NC vs. NW

chocolategoddes

New member
I thought about this and I think the NC and NW don't refer to YOUR SKIN COLOR but the actual SHADE OF FOUNDATION. Just a guess. I was tossing and turning over this ALL NIGHT! :p
 

xxainixx

New member
i usually differenciate nc and nw by


nc: not cool (warm )

nw: not warm ( cool )


lol. it helps me remember
 

supercelestine

New member
I have asked this questions so many times and I finally got an answer from my favorite MAC MUA (Nordstrom, dadeland mall, Miami)

ME: what's the difference between NC & NW?
Her: Think of it this way..peaches and creame is NC and Strawberries and Creame is NW.

I really thought about the two colors and visualized and compared to our skin tones and it FINALLY CLICKED!

I hope this helps!


SuperCelestine
 

Meryl

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnyBunnyBunny
I have more pink in my face, so naturally the makeup artists always want to give me NW, but for some reason I like NC better. I HATE how NW makes me look red. it makes my face look so red, I feel more comfortable having NC. Maybe because my pinker skin with the yellower makeup makes me look more overal neutral? I dunno. o.o

I'm the same. If I wear NW, my face looks pinker and who wants that? Also, it makes even more of a contrast with my neck, which is not pinky-red.

I love a NC to make me more neutral, just as you wrote. It's so sheer anyway, it probably doesn't matter.
 

elektra513

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by supercelestine
I have asked this questions so many times and I finally got an answer from my favorite MAC MUA (Nordstrom, dadeland mall, Miami)

ME: what's the difference between NC & NW?
Her: Think of it this way..peaches and creame is NC and Strawberries and Creame is NW.

I really thought about the two colors and visualized and compared to our skin tones and it FINALLY CLICKED!

I hope this helps!


SuperCelestine


Thanks for this. I was just about to ask where peach undertones fit in. Mac shades can be overly confusing...
 

Winnie

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by choklad
I'm Asian, and I used to use NC20 all the time. I didn't really like it, because it washed me out completely, but everytime I came back to the counter to buy a refill, the MUA kept giving me the same thing. And I thought, hey, I'm Asian, I should have yellow undertones, so NC is it for me.

But one time I was under dermatologist treatment that makes my face quite red, so the MUA gave me an NW25 instead. Now my face is not quite red anymore and has pretty much gone back to my regular skintone, and I realized the NW tone works better for me! Instead of washing me out, it brings out the pink tones in my cheeks and making me look a bit more natural. So I realized I could be a "cool" instead and, true enough, my veins are definitely blue.


I had this problem as I've got NC20 and NW25 in concealer. I had NW25 first but then found it was a little too dark for the outer area of my face. So the MUA suggested NC20 and it seemed a pretty good match at the time but after using it for a little over a week I've realised it is a little on the pale side for me (sometimes you really can't tell until you wear it at home and check it out in daylight rather than the store)

After reading the forearm blue/green vein trick and unable to decide between blue and green I decided to swatch both of them on my forearm instead and NC20 looked almost fluroescent on my skin! So I think I'm definitely a NW and will probably ask the opinion of a MUA next time.
 

kuri856

New member
Okie dokie, here we go... Here are some general guidelines I use.
So everyone already knows what the letters C, N, and W stand for. Most people fall under the NC category but still many are NW, although it is less common. Without experience, it can be very difficult to see the undertones of people's skin. The best way to go is to swatch both an NC and NW shade near each other (I would use a liquid, more on that after). Be careful to pick the closest depth of color for each. The NW shades tend to look darker so I would suggest something like NC35 and NW25/30. Swatch through the center of the checks down to the jawline. Let the foundation dry for a moment and look at both foundations and the surrounding skin throughout the face, neck, chest, and even arms. If the person is NC, the NW shade will look pinky or even grey and ashy. If the person is NW, the NC shade will look yellow or maybe orange. The tone that corresponds to their skin should blend in pretty well. After that, you can remove the swatches and test different depths to see which matches best. I noticed that the shades ending in 0/5 follow the yellow and pink "undertones" but the shades ending in 2/7 pull slightly more neutral. That's why NC42 looks more orangey and darker than NC43. Other things to keep in mind... Texture, coverage, and finish are some other factors to remember. Off the top of my head these are the foundations I notice go on lighter: Studio fix & fluid, Select SPF, and sometimes Studio Stick. I think these tend to have more Titanium Dioxide. The found. that go on darker are Mineralize Satinfinish and I think Studio Tech. Now, Studio Fix can be it's own animal. Remember that it is a moderate to full coverage foundation so it is more important to find a precise match in color than with a more sheer formula. One more thing, I believe that C3 and C4 (and maybe all the single-digit C's and N's) were part of the original Studio Fix shades offered so pull more neutral than toward the tone it denotes. Does this make sense? Because the original shades had to be more neutral to match more skintones. That's why C4 matches so many people. Try comparing C4 with C35ish. The C35 is way yellow but C4 is not. Hope this all makes sense. I've been meaning to write up something like this to help everyone and I hope I remebered to include everything I wanted to say. Oh, BTW, I work for MAC but it's only been a short time. This is just what I've noticed when matching foundations.

