Mac Cosmetics


Being the beauty addict that I am I just can’t help myself when it comes to buying makeup. I love Mac because they always have new products for every season and are always bang on trend. I went in to buy something for a mate and walked out with 3 products for myself!


The SS15 Lipstick Trend at New York Fashion Week

Its all about the beauty trends today for Spring/Summer 15 at New York Fashion Week. For me it gives me inspiration as a makeup artist to see what is going to be in and all the colours I may need in my kit.

Here is a little insight into the lip shades that were rockin the catwalk. Of course orange is in its the perfect lip shade to brighten up that skin tone no matter what our skin tone. This texture is a sheer orange that is a great way to work the trend without it being too bold.


I love red lippie so much its definitely my go to colour especially when I need a pick me up. Love the matt texture with the fresh skin and flushed cheeks.


The matt orange lip is the bolder version of the orange lip trend. It looks phenomenal with the no makeup look on the rest of the face with the barely there mascara.


Purple is back love this beautiful shade that looks amazing on fair to dark skin. Check out Mac’s latest Spring 15 Forecast Lip Palette that will hopefully hitting SA shores.


Shahnaz x

Mac Haulin

In the spirit of things Mac Cosmetics and especially after spending time with Senior Pro Makeup Artist Michelle-Lee talking about trends of course it was obvious I was going to buy some of the must have season products. Makeup addict I hear you say? Yes indeed and of course I need them for my pro kit!

First up they 2 key blushes that were used for backstage the beautiful pink Minearlize Blush Azalea In The Afternoon which is that perfect blush to add a pop of flush to the cheek and get that English Rose look going on. The peach blush Warm Soul is perfect for that bronzed sun kissed skin and matches perfectly when bronzer has been applied to the face and will also look amazing on the eyes.

Mac Haulin 1

Two trend colours the pretty pastel shade Aqua Matte is amazing to rock the SS14 pastel trend with either a wash over the lids or along the bottom lash line. As soon as Michelle-Lee showed me Plum Dressing I knew I had to have it, its a great way to rock the colour trend by creating a smokey eye on the outer corners, apply just over the lids or as a liner along the top lash line.

Mac Haulin 2

Linger Softly is a beautiful grey shade that can be blended out on the lids for that alternative colour to the blacks and chocolates its more of a nude smokey shade and would look amazing with a peach or coral lip.

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Michelle was sporting the Blackline Pearl Glide Intense Eyeliner, when applied its a green shade with a subtle gold that looks amazing on the top and bottom lash line and then blended out onto the lids to create the smokey effect, make sure you blend quick as this liner sets fast and doesn’t budge. I can’t wait to wear this shade out at night. The Designer Puple shade was a love at first sight kind of thing and the amazing thing about this liner is that it doubles up as a lip colour. Michelle-Lee said all you need is the Lip Conditioner and then apply over the lips and for the added wow apply gloss over and it won’t bleed as the liner sets so this bad boy will be used for a beauty shoot for sure or I may be daring and go for a purple lip myself!

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Let me know what your favourite Mac products are and why? But for now I hope you love Mac products as much as I do.

Shahnaz x

Mac Spring/Summer 14 Makeup TrendsI got to spend some time with Michelle-Lee South Africa’s Senior Pro Make Up Artist that heads up fashion week in South Africa and gets to fly to New York, Milan and Paris to work with celebrity makeup artists like Tom Pecheux and Charlotte Tilbury. Firstly I was given the much sought after Mac Trend book which I haven’t stopped looking at since but we also went through the 4 key Mac Spring/Summer 14 makeup trends and key products that were used. And yes being in South Africa means we are a season behind!

Mac always split the looks into 4 key trends so here is what its all about:

Radiance: The key focus this year was beautiful skin with 3 dimensional highlighting and making skin look like the moonlit sky using creams and shadows to create that lit from within skin. The key products to create this was the Cream bases like Luna and Pearl which are shimmer creams combined with Crystal Avalanche which is frosted white.

Contouring is almost invisible its there but you can barely see it and highlights were multi dimensional using silver and gold as the key colours. Lids were covered in white shadows or liners making the makeup very modern. Highlighting was strategic and the latest thing is to highlight on top of the brow. Lids looked like they were glossed but actually fine glitters where used to create a sheen by using the pressed pigments.

