Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

MAC & Mickey Contractor: Interviews and Q&As

If you’re looking for collection information, check out this post! :) Otherwise, this is fun reading material for those interested in what goes on behind a collection, as well as more information about MAC’s collaborator, Mickey Contractor. All information straight from MAC HQ.

Q&A with Mickey Contractor

Mickey, how long have you been working with M·A·C?

It‟s been 32 years since I started working as a makeup artist and this is my 6th year with M·A·C. I’ve collaborated with the brand since they launched in India. M·A·C wanted to work alongside a makeup artist with credibility, experience, the ability to inspire who was also an authority of goodwill in the industry. So when they came to me and said, “We’d like you to collaborate with us, we’re opening a store in Bombay”: I thought, “This is a Godsend for me”. Working with M·A·C was an opportunity to really convey my vision. They have such incredible authority and influence in the industry and becoming a part of that was incredibly exciting to me.

Had you already been using M·A·C products?

Yes, I‟d been using M·A·C for years. I first discovered M·A·C when I was in Canada about 15 years ago where I bought Twig, Malt and Marrakech lipsticks. Those kinds of shades just weren’t available in India. In fact, so little makeup was available in India back then! I’ve been a huge fan ever since.

What’s your beauty philosophy?

For me, beauty is about a natural-looking woman who wears makeup, but wears it so cleverly that it doesn‟t actually show. She‟s also somebody who carries herself with a lot of confidence, not just someone who‟s pretty, but who also has a lot of character. For me…that defines beauty.

See lots more Q&A with Mickey, as well as product development!

Who have been your creative influences throughout your makeup artistry career?

I began my makeup career thanks to Indian Bollywood star and Sixties Item girl, Helen. I also used to look at Linda Evangelista’s pictures in the Seventies and Eighties and be utterly inspired by her beauty. Linda, Christy Turlington, Paulina Poritzcova- they were the models who really inspired us because all we really got to see were advertising campaigns in the very few foreign magazines that were available to us.

You’re known as the Master of Modern Bollywood. How has Bollywood changed since you started working in it?

In terms of makeup, by the Nineties I had managed to influence Bollywood a lot. My whole idea was to try and minimize the old Bollywood way of makeup as much as possible – we used to be into panstick and pancake makeup, which looked really thick. I wanted it to look more modern, more real, more today, closer to what Hollywood does…because it makes it more believable. That was my contribution to this culture. I was doing a lot of movies at this time, so when people saw the makeup they realized what I was talking about and they all started to copy it. A lot of actresses would send their own personal makeup artists to see what I was doing and make them watch me. Most of the A-grade actresses were taking a lot of tips from me, asking what colour foundation they should be using, what kind of look they should go with, etc.

You’ve said that the ‘no makeup’ look requires more effort than a full-on makeup look… how come?

The “no makeup” look in India is about using everything you need to use but making it look like nothing! That’s the reason it’s so much more difficult, because your blending has to be perfect, the contouring need to be perfect, you‟ve got to be able make an exact match to the colour of the skin tone…it‟s very, very difficult. But the products and tools in this collection all work together to make achieving this look so much easier.

What have been your biggest creative challenges?

It‟s taken me almost 20 years to take the Bollywood makeup “down” to what it is today. I’ve been saying “cut down on the makeup, cut down on the makeup” for many many years. Yet there are not a lot of women who are willing to change their makeup very quickly because it’s something they’ve been doing the same way for years. Since M·A·C brought me into the picture it was much easier, though, because I had many more products to play with, and of course M·A·C is an authority in the industry. As a Director of Artistry for M·A·C, people took me even more seriously.

You’ve already worked with M·A·C on product development in the past haven’t you?

Yes, three years ago I created a few foundation shades for the Middle East and India, because so many people wanted to use M·A·C foundations yet felt that they couldn’t find the exact shade and tone they needed. They didn’t have enough yellow undertones in them, which caused them to appear grey on Indian skins. The foundations did so well that M·A·C realized that it was the right time to do a whole collection and expand on this.

What was your inspiration for this collection?

