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Draw to Win — Celebrate the Picasso of Fashion Illustration with the MAC Antonio Lopez Collection

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From the mid-1960s through the 1980s, you practically couldn’t open a high fashion publication  — be it Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Andy Warhol’s Interview, Elle, the New York Times or — without stumbling upon a kinetic, flamboyant, colorful, vibrant fashion illustration by Puerto Rican artist Antonio Lopez. Born in Utuayo, Puerto Rico and raised primarily in Spanish Harlem and The Bronx, Lopez graduated from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and worked his way up the fashion realm, creating his buoyant illustrations for glossies all over the world; publishing books in which he drew his muses, women like Pat Cleveland, Grace Jones, and Jerry Hall ,who he himself discovered and catapulted into the spotlight; and masterminding ad campaigns for brands like Missoni and Yves Saint Laurent. And yet, despite the influence he wielded throughout his lifetime, since Lopez’s death from AIDS-related complications in March 1987, much of his work has been forgotten. The fickle (and yes, let’s face it: racist!) fashion world has continued to ogle over the work of Andy Warhol and Keith Haring while largely neglecting Lopez’s legacy. Fortunately MAC Cosmetics has gone about correcting these wrongs, reminding the world of the color Lopez added to the fabric of his times with the release of the MAC Antonio Lopez Collection.

The limited edition collection features three lip palettes, three eyeshadow palettes, and two face color palettes — all packaged in beautiful cases bearing reproductions of iconic Lopez illustrations. Other collectible items include a tote bag, makeup bag, a powder brush (with its own carrying case), and a compact mirror.

For the purpose of this piece, I’ll be focusing on the color cosmetics within the collection, which are simply stunning and which capture the energy of Lopez’s work. And those cases! They are so gorgeous and I’ve become so well acquainted with each of the women illustrated on the top of each palette, that I’ve even bestowed monikers upon them (I’ve got issues!). Hopefully, with this collection, everyone will remember Antonio’s name!

LIPS x 3 PALETTES

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The MAC Antonio Lopez collection incorporates three lip color palettes, each incorporating three hues within a specific color family:  3 Lips: Fuchsia (incorporating long-time favorite MAC hues like Candy Yum Yum, Moxie, and Violetta); 3 Lips: Red (which incorporates the shades Scarlet Ibis, MAC Red, and Deeply Adored); and 3 Lips: Nude (featuring the shades Art Directed, Antonio’s Girls, and Vivid Image). Each palette, retailing for $27.50 at MACcosmetics.com, features at least one matte hue and one satin color.

The Lopez illustration chosen to adorn the top lid of these lip palettes is beyond fitting: a powerful raven-haired beauty with strong cheekbones and a red pout staring intently at something within her field of vision, a slightly tilted black hat atop her head and a striped tie around her neck to create a play on androgyny. The yellow pencil she holds to her mouth, its pink eraser practically touching her lips, brings the onlooker’s attention to her bright pout. Below, you’ll find a close-up image I took of the palette’s cover so you can see how stunning it is with your own eyes!

In terms of the colors within each palette, I had the chance to try and swatch the colors within the MAC Antonio Lopez: 3 Lips Fuchsia palette. I actually already have some of these lip colors in my collection, but I loved seeing them grouped into one palette. The colors are: Candy Yum-Yum, an ’80s-flavored neon pink with a matte finish; Moxie, a mid-tone reddish pink with blue undertones for a raspberry-esque effect; and Violetta, a clean violet purple with plenty of sparkle for those who love a bit of shimmer.

Check out swatches of the three shades in the palette below:

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EYES x 6 PALETTES

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Next, there’s the MAC Antonio Lopez: 6 Eyes palettes ($43.50 at MACcosmetics.com). These, too, are available in three combinations, each corresponding to a specific chromatic family. There’s the MAC Antonio Lopez 6 Eyes palette in Teal, the MAC Antonio Lopez 6 Eyes palette in Bronze, and the MAC Antonio Lopez palette 6 Eyes in Violet.

