14 January 2012

making faces :: au naturel with mac

photoshop, naturally
every year for the last few years, mac has released two complementary collections just after christmas. two years back, it was split between warm and cool tones. last year, it was soft and shimmery versus bold and bright. this year, they've more or less repeated that strategy with "naturally", a collection of neutrals and soft, shimmery mineral products for cheeks and eyes and an eponymous collection with the iconic iris apfel.

normally, anyone who knows me would expect that i'd immediately gravitate towards the bright side, but since i have a lot of bold shades already and didn't feel that there was anything that looked tremendously different from what i had already, i sort of hesitated.

when i arrived at my local store, a couple of days after both collections had launched, there were still some remnants of the iris apfel collection [although none of the lipsticks, which have been the real hit], but i found myself uncharacteristically drawn to the soft neutrals. me? neutrals? really? am i growing up or something? eek. i hope not.

the mineral shadows, perfect little planets of colour that are mixed to form a shimmery, dimensional whole in use are all very nice. they're generally warmer, but wouldn't be limited to warmer-toned skin. the quality of mac's mineral shadows has been greatly improved over the last few years. the texture has grown softer, the application more even and the texture less prone to grittiness and fallout. it's become a real specialty of theirs, so it doesn't entirely surprise me that they have several mineral-focused collections scheduled for the first half of 2012.

unfortunately, the improvements they've made haven't necessarily improved the experience for me. i've found that shadows released with recent launches just do not like my eyes. it figures. the product is undeniably better in every way and continues to improve. by 2013 i expect that applying one of these shadows will make you look ten years younger [or, if you're a teenager, make you look like you're of legal drinking age] and prevent cancer, but they'll make my eyeballs melt.

cloudy afternoon dry/ wet
since we're not quite at the melting point yet, i did get tempted by one shade- well, a few shades, actually, but i limited myself to buying one, "cloudy afternoon"- an interesting melange of a pinkish cream, light blue-grey, rust and a khaki-brass kind of shade. rolled together, it translates as a lighter grey taupe with a lovely  warm silver sheen, a perfect kind of neutral wearable under virtually every circumstance without ever looking drab [as neutrals can]. unlike some of the older mineral shadows, it won't give you that "frostilicus" look and it won't emphasise all of those "i'm not twenty-one anymore" flaws on your lids.

and so far, it doesn't make my eyes itch, which definitely has me doing a happy dance. [you'll have to imagine what that looks like, because there's no way i'm posting a video.]

MORE PRODUCTS, PICTURES, COMPARISONS AND SWATCHES [but no video] AFTER THE BREAK




colour-wise, it's somewhat similar to the old mineral duo "family silver"- not so much to the individual shades, but to the two of them combined. as you can see in the photo, though, "family silver" had a more glittery finish, which made it prone to dispatching bits of itself all over your face.

it's somewhat similar to "dalliance", a limited edition "mega-metal" shadow from last year, although dalliance is lighter and greyer.

l to r :: family silver [light], family silver [dark], family silver [mixed], cloudy afternoon, dalliance


also re-released with this collection are two of mac's coveted "mineralize skinfinishes"- blush/ highlighter mineral powders. the two with this collection were originally released in 2009 with a collection called "brunette, blonde, redhead" and are called, appropriately enough, "blonde" and "redhead". [i guess people really don't go for brunettes.]

rather than featuring a large pan of a base colour threaded with secondary colours, as most of the skinfinishes do, these have a stripes of colour in a sort of degradé from one side to the other. while the stripes are too narrow to use individually, there is certainly enough space so that you could use only a couple. both give a surprising colour payoff and the formula is finer and smoother than most skinfinishes [and smoother than the original release]. they have a fairly intense sheen factor as well, so you'd be well advised to use a fairly light hand, unless you're into causing traffic accidents when the sun reflects off your cheeks.

blonde mixed/ shades separated
"blonde", intended for fairer and cooler skin tones, ranges from a pink-champagne highlight shade on one side to a warm rosebud pink on the other. it looks cooler in the pan, but it definitely shows a bit of warmth on my skin. mixed, the highlighting shade adds some overall dimension because of the sheen it imparts, whereas the two darker colours are more representative of the shade you see on the skin.

i wasn't able to find a very good comparison in my stash for this one. the limited edition shade "petticoat" is much deeper and more of a pink-bronze. "dame", a regular powder blush from the permanent line, is a bit brighter and a lot cooler. you can really see the warmth of "blonde" by comparison. i've heard that blonde is more similar to the recently released "porcelain pink" mineralize skinfinish, but i don't have that one to compare.

