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AN ESSAY IN COLOR

TODAY’S WRITING TIP: USE ADJECTIVES WITH RESTRAINT AND ONLY WHEN THEY ADD INFORMATION OR EVOKE AN IMAGERY OR APPEAL TO THE SENSES, AS COLORS DO.

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MAN OF BEAUTY MAC senior makeup artist Victor Cembellin has been with the company for eighteen years. He flew in from New York to keep the Manila beauty circles abreast with the trends for spring/summer 2013.

New York-based makeup artist Victor Cembellin, who has worked with the likes of Madonna and Linda Evangelista, flew into Manila to present to us the spring/summer 2013 trends for MAC Cosmetics. Not only is he gifted in the art of makeup, he also has the gift of gab that, as I sat there in an afternoon session reserved for the Philippine press, I felt as though I was listening to an inspirational talk.

I’m sure it was Victor, but maybe it was the champagne or maybe it was the trends, all four of them that seem to be, in a nutshell, a return to beautiful simplicity, “after all the heaviness of fall,” as Victor put it. I was a little off-tangent, imagining God in the process of creating the universe. By stroke of luck, the Creator did not flinch or wince or raise a brow at the idea of colors, maybe even the idea of  cosmetic touches in nature, that He showered his creation with a whole spectrum of them in all manner of shades and with all the nuances of hue to a point that off many specimens, such as some species of fish or the chameleon or the sky at different times of the day or our skin under different conditions of light, much of the color spectrum can bounce, to the delight of the observant eye.

Such is the eye of Victor, who shared his enthusiasm over this season’s palette as though delighting in cultural and geographic marvels. Such, too, is the eye of the people responsible for MAC and its highly inspired collections, the experts behind the scenes, who whip up these tools of beauty season after season. For spring/summer 2013, four trends have been identified, each a celebration of a world bursting in and brimming with color.

Sig-nature Moist, not wet, hydrated, not drenched, “with highlights on the high planes,” this trend focuses on luminous skin, perfect in its soft, natural contours. There’s polish and perfection, but the look is effortless, no hard contours, no straight lines — it’s “makeup that looks like skin,” that draws from skin’s natural shades. “Less, less!” Victor urges. “Powder only where needed.” Even the lip is neutral, with only a touch of balm or lipstick to “heighten the natural tone.” What captures the onlooker’s eye is the hazes and haloes of light, the colors of complexion more real than ethereal.

Nu-ance Victor calls this trend futuristic romanticism, a “modern romance with color,” where the shades — turquoise, lilac, lemon, mint, acqua, apple, and peach — are more lucid, more like a transparent wash drawn from sunsets or seascapes or otherwise sunlit. There’s a flash of silver, a glint of cold metal in the palette of popping pastels to provide a futuristic feel, but on the whole the look is clean, pure, poetic.

Sci-chedelic “This is the sixties all over again,” says Victor. “But it’s more like how the sixties envisioned the future.” There is an obsession with a singular idea, whether it is a graphic statement on the eye or a pop of hyper-bright pigment — neon green, shocking pink, acid yellow — on the lip. The key words in this trend are minimalist, reductionist, singular, “color with conviction!” Maybe op-art, too.

Puri-tan This, to me, is the most evocative of the summer wanderlust. A tour of the tans, Victor calls it, perfect for adventures in “the Sahara, Morocco, California, Ibiza, or Sao Paulo.” This trend highlights the desert shades — warm gold, honey, beige, bronze, brown, wheat, caramel, sepia, the romance of Bedouin princesses squinting in the sun, the playfulness of California girls and their sunkissed skin.

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TOUR OF THE TANS This trend highlights the desert shades, such as browns, beiges, gold, and honey, and evokes summer holidays in places like Morocco, India, or California. (photo credit: tongue in chic)

And so Victor wrapped up the trends presentation with an ode to beauty, the joy of living in a world blessed with such, and I left the room ruminating that, indeed, the world could exist in black and white, but we wouldn’t want it that way.

Look around. Obviously, neither would God.

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MAC GIRL MAC Philippines PR executive Kirsten Brito put the show together, with champagne, light snacks, and lots of charm.

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