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Fab collab: Designer Min Liu on her M.A.C makeup collection

Poetic justice

Fab collab: Designer Min Liu on her M.A.C makeup collection
Min Liu talks inspiration, energy flow and coming up with the distinctive palette for her makeup collection with M.A.C

You've seen the makeup, now hear the story behind the upcoming Min Liu for M.A.C collection. An exciting, young voice from China, designer Min Liu creates her Miss MIN collection as a nod to both traditionalism and modernity. Find out what the colours in her collection mean, and why Min Liu feels that like with fashion, makeup has to be worn with individuality and panache.

How did you feel when you were approached by M.A.C for this collaboration?
This was a long three year process with a lot of teamwork and passion. The M.A.C Team was great to work with and each meeting was filled with more fantasies than the one prior. It was a true collaboration in every sense. They really understood and respected my vision and approach to products. I am fortunate to have worked with such a magical team and the collection symbolises the beauty that our relationship is.

How did you choose the colours for the collection — they appear to be mainly reds and pinks? Is there a reason you like these colours
There are actually four main colors in this collection which are China red, lush peony pink, shimmering platinum, and bold ink black. Each colour is rich in meaning and contains a distinct energy in traditional colour theory. Red promises loyalty and bravery. Pink is a metaphor of beauty. Silver introduces the gods and spirits. Black brings honesty and integrity. 

Miss Min x M.A.C collection

How did you incorporate your designs into the packaging and the products? Were you happy with the result?
I wanted the products and packaging to combine tradition and modernity, approached with craftsmanship and a sense of history, which was achieved. When you look at it or touch it, I wanted the collection to offer a special feeling.

Tell us about the inspiration behind the design, especially the mountains and waves pattern on the facepowder?
The philosophy behind my collaboration with M.A∙,C is that everything is about how energy flows, casting a distinct aura, vitalising all forms of life — humans, water, mountains, earth, oceans, clouds. That no matter how it shifts and changes over time, the world maintains an eternal rhythm. It's also inspired by the ancient masterpiece Shang Hai Jing (The Guideways through Mountains and Seas), which is about Chinese mythology culture, spirituality, and folklore. The colour palette includes radiant China red, lush peony pink, bold ink black, and shimmering platinum.

As a designer, how do you incorporate Chinese traditionalism into your designs while still making your clothing fresh and unique?
Finding the balance has been non-stop discovery for me, for Ms MIN, and actually I think for every one of us. Life is about finding the balance. In order to know ourselves, we need to stay true and open.

The style of Ms MIN has always been inspired a lot by tradition, culture and spirituality. There's been this conversation between modernity and tradition, Yin and Yang, contrary and balance and ultimately, discovering the harmony of all elements together. Anything relative to beauty reminds us and inspires us: beauty of life, beauty of energy, beauty of this world, and beauty inside of ourselves. The little ornament of tassel, hanging on the lipstick, reminds us of some story, history, memory. Just a glance of it, or a touch of it, could bring us some beautiful sentiments. 

Miss Min x M.A.C collection

What is your favourite piece in the collection and how would you use it on yourself or on your models?
I adore the compact. It's a wave-like pattern embossed into the powder. An allegory for the energy that flows between mountains and oceans and across vast landscapes, spanning time and space. To open this compact is like feeling the universe in your hand. Somehow it reminds me that there is a universe out there.

Why is makeup important to you, both as a woman and as a designer? How can it help enhance your designs?
Makeup has no life without personality. I'm wearing the makeup, the makeup is not wearing me. The makeup should bring out the best of me. So it's always about the person and the feeling, not just the actual makeup.

Fashion plays with colours, textures, layers and makeup is the same. I think the aesthetic is the most important thing. People can't necessarily communicate through different languages, but they can communicate through smile, kindness, feeling, art, music, beauty — there is no boundary — and that's also the beauty of collaboration between different arts and areas.

From $34 to $115. At M.A.C counters and stores from 14 April 

Renée Batchelor

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