l to r :: petticoat, blonde, dame


redhead, shades separated
"redhead" goes from a light gold highlighter to a pinkish amber shade. blended, it becomes a gilded peach shade. i find that this one is very warm on my skin tone, which can make it look bolder than i like, unless i take a lot of care to apply lightly and blend the colour out. however, i do think that this will make a nice summer colour and on deeper and warmer skin tones, it would be a lovely, glowing highlight year-round.

redhead mixed
it was a little easier to find comparable shades to this one, probably because a lot of these products are warmer in tone, like redhead. the limited edition mac shades "so ceylon" [a little browner] and "stereo rose" [brighter and a touch pinker] are both in the same ballpark without being exact copies. guerlain's terra inca sublime radiant powder is a little warmer, but the finish is much softer and less noticeable on the cheeks. 



l to r :: guerlain terra inca, mac so ceylon, redhead, stereo rose


i'm generally a big fan of mac's mineralize skinfinishes, because they function both as a blush and a highlighter and generally give a radiance that disguises the ravages of time, weather and indulgence. about my only quibble with them, and with many mineral products in general, is that they aren't as long-lasting as i'd like. while a little of their shimmery effect can last throughout the day, i find that the colour fades by about five or six hours. [although i've had fading problems with with the eye shadows in the past, but "cloudy afternoon" performs quite well.]

there is, of course, more to the collection: mineral blushes [which have been popular, but were all too warm and too dark for my tastes] and a selection of nude lipsticks [none of which struck me as terribly unique, but i'm hardly a nude lipstick connoisseur]. although the bright, bold matte shades from the iris apfel collection may be getting all the attention, i find that, for once, i'm drawn to the softness and subtlety of "naturally". i promise i'll be back to normal soon enough.

here's a couple of looks showing the above-mentioned products in use.

well, this first one is probably cheating. although it makes use of both "blonde" and "cloudy afternoon", it doesn't really fit with the theme "naturally", because it's hardly a no-makeup look. but i do think that it's a sort of played-down version of the classic neutral eye/ red lip combination and... wait. why i am justifying this? it's my face, i can do what i like!

products used

face [same for both] ::
mac prolongwear foundation "nc15"
dr. hauschka concealer "01"

eyes ::
mac mineralize e/s "cloudy afternoon"* [silver-taupe]
mac e/s "hocus pocus"* [dirty brown-grey]
chanel e/s "khaki vert" [dirty olive green]
mac e/s "vanilla" [peachy-beige]
mac superslick liquid liner "on the hunt" [black]
benefit they're real mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize skinfinish "blonde"* [warm tea rose]

lips ::
rouge bunny rouge l/s "word of mouth"

all of the limited products [*] listed are still available on www.maccosmetics.ca.



this look is a little warmer and, i guess, more natural. i'm wearing "redhead" on my cheeks and i think you'll be able to see what i mean about it being a little heavy for very pale skin. normally, i'd blend this out quite a bit more. honestly, the part i like the most about this look is the eyes, because i find that the shades really bring out the blue in my eyes, but on the whole, for the type of thing i don't try very often, i'm reasonably happy with it.

products used

eyes ::
rouge bunny rouge e/s "angelic cockatiels" [coppery sand]
mac e/s "mulled cider"* [warm medium brown]
mac prolongwear e/s "one to watch" [peachy light brown]
nars e/s "mekong" [dark brown with gold shimmer]- i used this as a liner on my upper lashes
makeup forever concealer pencil "light/ medium"- used along my water line
benefit they're real mascara

cheeks ::
mac mineralize skinfinish "redhead"* [rosy amber]

lips ::
mac l/s "spiced tea"* [rusty brown]

*suggested alternates :: mulled cider = mac swiss chocolate; spiced tea = mac l/s "sheer plum [redder and more sheer]

2 comments:

ElvenEyes said...

I love this colour eyeshadow! It has an understated way of saying wow! :) I know I will be mixing it with other MAC, UD, or Two-Faced shadows for a full look, or just swish it across my eye alone!

I am also happy to announce that you have won the Versatile Blogger Award! You can find the details here! Congrats to you! xo

http://beautyfullyinspired.blogspot.com/2012/01/my-first-award.html

Kate MacDonald said...

Wow! I'm so honoured! Thanks very much!!

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