Dear Caroline

LONDON Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow, so at the moment it is the calm before the storm for me.

Beauty and grooming tips from senior Mac makeup artist Sunderland-born Caroline Donnelly.

LONDON Fashion Week kicks off tomorrow, so at the moment it is the calm before the storm for me.

I have seen a list that confirms MAC are supporting a whopping 41 shows backstage this season with products (make-up) and make-up artists. I haven’t had any confirmation which shows I’ll be present at as yet, but I’m guessing it will be a lot!

The shows are a great insight into forecasting trends in make-up for the new season. Everything that we (the MAC Pro Team) do backstage at each major Fashion Week (New York, London, Milan and Paris) is photographed and recorded and then fed back to all MAC staff in stores and on counters in each location around the world, so that they are excited, motivated and incredibly educated and ready to pass this on to anybody that is seeking this information.

Last Saturday I assisted a make-up artist called Miranda Joyce as she was doing a huge job for Pop magazine where she needed a body painter and generally an extra pairs of hands. I probably shouldn’t say exactly what we were doing as I don’t want to give the story away, but it involved covering a model in tiny pieces of something head-to-toe.

To put it into perspective – we used about 20,000 tiny pieces of something which we applied individually by hand. The model had to be body painted first and then we applied the ‘bits’ to her. There were seven of us and it took eight hours of working solidly.

Then it was the photographer’s turn, so in a way, after being there for nine hours, our day was just beginning. We were all trying to speculate what time our working day would be over. At 1.15am we had our answer, it was done, though not for us. We now had to get all the pieces and body paint off the model, the poor thing! After finally getting her back to her natural state, we were in a taxi home at 2.20am, exhausted.

I can’t wait to see the photo shoot in print, it is going to look awesome! I’m so excited to see it and wish I didn’t have to wait until Christmas when it is out, but I have to say – never again!

Q. What do you suggest I buy for a dark lip and a nude eye? I love buying the new collections and want to try a different look.

A. Try the new MAC collection Cult of Cherry. It’s a massive collection, and bang on trend. I love this collection and as it’s so huge, it’s so adaptable to all tastes. There are soft colours that can be worn for a more understated look or you can go really full on and wear the rich, dark reds and wines that can be built up to get that smouldering, gothic look that is in a lot of the high fashion magazines at the moment.

If you like a bit of drama, don’t be afraid to wear the dark eyes and lips at the same time either.

It’s good that you’re looking to experiment as this is a great collection to do this with.

As this is such a strong lip look, prepping your lips first is all the more important to achieve a great finish. Start by applying Prep and Prime Lip as a base. This is colour free and will add moisture, whilst smoothing and refining the appearance of the skin in that area, and the look of any product applied on top.

Take Burgundy lip pencil and take care to apply a good lip line which will define your shape and give a great edge to your lip colour. Fill in with So Scarlet and top off with Jam Packed Lipglass. This combination of colour is absolutely beautiful and very elegant.

For a nude eye, try the Tempting eye shadow quad. Depending on you skin colour, use a combination of these colours to create a soft complement to your strong lip and finish off with lashings of MAC Zoomblack mascara.

If you would like to ask Caroline a question, email


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