My USP is skin. I am one of those makeup artists who focuses a lot more on the complexion and contouring rather than just colour, so I wanted to split the collection into two parts: “Face” for creating the perfect skin and “Colour” to add definition. The inspiration for this collection really came from what I felt Indian women needed. Pigmentation and discoloration problems around the mouth and under the eyes is something that most people in India have a problem with, so creating the concealers was really important to me. They really work to address these issues on any olive-based complexions and outside of India they’ll also work beautifully on Hispanic, Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern skins, which can also have similar issues with pigmentation. Because creating beautiful skin is always my priority as a makeup artist, I wanted to focus on that, as well as developing the best colours to accentuate it with.

Tell me a bit about the Face range…

I do a lot of in-store appearances, whether that means promoting Viva Glam on World Aids Day or doing one-on-one appointments with the customers. When I meet these women and identify their needs, what it comes down to is that they all want the perfect shade of concealer. So, I created four new shades of Select Moisturecover Concealer that really are perfect for Indian women’s skin tones and anyone with an olive-based complexion. Select Moisturecover is by far my favorite concealer formula in the range. It’s texture works on all skins, even on more mature skins and really doesn’t cake up under the eyes.

The double-ended colour corrective concealer looks amazing. How did you come up with this idea?

This product is ideal for taking a concealer or foundation you already have to almost the exact shade for your skin. If it‟s too dark you mix some of the yellow in to make it lighter. For whiter skins the yellow also works beautifully to counteract the slight greyness or blueness that Western skin tones have. If it‟s too light you just add a couple of dots of the coral to it to make it darker, and the orangey tones neutralize the dark brown or red undertones that Indian skin often has. You can dab them on as colour correctors and then wear your usual concealer over it.

How about the Colour range? How does this reflect your signature style?

I love using browns and earthy tones on the eyes, so I have designed an eyeshadow quad of my perfect neutral colours. I took existing shades of Folie brown and Carbon black, to which I’ve added two new shades, Viva (which means “marriage” – it was great to give the products Indian names), a new golden-y coppery brown, and Jaan (which means “my life”). The name of the quad – Athma – means “soul” because the colours in it really reflect the look that I am known for. I’d say it pretty much defines the makeup that I do in terms of colour.

The lip products are gorgeous and so wearable…

I always prefer to give attention to one feature, and my signature look is really a smoky eye with a mouth that’s really simple and neutral. You can use the lipstick with the gloss, or just one or the other to play around with getting the texture you want, but still have beautiful natural colour. Of the lipsticks, Yash (which means “fame”) is an almost nude-beige-brown and Mehr (which means “grace”, also my wife’s name) is a pink-nude. Any brown tones read as nude on Indian skin, which on white skin will actually read as a stronger colour, but these shades look beautiful on both skin tones.

The four single eye shadows are gorgeously strong shades. In particular, the bright pink is really striking. What led you to this vibrant colour?

Yes, they are. For example, in India a bright pink is known as Rani pink – Maharani’s in Rajasthan used to use a lot of strong bright pinks in their outfits, so I created the strong fuchsia eye shadow, Rani, to reflect this. It looks a lot hotter in the palette than it does on your skin – you can wear it as a light wash if you’re delicate when applying it.

The two Fluidlines are very vibrant and unusual too? What inspired these?

The Fluidlines came about because on the last few films I’ve worked on I’ve been using a lot more colour. I reached a point where I thought that just gold and black would be boring so let’s use a little bit of colour! To create shades like this bright turquoise and green I previously had to use an eye pencil and then put a powder shadow over it. Since everyone was coming to me asking how to recreate them, I thought “why not make it so they can have it in one pot and just paint it on?”

So, from neutrals in the quad to the brighter single colours, there’s something for everyone, then?

Yes, between the quad and the singles you get the full spectrum of choice – a little bit of colour and some neutrals, some matte and some frost. Of course there are so many wonderful colours in the existing line up, but I created what I felt were some of the M·A·C colours that were missing in my kit.

What was important to you in terms of texture?

I like shadows with a little more pigment in them so that they have a very smooth application with great longevity and strength of colour. The single eye shadows have more of a pearl undertone to them – Indian women do love to wear shine and frost. I really love the formulas that we’ve got to now. There was a lot of back and forth with the labs to get them exactly right, but they’re really amazing now!

How do you cope with the challenge of working in the excessive heat in India? It must be hard on you…and the makeup!

It‟s a huge challenge to work in the heat. For years the majority of film studios in India weren’t air-conditioned, and even some today. If you were working outdoors, it was sometimes a nightmare as you could be working in conditions that would dry the skin and also melt the makeup. That’s why I’m so happy with the textures we created in this collection as they really do stand up to the heat with great staying-power and don’t look heavy on the skin.

