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Here’s a column I never thought I’d write...

I think I’m make-up’d out!

And it’s also all because of my favourite makeup company.

I don’t know what’s gotten into the folks at the Estee Lauder Companies, but this year it seems like MAC is putting out a new collection every second or third week. And I dutifully run off to the store to look at yet another batch of brown or purple or blue eye shadows and the many gradations of pink and coral and red for the lips.

Then I visit the closest department store that carries all the other brands—from which I also get email updates—to see their latest offerings.

Due to this column, I get inundated with make up news from every major player in the North American market and substantial numbers of smaller ones; in addition to a number of European lines that I’ve found in stores here in Canada. On any given day, at least five messages arrive in my email. And when holiday weekends approach that number can be tripled or quadrupled.

Shrek Forever After OPI Collection

There’s also an increase in cross-marketing that adds to the email traffic and crowded store shelves. For example, Mattel partnered with Stila last year for collections designed to celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday. They had previously partnered with MAC for the Barbie Loves MAC collection—complete with doll. (Yes, I do have the doll!) Nail polish giant OPI has designed a collection for the movie blockbuster Alice in Wonderland, as has Urban Decay. OPI is also offering a collection to tie in with this summer’s Shrek sequel.

While make up companies often pair with fashion designers who don’t have their own makeup lines—like the late Alexander McQueen, Lilly Pulitzer, Emmanuel Ungaro and Zandra Rhodes—other collaborations seem to be odd matches. For example, Hello Kitty (which apparently does have its own make up line in Japan) and French graffitti artist Fafi.

I can always count on Bobbi Brown to produce yet another plain brown eye shadow, but there are only so many of those one can use. And so many of the special collections seem to feature brights that are way in my past.

For the past four years, I’ve been managing all this from a small city where Sephora has yet to open.

But... that’s going to change next month!

My makeup blues aside, here are some things you might want to look at for your mom for Mother’s Day next weekend:

Stila's Mother's Day Collection

Benefit has the April Showers Collection—a selection of their standard products including She-Laq, Silky Finish lipstick in Candy Store and Creaseless Cream eye shadow in Venetian Brown. Stila has a special Mother’s Day Set with an exclusive eye shadow trio, a lip glaze and their new One Step Prime Color primer ($38 US at stilacosmetics.com). Laura Mercier has released her summer bronzing collection ahead of the competition and Urban Decay has released a new fragrance oil they call Revolver - top notes of lychee and pineapple leaf followed by fig over a base of amber and musk ($26 US at urbandecay.com).

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