What do you like about MAC Cosmetics? What don't you like?

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MAC Cosmetics

I love the Viva Glam charitable initiative–it is still one of the best charities in beauty. They have some great formulas in their core line, but they really don’t expand/extend the line (or refresh in places) as often as I would expect!

— Christine

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MAC was my first love and I still really like their products. I like that so many good items are available in the “pro pan” format. My dislikes would be d/c’ing some of their best stuff (hello – Copperplate? Blanc Type – though it seems to be back in a new and poorer formulation) and also the manufactured hype of their LE collections. If people really WANT something, just make it permanent or make enough so that everyone who wants it can get it (they seem to have improved somewhat in this regard but only somewhat). I also really dislike that their empty palettes won’t hold shadows that don’t have magnets stuck onto the bottoms. All the other companies put their magnets in the base of the palette EXCEPT for MAC.

I never understood limited edition shades. Make it part of the current line, but use a limited edition packaging for collectors.

I’m not even saying making everything permanent. MAC could include them in a core line, and every year or so revise the line and remove shades that don’t sell or aren’t as possible, to not have too many shades. They can even engage the customers to vote shades or something.

…especially for things that were LE and then they bring back for a limited time….and then bring back again… Give the people what they want and make things like Moth Brown e/s permanent, for crying out loud!

One of my favorite m/u memories is watching the MUAs doing the lineup of young clients getting ready for a heavy night out, especially in the 80s and disco times. Twenty chairs, and they let observers up close. Guess that’ll never happen again. I like their cult lips and cheeks, dislike their spf in foundations. Never being ‘hip’ I never really got hooked. I did wild or colorful, but just never felt the pull.

I never felt the pull either. I did own the first Viva Glam and even wore it occasionally but in general, I felt overwhelmed by the choices and the crowds around their counters were always so thick that I never could get help. And now I won’t buy from them on account of animal testing so I ignore them.

What I love is their wide range in foundation colors. I often have a hard time finding a match in other brands for my NC 45 complexion. Their products are relatively affordable compared to other dept store beauty brands.

I can’t keep up with the dizzying new LE releases and have quit trying to keep up.

I love that MAC is an accessible brand with creative cosmetic products, as well as a fairly large range of more traditional products. I really dislike something that I feel like has been happening more frequently lately, which is when they launch an entirely new product, put a lot of hype behind it, and it’s limited edition (Glow Play Blushes anyone?). Limited edition colors & packaging? Sure. But to do it with an entirely new product, I just don’t get it.

I never understood why they released the Patrick Star powder as a limited edition, since it was so popular (and overhyped, as you mention). Maybe it had something to do with him later on creating his own brand, but that product either wasn’t really as good as people claimed or it was selling out because of low quantities not high sales… because otherwise I don’t see the reason of having a good selling product as limited edition.

MAC is still one of my favorite brands. It has stood the test of time for me. Especially their permanent line with a fabulous foundation range, excellent basic eyeshadow shades like Orb, Kid, Soft Brown, Twinks, etc. Same high marks for the core blushes and lip products! Like yourself, I’m all on board with their VG line. Excellent charitable cause! Many (but not all) of their limited edition collections have lovely selections, beautiful packaging and solid quality.

Now for the Bad. Inconsistent quality when it comes to LE collections with too many lipstick shades overlapping with previous collections. (Like, how many of the same shade of red or beige do we need!) Too many permanent core shades of e/s (Copperplate, Folie, Handwritten, Typographic) getting DC’d and not being replaced with a new, improved similar shade. Especially distressing is their DC’ing several permanent shades of VG Lipsticks and the accompanying Lipglasses.

I was really into Mac starting 14-15 years ago. They were my first “fancy” non drugstore makeup. I liked that I could get bright colors from them (Electric Eel and Chrome Yellow were my first purchases).

Now though, I basically don’t buy from them at all because they constantly just re-release the exact same shades in “new LE” packaging. I’m so tired of seeing the same nude, red, purple and pink lipsticks in the same finishes in every. single. LE. release. I wish they’d do more unique actual products and quit trying to hype me into buying another matte red lip in a different colored tube.

LIKE: They have some great permanent products. Their lipsticks are still really good, as are their lipglasses. I like Viva Glam and Back to Mac.

DISLIKE: Too many released, many of them of mixed quality. Even after reformulating, they don’t have a great eyeshadow formula. They’ve gotten rid of so many classic, customer favorite shades. Mostly, I’m just getting kind of bored by them, and they seem a little lost.

For me MAC is the perfect example of love and hate relationship.

I like the black classic aesthetics of the core collection, that’s what I want in my collection. I dislike that most special collections miss the theme with packaging (at least from my perspective).
More specifically, I love the custom palette system, I have a custom made palette with one 15 eyeshadows pans side and a 6 face powder pans side, and that’s just what I need. I can replace items as they expire or need replacing. For me is more practical and aesthetically pleasing than owning multiple palettes, pans and brands.

