MAC's Gordon Espinet Dishes On Spring Beauty

23/08/2010 10:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

M.A.C face chartAs London Fashion Week came to an end, we sat down to talk with Gordon Espinet, Vice President of Artistry for MAC, about the trends he has seen so far for Spring 2010.

Trend: Small Product, Big Punch

"The idea is a minimalist approach; not a lot of products, but a lot of impact. It takes me back to being 18 or 19 years old when I first moved to Toronto. Girls were more focused on being cool than being glamorous. It was punk inspired, the ammo was minimal product but I want to be memorable no matter what. Nowadays it is not necessarily punk, but I think there is a rock and roll edge. Girls want to have an edge, they don't want people to go 'oh she looks so cute, she's so sweet,' they want to be a little bit tough."

Who did it on the catwalk?

"L.A.M.B. did a presentation in New York, and it was just eyeliner in yellow, red or blue. No other makeup, everything was plain, the skin was bare and then this pop of detail. Again, it's not about a woman sitting in the mirror fiddling because she wants to look prettier, she's doing something that's because it's cool."

Trend: Wow Factor

"I think last season everybody watched the news too much and they got caught up in the idea that if we are safe we will sell more. Now this season everybody's going 'pshaw' to that, let's go crazy! Let's inspire the world again, let's take fashion to something where it's a little theatrical and a little bit out there, like wow!"

Who did it on the catwalk?

"One of my favourite shows I saw this year was Rodarte. The tattoos were three months of work with Kate and Laura (designers of the hip California label), so firkin beautiful, this is when fashion is wow! With the Rodarte look, the whole inspiration was Maori tattoos. The artist who created the face of the look simply did a smudged, faded black edge with a red centre that looked like a tattoo but it wasn't a sophisticated couture black lip. Everybody is really taking a different approach to it, but it's really about putting art back into beauty. "

Trend: No Colour Colour

"Think of the face as a black and white photograph. There is almost a lack of colour, the whole thing is done in black, taupe and grey. It's shaded in all the right places but it's not a definite contoured look, it's a soft focus shading. You have this interesting element of 'is it makeup or is it just lighting?'"

Who did it on the catwalk?

Narciso Rodriguez and Erin Fetherston both sent the no colour look down the runway.

Two Rules for All

No matter what the trend, Espinet is seeing the same ideas about skin and eyebrows. "It is about skin looking relatively naked, it's more primed and perfect than covered. Eyebrows are coming back, the 90s brow, the Brooke Shields brow, and what we call "boy brows" which are a little straighter like we saw at Alexander Wang. I think whenever we empower women, brows get strong. Whenever we make women fragile, soft and kept, the brows tend to disappear."

To create the girl-power brow keep your eyes peeled for Penultimate Brow Shaper launching this spring from MAC. It's a marker in a dark blonde that will work for any brow and it is apparently so good that Espinet gushed. "It's totally rockin' my world".

The Final Word

Trends come and go, but through them all Espinet has one mantra to which he always stays true. He said, "I go back to the old Chanel advice of when you get dressed, take off one item. It's easy to draw on a face, that is the easiest thing in the world! To do beautiful makeup, that is more about the nuances and it is the hardest thing. You have to pay attention to details rather than trying to cover them up."

And that, ladies, is the gospel of beauty according to Gordon Espinet. Can we get an amen?


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