It's gonna get sappy up in here.
Lately, we've been seeing more beauty collaborations than ever. Everyone is excited to see their favorite pop star, actress, or even YouTuber put their own spin on a brand’s products. I'm always excited about beauty collabs because it’s great to have a fresh perspective brought to the table when creating and curating new collections, even if they are always so heavily geared toward women. When I heard that MAC was releasing a makeup collection for men and women in collaboration with the Brant brothers, it sounded right up my alley.
You may be asking yourself, “Who are the Brant brothers?” In short, Peter and Harry Brant are the socialite sons of a supermodel mother and a mogul father who drew quite a bit of attention to themselves in New York City’s most elite social circles at a very young age. (Think Gossip Girl IRL).
Their unique style is classic glamour mixed with a bit of androgyny, which is why it’s fitting for them to create a line that can be used by all genders. I jumped at the chance to chat with them about creating a collection that wasn’t held back by the confines of gender, and what their collection offers that MAC didn't already.
Like a lot of us, Harry and Peter started experimenting with makeup around the same age, each of them for different reasons. “I started using makeup to cover up acne probably around 13,” Harry told me, “which turned into exploring and discovering all of the incredible things you can do with it.”
“I started probably when I was 14.” Peter said. “Me and my friends were going out in the city a lot and we would play around with makeup and our outfits and we would find the most creative things we could do with our look. Sometimes we didn’t make the best decisions but it was all about having fun and playing with your look until you find the perfect medium."
Their collection is made up of essentials that anyone can use, no matter what your level of beauty expertise. With the exception of a base product, it has everything you need to achieve a full look.
Harry explained, “If you’ve never used makeup before and you have this collection, it’s like the perfect starting point. It’s everything you need to look hot and have fun. That’s why it’s so unisex. It’s not specifically for anyone, there’s no target demographic, it’s for anyone who wants to improve their look."
He’s right. The eyeshadow quad has four classic, essential colors perfect for a simple eye, or a smoky night look.
The kohl pencils range from the classic, grungy black, to a gold and a pearl for a softer look that will open up your eyes (I hate that trick with white, nude, or metallic liners on the waterline, but the MAC Kohl pencils are great and Paragon [top] is gorgeous.)
The cream contour compact is a new addition to the MAC family that makes contouring easier than ever, and the lip stains are perfect for a natural or high drama lip.
“There are a lot of unique products that we created from scratch, they took us a couple years to develop. The lip stains were a discontinued product so we brought them back, the kohl pencils, and then we created the highlight and contour palette. They didn’t have a taupe contour color. I used to actually contour with MAC eyeshadow so we took that color and made it into a cream."
Peter finished his brother’s thought, saying “It’s engineered to make anyone look hot. Everything is just flattering on everyone. There’s nothing that I think could be used for only one gender or only one kind of person. Anyone could play with them in a way that’s fun and very cool.”
Being a guy who writes about beauty, I notice that other guys will give me shit about wearing makeup, in jest or not (until they need some of their own, that is). I’ll get frantic texts from dudes I barely know about foundation or concealer, or needing to hide a blemish or a hickey, and only then does my knowledge become valuable. I was curious if it was the same for them.
Peter let me in on a little secret. “All of my friends have a drawer in their bathroom with drugstore makeup, that they say belongs to some girl who left it there or they stole it from an ex girlfriend, but I know they secretly touch up with it. Everyone has cosmetics that they use for some purpose, no matter how discreet or clandestine they are, and you can tell when someone is wearing makeup improperly. Even my dad admitted that he used to steal his mother’s makeup and use it to cover up blemishes, and that was in the 50s.
Off the same tip, I’m always interested to get a read on people’s reactions to me when I’m out in statement makeup. The way they feel about me can tell me a lot about them. I was curious to know if they’d ever felt the same way. Admittedly, the Brant brothers and I have lead extremely different lives, but I wondered if being a man in makeup has lead to odd dynamics in their social circles.
“It depends on the kind of person.” Peter paused for a moment, “I think people who are more open minded see it as a form of self-expression and can see it for what it is, making yourself more beautiful. A lot of times, when my makeup is more dramatic or outlandish, they don’t notice it because I’m a boy so they just think my face naturally looks like that. That’s kind of the amazing secret men have with makeup is they can get away with it being absolutely natural.”
Tynan is getting away with it on Twitter @TynanBuck.