Saturday, November 6th, 2010

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

“If I have a basic motivation, it’s to inspire people to make their life a Masterpiece!” Is that not what we do every day at M·A·C? So it is that the Dutch industrial designer – known for everything from his “Happy Hour” Chandelier to his “futuresonic” way with old Delft porcelain, and for co-founding now-iconic design collective Droog AND the amusing, classicism-meets-futurism objects of his own group, Moooi (from the Dutch word for “beauty,” but with an extra “o” for extra-beautiful!) – wandered HERE…It had to be! M·A·C partners with Marcel Wanders – his first foray into the world of cosmetics – and design sophisticates (and people with innate and irreverent tastes) will be bonkers for these limited-edition Lipstick, Lip Gloss, Sheer Mystery Powder, Air of Style Scent Concentrate and his signature brush and clutch creations, not least of all for their arresting packaging – fine collectors’ items all! But also for the rich palette, inspired by 17th Century Flemish painting, and particularly Vermeer’s – “Girl With a Pearl Earring” – and the idea of an artist painting a portrait, and falling in love. “Always, with a sense of love in the product…” he says. Marcel speaks our M·A·C language.

MAC & Marcel Wanders Lipstick ($22.00 US / $26.00 CDN)

  • Martha Golden champagne with pearl/frost (Frost) (Limited Edition)
  • Gesina Red with slight pinkish undertones (Cream) (Limited Edition)
  • Catharina Fuchsia (Cream) (Limited Edition)
  • Digna Blackened red (Cream) (Limited Edition)

MAC & Marcel Wanders Lip Gloss ($22.00 US / $26.00 CDN)

  • Mary Light gold (Limited Edition)
  • Beatrix Golden nude (Limited Edition)
  • Aleydis Fuchsia (Limited Edition)
  • Gertruyd Blackened red (Limited Edition)

MAC & Marcel Wanders Sheer Mystery Powder ($60.00 U.S. / $72.00 CDN)

  • Light Medium Pale ivory (Limited Edition)
  • Medium Plus Tan beige (Limited Edition)

False Lashes Mascara ($18.00 US / $21.50 CDN)

  • False Black Black (Limited Edition; being repromoted later)

Air of Style Scent Concentrate ($30.00 US / $36.00 CDN)

Look what happens when a design darling and M∙A∙C scent get together. Our opulently sensual Air of Style scent goes solid and heads off to fashionable places, wafting on your skin – and, in its decidedly stylish Marcel Wanders-designed, faceted metal compact-style pendant. Too sexy! Limited edition.

MAC & Marcel Wanders Brush Clutch ($65.00 US / $78.00 CDN)

Classic tapestry meets the modern and exquisite flourishes of designer Marcel Wanders in this limited-edition evening clutch. The interior purse snaps shut to be enfolded by soft layers of fabric. Finishing touches include silk ribbon ties, a faceted metal closure and, to keep this collectible safe, a silky slipcover. Limited edition.

MAC & Marcel Wanders 187 Brush ($75.00 US / $90.00 CDN)

Indulgence or a perfectionist’s finest tool? This Marcel Wanders-designed version of our 187 Duo Fibre Face Brush features a softly rounded duo fibre brush head for the luxurious application of powders, and an elegant hand-turned wooden handle. Limited edition.

Availability: North America November 24 2010 at all M·A·C locations, International December 2010 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and

Check out more photos, behind the collection, and Q&A with Marcel Wanders!

Behind the Collection

M·A·C Cosmetics is widely recognized for its stylish, artistic, quirky and edgy collaborations whose partners run the gamut from the world of fashion and art to Hollywood and pop culture. It is no wonder that the latest partnership is with none other than legendary Dutch designer, Marcel Wanders. The two powerhouse brands are teaming up on a 2010 holiday luxe makeup collection that is bound to catch the attention of makeup addicts and design aficionados around the globe.

From hotel suites to restaurants, beach accessories to bags and furniture to bathroom designs, Marcel Wanders has put his mind, and maverick sensibility, to them all. Marcel’s design philosophy is to bring beauty to the things that we see all the time; to raise the aesthetic bar and elevate the normality of the everyday. “It’s not just about function, it’s about having something you really love and caring about the details that surround you,” says Wanders. Little wonder, then, that his latest collaboration is with iconic cult brand M·A·C Cosmetics: For what could simultaneously be more everyday and utterly personal than makeup?

