MAC Brave vs MAC Brave

Mac Brave Lipstick Review

Some of you will already know that this post has been in the works for a while, some of you this post title will sound a little weird and will have no idea what’s going on, so let me explain! MAC Brave was the first lipstick I bought from MAC, I remember going on the train to Selfridges in Manchester whilst at Uni, and picking out my first couple of MAC items with an overstretched student loan. This would have been around 2009/2010. It’s been a shade that’s been loved since and is probably my favourite lipstick, ever.

A lot of people will be surprised that I’ve managed to keep a lipstick (and use it for those who freak out at use by guides) for 8 years, but for the past few years I’ve really put off using it as I knew my MAC Brave, was unlikely to be the same as any new MAC Braves I would re-buy. MAC shades often start having a moment, where all of a sudden everyone starts talking about one particular shade, and I think Brave’s moment was the start of last year, every review and swatch I saw of it on other people looked like a rosey pink. Beautiful, but nothing like my MAC Brave I thought in my head.

I’m forced to admit that I needed to use up my last little nub of Brave, but I wasn’t ready to use it up without first comparing it against new Brave to see if I was intact going crazy or whether that they were actually different. I know what people will think, it’s an eight year old lipstick, the colour has changed over time, but no, it’s always been this colour and it’s always been this formula.

MAC Brave is the satin formula from MAC, the first change that I notice between the two of these is their finish. If I use the batch numbers to decode old MAC was produced in March 2010 (yep, this baby is almost 8 years old!) and my new one was produced in January 2017 (it wasn’t bought until August, so it shows how slow they can take to get to stores!). My original is more of a creamy texture, slightly drier, where as the new tube of it is slightly balmier with a subtle sheen. From memory OG Brave has always been this way, I never remember it being any different and certainly for the past few years since I’ve had my suspicions about this lipstick not being right it’s been the same.

New Brave on the Left, Old Brave on the Right 

My Old MAC Brave (2010)

Mac Brave Lipstick Review - OLD

My New MAC Brave 2017

Mac Brave Lipstick Review -New

New (Left) vs Old (Right)

An entirely gorgeous shade, but “mine” is different entirely. Mine is a very neutral, My Lips But Better shade that just has a slight pink undertone that means it matches my natural lip tone almost perfectly.

My next step is to take my original tube back to MAC, I’ve wondered for a while whether my lipstick is infact not MAC Brave but something else, I have tried to do this before with the help of an assistant but it was a really busy Saturday and they didn’t really have time to help me, and nor did I have the motivation for fighting of a swarm of women trying to find a new lipstick, so I planned to go back but have never gotten around to it. I think I have about 1 use of this left, which I’m reserving on a revisit to MAC to reswatch. I’m down to my last little nub that needs to be scooped out with a lip brush, and I hope to find at least a closer dupe for this soon.

Find my original MAC Brave review here.

Have you ever re-bought something and discovered it’s not the same?


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Helpless Whilst Drying




  1. hannahessonx
    February 8, 2018 / 6:52 am

    If you look at Faux and Cherish, they both have the same Satin finish as Brave but might be more similar to your original?
    So gutting that the colour has changed, I don’t think I’ve ever finished a lipstick so if I did I wouldn’t stand a chance at getting it!


  2. Beauty Candy Loves
    February 8, 2018 / 7:37 am

    It’s such a beautiful nude shade!

  3. February 8, 2018 / 7:38 am

    I’ve been waiting for this post for so long and can’t believe how different they actually do look! I’ve derinitrly got new brave in my collection and love it but would be so frustrated if I’d got old brave and wanted a replacement! Xx

    • February 8, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      I need to go somewhere where there are loads of counters to try and compare it against other places. It is proper different! x

  4. February 8, 2018 / 9:08 am

    Both Braves are beautiful! Did you end up wearing it on your wedding day? The Brave I have is definitely new Brave. Hopefully you are able to find a more suitable colour closer to old Brave x

    • February 8, 2018 / 1:12 pm

      I actually ended up wearing a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick on my wedding day – it’s more similar to the new Brave than the old one!
      I will keep updated if I find a suitable replacement.

  5. February 8, 2018 / 9:23 am

    Great post! My Brave looks more like the new version I think, but not quite. Not sure! It’s the only one I have tried and it’s two years old I’d say. I think it’s like Kat Von D’s Lolita where different batches have slightly different makeups. If a lipstick is nearly 8 years old I can also imagine MAC has started using different ingredients all together. I hope you can find a shade that matches your old lipstick. If MAC is unsuccessful try Bite or Charlotte Tilbury. I love both lipstick formulas and they do some great nudes! Your Brave reminds me of Charlotte Tilbury’s Bond Girl for instance.

    • February 8, 2018 / 1:13 pm

      Definitely – they have batch numbers for a reasons so things will naturally be slightly different, this one is quite staggeringly different though.
      I’ll definitely check out Bond Girl! x

      • February 9, 2018 / 7:33 am

        Bond Girl is a matte but I think it sounds close to the description of ‘your’ Brave. Charlotte Tilbury does mattes like you haven’t tried before.

