that quote about sums me up when it comes to seasonal preferences. i love autumn. i love the gradual fade from late summer heat to first frost. i love the transformation from deep green to a multiplicity of flaming colours. and i love what happens to fashion and cosmetics, because, while i have grown to appreciate the softer tones of spring and the bold hues of summer, i've always been most at home in the rich, dark shades that abound in the fall. i'll always take the smoky eyes and vampy lips that abound in the third quarter of the year, given my choice.
every year in mid-to-late august, mac cosmetics launches the first of their major fall collections and it's no accident that my two personal favourites are from that time. in 2008, you had the earthy, ultra-dark, stewed fruit shades in "cult of cherry", which, to me, was mac's high water mark as a company. a close second, though, was 2010's "fabulous felines" [a cat-themed collection? for me???] which, while a little more restrained in its colour palette, offered a wonderful range of products for virtually every skin tone and taste. in both of those cases, i purchased a lot of products. i probably single-handedly improved mac's third quarter earnings. and, lest you think i'm a hopeless sap for seasonal marketing, i still consistently reach for the products i bought from both collections with surprising frequency.
|l to r :: mythical, satin taupe|
when i first saw the photos, i think i felt my wallet tremble. the images are a wonderful kaleidoscope of the faces you see on the subway every day remade into megawatt fashion icons. on close inspection, the selection of models does smack of tokenism- only one "model" is not in her twenties, only one is african american, one is asian, one is a man, one is heavier, etc.- but the great "before & after" imagery does wonders to illustrate that we all have a potential fashion model inside us, waiting to be "mac'd over". so does the collection live up to the presentation?
|rerun time :: spice lip liner, cakeshop shadestick, dark diversion fluidline|
first, there's the question of quality. some of the products are just duds and there's no reason for that. mac are more than capable of producing high quality makeup in a variety of finishes and formats and there's nothing in this collection they haven't tried before.
|l to r :: plum fun, runaway red, rebel|
the collection is divided into three parts- "mac basics" mostly neutrals suitable for a wide range of skin tones, "icelandic cool" which features light, shimmery products in cool pastels and "new black" a take on deep dark shades. each "mini-collection" has a selection of products for the eyes and lips, although i have to say that in all of them, the lipsticks and glosses seemed more like an afterthought.
|a classic :: rebel|
among those, the single eye shadows all seem to show mac's formulas at their best. in particular, "mythical", a shimmery copper that reflects pink is a real standout, a shade i really haven't seen before [which is an accomplishment in itself]. of the others, there are some repeats ["outre" looks a lot like the previously released "ochre style, "carbonized" is pretty close to nars' "mekong", "moleskin" is very close to urban decay's "naked", etc.], but if you like the colours and don't already have something close, you're not going to go wrong.
the collection also sees the return of mac's discontinued "shadesticks", large, shimmery crayons for the eyes that can be used on their own or as a base for other shadows. these felt a little smoother and easier to apply to me than when they were previously released, although they are still a little uneven. my favourite of the five shades released is the green-tinged pewter shade "cakeshop", which is actually the only one of the colours that had been released before. all of the shades are very frosty, which makes them a little bit tricky to work with if you're over the age of twenty-five.
|lady grey l to r :: all races, tendersmoke, lady grey, hazy day|
of the other lip shades, they seem like reruns of things that are already available. "rebel" is already available, of course, as is "smoked purple" [at pro locations and, fyi, is one of mac's driest, hardest to use mattes]. i had high hopes for "prince noir" an ultra-deep purplish red like a glass of shiraz, but, while it's a stunning colour, it's also a dead ringer for the pro shade "sin", which i already own. even if, like me, you adore these sorts of shades, there comes a time when you have to admit that no one, yourself included, can tell the difference.
here are a couple of looks with the products i picked up.
i found that the shades from the "lady grey" quad blend almost seamlessly together to form a look that's not quite smoky, but has the same kind of hazy aura effect. i think that this is the sort of combination that works either day or night, depending on the lip colour it's paired with, which is why i tried it out both with "plum fun" and "sin" [as a substitute for "prince noir"]. i must also apologise for the hatchet job on the eye liner. i assure you, it looked fine in the mirror...
|lady grey & plum fun|
mac studio tech foundation "nw15"
diorskin nude hydrating concealer "001"
mac e/s "all races"
mac e/s "tendersmoke"
mac e/s "lady grey"
mac e/s "hazy day"
mac fluidline eye liner "dark diversion"
|plum fun too...|
ysl faux cils mascara
mac mineralize skinfinish "blonde"
mac l/g "plum fun" 
mac l/s "sin" 
|sin on the lips...|
there's no look more classic than an intense red lip and a neutral eye. aside from "mythical", i used a couple of shades that could easily be switched out for other colours in the "mac me over" collection. like i said, if you don't have similar ones already, it's worth checking the new ones out, as they are representative of mac at their best.
[same as above]
inglot e/s #352
mac e/s "ochre style"
mac e/s "mythical"
nars e/s "mekong"
mac superslick liquid liner "on the hunt"
makeup forever concealer pencil
ysl faux cils mascara
mac highlight powder "marine life"
mac l/s "runaway red"