Is having the opportunity to create your own line of products your dream?

Of course I think it should be every makeup artists dream to create their own line of products.

Will these products work on everyone, not only Indian skin tones?

Absolutely. These colours will work on almost everyone, not just Indian women, but particularly Hispanic, darker Mediterranean and Middle Eastern skin tones, too. Of course you can play with the shades and use them differently whether you‟re a makeup artist or a customer, but everyone will love them I’m sure!

What are your star products in the collection?

The Select Moisturecover double-ended corrector is my star product. In terms of the colour, the Athma eye shadow quad is something I’ll use all the time, and I also really love the Lipglasses. I’ve finished almost all the final product testers that I have – especially the lipsticks and Lipglasses, which I‟m using on a daily basis. I couldn’t be happier with the products that M·A·C has created for me. They’re all perfect.

INDIAN MAKEUP’S IMPECCABLE NEW MAKEOVER…

Living up to its credo of “All Ages, All Races, All Sexes”: M·A·C introduces the “Mickey Contractor” collection. A stunning array of foundations and concealers in shades perfectly calibrated for Indian and Middle Eastern skin tones, and a host of colour products specifically designed to create looks ranging from super natural to vibrantly flattering on such olive and golden complexions.

An award-winning Indian makeup artist, Mickey Contractor has spent the last twenty years bringing Bollywood beauty toward modern aesthetic ideas. “My whole idea was to try and minimize the old Bollywood style of makeup as much as possible – it used to be all about thick panstick and pancake,” explains Mickey. “I wanted it to look more modern, more real, and more today. Closer to what Hollywood does…it makes it more believable,” he enthuses.

A pretty almighty task, considering that this pioneering attitude was unheard of in India at the time (back in the 80s), where neither current products nor modern inspirations were easily available. The lusciously nude lip that Mickey was championing (thanks to his discovering M·A·C Lipsticks in Twig and Malt on a trip to Canada) hadn’t been an option in India before. And the glossy ad campaigns that fueled his vision – Linda Evangelista and her supermodel friends, representing a whole new type of more natural glamazon – were yet to impress upon beauty trends in the Indian subcontinent…

Little wonder, then, that it took Mickey almost two decades to get Indian women‟s makeup pared down to what it is today. “I’d been saying “cut down on the makeup, cut down on the makeup” for God knows how many years, but there are not many women who are willing to change their makeup overnight,” he reflects. Still, the way he made Bollywood beauty icons such as Kajol, Rani Mukherjee, Aishwarya Rai, Tabu, Preity Zinta and Sushmita Sen look, spoke for itself. Soon A-list actresses by the dozen were sending their personal makeup artists to Mickey to pick up his tricks, and grilling Mickey for tips as he worked with them on set, “asking what colour of foundation they should be using, what type of look they should go with,” explains Mickey. An Indian beauty revolution had begun…

Suffice it to say, Mickey is one of the industry’s true visionaries. He has transformed the makeup of Indian film stars and celebrities, becoming the barometer of beauty trends in India, on and off the catwalk. Little wonder, then, that he became M·A·C’s Director of Artistry, India, six years ago. For a brand who always has their eye on supporting artistry and consistently work alongside the industry‟s mavericks and movers, M·A·C and Mickey are a perfect match: both are industry insiders, authorities, influencers and loved by celebrities. So as M·A·C launched into the Indian market they naturally wanted to work alongside the best in the Indian makeup business…and who more knowledgeable, influential and talented than Mickey? For Mickey, of course, “it made my mission to make Indian makeup more natural so much easier,” he says. “I had so many more products to play with, and of course, as the Director of Makeup Artistry for M·A·C they took me even more seriously.”

Back to the makeup collection, it’s the first time that M·A·C has created a tribute collection to a makeup artist. “Mickey is the first makeup artist that we’re collaborating with on a collection because we really have such respect for him as being the master of this market,” says Nicole Masson and Nick Gavrelis, M·A·C’s Vice Presidents of Global Product Development. “He’s touched so many women, men and makeup artists not just throughout the Middle East but globally, too,” adds Nick. “This collection pays credit to one of Bollywood’s greats. Mickey‟s talent and accomplishments need to be celebrated, and, most importantly, his philosophy and approach to skin, beauty and makeup application are such that they need to be shared with the world.”

