MAC Limited Edition Photographs by Helmut Newton collection swatched

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Makeup brands and fashion photographers collaborations are getting big and numerous these days. Here’s one by MAC which is a little bit different in a way that Helmut Newton, whose photography is the centerpiece in this collection design, who did photography for Vogue and Playboy and was famous for erotic, heightened and staged photography, died in 2004. So, this collection is not as much collaboration as it is an homage honouring the work of this creative and artsy photographer. The photos used in packaging design are black and white making the whole batch very stylish and a little dark and theatric, which is very much in accordance with what Helmut Newton did, aspired and achieved in his creative work.


This collection is not too big. There’s an eye quad, three shades of Retro Matte Lip Colour, three shades of nail colour and then an eyeliner and a mascara that are permanent are just an addition to all this limited edition makeup beauty. The design is truly great and artistic, you’ll see. It’s one of those by all means couture kind of things where the design itself is part of the experience. Further on, the makeup in this collection is so much in tune with the design. The shades look like they come from black and white movies and photos or like they are supposed to create black and white movies and photos kind of look which is as artsy as Helmut Newton’s photography selected to frame those shades and bring out their essence.


Off we go. And we’ll start with the eyeshadow palette. Just look at this design. Just look at it. Just look.



This palette is called Point ‘n’ Shoot.



In case you’re wondering what this eyeshadow is made of 🙂 , please, see here.



And here are the four shades, all moody, Helmut Newton like and black and whitish.



Most shades are matt. Three out of four. And one is satin.



Let me show you those shades, all of them.

Real Fantasy (matte)



This shade is this flesh colour base like shade or off white and lighter than life beige shade. There’s not much colour in it, that’s for sure. It’s the kind of shade that can be a base and background for other shades, used for contrast sake or as a transitional colour to smoothly carry you from one shade in your eye makeup to another. Also, you could dilute any other shades in the palette with this one and get a new shade customized just for you.


Influential (satin)



This shade is greige leaning to warmer, brown and chocolate but not quite getting there. Influential is very pleasing to me in a way that it’s milk and coffee like and cacao like. There’s just something about greige. This beige and grey combo is universal – almost, like all things in the world 🙂 – and flattering. It can help you create so many looks. Whatever you eye colour and skin tone is, greige might work for you. Also, greige is still not overused. It’s a little off the beaten track, which is good, because most things in makeup have been done over and over again by now, you know 🙂


Hard Currency (matte)



Grey Hard Currency is settled nicely and cozily in the middle of the grey range without tipping into being too light or too dark. And that’s cool, because that’s what grey is like, when it’s at its best. Just like greige, grey eyeshadow is kind of fresh. Classically, they used to say that grey eyeshadow only becomes grey eyed beauties. Times changed, rules changed, so now anyone can wear grey, and why don’t they. Green eyes, blue eyes, brown eyes and grey eyes, naturally 🙂 – grey eyeshadow will work with all of those. Grey is one of the basic colours, or a shade thereof, so it’s classic enough, nude enough, still it’s pretty rare, which means, it’s artsy enough too. There are only few shades like that, really 🙂


Point ‘n’ Shoot (matte)



Black and white movies, remember? Black had to show up in this palette. It had to, and it did. It’s matt and bold and all smoky. It being matt though gives us enough of a chance to go light on it and get any result or shade we want – from darker grey to pitch black with all the nuances those two shades have wrapped in them. And that’s a lot of nuances 🙂 Also, you can do anything with this shade from thinner black lines to full on colour, from gradation to washed and smoky result.




This palette is all about noncolour colour. Noncolour doesn’t mean boring though, it doesn’t mean devoid of colour. It has a whole world in it, anything you like from nude to smoky and a lot of things in between. Black and white movies are subdued and sophisticated. So is this palette here. It’s classy, because there’s a lot of chic and elegance in understated attitude. In terms of quality, those shades feel professional, so you can really work with them and use them to your liking.




In addition to the eyeshadow palette, there’s an eyeliner for those who are into arrows.



It’s a liquid eyeliner.



The shade is called Boot Black.



