Inside MAC’s Wonder Woman Makeup Launch

by Layla Schlack

When a trusted publicist invites you to a cosmetics launch but says she can only disclose the date and that it’s in SoHo, you must go. So Thursday morning I find myself at what turns out to be the pop-up store where MAC is launching its Wonder Woman collection. (Surprise!) Inside looks like a comic book (the walls are also lined with WW comics) and the entrance is flanked by two models in very high platform shoes, rocking very high pony tails and very shiny red-hotpant-gold-lamé-turtleneck ensembles.

I have to take a second to talk about the models. They’re unbelievably pretty. I know, I know! But when they’re in person, in full makeup and model-mode, they’re just these gorgeous aliens. It’s kind of surreal to hear them speak, because they truly don’t look like humans.

Anyway, one of the models points me to the coat check, and in I go. All of the MAC people are dressed in black, as MAC people tend to be, and are running around with headsets on. There are more of them than guests, because of snowpocalypsemageddon, and I’m relieved to see that we non-MACs are dressed identically in skinny pants, big boots, and big sweaters. Very Abercrombie-looking caterers are passing around acai smoothies and (WTF?) mini tuna sandwiches.

Four makeup artists are touching up four models endlessly. Like, I’m pretty sure these models have all been sitting here for at least two hours getting their makeup done. But it’s all show. There’s a blonde, a brunette, an Asian woman, and a black woman, so yay diversity!

There’s a 30-minute presentation (“No photos allowed, but we encourage you to Tweet”) that describes going from Plain Jane to Wonder Woman, and how there will be no more Plain Janes in the spring — vaguely menacing. There’s also a minimovie that MAC and DC Comics created together, in which WW spots all the Plain Janes while flying in her invisible plane, and then learns Medusa has been stealing everyone’s beauty, so she vanquishes Medusa and make-up in bright plastic cases rains down on all the ladies. We learn that the sheer mineral powder has 70 minerals baked in, because WW’s skin gets very dry from flying around all the time. We also learn that WW originally wore a skirt and white sandals, and that in 2010, like everyone else, she wore leggings, boots, and a blazer. And that’s what happens at a makeup launch!

The actual line obviously has a lot of brightly colored glitter, but also sophisticated eyeshadow palettes, all packaged in slabs of red and blue plastic. Most exciting is the cheesily named Penultimate — an eyeliner with a marker tip! It’s already changed my life, and I only used it for the first time this morning.

For NYC folks, the pop-up at 109 Spring Street will be the only place to get the collection until February 8, if you want to be all exclusive. After that, MAC will be doing a promotion with Foursquare where you try to catch up with Wonder Woman. (No fair cheating, she has an invisible plane.)

Full disclosure: MAC’s not paying me, but they did give me a shitload of free product. And that’s the real best reason to accept invitations to makeup launches.

Layla Schlack lives and works in Brooklyn. Sometimes she blogs about it at