I like the quality and sturdiness of packaging. I have a 5 years old dual-sided custom made palette, open it almost everyday, still going strong; eyeshadows and face powders are off course updated and replaced as needed. The packaging on powders, foundation, pencils and everything I tried never broke on me.

I love the Back-to-MAC, Viva Glam and other charitable or social initiatives, but I just don’t understand why they don’t take the extra step to go cruelty free.

I like the approach of having a core of permanent products along some limited edition collection. But I dislike they sometime have low quality on limited edition product, while not doing more to improve permanent formulas.

Do I have to mention I hate when they discontinue product or colors?

I like the wide variety of lipstick colors, but I hate when nice colors don’t come in Matte or Satin finishes, as I dislike the rest. I wish MAC would do all permanent colors in different finishes; or at least a subset of core colors.

I really like their shade range for foundations, and how they keep expanding it. They include multiple undertones, even more subtle variations.

I’ve had very hit-or-miss experiences with MAC in general… Some of their products are absolutely fabulous and represent my favorite formula in that area (Glow Play blushes, Pro Longwear concealer), but then I’ve been routinely disappointed with enough of their products (most lipsticks, lip glass, eyeshadow) that they’ve never become a go-to brand for me.

Like: I used to be very excited when Mac launched a new product or le collection. They do have some good stuff and a staggering amount of colors compared with more edited brands. It reinforces the professional MUA aspect of the brand.

Dislike: Mac is a prime example of a brand messing up their relationship with their customers in the name of short term profits (at least in my opinion). I used to be so excited by their new collections but over the years I think I only scored 3 items from them because I couldn’t or wouldn’t stay up till midnight fighting other customers just to buy an eyeshadow. Over time the manufactured scarcity left an increasingly bad taste in my mouth to the point where I stopped buying the brand and haven’t bothered with them for years. They seem like they’ve improved somewhat, but I haven’t forgotten the years of fake scarcity and the brand running out of product in less than 24 hours so I’m well past caring.

I think MAC is fine. It seems to be generally consistent and offer a wide range of products, but it has never managed to elicit much more than passing interest for me. It gives me a vibe of trying to be edgy in a cool mom sort of way. Not bad but not that exciting either.

I think the brand’s blushes, highlighters and lipsticks are generally of good value, but their eyeshadows can be a bit of pot luck. Sometimes they’re good, at others they are poor.
MAC cosmetics are pretty expensive here and we only get a fraction of the range.
I also think that this was the first brand to organise their foundations into cool and warm undertones and set out a logical system so that it was easier to pick the foundation that suited you best.

I love a lot of MAC products, I think their lipsticks are really good, and the range is huge. I love the glosses, to me they are the best of all I’ve tried.
I love the pro pan system and most of the core eye products. I think the range of foundations, so many formulas and so many shades.
I still find a lot of joy, browsing a MAC counter.
What I don’t like are the sometime not up to standard LEs, or when the LEs sell out even before I get the e-mail I subscribe to to get the news.
I don’t like when they DC popular core products.

I also want to excuse all typos and probably strange use of the English language, I saw a huge spider and think I need to do a lot of work, draining around the house, those things put together made me have a long panic attack, and I took a sedative, and I’m in best case a sloppy typist. 🙂

I didn’t get into make up until after MAC stopped being “the big thing”, so I never really fell in love with them like some others did. I have a couple lipsticks that I like from MAC in the Cremesheen formula that I like and I would get more of… and a small bottle of their Strobe Cream… oh, and a MAC 217, which was my very first blending brush. But I’ve never used their eyeshadows or powder products in general.

I have been a fan since 1997. My first MAC product was a lipstick call fondle, C-thru lip glass and strip down lip pencil. I went to Nordstrom’s to ask for the Jenifer Lopez lip look and that is what the MAC artist suggested. I still have the lipstick has a memory 😄
I love that MAC Is always ahead of the curve. Highlighters everyone 🙂 luster drops before anyone had a liquid highlighter. Shimmerglimmer!! Face gloss, and the list goes on and on.

I’m 46 and I’ll never forget finding a nub of a MAC Spice liner in my bff’s car the summer of 1995. I heard about Spice from Sassy and Cosmopolitan and as a huge fan of neutral, brown toned lipstick (Max Factor Rosewood! Revlon Dune Rose!) I immediately loved it, where was it from? No MAC here until Nordstrom opened in March 96.
My bff said it was our friend Marie’s and she got it from NYC, beauty school field trip. I took it, I know…bad.
Wore that thing constantly with some coconut Naturistics balm. Got a new one when Nordstrom opened. Again, wore it every day.
It’s kind of too orange now, but over the years I definitely have spent tons of coin at MAC. The Eyes×11 Holiday 2002, MAC Uncorked Holiday 2001 was my perfect nude, my wedding look: Sequin & Nico lip glass, Hug Me, Sophisto (no dupe, devastating), Sheer Plum, Plastique, Twig….on and on and on.
I’ve always adored the simple, sturdy black packaging and sheer variety. Some of those shadows are still holy grails; Orb, Twinks, Malt. I’ve used up more MAC makeup than any other brand and have done Back2MAC about a dozen times. I’ve gone through tons of Studio Fix and the green cleanser. In the late 90s, before the MASSIVE surge in the cosmetic industry & YouTube, MAC was “it”. Well, Stila & MAC…Stila is an entire OTHER story, lol.
I hate the discontinuation of products, namely Sheer Plum ls, Pink Swoon & Well Dressed blush, Venetian lip glass, Sophisto la, VG4 ls, VG5 ls…so many discontinued products and limited editions! Very frustrating.
As for the infamous SAs and MAs? The ones at Willow Grove Bloomingdales are incredible. The best! Same with Salisbury Mall (MD) when I lived on Delmarva and Christiana Mall MAC store.