This eyeliner formula is nice, the application is easy enough for liquid eyeliner formula but… No matter how many times they say that liquid eyeliner is easy to use, that anyone can handle it, that you can draw any arrows you like with it… liquid eyeliner is tough in terms of application. The toughest out there, really. So, you’ve got to have enough skill to do it. Say, my hand is not steady enough. I can do it, if I really really want to, but it’s not easy, cream eyeliner is so much easier for me to operate you won’t believe it 🙂



The brush here has a felt tip instead of a classic liquid eyeliner brushy brush. If you are used to an eyeliner brush, be careful, it might take some time for you to get used to this felt tip business. On the other hand, if your hand isn’t super steady, when it comes to liquid eyeliner formula, felt tip can help you. Really help you. Still, even with the felt tip, we’re talking liquid eyeliner here. So, please, think twice before you buy.



The shade is matt black. It’s not that shiny black business you picture, when you think liquid eyeliner. It’s matt which is very much in tune with the whole black and white photography and movies concept of this collection.



That’s the eyeliner. It’s part of the permanent range, so if you like it, you can have it at any time 🙂



The second permanent product supporting this limited edition collection by MAC is Upward Lash mascara.



It promises us volume and curve.



The shade is called Upward Black.



To tell you the truth, when I saw the brush, I was like – o-oh. It’s not that I don’t like smaller brushes, I do, because they help to get to each and every lash. Still, this brush almost looked too small to me.



This mascara doesn’t feel that shiny which is quite natural for mascara. It’s not really supposed to be as shiny as eyeliner in the first place. In terms of shade Upward Lash here is a classic. Black.



Upward Lash mascara works just fine and gives you as much volume and curve as mascara can give you without base 🙂 I mean, it’s not going to work miracles on your lashes, but it will make them kind of longer, kind of thicker, kind of more curvy. You know how it goes 🙂



That’s eyeliner and mascara.



The lip colour in this collection is matt and liquid. And it comes in three shades.


Before you even get to the shades though, you see another piece of gorgeous photography by Helmut Newton.



And here’s what Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour by MAC is made of, in case you’re wondering.



The first shade is called Chateau M.



See how much bulk this photography design adds to the packaging? 🙂 It looks awesome, but you aren’t carrying this box in your purse, you know.



The tube is thicker and shorter compared to your usual lip gloss tube.



The brush is spongy, roundish, flattened, with a pointy tip. For the purposes of applying Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour it works well enough.



The shade is sultry red. Vampy red. Hot red. Deeper red. Womanly red. Old Hollywood red. Traditionally red lip red. And given that it comes in matt finish, it looks even hotter.



Next shade. Even if the photo is still the same here, I can’t help admiring it.



The shade is called High Heels.



It’s another red, believe it or not 🙂



Only this red is brighter. It’s still sexy and matt, but it’s vibrant and full of life. This red is optimistic, vigorous and active. It’s on the move kind of thing that can get very sultry, if it’s played right.



The third shade is darker.



It’s called Self Portrait.



And it’s not pure red. It’s plum like and purple like.



Black cherry. That’s what this shade is. Dark and sultry to the point of no return. The ultimate dark lip shade. The ultimate femme fatale shade. The ultimate accent lip shade. Fabulous and edgy. Matt finish takes this black cherry shade to a whole new level. Black and white photography level 🙂



Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour by MAC goes on the lips like liquid lip colour usually does, and then you almost doesn’t feel it there. The shades are great and very movie like and black and white movie like. There’s a small little catch here though. This formula feels dry on the lips just like almost any matt lip colour formula does. So, if your lips are sensitive and get dry easily, beware, please. I’m not sure how you can deal with that issue. With nonmatt formulae it’s enough to prep your lips with your favourite lip care product. When you do it with matt lip colour though, the matt finish gets smudged. Maybe, you could apply your lip balm or whatever beforehand and leave it there for a while. Or press a tissue to your lips a couple of times before you actually apply Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour. That could help.



We still have nail colour to talk about, remember? Which means, we have another photo by Helmut Newton to enjoy.



This is the list of ingredients for you.



And this is the first shade.



Another one that’s not going to fit into that purse 🙂



Call Time



The shade is grey. Medium leaning to lighter grey. Lighter than that eye shade.



I’ve already told you the story of how I just couldn’t get the grey nail colour thing and then actually managed to make friends with it. So, now when I see nice grey shades, they always make me smile.



