It might be assumed that a model’s runway makeup prep begins with some concealer or foundation—maybe a fluff of the powder brush. Not so: “Skin today has to be flawless,” makeup artist Michaela Bosch proclaimed backstage at Christopher John Rogers’s resort show, where staggered swipes of statement lipstick in hot pink, deep aubergine, and a bright cerise punctuated exaggerated silhouettes. Bosch was busy giving Nepalese model Varsha Thapa a facial massage with MAC’s Hyper Real Serumizer, a new multitasking fluid that officially launches this month. While no one would confuse the behind-the-scenes chaos at Fashion Week for a spa, the comparison was there for the making: Among even the most color-forward makeup brands, there’s a new emphasis that it’s what’s underneath that counts.
After lockdown caused a spike in complexion maintenance, makeup upstarts (Jones Road, Merit, Kosas), fashion-empire builders (Jenni Kayne), and even Dollar General have entered the surging skin care market, which is expected to be worth nearly $187 billion by 2026. But of all these hopefuls, MAC has a legitimate claim to the category. “We have to have skin care that works with makeup,” insists global creative director Drew Elliott. “Performance-based skin care just completes the kit.”
MAC has dabbled in a skin care–first approach to makeup before. (You’d be hard-pressed to find a makeup artist’s bag without the brand’s illuminating Strobe Cream or Prep + Prime Fix+ setting spray.) But the Serumizer is a gel-like hybrid treatment meant to benefit skin with or without makeup: It hydrates with hyaluronic acid, refines pores with niacinamide, strengthens the skin’s moisture barrier with ceramides, and boosts radiance with a proprietary Japanese peony extract. “The combination offers a powerhouse that addresses multiple skin issues at the same time,” New York–based dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, confirms of the first drop from the Hyper Real line, which will also include a cleansing oil and moisturizing balm. That is likely welcome news to Thapa. As Rogers’s show wound down and attendees filtered into the balmy summer evening, the model was spotted heading to a dinner with her full makeup look still intact—and still impressively dewy—the highest form of praise.