MAC Fabulous Felines: Look Breakdowns and Q&A
You can keep her, but you’ll never own her.
From the royal halls of ancient Egypt to the wilds of the jungle, the noble cat has always been associated with the exotic, mysterious, beauty, elegance, and most of all, the feminine.
M·A·C has a seductive new take on the feline mystique. M·A·C FABULOUS FELINES. The most alluring, preening, fawned-over facets of the feline are magnified and accentuated in three new collections inspired by the colours and textures of the world’s most prized pedigrees, perfectly mirroring the rich shades and slinky sophisticated looks we saw on the Fall 2010 runways.
There’s the pampered creature of luxury, the chocolate-hued Burmese, the wild and sleek ginger Ocicat, and the plush and privileged sable Russian Blue. It’s everything compelling we loved on the catwalk…chic, couture-inspired and cunningly compulsory!
Check out collection Q&A with James Gager and Jennifer Balbier, as well as how-tos for each look!
Q&A WITH JAMES GAGER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CREATIVE DIRECTOR, M·A·C COSMETICS
The feline and feminine mystique have long been intertwined. What does this colour collection bring to that story?
Sometimes we come up with a no-brainer kind of collection – and this is one of them. The feline and the feminine mystique have long been connected, especially where women have traditionally been thought to be feline-like in the way they approach men and their ability to get what they want through seduction and playfulness. Having owned cats, I know they have ways of being cunning, cuddly, and catty (in both the best and worst sense!), not to mention they’re quite beautiful creatures.
Where did you get the inspiration for this concept? Any feline icons in mind?
When we create seasonal collections, we always look to the colour trends we’re seeing on the runways. That’s where inspiration comes from – makeup is a translation of the colours and textures of the season. I began to see a lot of fur used – not that anyone would skin a cat, obviously, but the fur reference is a multi-tonal and textural one that translates perfectly here. We saw quite beautiful grey tones leaning to lavenders and browns. Felines truly personify the luxurious collections we’ve seen for fall.
Why is this the right time to tell this particular colour story?
As I mentioned, one aspect has to do with the colours seen on the runways, and how fashion is slowly moving back towards fur, for better or worse. Additionally, women are becoming more powerful as economists, politicians and in other career roles, wanting to lead their lives in the most positive way possible. They know how to use their femininity to get what they want out of life. To connect the dots to cats: There’s always been a powerful, glamorous aspect to felines – the shape of their eyes, the way they move their bodies, the colouration of their fur. The feline embodies seduction, glamour and power, and I think that is what women personify for fall.
The collection has been grouped into three distinct pedigrees: the Burmese, Ocicat, and the Russian Blue. What’s so special about these kitties?
We chose them for their amazing colourations. Once the collection was put together, I had the idea to group them by choosing three distinct felines that reflected the richness in shades and textures. There’s the coveted, aristocratic Russian Blue, the beautiful chocolate Burmese, and the exotic and wilder Ocicat. If you wanted, you could also apply those characteristics to the different kinds of women you know.
Can you speak to the visuals accompanying this collection?
The visuals are really beautiful blown-up shots of cat faces mixed with haute couture beauty images, juxtaposed against a close-up of beautiful cat fur, reflecting the texture. When we styled the clothing, we worked with the very talented Nicola Formichetti; I asked him to create with felt for the garments and make them distinct with other embellishments. To bring this connection full circle, we’ve also made felt makeup bags as part of the collection. The colours are symbolic of the three pedigreed felines in each of our visuals.
We know you have dogs at home, so would you say you’re a dog or a cat person?
I actually have two Standard poodles – they’ve been in my life for a long time. But when my partner and I got our first poodle, I had this gorgeous black cat I adopted from the ASPCA named Josephine. Funnily enough, she had very dog-like behaviour. She was jet black with green eyes – a really beautiful cat. Growing up, I always had cats. I’ve had Abyssinians, Burmese and Persian cats. I love animals in general but, because my partner has cat allergies, we have dogs. I’d say I’m more of a dog person than a cat person. Cats are more aloof, which can be cool.
Q&A WITH JENNIFER BALBIER, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, M·A·C COSMETICS
Your mission is to develop a colour collection that revolves around cats! Where does one begin?
For me it was really easy. I’ve had two cats for 16 years – Miss Charlie Girl and Shakespeare. (In fact, I tried to get Shakespeare a modeling job as part of this campaign because he’s this gorgeous white thing but, unfortunately, it wasn’t the look we were going for!) So it was natural from my point of view. We started by looking at cats as a whole: They’re mysterious, quite unpredictable and, in addition to their characteristics, their coats are quite beautiful. A lot of times I look at Miss Charlie Girl because she’s a beautiful shade of soft brown and I’d like to get her to come out from under the bed and take her to the colourist!