And what better way than with a signature makeup collection that truly reflects Mickey’s signature beauty aesthetic? “For me, beauty is about a natural-looking woman who wears makeup, but wears it so cleverly that it doesn’t actually show,” explains Mickey. “She’s also somebody who carries herself with a lot of confidence. She’s not just someone who’s pretty; she also has a lot of character.” All of which goes to explain why M·A·C and Mickey Contractor is a collection of two parts: “Face” (to create that perfectly light-handed, luminous complexion) and “Colour” for the jolt of confidence and uniqueness he‟s talking about.

“My USP is skin,” states Mickey. “I am one of those makeup artists who focus much more on the complexion and contouring rather than just colour.” Indeed, it wasn’t long into Mickey‟s career at M·A·C that he first teamed up with the Product Development team three years ago, creating four foundation shades for the Middle East and India. “So many people wanted to use M·A·C foundations who felt that they couldn‟t find the exact shade and tone they needed,” says Mickey. “For foundations to work on Indian skin they need to have enough yellow undertones so as not to appear grey and dull.”

Which leads us into the Face part of Mickey’s collection, simply inspired by what Mickey felt “Indian women really needed.” “Seeing that pigmentation and discolouration problems around the mouth and under the eyes are something that almost every other person in India has a problem with, creating the Face category was really important to me,” he explains. Especially the unique Double-Ended Colour Corrector, featuring a banana yellow and an off-coral that take the guesswork out of customizing your existing concealer or foundation to the perfect shade. “If it’s too dark, you mix the yellow in to make it lighter, which also works beautifully to counteract the slight greyness of blueness that Western skin tones have. If it‟s too light you just add a couple of dots of the coral to it to make it darker, while the orangey tones neutralize the dark brown or red undertones that Indian skin often has,” directs Mickey.

Flawlessly glowing skin in place, the star product of the Colour collection, has to be an eye shadow quad that perfects Mickey’s classicly soft smoky eye. “I love using browns and earthy tones, so I‟ve called this quad Athma, which means “soul”, since it’s the look I’m most known for” he explains. Paired with one of the opaque nude pink lipsticks (Yash and Mehr) or Lipglasses (Flesh and Lust) and you‟ve got what Mickey describes as “the ‘no makeup’ look in India…which is about using everything you need to use but making it look like nothing!” he laughs.

He makes it sound easy, and maybe it now is, but that‟s only thanks to Mickey being an absolute perfectionist when it came to getting the shades and formulations for these products absolutely correct. “Mickey is a pro, he’s using the products and he knows the precise details of them, so it wasn’t so much a challenge as a great opportunity to get the colours exactly right,” recalls Nicole. “We’re talking undertones, overtones, level of pearl, level of coverage…not just to get the shade close to what he wanted but absolutely exactly what he wanted.” High pigment levels and super smooth application topped Mickey‟s wish list, and his specificity certainly paid off. The formulas, finish and lasting power of this collection are second to none.
Two electrifying turquoise and green Fluidlines are anything but low key. Worn like a striking yet simple accessory on the eye, they were a case of Mickey creating one of those products his kit was missing. “To create shades like these, I was having to use an eye pencil and then put a powder shadow over it. Since everyone was coming to me asking how to recreate them I thought “why not make it so they can have it in one pot and just paint it on?!” Well, exactly. There are also single eye shadows that pick up on Indian women‟s love of frost, in four deeply pigmented shades wonderfully reminiscent of Indian silks. Take Rani, a bright fuchsia with a soft pink pearl, inspired by intense pink favoured by Maharani‟s in Rajasthan. “It looks a lot hotter in the palette than it does on your skin – you can wear it as a light wash if you‟re delicate when applying it with your fingers” suggests Mickey.

So, there you have it: M·A·C and Mickey Contractor. A little bit of the brights of Bollywood, a lot of the natural glamour of Hollywood, and definitely something that will fit in every woman‟s makeup bag today. All Ages, All Races, All Sexes, indeed.

