Friday, January 14th, 2011


MAC & Wonder Woman

MAC Wonder Woman: Behind the Scenes

This spring, Wonder Woman – DC Comics’ most iconic heroine of all time – teams up with M·A·C with superpowered zing and the strength of the Amazons to create a larger-than-life colour collection.
The M·A·C Wonder Woman collection has the power to transform Plain Janes across the land into gorgeous glamazons.

Criminally outdated colour and un-dimensional skin finishes are no match for M·A·C Wonder Woman’s daredevil feats. Featuring super-sized packaging like you’ve never seen before; bigger and better-than-ever Mineralize Skinfinish banishes chalky powders to a land far away, creating an other-worldly, multi-dimensional glow for all. Create powerful day-to-night looks with ultra-versatile Eye Shadow Quads and Pigments, plus Lipsticks and oversized Lipglasses that always speak the truth. Jumbo Powder Blush packs a punch to perk up dull complexions, and our intense, colour-saturated Opulash lends comic book-worthy colored pop to attention-starved peepers. Add Penultimate Eye Liner and Nail Lacquer to the mix to take women everywhere from mild-mannered undercover operators to goddesses with supernatural abilities to charm, seduce and kick major sass. Great Hera! Looks like M·A·C and Wonder Woman have saved the day again.

Check out the comic strip and Q&A with Gordon Espinet, Jennifer Balbier, and James Gager!


MAC & Wonder Woman


MAC & Wonder Woman


MAC & Wonder Woman

Q&A with Gordon Espinet, Vice President Global Makeup Artistry, M·A· C Worldwide

Q: What’s the color story for spring and how is Wonder Woman the perfect beauty icon to tell it?

A: For spring we have seen that one of the biggest outstanding trends is a very early, fresh ‘70s look. Think a shampoo commercial from 1972, or a Cheryl Tiegs or Farrah Fawcett type of girl. It was this whole idea of the “modern woman,” which is a minimalist approach that produces a maximum effect. It’s a very nude face with products that are used to sculpt, with hints of pop art colors and cool tones. And of course, Wonder Woman is the ultimate modern woman.

Q: As a makeup artist, surely Wonder Woman—one of the most famous (and beautiful) superheroes of all time—presents certain beauty connotations in your mind. What is her look all about?

A: Personally, I definitely go back to Lynda Carter, but Wonder Woman has many different incarnations! No matter what, it always stands out to me that she is a true natural beauty. She wears makeup, but the makeup never wears her.

Q: Mineralize Skinfinish features prominently in this collection. What is great about this product from your expert perspective?

A: Everyone is obsessed with this product! It operates like a powder and mimics the skin it lays on: If you put it on creamy skin it lends a creamy texture, apply it to matte and it creates a matte look. It’s basically your skin…but better! It also gets rid of blotchiness, redness and discoloration. It’s truly, for lack of a better phrase, “idiot proof.” The technology makes it possible for Skinfinish to be easy to apply and fall in all the right places without looking like you tried too hard.

Q: Each extra-large Mineralize Skinfinish compact offers both shimmer and matte finishes side-by-side. What is the value in that? Can you offer any application tips?

A: The fact that it’s dual-sided means you can create very dynamic looks: Use the matte product for shading and shaping, and the shiny section creates highlights. Together they work in unison so you achieve perfectly sculpted cheekbones, eyes, jawline, décolleté… you can actually use this product anywhere. It’s all about the application. For example, for matte use I would recommend our 116 cheek brush to sculpt under the cheekbone: just start beneath and brush up. The 227 looks like a giant eyeshadow brush and it’s fabulous to swipe on shimmer to create gorgeous highlights above the cheekbones. I also love 224 brush to sculpt the eye area and crease, and the 219, which looks like a fat crayon and which you can use with the matte side to emphasize the eye as well.

Q: This collection includes strong, rich eye and lip colors. What’s the best way to rock a bold look even if you’re not a superhero?