  6. February 8, 2018 / 11:24 am

    I don’t think the guidelines are worth the freak out people give it. It’s “best before” not “bad after” people. As long as you are caring for your stuff and not leaving your makeup in a consistently humid bathroom with the containers open I think you’re fine!

  7. February 8, 2018 / 12:47 pm

    omg insane how different the color is! I never would have thought 🙈

  8. February 8, 2018 / 1:14 pm

    This is such an interesting topic! I can’t believe I haven’t read/heard something similar whether with another MAC shade or just another lipstick in general. Brave was one of my first lipsticks from MAC too from about 4 years ago…I’m currently trying to work out if mine is more like the old or new shade…I think the new. This is so crazy though – that’s two completely different shades!

    • February 8, 2018 / 1:16 pm

      They are totally different, one is pink and the other is nude – they’re similar but they’re not even in the same colour family. I have about three swatches of it left before it’s going to be gone, so I need to use it wisely in stores to find a replacement!

  9. February 8, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    That difference is ridiculous! This really disappoints me too as I definitely have, and love, old brave too. Please keep us updated if you find a better match!

  10. February 8, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    That’s crazy how different they are. Makes me wonder what other shades they’ve changed!

  11. Jen xo
    February 8, 2018 / 6:47 pm

    Wow the old brave is a really lovely shade, shame they changed it! There’s such a big difference isn’t there, hope you find one similar x

  12. February 8, 2018 / 6:07 pm

    So annoying! I’m sure you’ll be able to find a new one in the old color. Maybe Velvet Teddy or Mocha? I had this happen with Kat Von D Bow & Arrow- the new version is a darker grey brown rather than a lighter cool nude.

    • February 8, 2018 / 6:52 pm

      I have compared velvet teddy in the past and it looks horrible on me – mocha I haven’t tried I’ll check that one out!
      Gah that’s annoying was it the lipstick or the liquid version?

      • February 8, 2018 / 10:07 pm

        Liquid- so disappointing. Brave (old) reminds me a lot of Tarte Rum Punch also!

  13. Blush and Brews
    February 8, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    This is so interesting! Those colors are completely different! So weird.

  14. bonnyssoulfood
    February 9, 2018 / 12:07 am

    Both are lovely shades! ♡♡♡

      • bonnyssoulfood
        February 16, 2018 / 3:00 pm

        ♡ Ah, the things we get used to.♡♡

  15. February 9, 2018 / 12:35 am

    How interesting! Was your Brave part of a limited edition release? Sometimes I find those shades that are repromotes in LE collections differ from the core line, for some odd reason.
    And yup, my Brave lipstick is much more pink like your 2017 version!
    I have a whole blog post dedicated to inconsistent products, if you recall! 😛

    • February 9, 2018 / 7:21 am

      No this was core! I remember cause it was my first Mac lipstick picking it from all the different colours!
      I don’t remember that post, I’m gonna take a read (or probably re read) now! Xx

  16. February 9, 2018 / 10:08 pm

    Oh wow old and new Brave are totally different! I have re-bought products and felt they were different in shade or other ways. Such a shame as your Brave was a lovely colour x

  17. February 13, 2018 / 7:10 pm

    this completely look different for sure but love the review

  18. Pingback: The Review… MAC Lipstick in Brave | Beauty and The Mechanic
  19. March 7, 2018 / 8:22 am

    Wow, they’re so different and kudos to you to spot it!

  20. Anna
    January 12, 2019 / 3:57 am

    Wow, very different though I prefer your new brave. I wish your new brave looks in me like your photo. It washes me out. I bought mehr ínstese and looks too brown in my lips… I am looking for a mac lipstick that looks that natural pink in me…

    • January 12, 2019 / 1:06 pm

      New Brave is proabably my most worn type of colour, but my old brave (now I’m trying to replace it!) is suprisingly unique! I’ve still not been able to find something that’s as close as I’d like!

  21. Réka
    December 26, 2020 / 1:15 pm

    I have two new Braves because the first one I bought looked so different from every swatch I could see online that I thought it was surely a batch problem, it’s a very cool toned Barbie pink and nothing like the “neutral” nude I see everywhere. The second one is a litte less in-your-face pink but still not quite what everyone else seems to have… I feel like from one batch to another the colour isn’t the same, which is a huge shame 🙁

  22. Kasia
    January 22, 2021 / 4:56 pm

    Oh! Thank you for your post. I’ve been in a similar situation. I’ve been puzzed by this for so long and now I see I’m not the only one. I bought a “new” Brave as a replacement after I thought I lost my old one bought a few years before. Something wasn’t right, the shade was too cool for me. And then I found my old one! And surprice surprice there is a visible difference in shades, exactly like on your swatches picture above. The new Brave is a cooler shade than the old one. Oh why MAC?? Interestingly, my Braves have different codes than yours, I have A36 (old) and A28 (new). Makes one wonder how many times has MAC changed this shade…

    • rachael
      January 31, 2021 / 8:19 pm

      It seems like such a recurring issue with this shade in particular, my closest replacement to old brave has been Charlotte Tilbury Pillow Talk, but it’s still not quite as good as my old Brave, which I’ve completely finished now!

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