Mickey Contractor:  Director of Makeup Artistry – India

He’s a makeup artist who turns heads when he walks down a Bombay street, a talent who literally changed the face of Bollywood and he’s M·A·C Director of Artistry, India. He’s Mickey Contractor whose career started in an extraordinary way – by meeting a muse. As a young lad what came first were the movies. Watching films from age 10, he became transfixed by an actress whose onscreen persona was both cabaret dancer and vamp. At age 10 he may not have known the culture behind the looks, but he knew what fascination felt like. With eyes that flashed, hair that piled high above her head, feathers that rose cockade-like above her head, she was “awe-inspiring.” Her name was Helen Richardson Khan, Bollywood’s legendary “Helen.”

Unlike traditional Bollywood queens, she was trendy. Of exotic mixed heritage, she found her inspiration in English glossies, and took to mimicking the trends of the ’60s and ’70s. The sexy eye liner flicks, the loose bouffant, the sense of sex and liberation. Young Mickey was drawn in.

Something about the hairdo and the feather must have stuck, for upon leaving school Mickey went to work in a hairdressing
salon. Amid the perms and updos of Bombay’s stylish, there was one customer in particular who he was thrilled to work on,
Helen. One day, shampooing her hair, she asked him what he wanted to do with his life and suggested that he learn makeup.
Giving him some insider advice, she told him to go and assist a Bollywood makeup artist.
Mickey was hardly going to ignore his beloved muse. With no formal schools in makeup art in Bombay, apprenticing was the way to go. Unlike Western culture, makeup artistry in India was at that time a family profession and techniques were passed down father to son like family secrets. Because of this laissez-faire, no trends were created. Mickey, on the other hand, had no family connections and was an outsider. Finding a makeup artist willing to take him on, he was taught the basics in foundation.

Assisting for eight months, he began to create his own tricks; after all, he had no family secrets to be the keeper of, he was
free to ad lib – and he did. His techniques became savvy and he started to develop a reputation. Stepping out, he initially
worked the provincial film studios, working on C-list movies – learning but financially barely scraping by. His kit was a mishmash of local brands of makeup and a few brushes he had bought from an art store.

He was also inadvertently networking. The faces he made up in the provinces were also cast in Bollywood. Eventually he was asked to be the makeup artist for a trio of actresses. This was getting closer to his mission, but he was learning something about Bollywood, too – makeup artists weren’t esteemed. The combination of low pay and shabby treatment made Mickey react.  A rebel with a cause, he quit and went to work in commercial advertising. There he earned more, and was allowed a different kind of creativity, one that was more receptive to trends. Finally, he had the freedom to create and develop his look. Dipping into six-month-old fashion magazines, he would look, see and reinterpret in his own style.

As his reputation grew, Bollywood’s interest in him returned. Wooed by director Rahul Rawail, Mickey dug his heels in and
made unheard of contractual demands. Despite himself, he got the job. But there was no shrinking back to the status quo.
When the director screamed, he screamed back. He began to get a reputation. But if his screaming was loud, his work spoke
louder. Juggling Bollywood and commercial work, he attained an unheard of celebrity status in Bollywood and around Bombay: he became a makeup superstar.

Movies meant location work and one year he found himself in Canada shooting a Bollywood film in the Rockies. On the way
home he popped into a makeup store in a shopping mall in Vancouver – M·A·C! Struck by the colours, he picked up something he never thought he could find; perfect nude lipsticks – M·A·C favourites Malt, Twig, and to this spontaneously added a deep burgundy Diva. Back home he experimented and got hooked. This was just the start.

As his reputation grew and his fees increased, he built his M·A·C collection. With no source in India, he would pick it up here and there. In London he would buy a Cork Lip Pencil…Then next port of call he would dip into the browns, rusts, and coppers he would find in the eye shadow collection. He built his collection on one inspiration: the colour spectrum of the Indian complexion.

As his status rose, he began to influence a whole new generation of Bollywood makeup artists – and his fame outside the
country was growing, too. Scouted by M·A·C for their first store in Bombay, Mickey had no hesitation. He still does Bollywood and commercial work, but his work with M·A·C is a passion. Between M·A·C Master Classes round the world, in-store appearances, new store openings (after Bombay, there was Bangalore), Bollywood and its Award Ceremonies, and Delhi Fashion Week, he has little time for much else. His inspiration comes from the West…from the backstages of London, Paris, Milan, New York, and from the glossies, and where he needs to, he tempers them for the Indian taste and skin. As he says, “In India – unlike Paris – you don’t do looks that are so nude you look like you just got out of bed.” He may not realize it, but when he takes a trend, and modifies it, ever so slightly for the Indian market, he’s echoing his muse, Helen who in the ’70s looked at a photo in Vogue and copied it in her own way…And as for those art brushes, with which he learned the art of the liner, yes, he still has them – but only as keepsakes.

