Saturday, 25 June 2011

Losing my MAC virginity

RuPaul - the first face of Mac
I love bright eyeshadow. For me it is either bright or nothing - if I want to look natural then I don't wear makeup. I first noticed MAC back in the 1990's when RuPaul became, not only the first face of MAC, but also the first Drag Queen supermodel. I remember at the time thinking that never has there been a more appropriate brand ambassador - RuPaul was as bright and flamboyant as the MAC brand is. MAC has continued to push the boundaries with their brand ambassadors, steering away from the tradition supermodel to select people who make a statement - think Dame Edna or more recently Lady Gaga.

Following the trend of unexpected
 brand ambassadors Dame Edna also
 becomes a face of Mac
Even though MAC's eye shadows clearly fit the bill in regards to bright colours, I never got around to trying any. I don't know whether it was because my local Myer didn't stock MAC so I was protected from impulse purchases or whether it was because I assumed that they were much the same as Napoleon Perdis shadows and chose to support the Aussie brand instead. Whatever the reason, 15 years later I still hadn't lost my MAC virginity.

 I spend a lot of time reading reading beauty blogs and forums and MAC is a brand that seems to really polarise people. To some it is the ultimate brand, the pinnacle of perfection; whilst others don't rate it saying that it is not worth the price. This contrast alone had me intrigued. I had a pass to go to the Estee Lauder Corporate Store so thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to finally experience MAC.
One product that I was really interested in trying was the Paint Pots, in particular Bare Study. According to MAC Paint Pots are 'a highly pigmented eye colour that goes on creamy but dries to an intense, vibrant finish. Long-wearing, colourfast. Creates seamless coverage without weight or caking. Blends smoothly over the lids'. There are hundreds of blogs and review sites recommending that Bare Study can be used as an eyeshadow primer, or alone as an eyeshadow. Apparently it creates the perfect canvass for applying eyeshadow and really helps it last all day.

When you go to the Estee Lauder Corporate Store you can't guarantee what products will be available. When I went, there were 5 different Pain Pots available but none of them were Bare Study. There was one, Vintage Selection, that looked like it might be similar so I had a quick check on the iPhone and came across the images below on the MAC site. They looked quite similar to me so I decided to give Vintage Selection a try.

Bare study - champagne with gold and white pearl
Image courtesy of MAC

Vintage Selection - frosted dirty pearl
Image courtesy of MAC

MAC Paint Pot in Vintage Selection

I love Vintage Selection. In the pic above you can see that it looks quite different when it is applied thickly (left) or lightly (right). I think the image to the right is closest to what you would get on the eyelids. Vintage Selection didn't get very good reviews online but most people were complaining about the glitter in it. I personally LOVE the glitter. I have now used it as a shadow on its own and find that it is very flattering, although quite subtle. When used as a primer, my eyeshadow didn't crease and was as bright when I got home (about 5 hours later) as when I had first applied it. I am very happy with this purchase.

I also picked up a couple of small MAC palettes: the 6 Mystic Cool Eye shadows palette and the Fashion Patch Mineralize Eyeshadow Palette.
6 Mystic Cool Eye shadows

6 Mystic Cool Eye Shadows Swatches L to R: Cool Incantation,
Blue Enchantment, Deep Secret, Shhh Don’t Tell, Rose Potion, Violet Vow

I found this to be a very versatile palette. The only colour I don't see me wearing is Violet Vow as I don't tend to wear browns. The colours are super pigmented, which I love; are very soft and easy to apply but did not have too much fall out; and they are super shimmery which I love love love in an eye shadow (Shhh Don't Tell and Violet Vow are matte). I can see me using the first 3 colours (Cool Incantation, Blue Enchantment & Deep Secret) to death. I won't get as much use out of Shhh Don’t Tell & Rose Potion but can see me turning to these colours to match an outfit.

MAC Fashion Patch Mineralized Eyeshadow

MAC Fashion Patch Mineralized Eyeshadow swatches

The MAC Fashion Patch Mineralized Eyeshadow quad has four really usable colours - a white gold, pale pink and sky blue that are all super shimmery plus a black that is more matte with sparkly glitter particles in it. The shadows are really soft so it was easy to pick up a lot of colour but then there was a fair amount of fall out onto the other colours and onto my face (though maybe this was due to my limited make up skills rather than the actual shadow). This colours are again highly pigmented which I loved, though they do turn out a fair bit paler than the appear in the palette.

Now, I know that I am well behind the eight ball in reviewing these MAC shadows as they were all released a couple of years ago, but the purpose of this blog post was more to document me losing my MAC virginity! So, how did I find the experience? Well, I have walked away more than unlike anything I have tried before. I can see myself purchasing more Paint Pots in the future.

Are you are MAC fan or are they overrated to you? If you are a MAC fan then what is your favourite product? And if you aren't a fan then what bright eye shadows do you use instead?