Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

MAC Cosmetics:  Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 2

MAC PRO? What’s that all about?

MAC PRO is considered the professional part of their cosmetic line, which is meant to serve industry makeup artists. The PRO line contains products that the normal person would have no reason to use. For instance, Chromacakes are watercolored cakes that work with water; they are ideal for body painting–how many of us need a product like this? They are fun products, and they’re great for Halloween for the consumer, but for professionals, they can be essential in photoshoots and editorial work.

Also, MAC PRO is also a membership program that allows makeup artists to receive a 40% discount off most MAC Cosmetics products, while other relevant industry employees receive 30%. There is even a student discount (e.g., for those studying cosmotology) and kits. In addition to the professional discount, a PRO membership includes access to master classes taught by a range of MAC artists, complimentary shipping for orders over $150, access to www.macpro.com, etc.

Do I need a PRO membership to buy PRO products or go to a PRO store?

NO! You don’t have to be anything but a customer. You are free to shop and browse in any PRO store. You simply do not qualify for the PRO discount, so you will pay full retail price on all products, including PRO products.

What if I don’t live near a freestanding or PRO store?

Have no fear, PRO stores take phone orders and will ship it to you for a reasonable shipping cost (in my experience, roughly $6). The best thing to do is to locate the nearest PRO store to you (be sure to select the box that says show stores that sell PRO products only!), call them up, and place your order. They will be happy to assist you! I always call the San Francisco PRO store, because the service is fantastic, and they can be reached at (415) 771-6113. If you have never been to a PRO store, I urge you to visit www.macpro.com, because you can view what they have available and make some decisions from there. Unfortunately, prices are not visible to non-PRO members, but you should feel free to ask the artist you speak with when placing your order.

What are some of your favorite PRO products?

  • Pigments | These are loose color that are often more pigmented than a typical powder/pressed eyeshadow. This is probably one of my favorite PRO products, and I love Chartreuse, Kelly Green, Pink Pearl, and True Chartreuse.
    Blush palettes/pans | There are several colors that are only available at PRO, many of them incredibly pigmented and bright. At PRO stores, blushes can be bought in a pan form, like eyeshadow pans, and there are empty blush palettes available that can hold up to six blushes.
  • Glosses | They come in some pretty colors, but they are great to shine the skin. They are fun, multipurpose lip products that are always worth a glance over. Some of my favorites are Rosy Coral, Duo Rose, Violet, and Guava.
    Eyeshadows | There is a great offering of bright and matte shadows, and if you love color, you should definitely check out Bio-Green, Blue Calm, Bright Sunshine, Kelly, and Sour Lemon.
    Cream Colour Bases (CCBs) | These are great, creamy products with good pigmentation that makes them great for lips, cheeks, body, maybe even eyes for some. I like the versatility of Antiqued Gold, Fresco, Pink, and Rich Coral.
    Powders | Invisible set is one of the most popular PRO powders, because it helps to set makeup without adding any color. Beauty powders are great loose highlighters and blush colors, and they are so finely milled that they deposit easily on the skin.
  • Mixing Medium | The water-based mixing medium is a product I could not live without, and if you want to wear pigments, I urge you to get this as a must-have accompaniment. It helps the loose color adhere to your lid and stay on all day long.
Monday, February 18th, 2008

MAC Cosmetics: Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 1

Company Back Story

MAC stands for Make-up Art Cosmetics. It was created in 1985 in Toronto, Canada by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo, both who worked in the beauty industry. They coined the philosophy and company ideology of “All ages, all races, and all sexes.” MAC was thus privately held until Estee Lauder acquired the company in 1998. Frank Angelo passed away in 1997, and Frank Toskan left the company after Estee Lauder bought them out.

MAC Aids Fund was begun by the original creators of the brand, but has since been continued by its parent company. They utilize fundraising through the selling of products labeled Viva Glam, which include lipsticks, lipglasses, and limited edition lip palettes. 100% of the sale price of any Viva Glam product is donated directly to the MAC Aids Fund. They recently celebrated raising over $100 million for the charity.

Where to find MAC Cosmetics?

MAC Cosmetics is divided into three distinct type of stores. The company originally started as a resource for professionals and makeup artists working in the industry, so in keeping with that origination, there is a special line of products and certain stores that sell what are known as PRO products. Like other cosmetic brands, MAC also has counters that you would find in department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. Additionally, MAC has standalone stores called freestanding stores that are found in malls, and they are their own entity and only sell MAC.

