Monday, 18 June 2012

MAC survival guide

Going into a MAC Cosmetics store to me is like a kid in a candy store. I just love exploring all the different products and colours. My imagination races at light speed as it ponders all the possibilities these beautiful pigments and pastel lip colours can create.
Makeup to me isn't just about looking good or feeling good. I mean thats a big part of what Cosmetics are all about, but Makeup to me is like art and when I step foot in a MAC store I'm a artist shopping for my next inspiration, my next out of this world look.

This being said a MAC store can be overwhelming for those who don't particularly know what their looking for. There are an abundance of products with various finishes, formulas, pigments, satin, sheen, matte, liquid, powder, it goes on and on. My first time in a MAC store I was 13 and I could only afford two eyeshadows and boy let me tell you I must have sat there for 45 minutes trying to decide which two eyeshadows, out of there selection of about 60 different colours and finishes. The two colours I proudly walked out of the store with that day were SWISH and SATIN TAUPE. I chose these two colours because I wanted to create a look that was both sophisticated and funky just like my personality;)
first two MAC eyeshadows as you can see I love Swish

My love for MAC and my collection have long grown since then, and although there are times where I walk into a MAC store awed and somewhat overwhelmed by the varieties, I always go back to my staples. These are my MAC staples that I use on a daily basis either on myself or my clients. They are high quality versatile products that are my most definite recommendations to first time MAC shoppers.

MAC Eyeshadow in Vanilla, Carbon, Naked Lunch, Satin Taupe

This one was a bit more tricky for me to establish. I love exploring with colour and looks and therefore use and love most of MAC eyeshadows. Not only for their colour variety but for how pigmented and high quality they are.

It's morning your getting ready for school, work, ect.. you have your eyeshadow perfectly applied and blended, your rocking your look only to see around lunch time it has slipped and no longer looks visible... has this happened to you??.. me to, all the time when I was a just a little preteen beginning to play with makeup...and I thought it was me and my poor abilities to apply makeup. Little did I know it was the poor quality of my dollar store eyeshadows.

These four eyeshadow colours would be the perfect start to a MAC collection. These colours are all neutral tones and are capable of creating looks from simple day looks to full drama smokey eye looks, and will look great on all skin tones.

Vanilla: Is a beautiful velvet textured, soft peach white colour, with a tiny hint of shimmer. This is a great pigment for highlighting the brow bone, brightening and opening up the eyes by adding a touch to the inner corner of the eyes. or is a great all over base colour to start the look and can be used to blend other colours out.

Naked Lunch: I love this colour and is my most used colour for brides, where the term Nude Smokey Eye is often used :S quite the contradiction but this shade makes it! It is the softest shade of pink with a light shimmer. This colour I use mainly all over the lids for a nice natural sheen, and will look stunning on all skin tones.

Satin Taupe: As I mentioned before this was literally one of my first MAC eyeshadows and still a favourite. It is the most beautiful taupe colour with a golden silver like shimmer to it. I love using this in the crease area to bring depth and drama to the eye without looking to harsh, as black can sometimes do. This colour is also beautiful in a golden smokey eye look, swept over the eyelid using black as the crease colour. If you prefer to have a matte finish ESPRESSO is a great substitute for this colour.


Carbon: Carbon is the perfect black colour and can be used wherever black is needed. In the crease, smudged into the upper and lower lash line. Apply over eyeliner to give your eyeliner more staying power. All around versatile high quality eyeshadow that will stand up to those early mornings or late nights.

MAC Studio Sculpt Concealer

I love how creamy and blendable this concealer is, unlike some concealers I find can be to dense and a bit more tricky to blend. The coverage is also amazing. I had a job doing hair and makeup on cruise ships and while training and studying over at the prestigious academy in London England we were not allowed to show our tattoos. This was unfortunate for be because I have a tattoo on my forearm that had to be covered up daily. This is what I used and although I no longer need to cover up my beautiful tattoo, this concealer is still a staple for personal use and in my professional kit. 32$ CA