A: Focus on one feature. I love a rich lip, and an easy-to-wear technique is to concentrate the color near the center of your lips and fade as you get nearer to your lip line. That way you avoid a heavy outline and create a bright lip that’s still kissable, not threatening. For eyes, instead of creating a rainbow of different colors, stick with a rich shade applied near your lashline and softly blend out.

Q: There is a “makeover” element to this collection, as M·A·C’s Wonder Woman helps Plain Janes go from drab to fantastic. What’s the one product a woman should try to instantly liven up her look?

A: Every woman should try the colored mascara in this collection! It’s not only great in terms of offering this highly pigmented, fabulous colour, but the Opulash formula is amazing. It’s so versatile, you can put it on curled lashes and it doesn’t weigh them down, and the brush is nice and big, which makes for even, effortless product distribution. I would recommend choosing the shade you’re most drawn to, pair it with a matching eyeliner softly smudged against the lashline, and a nude face. That way the look isn’t too graphic and you get this great pop of color.

Q&A with Jennifer Balbier, Senior Vice President Product Development, M·A· C Worldwide

Q: What was your inspiration for this collection? Clearly, there’s a focus on Wonder Woman the comic book heroine, but when you were in development mode, were there any nods to the Lynda Carter incarnation?

A: First off, we’ve been obsessed with Wonder Woman for quite some time; she’s this character who was an amazing icon. So we took her most popular incarnations into consideration and gave her two distinct looks. One is more day-friendly, almost like a Wonder Woman off-duty version, the other is more kitsch and comic book. One thing we discovered was that over the years, she has shown up as all kinds of nationalities across the world, so she was a perfect match with our All Ages, All Races, All Sexes credo. We also designed the looks with all skin tones in mind. Ultimately, this collection is all about transformation.

Q: How did Wonder Woman’s Amazonian roots come into play?

A: She is truly the embodiment of female empowerment and girl power. The collection reflects that strength in both the shades and the over-the-top packaging.

Q: The M·A·C Wonder Woman collection features some serious super-sized packaging. What was the inspiration for the larger-scale Penultimate Eye Liner, Lipglass, Blush and Mineralize Skinfinish for this collection?

A: How could we not go there!? This collection, more than anything, had to be larger than life, iconic and deliver – just like Wonder Woman herself. The giant size of the products obviously makes a statement and they speak for themselves. I especially love the big compact – it’s a riot. It was quite the experience, going to Italy where we bake our Mineralize Skinfinish, explaining to them that we needed to create super-sized versions. We had to create larger tiles just to accommodate the baking process!

Q: So tell us, what is Wonder Woman up to these days?

A: Wonder Woman is very busy fighting the evils of her arch-enemy Medusa, making sure Medusa doesn’t turn the women of the world into Plain Janes. She uses the power of makeup to eliminate dullness and make women beautiful, which is the role our makeup artists play in real life. They use their skills and products and artistry to make any woman who feels like a Plain Jane look and feel ”wonder”ful.

Q: Wonder Woman recently got a well-publicized makeover, but the imagery in this campaign features her more traditional look. Is there a reason for that?

A: We wanted to go with the more universal, traditional look. We live in a time when people really want to honor icons – her look is both classic and modern.

Q: If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?

A: I’d like to be able to charm or persuade anyone at any time, in any place, and get anything I wanted from them. It reminds me of the character in the Patrick Süskind novel, Perfume, who is able to seduce people with fragrance as the ultimate aphrodisiac. That’s a pretty powerful ability! Hey, it could come in handy.

Q: Tell us about Wonder Woman’s color palette and the assortment of products in this collection. What, from your perspective, is notable here?

A: We’re especially proud of the colored mascaras, which are already creating a buzz around the M·A·C offices. They’re unique because the pigment is so strong, it really pops in a way that we’ve never been able to achieve before. We had to create these for Wonder Woman so she could transform herself – she can’t just wear plain black mascara! – and you could definitely say this pigment is as super-strength as it gets.

Q: How is M·A·C Wonder Woman on trend for spring?

A: As we create these collections, not only do we have to do the icon justice, but we have to make sure they reflect the trends. We ended up making the shadows in monochromatic blues and greens, which is seamless for the collection but also very now. The blush is sheer and buildable, and the Skinfinish compacts will lend any skin tone the kind of healthy glow that Wonder Woman gets from all that flying around outside.