MAC Cosmetics can also be purchased online in several countries. Visit www.maccosmetics.com, their official website, to make purchases online.

What’s the difference between the types of stores?

In terms of what you can buy, counters offer the most limited selection. Freestanding has a wider range of products, while PRO stores carry the entirety of MAC’s permanent products.

What you might not find at…

Freestanding Stores: No products marked “PRO only,” which includes lip products such as Lip Erase, PRO Lipstick shades, PRO Gloss, Lipmix; eye products such as PRO eyeshadow shades, PRO pencil shades; certain shades/formulations of foundations, powders, concealers; PRO only blush shades, blush palettes, and blush pans; multi-purpose products such as PRO only shades of cream colour bases, Paint Sticks, PRO only shades of Pigments, Chromacakes, Glitter (loose), Mixing Medium, and Airbrush makeup/supplies; and certain accessories like PRO only brush types, bags, and cases.

Counters: In addition to what you won’t find at a freestanding store: no empty palettes, pan eyeshadows, pigments, smaller range of many products (cream colour bases, brushes, etc.).

Online: Online offerings are much like freestanding stores in the range of products and types they offer, but certain products like empty palettes and eyeshadow pans will not be available.

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Check out MAC’s Question & Answer sessions with James Gager (SVP, Creative Director of MAC), Jennifer Balbier (SVP Product Development of MAC), and Fafi (the designer who inspired the line).

Q&A with James Gager, Senior Vice President & Creative Director MAC Worldwide

Q: How did the collaboration with FAFI develop?
A:
Ironically, Fafi wasn’t in my mind when we first began.
I was working with photographer, Richard Burbridge, and we started shooting photographs of this beautiful Asian woman with a renegade spirit and style, playing with makeup, different fashion accessories, and a video camera.  It really conveyed the feeling that captures the spirit of youth today in terms of dressing up, experimenting and using technology as a form of expression. I then worked with Jennifer Balbier to shape it into a spring collection, elaborating on the playful idea behind the Barbie collection, but in a way that reflects this new generation. After doing research, we came across the work of Fafi, and from there we got the idea to merge illustration with photography. We are using art as a vehicle — merging photography with animation, and then integrating it with fashion, trends, colour, and forwardness.

Q: What makes FAFI a good fit for MAC?
A:
MAC has its pulse on fashion, trends, art, the youth culture and what’s happening on the streets and in the world. The Fafi collaboration embodies our connection with the world of art, and fuses MAC’s philosophy that makeup
should be about play, experimentation, and making the customer feel good and have fun. When we met with Fafi, she was this amazing, young carefree hip person who also happened to be a true artist, so the collaboration ended up being a perfect match. We’re also about All Ages, All Races and All Sexes with the Fafinette characters representing that as well.

Q: Who will FAFI appeal to?
A:
Everyone. They will certainly appeal to a younger generation, but I believe the world of Fafi is one that all ages will enjoy. Everyone wants to escape into a world of fantasy and imagination, and that’s what this collection offers. Customers want to feel young, so I think it’s likely that say, a soccer mom would be as intrigued by this collection as well as a younger consumer.

Keep reading for the rest of James’ interview, plus Jennifer and Fafi’s! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Don’t speak! Lips in danger of all manner of delicious indiscretion, so seductive in colour, shine, staying power, everyone’s looking and listening — so be careful of what you say! Seven new Slimshine Lipstick shades in addition to 13 bring-backs for ultra-glossy conversation in lurid, living colour. Oh yes, people will talk.

  • Think Tan Deep reddish brown with gold (frost)
  • Assertive Rusty brown with gold pearl (frost)
  • Voile Canary yellow with gold pearl (frost)
  • Missy Creamy pastel coral (cream)
  • Grenadine Creamy deep blue red (cream)
  • Rock Out Clean bright blue pink with gold pearl (frost)
  • Intimidate Creamy plummy pink (cream)
  • Bare Light neutral pink with subtle gold pearl (frost)
  • Pleasing Mid-tone violet with red and gold pearl (frost)
  • Long Stem Rose Light baby pink with subtle gold pearl (frost)
  • Scant Mid-tone dirty plum with gold pearl (frost)
  • Mousse Mid-tone caramel brown (cream)
  • Lovey-Dove Mid-tone terracotta with subtle bronze pearl (frost)
  • Prudeaux Dark rich burgundy plum (cream)
  • Ultra-Elegant Light neutral beige (cream)
  • Funshine Shimmery soft apricot pink (frost)
  • Urgent! Classic mid-tone red (frost)
  • Cocoamour Neutral cool brown with matching pearl (frost)
  • Most Wanted Intense purplish-red with metallic golden shimmer (frost)
  • Gaily Soft mid-tone berry pink with pearl (frost)

Suggested Retail Price $14.50 U.S./$17.50 CDN.  Available at stores currently, and www.maccosmetics.com.

