The Min Liu x MAC Cosmetics Collab is Bold and Beautiful

Last year was the year I dropped a lot of brands I’ve been loyal to for years, if not decades—so long, Tom Ford glasses! But one brand I still hold close to my heart is MAC Cosmetics. There’s something about the rebellion and individuality the brand values that’s still relevant in any age.

When I heard The Bay was hosting an event featuring the new MAC Collection, I had to get in on this. The best part is that this latest collab features one of China’s rising stars, fashion designer Min Liu!

I must admit, I hadn’t heard of Liu before, but I am all about supporting other strong Chinese females. So I learned that Liu is part of a design group the New York Times calls the “Xiamen Gang,” China’s answer to the Antwerp Six. She studied at London College of fashion and worked briefly for Viktor & Rolf. In 2016 she was shortlisted for the coveted LVMH prize, and her line, Ms Min, is starting to gain a global reach. You can find her line at Opening Ceremony, Saks, and The Room at The Bay.

A post shared by Ms MIN (@msmin_official) on

In 2016, Liu did a Chinoiserie clothing collection, so the packaging for the Min Liu x MAC Cosmetics cosmetics collection was very fitting, with tasselled packaging and lots of bold reds. Here’s my review of the lip colours:

Peach Blossom Pink Lipstick

With my blonde (yellow???) hair this colour looks too Barbie for me. But back when I had raven-esque dark hair, I would always go for bright shades like these. You’ll see later on with my comparable MAC swatches.

Dynasty Red Lipstick

This red is like a glossier version of Ruby Woo. It’s hard to do an amazing new red, so I wouldn’t judge the collection on this.

Peach Blossom Pink Lipglass

Here’s where things get interesting. In the tube, the Peach Blossom Pink gloss looks like something I’d never touch. MAC colours are usually pretty opaque so I thought it would be that bright. But when applied, I was pleasantly surprised to see how natural the colour was, a clean mid-tone pink. This would definitely be a colour for daily wear.

Fortune Red Lipglass

I really love the Fortune Red gloss too. It’s not sheer like a stain, nor is it super painted-on like MAC’s liquid lipsticks, this yellow vibrant red is what Goldilocks would call ‘just right.’

Peach Blossom Pinks together

And of course, I had to try the lipsticks and glosses together. The pinks made it even more Barbie, so I will have to pass given my blonde.

Bold reds together

But the reds, on the other hand, worked amazingly well together! I’ve been looking for a glossy red lip for an upcoming photo shoot, something that doesn’t feather out on the lips, and this is my jackpot. The texture of the gloss is sticker than liquid, so it keeps to the lips really nicely. Although I did a test run at a family dinner and found that it doesn’t withstand meals too well, but that’s a near-impossible task for any gloss. The Dynasty Red and Fortune Red combo are going in my MAC arsenal.

MAC Swatches against Peach Blossom Pink

From top to bottom (all MAC lipsticks): Peach Blossom Pink, Viva Glam Nicki, Saint Germain, Candy Yum Yum, and Pink Nouveau

MAC Swatches against Dynasty Red

From top to bottom (all MAC products): Dynasty Red, Ruby Woo, Russian Red, Relentlessly Red, and Fashion Legacy (liquid lipstick)

Like I said, there are so many good reds out there, as Ruby Woo and Russian Red corners a big part of the market already out of any cosmetics brands. I haven’t personally tried MAC Red or Lady Danger, but Min Liu’s Dynasty Red is probably a good choice if you don’t already have a few reds up your sleeve already.

The Verdict

Since red and pink are no longer a faux pas (and in fact quite the trend now) this collection nails the colours perfectly. I love supporting fellow Asian women, but I felt a bit uncomfortable with the names, mainly Dynasty Red and Fortune Red. I understand the whole Chinoiserie theme of her previous collection, but I felt it played too much into the idea of the Orient. Politics aside, if you were to buy only one or two things from the Min Liu x MAC Cosmetics collab, I’d recommend the glosses. They were quite the unexpected gems in this collection.

Meet Min Liu at The Bay! April 25th

The designer will be at The Bay downtown on Tuesday, April 25th from 3:30 – 5:30pm! Get a chance to get first dibs on the collection, and you can have them signed too!

Products c/o The Hudson’s Bay Company.

Miranda Sam

Editor

Miranda Sam is a fashion and retail writer who loves shopping—and writing about it! Her fashion loves: MAC lipsticks and Saffiano leather.

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