|the stupendous six|
you're doing it aren't you? you're reading it out loud. quack quack quack... this is where my mind goes when i just let it wander. but it also goes lots of other places.
for instance, it goes to pages where i can read about the dozens of upcoming collections from mac cosmetics, looking at the descriptions of new products and wondering how many of them are really different from what i already have [i've gotten better at playing this game in the last couple of years] and how many i might actually need to bring home. and when i look through the colour stories, i notice that many products get brought back to life, not once, but sometimes on multiple occasions. we get to see familiar faces- or familiar stuff for our faces; products that were offered in previous limited collections and that were popular enough to warrant a return. the last two years, mac has even offered a fan-chosen collection made up entirely of older limited edition/ discontinued shades and it seems to have been extremely successful.
but that doesn't mean that they've covered all their bases and, as a long-time fan of the brand, there are a number of products that i think they should revisit. they may not have been among the best-selling at the time, because mac was often ahead of the curve in terms of the colours and finishes that they offer. or because sometimes products get lost in a large collection, because they have some big competition. on the other hand, there are a few things that people seem to have been screaming for [the limited edition lipstick in "queen's sin", which i never actually purchased, is a perennial favourite, rumoured to be coming with almost every collection] but which never seem to materialize.
i certainly don't know as much about what has been popular, what has been requested, or what is even feasible to make as anyone who works at mac. but that doesn't stop me from dreaming that some day, i'll be able to see some of my old favourites return. to that end, i came up with a set of lipstick shades [eye shadows are trickier, since i've used a lot of them up] that i would really like to see mount a comeback and that i think have proven difficult to duplicate since their release.
lollipop loving [originally released 2008, heatherette]
this is the only colour on the list that's been offered more than once. it was also part of the "sugar sweet" collection in 2009 and normally such a rapid return would indicate that it had been popular. but despite the fact that other shades have made multiple appearances since then, this one has been lost to the sands of time. why?
the shade is easy to love, because it's a soft peach, which is wearable across many skin tones. it's pigmented enough that it will show up even on darker skin, but soft enough that it won't seem too loud against a pale complexion. what's really special, though, is that the peach base is suffused with green-gold shimmer, which takes it from "nice enough" to "must have".
i wasn't going to include shades that have been released more than once, but this one really does seem like a no-brainer.
bubblegum [originally released 2010, spring colour forecast]
i'm pretty sure that this shade fell victim to being part of one of the largest collections mac ever released. there are actually a lot of shades from "spring colour forecast" that i could have put on this list, but i settled on this one because i do think it's proven fiendishly difficult to replicate.
it's a lavender pink base with fine gold shimmer, which makes it show both cool and warm at the same time. being a glaze formula [i really like those- lollipop loving is one as well], it's not fully opaque, but it comes pretty close. it's an easy-to-wear kind of shade, because it's not overly bright, but it is very eye-catching. shockingly, this one has never been offered again, although i've heard a lot of voices asking for it.
strawbaby [originally released 2008, fafi]
another unexplained disappearing act, this one might look like a lot of other shades at first blush, but applied, it has its own magic. it's a juicy strawberry-coral shade with traces of blue shimmer. blue. those shimmery particles catch the light and give your lips the most enchanting sparkle. i get compliments whenever i wear this colour, from people who aren't in the habit of noticing lipsticks. it's a combination of the lovely glossiness that's obvious when first applied, and the winking blue particles that give a hint of something mischievous. they never become gritty or stray off the lips, either.
this is a lustre formula, which i like, but which others don't. still, mac has many, many lustres in their collection and their biggest spring offering had several new lustre shades. it just doesn't seem to make any sense that something as crowd-pleasing as a coral that is at the same time quite unique can't find a way back into the public eye.
blooming lovely [originally released 2010, liberty of london]
such a tricky shade, but so lovely when it's on the right complexion. this rich, opaque greyed lavender gets it just right. most similar shades have too much white in their base and therefore look kind of plastic when applied. this one comes just to the edge of too much and holds back, making it an incredible, unique cool-toned shade that's daring and sophisticated at the same time.
lavender lipsticks have done well for mac, but none of them seem to make frequent reappearances. it took years to get the cult favourite "lavender whip" back in, and i feel like that one was somewhat easier to duplicate, since it leaned a little pinker. "blooming lovely" is in a class by itself. unfortunately, the class seems to have graduated and moved to another province.
isis [originally released ??, permanent until about 2002]
if i got to pick one shade to make a return, this would be it. i am clinging to what little remains of my tube- which is very little- in the hopes that i can make it last until someone realises how incredible the colour truly was.
"isis" comes from what i like to think of as mac's heyday- when they had truly outrageous colours rubbing shoulders with versatile neutrals. there are at least half a dozen of those colours i'd love to have back, but i can make the strongest case for isis. although it's not as flashy as a blue or an eerie cool purple, "isis" is a very distinctive shade. the base is a medium taupe with a fair amount of grey, filled with frost in dirty white and luminous green. it's almost impossible to photograph and believe me, i tried.
you really have to see the magic in person.
what is truly remarkable, though, is not just the colour, but the formula. this is a lipstick i've had for more than ten years, a frost-finish, many of which tend to be dry, that has the creamiest, most luxurious feel around. it's perfectly smooth and even when applied, doesn't bleed or feather, lasts very well and fades nicely over time.
so original [originally released 2005, naturally eccentric]
gone and probably forgotten by everyone but me, this is one shade that really needs to benefit from the wave of interest in dark, vampy colours that's been happening over the last several months. i have a lot of dark lipsticks, but i don't have anything that comes close to this one.
the base colour is a lovely stewed berry kind of shade, a mix of red and purple leaning slightly more towards the purple. but the real story is the silver and gold sparkle strewn throughout it. it's not as fine or as prevalent as a standard frost, more like glitter particles suspended in deep jelly-cream. however, the glitter is in no way coarse [you never feel it] or tacky. rather, its shimmer gives the illusion of fuller, plumper lips and conceals any flaws like fine lines. in fact, it feels fantastic on, very soft and forgiving, but not so creamy that it feathers or bleeds.
it fades a little after a few hours or a snack, but remains a nice, deep plum with shimmer until you take it off. this is one shade that always makes me say "wow" when i see myself in the mirror. and isn't that what we all want?
this is far from a comprehensive list of shades i want to see again. i maintain that a collection of the outre shades that used to grace the permanent counters would sell like hot cakes: force [a frosted steel blue], ionic [an unsettling pallor grey with pink sheen], grid [a frosty metallic grey purple], jungle juice [a semi-sheer grape] and jet [a frosted gunmetal that did make an extremely brief return for u.s. customers only under the name "grey friday" the year before last]... plus isis, of course. i quite honestly believe that the appetite for oddities is there. and that's without even including any more limited edition shades.
but i feel like the ones that i've picked out here are ones that are almost no-brainers: shades that are pretty much guaranteed to be successful because they're still fondly remembered, or because their formula is particularly excellent, or just because they have a uniqueness that is undeniable- something that used to be the hallmark of mac.
what do you dream of seeing again from mac? feel free to add your thoughts in the comments!
for tonnes of information on upcoming mac collections- as well as collections from most other brands you can name- check out www.specktra.net.