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Day Glow: This trend is all about the focus on the cheeks with descriptions like sun and sand used to describe the makeup, to give that sporty feel and creating a sunlit face. Cream blushes such as pinks and peaches were used and the Paint Pot in Groundwork was used for contouring and on the cheeks and then the cream blushes laid over so as not to look to pretty. Teddy Eye Pencil was a key item used on the top lash line and smudged and Antique Eyeshadow washed on onto the lids as well as Mineralise Give Me Sun on the eyes and for contouring.

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CC Thru Colour: This trend is definitely one of my favourites where there is a focus on yellow, blue and green tones and it all about an effortless approach to wearing colour. Its pastel shades which is the new nude, like beautiful lavenders such as Parfait Amour Eyeshadow, peaches, corals and oranges paired with minimal foundation and more correcting the skin. Shades such as Dove Grey and mauves were key on eyes and lips and for cheeks the key shades were the Minearlise Blushes in Love Joy, Azelea In The Afternoon and Warm Soul. Lips were no longer matt but more luscious and sheer and candy pinks were definitely a big trend.Mac Trends 2

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The New Ideal: The Graphic Eye is back but this time there were focuses on the 50’s, 60’s and 90’s. The 50’s look was all about the liner but minus the flick and the 60’s focused on the Twiggy eye with top and bottom lashes in no 33 and Scuplt Mascara and Extreme Dimension Mascara.

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The 90’s trend is all about the undone liner that looks slept in and has been smudged with pencils like the Technakohl which smudges but once it sets it won’t budge. Eyeliner doesn’t get flicked out in this look it stops at the end of the lash line.

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So here are the trends and products I will be filming some trend video’s soon with some of my favoutite looks so watch this space.

Shahnaz x




Fashion Week 3

Getting to go backstage was really fun to see all the creativity in action and what the Mac key products were for that glowing skin. I got top have a quick chat with Michelle-Lee who heads up the fashion show makeup team to see what they were using:

Skin was definitely a big part of the looks I saw and skin looked fresh and flawless. They key items were Mac Face and Body and the Mac Mineralise Moisture Foundation which of course I also have in my pro kit:

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For concealing the artists were using the Pro Conceal and Correct Palettes these are amazing to create the flawless complexion, I often use a belnding brush to conceal over the foundation to give a seamless finish. Michelle also showed me the new concealer sticks that were being used and should hit stores in August. Michelle was very excited about the concealers as they have a creamy texture but set beautifully leaving no creases under the eyes.

Mac Concealer

For dehydrated skin and to give that extra glow I watched the artists use the Care Blend Essential Oil Blend to prep skin first which did make skin look oily at all just absolutely amazing. I have this bad boy in my kit obviously you can’t use for all occasions but its great to give for glowing skin without looking oily.

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Also the Mineralise Skin Finish have been launched with new packaging  and new shades was being used on skin to get that amazing glow on the skin. Here is the Global Glow shade that just looks stunning on the skin. Pink is definitely the in shade this season as it was used on skin a lot to get the fresh pop to the cheeks.

Mac Bronze and Blush

Watch this space for my trends post from Mac with Michelle-Lee.

Shahnaz x

Mac Russian Red

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Its been a while since I have sported a red lip and yesterday while testing a foundation I wanted to show the skin off with a red lip because basically there is nothing better than to brighten up your face. The Mac Russian Red Lipstick is one of my all time favourite’s plus its really one of those cult products you need to have in your makeup collection.

I found myself reaching for the Mac Russian Red because it’s matte in texture with a blue undertone and because its a bold shade. Not only is it an amazing red lipstick that doesn’t dry the lips out it has staying power of note. I applied the lipstick and 5 hours later after eating and drinking my lips where still bright red and not dried out.

If you are looking for a red lipstick that you don’t need to keep applying then this is a winner. Plus a matte lip is really pretty cool paired with lots of mascara and a flawless fresh face and of course don’t forget to contour.

Stila Stay All Day 2

Happy Friday.

Shahnaz x

Michelle Lee Senior Pro Mac Make Up Artist

I was lucky enough to get some of Michelle-Lee’s time to give us an insider into her make up world, some tips and tricks and her fav products. I love following other make up artists and see what makes them tick and what products they can’t live without and what they recommend. I first saw Michelle-Lee in action last year at the trends technique workshop where make up artists, bloggers and beauty editors were invited to see what the new trends were and what key products were used. Michelle not only heads up the fashion show make up teams in SA but she also gets to go to the international shows and work amongst celebrity artists like Charlotte Tilbury.