See product photos! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Fafi is a French artist who conjures up the most curvaceous cuties — chick-a-boom characters that make us smile. A Fafi girl is a nymphette with a Ph.D. in passion — she’s an adventuress with a very animated love life! From Toulouse to Tokyo, the movie of her life is a rags-to-riches love story, an electric Technicolor dream in violet, coral and strawbaby anime. Find her pouting on compacts, preening on packaging, and as the cutest doll we’ve ever seen — soon to be on every MAC lover’s vanity.

LIPSTICK

  • Fun ‘n’ Sexy Blue pink with blue pearl (glaze)
  • Not So Innocent Sheer tan with pink and peach pearl (glaze)
  • Utterly Frivolous Rosy coral with pink pearl (lustre)
  • High Top Grey purple with blue pearl (glaze)
  • Flash-n-Dash Intense tangerine red with pink pearl (glaze)
  • Strawbaby Coral rose with rainbow pearl (lustre)

LIPGLASS

  • Cult Fave Blue mid-tone pink with white pearl (frost)
  • Sugar Trance Creamy soft pink with white and rainbow pearl (frost)
  • Squeeze It Brassy plum (frost)
  • Totally It Sheer bright pink with intense pink pearl (frost)

Fafi Eyes 1

  • Howzat Deep grey with silver sparkle (satin)
  • Hey Neutral tan with white pearl (veluxe pearl)
  • Pink Venus Washed pink (lustre)
  • Vanilla Soft pale-peachy-ivory flecked with shimmer (velvet)

Fafi Eyes 2

  • Bold as Gold Yellow gold with gold pearl (lustre)
  • You’re Fresh Pale green with silver sparkle (lustre)
  • Shockwave Intense orange with silver sparkle (velvet)
  • Prankster Muted dark blue (satin)

PAINT POT

  • Nice Vice Dirty purple with purple pearl (frost)
  • Girl Friendly Creamy grey pink (cream)
  • Layin’ Low Creamy beige (cream)
  • Cash Flow Green gold with gold pearl (frost)
  • Perky Cream coral with white pearl (satin)
  • Rollickin’ Aqua blue green with white pearl (frost)

FLUIDLINE

  • Blacktrack Solid flat black

EYE KOHL

  • Smolder Intense black
  • Fascinating Snake-eyes matte white

ZOOM LASH

  • Zoomblack Rich black

POWDER BLUSH

  • Hipness Intense coral with soft white pearl
  • Fashion Frenzy Mid-tone blue pink

IRIDESCENT PRESSED POWDER

  • Sassed-up Soft coral pink with gold sparkle
  • Verve-acaious Intense yellow gold with gold pearl
  • Belightful Gilded peach bronze

NAIL LACQUER

  • Girls Will Be Girls Pink with coral pearl
  • Boom! Rich eggplant with purple pearl

BRUSHES

  • 210 Precise Eye Liner Firm, extra-fine tip brush for precision lining with emollient or water-based products. Replacement to old MAC 210 Eye Liner Brush.
  • 129SH Powder/Blush (with decorated pouch) Soft natural fluffed dome Brush for application of powder products on cheeks and face. In a special decorated Fafi-themed pouch.
  • 208 Angled Brow Brush Firm, angled tip Brush for precision application of brow and eye-lining product.
  • 182 Buffer Brush Ultra-soft, large, rounded dome tip Brush for use with powder face and cheek product.

Available February 13th, 2008 in most US and Canada locations, as well as www.maccosmetics.com.

Check out a TON more photos! Continue reading →

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

We have a TON of information about the Fafi collection, which launches today in most locations, but call your store to find out!  Here is the low-down on the Fafinettes!

