Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How Wearable Is MAC's Barbie Collection?

Like a lot of women, I have mixed feelings about Barbie as an icon of femininity. My complaints about her ridiculously unrealistic body are offset by the fact that she does come in every ethnicity and nationality and has tried hundreds of different occupations. Personally, I was always a Polly Pocket girl myself. But when I heard that MAC was collaborating with Mattel on a cosmetics collection based on Barbie, I couldn't help but get a little excited. Barbie is this symbol of womanhood to millions of little girls, and what's more girlish than dressing up in your mom's fancy dresses and high heels and letting your best friend smush coral lipstick and sparkly eyeshadow on your face? As adults, we still use makeup to transform into someone we're not, sometimes someone more feminine, sexy and daring than we normally are, which is why a line inspired by Barbie makes so much sense.

But let's get back to reality here. I'm all for dressing up and transformation and performance, but unless I'm going as RuPaul or Divine for Halloween, I'm not going to wear this much makeup at once. Sure, those models look beautiful in the pale greens and bright pinks, but how wearable is this collection for someone with, shall we say, less adventurous tastes in makeup?

I went to my local mall to find out. Like a lot of MAC's makeup artists, Amber was working a fabulous femme punk rock look, and was wearing the exact eye makeup seen in the publicity shots. She looked awesome in it, but I knew that this was not a look I could pull off. I told her I was interested in trying out the Barbie Loves Mac collection, but I wanted to see how it could work for everyday. I was a little skeptical, but she promised me that the collection, in addition to flattering every skin color (major bonus points for MAC on this one), is based around versatile colors that can be worn in many different ways.

Amber pulled over a high school girl who another artist was working on (the girl was getting ready for a dance that night) who had a smoky eye and pale lip created mostly by products in the Barbie collection. Okay, so Barbie can go evening, but can she do minimalist for a girl who only owns three eye shadows, all shades of light brown?

I always feel bad asking a MAC makeup artist to make me look "like myself, only better." I always half expect them to call up the Bobbi Brown or Clinique sales associate and get rid of me then and there. But my makeup artist was up for the challenge and found a number of products that were definitely wearable on an everyday basis. Here are a few of my favorites:

For eyes: I normally wouldn't wear a green eye shadow, but Springtime Skipper, a minty green with gold shimmer, looked so lovely when paired with an other fresh, springy colors that I couldn't help but love it. The Magic Dust, a soft frosted white gold shadow, was right up my alley, and looked beautiful both as a highlighter and on it's own. And while I'm totally incapable of recreating a smoky eye, I adored the look of the Moth Brown (smoky charcoal brown with grey frost) on another woman. It's definitely a must-try for anyone who loves a soft, smoky eye.

For Cheeks: Amber used the Glimmer Shimmer (a pearlized, light reflection lotion) in Loves Pink (midtone pink with gold shimmer) on my cheeks, and then brushed
Pearl Blossom Beauty Powder (a light pink with silver shimmer) on top. I liked the Glimmer Shimmer but have doubts that I'd be able to apply it well myself, but the beauty powder would look lovely over any blush, and provides a subtle, pretty glow.

For Lips: I thought my makeup looked very nice, but when Amber was finished applying everything, I was absolutely mesmerized by how beautiful my lips looked. First, she lined them with Dervish (not a Barbie product), then applied Sweet and Single, a neutral silvered plum lipstick with multicolored pearl. She topped it off with Sweetness, a light baby pink lipglass with (more) multicolored pearl. Multicolored pearl, where have you been all my life? My lips were pink and sparkly without going over the top, the color only a bit darker than my natural pink. Depending on how much gloss you applied and how dark the lipstick underneath was, you could really ramp up the effect, but for me it was just right.

While I was really impressed with the collection, I have to admit that I didn't need all of it and ended up only purchasing the lip glass, which I've had a lot of fun playing with these last couple of weeks (except when I wore it while eating a sandwich, that was kind of gross). I have to give MAC props for creating such a versatile collection (I had my doubts, believe me), and I'd encourage you to go check it out at your local MAC counter, because it won't be around forever.

Did anyone else try some of the products in this collection? I'd love to hear what you thought about it!


Anonymous said...

Love your review! I bought Springtime Skipper, Happening Gal lipglass (dark reddish color), Fab blush and Pearl Sunshine beauty powder (the peach one). I love it all! I want to try the satinfinish foundation next.

Hyperion said...

Ohhhh I think Mac's Barbie Collection is just spankingly lush!!

Am very much into Makeup having that deep glossy plasticy look - very Artificial in my tastes that way I suppose.

Am Male btw - just thought I'd throw that one in there so you can use the old "meh what does he know he's male" **giggles**

I'm glad you did a field trip - and you're right - kudos to mac for giving the collection such a good range in shades, tones.

I am always of the opinion that with Makeup ANYTHING is possible...

Sat at home - you or I or indeed anyone - that doesn't transform us mortals into glossy sex gods all gods - is going to be dubious about such a collection as Macs Barbie one - from the promo shots - you look at the colours - especially the rich lipstick tones and depth of gloss - and think "crimes that much be inches deep" but tis not.. and it never is... makeup is - as you say - all about creating false image - and that for me says it all - its about creation not imitation :)

As with everything though - there is a right way and a wrong way :) RuPaul being the WRONG WAY **giggles**

BTW just in case you're wondering - cause I know you probably are me being male and all - Yes I do - often - mainly my eyes ;)

Take care..


dusk&summer said...

i'll definately have to check it out!

thanks for the review

Tamron Lohan said...

Yes, thanks for the recap! I LOVE MAC -- their eye products are such great quality, and I love their concealer and moisturizer (though they discontinued my favorite one, damn it!), and I even love their product names. But sometimes you can really run the risk of looking like a complete drag queen if you use too many of their super bright colors together. sometimes I look at photos where I'm wearing some bright MAC eye shadow colors and I'm like EEEEEEEk. I think a lot of their bright colors look gorgeous against black skin. But I'm a pale white girl myself, and I've really needed to tone it down w/ the fun colors lest I look like a circus runaway. The way to be: one bright color on the lids w/ a neutral above the lids. And again, I learned this the hard way.

lauren said...

great review! I think the new Barbie line is pure genius. Barbie is a style icon on her own. What little girl didnt want to grow up to look like her. with a little bit of make-up you can <3

Anonymous said...

I love barbie as people say shes a dumb anoreicix blond,but she i samrt think of dr.barbie,vet barbie,scientist barbie,nurse barbie,surgen barbie,teacher barbie,mom barbie and loads more

and i love that green and pink

Anonymous said...

opps i spelled smart wrong silly me

AppleDiva said...

Oh girl, you should have gotten the eye shadows. You still have time to do so :-D