A Backstage Look at Trendmaking Beauty with MAC Cosmetics

If there's one cosmetics brand that's ubiquitous backstage at New York Fashion Week, it's MAC Cosmetics. MAC artists are dispatched all over the city to create looks for dozens of shows at Lincoln Center, Milk Studios, and beyond. This is where new products for the next season are road-tested under high pressure and hot lights. For Fall and Winter 2012, "Roam-Antique" and "Sense and Sensibility" are two of the brand's key looks.

Getting Serious About the Subtle with "Sense and Sensibility"

Carolina Herrera, Fall 2012The literary reference conjured by "Sense and Sensibility" is apt, as the looks really do capture the earnest beauty of Jane Austen-era heroines. Pale skin, a hint of a rosy cheek warmed from within, and kissable lips. No dramatics here. 

"It's about timeless classics done in a modern way — these are the elements of makeup that never go out of fashion but simply get reinvented," said Terry Barber, director of makeup artistry.

This look puts a lot of emphasis on a flawless complexion, and the products that makes that happen are the new Pro Sculpting Creams, $20. These are the sort of products that are more difficult to master at home, but make a big difference in getting a professional look. The cream-to-powder formula is super lightweight and easily blendable, to "sculpt" and shape your features and bone structure. For this purpose you might want to have someone at the MAC counter show you how to use two shades of sculpting cream to create cheekbones or highlight your eyes, whatever you want to emphasize or downplay.

I also liked using cream over moisturizer as a really natural concealer with sheer, foundation-like coverage. I also used the darker "richly-honed" shade on my eyelids as a cream shadow. These aren't the showpiece products of a collection like a lipstick or eye shadow, but they really multitask and you'll find yourself using them often.

"Roam-Antique" Takes a More Dramatic Turn

Vivienne Westwood Fall 2012"The bohemian spirit of this season is about the fantasy of an elegant eccentric, a woman who is ornate but yet has exquisite taste," said Lyne Desnoyers, director of makeup artistry.

These products were used to create bold show-stopping looks for high-profile, creative runway shows like The Blonds and Vivienne Westwood: "Quintessential smokey eye, jewels, metallic and rusty lips."

Products for this look include Spice & Cork Lip Pencil, Coffee Eye Pencil, Root Cream Colour Base, Full Fuchsia Powder Blush, Taupe blush, Smoked Purple Lipstick, Carbon, Sketch and Club Eyeshadow and Smolder Eye Khol.