Q&A with Nick Gavrelis and Nicole Masson, MAC Vice Presidents of Global Product Development

Firstly please can you tell me about your role at M·A·C and how you work on collaborations?

Nicole: Nick and I are counterparts within the two different areas of M·A·C. Nick is the Vice President of Global Product Development for face, skincare and Pro products, and I’m the Vice President of Global Product Development of all M·A·C ’s colour products.

Do you collaborate directly with the makeup artist, or does the process have to go through multiple people?

Nick: The risk of it going through too many people is a dilution of integrity. It’s critical for us to have one-on-one face time with our collaborators and this is something we did constantly with Mickey in order to review submissions, in both the Colour and Face categories. Then we could decide how urgent is it that we tweak a colour and discuss if it is working, or do we need to go back and involve the chemist for a reform or rework? It can be a long process and Mickey did this very patiently with us!

M·A·C constantly strives to stay ahead of the game in terms of keeping collaborations fresh. Why did you choose Mickey to be the first makeup artist for a tribute collection?

Nicole: The reason we chose Mickey to be the first makeup artist that we’re collaborating with on a collection, is that we really have such respect for him as being the master of this market.
Nick: He’s touched so many women and men and makeup artists, not just throughout the Middle East but globally, too. He’s inspired and mentored so many of our M·A·C Artists that we felt like we needed to pay credit to one of Bollywood’s greats who is such a true and generous friend to our brand. He’s family and his talent and accomplishments need to be celebrated. And, most importantly, his philosophy and approach to skin, beauty and makeup application are such that they need to be shared with the world.

How was working with a makeup artist on a collection different than working with a fashion designer?

Nicole: We do work with makeup artists when we work with designers also, but this is the first time that a makeup artist has put his name to a M·A·C tribute collection. When you’re working with a designer, they have overall conceptual ideas – they like the feel of something, they imagine how it makes them feel when they use the product and how it relates back to the artisan quality of their own clothing. However, Mickey is a makeup pro, he’s using the product and he knows every detail of it, so it wasn’t so much a challenge as a great opportunity to get the colours exactly right. We’re talking undertones, overtones, level of pearl, level of coverage…not just to get the shade close to what he wanted but absolutely exactly what he wanted. How does it perform on all different skintones, does it perform exactly the way he wants it to and so on…

So it’s much more collaborative in the sense that the precise shades and textures of makeup were determined with Mickey?

Nicole: Mickey speaks our language in terms of cosmetics. Designers say ‘take this pink I imagined in my dream and make it!’ Whereas Mickey would say ‘I need this pink to do x, y and z. I need it to have a slightly rosier undertone on this type of skin tone, or a yellow tone’, or ‘I need it to be true and clean’ or to ‘flash’ in a certain way. He was very precise, which made it easier to work with him. You can do the best work when you get the best instruction and Mickey was always 100% clear with us.

It’s interesting that the collection is split into two parts, Face and Colour. Why is this?

Nick: The DNA of Mickey’s work begins with skin. He works in very thin, very carefully applied layers to create a completely flawless skin that will stand up to the harsh environment and the hours that many of these Indian actors and actresses have to deal with. The trickle down benefit for real women is that the products in this collection perform incredibly. They look beautiful and are appropriate not just for Indian and Middle Eastern skin tones, but for anyone that may not have found the shade in the existing M·A·C line up that they want. These shades are special, and have application for absolutely anyone.

I understand that the new double-ended colour corrector is a product ‘first’ and an important and exciting development in this collection. How do they work?

Nick: Yes, the double-ended concealer is a new concept of colour corrector, containing both a pale yellow and burnt coral corrector. It’s the fundamental product that Mickey uses on just about every woman he works with. He’ll use it as a colour corrector before he conceals, or will mix it into concealer or foundation to tone and create an exact, beautiful, natural, vibrant colour. In some cases he’ll even mix it over foundation or concealer. These correctors have a slightly deeper pigment load than our regular Select Moisture Cover Concealer formulation. It will allow you to blend it into an existing concealer or foundation shade to tone it, so that it becomes even more perfectly suited for your skin or the lighting conditions that you’re entering into. We believe that this double-ended concealer will be the star product of the Face portion of the collection. And yes, we are definitely exploring the notion of these double-ended correctors for all shades of skin!

