Charlotte Olympia's MAC Collection Was Made for Red Lipstick Addicts and Fancy Spiders

The packaging is gorgeous and the colors are actually pretty universally flattering.

Every once in a while, a makeup launch comes around that makes me do grabby hands at my computer screen. This is pretty much what happened upon opening MAC's announcement email of their collaboration collection with Charlotte Olympia. The designer who makes the most adorable flats I can't afford is launching a bomb-ass makeup collection that's sexy and lady but also sinister and shiny... and other adjectives along those lines.

Just see for yourself!

There are nail polishes, lipsticks and lip pigment, lip liner, liquid liner, mascara, cream color compacts, powder pigment and some accessories — all gilded, angular and spiderwebbed. Be-webbed, as it were.

I get the feeling that Charlotte Olympia is super-into red lipstick, judging by this ombre of bright to berry. They're all in MAC's signature matte formula but err on the cool side as far as reds go. The Lipmix in Red (I love when color names come sans pretense) is also matte and really light; it has a silicone-y texture, so it's silky but delivers punchy pigment in a virtually weightless feel.

The Liquid Eyeliner and Zoom Lash Mascara only come in brown, as far as I know, which could be a smidge disappointing, especially if you indeed have black lashes like me and could not imagine coating them in brown mascara because what is the point then? But I did it anyway, obviously, and the formula is pretty great for volumizing the crap out of your lashes.

Cream Color Base is a concept that I generally take to mean foundation or concealer, but these are more on the artistry side of makeup that a pleb like me would just call something like "cream blush," or judging by these colors, cream bronzer. One is matte and the other shimmery, but both are really light, buildable and sheer so you can arguably use these wherever you want on your face. They blend fantastically and leave a slighly dewy finish.

Look at how cool these nail polish bottles are! The polishes are nice — your classic cherry red, white, and a deeper crimson. If you're going to have a standard red nail color at hand, why not get one in a gorgeous bottle like these? Other than that, honestly, it's nail polish. I hold no premiums to certain brands of regular nail polishes.

If you were looking for a good powder highlighter, here's yet another one to further overwhelm you. It's very sheer but leaves a translucent film of shimmer finish with teeny speckles of more light-reflecting specks. The specks are pretty micro, though — personally I'm not a fan of really obvious glitter specks in a highlighter, but these fall just below that grade to offer a sheer shimmer with a bit of extra dimension in those sparkles. Subtle, but sparkly.

Let's see everyone in action, shall we?

A brown cat eye on brown eyes — surprisingly chic in a soft warm way. I did add a dash of *contraband* gold shimmer under my eyes (by which I mean, not of this collection) to really illustrate this whole red and gold theme going on.

I'm wearing the Cream Color Base in Golden Age (it's the lighter shimmery bronze of the pair) on my cheeks, the liner and mascara on my eyes, the Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick as well as lipstick in Leading Lady Red on my lips. I'm not a huge lip-liner person in general because I snack too frequently for the touch-ups to be worth it, but a teensy bit of over-drawing with this pencil/lipstick duo and my lips look damn fine — super matte red and much plumper-looking. Into it.The powder pigment in Overdressed makes a perfect subtle highlight (or eyeshadow) with a translucent shimmer on my cheekbones, browbone and nose.

I love the deep richness of these colors and wanted to put them through their paces a bit, so I used the Cream Color Base in Sepia on my eyes, smudging it into my crease and lower lash line with my finger.

The color builds really well and melts into my skin seamlessly (but this also means creasing, sadly, if you're going to use it on your eyes) while leaving a mostly-matte sheen. Call it "eggshell finish" if you will. I went slightly more HAM with the Golden Age Cream Color Base under my cheekbones to really carve them out.

I used the Retro Rouge lipstick and pressed the bullet into my lips before smudging it in with my fingers for a stain blur effect. It's quite, dare I say it, "French girl beauty."

It's all about that *stain*

I imagine this collection will do well, a) because the packaging is gorgeous, b) the colors are actually pretty universally flattering and the kinds of shades everyone buys ANYWAY, and c) I feel pretty oh so pretty!

  • What's your fave MAC collab? Should I pay attention to these sorts of things more?
  • Are you more "lady" or... whatever the other look was?