Q: I can’t afford every Mac brush you have for all the looks, can you list a set of eye brushes that I can use with everything ranging from smokey to natural looks?
A: I recommend the 239 for applying shadow for the most part – it is very much like my Philosophy shadow brush that I use for nearly everything. It is a good idea to get at least one firmer, flat brush like the 249 or 252 to apply cream products like paints, paint pots, your base, etc. You can always purchase less expensive brushes like Sonia Kashuk brushes (available at Target) or paint brushes from a craft store.
Q: I was wondering if you could tell me how to depot a mac eye shadow? I swear I saw it on your site before but I may be mistaken. I can’t seem to find it now. Someone said its possible to do with a flat iron and its easier? Would you be so kind as to send me the link to the page of the depot tutorial or let me know how to do it?
A: I don’t have any tutorials or detailed info about depotting on my website, but these are some excellent resources to check out: MartyGreen’s Depotting FAQ and Sara(m)’s Depotting Tutorials.
Q: How can you tell the fake MAC from the real thing?
A: A lot obviously fake MAC products are eyeshadows that open up like a compact and have a sponge-tip applicator and/or mirror – those are totally fake! In terms of fake MAC pigments, they tend to be extremely fine milled and almost chalky in texture, rather than shimmery or simply matte. Be wary of unusual looking labels at the bottom of products, sometimes the font/text will be abnormally large or in a different type.
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Q: Where can I find discounted MAC? I can’t afford MAC at retail price.
A: My favorite place to find discounted MAC is at Makeup.com. They always carry various MAC products at slight discounts. Right now, though, there is a code for 50% off MAC orders of $50 or more, if you use code SAVE50 at checkout. This is such a great deal, and it is not as if MAC goes on sale at the actual MAC stores 😉 For brick & mortar shoppers, check for a Cosmetics Company Outlet store near you, which carries slightly discounted MAC and other Estee Lauder brands.
Q: What do you use the most, Pigments or the regular eyeshadow? (If it’s eyeshadow, do you use the shiny eyeshadow or velvet? what kind) And do you know how to make eyes look smaller?
A: I use both regularly – I generally use a pigment for nearly every look I do, but I also use several eyeshadows, too! I love all textures in eyeshadows. My favorite would be veluxe pearls, though. I know one trick that tends to make eyes look smaller is liner on both the upper and lower lash line. For some this opens up eyes, but on others it closes them quite a bit.
Q: Do you find that your craft brushes are the best for applying your eyeshadow? I bought a new eyeshadow brush from the Body Shop yesterday and it’s pretty stiff. My less expensive brush is a lot softer, but I don’t know if that’s worse to apply eyeshadow with. What do you suggest?
A: I apply my eyeshadow with a makeup brush, actually, but I have no problems with craft brushes. I would only recommend ensuring that it is extremely soft for shadow applications! Sometimes a brush will soften a bit after some use, though. I definitely suggest using whichever one works the best for you – so maybe try them both and return the one that doesn’t work so well!
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Q: I was wondering if you could tell me what sort of colours & looks would suit my colouring? I’m very pale skinned, sort of coldly, & I have very dark brown hair and eyes. I find it hard to get the right eye shadow colours, looks often look weird on me I don’t really know why.
A: I really am a firm believer in that everyone can work any color they want to – it is just a matter of pairing it with the right complimenting colors or using various hues and concentrations of it. Because you mentioned that you feel like you are cooler toned, you would most likely look lovely in forest greens and deep browns. I imagine even purple tones paired with warm golden hues would help to add warmth to your complexion, as well. Your best bet is to start off experimenting with neutral colors, and then figuring out which types of neutral colors work best – then applying that saturation/hue to colors. If coffee browns are great on you, try a deep green with just a touch of the warmth that coffee brown has.
Q: I’m very much interested in mac eyeshadows. Can you recommend shades that suit all occasions and the must haves of mac products? How good are mac lipglosses?
A: Some great shades that I find myself always returning to are: Ricepaper (great highlight/neutral), Amber Lights (excellent deep brown), Carbon (awesome matte black), Goldmine (gorgeous gold), and Sumptuous Olive (dark olive green). In terms of must-have MAC products, I definitely suggest checking out pigments if you can; they’re great multi-purpose loose colors in jars. I adore MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid foundation for a gorgeous matte complexion. I personally like their lipglasses and glosses, but I couldn’t tell you for sure if they’re oh-so-much better than any other brand’s glosses. I do love their variety, though. They have a wide range of gloss types, from sticky to non-sticky; pigmented to sheer.
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Q: I love love love MAC paints as eyeshadow bases, but my tubes always gush like crazy and i lose ALOT of product! Is there anything I can do? I squirted one into a screw top container like others do with pigment samples and it dried out! HELP
A: Here’s a tip I know has worked for a ton of people: unroll the bottom part! This should help minimize the gushing! Let me know if it does help.
Q: I like to apply a beige e/s over the entire lid, and then just a brown line in the upper and lower lash line for a very classic, understated look, but after 30 minutes my eyes look gray, tired, awful! SOS, which one do you recommend for this not to happen? I’m NC 25-30, yellow undertones, hazel eyes.
A: Perhaps try using a similar colored eyeshadow like Grain or Yogurt eyeshadows to help set the shadestick. Alternatively, you could invest in Untitled or Architecture paint and try it that way!
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Q: I was just wondering if you work for MAC officially? Or are you just a make-up artist that loves their products?