“As a company I feel we have to explore every avenue of design,” explains James Gager, Senior Vice President and Creative Director, M·A·C Cosmetics, who has teamed up with many of the world’s leading trendsetters on colour collections. “When choosing M·A·C partnerships it’s important that there is an authentic synergy and similar philosophy shared between the brands. We are, after all, Make-up Art Cosmetics so there has to be a strong artistic association to feel it’s the perfect match. I’m always asking the question ‘Is it artful enough to be M·A·C?’” Well, you can’t get more artful than Marcel Wanders. Not only is he an internationally acclaimed designer, but he’s also at the pinnacle of the Dutch design movement characterized by irreverence, risk taking and innovative design solutions – all of which are aligned with M·A·C’s DNA.

Wanders was ultimately given free reign when it came to working on the package design for M·A·C’s Luxe 2010 collection. “We simply told him the products we wanted in the collection and asked him to come back to us with his vision,” confirms Gager. “I didn’t want to put restrictions on Marcel, it’s important that our collaborators approach a project from a fresh perspective.”

The results are stunningly beautiful and most certainly original. For a company whose signature packaging is all about monochrome and utilitarian cool, the M·A·C and Marcel Wanders collection retained that innate signature look with sleek black lines and tactile finish, while pushing the design boundaries as far from simple as possible. As Wanders quips, “We don’t want minimal, we want optimal!”

This maximalist aesthetic works very well for the luxurious tone of M·A·C’s limited edition luxe collection. “We wanted the collection to have a sophisticated feel and the products to have a ‘dress up’ moment,” explains Gager.

It turns out that the idea of dressing up is exactly where Wanders is coming from. Marcel always felt naturally inclined to design for women “because they add a sense of elegance to the world that few men have, and I really wanted to explore the idea of how makeup enhances this quality.” Wanders went back to his Dutch roots and the works of 17th Century Dutch Baroque painter Vermeer, famed for his iconic images of women such as “Girl With a Pearl Earring” (1665).

While the makeup itself wasn’t Wanders’ remit, the colours and textures of the collection are as decadent andsleek as the packaging. Take the smooth opaque Lipsticks and ultra light Lip Glosses – both come in shades including golden frosted champagne, hot fuchsia and vampy blackened red and the Sheer Mystery Powder, which gives skin exactly that gossamer light and flawless finish Vermeer himself was known for. Predict a stampede for the False Lashes Mascara for that untold oomph this party season.

The M·A·C and Marcel Wanders collection is more than a clever edit of what every woman desires come party season. Encased in wonderfully unique packaging with jewel-like compacts, the products reflect the edgy, high-style M·A·C aesthetic and fit perfectly within Wanders’ design dream of creating art out of common everyday items.

Q&A with Marcel Wanders

How did this collaboration with M·A·C come about?

I was talking with a journalist friend of mine about how I felt it would be interesting to work on a project with cosmetics, and I thought of M·A·C. I like to work for women – men are boring but women are exciting!

The breadth of your collaborations is amazing, ranging from crystal (Baccarat), homewards (Target), interior accessories (B&B Italia), fragrance (Cacharel), lighting (Flos), bags (Mandarina Duck) beach wear (Puma) to, of course, contemporary interior design and furniture. What was exciting to you about designing makeup?

Makeup is such a wonderful invention. Women paint themselves to be beautiful, and have done so for thousands of years. This fundamental idea, and the way that it connects to art – first women paint themselves, then the painter takes his brushes to paint her – immediately interested me.

What was your inspiration for the collaboration?

Coming from the Netherlands, Vermeer is my culture and “Girl with a Pearl Earring” in particular inspired me. He is the most important painter in the world to me – to revisit his work was fascinating. It’s such a contrast with the way we work now, which in the last few hundred years has become so mechanical. Vermeer is relevant to me because he represents the idea that there’s an interesting story to tell if you look to your world in a more poetic and loving way. Designing beauty packaging immediately made me think of the painterly connection I mentioned before. We are creating striking tools for women to paint and make themselves beautiful.

Your philosophy is “Here to create an environment of Love…Live with Passion and make our most Exciting Dreams come True”; how does this apply to your collection with M·A·C?

That statement is about everything that we do here. For this collection, it’s about how we’ve created a dream. Like a painter from the Golden Age and his passion, we today use the same tools as Vermeer did 400 years ago to create beauty. It’s a very exciting and beautiful sentiment to me – I feel it’s an elevating and uplifting idea to connect the past and the future in this way. Take the wonderfully intricate Luxe Brush; it was hand milled in Japan as a very classical way of giving lightness to objects. It gives common tools a beauty beyond their functionality.