Here’s a breakdown of the eyeshadow shades within each palette:

6 Eyes Bronze: 

Dear Cupcake: a mid-tone coral pink with a satin finish

Artistic License: a frosty, golden mid-tone pink saturated with pearls

Easy Gesture: a pale warm beige with a frosted look

Creative Copper: a lustrous gold hue

Golden Touch: A tarnished taupe with a veluxe pearl finish

Carbonized: a deep warm brown with a veluxe pearl finish

6 Eyes Violet:

Violet Impact: a vibrant violet with a veluxe pearl finish

Envisioning Pink: a mid-tone pink with blue undertones and a satin finish

 Lithe Spirit: a cool cream tone with a satin finish

Showgirl: a sultry, dark bluish grey with a veluxe pearl finish

Graphic Style: a deep silver with a veluxe pearl finish

Carbon: a rich, intense black hue with a matte finish

6 Eyes Teal:

Colourful Life: a dark teal with a veluxe pearl finish

Fashion Legend: a lustrous black with pink pearls

Night Train: a magical charcoal grey with crystalline frost

Sex & Disco: a sparkling cool silver huem

Freshwater: a mid-tone sparkling blue saturated with blue pearls

 Sketchbook: a glittery blackened olive

In terms of the illustration chosen for this particular product, it’s actually one of my favorites: a punk-ish redhead with a spiky, Cyndi Lauper-esque hairdo and a blue bandanna tied around her head, making her look like a fashionable pirate of sorts. Her earrings are deliberately mismatched, with one even resembling a miniature ripped sail.  Here’s a close-up shot of the illustration:

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In terms of the shades, I was sent the Bronze palette to review. Admittedly, I was aching to try the Teal palette since it’s way more aligned with my personal tastes (Lopez and I, both being island-born Puerto Ricans, seem to share that flamboyance when it comes to color). That said, the Bronze palette is extremely versatile. The name is perhaps a bit misleading in that not all the shades within the palette are bronze-tinged, but that’s actually a good thing since it’s the range of colors that allows you to experiment with different looks:

I think the Easy Gesture eye shadow (pictured at top in the photo below) is positively beautiful, reminiscent of one of Degas’ ballerinas with its peachy beige tone and its glistening finish. I also love the beach-y quality of the Artistic License shade, a golden rose color with plenty of shimmer that’s reminiscent of the inside of a conch shell.

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Moving on to the deeper shades in the palette, the Creative Copper shade (pictured at top in the photo below) is possibly my favorite, since it’s this Etruscan yellow gold hue with just a hint of reddish copper and tons of pearl.

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Here’s a look at all six shades:

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FACE PALETTES

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To complete the color cosmetics portion of the collection, there are two MAC Antonio Lopez: Face palettes ($46 each at MACcosmetics.com). Each of the palettes incorporates everything you need to sculpt, color, and highlight your visage: a beauty powder that doubles as a bronzer is packaged on the lower level of the palette, while the top reveals a slide-out tray with a powder blush color and a shimmering iridescent powder that can be used as a highlighter.

The MAC Antonio Lopez: Face palette in Pink, then, incorporates the Peaceful beauty powder, a mid-tone peach shade; Belightful iridescent powder, a light bronze with golden shimmer; and the Pure Femininity blush, a mid-tone pink with bluish undertones. The MAC Antonio Lopez Face palette in Coral, meanwhile, incorporates the Smooth Harmony beauty powder, a medium-toned golden bronze; the Star! iridescent powder, an ethereal light bronze color with golden shimmer; and the Passion for Colour powder blush, a mid-tone coral hue with a satin finish.

Below, you’ll find swatches of the Star! and Passion for Colour powders within the MAC Antonio Lopez: Face Coral palette. I love the intensity of the coral blush while the ethereal , peachy, golden bronze tones of the iridescent beauty powder are perfect for highlighting cheekbones, the bridge of the nose, and so forth (as well as for sweeping lightly over the face when a lit-from-within-glow is needed!).

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As you can see, then, MAC was very respectful in its tribute to the late Antonio Lopez and their choice of colors for each palette embodies the zest that the illustrator infused into his work.

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