Harlequin Romance Novel Beauty, According To MAC

Cue Fabio (and autumn).

Think of the flush you get after spending some quality time with someone you fancy... Now multiply that by about a thousand and you have the vibe MAC is going for with its new collection, A Novel Romance.

Nail colors in deep jewel tones have names that suggest a bodice-ripping romp in a meadow; eye shadows come come in shimmering neutrals, for that starry-eyed damsel look, or intense blues, greens, and purples; and lip colors range from Champagne shimmers to va-va-voom rubies.

Yes, this collection takes its cues from the over-the-top cover art and subject matter of romance paperbacks, but the makeup is wearable on anyone, even those of us who aren't exactly into long-haired guys in chest-baring shirts.

I tested out the entire line and used my favorite items to create a look that felt like me, but a little lustier. Try it for yourself, but don't blame me if you get swept up by a man on horseback in the middle of the night.


I created a base with the collection's Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Pure Flash, a super shimmery Champagne. I used it to cover my entire lid, up to the brow bone, and even smudged a bit along the tops of my cheekbones. All of the Electric Cool shadows in A Novel Romance have an interesting texture: they look like a powder but they feel almost creamy, so they're a dream to blend.

Then I popped open the Amorous Adventure Eye Shadow Quad, which has Sable, Sex & The Oyster, Brawn, and Black Tied. (Sable and Black Tied are perennial shades in MAC's collection, whereas the other two are limited edition). I dipped my blending brush into Brawn, a grey-ish brown satin, and blended it into the crease and outer corner of my lid.

Next I used the Fluidline Eye Pencil in Water Willow, a deep shimmering turquoise, to line the outer two thirds of my upper lash line. Then I went back to the quad and blended a light wash of Sex & The Oyster, a grey-turquoise deluxe pearl, into the outer corners for a further pop of green.

Cheeks & Lips

To get a defined flush, I brushed Powder Blush in Animal Instincts onto the apples of my cheeks and along my cheekbones. The color is a kind of cinnamon, with a bit of red and bronze, for an "I've been fooling around" effect.

I then colored my lips with the Lipstick in Hearts Aflame, a matte shade that also has a cinnamon vibe. It's a brick, burgundy red and it looks really pretty blotted on the lips with your fingers.


Aside from the Electric Cool shadows, my other all-out favorites from this collection are the Nail Lacquers. The color payoff in these babies is insane. One coat gives you opaque, streak-free color in on point fall shades. I almost wanted to paint each nail a different shade, but I decided to edit myself and went for a color block manicure instead.

I painted my nails with a base of Sunset Sky, a deep garnet with a pink-toned shimmer throughout. Once that dried, I applied painter's tape straight across the middle of each nail and painted the top halves with Midnight Sky, a steely deep blue with a graphite shimmer. I know it's still hot out, but oh, man, these polishes have me wishing for crisp autumn days and chunky dark wool sweaters. If you buy one thing from this collection, it should be a bottle of lacquer.

Do you have a favorite trashy romance novel? Anything from A Novel Romance strike your fancy?