What was your idea behind the Clutch Bag/Brush Roll?

This is the pièce de résistance and exemplifies how to take a simple and utilitarian object from the painters’ past and translate it into a glamorous modern accessory. The shape derives from how a painter would store his brushes in a textile roll, but the ribbon and stone closure turns it into something beautiful to carry. It transforms into your own personal mobile vanity set.

It’s interesting to me that there’s a fragrance in the lineup. How do you feel about this?

Beauty to me only arrives once all the senses discover it at the same time. Fragrance is a great way to make it all work together, to complete a whole vision of beauty.

Is there a common design ethos throughout all your works?

In my studio we find many different ways to connect projects. I want my work to be a family. I love them to be connected, so I do use a lot of the same design metaphors between different projects. The idea of using current technology to make objects which are completely modern, but that look back in time to when things were handcrafted before the industrial revolution.

Were you involved in the specific shade names of these products?

Yes, the names of the products themselves are steeped in Vermeer, named after the women – lovers, sisters, wives, mother – in his life. It’s important to me that every detail of the collection works together. I would love to make things that are meaningful and emotional, not just practical. To me it’s not superficial, it’s about having a deeper relationship with the things in your life other than just ‘needing’ them. The collection is based on the idea that your tools can be your jewels.

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

MAC & Marcel Wanders Collection

Product & Review FAQ

When will you have swatches?

I hope to have them in the next few days, but I can't guarantee it. I always post as soon as possible - if it's not up, it means I don't have it.

When will this be online? In-store?

I expect it will pop-up online around the 22nd or 23rd, in-store is the 24th.

Why is everything more expensive?

This is MAC's "luxe" collection. They put out one collection each year that's their luxury launch.

Will you be reviewing the brush or the clutch?

No, I will not be. Both are just too expensive to justify for review at this time.

Discussion and debate are highly encouraged, and we expect community members to participate respectfully. When asking a question, please check the FAQ section (above) for information about purchasing, price, dupes, and the like. If you have general feedback or need technical support, please contact us.

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191 thoughts on “MAC & Marcel Wanders Team Up for November

  1. Hilary♥

    The packaging looks amazing, the products are noting special to me. I think I would like to get one lipstick, one lipgloss and maybe one powder mostly because of the pretty packaging. The clutch is gorgeous but so damn expensive!! But seriously, MAC needs to stop – all these collections coming out got me broke. Almost.

  2. lissa

    Does anyone know if this collection will be in any London stores? I want the clutch. Thanks. =)

  3. Liliane

    The design is to die for – very much looking forward to it!

  4. This collection is really interesting but I’m going to pass. The colors don’t seem to go well with my skintone :)

  5. sasha

    do we know why the pressed powders cost so much?

  6. Christine shen

    Loving the packaging of the lipstick, too bad I don’t see a color that I will be interested in.

  7. Carrie Ann

    The lipstick cases are so elegant. I’d probably get one of them just for the beautiful design. :)

  8. ak

    All of the lipsticks look excellent to me and it’s too, too bad that those powders won’t suit me at all because the asymetrical shapes of those compacts look beautiful. So different.

  9. Claudia

    Ouch ! USD 22 for a MAC lippie ? It better be really pretty !

  10. $75 for a brush -___- Guess I’ll be admiring from afar.

  11. leesie

    Oooh, Beatrix looks like something I’m going to want to play with at the MAC counter. And maaaybe buy.

  12. Cherokee

    I really really really want the 187 LE brush. I have the Sonia Kashuk version and have no idea if it is comparable to MAC. I really don’t have the $75 price tag but I am considering treating myself.

    Thanks Christine for always giving us the heads up on these collections. I love Temptalia and you do an amazing job all the time. Hugs

  13. Gloria

    I new to all these mac collections but who or what does it mean when mac teams up with Marcel wanders? Dumb question

  14. Athena

    availability says MAC stores..does this mean it will not be available at any counters?

  15. Annick Chantal L. H.

    Sheer Mystery Powder, in medium plus. Well will it suit with a NC 44-45? We talked a little bit on this collection with the French Mac pro (MAC Pro, rue des st-pères for those who want to come in Paris for christmas holidays) MUA today, and we don’t know if it will suit. I hope. Maybe as a highlighter. I don’t know. Then the brush, the brush, the brush…. It is pricey but this brush is WONDERFUL. So only the duo fibre brush will be proposed? If so, I can wait and will purchase this brush instead of purchasing the classic duo fibres 187. Big kisses from Paris….

