Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge Review & Photos

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

MAC has always held a very special place in my heart. I fell in love with makeup when I was a freshman in college after trying MAC’s Pigments. I was obsessed with them! The way they sparkled and shimmered, the intensity one could achieve when using them with Mixing Medium, and so I found my way down the rabbit-hole that is the world of MAC. They say that MAC is often a makeup enthusiast’s gateway drug, and it was certainly true for me.

I’ve been blogging for eight years now (October marks Temptalia’s 8th anniversary), and it never occurred to me that the blog could be much more than a hobby until MAC’s PR team sent me (little ol’ me!) an e-mail, inviting me to go backstage at San Francisco Fashion Week and attend a special press dinner for the event. When I received Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge ($45.00, available for $30.46 at Amazon and $32.66 at Barnes & Noble) yesterday, it really struck a chord with me, because it reminded me of the journey I’ve been on since falling head-over-heels in love with all things beauty and makeup. I remembered my time as an active member of the mac_cosmetics Livejournal community, where I learned so much about makeup and technique, and it was where I could “be” with people who also loved MAC and makeup.

Makeup is truly transformative medium, as who I am and the direction my life has gone in, would be very different had I not fallen in love when I did.  It made me feel pretty and feminine when I didn’t know I could. It helped me fake it until I made it–until I had the self-confidence with or without makeup, and it felt so empowering to be able to enjoy makeup as a source of art and self-expression.  It gave me an outlet for creativity when I was knee-deep in academia.  It gave me the opportunity to find and carve out my dream job–one I am extremely humbled and blessed to do.

I enjoyed flipping through and seeing the promotional imagery that MAC has used throughout the years and recognizing many of them (the majority are from 2007 to present). The book is as much an ode to the creativity and stories MAC has told over the years as it is to the talent of Miles Adridge, a photographer that has been responsible for many of MAC’s campaign visuals over the years.

As someone with a very personal connection with the brand, this book is a beautiful addition to my collection of beauty “memorabilia.” The book has a hardcover with 240 pages, over 200 of them are color photographs (and the remaining pages are often black with white text but still with the same quality with a light, glossy sheen and feel thick and weight between the fingertips), and there is a clear plastic jacket that protects the book itself. It seems very well-done to me with high quality printing, a variety of photos from over-the-top, avant garde makeup to more traditional beauty shots to themed collections (like A Novel Romance).

I’ve actually saved every press release MAC has sent me (hard copies) since they first reached out in 2007 (I believe MAC Smoke Signals & MAC Blue Storm were the first press samples I ever received). This is so much better, since the quality is higher with everything bound together. But truly, if one enjoys visuals from beauty campaigns, it is an interesting book and would be a great source of inspiration as it features work from some of the most well-known makeup artists in the industry, like Alex Box, Val Garland, Charlotte Tilbury, Ellis Faas. I appreciated that MAC credited these artists throughout the book but also in the “index” (of sorts), where you can see who did which promotional image and the year (I do wish they included the collection name, though). It seemed like a nice touch to me.

I thought the price was surprisingly reasonable for something as large, lengthy, and filled with color as this (plus, it’s hardcover). For the makeup lover in your life who already has all the palettes and lipsticks they could ever wear (and for a few more lifetimes), this just might be an excellent gift to give.

See more photos!

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge
Miles of MAC by James Gager and Miles Aldridge

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About the Reviewer


Christine has normal-to-dry skin with areas of dryness (cheeks, nose, and under the eyes). She has a light-medium skintone with subtle, warmer yellow undertones. Her best foundation matches include: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea in Light-Medium Neutral (best match), Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay-in-Place Makeup in Desert Beige 2N1, Giorgio Armani Maestro Glow in 4.0, Hourglass Warm Ivory Vanish Seamless Finish, Laura Mercier Candleglow Soft Luminous in Dusk, MAC NC20/NC25, Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Liquid in Y305 (140). For more matches, please read our full Foundation FAQ. For more information on our review process, please read our Review FAQ.

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THAT’S gorgeous! And a great holiday gift idea (I won’t give it away to anybody, it’s a gift for myself. 🙂 ). I remember got hooked into makeup from MAC, too. Before that, in high school, I tried cheap open-shelf products and drugstore products. (equivalent of NYX, Milani, to Max Factor and Bourjois but back in my home market). MAC was the first professional brand I ever bought. I was impressed with their color range, and the way they display them in store. The backstage style, all color shown as a swatch palette like real artists would do. Underneath the almost uniform black plastic package, it was the first time I got serious look at the color, texture and finish. I didn’t know anything about “satin/matte/sheen finishes”and so. The way they handle their photos are so artistic, that not every makeup has to be “flawless, like a perfect doll”. Those bold colors on dark-skinned models were just simply stunning.

