Rant & Rave: MAC

Tell us what you love and hate about...


They have put out some really cool packaging over the last couple of years, but their quality is still all over the place with limited edition releases!

— Christine

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I love their studio fix, lipsticks and blushes. They are good quality at a good price point. Even though I still have some of their shadows I really don’t use them that much anymore. I think they could do with a revamp of their eye shadow formula. I also love their sleek black packaging. I am a simple sleek packaging type of girl and I love classic black cosmetics packaging.

I really don’t even bother checking out their limited edition releases because a lot of it is the regular line repackaged and I can’t keep up with them.

LOVE: Their lipsticks and eyeshadows—such a huge range of shades and I’ve been mostly happy with the quality of products I’ve bought. I currently own at least 40 MAC lipsticks and 15 single shadows, so I think that says a lot about how much I like MAC. If I’m looking for a certain shade of lipstick or eyeshadow, chances are MAC will have it. I love that they have a full range of synthetic brushes now. Then there’s the shopping experience…when the sales associates are good, shopping at a MAC counter is a lot of fun. This brings me to what I don’t like.

DISLIKE: Often, their sales associates tend to be aloof. Getting (and keeping) their attention can be a bit of a sport and trusting what they say can be a gamble. (But there are some really good SAs, too.) Not a fan of their loose powder. It’s not that it’s bad, just outrageously overpriced compared to RCMA, and I don’t really see any difference between the two. I’m not a big fan of the limited edition products; sometimes they seem rushed and lacking in quality. I also don’t like how (other than LE), all their lipsticks look exactly the same. I said this in another post awhile back, but it would be nice if the little metal ring on the tube matched the shade inside. Or maybe if there was a different metal ring indicating the different formulas, like the way Viva Glams have a red ring. Like a blue ring for Lustre, green ring for Satin, etc. Also, inconsistent printing quality on labels…sometimes the shade name is printed so poorly on the label at the end of the lipstick that it is nearly impossible to read.

I really do like their lipsticks and their strobe cream, but I tend to shy away from them in general because of how often they release limited edition products; it tends to be overwhelming!

I feel like MAC has a higher percentage of misses among the hits than most makeup companies in their price range BUT they have SO MANY PRODUCTS that overall they still produce a ton of quality products. Can be overwhelming to wade through how much stuff they make.

In fact, I’m wearing a lot of MAC today – I went with All That Glitters as my main eyeshadow shade. I hadn’t use it in awhile and it’s just SO pretty, I reminded myself to use it more often. Have Coppering in the crease. Used At Dusk for blush and my lipstick is Party Line. (Again, reminded myself to use it more often, it’s such a pretty color and wears so easily.)

Oh yeah, and their website is atrocious. It used to be so much better but they ruined it a couple years back for no obvious reason.

I love the quality of their products from what I’ve tried (all part of the permanent collection). My faves are the faux lipstick, soar lipliner, pro longwear nourishing waterproof foundation, strobe cream, and hyper real glow palette. Also keen to try the double gleam highlighter.

I dislike that their LE products tend to be spotty in terms of quality (based on reviews I’ve seen). And this might sound petty, but I hate the UX design of their website.

RAVE: Their permanent line is mostly great. I love their lipsticks and lipglass. The Back to MAC program is good for the environment and it’s always fun to get a freebie. They often have really cute packaging on LE items. Their on-line customer service is excellent.

RANT: Their LE offerings are all over the place in terms of product quality, and there are far too many of them. I hate when LE collections sell out fast, and you have to scramble to try to get them. (I just won’t play that game too often any more.) Sometimes they cheap out on LE packaging. For example, the Star Trek, Cinderella, and Rocky Horror collections. Their counters tend to be snooty, so I don’t visit them.

I love their large color selection of lipstick and glosses but I hate the formulas as they all seem to dry out my lips and cause them to peel and crack by the end of the day. I gave up on them a long time ago. The only lipstick I was ever able to wear that didn’t do that was Morning Rose which is no longer available. 🙁 I also dislike MAC’s marketing strategy of creating false urgency (FOMO anyone?). They pay a lot for product placement and other adverts in order to make an uninspiring collaboration seem like the end all be all of the fashion world. Oh my God, it’s a limited edition! Oh my God, it’s going to sell out! Oh my God, it’s all a bunch of marketing baloney!

Concur! I could have cried when I finally tried a few Star Trek products (after waiting and longing for them for almost a year!!!!) I even had the four women of ST image of theirs as a screensaver so as not to forget when they’d come out!!!

Love: Eyeshadow singles — their permanent ones are classics that have stood the test of time; I have and still use many of them. Love the Rich Ground Fluidline (discontinued, unfortunately).