A: Nope, I don’t work for MAC in the slightest! I’m just a fan of their products, and I don’t really consider myself a makeup artist, since it isn’t my profession or anything 😉
Q: So I was just wondering, could you do an article sometime about how you keep your makeup organized? I’m looking to start up my own collection, but I’m hesitant to buy very much since I won’t know how to keep it all nice and tidy so I’ll actually use different colors. Do you use a case from Mac or do you have any other recommendations that’ll keep everything organized?
A: If you look at my collection post, you can see how I store my makeup. I don’t use a case for MAC, if you mean a traincase. I do own a traincase, but I bought it at a random beauty supply store for $30 or so. I only use that when I travel, but generally not for storage when I’m at home. Silverware drawers make excellent holders of pigments and pots! You can also find small plastic drawer sets at Target or Walmart that work really well for storing larger items. I’m moving soon, so maybe I’ll do a new organization article when I get my stuff settled in!
Q: Do you know what is similar to Melody e/s?
A: There aren’t any colors very similar to it that are in the permanent line. Melody is nearly matte (or maybe it is, I can’t remember), and MAC’s permanent teal colors are shimmery. However, there is a collection coming out this Thursday that has a teal shadow called Big T that reminds me an awful lot of Melody – at least moreso than any of the existing colors.
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Q: I have Shimpagne MSF, do you think its similar to Astral Rays or do you think Astral Rays would be a good alternative to Shimpagne? Thanks!
A: Shimpagne and Astral Rays really aren’t in the same family. Astral Rays is such a creamy, nearly white, color whereas Shimpagne is more bronzy. I’m not a big mineralize skinfinish fan (gasp!), so I adore Astral Rays Plus, it sticks better since it’s liquid instead of powder.
Q: What does FOTD stand for?
A: It stands for Face Of The Day!
Q: When applying glimmershimmers, do I need to use a separate brush? Will it make my powder products streaky? Could I just use my fingers?
A: You can definitely use your fingers to sheer out the glimmershimmer; no biggie. You could even use a sponge applicator if you wanted to keep your brushes clean. I have two buffer brushes – one for liquids/creams and another for powder. That’s how it’s okay for me to use it, haha. I’d try and keep my liquids from powder, because there’ll be some residue leftover from the glimmershimmer on the brush. I make sure to wash the brushes used for liquids at least once a week. Or I’ll use a cheap brush I use for nothing else with a liquid.
Q: What is your nationality/ethnicity?
A: I’m half Vietnamese, quarter German, and a quarter Swiss!
Q: Where can I find the colors you used in this look?
A: Copper (metal) pigment is found at MAC PRO stores only, but you can use your favorite base, and the effect won’t be too different. You could try using a dark base and putting Antiqued or Bronze eyeshadows on top. Grain is a permanent color. White Tie is similar to Nylon, which is permanent. Showstopper can be substituted by Swiss Chocolate or Mystery eyeshadow.
Q: Every time I apply foundation, it cakes! I mean it looks like my skin is peeling, it’s so embarrassing. I’ve tried different moisturizers, exfoliators and different foundations. Do you think it’s the sun block I wear? Also, what’s a good eye makeup remover that won’t dry out here lids and doesn’t require rubbing? I always look like a raccoon the day after I wear eye liner.
A: Helen, are you applying too much foundation at once? Is your skin naturally on the dry side? You might want to try a moisturizing foundation like Moistureblend or Mineralize Satinfinish. I also hear great things about using mineral foundations, like the ones by Everyday Minerals. I don’t think it’s the sunblock causing problems, but you could always try going without it and putting foundation on to see it. Many foundations do have SPF15 in them, at the very least. A good eye makeup remover is likely to be oil based, because oil helps break down makeup faster and requires less rubbing and scrubbing. I have no real preference on these, and so I just buy what’s on sale at the drug store. You can also buy makeup remover wipes, and there’s not too much rubbing involved.
Q: I haven’t been to a MAC store in awhile, are they still selling the 182 Couture brush?
A: Hi Aramis! It came out quite a fair bit ago, so I doubt that they’re still at stores, but it never hurts to ask. It depends on whether the magic date where they have to return any leftover stock from special launches has occurred or not.
Q: I wanted to ask if you used anything to prep your lids before applying eyeshadow / pigment on them. The colors seem to turn up nicely and intense whereas when i use eyeshadow, it always seems washed out and it doesnt really appear unless I put a whole heap on. I use a eyeshadow brush from The Body Shop and the 224 brush and I’ve tried using the Beige-ing Shadestick as a base but it doesnt really help. I’ve done a bit of “research” and have read raves about Urban Decay’s Primer Potion but unfortunately Australia do not stock UD. Can you please recommend me something i can use or do?
A: I use MAC’s water-based mixing medium, albeit a homemade version (one part liquid glycerin to three parts water, shake it together, voila!) combined with pigments. I take a tiny drop of the mixing medium and put it on my brush, then I pick up pigment and apply it to my lid. It acts as my base and doesn’t crease and stays on all day. You can try using MAC’s Prep + Prime Eye or MAC Paints, as I know lots of people like those as bases. I found paints to be pretty helpful in that respect, but I have a preference for pigments as bases. Chanel also makes a great eye primer, though I’m not sure if the pricetag is too hefty! L’Oreal makes a great product called De Crease, which is similar to Urban Decay’s Primer Potion, so if you have that available in Australia, try that first since it’s the cheapest!
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