Monday, 4 October 2010

MAC Blogger event and Venomous Villains

Disclosure - some samples were given out at this event

Being invited to a MAC event was a real "wow" moment for us. Like most makeup fanatics, both Gemma and myself went through that "MAC-a-holic" phase. Although we don't go wild for every new collection these days, the brand still has a special place in both our hearts.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I travelled to the Kensington Church Street store for the Venomous Villains blogger event last Thursday, but I had an idea about why MAC would choose to connect with UK bloggers at the present time.

The brand received a storm of criticism from the blogger community over their Rodarte collaboration, which has since been withdrawn from the release calendar, and anti-MAC sentiments and talk of boycotting the brand spread like wildfire across Twitter. The brand's reputation with UK bloggers has been substantially damaged, and I interpreted the Venomous Villains event as a move towards reparation. Although I suspected that PR damage-control strategy was part of the picture, I was still glad of the opportunity to connect with the brand.

After some confusion about whether or not we were going to be let in (a huddle of bloggers waited outside at the appointed time for the event, but were ignored by staff until they were ready to admit us 5 minutes late - not a great first impression), we were escorted in via the back door and served with some beautifully presented refreshments.

We then descended stairs to an additional studio space beneath the store, which was arranged with rows of chairs (each one with a sleek black goody bag sitting on it). At the front was a stool and a counter where UK pro artist Debbie was ready to give us a demonstration using products from the new Venomous Villains collection.

Click through for more pictures and some product images.

For me, the demonstration was the high point of the event. Having seen Terry Barber work absolute magic at this year's IMATS, my expectations of MAC artists were high and Debbie didn't disappoint, creating a perfectly precise Cruella DeVille cat eye with livid red lips. Her work was nothing short of inspiring and I picked up a lot by watching how she held her brushes and the movements she used to create the right blending and lines.

Debbie at work

Just-applied false lashes

Lipliner forms a base for red lipstick and gloss

The finished "Cruella"

A few of Debbie's products and brushes

Post-demonstration we were led back upstairs to the shop floor, where there were more refreshments available and a chance to see the full Venomous Villains collection displayed on the counter. Artists were on hand to provide villain-themed makeovers, and a Cruella faux-fur coat and two-tone sunglasses had been brought along to help finish the look. It was a fun idea and several of us enjoyed the chance to play dress-up in the coat and glasses.

I got talking to Debbie and she was kind enough to recreate that bright red vinyl lip on me - here it is:

This pic was taken on the bus after the event, and the colour was still going strong in the pub later. The layered application of lipliner, lipstick and gloss seems to be the key to longevity.

There was a bit of a scrum around the products that made it hard to get a good shot of everything, but I did manage to get some pictures of the Maleficent part of the collection. I also managed to purchase the beautiful duochrome nail polishes Mean and Green, Bad Fairy and Formidable. I'll be doing a full NOTD on each one, but here are some initial pics of the Mineralize eyeshadows, the polishes and the Maleficent display.

 Venomous Villains is released in the UK on Thursday 7 October. I recommend the polishes!


  1. Oohhhh great event for UK bloggers!! Wishing they have something like that here! I'm sooo looking forward for this collection, not only because it's another MAC collection with unique colors (those nail polishes), interesting products (magically cool liquid powders)... but Disney-themed!! I'm sold! Hahaha... Love the shades on the mineralized eyeshadow duos too... Oh my...

  2. You got some amazing photos of the evening. I totally agree with you about the demonstration. I loved watching the effortless way in which Debbie created the Cruella look.

    It looks like you managed to get to the end of the display that I couldn't get near to! The nail polishes look so unique.

  3. wow I go the lipstick and the lipglass from cruella! the collection is already available online but soo many things are sold out! cannot wait to see everything on the shop!

  4. Great photos! That Cruella red lip is beautiful <3


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