Whether your makeup aesthetic veers more minimal, or you love to pull out all the stops, this summer is set to be all about pops of vibrant colour. Luckily, M•A•C Cosmetics is the Dulux paint chart of makeup, with powerfully pigmented formulas available in a staggering array of shades. So, grab your makeup brushes and have some fun.
Confession: despite my job and the access it gives me to a plethora of makeup and beauty products, I tend to play it quite safe when it comes to what actually goes onto my own face. A winged liner and a red lip (although not typically together) are about as brave as things might get for me.
But after what feels like an eternity of quarantine skincare and a long spell of ignoring brightly-coloured cosmetics, this summer I'm prioritising a valiant return to bold, fun makeup.
Motivated by that internal promise, I perused the depths of the internet for vibrant and experimental, but most importantly, wearable makeup looks that could provide some inspiration. I wouldn't care to admit just how deep into this research I was when my Pinterest scrolling was suddenly halted by the below image.
Cool and contemporary, but with a retro vibe and still somewhat achievable, it was the perfect amount of Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate in 'Once Upon A Time In Hollywood'.
Plus, I knew I was on the right track when I read that the sales of M·A·C's blue eyeshadows had doubled recently. According to Terry Barber, Director of Makeup Artistry at M·A·C, the reason for the current renaissance of blue eyeshadow is "that it’s once again being recognised as a key element to new glamour, whether that’s wearing as a Noughties-inspired sheer wash, a painterly pop or a full-on jewel textured disco glam."
With its unimpeachable formulas being used on-set in movies and backstage at shows by industry professionals since it was founded in 1984, I knew my local M•A•C Cosmetics counter would have everything I needed to help me recreate this look. Also known for the unrivalled expertise of its staff, I was also hoping to glean some tips from the talented makeup artists on how best to apply such pigmented colour in more of a diffused (read: low-key) way.
Armed with the goods and some expert advice, I grabbed my makeup brushes and got stuck in.
Scroll on to see my own attempt at this '70s-inspired makeup look and which M•A•C Cosmetics products I used to get there.
The focus of this look is obviously the intense pop of colour on the eye, but a fresh glowing complexion very much plays a supporting role. Having tonnes of freckles myself, I wanted a base product that took down some of the redness in my skin, without adding too much coverage and dulling down it down. A foundation that's in regular rotation in my makeup bag, M•A•C Cosmetics' Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation contains a special blend of emollients that deliver a sheer hydrating veil of both colour and coverage. As a water-based foundation, it blends seamlessly into the skin, smoothing over any dry patches and uneven texture, making it perfect for dry and dehydrated skin types like me.
Studio Radiance Face And Body Radiant Sheer Foundation, €32, M•A•C Cosmetics – SHOP
In keeping with the slightly retro vibe, I knew that full, fluffy brows would suit this look well. Having lots of brow hair to work with, I sought out a product that would deepen my natural tone for a bit of intensity and help shape my brows in a way that wouldn't compete too much with the shadow. Featuring heart-shaped fibres that hug every follicle, use M•A•C Cosmetics Eyebrows Big Boost Fibre Gel to tease up your brow hairs and set them into shape, while the very tip of the micro-spoolie works to fill in specific areas that are sparser than others for 24-hour, smudge-proof statement brows.
Eye Brows Big Boost Fibre Gel, €24, M•A•C Cosmetics – SHOP
Worried that copying the below look exactly might look a little costumey, I asked the makeup artists at my local M•A•C counter how I could rock a mint eye in a more modern, everyday way and they recommended a monochromatic, diffused take... which also happens to be a look du jour right now. Starting with a primed lid (I used a Pro Longwear Paint Pot in 'Soft Ochre'), I applied a wash of M•A•C Cosmetics's original single-pan Matte Eye Shadows in 'Mint Condition' with a medium-sized fluffy brush, right up to the brow bone. Concentrating on the lid but feathering upwards, the soft, silky and velvety-to-the touch formula provides extreme colour payoff with super-smooth dispersion.
Pro Longwear Paint Pot, €22, M•A•C Cosmetics – SHOP
Matte Eye Shadow, €18.50, M•A•C Cosmetics – SHOP
Much like the skin and brows, when choosing a lip, I wanted something that would compliment but not take away from my bolder-than-usual summer eye, and so began my quest for the perfect nude. Thankfully, just as it's known for its iconic red shades, M•A•C Cosmetics runs the gamut on great nude lipsticks too, stocking everything from muted taupes to mid-tone mauves. M•A•C's Matte Lipstick in 'HoneyLove' is a flattering light beige with a rose hue and a comfortable matte finish that doesn’t wash your skin out, make your teeth look yellow or lips disappear into your face.
Matte Lipstick, €20, M•A•C Cosmetics – SHOP
As a finishing touch, the makeup artist at my local M•A•C counter suggested I add some light-reflecting gloss to the eyelids to elevate my look to another level. Full of notions of sticky cling-film feeling eyes, initially, I wasn't quite convinced, but there really is something about the wet look that elevates shadow, intensifying pigments and frankly, made me feel like an IRL master makeup artist. Highly concentrated and the perfect product for creating shine that lasts, I blended a tiny bead of M•A•C's best-selling Lipglass onto the middle of my lid with small patting motions and let the gloss' natural tendency to migrate do its thing. I loved its subtle glass-like finish so much that I popped some onto the high points of my cheeks and on my lips too for an all-over glisten.
Clear Lipglass, €20, M•A•C Cosmetics – SHOP