THE IN-TRAY

How MECCA MAX launched Single Shadows in this ‘unprecedented period’

COVID-19 has kept us housebound for a while now, but that was never going to stop MECCA MAX from creating and sharing their latest launch. While people were holed up in their homes (consuming their second loaf of banana bread), the MECCA MAX team saw an opportunity: it was time to brighten everyone’s day, mood and makeup collection by sending out 24 of their brand new single eye shadows to their community. Beauty fans, influencers and MECCA HQ staff alike all received a shade and were tasked with a simple brief: play, experiment and whatever you do, don’t hold back.

The result? A kaleidoscope explosion of eye looks, a celebration of colour and every person expressing themselves through makeup—all from the comfort of their home. This was crowd-sourcing content at its best, a chance for the MECCA MAX community to find moments of joy and individuality even while social distancing. We spoke to some of the beautiful faces you see in the video as well as the team behind the creation of the shadows themselves. Watch the entire campaign video here.

THE IDEA BEHIND SINGLE SHADOWS

As with pretty much every MECCA MAX product, there was involvement from our store staff in the creation of Single Shadows. Afterall, they spend hours in store applying makeup as well as chatting to customers about what they want, or perhaps what’s missing from their makeup bag. MECCA MAX brand manager Bridget Bond explains: “The ideation was an accumulation of feedback we had received from our store teams, and colour specialists (what we call the makeup experts in our MECCA stores) in particular, who were telling us that customers wanted to be able to buy their favourite individual shades and artists desperately wanted these for their kits—so we had a duty to deliver! .” MECCA’s head of artistry, Tony Baumann, who was involved in the creation of the shades says it was about offering shades you reach for daily, the ones “you know they will never let you down.” Baumann goes on to explain, “we wanted to have a great selection of neutral mattes for shaping and differing shimmers for dimension.” According to Baumann it was important to add shades that were on trend and were used (and loved) by MECCA’s top makeup artists. “[During the creation process] we watched our talented team of artists use them and took note to see what they were reaching for—the final line up is literally the dream edit of our top artists.”

Baumann also mentions that what customers wanted played heavily into the idea and eventual creation of Single Shadows. “[Customers] wanted a great price point, high payoff shades that blend with no fallout! We wanted to give them the option to have as little or as much as they wanted in their makeup bags.”

DEVELOPING 24 ON-TREND SHADES

It probably comes as no surprise that creating a line-up of 24 shadow shades takes time—close to a year to be exact. Bond explains it’s a process that involves a lot or collaborating… and swatching. “The actual product development took about nine months with all the collaborators trialling and swatching hundreds of shades and formulas to find the best possible formula across both mattes and metallics,” says Bond.

According to Baumann there was a lot of deliberating. “[So] many discussions around what our clients would love the most! It was like: ‘NO we need this’ and ‘what about this?’ or ‘oh you forgot this—we have to have IT!’ There’s so much passion around what is right from our creative talent, so you can imagine the fire around choosing the final selection. There are decades of know-how and passion in every single shade choice,” explains Baumann.

Baumann and Bond both agree (although it’s hard to pick just one) that their standout shade is Flip Side. “She’s a true jet black,” says Baumann. “[It’s] super creamy and blends out with ease — true black can be a tricky shade to get right but this shade will not disappoint.” Bond feels the same: “any artist will tell you black is really challenging to get right in terms of formula as they can often by chalky. We worked on so many variations of this one shade until our artists were 100% satisfied that is was blendable but also packed a punch!”

Another key staff member who was involved in the year-long process was Stephanie Larosa, a MECCA colour specialist — she also featured in the campaign video. For her, it was all about making sure there was a colour story for everyone within this collection. “This is why we included pops of colour, shimmers, mattes and neutrals.” And the trickiest shade to get right according to Larosa? “Like Whatever. This beautiful soft lilac required more attention to perfect the formula in order to have the right balance of pigment, but still maintaining that soft lilac shade exactly,” she explains.

THE CAMPAIGN

Picture this: 24 creative and inspiring MECCA MAX brand advocates are recruited to not only to create a look that speaks to their individuality, but also has them becoming pros at setting up a home studio. “The setup could most definitely be haphazard,” laughs makeup artist, Maggie Beth. “I had a Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Power stacked underneath three watercolour disks to prop up my phone. Between that, my 13-year-old Labrador barging in, and realising halfway through that I was wearing two different earrings—it was definitely an experience!”

The faces of this campaign included beauty lovers from across the board—including makeup artists, MECCA HQ staff, a stylist who works on photoshoots for the brand, models, friends and members of the MECCA MAX family. And the one thing they had in common? A love for all things MECCA MAX.

Lifestyle influencer Maxine Wylde says being a part of the video campaign gave her a definite sense of pride. “The final video is so incredible—it’s such an inspiring collective and I definitely feel a sense of pride to be in there amongst the incredible talent!” says Wylde. Her shade Space Jam is a vivid green that she was drawn too immediately. “It’s such a calm and serene colour, but when you throw in some glitter and some dramatic mascara action, this shade means business!”

A beauty influencer with serious skin goals, Ali Whittle rates the shade Like Whatever. “I love pastel shades that pop and ‘Like Whatever’ is just that. It’s a bit different, fresh and super cute. The formula is really smooth, easy to blend and long lasting - something you come to expect from a MECCA MAX product,” she explains. Speaking about the entire creative process, Whittle says it was a dream to be involved in the video. “It’s such a cool concept, and a great product – I loved that we were given lots of creative freedom and it’s really a shone through in the final campaign content.”

Whittle is no stranger to MECCA MAX, counting the Liquid Light as another favourite product for its ability to “build a beautiful, glowy base” and the Gloss Boss range. “They’re super shiny, not sticky and have such a wide array of colours.”

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