Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Making MAC Viva Glam Cyndi Lipstick Look More Like the Promo Pic

This is something that's going to make you laugh - I went through the process of creating this series of images before I realized that the face chart on the MAC Cosmetics website for Cyndi actually had the exact same products listed that I was going to use. How crazy is that??? I immediately thought "Ok, I'm not as creative as I thought I was...". My friend Kara had a much more optimistic outlook: "You just have a really good eye." Oh well... either way, I'm writing my post anyway even though you can get the same instruction from the MAC site directly.

On with the post!

I was really excited when I received my MAC Viva Glam Cyndi in the mail a few weeks back. I tried it out almost immediately and was a little let down. Not that it wasn't a good lipstick - it is. But when I see a promo where lips look THAT candy red, I want my product I'm purchasing to produce lips that are THAT CANDY-FRAKKING RED! Right?

For reference, here's the promo photo with the candy-frakking red lips:

Image from The Style And Beauty Doctor, via Google Images

Here are my lips using Viva Glam Cyndi without any doctoring up:

See the discrepancy? It's a nice shade, but it's a bit of a "My Lips But Redder" shade. So what would I do if I wanted RED lips like Cyndi's? I came up with the following plan:

Step 1: MAC Prep + Prime Lips

I swear by this product. I really do. It conditions, and for me it seems to help my lipstick apply more smoothly. Simply apply it like a lip balm. In fact, in a pinch, I have used it like a lip balm, though I it doesn't meet my hydration standards on a regular basis. It is one of the few products I repurchase on a regular basis.

Step 2: Choose Your Weapon! The Red Lip Liner

I chose MAC Cherry Lip Pencil. Line your lip with the lip pencil. Then fill in the lip. This will give the lipstick a base and also help it last a little longer in addition to the Prep + Prime.

I don't use MAC Cherry Lip Pencil a lot because I don't do super red lips a lot, but in this case I'm very happy I had it on hand. It's also excellent under Clear Lipglass by itself if you don't have a super red lipstick.

My lips looked like this after Step 2:

Almost a little "Rocky Horror" no? Yeah, not quite there yet...

Step 3: Apply the Viva Glam Cyndi

Self-explanatory step. The lipstick will fill in any gaps you may have missed with your Lip Liner as well, turning the base color a little creamy and mixing in. Sometimes I go back around my lips with the Lip Liner after this step because I'm usually messy. No, I don't usually use a lip brush, but you can if that's your preference.

See the big difference already just putting that lip liner under it as a base? Huge difference really. What you are seeing is the power of Cherry.

Step 4: Apply Clear Lip Gloss

Ok, here's where I usually do use a brush. MAC Clear Lipglass comes in a completely different packaging than anything else. It's got this round end with a hole, similar to Lip Gelees but not slanted tip. I squeeze a bit onto the end of the ball and dip my lip brush into it. Then I apply onto the lips. The reason - that tip would get so messy if I applied directly and it would be annoying to clean. As it is, I often get transfer from the brush if I go back again for a second pass with the gloss.

And there you have it - Cyndi's lips! You could, instead of using Clear Lipglass use a red lipgloss (I love Dior Addict Red Stockings Lip Gloss). This could pump that red color into an even more dramatic look. But that's entirely up to you.

I still think it's hilarious that they used this exact combo on the face chart... what an idiot I am for not looking there first! I could have saved myself the time and effort (not to mention a morning of walking around the office feeling like I was broadcasting "look at my lips! over the loud speaker).

Regardless of Cyndi's power (or lack there of) by itself, a Viva Glam lipstick is always worth the purchase.