So here is the Q&A:

1) What is your favourite part of being a make up artist?

The freedom to create and inspire others through transformation. Being a Pro Make Up Artist means Michelle has the opportunity to grow and shape aspiring or new make up artists skill level and hopefully elevate their make up journey. The feeling of making someone feel beautiful is a super power for me, this emotion ripples through both you as an artist and the client it can affect so much more than their appearance. Essentially I get to play every day and call it work.

2) What are your top 5 products that you can’t live without?

Mac Pro Long Wear Concealer because you can sheer it down with Mac Strobe Liquid or Luster drops to create a foundation.

Mac In Extreme Dimension Mascara because it literally does to your lashes what its name suggests.

Mac Black Track Fluid Line as its a long wearing eyeliner or eyeshadow and essential accross the board.

MAC 217 Eye Blender – I have 20 of these!

Mac Prep and Prime Face Protect SPF50 PA++ this primer grips to your make up like no other primer does with an added SPF of 50.

3) What backstage tips and tricks can you share with us from Fashion Week?

Less is more when it comes to skin. Apply foundation like a veil, sheer and natural, spot conceal the undesired blemishes. The base face is never a trend.

Powder precise hot spots only (oily)

Brushing the inner brows up and then gently defining the tail is a must – set with clear brow set.

4) What is your favourite trend look and what are the key products to recreate?

I am loving the Reb-elle AW14 look it will be big for this upcoming season. The look is rebellious, artistic and slightly anarchistic. All carbon and punchy rather than traditional pretty. Think black or blackened emeralds, plums and charcoal, I am obsessed with Mac Super Slick Eyeliner in On the Hunt. Apply this liquid patent finish to the entire lid for a high shine intense black attitude driven eye.

5) How do you prep a model’s face before applying make up?

My forever starting point will be the Mac Fix +, to hydrate and soothe the skin. I then cleanse the models with Mac Lightful Softening Lotion to remove excess residue and restrict pores.  Michelle says this is often a neglected step and makes a big difference to foundation application.

Her next step is to massage the Essential Care Oils into the skin. Depending on dryness and dehydration I may then follow this step with moisturiser. Mac Mineral Charged Water Power is my favourite right now for quick absorption and maximum moisture.

6) What is your skincare/make up routine?

Michelle says she is very indulgent in her skincare routine. So here are her favourite products to get the amazing skin that we always see her with.

I am smitten with the Mac Marine Bright formulations for defying dull complexions. For cleansing I use the Softening Lotion, then a spritz of refrigerated Fix +, the chilled temperature works wonders on restricting pores too! Mac Marine Bright Essence is my serum of choice for brightening and is complemented by one of my obsessions Mac Essential Oils to add clarity and radiance to my skin. Mac Prep and Prime Face Protect SPF 50 is a must to ensure make up lasts all day.

For make up here are Michelle’s key steps:

Using a Mac Contour Brush in 168, I apply a small amount of Mac Sun Rush Lustre Drops to the high planes of my face, cheekbones, brige of my nose, under my eyebrow and the excess is brushed down the centre of my neck and my collarbones. I then take a pea size of the lustre drops onto the back of my hands and apply the Pro Long Wear Concealer next to it and then mix the two together with the 168 brush, and buff into my face starting at the centre. I then use the undiluted concealer to conceal any areas that need more coverage around the nose and under the eyes and on any spots affected by pigmentation. I am all about highlighting and adding dimension to my face so my Mac Prep and Prime Highlighting pen in Light Boost is drawn under my eyes, centre of my forehead, bridge of my nose, cupids bow and the centre of my chin and then buff it all in with the 168 brush.

I set the centre of my face with the Mac Prep and Prome CC Compact (launches in March) in Neutralize with the 168 Brush.  Natural Bronzing is a new addiction for me. Mac Give Me Sun Mineralise Powder is then dusted along my hairline, under my cheekbones and along my jaw line. This adds subtle definitions and slims my face. Finishing touches to my prime look are my highlights with Mac Cream Colour Base in Hush. A backstage must and an everyday essential for me.

