C-SHOCK, one of the summer collections from M.A.C Cosmetics, is short for "color shock," and boy does it live up to its name! A collection of intense, brilliant, and as M.A.C. describes, "brazenly bold" colors, it takes a bit of bravery to try. Trust me, even if you can't imagine yourself wearing vivid green or yellow eyeshadow, or bright blue lipstick, there is something in this line that can work for just about everyone. There are obvious uses of this line for trendy young people out clubbing, for the stage, and for glam situations such as photo shoots or music videos. But it can work in everyday life as well. You just have to not be afraid of how bright the colors look in the tubes.
Keep in mind that I am a forty-year-old cosmetically conservative woman. I normally wear neutral browns and pinks, and anything really brightly colored stands out on my pale skin. Trying blue mascara was a big leap for me. So when I first started play with these products, I wasn't quite sure what to do. But I found some looks that not only worked for me, but that I really love.
Before I get to the looks, here are the basics of this makeup collection: In usual M.A.C good form, the shadows are loaded with pigment, blend well, and don't crease. They also build well, meaning that it starta off with a light wash of color and can be built to the intensity seen in the pot. The lipsticks are the same in terms of being able to build color. The gelees have a nice texture and are not particularly sticky. Instead, they feel nicely moisturizing. I was also happy to note that they have a nice taste to them. That is an area where I have had issues with some M.A.C. lip products in the past, so I was happy to note nothing unpleasant from either the lippies or the gelee glosses.
The shadows come in a number of bright colors, and I particularly liked Big T, a brilliant turquoise blue shadow, and Romping, a gorgeous fuchsia shade. In the lipsticks, Out to Shock is a dead ringer for the Proenza Pink that was so controversial earlier this year. The other lipstick shades range from a bright coral (Overrich) to a bright fuchsia/purple (Pomposity), and yes, there is even a bright blue lipstick! But remember that these products can be used sheer, so they really are not as scary as they might appear to be in the pot or in the tube.
OK, so with that information in mind, what can you do with these intense colors outside of doing some crazy stage or clubbing looks? I found that using the colors in moderation with other more neutral tones worked for me. I also found that I could create some hip, but not too hip, lets call it "conservatively hip," looks by combining some of the lip products, including the Blast O' Blue blue lipstick (pictured below) and the ultra pale pink of Out to Shock.
For the eyes, I found two different looks that I liked: First I lined my eyes with my new favorite silver blue liner and covered from lid into the brow bone area with my favorite light pink shadow, Wink of Pink form Flirt Cosmetics. I then took Big, T, the rich turquoise shade from the C-Shock collection, and ran a bit of a thick and fairly dark liner with it on my upper lid, and lightly ran it under my lower lid. I topped it off with black mascara. That turquoise looked just a bit funky, without being overboard, and really made my eyes pop. The same look worked well for me with Bang on Blue, a bright blue shade. But that one I think I would only wear to a nightclub because it was a bit intense.
Another eye look that worked well for me was using the fuchsia shade, Romping, as a light wash on my eyelids only. I used a very, very light pink from Smashbox as a bit of highlight under and above it, and then lined my lids with a plum liner. I used to like plum and purple shades, but hadn't worn them in years. This look was a bit intense for me simply because I am not used to so much color on myself, but again, it was not overboard and I was surprised to find that I really liked it. This is another one that I would wear when going out in the evening.
The lips are where I really went nuts. I found many looks that I loved by combining the C-Shock shades with more neutral pencils, and also by combining them with each other. My favorite was the combination of Cat Cosmetics neutral lip pencil, Overrich, a bright coral C-shock lippie, and Mega, a C-shock light violet/purple gelee. Combining a bright coral and a violet gloss might sound odd, but strangely it works! The lip look is very similar to one of the looks featuring Eve on the M.A.C website, which is also pictured above. Another favorite for me was the combination of the rich fuchsia/purple of the Pomposity lipstick with the Lil' Sizzler gelee, which is an attractive coral shade. Mixing Pomposity with Mega instead resulted in a nice plum/berry shade with a light fuchsia kick that I absolutely loved and could easily wear it with some of my brightly colored summer outfits. There is an an example of a similar look here on the M.A.C website.
And what about that blue lipstick? Put it on over a neutral pencil and then layer a color like Pomposity over it. The blue adds a new dimension to the deep fuchia color of the Pomposity lippie and results in a deep purple lip that still is quite wearable. I did similar things with the Out to Shock pale pink. That shade made me look ridiculous when used by itself, but it layered nicely under the Overrich lipstick. The darker and brighter gelees, such as Sugar Shock (a deep red) and She-Boom (a magenta/fuchsia, pictured) also worked quite well layered over the pale pink.
Overall, for me the M.A.C C-shock line really was about daring to wear such unique and bold colors. I found that it was a dare well worth taking!