Makeup Industry: M.A.C Cosmetics

Table of contents

M.A.C Cosmetics was established in Toronto, Canada when makeup artist and photographer Frank Toskan and beauty salon owner Frank Angelo became frustrated that the lack of makeup would shoot well in photography. During his time as a photographer and makeup artist Frank realised that the lack of colours and textures needed to maximise performance and result of makeup for industries, so they brainstormed a makeup line. Their aim was to develop a makeup line that was to fulfil their professional needs, so their goal was to produce their own. At first, they made the Cosmetics straight from their kitchen and sold them from the salon to makeup artists, models, photographers, then came stylists and editors.

Their approach was chic utility and decided to package their own products in black pots instead of compacts and that quickly became the company’s signature.While other makeup brands at the time were predominately skin care companies M.A.C choose to establish itself as the ultimate colour authority, they were known for creating vivid and rich colours for every skin tone focusing on darker skin tones.With every colour and every magazine credit, word of mouth, popularity grew and in March 1984 the duo officially launched a line from a single counter in a department store in Toronto. It was staffed with professional makeup artists, offering a wide range of products that took the industry by storm.

It was the first brand in cosmetic history to invest in training and education for its staff and the customer’s point of sale experience, rather than driving sales through traditional promotional techniques MAC relied on the integrity of its carefully formulated product line. Adding to this was a touch of outrageousness. The company that honours individuality and self-expression, this brought drag and theatre into the Mac stores and counters.

One of MACs big breaks occurred in the 80s when a New York cabaret star Madonna wore its intense matted red lipstick on a photoshoot wearing a M.A.C t-shirt and people began to take notice of the company. MAC quickly cultivated following in both fashion and retail markets and was responsible for creating many trends.

Initially sold exclusively at the Bay in Canada it quickly expanded to Henry Bendel in New York. Nordstrom department stores welcomed the brand soon after marking MACS first foray into the mass North American retail market Saks, Macey’s, Bloomingdale’s and Dillard’s quickly followed suit as well as dozens of MACs standalone stores.
The company’s products were originally intended for makeup professional but are sold directly to consumers worldwide. Frank Toskan first manufactured makeup for models but then the models wanted the make-up for friends and relatives and so on. Today Mac continues to work in fashion but has become a global brand.

In 1994 as Aids and HIV continued to spread across the globe MAC’s co-founders searched for a way to respond to the epidemic, encouraged by input from employees, they decided to make AIDS/HIV organisations and the M.A.C Aids fund was born. To date, the Viva Glam campaign has raised over $400 million for the fight against HIV/AIDS with the Viva Glam product line being a bestseller with its lipsticks and lip glosses donating 100% of the sale price to the fund.

Mac has collaborated with many celebrities for the Viva Glam line on limited edition lipstick and lip glosses, with spokespeople such as Lady Gaga, Nicki Minaj and Pamela Anderson. Every year MAC selects a new spokesperson for Viva Glam. The first was drag queen RuPaul in 1994. RuPaul’s Viva Glam lipstick is the first product MAC Cosmetics advertised.

In the 1990s the brand had over a hundred stores worldwide, earning two million Francs. The development of the brand internationally, the opening of new points of sale, and the adaption of product lines tailored to each continent, left little time for founders to create new products. In 1994 the company Estee Lauder took 51% of shares and began managing the business end, and John Demsey was named the president of MAC.

Under his leadership the link between fashion, beauty and culture has been strengthened, allowing MAC to stay on the edge. Mr Demsey has also organised MAC’s participation at important film festivals worldwide and in support of the MAC Aids fund has also encouraged the sponsorship of pop music tours for Viva Glam spokespeople such as Mary J Blige and Missy Elliot. In addition, he has been involved in collaborating with celebrities such as Linda Evangelista, Liza Minnelli, Catherine Deneuve and more to endorse the Viva Glam and beauty icon programs.

In 1997 Frank Angelo died, at that time MAC had revenue of $250 million which doubled ten years later. Estee Lauder Inc completed an acquisition in 1998 and Frank Toskan decided to sell his shares and leave the company at the end of that year.

Mac is sold in over 105 countries around the world. It remains committed to developing new categories, products and over 50 collections each year, all of which continue to serve the demand of the consumers and professional makeup artists. Mac cosmetics is named one of the top global makeup brands, with a turnover of $1 billion in over 500 stores which are all are run by professional makeup artists.

