NY Fashion Week Exclusive: MAC VP of Makeup Artistry Dishes on What to Expect

Published in: MAC Makeup

New York Fashion Week starts tomorrow! It’s a little weird for me to think about trends for Fall 2008 when I’m itching so badly for spring to arrive, but, alas, makeup and fashion wait for no one.

MAC Cosmetics is doing the makeup for the shows this year. Earlier this week I spoke with the fabulous Gordon Espinet, Vice President of Makeup Artistry for MAC Cosmetics, to get the skinny on the big makeup trends we’ll be seeing on the runway. Gordon really knows what’s up.


What big makeup trends can we expect to see on the runway for Fall 2008?

“All the elements of beauty that we think of in classic glamor are definitely going to be playing a big key for the whole beauty story for the fall,” says Gordon. Picture the classic Hollywood film star look — think Rita Hayworth and Lauren Bacall.

French film noir actress Simone Simon — Look for her look on the runways!

Pretty, yah? Are you feeling de ja vu/vu ja de? Yes, we’ve seen this look before. Over the past few seasons, dark lips, smokey eyes and flawless matte skin reminiscent of classic Hollywood glam have been huge trends on the runway, but they featured more greys and blues (which will still be big this spring). For fall, however, Gordon predicts a subtle shift away from cooler neutral colors to warmer earth tones — shades of burgundy and brown.

Rich, dark lips

Sorry, lipgloss lovers, gloss won’t be staging a comeback any time soon. “Everybody is moving definitely towards lipstick,” says Gordon. Look for lots of bold reds like burgundy, and brown lipstick colors like…

  • MAC Paramount (holla!) – Reddish brown
  • MAC Photo – Golden brown
  • MAC Film Noir – Intense brown
  • MAC Diva – Intense reddish burgundy

As far as matte lips, the looks you’ll see won’t be as extreme as the dark matte lip look of the 90s, though. “It’s really about a natural matte lip,” says Gordon. “It’s matte, but definitely much more wearable.”

Smokey eyes

Guess what kind of eyes we’ll see paired with these rich, dark lips? Why, brown smokey eyes, of course, so keep an eye out for lots of browns and burgundy.

Matte skin

Flawless matte skin rages on! — skin that looks perfectly groomed, elegant and glamorous.

“We’re defintely not going to be seeing a lot of shiny glossy skin,” says Gordon. “If there is sheen it’s going to be very specific — not all over the face, but maybe a touch of sheen on the top of the cheekbone, or on the center of the bridge of the nose.” Note: Applying sheen to specific areas adds dimension to a flawless matte skin look.


You can’t have old Hollywood glam without big, larger-than-life lashes. Mascara and false lashes will be falling from the sky, yo!



The film stars of the 40s were famous for highly arched, overly-tweezed eyebrows. Thank jeebus that isn’t something that Gordon thinks we’ll see this year on the runway. “We’re definitely moving towards a natural-looking brow,” says Gordon. Expect well groomed (but not necessarily dark) brows that aren’t too thick or too thin.


Don’t expect a lot of bright cheek colors (boo!). “It’s much more about a sculpted cheek,” says Gordon. “So colors like MAC Taupe blush are a must have. It’s really about shading the cheek bone versus adding color to it.”

Stay tuned for more Makeup and Beauty Blog coverage of NY Fashion Week, on location in rainy San Francisco, yea!

And how are you feeling about these fall looks? I am so excited about the return of browns and burgundy lipsticks! After I did this interview with Gordon I went to the MAC counter and purchased a tube of my first MAC lipstick love, Paramount. The last time I wore it was in 1998 (omfg, that’s a decade ago)! I have so many memories connected to this lipstick because I wore it throughout the 90s, during my formative college years. Do you have a lipstick you feel a special connection to?

I hope your Thursday is going well. Hold on, ya’ll! We’re almost there!

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 24 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Mariana says:

    OMG!! MAC Paramount was my lipstick of the 90’s too!! I need to go buy a tube again; what a blast from the past : )

  2. Brittany says:

    My throwback is Clinique Tenderheart. It was my first tube of lipstick and I still love it! Fast forwarding to the present, my new loves are Clinique Bamboo Pink (with their Bamboo liner), MAC Blueblood, and MAC Viva Glam V.

  3. Tania says:

    I have a special love of MAC Viva Glam V I wore it to my grad school graduation this past June. Plus it’s the first lipstick I put on that didn’t look horrible on me.

  4. Karen says:

    Hi Mariana,

    Yeah!!!! Paramount rules! I wore it with Mahogany lip pencil back in the day. πŸ™‚ I remember having dry lips all the time in the 90s though, LOL.

  5. Karen says:

    Hi Brittany,

    I just discovered Bamboo Pink, too. I didn’t know there was a liner too! I’m all over that. πŸ™‚

  6. Karen says:

    Hi Tania,

    Congrats on your (relatively) recent graduation! What did you study?