Painterly Paint Pot

Remember my story earlier of the disappearing eyeshadow. Well this product is great for slapping that problem right in the face and showing it who's boss. MAC paint pots are creamy and blend fabulously. They come in a variety of colours, however I love Painterly because its a nude colour. You will use this with every eyeshadow application and not only will your eyeshadow last all day, but this product will also cover any little veins or discolouration of the eyelids so that the true pigment of your shadow can shine through. 21$ CA

MAC Prep and Prime Transparent Powder

This is a translucent powder but to me its like photo shop in a container! It gives the silkiest finish and is perfect for setting your makeup to allow it to last all day into those wild nights. Its great for reducing shine and minimizes the look of pores and fine lines. Apply this all over the face over your makeup or after moisturizing your skin for a smooth flawless airbrush finish. 27.50$ CA

Blacktrack Fluidline

Fluidline+angled brush= Unstoppable. Wether its a timeless cat eye look your aiming for, or classic retro pin up look Fluidline and a angled brush is all you will need. I love this formula because it is so easy to work with. It's ultra smooth gel formula basically does all the work and allows you to create as thick or thin of lines you'd like. 18$ CA

MAC 217, 239 and 168 Brushes

 Mac brushes are awesome, I think most makeup artist can agree on that however can be a bit pricy. For an everyday makeup routine you don't need a pile of professional makeup brushes, but having a select few of high quality brushes will be efficient on your wallet, deliver quality results and will be durable enough to last for years! I highly recommend investing in these three particular brushes because they are versatile and deliver great results.

239 is a soft, flat, dense eyeshadow brush perfect for picking up pigments and dispersing them evenly on the eyelids.  29.50$ CA


217 brush is perfect for applying and blending shadow in the crease area, as well as working with creamy products such as paint pots. I absolutely love this brush for working the crease area. Because the dynamics of this brush are in an oval shape it fits perfectly in the hollows of your eyes (crease) and pretty much does all the work, building and blending colour in the crease a breeze. 27$ CA


168 is a angled contour brush. I use this brush to apply blush, contour, highlight, buff and blending, you name it this brush can do it. The fibres are firmly bundled for precise application yet soft enough for blending.  41$ CA


MAC Powder Blush in Blushbaby, Pinch O'Peach and Blunt

Out of all my MAC blushes these are the two I wear most often and also use on most my clients, especially for weddings where the cheeks are just an accessory to the all over look. When your new to the blush market it can all look a bit scary, the fear of looking like a clown or that grandmas been pinching our cheeks all morning strikes a little fear, so keep it simple and choose a blush to work with your natural skin tone.

Blushbaby is a perfect beige-pink that gives the cheeks a subtle nude glow, nothing to overdone or uncomfortable to the eyes.

If your feeling up for it or if you have darker skin tones Pinch O' Peach is a beautiful warm peach colour that will add the most beautiful glow to your cheeks.

Blunt is my go to colour for contouring the cheeks and adding depth and dimension to the face. Its a beautiful matte bronzer that can be used in place of your usual bronzer.  24$ CA

MAC Cream Color Base in Shell

This is a cream colour (obviously) and is very versatile, another favourite among my clients. I love using this product to add a healthy radiant glow. Using either a brush or simply your fingers, I love applying this as a highlighter right at the top of the cheek bones, down the centre of the nose, on the brow bone ect.. This brightens up the face and reflects light to give the perfect highlighted glow. This product can be used on moisturized skin, or layered over foundation or powder. 21$ CA

MAC Lipstick in Hue

For everyday looks I'm a big fan of the soft pale nude lips and this colour is perfect for just that. Its a soft pale pink that can rock out on its own, or be the cherry on top to complete a dramatic smokey night look. 17.50$

Let me tell ya I sure wish I had a blog like this to tend to for my first MAC runs. My local MAC store is quite a drive, and the pictures in the online MAC store don't do the colours justice so I would research and make lists of all my desired products and make one MAC trip every couple months.

So wether its your first time stepping into a MAC store or if your in the mood to try something new I definitely recommend these as my staple products. You really can't go wrong in a MAC store. And if your ever overwhelmed amongst all the pretty colours, the wonderful artists working there are just as passionate and excited to take you on a journey to discover your perfect fall in love shade for whatever the occasion.

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