There are three distinct and rich colour stories at play, with lots of attention to texture. How did that come about?
We looked at rich greys and plums and greyed-out greens reminiscent of cats’ eyes, and of course ombré and amber. The felines’ colouration and tonality were part of the inspiration. Texture-wise, we started by playing with the various colours of the hair for each of these types of cats, and developed different finishes between the products. As a result of the various finishes, when the colour is layered, you can really create differences in terms of light and opacity. Cats are never just one shade, so we wanted to create an ombré effect, for example – an amber that burns into gray green.
While the collection is obviously cat-inspired, it’s also catwalk inspired: those two elements had to fall into place with each other. We work with the latest trend reports and saw all these fall colours and textures – smoky greys, plums and warm-toned ambers – and we had to make it all work together. Each cat had to have her own look, as if each cat were a different type of girl.
The new Superslick Liquid Eye Liner sounds really cool. What’s the story there, and what is its role in the collection as a whole?
The beauty of this product is the amazing formula and this magical new applicator. It is super precise – you can easily create a thin line or a thicker one. It’s very long-wearing (15-hour wear!), water-resistant and leaves an incredibly shiny finish. There are nine different shades – three colours per cat. The goal was to not only offer enough “playtime” with the product, but also have it set quickly, while keeping a super wet look in exceedingly jewel-toned colour.
We always like to have a focus for each of our collections, and you can see from this lineup we tended to focus on the eyes. So we chose to include pigments that are complementary accent colours to the eye shadow quads – they mimic cat fur in their multi-dimensionality: It’s never one shade and can be softer and lighter and deeper in some parts.
Got a tip for creating the perfect cat eye?
Actually, that’s why the liner was developed! The way the tip is designed builds a cat eye by itself if you glide it over your lid and swoop the ends. It’s flexible, yet firm enough for precision glide and control. It can be difficult to do a cat eye with a pencil, but this pointed applicator tip makes it simple.
You’ve mentioned that you have cats yourself. As a cat lover, how do you feel this collection will resonate with other fabulous felines?
Everyone knows that cat people are crazy about their pets. There’s a feminine feline connection between people and their kitties that any cat owner will cop to! Cat lovers will be drawn to the collection. Feminine feline enthusiasts always have this one-on-one with their cats, where you look at them and maybe you talk to
them and your cat totally understands you at that moment. Cats speak with their eyes and that’s what we
captured with this collection. Fabulous felines are just like the girls they portray – sexy, seductive, fun, playful,
young and luxurious!
How-to: Burmese Beauty by Amber Dreadon
This look is all about drawing attention to your eyes. Soft textures, and rich dark eye shadows blended and buffed with a few M·A·C brushes, can create the wild drama and soft allure of the feline.
- First, prep the skin with a generous spritz of Fix+ Spray; then gently massage Studio Moisture Cream over the entire face.
- Apply Studio Sculpt SPF 15 Foundation with a 190 Foundation Brush, so the skin appears radiant and flawless. Buff a small amount of Studio Sculpt Concealer over areas that need extra coverage (around the eyes, blemishes, etc). Set everything in place with Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder and a 129 Powder/ Blush Brush.
- The Soft Meow Blush is our contouring shade. With a 168 Large Angled Contour Brush, start just under the cheekbone and close to the ear and sweep the brush following under the cheekbone. Use the same brush again (slightly dusted off) with Prized Eye Shadow just above the cheekbone for a sheer highlight.
- Brows are slightly extended using a 266 Small Angled Brush with Showstopper Eye Shadow and then combed up using Clear Brow Set. This perfect brow will help enlarge the eyes.
- Use Prized Eye Shadow to highlight the eye area. With a 224 Tapered Blending Brush, lightly dust the colour from the eyelid to the brow bone to create a sheer colour wash. Then, using a 239 Eye Shader Brush, swipe Skintone 2 Eye Shadow solidly onto the eyelid.
- Create over-exaggerated eye lines above and below the eye by applying a line of On the Hunt Superslick Liquid Eye Liner.
How-to: Palace Pedigreed by Lyne Desnoyers
A feline’s gaze is glamorous and hypnotic – but can be graphically interpreted via an Eye Liner against muted shades of nudes and lavender. No need to default to the classic “cat’s eye.” This is new, modern, and flatters all bone structures!
