Husband-and-wife design duo Steve Jung and Yoni Pai are not only a household name for their contemporary casual pieces in South Korea, but are also widely known among western fashion cognoscenti since having their creations stocked at major retailers such as Selfridges, Nordstrom and NET-A-PORTER. Following their inception in 2007 with their label Steve J & Yoni P (or SJYP), the London-based designers have dominated runways of late and had even collaborated with Topshop on a capsule collection in 2011. They were further catapulted into prominence when Lee Hyo-ri and Jang Keun-suk (among many of their high-profile clients) as well as Hollywood celebrities Rita Ora and Olivia Palermo were spotted wearing the brand on a few occasions.
With such an influence, it came as no surprise that M·A·C (a longtime sponsor of the makeup for Steve J and Yoni P’s shows during Seoul Fashion week) would sought to tap into their creativity and fashion prowess to release a collection “as cheeky and progressive” as their style for summer!
Launched in June 2017, the M.A.C × Steve J & Yoni P collection comprises 4 lipsticks (Spotlight Me / Candy Yum Yum / A Killing Smile / Yoni Crush), Lip & Cheek X 6 (Yoni Attraction), Eye Shadow X 2 (Touch Me Baby), Dazzleshadow X 2 (Midnight Fever), Powder Blush (Peony Petal), brushes (159SH Duo Fibre & 217SH Blending), a makeup bag and Studio Eye Gloss (Pearl Varnish). The packaging design drew inspiration from Yoni P’s signature look of blonde hair and thick, black eyeliner while other graphics of the components “speak articulately to the existing street style in Seoul”. This campaign was supposed to be a joint effort with a two-person team but I don’t know, it appears to be more centered around one 🤔
I’m personally not really a fan of the packaging (oops!) because I find the artistic direction to be too.. haphazard? The exaggerated facial features created with simple lines seem thoughtless and just don’t appeal to me. Furthermore, the packaging reminds me of that of Yazbukey for shu uemura, but quirkier. What do you think?
#1 Spotlight Me
Spotlight Me is a warm peach and described by M·A·C as a light peachy nude with Amplified finish. It has a balmy consistency which gives it plenty of slip and a soft, creamy texture. Furthermore, it offers a buildable-to-opaque coverage with a hydrating shine. However, it leaves a tacky and waxy sensation and has the tendency to settle into the lines of the lips. This lipstick is lightweight and not transfer-proof so frequent reapplication is expected throughout the wear.
#2 A Killing Smile
A Killing Smile is described as a bright pinkish red with Matte finish. This formula applies smoothly with no tug to lend a lip-hugging and opaque coat of cool raspberry pink, complete with a semi-matte appearance and a soft shine. It has a thick texture and an even and mostly opaque consistency, which can still be built upon for greater intensity. Like most M·A·C mattes, this shade is slightly drying but not to the extent of absorbing all the moisture from the lips and leaving them looking uncomfortably parched and cracked. It may not have the extreme longevity of M·A·C’s older mattes, but this still lasted on me for at least 4 hours.
Admittedly, despite the Asian-friendly colours and this collection being borne out of a partnership with Asian designers, I am just not feeling all of this. I had even hesitated on getting these lipsticks (hence the delay in this review) due to the limited range of shades that look vastly similar to many of my M·A·C lipsticks.
The unexciting and repetitive choice of colours meant that they are not intended to be statement pieces but collector’s items. M·A·C knows very well that die-hard fans of the brand and K-pop would try to snag a piece regardless of the products (and price) so long as they are adorned in limited-edition packaging – and I am a living example of how their effective marketing can convince customers into buying things they don’t need 😖
Having said that, this collection does offer a narrowed-down selection of lipstick shades that will certainly go well with most fair and medium skin-toned Asians if you don’t already own any of them. Furthermore, these are priced the same as regular-packaged lipsticks (yes, gone are the days of US$16-17 M·A·C lipsticks – prices are creeping up without us realising!)
So, what are your favourite products from this collection? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below or take a poll!
Thanks for reading!