MAC also kinda shaped my way of doing and looking at makeups. If I was asked to help my friend put on a going-out makeup, I would use bold but still wearable colors, all the way head to toe to false lashes. I declined to stop at the first coat of mascara because that doesn’t fit into my aesthetics. And I always make sure there are highlights and shadows so my face could be photo-ready. Even I don’t do these everyday for school, I still do full makeups whenever I have a date or special occasions.

Lots of people remember Teen Witch but not many remember the Worst Witch (I do though! Haha) None of my friends have seen it and I’m planning on making them watch it! Haha! I’m a horrible friend 😉

Haha! It’s SO hard for me to see him doing that song. I break into an embarrassed sweat just watching it! A couple years back I did a Halloween themed cocktail video where I opened it “singing” “Has anybody seen my tambourine?” LOL

I still remain pretty much a hard core MAC fan and addict to this day. I bought my first lipstick in 1996 and became hooked on the brand!

I think will give myself this book for Christmas. 🙂

Is there any pictures from before they were bought out by Estee Lauder? I still have (somewhere) some very old promotional material from the early 90’s. They used to do a calendar every year that featured all their new products! It was great.

The oldest date I saw was 2007! It only spans the time they’ve worked with Aldridge (which I think is 8 years or so).

Christine, what I loved most about this post is the little snapshot of your journey with Temptalia. I remember finding your blog years ago before I know what blogging was or what it was to interact with this community. Anyway, your words and insight, though brief, were touching. 🙂

While I’m certain that this book of luscious photography, etc., will find a home with me and the rest, it’s YOUR story, Christine, that I was most touched by. What you shared with us was personal and deeply moving. I felt your joy and pride, I became so happy for you! The thrill of MAC being such a defining factor in reaching who are inside, as well as the cosmetic beauty you apply as a topping, and I can imagine each mine that you had from the beginning, so full of awe, enchantment, surprise, gratitude, and a hunger to find more, while clinging sweetly to each piece of it! 😀 How MAC has affected you is the real story here. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! <3

Oh wow! Looks fantastic! I think MAC’s campaign images are stunning, and sometimes I even hesitate to delete my emails because I like the images. I think this would make a great coffee table book!

Also, horray that you’ve been blogging for so long and still love it–your dream job! Coincidentally, I started falling in love with makeup (MAC) around the same time you started blogging, so it has been interesting to follow along with you on this journey. I hope the excitement never wanes for you!

It would be a lovely coffee table book for sure! 🙂 It’s going on my makeup dresser where I keep other interesting makeup tidbits. So pretty to look at!

Do you remember the first real collection you paid attention to from MAC?

Oh gosh, I can’t really say which collection started it all. I think I just started buying more and more each time; now I want every collection. Very scary! LOL! But I’m good at keeping myself in check.

I do remember liking the Barbie Collection, Neo Sci-Fi, and Rose Romance collections, though. And I had a favorite gold eyeshadow, Gold Nugget (or something) from who knows when. LOL.

I’ve only been following you for a short time but I can see why Mac would invite you to fashion week. you make a huge impact in the beauty world! You influence every purchase I’ve made I know you do the same for others. You give true honest reviews not to mention the hard work of providing dupes of everything. I don’t even know how you can remember all that stuff. I’m so happy for you I hope you have a great time.
The book is gorgeous but since I don’t know the history I’m missing the significance of it. I discovered mac about 2yrs ago after my divorce. I spent a long time in a bad marriage and when I became free I decided to start caring about myself. I rediscovered myself with mac, I had really let myself go for a long time. No makeup, no shopping, basically no self esteem. The world is happier & brighter now nothing like a bright happy lipstick to make you feel good. The only problem is now I’m fully adddicted to buying cosmetics! Those 2 words “limited edition” suck me in every time.

I’m really happy for you, Trina! It’s so great that you were able to get out of your bad marriage and move forward towards a better life. Thank you for sharing 🙂

Limited edition can suck you in, they won’t harm you. You are strong, thankfully. Best wishes to a well life full of love!

I’m sure it’s easy to just say it nonchalantly because it WAS, and it’s passed, which you’re used to, but the true battle is brutal, so daunting. I’m glad I can type this to a survivor and celebrate in your story, too! Thanks for sharing!

MAC BRINGS LIFE TO COLOR! Look at all these personal stories!

BLESS you ALL. Stay empowered, you ARE Beautiful!

Somehow Mac doesn’t speak to me – I know I may be the only one, but I have felt tempted to try MAC maybe one or two times only, and it wasn’t strong enough to make me buy… But as a colour-freak I enjoy most of their shoots and this book is something I’d be glad to own 🙂

That’s what I really liked about the book – unless you actively loathe MAC as a company, from a creative/artistic standpoint, it is a nice collection of shots.