Not so much: I’ve turned off to the LEs altogether for the frenetic pace and quality issues. I’ve encountered enough ‘can’t be bothered’ sales assistant attitudes in multiple cities, multiple times, multiple settings (store and counter) over several years — not every time, but most of the time — that I don’t go there any more.

LOVE: That the bulk of their permanent products are very good to excellent. Many of my HG eyeshadows, blushes and other products are within Mac’s permanent line-up! Also, when they get a LE collection *right*, they show why they are still relevant in the industry.

HATE: Still too much inconsistencies in quality when it comes to LE collections! Oy vey! C’mon MAC. We know that you can make fabulous stuff in any shade under the sun, so please stop with crappy products housed in super cool packaging, ala Jeremy Scott, NicoPanda, and the like! We know you can do it!

MAC will always, always, always have a special place in my heart, first of all because they used to be Canadian and they were the first company that offered such a wide array of wonderful, up to date, non-stodgy products and so many innovative ones as well. My rants would be the frequency of collections of dubious quality and also the whole LE issue. I have better things to do with my time than to spend hours waiting to pounce on a highlighter or miss out on it entirely – it IS “only makeup” (much as it pains me to write that phrase!). I also hate that so many of their LE products aren’t available at the smaller sized MAC store near me (I’d have purchased the Jade Jagger e/s quad if it had been available near me but it was only online where I live).

Oh, another rant….I wish they’d make their empty palettes and pro pan shadows compatible with every other company offering similar options. MAC chooses to put the magnets on the pro pans rather than hidden in the palette base. As a result, other shadows won’t stick in MAC palettes unless you stick a magnet onto them but then they won’t stick in Z, ABH or other palettes. And, of course, MAC pro pan shadows won’t stick in empty palettes from Z, ABH, Inglot, etc. I think MAC is the only company that does things this way adn it would be nice if they’d get on board with the other companies’ systems so they’d all be compatible.

Oh, wow. Did not know that they did empty palette backwards from the rest of the world. I have depotted them into Z types, and they often need stickers. MAC is quite the be-ach to get out of the cassettes, as the glued section is raised above the bottom of the compact, so the glue does not heat, and damage/swearing often arise!

I love their Studio Fix foundation, lipsticks and blushes from the permanent line. I tend to stay away from the LE releases.

Rant: The brand isn’t cruelty free anymore.
Their lip and cheek products are much better than a lot of their eyeshadows, which can be up and down in terms of quality.
They are very expensive here in Aus – $36 or so for a lipstick.

Rave: Their foundation system was the first to differentiate between warm, cool and neutral undertones.
I think the brand, in its early days, bought the fun back into makeup too.
When they get it right, it is so stunning.

Rant: owned by Estée, consistently raises the price and decreasing the amount per item on the powdered items. Give this “makeup” studio/ film look especially during the ’90s

Rave: packaging looks good, but quality is “meh”. Used to be a very desirable brand to pursue.

I just bought an assortment of MAC products for my niece to wear in her Big Fat Indian Wedding! I was more of a Bobbi Brown girl in the 90’s & never really got into MAC.
Rave:great selection of foundation/base/concealer shades,some of the best eyeshadows I have ever used, I was really impressed with the sturdy packaging the makeup I bought for niece.

Rant: The obnoxious SA’s & poor service have kept me from trying too many MAC products. The only product I bought for my niece that I was disappointed in was the concealer palette – what a waxy, grease paint-y mess that was! Not friendly to textured or wrinkled skin, creased & faded if not set (baked) with powder.

Well, talking about my favorite brand here, so there is a lot to love. Lots of great products, you do not need to go anywhere else to get trendy and qualit makeup, Their permanent line without fail performs well and the SAs are knowlegable and will always suggest what suits you the best. It’s never boring – you can always find something you want to have, even if you already have a lot of their products. Limited editions are always creative. You can always try their makeup on before buying (not everywhere possible/conveninent here in Russia).

Rant. Mostly to do with our regional MAC. The prices are at least 1.5 times higher than in the US. No Back 2 MAC, no Select program. Sales are rare (we are spoilt with sales in the other makeup stores here, so it is not a rare occurence when you can buy Dior makeup, for example, cheaper than MAC).

Like : that they seemed to reach out to different ethnicities on a big scale when others didn’t in the higher-end department stores back when they started
Don’t like: not consistent enough for me (and I’ve tried foundation, lipsticks and eyeshadows) Perhaps I’ve just fallen on bad lots, but they have just fallen into a “passé” state for me. You latest palette review did draw me though. 😉

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