    Funny, I wore Paramount to my undergrad graduation years ago. πŸ™‚

  7. Glosslizard says:

    I just got Bamboo Pink for the first time in a GWP this Christmas and I’m wearing it right now! πŸ™‚ The sun is out today (FI-nally!) so I’m feeling spring-y! Bamboo liner is definitely something I will be checking out! (Thanks for the heads-up, Brittany!)

    Be sure and soak up some rays, Karen! Happy Friday! πŸ˜€

  8. Amanda says:

    LOL-I’m having flashbacks to 90s lips now! not neccesarily a “bad” thing, but do so remember that trend. My early lipstick memories are of origins matte sticks (don’t remember what colors, but I had a reddish one and a brown one), and my very first MAC lippie was circa 1998–(21st bday present from a great friend)–plastique.

    I love smokey brown eyes, so I’m very excited this is on trend for next year. I actually did a version of smokey brown yesterday.

  9. Miss Jeffrey says:

    Smokey and dark lips…..YAY!!!

  10. Hillary says:

    Hey Karen! I’m so glad dark lips are making a comeback! They look so sexy, feminine and glamorous, and those of us with pale skin often look washed out with a pale lip. My lipstick love is MAC Dubonnet (for a night out). It’s a bit sexy for work, especially since I work at a high school (not exactly the type of male attention a grown woman wants) πŸ™‚

  11. Karen says:

    LOL, Glosslizard, my stick of Bamboo pick was mangled by El Hub! I showed it to him and then left him alone for 5 minutes … when I came back he was having a lot of fun twisting the tube, which of course, twisted the lipstick right into the cap. Not all was completely lost, though. Only 1/4 of the tube was squashed!

  12. Karen says:

    Hi Amanda,

    Smokey brown eyes, fun! What shadows did you use?

    I love lipsticks of all colors, but sometimes just for simplicity’s sake I wish I could go back in time, when all I really needed in life was a tube of Paramount and a stick of Mahogany lip pencil and all was right with my lipstick world. Discovering new colors has opened up a whole new very complicated lipstick realm, LOL!

  13. Karen says:

    Hi Miss Jeffrey,

    I know, RIGHT? Let’s all do a happy dance now! I hope you have your tube of Paramount ready! πŸ˜‰

  14. Karen says:

    Hi Hillary,

    MAC Dubonnet is very *wowee wow wow*! It’s totally one of my favorites, but I feel the same way as you – it’s kinda too sexy for the job scene. I am okay with wearing dark browns and burgundys during the day, though, for some reason.

    Funny you mentioned high school. The other night I had one of those weird dreams where I was late for my high school graduation, so I ended up ironing my gown in the principle’s office (?) and had to run out to the ceremony when it was almost over. And to top it off I had no shoes. πŸ™

    Anyway, I hope you are having a great Friday so far!

  15. Amanda says:

    I mostly did a bronze-brown: sue devitt tanzania eyeliner-smudged, stila all over shimmer eyes (their version of pigments, LOL) in a bronzey brown-it’s just a number and for the life of me I can’t remember it, and nars night star from the night series palette-sheer peach with gold sparkles. πŸ™‚

    and thank you, thank you, thank you again for you tutorial on using mac pigments-I used the same steps with this stila one, and can finally use this little jar of loose eyeshadow that I’ve had for YEARS. I think the firm brush is totally the key-the 242 is rockin’ my world.

  16. Glosslizard says:

    Ha! You are so sweet! If it had been me, I probably would have shamed him into buying me a new tube (with all due affection, of course)! πŸ˜‰

    The sun is gone again! Boo!

    Hope your weekend is awesome… Say, maybe next year we should organize a Super Sunday for those ladies who don’t want to catch the Bowl, we could all go makeup shopping instead! And traffic into the city is always so easy on Superbowl Sunday! Whee! πŸ˜€

  17. Karen says:

    You are welcome, Amanda! Woo hoo, I’m glad you are able to work the piggies now. I still only reach for them when I have extra time to get ready (what’s that?) but it’s still good to know that a girl has options.

    Your eye of the day sounds pretty! My favorite bronzy brown ever is MAC Mulch!

  18. Karen says:

    Hi Glosslizard,

    Awww, that would be fun! I was just there at the Nordies on Saturday and I expected it to be a ghost town because of the terrible weather but it was REALLY crowded.

  19. Megan says:

    OMG Brittany…my throwback is Tenderheart too…I got my first tube circa 1993/1994 when I was 13/14…and I still have a couple floating around. It’s a great color still…but definitely not a dark shade.

  20. Karen says:

    Hi Megan!

    How ya doing, girl? I hope you had a good weekend …

  21. Anetria says:

    Are you hosting any makeup classes in the NYC area ?

  22. flora says:

    I lurve me some brown smokey eyes! im kinda scared about the dark brown/burgundy lips though…

    • Karen says:

      Hi Flora,

      You can always take it down a notch by doing just a stain.

      Try Paramount next time you’re at the MAC counter! Trust me, it’s not terribly scary at all!

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