Mickey Contractor on M.A.C's Viva Glam, makeup “rules”

“I don't understand it when, on special occasions like weddings, women say they want to try out new makeup. Why! If you've been wearing something all along, it's probably because it suits you. Why change it?” says celebrated makeup artiste Mickey Contractor.

“There's no right and wrong in makeup,” he adds. “The bottom line is to be happy, carry yourself with confidence. If having a black streak across your face makes you feel confident, go ahead.”

Recently, the M.A.C store at DLF Promenade was bustling. Mickey Contractor, M.A.C's director of artistry, was at the store, dispensing tips on everything from the right shade of eye shadow for a particular complexion to the amount of foundation necessary. But, he was here mainly to encourage customers to pick up shades from M.A.C's Viva Glam range, where 100 per cent of the selling price of the cosmetics goes towards the M.A.C AIDS Fund.

The Viva Glam collection, launched way back in 1994, comprises six shades of lipstick and two ‘lipglass', ranging from bright red to brown (with shades of pale nude pink, burgundy, golden beige and brown in between). Chances are, at least one will suit you and become a permanent part of your handbag, thereby keeping the cause going. “Lipstick that has a heart,” as Mickey puts it.

Mickey has one useful tip on how to wear the Viva Glam lipsticks right — a Plum lipliner. “It goes with Viva Glam 1,2,3,4,5 and 6,” he says. April will see the launch of two new Viva Glam shades — Viva Glam Cyndi and Viva Glam Gaga, named after its newly appointed spokespersons Cyndi Lauper and Lady Gaga.

Bollywood's most sought-after makeup artiste doesn't believe in changing makeup with a change from winter to summer or vice-versa. Not for him to predict if one needs to go au naturale or siren red. “It doesn't matter what's in season,” he says. “If something suits you, stick to it. A dash of colour here and there can be a change, like an eyeshadow, but you needn't change the entire look,” he advises.

In makeup, the role of foundation has become ambiguous, the bare skin look being another much-favoured new alternative. “Most women I meet have started using foundation. If