Beautiful! I love looking through make up books so I think I might need to add this onto my wishlist, great for inspiration x

Oh man, so many memories came whooshing back to me. I used to stalk the MAC website for new campaign photos. I would save each picture into my own folder on my sister’s laptop.

I remember collecting every single postcard that came out with a breathtaking glimpse of Makeup artistry at its best! I was anal, had to have each! Do they show those? Or was that before 2007? This really only begins with 2007? Why not the whole journey? 🙁

Some first loves: Mystic large pro eyeshadow, Scarlet Blush, Oyster, Underage, Prrr, and lychee lip glass.. Cranberry & Tilt eyeshadows, both STILL around! Oh, my babies! And then the rest came.. I’m very proud to own all pigments, minus a few “new” ones, enjoyed times playing on eBay back when people would buy Kitchmas for $400… Memories.. Hyperreal: this matched my skin! I only added a drop of Lorac Neutralizer! As far as collections, I missed some, but still hold a full Alexander McQueen collection. Not touched.

Biggest problem had been; Dare I touch these or stare only? What if they stop selling…so Im not one with crazy loads of used MAC, crazy, right? I think Lotus happened, accident, dealing with ex, and I stayed away for awhile.. Question: What do I do with it now?

I don’t wear makeup but once a week at most, on average, so I’m a bit overwhelmed. 🙂

Makeup alley was a big thing for me way back but now, swaps aren’t allowed or something? MUE was an awful experience, yet I know not of a place as stress free as possible.. I wish I did, ebay confuses me now. 😀

Postcards! Talk about a blast from the past. I remember having some of those (not many by the time I got interested, though).

I think one should use makeup, even if it is to collect. 🙂

Nice really nice.. As a lover of Makeup and just Beauty as a whole this will be great to have.. Yes will be getting this for myself’nn

Beautiful blog, Christine. Thank you for all your hard work throughout the years, because really you are the only beauty blog I go to when it comes to cosmetics news and releases. Your blog is nothing but reliable and informative — I definitely base my purchases depending on your reviews and grades! So kudos to you, you are definitely the BEST beauty blogger in my book.

Thoughts on the book though, I think I’m going to have to get it. I’m actually a graphic designer (college major + working professional), and I can’t deny that MAC has some gorgeous cosmetic campaigns that really help with inspiration. The book looks so vivid and full of creative content. Definitely a must buy for an artist for loves makeup (cough* yours truly).

I totally understand what you mean, Christine. While I am certainly not at your level of beauty blogging, MAC was what started my own makeup blog as well 🙂 The first collection I remember checking out was the Posh Paradise collection back in 2011. I begged my parents to buy me Idyllic Paint Pot when they visited for Parents Weekend. My love affair with makeup is certainly younger, but I totally relate.
The first MAC product I ever bought was Rubenesque Paint Pot, which I recently finished. I remember the first of every product I ever bought! I think it’s amazing how everyone can feel that more personal relationship with MAC regardless of whether we all love every single product. You’re right. MAC is one of the few makeup brands that really takes creativity and artistry and portrays that through their promo images.

This bring backs many memories. I started wearing Mac in the early 90’s. My favorites were Fetish lipstick and Oh Baby lipgloss. During law school, I wore Fetish damn near everyday (lol). My parents would give me Mac gift certificates for holidays. I will buy the book for sentimental reasons.

This is beautiful, I love your story. Thank you for all what you do, you are a great source of inspiration!,
You are always there for your readers, I love that about you.
Temptalia is my relaxation at the end of my day, I always look forward to reading everyday and unwinding.
Today reading this helped brighten up an otherwise gloomy and sad day, thank you for that.

Ahh, I love coffee table books! The price is really reasonable for this kind of thing too. I may not agree with their pricing scheme, but their ad campaigns are always really interesting to see, and it looks like there’s some beautiful photography in this book!

Are u going to have reviews for the heirloom, nasty gal and kinky boots collection that are releasing next week. MAC is really killing my pockets!!!

Chrsitine :D!! I love your website, and I love everything you write. I particularly loved reading this post of yours, it was really incredible hearing about your connection with the brand :D! The promotional images are truly incredible, they really pull you in and engage you- without being too shocking or overly sexualized! I know what you mean about makeup being an outlet for creativity, as I am in my first year of law school and I sometimes feel as though makeup is my only outlet for creative release on a daily basis :)! It is keeping me sane with all this work 😀 lol!

Haha! Yes, school can be so exhausting mentally and very focused, so I think it’s great that you have makeup as an outlet for a little fun and art 🙂 Good luck in school! How are you liking it so far?

Mac didn’t exist at the time I got hooked on makeup. Clinique was the gateway drug for the 13 year old in me. Then Chanel arrived to the US. I was then hooked to all the high end brands and still am. Next stop is Gucci.

