Spellbound by MAC Strip Down: Whirl Matte Lipstick

mac whirl lip swatch
Taking MAC Whirl for a whirl…

Meet some of my favorite MAC nude shades this week from the MAC Strip Down collection.

Fun fact about MAC Whirl: Back in the day (as in pre-2015), Whirl, a dark matte brown with a tinge of rose, only existed as a lip pencil.

Way back before the dinosaurs 🦕 disappeared, I used to outline my lips with Whirl pencil, fill them in, and then top everything off with Chapstick to create my own DIY Whirl lipstick.


In 2015, MAC finally turned this iconic color into a lipstick — the Whirl Matte Lipstick we know and love today.

I know there’s this whole thing that Whirl is a very “Kylie Jenner lips” color (as if she invented it 🙄 ), and yes, it’s definitely one of those lipsticks that will help you get that specific look. In fact, whenever a friend asks me for a Kylie Jenner lips recommendation, first, I try not to outwardly groan… Then, I suggest MAC Whirl. But really, though, whenever I see Whirl, I think more of ’90s supermodels like Linda and Christy and Cindy. It has a very early Bobbi Brown chicness to it IMO, and I love 💖 it.

There’s also another reason why I love it… Because it’s similar to the color of my gums.

Yes, I realize that that is an odd thing to like about a nude lipstick, but I’m looking at my gums here, and it really is the color of my gums. (Side note: I’m not gonna show you my gums. Hi-res pics of my gums do not need to exist on the Internet.)

Maybe that’s why Whirl is the ultimate nude lipstick for so many people. It matches the color of their gums, ha ha ha! Anyway, here it is on lighter skin and darker skin.

mac whirl lipstick swatch
NC42, babes!

Whirl is also a color chameleon, and depending on the lighting and how much you’re wearing, it can either look like a dark rosy brown if you apply a sheer layer (in that case, it’s like browner version of Mehr), or a true brown like Paramount with a heavier application.

Whirl is a consummate flat matte, and it feels thicker on my lips than Velvet Teddy or Mehr. One thing you can do if you find that it looks too thick and heavy on your lips is to first coat your bottom lip with a heavy layer, and then press your lips together to transfer the lipstick from one lip to the other. Then, pat everything down with a finger. That will smooth it into a seamless finish that doesn’t look too heavy. 😉

Whirl! Give it a Whirl, and unleash your inner ’90s supermodel.

(Cindy Crawford 4 ever.)

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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