MAC Unsung Heroes: Paramount Lipstick

Published in: Lips, MAC Makeup, Unsung Heroes

mac paramount lipstick

As silly as it sounds to get emotional about a lipstick, I got verklempt when I sat down to write about today’s MAC Unsung Hero, Paramount Lipstick ($14.50), because it’s been a such a pivotal color in my makeup life.


My BFF introduced me to it about 15 years ago in college; since then it’s been on my lips or by my side (literally, in a purse or a pants pocket) through some of the most important moments of my life.

In the living room at my parent’s house, I’m wearing it in a graduation picture taken a few seconds after I walked across the stage to get my diploma. The color also holds the distinction of being the very first MAC product I ever purchased (shout-out to the MAC Arden Fair counter in Sacramento!).

When I pulled out Paramount this morning it hit me like a ton of bricks!

Wait — not like that. I mean that I realized I should add it to my list of MAC Unsung Heroes. 🙂

Plus, hello! — it’s a perfect color for fall!

mac paramount swatch

mac paramount swatch

mac paramount lipstick

Technically, MAC classifies deep, dark reddish brown Paramount as having a Satin finish, but I think it looks more like a matte on me.

Dark brown matte lips hogged the spotlight in the mid-’90s (gloss was all but MIA), and it wasn’t unusual for gals to wear Paramount year round (I did). These days, though, it’s more of a fall shade for me. I think it looks right at home with the darker plums and reds that I like to wear when the leaves change.

One of the things that has always made Paramount stand out to me is its touch of red. Some brown lipsticks look very flat on my lips, but Paramount’s reddish undertones give it depth and make it a little more interesting to me.

I’ve worn the color so many times that I could probably apply it from the tube while hanging upside down with my eyes closed, but if you aren’t accustomed to wearing darker lipsticks, you might want to grab a lip brush and/or a lip pencil (one option: the reddish brown MAC Lip Pencil in Mahogany, $14.50) to help corral the pigment into place.

Paramount lasts all day long on my lips (even through multiple meals, although I have noticed that when I wear it day in, day out, the formula can be drying. My lips crave a lot of moisture, so I usually prep them with a balm. Whenever I plan to wear Paramount, before I start putting on my makeup, I’ll apply a bit of Clinque Superbalm in Grapefruit first. Once that sinks in, I’ll do the rest of my face, and then when I get to my lips, I usually kiss the back of my hand to blot away the balm before applying a layer or two of Paramount.

If you’re looking for a few fabulous fall lipsticks, consider Paramount next time you visit MAC. 🙂


Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Does your phone have a camera? If it does, you could enter the 2011 Breast Cancer Awareness Month Sign Project and Giveaway right now! (Hint, hint.)

The MAC Unsung Heroes series features some of my favorite products from MAC’s permanent collection

P.P.S. I’m serious. You could put together a cool sign and send off a pic to enter The 2011 Breast Cancer Awareness Month Sign Project and Giveaway in, like, seconds.


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So far, 16 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. mandy says:

    It looks so nice, though I’m not brave enough to try!

  2. Jen W says:

    I love dark vampy shades, and totally embrace the brown lip (as long as it isn’t matte, and as long as it’s not surrounded by an even darker lip liner haha)

    Paramounts looks GORGEOUS. I can’t believe I haven’t noticed it before- this is why I LOVE your Unsung Heros posts!

  3. This shade looks amazing on you! I will definitely check it out soon!

  4. Chris25 says:

    Viva Glam I was my first MAC lippie. I felt so good to support the MAC AIDS fund.

  5. Sara says:

    Ooooh def a perfect fall color. I will have to pick this up!

  6. This is a classic fall colour on you! 🙂 Looks good. I need to find a rich hue like this to suit myself.
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Smorgasbord Sundays: Where’s Waldo Is Proof That a Good Man Is Hard to Find

  7. Stephanie says:

    Verklempt! LOL yes the good ol’ days of SNL. Love that lippy too 😉

  8. Millie says:

    Paramount is my first ever MAC lipstick too!

  9. Lucie says:

    Oh wow. Somehow I’d heard the name so many times but never given this shade a second glance. Deep browny reds are just about my favourite thing ever and it’s difficult to find good ones these days. Thanks so much for the introduction to Paramount Karen! Picking it up ASAP!

  10. nelly says:

    gorgeous lippy will have to pick this one up ….

  11. Nina says:

    it does look perfectly fall-y!

  12. Kim says:

    Karen, do you want us to make signs for breast cancer awareness month? I was just wondering… 🙂 I’m going to try to get to it this year. Promise!

    On a makeup note, Paramount looks fab on you and it’s definitely perfect for fall. I think I might look like a member of the undead wearing it, but it’s a beautiful color.

  13. Christy says:

    I used to love this color too. I can’t quite wear it yet due to my blonde highlights. At my next visit to the salon I’ll probably go browner so I can wear vampier lipsticks.
    Christy recently posted … More Than Black: MAC Me Over MAC Avenue Fluidline Review & Swatches

  14. Miami Rose says:

    I love red lipsticks but i don’t really know what shade of red looks good on my skin any suggestions? I’m a C40 in mac.

  15. Julie says:

    Paramount was my first MAC lipstick. Back in the 90’s I was looking for something that didn’t turn blue toned on me. I got sent to the MAC counter in Nordstrom and haven’t looked back.

    Now that the 90’s are back en vogue, I think they should relaunch it as a rebranded LE. Just my two cents.

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