Normally I wouldn’t have struggled to carry the bags of cat food, but I was wearing 5-inch stiletto heels that day. Not exactly farm-friendly footwear.
“Oh, fudge,” I said, to no one in particular. One of the bags of kibble slipped from my grasp. It spilled open on the ground, and cats came running from all over the farm.
“Need some help with that?”
I spun around. There was a man walking toward me from the barn. He was shirtless, in blue jeans, and had a wry smile. Sun and perspiration glistened on his bulging biceps and muscled body.
“Uh…” I said, preoccupied by his rippling abs, which looked like they had never seen a carb before.
“I’m Kyle,” he said, removing his leather work gloves. “And you must be Karen.”
“Uh…” I said again. I was still not completely lucid. I mean, those shoulders, though. They were huge!
“That’s a lot of cat food,” he said. “Are you one of those crazy cat ladies?” He winked, and I literally saw a twinkle in his eye.
“If you only knew,” I said. “Yeah, I come out here to feed the feral cats a few times a week. Mr. Hargrove likes to keep them around, you know, to catch the rats. Plus they’re cute.”
“I see,” he said. “Do the cats like it when you wear high heels?” He gestured toward my feet.
“Well, no,” I said. “But I was planning to go to a MAC store after this because they have a new collection out. It’s about romance novels. You know, heaving bosoms, long-haired naughty pirates, that kind of thing.”
“Naughty pirates?” he asked.
“Obviously,” I said, “you can’t have a romance novel without naughty pirates.”
“Interesting,” he said. “Fair enough.”
Cats swarmed around my ankles devouring the kibble. Kyle was the new farm hand I’d heard about. Mr. Hargrove mentioned hiring him, but I hadn’t seen him before today. He looked a little like Alcide from True Blood. Part of me hoped he wasn’t a werewolf. Part of me hoped he was.
“Well my work here is done,” I said, looking at the kibble. “I think these cats are sufficiently fed.”
Kyle took a step toward me, and the hairs on the back of my arms stood up. “Do you have to go?” he asked.
The MAC store was already open, and I wanted to get there soon, but Kyle sure looked good in those jeans. I decided that A Novel Romance would have to wait.
Or is it the beginning?
A Novel Romance has some the most memorable fall campaign art I’ve seen since MAC Fabulous Felines. First of all, homeboy in the pic below looks like Khal Drogo. I wonder if that was on purpose…
Second, the whole idea just makes me smile. It’s cheesy, but still feminine and pretty. I mean, I get it, even though it’s been years since I’ve read a romance novel.
What we have here is very seductive makeup, but there’s also a softness to it that I like, especially around the eyes. There’s a lot of shimmer, and nothing too hard edged.
I may or may not have breathed a lusty sigh when I saw the new Fluidline Eye Pencils. I’m never without my pot of Blacktrack, and I love me some Fluidline in the pots, so I ’twas intrigued.
I used one of the shades yesterday, Black Brilliance, the basic black. It’s a pencil gel liner, which a lot of brands have, but these pencils have a very fine point. Finer than usual for products like these, and I think it makes them great for getting liner down between each lash at the base…because it seems like I spend half my day trying to get eyeliner between the roots of my lashes.
They’re highly pigmented and glide along the skin, but if you want to smudge them at all, you have to work quickly, because once they set, they don’t move. I wore Black Brilliance on my lash and water lines yesterday and had it on for about six hours before removing it, and it looked great the whole time…on my upper water lines and lash lines, that is.
It was a different story on my lower water lines. The color was still intense, but the coverage had broken up in places.
I will say that the formula didn’t irritate my eyes, though, which is something….
Regarding the Electric Cool Eyeshadows in the release, maybe it’s because I’m coming off a Chanel New Moon high, but I’m very excited about these. They have the same spongey, soft texture as the Chanel Illusion D’Ombres, which I love.
I’ll be taking a closer look at them a little later, but for now, I see a lot of potential for quick eye looks using just a finger and one of these pots.
As for paws/claws, I’m still in summer nail mode, so I’m thinking brights, brights, brights! Fun, fun, fun! So at first I didn’t have any interest in the six Studio Nail Lacquers in the collection ($12 U.S./$14 CAD) because they seemed kind of dark and dreary.
Or so I thought. They may look a little dull in their bottles, but they definitely look much brighter on my nails.
Not like neon bright or anything, but livelier.
Before Dawn, the green shade, is the one that moves me the most. It has elements of that baby poo polish Chanel did a few years ago for fall (Khaki Vert), but I think it’s prettier than that shade because it has a slight pearl, so it’s not completely flat. It has more dimension.
I see it being my pedi polish this fall, and you know what goes well with green, don’t you?
How about hot pink lips?
OK, more like a hot fuchsia. Good Kisser is one of the six Lipsticks ($16 U.S./$18 CAD) in the release, but when you go to the counter, you’re only going to see five of them. Yield to Love, the rosy shade, is an online exclusive.
Good Kisser — I love that name. The color reminds me of MAC Impassioned, except slightly bluer.
So, for the eye quads, there are three of them ($40 U.S./$48 CAD), and while none of them really make me want to tear off my corset, I’m still turned on by the color combinations. These are the kinds of palettes I like to use for smokey eyes because the colors lend themselves easily to gradients; the steps between the shades in each quad aren’t that extreme. The violet and pink tones in the A Passionate Quest Quad, for example, are more like first cousins than third cousins twice removed.
