Imagine this: A makeup masterclass with the pro in a private setting with sessions you can book in a few simple taps whenever your busy schedule permits. Sounds right up your alley, fellow beauty buffs? Because let's face it, you almost never get quality one-on-one time with the coach when it comes to makeup crash courses that cram in an overflow of eager students. And the name of this novel ingenuity is none other than M.A.C Techniques, a newly launched app that revolutionises the way you learn makeup with a host of in-app functions to note and record key takeaways (and snaps) from your lesson.
Putting this bit of tech to the test, an intimate sesh with M.A.C Hong Kong's Senior Artist Ryuko Lau held precedent as a handful of us beauty peeps enrolled in a class replete with a personal station stocked with products and tools, as well as a live makeup demo on a model. Explaining every step as she goes along, Lau's many years of expertise shines through as she leads the session, peppered with anecdotes and encouragements to interact by posing queries, on top of shadowing her skills by taking brush to pan and trying it out on our own faces.
Safe to say, we ended with swatches galore on the back of our hands, courtesy of M.A.C's Nutcracker Sweet holiday collection and Liptensity shades which Lau used to create a 'celeb chic' smoky eye and bold lip look. And with the rare occasion of having the senior artist in town, Buro had to have a sit-down with the busy makeup maven before she jets off to her next appointment, quizzing her on three trending party looks and the pro way to go about getting glam.
Lau says: It depends on your eye shape. If you have wide-set eyes, meaning the middle portion between your eyes is wider, then try to fill it up with the glitter. Almost like this [the model] where you have it at the inner corners of the eye, so there's more happening within this area. But try not to fill it up all. Instead, go subtle as if you're contouring. With contouring you focus on certain areas; going darker then blending into nothing, then you go back darker again. In this same method, you're kind of using the glitter as an accenting highlight. To keep the look modern instead of tacky, focus the glitter on the outer and inner corners of the eyes with less in the middle so that there's contrast in the dimensions.
Done right, the eye shape is enhanced and the overall effect is very on-trend. The colour of the glitter really depends on what you're wearing but since glitter is very reflective and eye-catching, going with gold, silver and bronze choices will be classier. For something more edgy, go with a single colour in brighter shades such as blue or green. Keep everything else minimal: Well-groomed brows, natural skin touched with a bit of concealer and cushion foundation with a soft, rosy colour or a flush of pink for the lips. This way, the rest of your face won't be stealing the thunder from the glitter.
What you need: Lingering Eyebrow Pencil, Matchmaster Shade Intelligence Cushion Compact, Nutcracker Sweet Gold Pigments and Glitter Kit.
Lau says: We have a green shade here but with metallic lipsticks, you can go with all kinds of colours like reds, pinks and even browns. And for those who are into selfies and social media, I would also suggest the black shade, Stallion, from M.A.C's Liptensity range if you're really looking to amp it up. To achieve that highly metallic look, layer gloss over the lipstick and particularly for this look, metallic pigment is used to get that sheen. Select a metallic pigment in a coordinating shade with your lip colour and pat in on top of the lipstick to get that full, smooth layer of metallic finish.
Of course, when you do such a bold lip everything should be minimal, with options between satin-natural or natural-matte finish for the skin. Satin skin has a bit of shine and complements the overall look and makes the lip colour pop but if you want a higher coverage, choose natural-matte. Keep the cheeks really natural with a light colour in peach or apricot tones to get that healthy flush. And eyes should be very clean, concealed fully if you have dark circles and also on the lids to blend into the foundation. Brows are kept the same as with the glitter look, lightly filled in to be natural and neat. Don't forget to curl your lashes and touch up with a little bit of mascara to open up your eyes.
What you need: Liptensity Lipcolour, Instacurl Lash Mascara and Nutcracker Sweet Peach Face Compact.
Lau says: There are lots of different ways to wear eyeliner and what's trending now is the razor sharp look. Don't be shy with your liner — I remember two seasons ago the 'invisible' liner [tightlining] was very popular — it's almost like you didn't put makeup on but have thick lashes instead. That's good for a natural look, but party-wise don't skimp on the eyeliner! Make good use of the Technakohl Eyeliner in Graphic Black and the 208 Stiff Angle Brush to define the shape and make it razor sharp for the upper lash line. Be sure to give the tapered ends a bit of upward lift to make the look more futuristic. For those who struggle with shaky hands getting the perfect line, I recommend Fluidline paired with the 212 brush to easily map out the shape first by dotting 'points' on the eyelid before connecting the lines.
And to get that 'dolly' vibe, you can imitate the graphic lower lashes by also drawing it on with the eyeliner. I would also advice that you practice before the actual party when it comes to graphic liner looks. The best time to try is when you get back from work and before you wash your face. Give the eyeliner a go and practice as much as you need to; it won't matter how bad you mess up as you'll be washing it straight off afterwards. Finally, this sweet yet edgy look is best paired with pinkish lips and cheeks, with brushed up brows and a foundation that gives the skin a natural glow.
What you need: Technakohl Eyeliner in Graphic Black, 208 Angled Brow Brush, Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack and 212 Flat Definer Brush.
Download M.A.C Technique here. The Nutcracker Sweet holiday collection is available at all M.A.C stores and counters