MAC is an official makeup brand used to create makeup for movie actors. Its most popular products are studio fix powder foundation and Gigablack lash mascara. The most popular lip product by this brand is the Viva Glam lipstick which became popular due to its smooth formula and rich pigmentation, it was released in 2014.

MAC cosmetics are responsible for many collaborations around the world, with popular names such as Ariana Grande, Rihanna, Selena Quintanilla and Mariah Carey. They are also, responsible for working alongside companies such as Mattel and Disney, creating products around their characters. They are now doing collaborations with beauty influencers on YouTube etc. These continue to enhance MACs relevance and reach existing fans as well as new ones.

MAC artists set trends backstage at over 200 fashion week shows around the world, working with names of Prabal Gurung to Vivienne Westwood, secures the envied status of MAC as the world’s leading beauty trendsetter.
Company mood board

An outline of the practical assignment

I have decided to do my graded unit on MAC Cosmetics as they are my favourite brand and most of the makeup products I purchase are from this brand. I love this brand because of the high quality of their make-up, and they have a huge variety of different products and colours.

MAC Cosmetics also do collaborations releasing limited edition products which I love, as the products are always nicely packaged, and the products are custom made to whomever they are collaborating with, which makes the products unique and hard to get a hold-off and they sell out fast.

My favourite product from this brand is their lipsticks so I have decided to base my three looks on their limited-edition lipsticks from three of my favourite collaborations.

An outline of the practical assignment

In May 2014 MAC Cosmetics teamed up with Disney to create a special line of makeup to celebrate the launch of the new movie release Maleficent. MAC created a full look, launching eleven new products based on the movies main character Angelina Jolie. The collection contained eyeshadow, brow pencil, lashes, face products and even nail polish. Everything you would need to re-create the character Angelina Jolie portrays.

The look I wish to create will be based around this character, with their limited-edition red lipstick ‘true loves kiss’ with a few differences of my own. I plan to make a few changes to the costume although keeping it real to the character.

In spring 2007 MAC cosmetics launched they’re Barbie loves MAC collection which was they’re first ever colour collaboration between MAC and Mattel. With the world’s most fashionable doll inspiring MAC’s spring/summer collection. The collection created for living dolls features everything from bright peach and pink tone, sugary pink lipsticks, candy lip glosses and deep and pastel blushes that were sheer on the skin, finished with the signature Barbie ponytail silhouette logo. I plan to create a look with the Barbie loves MAC ‘rocking chic’ lipstick and creating a real living Barbie doll.

In October 2015 Ariana Grande launched her second collaboration with MAC releasing the Viva Glam collection, with a dark, moody matte plum lipstick and a shimmering pink lipglass. Ariana is one of many celebrities raising money for the Aids fund. I plan to create a full glam makeup look with winger linger using the limited-edition lipstick.

Graded unit schedule

  • Week beginning 30/01/19
  • Week 1 Going over the graded unit with the class.
  • Week 2 Meeting with the lecturer.
  • Week 3 Research our chosen theme.
  • Week 4 Start typing up research in a portfolio layout.
  • Week 5 Continue to work on the portfolio by doing step by step guide with materials and resources, a time-bound schedule for each look, mood boards for each look and face sheets. Also, order any materials I may need.
  • Week 6 Continue to work on the portfolio, research and order any materials I may need
  • Week 7 Submit planning stage of the portfolio by 13/03/15
  • Week 8 Make sure everything is prepared for the development stage, all clothes, materials and makeup is organised while waiting for feedback from our lecturer
  • Week 9 Second meeting with the lecturer
  • Week 10 Easter break
  • Week 11 Easter break
  • Week 12 Complete model 1
  • Week 13 Complete model 2
  • Week 14 Complete model 3
  • Week 15 Upload the final images to the portfolio and complete writing work and submit the development stage by the 15/05/19
  • Week 16 Complete the evaluation stage and submit the portfolio by 22/05/19

Identification of information sources to be used

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  •– maleficent-horns-maleficent-party.jpg&exph=736&expw=736&q=malificent+costume+ideas&simid=608050982748554418&selectedindex=155&ajaxhist=0&vt=0 (accessed 01/03/19)
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  •…1074208.1085484..1086392…0.0..0.65.1253.22……2….1..gws-wiz-img…..0..35i39j0i67j0j0i8i30j0i24.ZS1HsMxwJ6I (accessed 02/03/19)
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