Q: Love the strong nail polish colors. Red is always a classic, but do you think women will rock the navy blue?

A: She can wear a more incognito red by day, but by night she needs a superpowered navy.

Q: If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?

A: Oh that’s tough! I think it would have to be health-related actually. I would want to be able to cure everything!

Q&A with James Gager, Senior Vice President & Creative Director M·A· C Worldwide

Q: Wonder Woman is the most popular superheroine of all time, and M·A·C is the most beloved cosmetics line. What else do you two have in common?

A: What M·A·C and Wonder Woman both share is the idea of empowerment. She’s an iconic character and a brand unto herself: Wonder Woman is empowered to do the most magical, wonderful things to save the day. With M·A·C, our products empower women by allowing them to look great and feel better than they ever have in their lives.

Q: While anyone who’s a comics fan knows the Wonder Woman mythos by heart, not all of us know the origin of this collaboration. Can you tell us how it came together?

A: We’re always looking for unique, interesting, unexpected collaborations. Recently, there’s been a revived interest in comic books, but more importantly, it feels like this collection touches the zeitgeist of women being more powerful and influential than they ever have been before, politically, financially and culturally. It’s the right partnership at exactly the right time. We have a list of dream collaborations, and Wonder Woman was one that just happened to fall into place perfectly. Of course, it’s never quite that easy (laughs).

Q: How does this collection reflect Wonder Woman’s two greatest assets: unrivalled physical prowess and divine beauty?

A: We decided to take a really fun direction that’s somewhat literal. Since Wonder Woman has this amazing strength, we decided that the products in the collection should be larger than anything we do; from the size of the compacts to the jumbo blush, this collection is literally larger than life! That was the attitude we took. We also decided that instead of assigning a model to express the look, because the genesis of this collection was a comic book character, we worked with an illustrator to develop a comic exclusively for the displayers and visuals.

Q: What was your inspiration for this collection? Clearly, there’s a focus on Wonder Woman the comic book heroine, but when you were in development mode, were there any nods to the Lynda Carter incarnation?

A: First off, we’ve been obsessed with Wonder Woman for quite some time; she’s this character who was an amazing icon. So we took her most popular incarnations into consideration and gave her two distinct looks. One is more day-friendly, almost like a Wonder Woman off-duty version, the other is more kitsch and comic book. One thing we discovered was that over the years, she has shown up as all kinds of nationalities across the world, so she was a perfect match with our All Ages, All Races, All Sexes credo. We also designed the looks with all skin tones in mind. Ultimately, this collection is all about transformation.

Q: How did Wonder Woman’s Amazonian roots come into play?

A: She is truly the embodiment of female empowerment and girl power. The collection reflects that strength in both the shades and the over-the-top packaging.

Q: The M·A·C Wonder Woman collection features some serious super-sized packaging. What was the inspiration for the larger-scale Penultimate Eye Liner, Lipglass, Blush and Mineralize Skinfinish for this collection?

A: How could we not go there!? This collection, more than anything, had to be larger than life, iconic and deliver – just like Wonder Woman herself. The giant size of the products obviously makes a statement and they speak for themselves. I especially love the big compact – it’s a riot. It was quite the experience, going to Italy where we bake larger than life! That was the attitude we took. We also decided that instead of assigning a model to express the look, because the genesis of this collection was a comic book character, we worked with an illustrator to develop a comic exclusively for the displayers and visuals.

Q: So tell us, what is Wonder Woman up to these days?

A: Wonder Woman is very busy fighting the evils of her arch-enemy Medusa, making sure Medusa doesn’t turn the women of the world into Plain Janes. She uses the power of makeup to eliminate dullness and make women beautiful, which is the role our makeup artists play in real life. They use their skills and products and artistry to make any woman who feels like a Plain Jane look and feel ”wonder”ful.

Q: Wonder Woman recently got a well-publicized makeover, but the imagery in this campaign features her more traditional look. Is there a reason for that?
A: We wanted to go with the more universal, traditional look. We live in a time when people really want to honor icons – her look is both classic and modern.

