Every year MAC releases several eye shadow and lip color palettes in limited-edition packaging as part of their holiday collection. This year's design features red snakeskin and a big red jewel in the center of each palette. While I'm not crazy about combination of strong colors, animal print and gems -- it strikes me as overkill -- I'm liking how the palettes are presented in the promo ad. They're surrounded by pomegranates, which at first is what I thought the print on the packaging was. It didn't look like snakeskin upon first glance, but rather bits of juicy, ripe pomegranate seeds, which for some reason I think make the palettes look infinitely better than they would on their own:
(photo from maccosmetics.com)
I think the other reason why I like this ad so much is that the translucence of the pomegranate seeds and the shiny surfaces of the palettes remind me of Dutch 17th-century still lifes. All of MAC's holiday items are shown with delectable looking fruit including grapes, raspberries, pears, and grapefruit. Compare them to the details from a couple of Dutch paintings - the way the textures are represented is very similar:
(Jan Davidz de Heem, detail from Still Life, date unknown, photo from artunframed.com)
(Floris Claesz. van Dijick, detail from Still Life with Cheeses, c. 1615-1620, photo from rijksmuseum.nl)
There are completely different objectives, of course - the meaning in a 17th-century Dutch still life does not correspond to a contemporary photo advertising makeup. Nevertheless there is a resemblance in the way the fruit is presented.
Getting back to the snakeskin palettes, they come in 2 shades - a bright true red and a reddish-orange. I suspect that once I see them in person and not artfully in arranged as they are in the ads, my interest in these will drop. I just think there's too much going on in the packaging and they'll look quite cheap in real life. However, I've been wanting to start collecting MAC holiday pieces and, well, no time like the present!