  16. Karen

    I love the packaging so much. I want to buy so much of it!

  17. beautiful packaging! what is the mystery powder though?

    • Description from a few years ago: An ultra-fine, super sheer, and very sophisticated pressed powder. “Mysteriously” silky-soft in texture, glides on to give skin a velvety matte, slightly luminous and altogether flawless finish.

  18. Gorgeous, but…really…no.

  19. Megan

    The lipsticks! Love!

  20. Carla

    Can you back 2 mac for the lipsticks?

  21. Tiffany

    I will have to see swatches before deciding what to get…

  22. sarah

    I feel like the collections are getting tackier in recent years.. packaging seems cheap to me :(:( clutch looks nice, though!

  23. Banan

    oh my! love the packaging! I’ll probably get one lipstick and one lip gloss just for that! I’m thinking Aleydis and Gesina…
    the thing is I am totally in love with the clutch and want it badly! but I know I shouldn’t spend that much on something I don’t need! I so would but Ive been getting lectures on saving my money lately so I’m trying to stay strong! BOO!

  24. Molly

    sad that nothing except one lipgloss (that I can most likely pass) interests me. :T Why not come out with some nicer lipstick shades.. well, I saved a lot of money on this one.

  25. Ada

    I’m going to skip this collection. The black plastic stragely reminds me of anna sui packaging and it honestly doesn’t look all that impressive in terms of colour options either.

  26. M.

    Fuchsia is my favorite lip colour. So I really want the lipstick and lipgloss. The bottles are so pretty! However with MAC also releasing Tartan Tale part 2 around the same time I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford all that…Luckely it’s my B-Day soon so I can ask for a ton of gift cards from the store that sells MAC :P.

  27. saku

    The only things I’m liking are the lipsticks and that peachyish nude gloss. The clutch looks good, but no way $75 for that and the brush. I could get 2-3 brushes for that price, lol.

  28. Amanda Enn

    $60 for the mystery powder?! What exactly is it?!

  29. Tess

    Its too expensive to buy a lot of products, but I do defenitely consider the Beatrix lipstick. :’D Cuz I’m Dutch, Marcel Wanders is Dutch and our Queen’s name is Beatrix. Yeah. Like it. Too bad there’s no lipstick named ‘Máximá’ (the princess) because (I think) most people like her better.

  30. What is sheer mystery powder?? Is that duo fibre the 188? That brush is gorgeous!! But $75…

    • “An ultra-fine, super sheer, and very sophisticated pressed powder. “Mysteriously” silky-soft in texture, glides on to give skin a velvety matte, slightly luminous and altogether flawless finish.”

      Not sure about the brush yet.

  31. Perri

    I love all of the lipsticks (except the gold one).
    Very pretty.

  32. Marc

    Ugh why not the dark secret Mystery Powder?

  33. Carie

    Gesina lipstick is calling my name! I’m really pale (NW15) and I love how reds look with my skintone!

  34. jennina

    I did see the actual packaging a couple of weeks ago when I visited my MAC store.

    The packaging looks cheap.

    Does anyone realize it is made of plastic? Yes it is plastic. And the samples that I saw has tiny scratches every where on them.

    Imaging Anna Sui packaging. It is not exactly the same, but it is something like that.

    I will skip this collection.

    First I thought I would get the whole collection, but after seeing the actual things, i have to say it is “OVERPRICED”

    The lipsticks are not beautiful at all after I swatched.

  35. Ada

    I love the packaging! Might buy a lippie just because of it.

  36. This collection is amazing but I thought about passing this collection until I saw the promo pics. The mascara is the only thing that’s coming home to me.

  37. Morgan

    This collection is amazing but too expensive for my pockets.

  38. Courtney

    Ridiculously overpriced. Screw…and…that.

  39. Brigette

    Holy cow, the brush is so amazing.. but it’s $75… yikes.

  40. Vanessa

    I have never bought anything from the “luxe” collection i guess this will be my first time. I think ill limit myself to 3 items :) i love the packaging its so different.

  41. For those who are wondering which Duo Fibre Brush it is in that pic, it’s the 187 Duo Fibre Brush.

  42. Alina

    the brush looks gorgeous!

  43. Vanessa

    Does any one know if the mystery powder going to come with a refill as well?

  44. Is this also available at nordstrom mac store?
    I really need to know

  45. Per email, this is now avaliable to PRO members, and there is no discount.