Aw. MAC was my first love in makeup too. I remember being very fascinated by their sexy Viva Glam III ads with Mary J. Blige and Lil Kim as a kid, and as a teen I ripped out their Viva Glam IV ones and taped them up like posters. Haha. The first collection I actually bought from was Pool Party in 2002–I got a (pretty mediocre, actually, but I was so young I willed myself to love it!) green cream eyeshadow called Surf N Turf, as well as a powder foundation and of course the then ubiquitous Prrr Lipglass and Spice pencil.

Also oh my gosh, I was in that comm too. The FOTDs there were so formative for my developing aesthetic. I have such fond memories of back then, and I am so happy for you guys who made careers of it! You and Keiko Lynn especially.<3

I have a promo poster from one collection, I just can’t remember which one. LOL! I have probably had it five years or so, but I’ve never hung it, so it remains in a cardboard sheath!

Hi, Christine.
Thank you for posting your story along with this item. I just purchased it (through your link- I try as often as I can, as I feel the need to thank you more than I ever could in words). MAC speaks to me a lot, as well. Growing up, I never felt “ok” with myself, until one day I stopped at a MAC counter with my sister and that is when the obsession began. It isn’t about “hiding yourself” at all- which is what my friends and family always believed. To me, it was about allowing someone that has no self confidence to fake it until it was real- like you said. Makeup became my little happy place, and it was even happier when I was able to make people in similar shoes feel better with my help. To this day, it remains the same and I am lucky that I married a man that understands and appreciates my obsession. He even helps with it :p
Whenever I’m having an off day, I always turn to my makeup and often that means I log on to your site and just scroll through. Thank you for that.
My first Mac purchase, I believe back in 2002 was a l/s in Icon ( I believe it was discontinued, though I still own it because I stopped wearing it before I used it up.. was definitely not the right color for me LOL). I can’t remember the name of the eyeshadow- it was a white-ish shade with a purple iridescence. I believe it still own it, and if I remember when I get home, I will post the shade 🙂

You have found an awesome partner, Rikki 🙂 There is no better one than one who supports you AND helps you when you need it.

Interesting review!
Also a huge congrats with the 8-year anniversary of your blog, it’s a great source of information, thank you so much for all the time and effort you put into it!

This is so great! I love your story which is quite similar to mine. I got into makeup after my undergrad after getting my first MAC eyeshdows and while I was doing my masters, makeup and beauty became my go to things to keep myself sane. Now I have my own blog, while still in it’s infancy stages and (overdue for a major makeover!) and the thrill I get from looking at new collections and playing with my products is unparalleled. This is pretty much as good as ordered!

I loved your story with MAC and the very special meaning this book has for you!

Nowadays, when everything seems to be going on “on line”, I still love printed material so much – I’d love to have this book on my hands and enjoy it slowly. A makeup and MAC lover who also loves books, this is kind of a fantasy come true for me 🙂 !

Loved reading about your journey with mac, I started working in cosmetics in 2007, and started with mac in 2011, so have been an avid collector of mac collections. My copy arrived last week, I loved it so muc. Mainly because when I was studying aswell, mac would keep me inspired and helped me follow my passion. I too was dispointed with the lack of collection titles in the index! I would say I can name about 80-85% of them.

Great story Christine. I bought my very first MAC products in 1994. It was Film Noir lipstick and Chestnut lipliner. Twenty years later I JUST placed an online order from the Matte Collection this morning!! I’m excited about the book… just kinda wish the images went a little further back.

I hear ya – it would be really nifty to have stuff from way back when. I get why, since it’s a collab with Miles Aldridge, who hasn’t shot THAT far back. But… maybe another book?!

As a beauty blogger, I’ve always loved reading the stories of other voices in the industry — and as a beauty enthusiast, I’ve always loved retrospectives and portfolios from influential brands and artists. So, this post is basically a dream come true: MAC and Temptalia? It must be Christmas.

I’ve never been much of a MAC fan, but I have to admit, I’m pretty of curious about this book. I feel like we’ve been seeing a lot of crazy expensive and/or unattainable coffee table books recently (Olsen twins, anyone?), and the material in this must be absolutely breathtaking — I guess I had always kind of figured that MAC campaigns featured the makeup of artists who worked exclusively for them, which in retrospect seems silly.

Still, though — just the few artists that you’ve listed are absolute LEGENDS. It feels kind of crazy that we’ve been looking at their work all this time, and (at least I) haven’t had the slightest clue.

I think what’s really great about this book is you can appreciate it if even if you’re not a MAC fan – there are so many visuals and not a lot of text, and the visuals themselves aren’t filled with MAC logos and products for the most part – so it’s really artistic!

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