Padma Lakshmi can now add makeup aficionado to her resume alongside food expert, author, model and host of “Top Chef.” Her recently released collaborative capsule collection with MAC Cosmetics is sheer perfection—it includes universally flattering lipsticks, covetable gold brushes, richly-hued eye pencils and brightening blush and highlighter duos. Untitled sat down with the multitalented beauty to talk #MACPadma and shot her enjoying some dreamy treats at The Flower Shop in New York City.
Tina: The product names—Cremesheen, Desert Dusk, Indian Ink and Blue Blood—in your MAC collection are enticing! What inspired the names, and how did the process of creating the collection go?
Padma: The pigments were the most important, so everything came from that. I had some in mind from the start like Blue Blood, Indian Ink, and Clay from just describing them to the lab or MAC’s head office.
Your collection includes some great pops of color that seem very user friendly. Do you hope women might experiment and use color to accent their style and beauty?
For most women of color, it’s hard to find good bright colors that don’t look garish. But on the other hand, our skin tones look great in bold colors, so the trick is striking a good balance. There’s also obviously much variation within people of color, so I made sure that these colors could be worn as light watercolor washes or built up on the skin to be more opaque. I [also made sure] that both of those versions, as well as everything in between, did not change the quality and tone of the pigment. This is true especially of the lighter eye shadow colors like Cardamom and Hopper Blue.
The double-ended pencils are genius! Can you share why you think using those are the way to go?
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t wish their makeup bag was smaller! So I thought this would be helpful; saving space but also getting more value with two colors for the price of one. The colors are meant to go together or mixed and layered with each other to make new colors.
With your capsule collection in the mix, do you think MAC has the top range of pigments for all skin tones and moods?
MAC has always done well with pigments and has been at the forefront of serving a variety of consumers and being inclusive. I see my line as a logical step toward this. The response I have gotten on social media and other platforms all over the world has been overwhelmingly positive and exciting—people have been very excited to have the products. I hoped people would like the colors because I figured there would be many like me. But never did I imagine that the response would be so emotional from around the world! It goes to show you what a hole in the market there was. I’m happy to fill it.