Old vs. New MAC Pigment Jar Packaging: A Tale of Comparisons

Make sure you also read the follow-up to this post, which compares Kitschmas vs. Kitschmas.

Old vs. New MAC Pigment Jar Packaging: A Tale of Comparisons

The news may be old, but the feelings are still raw. MAC has changed up their packaging for their pigments, which are loose color (often multi-purpose). The MAC website, just today, updated and not reflects the new jar packaging.

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Here’s why some are upset:

  • New packaging (we often do not like change, period)
  • Sizing has decreased from typical 7.5g/0.26 oz. to 4.5g/0.15 oz.
  • Pricing is the same ($19.50 U.S.)

Because this post is designed to give you a very detailed insight into the differences between the sizing and packaging of both the old and the new…

Here is a summary for those find this post too long to read.

After dumping a new jar and an old jar, seeing it in real life, looking at the heighths, widths, density, etc., I suspect you’re losing around 1/2 teaspoon worth of pigment.  It may be more, it may be less, depending on the pigment in question.  (I estimate roughly 4 teaspoons of pigment per old jar, on average.)  You’re still getting plenty of pigment for your money–likely more than the majority of us will use up in a lifetime. Pigments often differ in texture and density; they’re not all made alike. Some are very chunky (e.g. Kitschmas) while others are very smooth (Vanilla). At the end of the day, I think you’re still getting much more than you think (and you’re not getting as little as you think).

See my detailed comparison with LOTS of photos…

Above is why I think you’re not losing very much.

On the left, we have Universal Mix, which is a new and limited edition pigment debuting this Thursday. On the right, we have Blonde’s Gold, which is an older pigment (no longer available). I chose Blonde’s Gold for comparisons for two reasons: 1) I know I’ve never used it, so it’s totally and utterly full; 2) it had similar texture – very fine, though it’s not 100% the same. Universal Mix has a very, very fine and smooth texture. It’s like silk almost. It almost feels wet when you smoosh it together, and it has a tendency to clump together (see the photos above — Universal Mix looks like lots of chunky bits), whereas Blonde’s Gold is looser and doesn’t clump up nearly as much.

The piles may look a little different, which is a result of their textures – I just dumped both out on separate sheets of wax paper. The Universal Mix pile is smaller in size, but it’s taller; Blonde’s Gold just kind of splat and so it’s wider, but much shorter (which is why I took heighth photos, too). I don’t have a scale to which to weigh, which is unfortunate, but hopefully pictures tell you the bigger story.

I then clean and refilled the new packaging with Blonde’s Gold, which fit snugly into the old packaging. Do you see what remains? It’s a very small amount — roughly half a teaspoon or less of pigment. I used to sell pigment samples (like four years ago), and I can’t even tell you exactly how many teaspoons are in a jar — usually round four, sometimes more or less, depending on the pigment’s texture. If I really wanted to, I could have really compacted the Blonde’s Gold pigment into the new packaging and probably could have fit the rest in, which brings me to my next point…

On the bottom left, you’ll see Universal Mix back in its new packaging. Do you see how much is overflowing? Do you see all the residue beside it? Pigments can be “fluffed” or they can be pressed down and compacted. When brand new, all of it fit neatly and nicely in the new packaging, but unpacked and you can’t fit it all back in the jar without pressing the pigment down to fill it up again.  I’ve had matte pigments that say they’re only 2.5g in weight, but they fill up the entire jar… but I’ve also had matte pigments that say they’re only 2.5g in weight and barely fill half of a jar.

Thoughts on New Packaging

Straight from MAC HQ, the new jars were designed to reflect the packaging of MAC’s entire line, particularly their nail lacquers and foundations. They hit it on the head with the new packaging. It’s slim, compact, and reminiscent of both the nail lacquers and foundations. The new packaging is slightly taller than the old packaging and the insert has a little plastic tab to make it easier to pull up (my big thumbs, however, did not find it easy to remove it). The new packaging uses a thinner plastic as well. The tops are similar, but obviously the newer jar top is taller, but the jar itself goes over halfway into the “top” (the black portion).

The labeling is also much different. The new packaging doesn’t list the weight on the jar itself, only on the box. The new packaging has the logo on the front, and then it has the name of the product and the location of MAC HQ. The bottom of the new packaging lists the same information as the back of the jar, plus the pigment’s name and the batch number (A99). The old packaging has much of the same information, but it doesn’t have some of the extra words like “Dist. By” and “Made in.” Again, the old packaging lists the weight of the product as well. The old packaging also has a label on the bottom with the pigment’s name and batch number.

Thoughts on Pricing

It’s very, very rare for a brand to reduce price. It’s usually not a good sign, actually. I wouldn’t have expected MAC to reduce the price. Seeing how much I’m still getting in terms of actual quantity and usage? I’m not too concerned about the price staying the same. Yes, you get a little less, but you really do get more than you need. I still think you’ll have plenty of product to press, though Universal Mix, because of its ultra fine texture, would likely still require a bit more pigment than some of the more frost-finish ones (e.g. Teal or Fuchsia).

But let’s not forget two points… MAC’s Richmetal pigments were 4.3g in the old jar packaging. I didn’t see much of an uproar then. But wait — those pigments still came full. 4.3g of those pigments still filled up the jar that also holds 7.5g of other pigments.  Second, this is not the first time (and few seemed to care then) MAC has changed packaging, given you less, and made you pay the same or more — Dazzleglass is a prime example. Dazzleglass was one of the first lip products rolled out in the larger-sized tube packaging, but it contains much less gloss — 0.06 oz. — compared to their traditional Lipglass, which is 0.17 oz. You lost 0.11 oz. AND you pay $4.50 more. It bothered me then, still bothers me now, but I just don’t remember nearly as much backlash as there has been over the pigments.


While the OCD in me will miss the old packaging, I’m not going to stop purchasing pigments just because they’re in a newer jar. I’m, personally, going to get the same enjoyment out of them as I always have, because I’ve never, ever finished a jar. It’s not like I’m going to have to run out and buy a second jar because they’ve given me so much less. I’m still going to end up with a jar that looks practically full, even two years from now. Like all the other pigments I own. (The only pigments I have that are less than 90% full are either because I sampled out from them years ago or I’ve spilled it at some point.)

I’m not going to tell you to buy or not to buy, because it’s more about the value you see in pigments and your own money. I just wanted to tell you what I’m going to do, and I thought I would show you, as best I could, why the difference isn’t big enough to merit me getting upset.  If you’re upset, let MAC know, because I know they’re listening. :)

Sidenote: the best way to compare between the old and the new would be to take the same pigment and compare the new vs. the old that way.  It would also be helpful to have a scale handy, to weigh both and see where they came out.  I may or may not do this at some later point, but we will see.

What are your thoughts?

Look how much does fit into the jar – you probably could press it enough to get it all to fit.

Look how much is LEFT OUT of the jar when I put Blonde’s Gold back into the old packaging!  Does the jar look empty to you?  To get it all in, I had to press the pigment down to compact it.

Just to show you all the steps…

The fluff… the fluff… the fluff is on fi-yah!

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