MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA — PRO Products
In March, MAC debuted its newest Flagship and PRO store in San Francisco’s Union Square. The newest store is located at 45 Powell Street, and chances are, if you’ve been in San Francisco, you’ve shopped and walked around Union Square. It’s a large space with an open layout with an area in the middle specially reserved for artists to apply makeup to customers without interruption. There’s even a private space where you can have your makeup done by appointment with enough space for friends or family to sit with you. One of the more unique features is their Lash Bar, which features forty different lash styles; each lash is glued to a plastic stick that allows you to hold it over your eye to better envision what the false eyelash might look like on your eye. At the newest Flagship location, you’ll find some of the most talented artists working at MAC today, and the team at Powell is multilingual to support international visitors and travelers.
Visit the new Flagship and PRO store:
MAC Powell St
45 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
If you’re ever in the area, you’ll want to stop by and look out for Danny Zhen, a MAC artist and walking encyclopedia of all things MAC. Long-time fans will undoubtedly have a blast discussing collections from long ago, and he’ll know them–there is an intense passion for the MAC brand and history. He’s incredibly knowledgeable about products and techniques, and he’s ready, willing, and able to help even the most discerning MAC addict!
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA — Danny Zhen & Victor Cembellin
I visited the store last week, and while there, I also spoke with Victor Cembellin, a 19-year veteran of MAC, who I’ve had the pleasure of working with throughout the past years of on all things MAC. He’s a Senior Artist (North America) and is another example of the passionate people that work with MAC. (Over the years, one of my favorite aspects to being a beauty blogger is really having the pleasure of meeting the people behind the brands who show such clear passion and drive for the brand they work for.)
What I really wanted to ask Victor was about PRO products and which ones are more consumer-friendly; if you were to visit a PRO store for the first time, what might you buy? What could someone who isn’t a professional makeup artist find useful and interesting to add to their routine? (And if you can’t visit a PRO store, many PRO products are available for purchase online now, and you can always call a PRO store to place a phone order.)
His top five recommendations:
- Lip Mix: He described them as “raw makeup pigment for lipsticks.” It’s all about “the idea of making a new color, mixing up your own color, and everyone’s looking for that little individuality.” With a grin, he said, “The best part is when someone asks you what you’re wearing on your lip, they can’t get it, because you just created it that morning!” Lip Mix ($15.00) is available in thirteen shades ranging from white to black and everything in-between.
- Lash Mixing Medium: If you’re looking for a way to incorporate upcoming trends into your makeup wardrobe, Victor says “Colored mascara is coming back in style in full-force. You can throw in pigments to create your own colored mascara, and it’s really fun.” The Lash Mixing Medium ($13.00) is a clear version of MAC’s Pro Long Lash Mascara that’s just waiting for you to take your favorite MAC Pigment (loose color) to create a shade that can be applied to the lashes.
- Chromaline: This is one of the most consumer-friendly products, because, as Victor mentioned, “They’re similar to Fluidlines, which is a product customers have really embraced,” and now, customers are able to get it in a formula that has additional shades, many of them basics and primaries, which can be mixed and used to create custom shades. This is a product that is often used backstage at Fashion Week. Chromalines ($19.50 each) are available in ten shades.
- Sculpting & Shaping Powders: If you love the idea of contouring and highlighting, Victor recommended, “[‘MAC’s] Sculpt & Shape powders, because they are forgiving and easy to use.” There are five shades of Sculpting Powders and five shades of Shaping Powders, each available in Pro palette form for $16.50 each. I remember when these first launched, and I had to have them all. They continue to be some of my favorite highlighting/contouring products on the market.
- Shine Mixing Medium: “During spring/summer shows, we kept hearing about athletic skin. People wanted to have that authenticity where they look cool and they aren’t trying too hard. Pat Shine Mixing Medium on top of skin that gives everyone the look that glowy, ‘end-of-the-day’ makeup look.” He was wearing it on the sides of his face, so he was more matte-like on the center and a little glowy on the edges–it’s less luminous compared to things like Pearl or Luna Cream Colour Bases.
As invariably happens, at some point, we went off on a tangent and started talking about the amount of photographs we take of ourselves and others, and of course, I had to get Victor to share some of his favorite tips. To that end, he highly recommended:
- Big Lashes: “Chunky, fashion show lashes is very cool, very street, very San Francisco,” and he recommended In Extreme Dimension Mascara, because he felt like it gives huge lashes that photograph fantastically.
- Luminizers: You can buff them into the skin–and he recommended using the 168 brush (which is favorite face tool that MAC makes) with Soft & Gentle or Lightscapade.
- Glossy skin: “It’s a gloss texture that you can put anywhere on the face or entire body.” The big thing? If you’re in poor lighting, glitter and gloss are two things that add a lot of pop to your photo. “You’ll have more impact in a dark restaurant with something glossy,” says Victor. MAC Clear Gloss Creme Brilliance ($21.00) is designed to add shine and highlights to the face/body.