Tuesday, February 19th, 2008

MAC Cosmetics:  Guide For The Newly Addicted, Part 3

If I’m new, what are some good basics that I should get into first?

It is important to note that everybody is a little different, and their preferences for the type of makeup or kinds of products are not the same across the board. You should use this only as a guideline, but not as something that is universal to every person.

Eyes

  • Primer | Prep + Prime Eye is MAC’s base for eyeshadow, and while it isn’t a bad product, many love Urban Decay’s Primer Potion more. Nonetheless, MAC offers several other products that can be used as primers/bases that are excellent. Paints in shades such as Bare Canvas and Untitled; paint pots in Bare Study and Painterly; and Shadesticks in Beige-ing and Fresh Cement are all great for getting a neutral base. You can always try other shades and hues for intensifying similar colored eyeshadows (e.g., Lucky Jade shadestick with any green eyeshadow over it will bring out the shadow color even more).
  • Shadow | MAC offers a diverse range of colors and textures in their eyeshadow department. It is hard to narrow it down to even ten must-have colors.  As a result, I would rather give you three top notch choices in each color family.
    • Blacks >> Black Tied, Carbon
    • Blues >> Deep Truth, Freshwater, Moon’s Reflection
    • Browns >> Amber Lights, Bronze, Woodwinked
    • Golds >> Goldmine, Gorgeous Gold, Juiced
    • Grays/Silvers >> Knight Divine, Print, Silver Ring
    • Greens >> Humid, Juxt, Velvet Moss
    • Neutrals/highlighters >> Dazzlelight, Ricepaper, Vex
    • Oranges >> Mythology, Orange, Rule
    • Pinks >> Da Bling, Passionate, Pen ‘N’ Pink
    • Purples >> Parfait Amour, Satellite Dreams, Stars N’ Rockets
    • Teals >> Aquadisiac, Shimmermoss, Surreal
    • Whites >> Chill, Crystal Avalanche, Gesso
  • Pigments | Melon, Naked, Tan, and Vanilla are all really versatile pigment colors that work well as more neutral bases.  I also love working with Fuchsia, Golden Olive, Teal, and Violet pigments as well.
  • Eye Liners | MAC makes a whole host of different kinds of eye liners, but my favorite versions are technakohl liners and fluidlines.  Blacktrack fluidline is a long-lasting black gel liner that yields good results for the majority of users.  Graphblack technakohl is the black liner of the technakohl family, and I find it is the one I reach for most.
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.

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

Every bride wants to look her most beautiful on her wedding day, however that may translate in her eyes. It might mean dramatic siren red lips or soft neutrals on her lids. Each bride and her wedding are different enough to warrant a full spectrum of great full face looks that would match her taste and style. However, there are often several common themes that tend to appear when finding inspiration for bridal looks. Because bridal makeup encompasses such a large range of potential looks, this is only one part of a series of bridal make-up tutorials.

Some brides like to use the season to help determine the color theme of their makeup, which is a great starting point!
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