Here is a video tutorial featuring Michelle-Lee on Contouring and Highlighting:

So there you have it a great insight into Michelle and her key products. Of course I have the majority of these products in my kits and thanks to Michelle to sharing with us.

I will be going backstage in July to meet with Michelle and see her working backstage so watch this space.

I hope you enjoyed the post.

Shahnaz x

My week finished off with a bang yesterday at the Elle Birthday shoot with an amazing team. Its been a week of make up trends at New York Fashion Week and getting my hands on some great products.

1. I love this video of Mac Cosmetics backstage at New York fashion week with the different make up artists talking about the looks created and products being used plus what the trends are for AW14. For me as a make up artist I love seeing new products and all the ways of make up application. In the video we see my favourite Mac 217 brush being used to apply lipstick and creating a stain or a really beautiful lip.

2. I came across another video from Allure’s instagram feed of some backstage beauty tricks from Diane Kendal backstage at the Jason Wu show. They have great backstage video’s and pics of looks being created. I am loving the blue eye created by Pat Macgrath for the Anna Sui show. I will be doing a full trend report next week.

3. I was part of the Elle magazine birthday shoot as they turn 18 in April. It was an amazing day with 13 models each with a different look represeneting what the magazine is all about. I will be blogging about the looks I created once the magazine is out. The first look was with a beautiful dark lip with the twin sisters using one of my favourite dark lipsticks Cyber from Mac.

4. I got my hands on new make up launching from Chanel in March/April in SA. Love the eye palettes and I used one of the them at the Elle shoot to create a smokey eye. I love their textures and shades definitely a massive Chanel fan. They are also launching their new Velvet foundation which has a matt texture its not a texture I normally go for as I love a dewy face but this one feels like silk on the skin.

Hope you had a great week.

Shahnaz x

The last week of January has flown by and I can’t quite believe we are in February already. I have been trying some new products out, attending a launch and have been working on my jewellery business with my sister. So here is my week:

1) I came across this Mac tutorial with Terry barber and its all about creating absolutely flawless beautiful contoured skin using a cosmetic sponge and cream textures for contouring and then just adding a touch of a cream shimmer to the eye for definition. I am a massive fan of beautiful contoured skin and I really love Terry’s take on it.

2) I attended the Nivea launch and they took us through all the amazing new products that will be launching in SA for body, sun and men so am very excited to try out. Sadly I can’t mention any right now but I will be posting soon. We were taken to the amazing Pot Luck Club in Woodstock and a menu was created around the new products and their ingredients which was such a great concept and the food was amazing.

3) I went for the best facial ever a second time with the QMS Medicosmetics products at their educational spa with the lovely Anel who really spoils me every time I go. My skin really has never felt so good after I walk out of their and you can get away without wearing any foundation as the skin really is glowing. They are launching their new serum which I am going to be testing out and they just launched their lip line corrector  which Anel used during the facial. Will be doing a full write up next week.

4) The product of the week for me is the Stila Magnificent Metals Liner  which I showcased in a video tutorial this week. It consists of a brand new texture that allows the gold shimmer to really shine through and its a texture I have never experienced before. There are 4 shades available so am very excited to try the others out.

Have a great weekend.

Shahnaz x

Mac Cosmetics AW13 Trend Report

Last week I was able to attend the Mac Techniques AW13 event where Michelle-Lee the Mac Senior make up artist went over 4 key Mac trends for AW13. Michelle took a look from each trend and explained how the look was created and what products were used and what Mac products were very popular back stage. Some of the looks are not every day looks but using the products you can take the technique and the product and take what you see and make it into every day and if you are a make up artist shooting beauty then you can go wild and be extreme.

So here are the key looks from the event, what each look represents and the key products used that are a must have:

Au-Currant: This trend is al about a new play on linear lines and  its undone but well done. The Red lip is a big trend with a new take on crimson, whether it be a blurry bordeaux, a glossy cranberry or a contemporary red.

Key Essentials: Lipmix in Crimson for the matte intensily pigmented mouth, Lip Pencil in Night Moth with the focus on the inner edges of the mouth and the Cream Sheen in Hang Up for the just bitten lips.