And another thing, one of my very favorite tricks. Let's say, you have a lady that you've swatched and you've determinded she's an NC (again, in liquid). But she seems to be flushed or have a lot of redness or is even a little sunburned. You apply the foundation all over and it looks yellow and a little too light. Don't try to go for a darker NC or switch to an NW just yet. Try using a corresponding NW Select Sheer powder. Meaning, if you applied and NC35 you might use NW25/30, depending how much darker it needs to look. Give it a try! I notice that a lot of people need to layer the opposite powder over their liquid foundation.

Again, I hope this is helpful!... and not too confusing...
 

dorothyshaw

New member
I find this aspect of MAC confusing. I am almost always pointed to NW colours (NW15/20) at the MAC counter, but when it comes to colour cosmetics, especially lipstick, I "pink them up" -- they turn fuchsia on me. (Once a MAC MA turned me over to another MA in frustration because she had tried like 10 reds on me and they all turned purplish!) I have to wear lip colours with orange or brown undertones (Rage, Chili, Eager, etc.) to look right.

So either I'm wearing the wrong shades, or something is up with the colour designation beyond warm/cool...
 

adela88

New member
im a nw15, or maybe lighter. (i use that chanel powder/cream thing to make it lighter)
went to mac at gatwick and they told me i should be wearing nc30 :s
 

S.S.BlackOrchid

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by xxainixx
i usually differenciate nc and nw by


nc: not cool (warm )

nw: not warm ( cool )


lol. it helps me remember


Ha! That's the way I do it too!
 

athena123

New member
I guess I'm still confused about this because I've heard some say that NC means Neutralizes Cool and NW means Neutralizes Warm. Which is the exact opposite of Not Cool and Not Warm.
 

rocknroll_lies

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by supercelestine
I have asked this questions so many times and I finally got an answer from my favorite MAC MUA (Nordstrom, dadeland mall, Miami)

ME: what's the difference between NC & NW?
Her: Think of it this way..peaches and creame is NC and Strawberries and Creame is NW.

I really thought about the two colors and visualized and compared to our skin tones and it FINALLY CLICKED!

I hope this helps!


SuperCelestine


Thanks, I get this but if my skin is has more red undertones rather than yellow, should I wear NC to neutralize or NW to match?
 

supercelestine

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocknroll_lies
Thanks, I get this but if my skin is has more red undertones rather than yellow, should I wear NC to neutralize or NW to match?

I would, but try it out and see what works for you
 

lexiesupagirl

New member
good topic, helped me alot.

but.. in select spf15 foundation im nc25, but in select sheer pressed powder im nw 25... is it ok? ;>

xxx
 

elektra513

New member
^^^I guess the best way to check it would be to stand outside in plain daylight. If it looks good, then you're doing ok.

I've given up on the NC/NW thing. I just wear whatever matches, b/c like I've read somewhere on here before, the NC/NW and the #s are just what they call the shades, they aren't what your skin is, so I try not to stress over it anymore.
 

lindas1983

New member
Each time I go to my local MAC counter they seem to match me differently, one week the MA says i'm definitly NW the next week another MA says i'l definitly NC. I'm so confused and am really starting to think they haven't got a clue and will just sell me whatever they have in stock if its my colouring or not!!!
 

stacylynne

New member
I'm a cool. Every MAC mua gave me NW but 1 day I insisted on NC27. My face looks flawless. The NW made my face look too ashy, I didn't like it @ all.
The NC27 looks amazing on me. It's what looks best on you.

But I will say this, Match your foundation exat to your skin tone. You can add color to your face by using bronzers & blushes. If you go too dark, you look too orange & too light, you look like a corpse. When you match your foundation exact to your skin tone it looks amazing
 

amirah1980

New member
Okay question for you lovely ladies...

I wear Studio Fix Fluid in NC 15 as well as Select Sheer powder in NC 15. The shade matches quite well. I'm pretty pale yet olive. I picked up select cover up and the MA gave me NW 20 for my dark circles. The NW seems to cancel out my undertones, but is the 20 too dark? Should I have gotten NW 15 since I wear NC 15, or is NC 15 SFF on the darker side?

Thanks in advance!
 

erine1881

New member
Quote:
Originally Posted by amirah1980
Okay question for you lovely ladies...

I wear Studio Fix Fluid in NC 15 as well as Select Sheer powder in NC 15. The shade matches quite well. I'm pretty pale yet olive. I picked up select cover up and the MA gave me NW 20 for my dark circles. The NW seems to cancel out my undertones, but is the 20 too dark? Should I have gotten NW 15 since I wear NC 15, or is NC 15 SFF on the darker side?

Thanks in advance!


you should be good with nw20. SFF runs darker than other foundations, and the 15 concealers are preeeeetty light. not alot of people can do the 15 concealers since they are so light, so you gotta be really pale to use em.
 
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