- Your starting point is fresh-looking, luminous skin. Apply Mineralize SPF 15 Foundation/Loose with a 109 Small Contour Brush. Use a circular motion on the outer part of the face and a dabbing motion where you need more coverage. If you have any imperfections, use Studio Sculpt Concealer with a 252 Large Shader Brush, then blend it into the skin until it disappears.
- Dust the entire lid with Eye Shadow in Courtly. For a smooth application, use the 217 Blending Brush. Over this, apply Quite Spoiled Eye Shadow with the 230 Brush. Best coverage will be achieved if you use a dabbing motion.
- Next, mix a little bit of Quite Spoiled and Kid Eye Shadows with a 224 Tapered Blending Brush and sweep gently into the crease of your eyes. The idea is to create skin tone-coloured shadow that provides soft definition but not a defined line.
- Now, for the drama. Using the 266 Small Angle Brush, take Blacktrack Fluidline and draw a little “check mark” on the outer corner of your eyes. This mark should follow the line of your lash line and your brow bone. Make sure you keep your black line at the first quarter on the crease. Fill in this “check mark” with the Blacktrack and intensify it with Russian Blue Eye Shadow, using the same 266 brush. The combination of the two will give a very nice, velvety look.
- Eyes like the above look best on a face with some definition. Here, we use Pet Me Blush dusted on the apples of the cheeks, while the cheekbones are sculpted with Taupe Blush. The 116 Blush Brush can be used for both applications.
- Lips are defined with Beurre Lip Liner and then blended with a 316 Lip Brush. Once again, the idea is not to create a line but to shape and shade the lips. Superior Lipstick should be applied with a brush and then given a grand finale with a lush application of Docile Lipglass To soften the edges, apply Showstopper Eye Shadow to the side of the 239 Brush Shader, and blend the two shades together. You need only a small amount of Showstopper Eye Shadow on the top of the 219 Pencil Brush, to add depth to the outer crease of the eye, and also to create a shadow on the inner corners of the eyes.
- With precision, cleanly line the lash line using On the Hunt Superslick Liquid Eye liner. Follow this by curling the lashes and applying a generous amount of Plush Lash Plushblack to the top lashes only.
- Enlarge lips artfully with Velvetella Cremestick Liner; use on the outer corners and blended inward using the 316 Lip Brush. Layer To Pamper Lipstick over the pencil, again using the 316. The whole look is then finished with a dash of Spree Lipglass on the centre of the lip.
How-to: Leopard Luxe by Keri Blair
This mix of warm tones and velvety finishes captures the sensual side of feline characteristics. Sultry browns softly sculpt the eye, and by extending the shape, we create a feline-inspired look that’s both powerful and playful. Finish with a sweetly dramatic lip.
- Before you start with colour, prep skin with Fix + and Studio Moisture Fix, followed by a small amount of Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 in the T-zone.
- Smooth the lips with Lip Conditioner.
- For colour, start with the eyes using Teddy Eye Kohl to line the upper and lower lash lines. Using the tip of the pencil, start at the end of the bottom lash line and wing the liner up to create the template for your liner. Smudge the Teddy pencil slightly around the eye.
- With the 239 Eye Shader Brush, apply Style Predator on the inner corner of the eyelid and blend towards the middle of the lid.
- Flip over your brush and apply Old Gold Pigment to the center of the eyelid, layering it over the base colour of Style Predator.
- Using the 217 Blending Brush, apply Wild by Nature into the crease of your eye. Start in the inner corner and work up into the eyebrow, then follow the natural shape of your crease and pull out the colour to your eyebrow.
- In the outer corner, use the 219 Pencil Brush and apply Notoriety to the outer corner of the eye in the same shape of a cat’s eye (blend this over the Wild by Nature).
- Use Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light under your brow and pull down.
- Using the 266 Small Angle Brush, apply Embark Eye Shadow as eye liner, keeping it tight to your lash line and winging out over the Teddy Eye Kohl.
- Then, to intensify your liner, use On the Hunt Superslick Liquid Liner in the outer corner of your wing!
- Lastly, apply two coats of Plush Black Mascara to the top and bottom lashes. Use the brush to extend your top lashes out and up!
- Clean up any debris around your eyes with Fast Response Eye Cream and a sponge.
- Using the 187 Duo Fibre Brush, apply Mineralize Satinfinish SPF 15 Foundation. Set with a light powder of Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder.
- Apply Utterly Game Mineralize Blush with a 116 Blush Brush. Start close to the ear, and then using circular motions, move the colour over the cheeks, towards the nose.
- Blot off the Lip Conditioner and lightly outline, then fill, your lips with Creamola Cremestick Liner. Finish off with an application of On The Prowl lipstick.