I have tried only a few Mac products here and there, but Fix+ and Strobe Cream were some of my staple products a few years ago. I’d love to reintroduce their products to my collection but I don’t want to support a non cruelty free company. That’s probably my biggest dislike of MAC as a whole, I know they’ve said they’re working with China or something to end animal testing requirements but I just don’t know.

I think MAC belongs in a hall of fame of makeup for all the achievements they have accomplished over the years… I remember back in the early 90’s when I was playing around as a self taught MUA (there were no fancy schools for that back then…:)) and that meant you bought most of your tools in arts and craft stores and your colours in weird little shops for Theater makeup and you made up your own colours from mixing things by yourself since the make up counters in my country did not have much to offer when you wanted to create cool and edgy make ups. My first encounter with Mac must have been there in the very early 90’s when I visited a friend who lived in Berlin at the time. And she took me to their huge department store Ka De We there where they had opened a Mac counter… I still can feel my jaws drop when I saw that sleek black counter among all the glitzy 80’s inspired old fashioned high end counters in that huge department store. It was soo modern, and soo hot and hip at the same time. It felt like a heaven if ever there was one… And that’s where I saw for the first time a whole row of brushes. Brushes made specifically for make up! That was unheard of where I came from. And they were so soft and smooth. I mean compared to the pony tail’s and marten hair brushes that we used back then together with q-tips and your fingers and hands. These were unbelievable! I bought three brushes because they were hella expensive compared to the arts and craft stores. But I didn’t care. And to this day those brushes are still in use in my collection. I also bought my first big bottles of face and body foundation. A formula still unparalleled in my opinion. and the strobe cream still some of the best highlighting and mixing products of all time, some eye shadows and a lippie… And not to forget mixing mediums and pigments in tubes and jars and some trays to store your mixed stuff in! I had never bought so much make up at the same time ever before. But boy what a difference they made in my collection. They opened up so many new possibilities that I had just dreamed of before.
And this is why I will always keep a soft spot in my heart for Mac! They were the first real make up artist brand to hit the mainstream market who made the tools and the formulas accessible for everyone to use! And they were the only ones back then who stood for any type of inclusivity of both color and gender. Back then I don’t even remember them having limited editions and to my knowledge they were not even owned by the Estée Lauder company yet… So in my eyes they were independent and cool and always had in their pockets what you were looking for. And colour ranges that stood out in every comparison.

But as time has gone by, they too have fallen for the huge consumerism he’ll that I think the make up industry has created for themselves. I think this consumer frenzy where so many feel compelled to try the next new thing, and the next and the next… that is spreading like fire over the world is so toxic and kills all possibility for real creativity too in the end. I mean I now miss the days of mixing my own stuff and coming up with new ideas and new looks. Experimenting with old and not perfect tools. Today everything is already done and in the avalanches of images floating all over the Internet nothing can really become edgy and new anymore either, since everything is already done over and over. Instead there is drama. And this development saddens me, because I know it was more fun back then…

And a sad part of that is of course also that Mac being that huge ice breaker for the make up industry that they became by really pushing every bodies boundaries – they are also a part of the creation and the birth of the overloaded consumerism that has now completely taken over. And now they find themselves almost drowning in it too… They have fallen for the whole LE-frenzy feeding off of people’s fomo and it is now more about packaging instead of content… Which is of course the problem for most makeup brands these days. I see how they struggle to keep up at least some of their core collections, but also how that ship is slowly sinking. I believe there won’t be many brands left, if any in the end who can afford to keep stock of anything that is not limited edition in the future, since if the customers will not ever buy the same product again and again, then the incitement for making the same products or colours or whatever again seizes to exist…

So if you ask me, it is not so much about the brands these days as it is about self reflection among us who love make up. It is us as consumers and hopefully still people who wish to be able to have fun with make up that need to stop our hunt for whatever is new if we want to be able to buy something we love again, and reclaim the right and the possibility to create instead of constantly hunting for what’s new like zombies only driven by fear of missing out. Which subsequently contrary to what the fomo is saying to us never Gives anybody the edge, but instead make us out to become mere sad copycats of things already done ad not even in a creative way…

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