You know how in "Mean Girls," the Plastics make it a rule to wear pink every Wednesday? I have something like that, too. It's called "Dress Like A Witch Friday" (#DLAWF). I've been doing it every fall since junior year of college, but to be honest, it extends well past autumn. Due to some combination of frequent visits to Salem, Mass and spending too much time in a friend's basement with a Ouija board as a kid, I've always aspired to a certain level of ghoulishness in my personal styling. I don't know. I'm a terrible WASP.
So you can imagine my excitement when MAC Cosmetics announced its collaboration with everyone's favorite teen witch, Lorde, back in March. The collection — all two pieces of it — comes out today. In the name of science, I swung by the MAC Pro Store in Manhattan's Flatiron District to give it a test drive/get my makeup professionally did.
Despite the delightfully steamy New York heat, MAC makeup artist Keri Blair and I decided to go balls-out on a full face: Primer, foundation, powder, contouring, brow pencil, highlighter, eye shadow, winged liner, opaque lipstick, lip liner. There was air conditioning in the store, so it seemed sensible at the time.
I won't walk you through all of the steps that it took to turn my face into a so-called canvas for the Lorde products, but know that it was a long and not very harrowing process. Pro tip: Tilda Swinton fangirls hoping to terrify their loved ones should stop at the foundation and skip mascara.
In our pursuit of a heavy, gothy look, the Penultimate Eyeliner in Rapidblack and the Pure Heroine lipstick needed some supporting products. The lipstick is creamy to the point of smeary when applied thick enough, and the edges started to bleed slightly, so Blair recommended using a lipliner (like MAC's lip pencil in Currant) to lock that sucker in. Maybe trace along the edge of your lip with a powder foundation once you're done to prevent feathering.
Similarly, Blair ended up using a liquid eyeliner in addition to the Penultimate pen, noting that it's a bit harder to apply on other people than it is on oneself. More on that later.
Walking to the subway, I had a moment where I looked in the dark glass on the side of a building (as one does) and thought to myself, "Is that Lorde?" Also got some weird looks from a kid on the train platform.
Over the course of the next week, I played around with the two products on my own time, and found that they're both fantastic when applied with a lighter hand. The pen eyeliner is kind of just eyeliner, but the ink is smooth and the point of the brush very pointy, so it's incredibly easy to put on. For the first time in my life, I created a cat eye flick that I was genuinely happy with, leading me to realize that I've probably just been using crappy products for years.
The lipstick is similarly awesome, and I found that for me it works best as a stain. The color remains vibrant, but when dabbed and patted on with varying intensity, it starts to look like you've just eaten a grape popsicle rather than the heart of a former lover. With your hair swept up in a bun and eyelashes sooted up with mascara (no liner), it's pretty, a little offbeat and surprisingly great for summer. I drank white wine at an event that night and wondered if I looked like a "fashion girl."
Skip the eyeliner if you already have one you're happy with, but buy the lipstick. The color is warmer than you might expect — and more importantly, much more wearable.