A faFiNETte is: uNIque, fREsh, iRreVereNT, strong, playful, edgy, fun, sweet, sexy.
Imagine a world where strong, bold women rule supreme, and the expression of femininity via sexuality, attitude, and use of bright, intense colour is de rigueur. Now add a dash of sophisticated urban street cred. Sound cool? Witness MAC’s latest collaboration with edgy graffiti artist, Fafi. For this project, MAC worked exclusively with the Paris-based artist to create three distinct “Fafinette” characters: Monoka, Ermine, and Eriko that embody the signature depictions of sexy, liberated girls that have earned Fafi a devout following in the street art world. What follows is a hip spring colour collection filled with bold, empowering hues, unapologetically girly lip shades of pearly pinks and tangerine reds, iridescent powder, brown, blue and green Paint Pots and Quads, and whimsical cosmetic accessories. And get ready to line up for the limited edition Fafi icon figurine, a highly collectable toy created exclusively for MAC. Step into the magical world of FAFI FOR MAC, where anything is possible.

MeeT tHe MAC faFINetteS
These ageless creatures live in a fantastic, magical realm called the Carmine Vault, but they love to peer in on us. Fafinettes crave colour and creative expression, and they’re inspired by hip earth chicks that incorporate
bold, fabulous makeup into their style. The three Fafinettes you’re about to meet began to notice that this iconic
kind of trend-making female shopped at MAC. So like elves, by night they hop in Lupus, their jet-setting, dimension-travelling car, and sneak into MAC stores to play with makeup!

moNokA:
The book nerd, Monoka, loves the blinding lights and technology-driven culture of Tokyo. She also has a weakness for shochu (Japanese vodka) and delicious sukiyaki, a thinly sliced beef dish served with raw eggs. She’s a consummate bibliomaniac and loves to read the classics, but she has a weakness for ’50s-era French erotica, and plugs into rap music in her spare time. She adores girly lingerie and sleeps with high heels on! On her iPod: Yo Majesty, Lloyd, Ying Yang Twins,
Bat For Lashes. On her Goodreads.com: Edward Bunker: Aucune Bête Aussi Féroce, Bidouille & Violette by Hislaire. Raves: Singing 50 Cent at karaoke bars, Polaroid cameras, Ouija boards. Rants: Tomates à la Provençale, thongs, people who visit her at home and don’t take their jackets off.

ErmINe:
Ermine is your typical cheeky Frenchie with a soft spot for the New York graffiti scene. When she’s not watching
television reruns, she’s in Brooklyn trying to spot new graffiti characters or eating Indian food in Jackson Heights, Queens. She loves snowboarding and knows how to DJ, but she’s over it now because it’s become too trendy. On her Tivo: “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Yo Gabba Gabba,” “Little House On The Prairie,” “V.” Raves: Un Bracelet De Cheville Pour Probation,
the smell of gasoline. Rants: Movies starring Tom Cruise (especially Jerry McGuire), Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes, plastic pushpins.

eRiKo:
Eriko is the big sister of the bunch, and even though she hails from Japan, she’s all about Paris. She especially loves the marche in the Marais, a street market filled with cuisine ranging from crepes to Moroccan dishes, sandwiches, fresh fruits and vegetables. On her Facebook profile: videos of her dancing to the KLAXONS songs, blogs about French Tecktonik Fever. Raves: Baking life-size gingerbread men, collecting chic blue ashtrays – like the ones from the tables at Caviar Kaspia in Paris, Las Vegas print thighs. Rants: Personal Computers, people who own restaurants and don’t hold or participate in food drives.

The perfect pout
Fafinettes know the power of the pout, and aren’t afraid to use their secret weapon. Start with a coat of creamy Lipstick–the collection ranges from pearly blue-pink Fun-n-Sexy to coral rose Strawbaby, then sweeten the deal with a coat of MAC’s signature Lipglass in Fafinette-friendly shades like Totally It (sheer bright pearlized pink) and Cult Fave (blue-pink with white pearl).

cAugHt in tHe hEADlightS
A Fafinette might appear to be doe-eyed, but like some pop stars we know, she’s not that innocent. Shades like silvery green You’re Fresh Eye Shadow and dirty purple Nice Vice prove that this chick’s not afraid to show her true colours.

iT’s aLL aBout pLAytime
Limited edition makeup bags and the tres chic Fafi figurine, by Medicom Toys, let you take a step deeper into the fantasy world of the Carmine Vault, a parallel universe where girls just wanna have fun, and do. Fafi, a now internationally acclaimed artist, started tagging walls in her hometown of Toulouse back in 1994. Today, her murals are welcomed in countries across the world, including the U.S., Japan, Germany and Spain among others. She has two books, Girls Rock (2003) and Love and Fafiness (2006), in addition to various artistic collaborations. She currently lives in Paris.