There are also some new shades of Studio Moisture Cover Concealer in the collection – how are these special?

Nick: The four concealer shades, as well as the correctors, are designed to brighten and flatter the skin – as if you’ve had an extra night of sleep! They are specifically designed for those Mediterranean, Indian and Middle Eastern skins that tend to have a little bit of grey in them because it’s golden and olive undertones can easily look ashy and dull. So, the warmth of these shades is designed to be extremely uplifting. For example, when you look at the existing global line up, there’s a big shade gap between NC20 and NC30 concealers. Mickey has created the perfect shade that’s a step above NC20 but has a beautiful golden, slightly peachy nuance that happens to take the grey out and brighten under the eye.

Did you feel that M·A·C needed more products to specifically cater to the Indian and Middle Eastern market?

Nick: We worked with Mickey a few years ago on our foundation and concealer extensions. Since then a new need has come out for more textures and shades – Select Moisturecover gives a thinner concealer feel that deals with the dehydration factor of very dry, arid climates or very drying, humid climates. Mickey was incredible at helping us with this because he is so knowledgeable about proper shade nuances and proper texture choices in foundation and concealer.

Did you have to create new formulas for this collection to fulfill how Mickey wanted the products to feel, look and perform?

Nick: As far as altering the formula of the Face products, we didn’t. We’re repromoting 3 shade extensions of Studio Fix fluid that were created specifically for this market. Then there’s the Prep and Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, which is a staple for Mickey. He uses this product not only to set foundation as he works in these very thin layers to create a beautifully textured skin, but also to strategically control oil. We worked with 3 existing brushes – Mickey is so passionate about artistry tools and these are his selects from the existing portfolio.
Nicole: Luckily for us, Mickey was already extremely satisfied with the texture and performance of M·A·C ’s colour products and he specifically requested certain textures that we already had to be part of this collection. So, for the lipsticks he wanted a fuller coverage, such as the matte Amplified Lipsticks, and for the Lipglass he wanted a creamy fuller coverage rather than a sheer or sparkly formulation. So again, in terms of textures we were able to work within our existing formulas.

So, have you had shades like these in the Colour collection offered before at M·A·C?

Nicole: We have had shades like these appear before within our colour collection, but never before have we put it together into one complete collection that people with these skin tones can use every single product. We wanted to focus on exclusive shades that were hand selected by Mickey. That’s why we haven’t included basics, like brow pencils and mascaras, since they’re available in the existing line up.

What do you love most about the collection?

Nicole: What I love about the collection is that half of the colour products are very neutral – the lipsticks, the Lipglass, the Blushcreme, the eye quad, are all neutrals. But they’re slightly darker than what you might consider ‘neutral’ shades in a Western makeup kit. It’s a base look that any woman of colour could wear. It’s for everyone from a sun-kissed complexion to the darkest skin tone, no matter where they’re from or what their undertones are. Then you have the single shadows, all of which are deep, intense, vibrant, jewel-tone shades that are meant to be layered on. The purple and the red are more contrasting, while the saffron and the forest green blend beautifully into the skin. I also love that you could do anything you want with this collection, whether it is a nude eye with a bold lip or a smoky eye with a subtle lip! There are so many options…

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30 thoughts on “MAC & Mickey Contractor: Behind the Scenes

  1. Lilly

    Nice. Did you conduct this interview yourself?

  2. Pam

    Can’t wait to see the collection!! :) Nice interview!

  3. Mirna

    Glad to know that they are considering adding the double-ended concealer to the regular line!

  4. Cherokee

    I skipped all of the recent collections for this one. Surprisingly, some of the recent collections have not sold out so I am gonna check out a couple CCO’s and see what I can pick up.

  5. Patrizia

    Hi Christine,
    thank you for this, it is really interesting :o)
    I’m in love with this collection but I’m NW20, do you think that eyeshadows, lipsticks, fluidlines and blushes woul still work for me?

