The inside word on the MAC x Helmut Newton collaboration

Helmut Newton Sumo Photo Print 50x70cm Arielle Nude Monte Carlo 1982, Beach Club

MAC and Helmut Newton together – their people tell us why it’s such a great fit

The cosmetic company has  partnered with the estate of the late, renowned German-Australian fashion photographer to honour his work. The resulting products are vampy, femme fatale reds, blacks and nudes with a selection of Helmut’s photography adorning the packaging. The line celebrates the exquisite glamour of the prolific photographer’s photography through the decades.

Gy Maconoche,
Helmut Newton Estate representative

FQ: If Newton were alive today, who do you think he would be photographing for this collection?
Gy: I think Helmut Newton would surprise us. The ideal Newton woman is strong and slightly unavailable.

FQ: Newton’s images are as timeless as they are provocative. What is it about his work that transcends generations?
Gy: Helmut Newton’s work captures a moment, suspends time. His gaze makes us voyeurs, so we are engaged in his inspiration. He invites us to share his fantasy.


Isabelle Bauer Rovner
Vice President, MAC Global Product Development, Collections & Collaborations

FQ: Beauty ‘rules’ usually dictate you should play up eyes or lips, but Newton’s femme fatales did it all. When developing products, what is one rule for looking glam without looking over the top?
Isabelle: With this collection there is a strong focus on the red and burgundy Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour. When playing with such a vibrant and pronounced lip, we made sure to keep the eyes cool and smoky to maintain balance. Point ‘N’ Shoot Eye Shadow X 4 accompanied by Boot Black Liquid Eye Liner and Upward Lash Black is complementary to all three Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour shades in this lineup

What is the key to attaining a perfect red lip?
I: Products, ingredients, shade, texture, etc. MAC Prep + Prime Lip should be the permanent first step in every routine. This collection features Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour, which has a leaf-shaped applicator to seamlessly glide on product evenly while contouring and defining the lip.

A photograph by Helmut Newton entitled "Keyhole".

A photograph by Helmut Newton entitled “Keyhole”.

Why do you think MAC worked with the Helmut Newton Estate for this collaboration?
I: Newton considered himself a feminist who celebrated triumphant and strong women, just like MAC.

What is a favourite product in the collection and what other products can this work well with?
I: A favorite product of the Product Development team is the Point ‘N’ Shoot Eye Shadow X4. You can create multiple looks with this by using all four unique shades to create a bold smoky look, or use two or three of the shades to construct a softer look. Colours easily adapt when Boot Black Liquid Eye Liner is added. You can complete this look with a mascara of your choice. The collection features Upward Lash Black, but I would also recommend In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash to amplify lashes promising a very dramatic and sexy end look.

Helmut Newton's bold 1980s ad campaign for Italian jewellery house Pomellato

Helmut Newton’s bold 1980s ad campaign for Italian jewellery house Pomellato

What story do makeup and photography tell?
I: Do you have any personal favourites of Helmut Newton’s artwork? The makeup collection has a strong retro vibe which is directly inspired by the elegance, glamour and sensuality of his photos. The range also nods to the erotic nature of some of his particular nude portraits, with passionate shades of red. Naturally, the ultimate beauty look is still a satiny red lip with a smoky eye for full-on femme fatale glam.

My favorite photograph still of Helmut’s is the supermodels shot in the desert – Estelle Lefébure, Karen Alexander, Rachel Williams, Linda Evangelista, Tatjana Patitz, Christy Turlington, Vogue USA, Santa Monica, California, 1988. This black and white photograph is super powerful to me. “The real world is in color so if you use black and white, you take it out of the real world, out of the banal,” he once said.

 The below video is an extract form the Biography/Documentary Helmut Newton: FramesFromTheEdge

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Photos: Helmut Newton, supplied