, not MAC. This is petty, but I can never get a salesperson at their store here to help me, so I just think of it as a snotty brand. I can get UD at Sephora, and everyone I’ve ever encountered at Sephora is so nice!

    Also, UD Perversion. Best. Mascara. Ever.

  • Domi

    Urban decay because they are cruelty free and their eyeshadows have a better longevity than MAC for me. Also, I have never found a good MAC foundation match, they are too yellow for my light neutral skin. Although, I will miss the cream eyeshadows.

  • Kristi

    Mac, hands down. I have a medium to dark complexion and Mac nails it when it comes to makeup for women of color.

  • Jeri S

    MAC. I love UD eye liners, but I hate their eye shadows. Everything is full of glitter.

  • Theresa

    I’m old school, so I would have to say MAC. Urban Decay has great stuff but I’ve been using MAC for over 20 years.

  • Shana

    Honestly, I don’t really care for either brand. I have only bought MAC twice. Once was when they dod the Lilly Pulitzer collar and the other when they did the Libery of London. I am huge fans of both those brands. If I had to chose I would pick I pick Urban Decay, just due to they currently don’t test on animals.

    • Shana

      I mean I am not a huge fan of these these brand. I don’t use either.

  • Jodi

    Urban Decay because it is “CRUELTY FREE” !!! Sadly MAC started out as a forerunner for Cruelty Free policy – Way back in the late 80s & early 90s MAC was an obscure Canadian brand which proudly touted “Not Tested On Animals”! I really pushed MAC on co-workers ( as I was collecting signatures for petitions against animal testing) MAC won my loyalty until “Corporate Greed” reared it’s ugly head! I am so disgusted & disappointed in MAC !!!!

  • genevieve

    Urban Decay – cruelty free and I love their Naked 1 & 2 palettes. But UD has lost a lot of its reputation with the Alice palette – which is truly terrible.
    Both UD and MAC are hard to get in Australia – they are only sold in speciality shops like Mecca Maxima (UD) and Myers (MAC) and a few MAC shops in very large shopping centres.

  • Julia

    Urban Decay. My first thought was MAC, because I am more of a classic makeup girl (neutral eyes or winged eye liner/bold lip). BUT aside from foundation, I actually use my UD products on a regular basis.

  • Erica

    I see so many Urban Decay responses, however, I have to go with MAC. While I think that each has their incredible products, I just find most of my holy grails with MAC. I just feel more complete with my MAC makeup on my face. Between their foundations, eyeshadows, lipsticks, etc. my heart is with MAC.

  • Anie

    I’m gonna go with MAC. While I like Urban Decay’s products, none of them are truly permanent. They seem to redo their lipstick formula every 4 years or so, same with their foundations, skin products, and even their regular foreshadow line. I don;t like when companies rollover their product lines so much that if I find one I like, I’ll have to stock up on the product in case they discontinue it. MAC on the other hand, has kept their lipstick formulas the same for years. They don’t seem to ever discontinue anything that isn’t “limited edition”, so it’s a safe bet that I’d find a product I like without worrying about it disappearing.

  • Zovesta



    Alright, UD. Gotta go with the cruelty free one, and from the products of theirs that I’ve tried (eyeliner, concealer, eyeshadow, blush), they’ve got me pretty well covered. *shrug* I’ve only tried one thing from MAC, an eyeliner, and I wasn’t impressed… so it’s not exactly the fairest of comparisons! ;D

  • Iris

    MAC. I like their designer collaborations. I have only one MAC item so far (a Charlotte Olympia lipstick) and look forward to trying it.

    • Deborah

      I like MAC blushes the very best! You will probably find a lot of MAC products you like as time goes by!

  • SallyMJ

    MAC – even though it’s harder to find.
    I hate the name “Urban Decay,” I hate the product names. UD has good products – however, the names and metaphors are so dark, that when I buy them, I feel like I’m supporting dystopian child molesters.

  • Vicky

    Loved this post! Easy choice – MAC all the way. Turning 50 (with very fair skin) meant skin became is a lot more sensentive, and it was sensitive to begin with, and after trying tons of brands and foundations and came back to MAC for powder foundation, concealer (blemish coverage) and matte and satin lipsticks (still searching for under eye concealer that is good coverage, and gentle for older skin in a super fair shade…NARS and URBAN DECAY have suitable shades, the lightest, but are not gentle, requiring a lot tugging to blend well – any ideas would be appreciated.

  • Vicky

    Loved this post! Easy choice – MAC all the way. Turning 50 (with very fair skin) meant skin became is a lot more sensentive, and it was sensitive to begin with, and after trying tons of brands for concealer and foundations and came back to MAC for powder foundation, concealer (blemish coverage) and matte and satin lipsticks (still searching for under eye concealer that is good coverage, and gentle for older skin in a super fair shade…NARS and URBAN DECAY have suitable shades, the lightest, but are not gentle, requiring a lot tugging to blend well – any ideas would be appreciated.

  • vicky

    Loved this post! Easy choice – MAC all the way. They have a super fair powder foundation and concealer (blemish) and great matte and satin lipsticks, although the weartime could be better ….not as long for me
    as others claim.

  • Maryann

    Mac, Urban Decay lipstick is a bit drying. Their blush is too saturated. Seems geared for the under 25 crowd. Honestly, not a high end brand.

  • DW

    Post brand plague society? Urban Decay would be descriptive of cities post brand plague. So Urban Decay it is.