    Thanks

    Patrizia

  6. Preeti

    Oh no! So it is going to be limited distribution :(
    I hope you get swatches soon, so I can put in an order pronto if and when its available on maccosmetics.com

    That’s still kinda lame, MAC. If they’re so committed to the saying “All Ages, All Races, All Sexes”, then why don’t they make the collection more accessible!

    As always, thanks for the information, Christine!

  7. Ru

    “…when he takes a trend, and modifies it, ever so slightly for the Indian market”

    I absolutly love this. The duo concealer idea is amazing, and I look forward to looking over every piece of this collection. I also understand what he’s saying about less is more makeup. In the past, makeup used to be real heavy, and shades lighter than a persons skin tone. People wore makeup to make their skin look fairer, and the eyeliner and lip and cheeks were so heavy it looked like a mask. I like that he’s bringing attention to makeup for your skin color, the importance of enhancing someones skin color, medium, olive, or darker is what creates beauty. I do hope that he maintians the Indian culture despite bringing the makeup down a notch, because glamour, sparkle, and color are very much so part of the culture. I will def pay more attention to the makeup now when I watch Indian movies!

  8. alex

    Is it just me? Or does this man come off as incredibly full of himself?

    • Lisa

      Not just you. Also tl;dr

    • Cindy

      Haha no, I totally noticed that. Maybe it could be a language barrier thing? Don’t know how good his English is..

      • I think his English is good…Usually many Indians know the language well…The accent might differ, which is OK, esp if the Grammer is correct.

    • This make-up artist is responsible for bringing huge change in the way make-up was done in India. As he said, earlier ladies used to just slap on 3 shades lighter foundation and the make up used to be thick n cakey. Indian weather was also not helping (hot n humid in most part). This artist showed the importance of well blended, correct color make-up and I guess he is enjoying all the credits…but he is pretty humble man.

    • SuchaB

      I think Indian culture is a bit less formal and many native languages lack phrases for common Western expressions like please, Thank You etc. That general attitude permeates when people speak in English. Also people living in cities like Bombay come across a little gruff. After living here for over 13 years when I go back there, I notice this “arrogance” very much so.

      That being said, he may be totally full of himself. If he transformed the makeup style of Bollywood movies like he says he did, then he is the Steve Jobs of Indian movie makeup. So it’s perfectly possible. Bollywood makeup used to be thicker that a pancake stack at IHOP :-)

    • A

      Glad to know I wasn’t alone *lol*

  9. Elizabeth

    do you know what products were used in the picture at the top?

  10. wow, he’s very modest isn’t he? ;) lol!

  11. Valentine

    “beauty is about a natural-looking woman who wears makeup, but wears it so cleverly that it doesn‟t actually show”

    I absolutely agree with this quote, but, the thing is, I feel like this is NOT the philosophy of MAC as a cosmetics brand. Case in point: I know of at least three women in real life who don’t shop their products because they’re too intimidated by the overdone, even “drag-queenish” appearance of the SAs at the MAC counter and stores.

    • Carrie

      I’ve been in multiple stores/counters (I can name seven stores/counters off the top of my head) and I have to say that while some do overdo the make-up, I’ve also seen many SA’s whose make-up does indeed reflect the philosophy listed above where they just look flawless. I think the variation is just a reflection of the individual SA.

      And really, his comments aside, one of the reasons MAC is well loved *are* the bold and varied colors that they put out there :)

  12. Great piece Christine!!!

  13. morena123

    Hmm just read a little bit. SInce it caters to brown and tan shades I’m excited to see the collection. Because most make lines/collections don’t. I can almost opt for the Brazilian Makeup (Contem 1g)

  14. saku

    Even though he said it’s for mostly everyone. Did he forget about darker skin ladies, like mixed or AA, etc..? lol Well the concealer and shadows sounds interesting.

    • ak

      He wouldn’t think about that. If this wasn’t all done in MAC’s name, I wouldn’t even try it. Oh well for next time.

  15. Heather H

    It sounds like this collection was made for me.

  16. I’m so glad Mickey is getting his dues. He is a genius and deserves even MORE recognition. Go Mickey!

  17. Avatar of Roxanne Roxanne

    Can’t wait for the swatches!!
    Speaking as an NC45 girl, I’m so excited :)

  18. kay

    couldnt care less about what he says. i just want to see the products : )

  19. poinky

    Okay, this might be out of the topic… but I wonder what products (lipstick/lipglass) are used on the lips of the promo picture at the top of the page?