M.A.C Cosmetics is commonly known as just MAC, as in the computer and as in Big Mac. It is a line of cosmetics that has a large following all around the world. To many, to use (or in makeup parlance, wear) MAC is considered having reached the pinnacle of makeup mastery.
I however, do not number among the MAC fans. These are my reasons after the jump.
I cannot deny that MAC is tops for colour. If you have ever walked into a MAC store or to a MAC counter, you’ll know what I mean. They have just about every single colour available that you can think of. There are about 20 different shades of green alone and they keep coming out with more.
Some shades and collections however, are just unwearable for normal day to day activities, unless you are a makeup artist or model. If you are, then MAC is your friend. Their colours are excellent, pigmented and bright. But if you hold a day job some colours may just be too bright to pass muster.
An example is MAC’s latest collection – C Shock. I’m not overly fussed about the bright colours on the eyes. But I must admit the blue lipstick threw me for a loop. That is something that only a company like MAC can pull off, and that is also why I say they are too impractical. Innovative and eye catching yes, but impractical for us everyday folk.
Limited Editions every week
MAC launches a new collection just about every week with “Limited Edition” items and colours. The collections don’t get here as quickly as they launch in the USA, the homeground of MAC which is a relief. If you are a MAC fan, keeping up with the many collections can burn a huge hole in your wallet. Also, if you watch the colours closely enough, you’ll notice that colours start to repeat themselves after a spell. If not exactly, then with just a twist in the shade. If you are a MAC fan, you probably already own something in your collection that you can use to dupe the new colours.
The bonus is that since it comes out earlier in the USA, there are lots of reviews of the products around so once it gets to our shores, we’ll know what works and what we should steer clear of.
Eyeshadows fade on me
I don’t have oily eyelids and I don’t usually have a problem with eyeshadow colours fading on my lids. MAC colours however, do. After a couple of hours, the colours fade away to just a hint of color on my lids which is quite awful if you work a full day. This is however, limited to just me and curable with an eyelid primer.
The lipsticks dry my lips out
Again, I don’t usually have a problem with lipsticks. MAC lipsticks however, cause my lips to dry out. I asked around before I tried, for the most moisturising, and was recommended the Lustre lipsticks. I bought one in Blossom which is a lovely coral pink shade. My lips however, hated it – darn!
I wouldn’t consider MAC high end. However, here in Malaysia, our prices are pretty high compared to the prices in the USA. For example, an eyeshadow pot costs US$14 (RM48.50) but here retails for RM57. A blush pot costs US$17.50 (RM60.50) but reatails for RM70 here. I suppose the import fees and taxes should be factored in for us but if you like MAC stuff, and know someone in the USA or someone going there, ask them to get it for you – you save a bundle.
Looking at the USA prices its clear that MAC is not being branded as a high end brand. I’d go so far as to say they are a mid-priced range of makeup which is affordable to the masses. Here however, the pricing puts it out of the range of most of the young crowd to whom this brand is targeted.
Texture of the makeup
Maybe its the makeup I’m used to but I don’t like the texture of MAC eyeshadows and blulsh. The pigmentation is excellent, I admit. However, I work a lot with my fingers and I found that it leaves a film on top of the colours that really bugs me. Its from the oils in the fingers and quite common. However, I don’t find this happening in Japanese brands or in some of the higher end brands, so I don’t like it. The blush colours are nice but somehow I never got into it as a brand for blush. This is however changing with the times.
I’ve never really had a good experience with the sales persons at MAC except for one or two at the MAC store in KLCC. Other salespersons tend to border on being rude. They don’t try to show you what they have, they are quite curt and condescending if you know more than they do about their upcoming collections, and their makeup scares me. The complaint about them being rude doesn’t seem to be limited to just here in Malaysia however. I’ve read about many people experiencing this problem at other countries around the world, so it looks as if its a worldwide phenomenon. Not very encouraging.
The scary makeup bit is also a common complaint. Maybe MAC encourages creativity but its a bit of a turn off to customers, especially if these are the same people who are doing a makeover on you. Heavy makeup is fine. Creative makeup for an event is fine. But it might be easier to lure someone into the store with strong but wearable makeup.
So you can tell I really don’t quite like MAC very much. I used to have a fair amount of MAC stuff but I gave them all away in the end to people who appreciate it more. However, there are 2 things from MAC I like:
- Pigments – I love working with these pigment powders and use them mainly as eyeshadow. The colors are more intense than pressed powder shadows and they come in a huge pot for RM80. It’ll last you a lifetime.
- Brushes – I’ve found that MAC makeup brushes are pretty good and don’t cost as much as some of the other brands. I’m not extremely picky about my makeup brushes, so long as they do the job well. In fact, although many don’t like the MAC travel set of brushes as they say the quality isn’t as good, I quite like these travel sets as they are value for money. I have a set and I’ve never had problems with it and it works well for me.
So, there you have it. My reasons that MAC Cosmetics isn’t quite for me. At the end of the day, it all comes down to individual likes and dislikes and what works for one may not work for another. For me, I guess I just prefer other brands of makeup.
I know there are many fans out there of this brand, who would happily disagree with me. I would like to hear from you if you are a fan of this brand, as to why you are a fan. It would be enlightening to us all.