I’ve been wanting to blog about this for so long now, but we couldn’t. Until today. So because I feel like I’m about to explode with excitement, let me just up and say it.
In April I went to Toronto, to the MAC Cosmetics headquarters. After a truly amazing tour of their facilities, I worked with a chemist to create my very own MAC lipglass.
Yes. This happened.
It’s like…if Charlie won a golden ticket to go to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory, and then at the end got to work with Willy Wonka to make his dream candy for all his friends around the world to enjoy.
It’s the realization of a dream so big, it’s hard to even put it into words.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
It all started with an e mail sent to 80 or so bloggers, from executives from MAC. We were asked to submit our ideas for either a lipglass, or an eyeshadow using photographs, coming up with a product name…all of it. From the minute this e mail came, I had an instant idea of what I wanted to do in my head.
Ever since I was a little girl, my favorite color has been purple. I never went through a pink, red, or blue phase. It was always definitively purple. When Prince’s Purple Rain came out I LOVED it (even though I was too young to get what Prince was talking about in his lyrics). I loved that Prince made my favorite color SO COOL. From that point on it was a love affair with anything purple and that love affair has lasted my whole life. When the time came for me to buy my first car, my husband had to convince me not to get a purple one.
Purple is my power color. Purple is my neutral. If I were a color, I’d be purple.
When it came time to choose the name for my color, there was no doubt. The first line of Erotic City by Prince came immediately to mind. All Of My Purple Life. And I wanted it to be the perfect purple for ALL shades of beautiful.
That was the inspiration for my creation. I sent it off with a hopeful heart and didn’t think much more about it.
Until I got the follow up e mail that my color was chosen, and I’d be needed in Toronto.
Of ALL of the ideas that MAC’s executives got, they chose 9 of them. And so we went to Toronto to make our dream colors.
Why us? Why were we the lucky ones who were chosen? When I asked, I was told that they honestly loved and were excited about our ideas.
Honored is NOT the word.
The trip to Toronto was a delightful whirlwind. We stayed at the exquisite Thompson Hotel, and had a super fun dinner with all of the bloggers and the amazing people of MAC. I got to spend time with my beauty besties Amber of Beauty Blogging Junkie and Lianne Farbes The Makeup Girl, got to see cool chick Wendy of Nitrolicious again, and got to meet beauty blogger friends I’ve only heretofore known from Twitter – like the very sweet Christine of Temptalia, and my fellow cat lady the adorable Karen of Makeup and Beauty Blog. I got to meet new friends Lily of Beauty Maverick and Aileen of The Shades of U. Everyone was so lovely!
And the next morning it was on and poppin. We headed out to Markham, Toronto, to the MAC Cosmetics’ Production Facility and The Estée Lauder Companies Canadian Innovation Center. Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, for makeup fiends.
The air is redolent with that familiar vanilla scent of MAC’s lippies. Everywhere you look, there’s a product you love being manufactured and inspected. We had to don hard hats, lab coats, and safety glasses for this part of the adventure. As Glambr said: “the whole joint was all VERY Laverne and Shirley meets Bunson Honeydew inside the production facility. ” (Sidenote, this is why I love her. We had a blast on this trip!)
The morning was all about watching and learning about the production of makeup that falls under The Estée Lauder Companies umbrella — it was kind of amazing to realize MAC cosmetics are made in the same space as a selection Estée Lauder, Bobbi Brown, and Origins items — although all products are uniquely and specially formulated for each brand!
Across the street from The Estée Lauder Companies Canadian Innovation Center, is the MAC Cosmetics’ Production Facility, and there we met with the chemists and product development team.
Side note: from the minute I walked in, I spotted that one of the chemists was a Caribbean woman. There’s something about our demeanor that transcends time and place. I knew I was in the presence of fellow islanders, but couldn’t put a finger on place. Not until we’d had a chance to talk to each other!
When I finally had a chance to talk to the MAC chemist in question, it turned out that one very sweet lady was from Jamaica, and the chemist who was assigned to me was from Guyana! Needless to say we had a LOT to talk about right away.
Our chemists had already whipped up test samples of our color based on the description and inspirations we submitted, so it was a matter of discussing how close those samples came to our vision. In my case, my vision was very similar to sample #2, but I wanted more of the sparkle of sample #1.
I got to work with the chemist to perfect the formula so it exactly matched what I dreamed up.
I set out to create the perfect purple lipglass for women all shades of beautiful, and I think I achieved my goal. It’s true purple grape – not too red, not too blue. It has a subtle sparkle. The intent was to make a color that is wearable for a wide range of skintones. I tried to make a color that can be worn solo or over a fuschia lipstick for summertime POW, and can be worn over a deep lip pencil (like say, Chestnut or Plum or Vino) for sexy noir seductress effect. Punchy, vibrant, distinctive, badass. That’s what I was going for.
I wanted All Of My Purple Life to be truly unique, and when I asked the chemists – can you think of a dupe for this shade? They all said no. So makeup bloggers and artists, I know you know your stuff. I know you’re always looking for the new, best, and next. I look forward to your feedback on it. Were the chemists right?
All Of My Purple Life will be part of the Bloggers’ Obsession collection. It will be on sale online only in the USA and Canada, for just six magical weeks beginning June 21. Here’s what everyone else came up with!
I hope all of you like it, and if you buy it and send me a photo of yourself wearing it, I will feature you on Afrobella.com. I hope it’s as beautiful on your lips as I intended it to be. I hope you love it as much as I do, and I hope this collection is recieved with love and happiness. A lot of love and happiness went into making it, I know that much!
What do you think, bellas? I can’t wait to hear!