photo of Catherine Deneuve from specktra.com
This review of the latest MAC collection is from my best buddy and infamous Bond girl Cavewoman. She is one of my favorite reviewers on makeupalley...and I am not being biased.
The highly-anticipated third Icon Collection from MAC Cosmetics hit the stores on Thursday, featuring French actress Catherine Deneuve (whose fragrance, as many know, is my HG!) and consisting of two groups of cosmetics, color and face. MAC knows how to create a buzz. By launching dozens of limited edition collections each year, the clamoring begins way before the counter displays appear in the stores. The Deneuve Icon collection has had weeks, if not months, of press. Two previous Icon collections (Liza Minnelli and Diana Ross) still generate lots of talk, especially among makeup lovers who are trying to obtain items from these long-gone collections.
Deneuve was hands-on with the team who created the colors and containers for her collection, and the harlequin-style compacts are her own design.
Annie and I hit the local MAC counter on the launch day. We were slightly amused to hear that many customers who saw the collection had asked the SA's "Just who IS Catherine Deneuve?" and of course we assumed that these were the MAC customers who are *ahem* the usual younger types who are attracted to MAC. We found that at the other two MAC counters we visited this weekend, the same stories were told to us. And also on the makeupalley makeup board, many posters have also asked who Deneuve is.
On with the products! The beautiful, user-friendly, womanly, pretty products! My first overall impression was how un-MAC-y this collection is, and how many MAC lovers may be a bit disappointed in the palette of neutral, soft shades. You won't find a Parrot-type color here. Women who are old enough to know who Deneuve is will find themselves comfortable in front of this display. The collection is large, so I will start with Face and then move on to Color.
In the Face collection, MAC introduces two new Select Tint tinted moisturizers in LE shades. I have not tried this formula before and found my perfect match in NW23. Sheer and soft, without being streaky, it's a nice 'unmakeup' finish for every day. The harlequin Blot Powder compact comes in only one shade, Medium, which is actually very light. The compact is lightweight (a disappointment) and not refillable (bigger disappointment) but fans of the formula will be pleased. Beauty Powders also in the harlequin compact are Tahitian Sand, a light warm shade, and SoftDew, cooler and just a bit darker. These are supposed to be used all over the face with a new kabuku brush (one of four brushes in this LE) but to me they are better as blushes. Studio Lights are little creamy wand-style products that can be used as highlighters. Shades are Tender Glow (pinkish, I use it as a concealer) Sand (beige) and Frangipan (yellowish.)
Rounding out the Face collection are four stunning brushes, each with a different color handle that coordinate with the harlequin compact color design. All are beautiful. I did not cave. I wanted to!
In the Color collection, two beautiful eyeshadow quads anchor the display. Lazy Eyes is more of the mauves and browns, and Thunder Eyes is burgundy with greens. If I were a pre-made quad fan I would cave on both of them. The quad shades go well together, unlike some past quad combinations. New lipstick colors ( I did not buy, but I did admire!) are Sharp Beige, just a soft neutral with a tad of shimmer, A Rose, which is a bright cool rose, Strawberry Blonde which is more of a peach, and my pick for the winner which is Bourbon, a warm red that has depth but is not severe or theatrical. Lipglasses are shimmery without being glittery or gaudy, in Elegant Peach, Mauro (darker and winier) Dusk (my personal favorite in a cool pink) and the sleeper of the four is Sable, a cool light brown. "Cool" and "Brown" are not words that usually can be used together to describe a shade, but MAC got this one perfectly. LipLacquer (my favorite lip product because the applicator is a brush, not the usual sponge-tip) come in Pink Velvet ( a creamy muted fuschia) and Ignite, a gorgeous warm deep red with gold shimmer. This is the lip-color equivalent of Nars Mounia blush, and I wonder if MAC had a spy checking out Mounia and trying to achieve that color in the tube. And they did.
Eye kohl pencils are plum (Prunella) and the beautiful and subtle olive green called Lichen. A brow gel in Mink is the darkest of the brow gels now in that product color selection. Blush Creme shades are Summer Lily, a lovely creamy peach, and Hunger Red, a deep and warm red. Two nail colors in fuschia (Vesuvian) and Senegal (deep blood red) round out the Color part of the Deneuve collection
I have not caved as deeply on a MAC collection since Madame B. (And I ended up swapping most of that away!) I have to admit that it is probably because I am such a fan of Deneuve that I may have convinced myself that I liked this collection, but after trying on the colors and seeing my Annie's eyes pop open after applying, I know these shades are just what I can wear. As I stated earlier, I don't think it's going to be a hit with the hip, young, glitter-seeking, bright shadow-wearing "girls" who gather around the MAC counters, but if a woman "of a certain age" happens to wander by and stops for a swipe or a dab here and there, she will be pleased. She will know who Deneuve is. And maybe, just maybe, she might cave.