Limited edition makeup collaborations, where brands hook up with artists, designers and celebs, are a mixed bag.
Sometimes, the collaborator jumps in with both feet, working on everything from colours and textures to packaging and campaigns. Other times it’s like some celebrity turned up to a meeting, signed a compact with a Sharpie and collected her cash. The best collaborations are desirable for several reasons. They’re limited edition, so if you don’t get them now, you never will. The collaborator is someone cool with a distinct aesthetic (Cindy Sherman’s surreal designs for M·A·C and Pierre Hardy’s mini shoeboxes of nail polish for NARS are recent standouts). The products are high quality and in colours you’d actually wear. And most of all, everything looks really, really pretty. These are the best four available now – guaranteed to make even the most cynical cynic reveal her inner teenaged fangurl (OMG! I die! I die!).
Yazbukey for Shu Uemura
Shu always does fantastic and creative collaborations – it’s worked with everyone from Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar Wai to Karl Lagerfeld’s cat (yes, really). This season, it’s teamed up with French Pop-Art jeweller Yazbukey. The collection includes an eye-and-cheek palette, eyeshadows, gel eyeliners, lipsticks, nail polishes, false eyelashes, cleansing oils and bases. All have the signature Yazbukey look (frivolous and fun, but sophisticated), and because it’s Shu Uemura, you know the eyeshadows are going to be highly pigmented, the lipsticks, creamy and the lashes, dramatic and theatrical. From $20 for nail polish to $99 for the I Love My Shu Shu eye and cheek palette (pictured). Available from May at select Hudson’s Bay, Sephora and Holt Renfrew locations and online at www.shuuemura.ca.
NARS x Christopher Kane
Makeup artist François Nars’s uber-cool makeup-artist products meet Christopher Kane’s beautiful, edgy aesthetic for NEONEUTRALS. Kane returns to a constant source of inspiration – the night sky – with this collection. Products have space/sci-fi-themed product names (Eyeshadows called Outer Limits and Parallel Universe) and mountains of glitter, iridescence and sparkle. There are 10 pieces, including four lip glosses, two eyeshadows (a single and a duo) two powder blushes and two Multiples, NARS’s signature cream blush/eyeshadow hybrid. All come in statement hues – think lilac blusher – but sheer textures, so they’re actually surprisingly wearable. From $29 for a single eyeshadow to $46 for the Multiple. Available from May at Sephora, Holt Renfrew, Hudson’s Bay, Nordstrom and Murale, and at www.narscosmetics.com.
M·A·C x Philip Treacy
It’s impossible to list all the amazing M·A·C collaborations – the brand is famous for its hook-ups and does at least a dozen every year. This looks to be yet another hit. Irish Couture milliner Philip Treacy (he’s designed hats for everyone from Lady Gaga to Princess Beatrice) has created a mini collection that includes basics like highlighting powder, mascara, lipstick and eyeliner. The packaging is nothing special: Where this collection gets it really right is the colours – Treacy has nailed all this season’s big trends, from teal eyeliner (Blue Peep Fluidline) to berry-stained lips (Hollywood Cerise Lipstick) From $19 for a lipstick to $42 for the face brush. Available now at select M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and www.maccosmetics.com
Estee Lauder x Courrèges
You don’t typically think of Lauder as a brand that does collaborations – the grand dame of beauty tends to leave such fripperies to the hip makeup artist brands (M.A.C is owned by Estee Lauder). But, perhaps in an effort to corner a younger market – see the latest face, Kendall Jenner – it’s jumped on board this season. The brand worked with Courrèges, the Parisian fashion label that pioneered the 1960s space-age look (geometric desings, moonboots and goggles, PVC and acid brights). Lauder has nailed it with this collection, which is everything a collaboration should be. Its packaging blends the Pop-Art fun of Courreges with Estee sophistication. The product quality is outstanding – light textures but plenty of pigment pay-off. There are useful products like rich, hydrating lipbalm/gloss and gel blusher, and out-there ones, such as white liquid eyeliner. The stand-out is Lauder’s first false lashes, which give you that ’60s, Twiggy look, and the Super Gloss (pictured). From $20 for Eye Glide Pencil in Silver Streak, to $40 for the Kabuki brush. Available now at selected branches of Sephora, Estee Lauder counters and www.esteelauder.ca.
Feature image: M·A·C x Philip Treacy