MAC 45 Powell Street & MAC PRO Products Anyone Can Use

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
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
(415) 402-0658

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
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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

See more photos!

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA — Lash Bar

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA — Lash Bar

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA — Lash Bar

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA
MAC Flagship @ 45 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA

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I was in San Francisco on business for an entire week about a month ago. I don’t know if the new MAC store was open then, but I wish I could go back and visit it!!

I think they soft-launched around the beginning of the second week of March (the 6th? 7th?), but maybe you’ll be back to SF for business soon 😉

whaaaa?! I live in San Francisco, work super close to this area, and I have NOT heard / seen anything about this. I definitely need to get myself over to Powell Street…
Thank you for posting this!! 😀

Oh, the Lash Mixing Medium sounds awesome, and I want to check out the Chromalines. We’re lucky to have a pro store in LA, it’s not too far from me.

I was there 2 weeks ago, playing with some of the products. The flagship store is on the same area as the sephora one. Close to the Powell Bart station. I’m glad that they finally move to somewhere that’s close to everything. Now, pro products will be easily accessible to everyone! I love being in the Bay Area!

It’s funny – the best part about the old Pro location was that it was a lot easier to find parking, lol! But I totally get the move to Powell Street, and it does make it more convenient if you’re already at Union Square!

I just wish MAC would drop the “pro” distinction, and make just one line of quality products, and sell them in all free-standing stores, as well as limited ranges of “basics” at counters.

A lot of PRO products aren’t things that would be regularly purchased by regular customers – many products aren’t such that they’d likely be incorporated into a regular routine – like body painting products, airbrush makeup (which is something that more people are doing at home), etc. They could definitely distribute some of the Pro shades or products more readily in stores, but I don’t think it makes sense to sell everywhere.

Mr. Zhen is a very handsome young man. I dont know if he is wearing makeup in this pick but if he is it looks amazing and if he is not, he is just blessed with good looks and amzing skin

So. many. Colours. 😀

I like the sound of being able to mix up my own custom lipstick shades! You can bet I’d be all over the purples and blues!

Wow, I would love to go there!!!

I went to the Vancouver Pro store in 2003, when I was getting into MAC. I shopped and bought a lot of things, but I wish I had really gotten into the Pro products at the time.

I love how they displayed their brushes. It looks like a mad scientist’s lair. 😀
The lash bar is definitely one of the coolest things I’ve heard about cosmetics-wise all week. I’ve been wanting to visit SF anyway…. lol

The lash bar alone is worth visiting. I hope to see this in NYC soon. I love the lip mixes. I use them to customize some of my lipsticks. I find that they mattify some lipsticks I find too sheer. Similar to the OCC lip tars without that stupid peppermint oil.

You were there last week? So was I! I think. Why couldn’t this come out sooner? I wanted a lot of body paint for swimming… er… competitive swimming… I needed body paint to draw wings on my back to look cool. (Even though we swimmers prefer fins)

Oh my goodness, the photos are amazing, I could look at them all day! It’s lucky I live the other side of the world because I could easily spend all my savings in there…

I went there yesterday. And omg it’s so gorgeous there. All the artist are super friendly and knowledgeable. It’s an honor to have a flagship store in the Bay Area. 🙂

Such an honor and a pleasure to have you in our new store. We are so PROUD AND EXCITED to welcome each day our loyal fans (like YOU and your readers), tourists from around the globe, and of course our future “MAC addicts”! Thank you for this lovely piece! Hope everyone can carve out a little time to drop in and pamper themselves at the new store!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Victor! It is always a pleasure to see you! xo

I’m so glad they finally opened a mac store close to my work. It’s dangerous though since I’ve been going there on my lunch hour and buying so much stuff. I’m not a fan of the store’s layout although I appreciate their effort and see what they were trying to do. But the room in the middle and all the mirrors are crazy. One of the mac artists I spoke to said they were bumping to each other and the walls because they needed to get accustomed to the mirrors and such. haha!

They’re really hoping to use that space for being able to demo on customers without being in the way (near the products), lol!

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