Celebrating The Little Black Makeup Look
Once you worked your way around the fifty-plus gowns and frocks that lined the halls at the Mona Bismarck last night for the MAC-sponsored Paris opening of André Leon Talley’s SCAD Little Black Dress exhibition, the gallery spilled into a final space that was the stuff beauty dreams are made of. In a wood-paneled room that looked out onto the venue’s lush grounds hung towering face charts featuring seven MAC-designed makeup looks—with their corresponding product breakdowns—created to complement seven of the show’s standout pieces. “MAC lives fashion 365 days year,” Estée Lauder Group President John Demsey explained of the special addition to the show, emphasizing that more and more, the brand’s sartorial ambitions are branching out beyond its connections to the Fall and Spring ready-to-wear and couture collections to include collaborative capsule ranges with tastemakers and scholastic pursuits that center around style. “MAC has always been referred to as the brand in black, so the little black dress and the little black lipstick sort of went hand in hand,” he elaborated. And let’s not forget its little black eye shadows, eyeliners, and mascaras; where would fashion be without MAC’s fan-favorite shadow pots in Smoulder and Carbon; its eye kohl in Feline; and its cream Fluidline in Blacktrack?
While “[wearing] black is a blank canvas” for makeup, according to Gordon Espinet—the brand’s vice president of makeup artistry, who conceived the individual looks on display—there are certain things to keep in mind when face-painting for an all-black ensemble. “Makeup has no rules; it’s highly personable,” he asserts. “But I tend to go with this: The more embellishment there is on the clothing, the less embellishment should be on the face.” Words to live by.—Celia Ellenberg
Photo: Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics