I ran across this helpful article that interviews several leading cosmetic individuals, including Gordon Espinet from MAC Cosmetics, about how to get ready for holiday parties and the inevitable photos that follow. I’ve included an excerpt, but be sure to head over and read what other artists like Rick DeCecca from Estee Lauder, April Jacob from Pink Beauty, Marie-Johanne Martineau from Yves Rocher, Lori Taylor from Smashbox, and Paul Venoit from Cover Girl had to say.
Gordon Espinet senior makeup artist and VP of makeup artistry, M.A.C Cosmetics:
“The holidays are a great time to experiment with makeup, things like shimmer that we can really be playful with.”
1. Start with hydrated skin. Look for spray-style humectant-fortified waters to help “plump up” your skin. But watch out for moisturizers: Too much can cause your makeup to slip. Use under-makeup products such as depuffing eye creams and lip conditioners, too.
2. For holiday, matte skin is in, but not matte foundation. Look for hydrating foundation and get the matte look from finishing with a powder. If you use a matte foundation and a matte powder, you risk the “crypt-keeper” look. To make eyes seem wider-set, take a dab of highlighter and place on the inner corners of the eyelid.
3. We’re seeing a return to lipstick and a retro red mouth. Anyone can wear red lips — just look for the shade that works for you. And don’t draw it on. Use your fingers and smudge it for a stained look.
Ready for your close-up: Photos with a flash will make you fade away. Try upping the intensity of your makeup by about 20%.
MAC COSMETIC’S PLUSHLASH MASCARA ($11.00)
A mascara formulated to instantly plump up lashes for extreme voluptuous effect. Works fast. Builds volume smoothly and evenly from root to tip. Delivers a silky, flexible, full fan of lashes. Fluid formula lightly coats lashes one layer at a time without smearing, smudging or clumping. Goes on via an innovative, specially patented wand with a v-shaped groove that prunes the bristles on one side while leaving the other side full and lush. The short bristles coax the lashes upward to an extraordinarily sophisticated yet flirtatious curl, while the other side separates and combs the lashes root-to-tip creating a long, well-defined glamour lash. Volumizing, lengthening, curling, lifting. This mascara features everything you want, with all the top mascara no’s: no clumping, spiking, smudging or flaking.
- Applicator: Medium-sized length, but fairly thick and dense brush.
- Clumping: No real clumping even after three full coats – just a touch, but nothing unexpected after going for the gusto with coats.
- Curl: It actually provides a minimal, natural curl — the curl shown here is courtesy of a lash curler, but the mascara lends a touch of curl for lazy days.
- Ease: Compared to a lot of mascaras I’ve tested, not nearly as easy. It does take some getting used to, because one side of the brush is sort of flat, while the other one isn’t. After a few applications, you should be able to get the hang of it, though!
- Length: Lovely length; long, luscious lashes that looked glorious!
- Thickening: Thicker is definitely better, and this mascara gets a thumbs up for giving me gorgeous, thick lashes.
- Volume: Oh, can you believe it? Length, thickening, and volume! Yes, it’s true; Plushlash surely pumps up the density, giving me a great full set of lashes.
- Best: I really love Plushlash because I feel like it delivers on all the points it says it should. I get amazing length, ultra thick, voluminous lashes. It holds a curl, and it never flakes. What’s even better? It’s only $11! I know some drugstore mascaras retail for $8 or so. I also love that you can keep piling on the coats without worrying too much about clumping.
- Worst: None, honest. The brush might require some practice to get the right results you want, but I swear it isn’t so complicated that you won’t get it.
Check out one more shot of the LENGTHENING POWER! that is Plushlash! Continue reading →
Anyone pick up Air of Style? Thoughts?
The Scent: It is a fairly heavy fragrance when initially smelled from the vial, but when it dries down, it isn’t so heady. MAC describes the scent as, “A baroque blend of white pepper, dates, tuberose, orange flower, jasmine, precious woods, leather, vetiver and amber crystals sumptuously overlaid with the opulence of ylang ylang and orris.” First, the description is insanely long and makes it sound like they threw nearly every particular note they could. I want to say that what I could sniff out was more of a sweet floral scent with jasmine undertones, a touch of woodiness, but mostly sophisticated floral tones. You will probably be able to note the subtle sweetness, and I wouldn’t really call this a masculine scent (far too much floral!).
