I was so lucky to be invited to a VIP class given at my local Macy's hosted by MAC artists this last Friday night and I was really excited getting ready for it because I didn't know what to expect. It was my first MAC class, and I have to say that I was pretty impressed! The artists were so friendly (I actually went to school with one of them!) and extremely patient with some of the makeup newbies in the class, as well as explaining step-by-step their techniques and the products they were using.
One of the products they used throughout the class was the Fix+ which is a product I already have and would recommend everyone using, if you're not already. It is described by MAC as a skin refresher/finishing mist but it can also be used to moisten brushes before foundation, eyeshadow, glitter and brow powder application to make everything blend well and stay on longer, as well as acting as a base to draw in moisture when sprayed on a fresh face and to essentially "refresh" your makeup if it starts to look cakey throughout the day.. I have also read that this helps some people with reducing redness and calming inflammation. There are so many uses and benefits of this product, but a couple of the fun ones are the cool misting sensation (especially when put in the fridge, a tip from the artist) and the fantastic fragrance it has.
So she started out by prepping the bare skin with the Fix+, followed by the Studio Moisture Fix Spf 15, which is a product I personally have never tried because I am super satisfied with my Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Daily Moisture Lotion with Spf 28 which is less than half the price of the MAC one and has additional benefits.
Next, she started on the brows, which is something I never really thought to start with, but is a technique I will be trying out in the near future. She sprayed an angled brush (#266) with the Fix+ then dipped it into Dipdown Fluidline eyeliner. Now of course when she did this, everyone in the class kind of looked at each other, eyeliner as brow definition? But it worked really well, the artist said because it is waterproof, matches a lot of skin tones and is quite opaque. I was suspicious so I asked the artist if that shade would work on me (uber-fair) and she recommended Rich Ground fluidline or Omega, Kid or Wedge shadows instead for lighter complexions. The technique she used on the brows is to essentially sketch an outline of the brow shape and then fill it in, along with using a little flicking motion upward at the outer corner. I have tried this technique since on myself and a few others and it looks great!
Next, she used a flat eyeshadow brush to apply concealor in a color 2-3 shades lighter than the model's skintone right up underneath the sketch line on the brow bone, which helps to conceal any stray hairs and acts as a subtle highlighter.
For the rest of the eye, she prepped with the Paint Pot in Painterly (one of the items I purchased after the class, review to follow soon), using the #252 brush. Next came a technique I'm having a little trouble mastering but it makes sense.. To use a matte crease/transition color right in and a little bit above the crease on mostly the outer lid to create dimension, especially when using accompanying shimmer, frost or glittery shades. She then used colors from the new Photorealism quad, which is a collection of some gorgeous softer green colors. The frostier shade was applied to the inner corner and the rest of the lid. The tips she gave during this step were to look down into the mirror, as opposed to looking into it straight on, to better locate the crease and find where the light is being caught on your eyes. She then used the brighter shade thicker in the outer crease and then again in the inner crease but leaving a gap between them and blended them to meet a bit shy of the middle of the eye. Lashes got a coating of Plushlash mascara in black. This was the completed eye for the day look.
For the rest of the face, she used the Studiosculpt Foundation mixed with a few drops of the pinky shade of Lustre Drops (Pink Rebel). This gave a nice glowy, but not overly dewy look. Her technique with contouring was the E/3 method.. essentially creating an "E" or "3" shape by applying bronzer down the hairline, sweeping under the cheekbones, and then sweeping again along the jawbone. On the model, she used the Mineralize Skinfinish in Sunny by Nature (a rich bronze with pink pearl).
Lips got a soft outlining of the Stripdown liner, a very neutral, wearable brown/beige shade that works with SOOO many lipcolors. She topped this off with a slightly frosted beigey-pink creme lipstick and a gorgeous gold-flecked lipglass.
This completed the day look.
The only real transformation from day to night was to intensify the night and refresh the face. First, another mist of Fix+ helped to even out the skintone by reducing any buildup of product in a specific area. She then deepened the bronzer with another E/3 sweep and used a contour brush to apply just a tiny bit of the lustre drops to the top of the cheekbones, down the nose, and on the temples for a nice additional perk-me-up. For the eyes, she used a #219 brush to smudge in some of the deeper greyed-green shade from the previously used Photorealism quad right in the outer v and blending it in slightly. I'm really excited to try out this brush and it actually came in one of the brush sets they had, I just hate to buy a set when I already have some of the brushes in it or know I won't use one or more of them. The set was $49.50 for 5 brushes and an adorable case, if they still have the white or black set available at your nearest MAC store, I'd definitely recommend buying either or both of them if you're looking to jumpstart or add some really nice items to your brush collection. The finishing touch on the night look was a heavy-handed dose of the gold glitter from the new collection- which looked fantastic on the eyes, but the fallout on the cheeks and, by the end of the class, on the lips and chin, was not so pleasant. I would have mixed it with a stronger base (other than the Fix+), either Paula Dorf's transformer or MAC's mixing medium to cut down on fallout and prolong staying power or switched to a product that has pigment, as well as glitter, which will make the product stick to the lid better.
Another exciting thing that happened (along with the great tips and tricks I learned) was that I won 2 products (a Shadestick in Butternutty and Lipstick in Madly Creative) just by answering questions in class! I'm so grateful and will have swatches of them up soon. Here is also the list of items I ended up getting after the class:
StudioFix Fluid in NC15
StudioFix Powder + Foundation in NC15
Paint Pot in Painterly
#188 brush (for foundation, powder, blush, etc., this is a very multi-use brush)
Powder Blush in Well Dressed