The year is drawing to a close. Looking back, there had been some noteworthy M.A.C collections released throughout the year but nothing comes close to the overwhelmingly positive response the Selena collection had elicited. It was a complete sell-out success which saw every single item flying off the shelves. Being a fan of Selena and her English music (which I first heard on a local radio a few years ago), I was really anticipating this collection and had been following the news of this launch very closely since M.A.C announced plans were in the works to fulfill the wishes of over 30,000 petitioners for a limited-edition Selena makeup line last year. M.A.C could have turned a deaf ear to their pleas (after all, the sales of their Mariah Carey collection would definitely do well) but they did not 🙂 #respect
For the benefit of those who don’t know who the collaborator in question is, well, she is no longer around, hence making this the second posthumous collection by M.A.C (after Marilyn Monroe) in honour of the late American singer-songwriter. Dubbed the Queen of Tejano music, Selena Quintanilla was a one-time Grammy winner for Best Mexican/American Album and had made a name for herself in the English market back when Tejano music was virtually unheard of outside the Latino community. She was on her way to international stardom with her then-newly recorded English album but all these came to an abrupt end when she was brutally murdered by her psychopath fan club president in 1995.
At time of her death, she had already accomplished more than most people would do in 23 years of their lifetime – on top of being a successful singer, she was also an actress and fashion designer having established two Selena Etc. boutiques which raked in millions of dollars before their gradual demise and finally closure in 2009. An inspiration to us all, she was a living proof that anything is possible through hard work and perseverance. She was such a prominent figure that her birthday was declared Selena Day in Texas by then-Texas governor George W. Bush after her death. Did you know Selena Gomez was named after her as well? That’s how big an impact she had made with her music and never-say-die attitude!
As an Obsessed member with M.A.C, I had the privilege to shop the collection a few days prior to everyone else online and I got myself all three lipsticks shades. If I had known that the lipglass was online-exclusive before it sold out, I would have bought that as well. Perhaps it was a blessing in disguise as I hardly use gloss 😄
On the performing stage, Selena was often decked out in purple outfits as purple was one of her favourite colours apart from black. Hence, it makes perfect sense to encase the entire 18-piece collection in purple casing featuring her signature in lavender and aptly named after her popular hits in her remembrance. For those who are dying to own a piece of Selena memorabilia but barely have the money to travel to Texas, this is the closest you can get to the actual stuff sold at the Selena Museum at Corpus Christi.
Staying true to Selena’s down-to-earth and charitable public persona, I noticed M.A.C did not attempt to mark up the prices for this collection unlike what they did to their Mariah Carey holiday collection *sniggers* The prices are kept low (with the most expensive item being the makeup brush only at US$35 but I can’t say the same for Singapore) so that fans across all walks of life could afford them. Amidst all the accusations of animal testing thrown at M.A.C, it is heartening to know that they aren’t all that money-minded.
#1 Como La Flor
Even before M.A.C revealed anything about the collection, everyone knew for sure a bold red lipstick was going to be included in this lineup because red lips were part of Selena’s iconic look. According to her husband Chris Perez and other commenters on his Facebook status update, the shades for all the makeup products in this collection were matched exactly to the original that Selena used to carry around when she was touring (provided by her sister Suzette who amazingly still has her makeup bag up till today *gasp*). That is to say, this is the classic red (rumoured to be Chanel’s Brick which has already been discontinued) that Selena wore on her lips!
Como La Flor (“Like a Flower”) is described as a dirty cherry red with an Amplified finish. Fully pigmented with great colour consistency, it applies very smoothly on the lips and feels unbelievably hydrating. This shade creates a luscious sheen (Selena’s red lips looked more matte, though) and does not settle into lip lines but will require a lot of reapplications because a whole lot of it will transfer onto anything the lips touch.
Other alternatives to get if you missed the launch in October are Von Teese and Brave Red. Brave Red is slightly lighter and less pigmented while Von Teese lends a more matte finish.
#2 Amor Prohibido
Since nude lipsticks are hardly associated with Selena, Amor Prohibido could most likely be added to balance out the heavy and vibrant shades in this collection because not everyone who idolises her is courageous enough to step out of their comfort zone with head-turning red lips, yes?
Amor Prohibido (“Forbidden Love”) is described as a pinky midtone brown with Glaze finish. It is a pale mocha brown shade that leaves a lightweight, sheer but slightly oily texture when applied, giving the lips an extra plump on top of the moisturised and nourished appearance. Even though this shade is buildable, you would need to apply multiple layers to finally see some colour. Glaze lipsticks are known to have the sheerest finish so I wouldn’t recommend this if you have naturally dark lips unless a glossy look is your go-to.
Among the Fireflies (from the Faerie Whispers collection) is quite close – it just has a bit more yellow undertones. No one would be able to notice the difference, trust me.
#3 Dreaming of You
Despite debuting as a Latin artist. one of Selena’s biggest dreams was to reach success in the English market. This dream was realised when her English studio album (also her last) titled Dreaming of You peaked at number one on the Billboard 200 selling 175,000 copies in it’s first day of availability. This achievement – which she unfortunately didn’t have the chance to witness – was what drew attention to Latin music. Selena also recorded an English track of the same name for this album and coincidentally, it was the first song I heard by her some years back. This lipstick is a great way to remember her by, at least for me.
Dreaming of You is described as a deep wine with Matte finish. It gives a mostly opaque colour payoff that guarantees a long-lasting wear. Instead of a flat matte texture, this actually has a natural sheen to it. The result is a richly pigmented dark red with blue undertones that makes teeth look whiter and faces fairer. Somewhat creamy, it tugs on my lips slightly. The consistency feels a lot more drying than the other two lipsticks and does not apply evenly across the lips. It does not fully coat the lips unless with several applications. Still, for a matte, it delivers a rather moisturising finish.
Dark Side has stronger hints of purple while Diva is slightly darker. I personally feel that the latter is a closer match.
As you can tell from the swatches, the lipsticks in this collection are nothing out of the ordinary. If you’re a lipstick aficionado like me, you’d probably already have something similar so unless you are a supporter of Selena (or a sucker for LE packaging), I don’t see any reason why you need to have them. What say you?
Thanks for reading!