The look that Michelle showed us was the blurred lip which isn’t necesarrily an every day look but great for make up artists to try but the products used are amazing at creating a dark berry lip. Firstly lips had a prep and prime to lock in the edges of the lip and avoid bleeding. Hang Up was used to create the stain on the entire lip and then Viva Glam 1 was used on the centre of the mouth and a 217 blending brush was used to blur the edges. The Lip Pencil in Night Moth was used in the centre of the lips and cupids bow to create intensity. To mattify the lip you can blot the lips with translucent powder.

Here are a couple more looks following this trend:

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Reb-Elle: This trend is where black meets charcoal meets emerald meets burgundy meets midnight blue or a carbon shot with a petrol like pigment. It has a feeling of rebellion and make up is definitely pushing boundaries.

The Essentials: Smoulder Eye Kohl to let it bleed, Mixing Medium Shine as its reflects transparent pink and transparent teal glitter, Blacktrack Fluidline for precise and decisive black lines, Nocturnelle Nail Polish to create polish punk nails and Typographic Eye Shadow to accentuate.


So in this look Michelle showed us how to create the eye using Feline Black Pencil which was traced along the lash line, into the crease all the way to the inner corner of the eye and under the lash line and then using a Mac 217 brush she blended the pencil to create the smokey undone eye. To set the eyeliner then blend carbon eyeshadow and blend it in. On the lid Michelle applied a white eyeshadow but if you don’t want such a contrasting eye then take the Black Diamond pressed pigment and apply to the lid. Really layer the lashes at the root with mascara.

Here are more looks following the trend:

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Spritual Eyes: This trend the skin is pale and flawless and mattified and the eyes are in cold shades like steel, cement, asphalt and slate. The trend has been described and sombre and soulful, where the eyes are emotionally shaded and not sensually smoked.

The Essentials: Pro Longwear Paint Pots in Smokey Pink and then sheer it down, Paint Pot in Groundwork swooped on upper and lower lids with a small 188 duo fibre face brush for a real shadow, Lip Mix in Medium Nude for a photographic stain around the eye, Eye Pencil in Prunella for a naturally bruised shadow and Pro Long Wear Paint Pot in Camel Coat and Tailor Grey mixed for bespoke grey shades.


Michelle demonstrated a similar look as the above picture but just used greys with the paint pot in Tailored Grey a blended into the eye lid and all the way up to the brow then under the eye and pulled down using a Mac 217 brush. For the skin it need sto be mattified using translucent powder and under the eyes, in between the brows, down the nose and the chin then blend in the Prep and Prime highlighter to crate the ligher skin.For the highlighting  Michelle used my favourite Silver Dusk Irridescent Loose Powder to highlight the skin to create a beautiful sheen.

Here are some more looks following this trend:

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Perspect-Tive: This trend is all about high shine gloss on the skin, the cellophane eye, where make up is elemental in every way, from matte to high shine, its a new way of revisiting the monochrome effect, there is a big focus on how the skin picks up the light and where make up is seen through a veil of skincare for a blank canvas.

The Essentials: Pro Mixing medium to create shine and a subtle emollient glow, Strobe Cream to create the classic irredescent sheen, Lip Conditioner for a low level shine, Cream Colour base in Luna, Shell and Pearl to add seamless highlights, Gloss texture for a glassy sheen and brow set in clear and brushed up and groomed.


Michelle talked about creating Vitamin skin with high shine formula’s. The Mineralise Moisture Foundation was a big winner to create the balmy texture and give a richness to the skin (I love this foundation). She used the amazing Care Blend Essential Oils to show us how to create the shine as seen in the above picture. Aplply the oil in a big C shape into the temple, top of the cheek bone and above the arch of the brow and then mattifying the skin in the T-Zone using the Prep and Prime Translucent Finishing Powder. Clear Gloss was used on the eyelid and on the eyebrow and a no 33 lash to add definition. Obviously this high shine look is not an every day look but take key elements from it so take a little bit of the oil and use above the cheek bone or a little bit of the clear gloss. Instead of gloss on the cheek bone give a wash of shimmer and use one of their Pressed Pigments  like Light Touch. Make sure you prep your skin before pplying your make up as its all about skincare shining through.

Here are some more looks following this trend:

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I love the Mac trend reports as they break it down for the every day person and teach how to carry out the trends and how to use their products for me this is a big plus. I love all the essential make up they use for each trend and of course have the majority of the make up but will be definitely getting my hands on more of the Pro Long Wear Paint Pots.

Hope you enjoyed my post and get busy experimenting. x