Mickey Contractor has been a Bollywood makeup artist for 32 years, and for the last six, he’s been MAC’s Director of Makeup Artistry for India. If his name sounds unusual to Western ears, it might be because Mr. Contractor is Parsi (Zoroastrian), and Parsis in India frequently have vocation-based last names (think Baker, Smith, or Miller in the Western world).
Random fact: Freddie Mercury (lead singer of the band Queen) was Parsi.
Contractor’s MAC collection launched January 6th — concurrently with Peacocky. If you haven’t seen the display at your local counter, it’s because the collection is only available in North America at the 22 top-selling counters/stores (and online).
None of the counters in Texas made that top-22 list, so I wasn’t able to swatch the entire collection. But thanks to professional local artist Mr. English, I was able to swatch most of it (he very graciously let me swatch items from his own kit).
Many of the products in this collection are named in Hindi. I wasn’t sure how to correctly say many of them, but Mr. Salt speaks Hindi, so I asked him to record this pronunciation guide:
In a 2007 interview with The Times of London, Contractor said that the eyes were the most important feature in Bollywood — and the eyes definitely have it in this collection.
The Athma quad ($36) is everything you need to create Contractor’s signature, soft smoky eye in browns and earth tones. Jaan (technically a lustre formula, though I think MAC is throwing the old formula definitions out the window) is a peachy, biscotti, “flesh” tone with a few gold sparkles. Folie (a satin) is a matte red brown (like red chocolate). Vivah is a yellow (almost olive) brown with gold sparkles. In both Jaan and Vivah, the sparkles are really tiny. Carbon is MAC’s matte black.
People are going nuts over the collections two Fluidlines (gel/creme eyeliners, $15): Ivy is emerald green, and Siahi is peacock blue. I’m surprised this collection didn’t also repromote Feline, the only pencil liner that stays truly black on medium and darker Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern skintones.
There are four single eyeshadows as well ($14.50 each). Saffron (satin) is a red-orange with tiny sparkles that juuust keep it from being a matte. I expected “Saffron” to be yellow — that’s what color the world’s most expensive spice turns the food you cook with it. I guess the color is that of the saffron itself (it looks like red threads). Rani is a satin-finish hot pink. It also has those tiny little sparkles which just keep it from being a matte. Marvel is a buildable, deep blue-purple satin with tiny blue sparkles. Oomph is a buildable, very blackened green shimmer.
In that Times of London interview, Contractor said, “When there’s so much focus on the eyes, I like to play down lips and go for nude, lighter colours; I recommend going for colours that match your natural lip colour.”
I only swatched two of the four lipsticks in this collection. Yash (matte) is a nude, mauvey, beige pink. Mehr (matte) is a very blue rose. The missing shades are Gulabi (amplified creme), which MAC describes as bright fuchsia, and Mocha (satin), a permanent shade, which I swatched here.
There are two Mickey Contractor lipglasses. I was able to swatch yellow-caramel Flesh, but I haven’t seen Lust, which is supposed to be a soft, muted pink. Lipsticks and lipglasses are $14.50 each.
Gana (frost) is a surprisingly delicate, golden champagne shimmer. Even in a heavy swatch, it wasn’t frosty or overwhelming. Sur (satin) is a dusty, browned rose. I really liked them both despite not technically being the skintone this collection was designed for.
About the “skin” products. Mickey Contractor’s collection contains three new shades of Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 ($26): NC41, NC43.5, and NC44.5. Are these limited edition? How can you make a foundation shade limited edition?
There are also four Select Moisturecover Concealers ($16.50, which I swatched above, with the lip products): NC23, NC43, NC44, and NC45.5. Then there’s a dual-ended Select Moisturecover Concealer ($21) in Coral Corrector and Yellow Corrector. Contractor says this product is intended to “tweak” a foundation or concealer that is almost the right color for your skin. They can also be used as color correctors to adjust darkness under the eyes or around the mouth.
Finally, this collection repromotes the 219 pencil brush ($24.50), the 239 eyeshadow laydown brush ($24.50) and the 116 small blush brush ($32), as well as Prep + Prime Translucent Finishing Powder ($22), because photoshoots in India can get awfully hot and humid.