Why Helmut Newton's estate agreed to collaborate with M.A.C on a classic makeup collection

Why Helmut Newton's estate agreed to collaborate with M.A.C on a classic makeup collection

Point and shoot

Text: Renée Batchelor

Tired of the girlish makeup collections that many brands are putting out? M.A.C and Helmut Newton promises you a grown-up vision of beauty

If you're familiar with the M.A.C and Helmut Newton makeup collection, you'll know its sexy, daring and almost cinematic in its quality. With a palette of rich and lustrous reds and graphic blacks and greys, the effect is sensual but also hard-edged. With colours inspired by the women in his iconic photography, as well as actual archival images used in the collection's packaging, think of this as the ultimate homage and marriage of vision and creative tools. To find out more about why the late Newton's estate agreed to collborate with the makeup giant, we spoke to Tiggy Maconochie, the representative from the Helmut Newton estate to delve deeper into his aesthetic and vision.

Why did the estate of Helmut Newton agree to the collaboration with M.A.C?
The project and proposal were interesting right from the beginning. It was conceived and executed as an homage to Helmut Newton with great respect.

What was it about M.A.C that you think aligned with his unique and legendary aesthetic?
Newton's work during his lifetime was frequently imitated and it still is, so this was a collaboration based on the real deal. Helmut Newton images by the legendary photographer Helmut Newton! His work pushes boundaries in beauty, gender and beyond.

How were the particular images for this collection chosen? Describe the process and considerations.
This was a challenge for so many reasons: often the most interesting projects are, but they get good results. The whole process took almost three years. There were many restrictions as this collection had to have worldwide appeal. Models from some of the classic photographs could not be traced to give their consent, so this eliminated quite a few shots. The consideration was to find four strong images that represented Helmut Newton's work that were glamorous in a way that would relate to beauty but retained a mix of decadence, subversion, elegance as well as a sense of dark wit.

What to you are some of the hallmarks of a Helmut Newton woman?
Helmut Newton very rarely photographed his models in a studio. He shot them in real life situations and on location.  He said, "A woman does not live in front of white paper. She lives on the street, in a motorcar, in a hotel room." He liked to photograph woman looking powerful, sexually predatory and available on their own terms.

How involved was the Estate in selecting the shades, packaging and kinds of products in the collection?
As representative of the Estate I was involved at every stage with background information, copy and precise wording for press releases, providing quotes from Helmut Newton to make it more real and interesting. I came up with a list of names relevant to Helmut and his work for nail, lip colour and eyeshadow shades.

From about 45 suggestions, those that were allowed went into a select that were chosen for the final products. It is a limited collection, available for a limited time. It was important to distinguish and attribute Helmut Newton's name to the photographs, which is clearly defined on the packaging. The Estate is particular about how images are used and M.A.C respected this, asking for our feedback at every stage.  I am happy to say that they were a great team to work with.

What do you think of the final product? Is it true to Helmut Newton's vision and aesthetic?
Helmut Newton would have enjoyed his work being used and celebrated. He said, "When I take pictures I don't do it just for myself, to put them away in a drawer. I want as many people as possible to see them.  There is an excitement in the diversity of going from editorial work, to commercial assignments, to producing books, to holding exhibitions."

From $24-$70. Grab the collection while you can from M.A.C stores and counters now