This grey shade is definitely nice. In has this nice quality about it that, I think, is achieved by a distant beige sensation lingering somewhere on the bottom of it.



This sensation never actually gets to be a fully realized undertone. It just peeks out from time to time, winks at you and then goes right away.



Call Time is a grounded shade that you can wear on numerous occasions. You can wear it as nude nail colour. You can wear it with a silver evening gown. Anything, really 🙂



Just like grey eyeshadow, grey nail colour still feels sort of fresh. Elegant and artsy. All in one. It looks interesting, which I appreciate a lot in makeup.



The second shade.



Monte Carlo



Monte Carlo? It has to be red 🙂



And red it is. It’s a fiery red too. Pretty bright, still it’s a classic with a modern red brick element to it that’s pushed into the background so that it doesn’t strip the shade of its classic DNA.



I have to tell you that this shade in particular proved to be difficult in terms of formula. This shade is pretty loose and thin. Not in a bad way. It’s just not full coverage, it’s a little bit sheer, so that you can see the line between the nail and its tip.



It’s not my personal preference, I prefer full on colour on my nails, crème. There are a lot of people around who like it though. Maybe, you do. Unfortunately, just like many shades that come in this finish, Monte Carlo is so loose it almost like slides off the tips of your nails leaving them bare almost.



I so don’t like it. I want nail colour to look neat on my nails. So, this sliding off the tips is an issue to me. If it is to you, be forewarned.



The shade itself is nice though. It’s one of the few reds that doesn’t feel old fashioned in any way. Instead it feels relevant and even hip.



I just so wish this shade would stay on the nails 🙂 Pity.



And the last shade.






Look, it’s our black cherry matte lipcolour counterpart 🙂



Black cherry is a classic. A dark classic.



It’s a super hot nail shade and a good option for those who’d never wear black on their nails.



There’s something about black cherry nail colour. I mean, it’s been around so long, it’s loved so much, it’s so versatile. It can be sexy, it can be dark, it can be a classic.



This shade covers my nails fully, it’s not sheer but… it has the same thing about it that Monte Carlo has. It slides right off the tips of my nails leaving them bare in an untidy way. Uh.



This black cherry shade was released at the right time, because this fall dark, off black shades are very trendy. And then we’re going to lunge right into holiday season where dark red and dark plum are almost always on. So, black cherry might be an interesting twist there.



What I like about black cherry is that it unites in a way those who like classic and womanly nail shades and those who like rock glam and punk glam nail shades. That happens only rarely 🙂



These are the three nail shades that have it all in them. Noncolour, sort of, that is, grey, we’ve seen in eyeshadow and red and dark red we’ve seen in lip colour. So, nail colour here is a great bond bringing the whole collection together and rounding it up perfectly. I just wish the reds – Monte Carlo and Berlin – performed better. I wish they wouldn’t slide off the tips of my nails even with a top coat, even before I wear them around 🙂 More or less, when it comes to nail colour in this collection, I like the idea behind it but I can’t say I love the quality.





That’s MAC Limited Edition Photographs by Helmut Newton collection. The design here transcends makeup, fashion and definitely gets into the art territory. Those photos are worth a look, at least, if not a buy 🙂 In terms of shades, this collection is well put together by MAC presenting a black and white canvas with bright red spots here and there. This collection is very beautiful, very artsy and very artistic in a way, it’s very cinematic and photographic. The key to making it wearable in real life is not using all the products here at the same time, but using one or the other and pairing them up with other makeup products you like that are not part of this collection.






If you want to soften the whole thing up just a little and bring it all down to earth in a way, wear red lipgloss with that eyeshadow and eyeliner and mascara. Or wear glowy light cool beige or glowy grey eyeshadow with those red shades of Retro Matte Lipcolour. This way you’ll keep the contrast and shadow play that’s hidden in the core of this collection. At the same time you’ll look less modely and less actressy and more like yourself. While if you want a little bit of a theatric and larger than life effect, say, if you’re going to a party or something, you can go all the way and use all those MAC products together.









All in all, this collection is spectacular in the way it looks. And black and white movies and photography concept behind it is an interesting one to try and wear. Contrasts are always exciting, both in life and in makeup 🙂


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