The Packaging: The bottle pictured online is filled with the perfume, when in reality you receive it in two parts: empty perfume bottle and filled test-tube vial [of the perfume]. They include a funnel so you can put it into the actual bottle. The problem with this packaging is you have to figure out a way to get this bad boy to stand, which is pretty much impossible. The scent is better spritzed rather than dabbed on, so for me, I’ll be filling up travel-size spray vials (from eBay) instead of really utilizing the bottle. The actual perfume vial is cute in design, but it’s not practical, which is a problem for those of us would like to actually display it rather than tossing it into a holder of some sort to keep it vertical. I think they would have been better off if they had used airbrushed metal or higher caliber material for the cap of the vial, too.
Overall: I know some people griped about the price ($60.00), but considering the prices of most perfumes, I don’t really see how this is shock-worthy. Just as there are numerous perfumes that are made by some of the most famous perfume houses that make us want to gag, they are still priced similarly to MAC’s prices. Overall, though, the scent is lovely enough and doesn’t make me want to gag. It’ll be a nice scent to transition from winter to spring.
N Collection – A portrait in the nude, daring in its stripped-down sensuality with natural and pearlized shades of Mineralize Skinfinish that play up the nakedness of cheeks, lips, eyes. For a glamazon who knows the power of artifice but has the confidence and allure to strip it all away. N. Collection is naked, with coverage — it’ll be our little secret. Custom-created high performance brushes mean that no one need ever know. Seductive, and ripe for a scandal.
- 1N Light nude/Plain with rose pearl
- 2N Creamy light pink
- 3N Pastel, milky pink
- 4N Creamy medium brown
- 5N Clean bplum rown
- 1N Creamy, white-light brown
- 2N Creamy natural gold-pink
- 3N Natural bronze with gold and pink pearl
- 4N Light chocolate brown with red pearl
- Nanogold Clean gold with rose pearl
- Modest Tone Neutral dirty light brown
- Neutral Pink Deep medium blue-pink
- Rich Flesh Neutral warm brown
- Remotely Grey Dirty grey-brown
- Dark Edge Deep chocolate brown
- Soft Ochre Yellow beige
- Quite Natural Dirty chocolate brown
- Creamola Darkly tinted light brown
- Sublime Culture Pink with caramel
- Graphblack Richest black graphite
- Brownborder Deep chocolate brown
- N Colour Creamy Beige
- Demi-Blanc Beige with green pearl
- Naturally Rich Milky chocolate
This collection should be available from MAC from January/February 2008. Check out more photos! Continue reading →
Luckily, I haven’t experienced any real trouble with the new Metal-X shadows, but I have heard plenty of those who have been unsure about their application, ease, and lasting power. Of course, this means I must enlist the help of an expert, and who better than Victor Cembellin, Senior MAC Artist, to guide us all?
Here are a couple of quick tips on how to play with the Metal X collection!
- With a unique ‘cream powder’ formula the Metal X colors may stand on their own as a metallic lid color (with little to no creasing) simple apply with a MAC #242 or #252 brush and pat across a bare eye lid.
- For an unbeatable intensity- use the Metal X colors as a base for any MAC eyes shadow on top make shadows perform like their on steroids J.
- Add glitter liners thinly on top of any perfectly applied fluid eyeliner to create a modernized 50′s cat eye. VERY CHIC.
- Using the litter gold and silver Metal X tones, apply sparingly to the high cheek bones for a beautiful ‘plastic’ effect on the skin.
- Use glitter liners sparingly below the eye to add interest and a unique spin on any eye make up application.
- Use glitter liner on the tips of any style of MAC lashes to create a diamond-like effect to the lash.
Hope these help some of you! Let me know what tips and tricks you’ve found that would really help others, too.
Overall, The Stylistics proves to be a very lovely, dazzling collection of pearls, baubles, and all-around classy packaging. Indeed, the packaging is incredibly reminiscent of last year’s Couture collection, with a few exceptions; obviously, the embellishments are different from last year’s, but instead of gunmetal, they’ve used a shiny, black metal instead. Last year’s held fingerprints like crazy, and over time, parts of my lipstick tubes have tarnished a bit. As a result, I have to say I like this year’s go-round better, because I always hated how easily you could see smudges on Couture’s packaging. The lipsticks are all luxuriously rich and pigmented, which makes them to-die-for. The lipglasses are lovely, but I’m not as stunned by them as I had hoped to be (I adore this formula – it’s sheer and yet adds so much dimension on top of any lipstick). I was 100% utterly disappointed in the Sheerspark Pressed Powders–they did not give me any pay off except for some chunky glitter. I’m personally wondering if perhaps too much oil had accumulated in the testers from customers, and it just made the product unusable, but we’ll see. I’ll ask at The Stylistics’ party tonight, just to get a clear answer!
See swatches, product photos, and the rest of our detailed review. Continue reading →