I notice that the colors in the quads generally lean neutral and cool, too. Not a lot of warmth there, but I supposed that’s not a big surprise, considering that they’re part of a fall collection.
In all of these face pics I’m wearing An Amorous Adventure (more pics and posts to follow, BTW) and used it to do a sort of hazy, golden plummy brown eye look.
I was going to use A Novel Romance for my first foray into these new quads to experiment with Rising Passions, the khaki color (because khaki and I are like this), but I decided to save that one for later.
Same goes for A Passionate Quest, the third quad, which is all about purple. I have to be careful sometimes with purples because some make my left eye water (just the left eye; it’s the weirdest thing), so I’m going to see what I can do with that quad in an upcoming post.
The collection also includes two Powder Blushes ($22 U.S./$26 CAD), one Haute & Naughty Too Black Lash Mascara ($22 U.S./$26 CAD) and three Eye Brushes (213 Fluff Brush, $24 U.S./$28.50 CAD; 224 Tapered Blending Brush, $32 U.S./$38.50 CAD; and the 242 Shader, $25 U.S./$30 CAD).
Why only two Blushes? You tell me. I wish there had been more. MORE!
I mean, I’m cool with soft neutral peach Fun Ending. In fact, it’s the blush I’m wearing in these pics.
The MAC A Novel Romance Collection includes…
Available August 14 online at maccosmetics.com, in-stores August 21 through October 2 and coming to international MAC locations this September
- 6 LIPSTICKS, $16 U.S./$18 CAD
Lustre Lipstick in Myself — a soft shimmery nude beige
Cremesheen Lipstick in A Novel Romance — a light cool dusty pink
Matte Lipstick in Good Kisser — a mid-tone fuchsia
Matte Lipstick in Hearts Aflame — a mid-tone brick red
Matte Lipstick in Lingering Kiss — deep plummy red
Cremesheen Lipstick Yield to Love (online exclusive) — a mid-tone rose
- 5 LIPGLASSES, $15 U.S./$18 CAD
Lipglass in Bared for You — a soft rose gold
Lipglass in Reckless Desires — a sheer pearlescent lavender grey
Lipglass in Pure Fiction — a mid-tone violet pink
Lipglass in Wanting More — a washed-out lavender
Lipglass in Talk Sexy — a dark purple
- 2 POWDER BLUSHES, $22 U.S./$26 CAD
Satin Powder Blush in Fun Ending — a soft neutral peach
Frost Powder Blush in Animal Instincts — a shimmery plum
- 3 EYE SHADOW QUADS, $40 U.S./$48 CAD
A Novel Romance Quad — Veluxe Pearl Eye Shadow in My Fantasy (a pale neutral olive), Frost Eye Shadow in Fall in Lust (a mid-tone cool grayish mauve), Matte Eye Shadow in Dance in the Dark (a deep blackend brown) and Velvet Eye Shadow in Rising Passions
An Amorous Adventure Quad — Frost Eye Shadow in Sable (a golden plum with bronze pearl), Veluxe Pearl Eye Shadow in Sex & The Oyster (a mid-tone seafoam green) and Velvet Eye Shadow in Black Tied (a black with silver sparkle)
A Passionate Quest Quad — Satin Eye Shadow in The Wrong Man (a light cool dusty pink), Veluxe Pearl Eye Shadow in Serenade (a mid-tone orchid pink with blue duochrome pearl), Veluxe Pearl Eye Shadow in Brazenly (a rich eggplant) and Satin Eye Shadow in Stay Sultry (a deep violet navy)
- 7 FLUIDLINE EYE PENCILS, $16 U.S./$19 CAD
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Atomic Ore — a gold
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Earth Sign — a deep brown
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Deep Blue Sea — a deep ocean blue
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Metropolis — a deep metal gray
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Water Willow — a deep khaki green
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Evil Twin — a bluish purple
Fluidline Eye Pencil in Black Brilliance — a black
- 8 ELECTRIC COOL EYE SHADOWS, $21 U.S./$25 CAD
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Pure Flash — a pale champagne
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Love Power — a soft, shimmering rose
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Superwatt — a light shimmering taupe
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Coil — a coppery bronze
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Gilded Thrill — a frosty gold
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Switch to Blue — a rich cobalt
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Highly Charged — a rich purple with pink pearl
Electric Cool Eye Shadow in Blacklit — a black with multidimensional pearl
- 6 STUDIO NAIL LACQUERS, $12 U.S./$14 CAD
Studio Nail Lacquer in Before Dawn — a greenish gray
Studio Nail Lacquer in Midnight Storm — a deep magenta
Studio Nail Lacquer in Sunset Sky — a mid-tone crimson
Studio Nail Lacquer in Midnight Strata — a dark violet
Studio Nail Lacquer in Midnight Ocean — a dark royal blue
Studio Nail Lacquer in Midnight Sky — a deep charcoal
- 1 HAUTE & NAUGHTY TOO BLACK LASH MASCARA, $22 U.S./$26 CAD
- 3 EYE BRUSHES (213 Fluff Brush, $24 U.S./$28.50 CAD; 224 Tapered Blending Brush, $32 U.S./$38.50 CAD; and the 242 Shader, $25 U.S./$30 CAD)
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,