Guess what? I decided to go back to school on Saturday. Yup, I attended a 2-hour MAC Studio Talk makeup class at Bloomingdale’s in SF, and, like the Chanel master class at Macy’s a couple weeks ago, it was packed with makeup tips and new product information.
Watching a video at the start of class
If you love makeup, brand-sponsored classes like these are a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I found out about the MAC Studio Talk class through the Bloomingdale’s website. Ask in the stores, as well (check with the counter staff), because other brands offer similar classes.
Makeup classes like these are often free, but sometimes stores or brands will charge a nominal fee. Classes are usually kept small (30 people or less), and in some cases hands-on (as was the MAC Studio Talk class), where you’re able to apply products on yourself. Other times, they’ll be more lecture-style. To reserve a spot in a MAC Studio Talk class through Bloomingdale’s costs $75, but that amount also applies toward the purchase of MAC products at the end of the class. If you were planning to spend some money on a new collection anyway, a class like one of these may be a fun way to couple your new products with some professional instruction.
MAC Studio Makeup Talk
Each student was given a choice to learn either a bridal look or a club-inspired look. I chose the club look, and the instructors described each step in the process. I picked up a few tips along the way.
1. Beat the Heat with MAC Wipes
When it’s hot out, store MAC Wipes ($17) in the fridge. It keeps them feeling crisp and refreshing against your skin when used to remove your makeup.
2. Fix+ to Soothe Red Areas
If you have red, splotchy skin, spritz Fix+ ($16) over your entire face before applying your makeup. Not only does the spray prep skin for makeup application, but it contains soothing chamomile as well.
3. Primer Reduces the Need for Touch-Ups
Face primers are great for oily skinned ladies and gents. You won’t have to reapply your makeup as often throughout the day if you use a primer first. MAC has two kinds, Prep + Prime Skin ($23) and Prep + Prime Face Protect SPF 50 ($28).
4. Use Fast Response Eye Cream to Minimize Fine Lines
If you have fine lines around your eyes or mouth, apply Fast Response Eye Cream ($28.50) to the areas before applying any of your makeup (even foundation). The formula contains optical diffusers to minimize the appearance of fine lines.
5. Layer Foundation: It’s Easier to Add Than to Take Away
A little foundation goes a long way. It’s better to start with less and to build it up to the coverage you want. It’s easier to slowly add product than it is to take it away.
6. Studio Tech Foundation for Medium Coverage
MAC Studio Tech ($29), a cream foundation in a compact tends to be lighter than MAC’s fluid foundations. I’m normally an NC 35, but Studio Tech in a slightly darker NC 37 provides great medium coverage and helps soften and diffuse lines on the skin.
7. Use Downward Strokes to Apply Foundation
Facial hair and fuzz tends to lie vertically on the skin, from top to bottom, so when applying foundation with something like a 190 Foundation Brush ($32), use downward strokes to and go with the “grain” of the hair.
8. MAC Blot on Your T-zone for a Natural Look
9. Apply Bronzer Like a Pro
When you apply bronzer, think of a capital letter E. With Refined Golden Bronzer ($21) and a 187 brush, start near the outer corner of your right eye, swiping down the curve of the cheek bone (under the apple of your cheek). Then, swipe back up the same way. From there, swipe over the right temple onto your upper forehead just below your right hairline. The overall shape you’re shooting for resembles a capital E on the right side. Do the reverse on your left.
10. Apply Blush Like a Champ
When applying blush, grab a 187 duo fiber brush. Swipe it on the blush pan once or twice, tapping off the excess powder. Smile in the mirror to make the apples of your cheeks more prominent and apply with the blush using a small, circular motion. Repeat the process, moving the color up from the apples to the hairline.
11. Tame Unruly Eyebrows
If your brow hairs lie in different directions, Brow Set ($13.50) is a handy product to have around. It’s a gel that acts like hair spray for yours brows, keeping them in place. It even comes with a mascara brush. In a pinch, you can also use it to tame stray hairs elsewhere on the face.
12. Prime Your Eyes with Paint Pots
Eye primer extends the life of your eye shadows. Painterly Paint Pot ($16.50) is a great multi-purpose eye primer. It’s a creamy, nude beige shade that goes with almost all colors. Apply the product over the entire eye using a flat brush like the MAC 242 ($23). You don’t need to use lots of product when it comes to Paint Pots; less is more.
13. Eye Shadow on Your Brow Bone
Shading and color gradients with eye shadows aren’t just for the lid and crease area. When applying color onto the brow bone with eye shadow, start applying color with the brush directly beneath the highest point of the arch of your brow, applying less color in either direction from there. The center beneath the arch is where you’ll want the most color. Concentrating color here creates a focal point and further defines the shape.
14. How to Apply Eye Shadow in the Crease
When applying crease color, use a 224 Tapered Blending Brush, and start with the brush head at the outer end of your lashes (the side near your outer eye). Then, move the color into the crease using a back and forth windshield wiper motion. Lessen the pressure of the brush head as you move the brush into the inner crease; this creates a lighter application of color. The result should be a color gradient that gets lighter as it moves into the crease.
15. How You Hold Your Brush Makes a Big Difference
Where you hold a brush on the handle affects your control. The closer your fingers are to the barrel (the silver section beneath the brush head), the more pressure you put on the brush head. To apply color evenly, place your fingers in the center of the brush handle.
16. Get Big, Bold Lashes with Primer
If you have wimpy lashes like I do, then apply two layers of Prep + Prime Lash ($13.50) after curling your lashes but before applying mascara. It dramatically lengthens and thickens your lashes.
17. Double Your Fun with False Lashes
18. Using Gloss to Create a Pouty Lip
Dab a small amount of gloss in the middle of your bottom lip for a simple pouty look that doesn’t look too goopy or overdone.
A Bridal or a Club Look
Bridal look face chart
Club look face chart
In Saturday’s class, I chose to do the club look, thinking I’d leave with some crazy, colorful eye like in the above chart. Instead, we ended up doing more of a smokey blue eye, with light cheeks and bold pink lips.
I used several MAC products for the look.
Blue Flame eye shadow
For the eyes:
- Painterly Paint Pot cream shadow over the entire eye
- Ricepaper eye shadow on the brow bone, lid and in the inner corner
- Brown Script eye shadow in the crease
- Blue Flame eye shadow in the outer V and lower lash line
- Blacktrack Fluidline gel liner on the top lash line
- Prep+Prime Lash on the upper lashes
- Zoomblack Zoomlash mascara on the upper lashes
- MAC Selectmoisture Cover in NC 30 concealer on my dark circles
For the cheeks:
- Peachykeen blush on the apples
- Refined Golden bronzer on the cheeks
For the lips:
- Half-Red Lip Pencil all over the lips
- Girl About Town Amplified Creme lipstick layered on top of lip pencil
- Bateaux Lustreglass lipgloss on center of lower lip
For the face:
- MAC Studio Tech foundation in NC 37
- MAC Blot Pressed Powder in Medium Deep
My new passport photo, lol!
The MAC Studio Talk class at Bloomingdale’s was a *blast*! I learned so many new application tips, and I also discovered a few new MAC products I really like (Brown Script eye shadow and Prep + Prime Lash). I’m thinking of whipping up a how-to tutorial for the club look I did in class. Do you think I should? Let me know what you think in the comments. 🙂
Well, I got myself up off the couch and decided to do a little writing. I’m still not feeling my usual spunky self, but I do feel better now than I did this morning. How about you?
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,