Q: If you could choose any superpower, what would it be?
A: I’d like to be able to charm or persuade anyone at any time, in any place, and get anything I wanted from them. It reminds me of the character in the Patrick Süskind novel, Perfume, who is able to seduce people with fragrance as the ultimate aphrodisiac. That’s a pretty powerful ability! Hey, it could come in handy.

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23 thoughts on “MAC Wonder Woman: Behind the Scenes

  1. tamara manor

    OMG-Jim Gager used to be my boss at prescriptives!

  2. Sylvie

    What’s this thing about the MSFs being larger? It’s got me picturing hotcakes big since a regular MSF is already quite sizeable.

  3. Lena

    Honestly, the idea of a supersized MSF is so awesome! Ohmigod! (faint)

  4. Medusa

    lol that comic is embarrassing

  5. Faye

    The copy and ad campaign I love . . . the collection, sadly, not so much. Oh well.

  6. Jamee

    Wasn’t sure where to post this, but I thought some people might be interested. I was just browsing the MAC website and it looks like both the fluidlines and Saffron eyeshadow from Mickey Contractor are available to buy right now. I can’t say that they won’t be canceled once ordered, but it’s worth a shot for anyone that really wanted them.

  7. Wendy

    I’m loving the idea of larger products!

  8. alex

    FYI

    “our Mineralize Skinfinish, explaining to them that we needed to create super-sized versions. We had to create larger tiles just to accommodate the baking process!”

    This line was pasted into the wrong Q/A.

    It should be in the skinfinish section (where the sentence was cut off) and it wound up in the answer for “what super power do you wish you had”

  9. Sarz

    Medusa could really use a bra.

  10. KayDi-Kat

    Well, just as I thought that the packaging was growing on me, then they go and supersize everything! Sorry, MAC… PASS!

  11. Girl

    i am not going to be buying a single piece from this one…

  12. I really love that you post the behind the scenes for the collections!!!

  13. Carrie Ann

    I’m excited about this collection because I love Wonder Woman and because it comes with some new MSFs, but I wish they hadn’t super-sized everything. It already takes me forever to use up makeup products and this seems like an excuse to jack up the prices. Now I can’t afford to get as much as I’d like to from this collection. I mean, $35 for a MSF and $19.50 for a Lipglass??

    • IDA

      God, you don’t realize how lucky you are with the prices on MAC products in the US. In Sweden (or the rest of Europe for that matter) the prizes are double and the normal price for a lipglass is $24 and $26 for a lipstick. Normal price for a MSF is $39.

      I don’t even want to think about what the prices will be over here on these super-sized products.

  14. Oh gosh! So excited for this collection!!! :) :) :) Some people may not be into the packaging, but I love it. Its very wonder woman-ish!

  15. Michaela

    I’m sorry but I don’t see what is so “over the top” about the packaging. I’m disappointed they didn’t put actual pictures of Wonder Woman on the compacts like the Hello Kitty collection and the Venomous Villians collection. The colors are ok but I will probably pass on this collection. And what a shame seeing as I was so excited about collection in the first place.

  16. I’m probably going to indulge in the MSF. The colors are a little uninspired. But! Kudos for the Patrick Suskind Perfume reference.

  17. Sherrie

    Do you know if any face charts are going to be posted on MAC website?

  18. Betsy

    I just received my 3 Wonder Woman items yesterday…Emancipation Lip Glass, Amazon Princess blush, and Satin Spitfire lipstick. I for one LOVE the packaging. It bring us back to a time when cartoons and heroins were an important part of life. Plus with the bright red/blue, my lipstick and blush will not be lost in the sea of black compacts in my drawer. The supersize lipglass – OMG I LOVE it, the consistency, the large sponge applicator, the color – I am going out this afternoon to buy another one cuz I never want to be without itj!! Maybe I’ll try the colored mascara too….

  19. daisy

    i bought both the blush and finishing powder, the package looks cheap, but the products are alsome! i am now using it everyday!