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M.A.C AW11 Beauty Trends

M.A.C Cosmetics has released its Autumn/Winter 2011 beauty trends following its make-up team’s extensive partnership with designers worldwide during Fashion Week season earlier this year.

On first inspection the trends for this season including Barefaced androgyny, Red lips, Intensive eyes, Satined colour and Matte v Gloss don’t appear groundbreaking. It’s only when you take a closer look that the trends take a slight twist.

A sixties vibe makes texture feel contemporary by offering retro-inflected looks (Mod-ernist), the androgynous look of red lips and fierce eyes is fine-tuned with raw skin and bare lashes (Tough-Love) and decadence becomes more creative, colourful and high-tech (Disco-Tech) and Super blended stained shades are treated as a new form of monochrome whilst given an artistic attitude (Amber-Gris).

This season is all about looking tough with the attitude to match!


Tips: Think beige, think lashes, think a little bit mod and feline, but fast-forward rapidly on texture and treatment: this is makeup that looks quite minimal but is certainly not effortless.

Keys to avoiding a pastiche retro re-hash? Astute high-tech skin finishes are what it’s all about, with featherweight foundations, highlighters, super-sheer powders an abundance of gloss (lids, cheekbones, lips…they’ve all got a luminescent look this season) used to an effect that ’s flawlessly polished. Artists are also unanimous in a stronger brow, zero blush and, when doing a lash, keeping it on the feathery side.

Ideally a perfect and paired back base works in conjunction. The objective with this look is not to see and base but to give the impression of having flawless skin.” – Lisa Butler

Tough Love

Tips: Barefaced androgyny – all bare lashes, hollow cheekbones, honed skin and a nothing-y lip – is just one side of the story this season.

The other: a hard, strictly (and rather chicly beautiful) approach, focusing in with masculine attitude on one singular statement: a hard-ass brow…A Newton-esque matte lip… A severe, warrior-accented eye. Samurai…dominatrix…strict: all buzzwords when it comes to the inspiration behind this direction.

While last season’s minimalism had an artless, effortlessness to it, the new take on a minimal feel is more considered, technical , harder. Not that it’s alien or overly synthetic about this constricted, constructed beauty. Whether nonchalantly, restrictively bare, or clinically architecturally assertive, this is a punchy beauty trend that’s definitely within the realm of chic and powerful. As Lucia Pieroni said at Missoni, “they’re kick-ass cool girls”…

There’s definitely a play on masculine-feminine this season.” – Tom Pecheux


Tips: Artists are “flirting with something very decadent again this season… exploring a mannequin-like beauty that is super- done,” explains Terry Barber of AW11’s tendency for excess in all areas: attitude, influence, execution… all taken with a heavy pinch of hedonism.

Think indulgently dark eyes paired with an opulent mouth… An over-the-top outré lip (too much pigment or too much gloss is never enough)… Out there colour combinations… A conceptual, limitlessly creative approach to colour and texture.

All pulled together with products and application that are technologically and technically perfect, this is beauty at its slightly Surrealist best: big on impact , but “seamless rather than heavy” concludes Terry barber. “It’s the idea of ‘done’… but very well-done”…

Initially it’s about beautiful skin… But then injecting colour onto the face in an untraditional manner.” – James O’Riley


Tips: Amber to grey… and every shade of rust, rose, sand, bark, ochre, lavender, burnt gold and chinchilla in between. A palette of twilight shades, applied in stains and lineless washes directs this seasons take on softer-edged makeup, albeit inflected with an urban edge (it’s cool and contemporary , not country prairie-girl).

Citing muses and moods that are all about a poetic, artistic vibe, AW11’s more emotionally graceful makeups are founded on an Impressionist-like approach to colour, using a palette of sensitive shades to invoke a mood more than anything else.

Emerging as a new take on monochrome (we’re seeing the same subtle shades picked out on eyes as well as lips), it’s a step-up on completely natural makeup with a more artistically driven motive than simply looking ‘fresh’ or ‘romantic’.

Rubbed on. Purposefully imperfect. A little bit smudged… this is makeup that ’s about being poetically experimental with your palette and feeling it with your fingers, not brushes….

They’re all colours that are naturally present in the skin’s tone-including everything from flesh, amber and brown to purples, khakis and greys… They enhance rather than dominate the face, conveying mood more than a definitive feel or ‘make-up’.” – Lyne Desnoyers

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