When I first stepped into the world of makeup, life was quite simple..red or brown lipsticks, pink blush, lakme foundation which made me look white, SAs selling compacts of a lighter shade and what not. Then one fine day I ‘discovered’ MAC at Blore and nothing was the same. The MUAs intimidated me and as if the plethora of lipsticks in different shades weren’t enough, foundations I realised came in more than 3shades! Well, imagine that! And to boot, other than having numbers like 20, 25, 30, etc, they also came attached with these 2 alphabets: NC and NW…I was perplexed to say the least and my first visit to the store saw me exiting within 10mins with a harassed look on my face. It was 2yrs after this that I truly understood what they meant. I’m sure a lot of us have the same doubts regarding what these 2 mean and we thought of sharing some info with you on this..
What does NC and NW stand for?
NC stands for Neutral Cool and NW stands for Neutral Warm
Err…So how do I know what’s right for me?
Well, technically warm undertones denotes having a yellowish or beige undertone to the skin and cool denotes having a pinkish undertone. However, at MAC, NW would be advised for cool skintones and NC for warm skin undertones. So as a reference, Shweta whose skin has a yellowish undertone would use an NC whereas someone like Kareena Kapoor (pink undertone) would use NW. Similarly, someone with a neutral skintone like Avanti or myself could go for either one depending on the season and its effects on our skin.
I use a MAC foundation in NC25 but the MUA advised me to go for a concealor in NW25. Why this difference?
It isn’t necessary that the foundation and concealor shade be the same. The concealor shade has to neutralize marks and those all important dark circles which are many a time of a different color. So if your darkies tend to lean towards green, then most likely you would need to go for a NW since the red in it neutralizes the green. If your darkies are more purple or lightly blueish, then the NC would be better since the yellow in it would help neutralize the purple/blue. This may also vary though since the blended effect has to be in tandem with your skintone. So it’s best to ask the MUA and check once more.
I’m confused about my skintone. How do I decide if I’m warm toned or cool toned?
We have 2 amazing posts written by Avanti here. This will help you immensely.
MAC has an orange concealor. I’m curious to know how that’s to be used.
Orange concealor work best on skin which is more on the olive side. It also helps conceal extreme blue dark circles. At times your NC concealor may not be enough to keep the darkies at bay and hence, the orange concealor can be mixed with your regular concealor to provide the right coverage.
I hope this answers a few questions and doubts you’ve had about the maze of confusion that is NC and NW…
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