Sunday, 29 April 2012

5 reasons I hate MAC right NOW.

MAC was the first red lipstick I ever bought, and the first red lipstick that then subsequently went into a blog sale, it was the place where I could spend hours just looking at the confusion of colour and spend hours just choosing one item.  MAC was this whole new shiny world where there were limitless choices and combinations of things and it was like a drug which held me in this colourful universe for years. 

I've been moving away from MAC recently, however, and you're gonna have to bear with me because I'm on a bit of a rampage with this one.  Here's five reasons why I'm less than amused at the Estée Lauder company's cosmetic powerhouse:

1. Animal testing in China.

Word reached my ears recently about MAC and their position in China under parent company Estée Lauder, and how their position to animal testing has been revised due to this move.  China requires animal testing by law, so although MAC has understandably wanted to conquer the huge, cash cow of the Chinese market, they have been forced to resume animal testing.  It's important to stress that the animal testing policy for MAC in other countries will remain as is - untested on animals - but just because we can't see China doesn't mean it isn't happening.  If true, this is a huge backwards step for MAC, and a huge embarrassment.

2. Eleventy billion collections.

I actually can't remember the last time I bought from a MAC collection.  Occasionally I'll peruse the core line if I've run out of something I use all the time, but I actually used to get excited about the new upcoming collections. I'd excitedly go on the Specktra forums and write long long lists and arrive at the counter on launch day ready to spend and take no prisoners.  Do you know why I was so excited for new MAC collections back in the day? It was because I actually had to WAIT for them.  Not just a week, either. A month, two months. Even more.  The anticipation was excruciating.  MAC's current policy seems to be a free-for-all with a new collection each week of crappy, badly-formulated products - a continual parade of mediocrity.

3. Limited edition, but not quite.

The thing about MAC is hype.  You remember Lightscapade? It only got repromoted a couple of months ago and then… oh! Look up there, a flying pig! While you were distracted MAC's creative team ran out of ideas and slid the very same product into the next collection and asked you kindly to look the other way.  I mean, come on! It's Lightscapade - an MSF so legendary you barely even dare speak its name. The continual repromoting of things that used to be hotly-anticipated big-ticket items for the year - and everyone would be clutching at their debit cards anxiously waiting to input their data and sell their soul the second it came online - well, that's gone. MAC have gotten greedy.

4. What customer service?

I often go by a general rule of thumb when shopping at MAC: if you want acceptable service, just avoid the MAC counter at Selfridges in London. If you want great service, avoid MAC altogether.  There are obviously a few exceptions to this rule - such as the lovely ladies I know who work at MAC, and the whole of the counter at Brighton - but one of the main things that puts me off working at MAC are the staff.

Some of them seem to put their makeup on in the dark.  Put their counter in the window of the store and it's like they are vampires revealed in the light: orange foundation, unblended contours and eyebrows painted on.  I'm not saying this is true for every MAC artist, of course, but some of them definitely would scare the innocent cosmetic-buying consumer.

There are a couple of types of customer service at MAC, but the one that seems the most widespread is the type seen in Selfridges London (see, I mentioned Selfridges for a reason).  The MAC counter staff gather in packs of laughing hyenas, congregating in groups of 8 strong chatting and if you dare ask for help, you'll get one of two reactions.  The first is that they'll palm you off on someone else who isn't earning money by chatting, and the second is that they'll actually help you - in the most grudging, rude manner possible.

No thanks.  I'd rather shop elsewhere.

5. Are they really even that good?

The conclusion I'm beginning to draw from conspicuously NOT shopping at MAC is that there's stuff elsewhere which, if not equal, is just BETTER. Illamasqua, Becca, Laura Mercier and NARS do it better, consistently, with better products which aren't hastily pasted-together launches which either offend (Rodarte) or lack any kind of spark (most of the other collections last year).  I'm getting to that point where I don't really care if something is limited edition or not anymore - I'm more interested in whether the product performs.  I don't need another glitterbomb Mineralize Skinfinish which migrates to my chin and eyebrows, I want a blush which stays on all day and stays wherever the hell I put it (even if that IS on my chin and eyebrows).

Sometimes I just get this kind of bee in my bonnet and I'm unable to stop the inevitable tirade of vitriolic spouting you're seeing here.  I'm kind of feeling like the sparkly blindfold of MAC and it's limited edition collections has lifted though.  I'll still buy from MAC as one of those kind of 'eh, whatever' consumers, but that flutter of excitement has long gone.

How do you feel about MAC right now? Good? Bad? Indifferent?

75 comments:

  1. i mostly agree with everything you say. i still think they make some of the best lipsticks and eyeshadows out there (nars makes better blushes for example, with better lasting power) but all these LE collections have put me off. like you said they have become greedy and lowered their quality while raising their prices!

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    1. I think that's fair enough because it all comes down to personal preference. I happen to have found brands which I feel do better products for my personal tastes and requirements! Plus, as you said, the prices go up and up but I'm yet to see an improvement!

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  2. Really interesting post Cami. I do agree with you about the LE products, and the customer service. The limited edition products never appealed to me, they come in and go out so fast it's ridiculous. I can never keep up. As for the service, it's the same here in Dublin, what's with it like?! Its very intimidating in MAC, you go in and they all look at you like you're a leper, or if theyre not even busy they still dont help. Yet it's still one of the most sought after brands commercially. They need a bit of sorting out!

    NARS forever!

    x

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    1. I used to save my money up for particular launches because I was so damn excited, but now I think the last time I bought something limited edition was maybe November or December... That's a hell of a long time ago! NARS forever, you're totally right :) x

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  3. Wow, such a huge rant! It actually made me feel inspired enough to reply, and I rarely ever do that.

    1) I'm going to be honest and say it doesn't bother me to the least. I wouldn't expect from any big company to deny itself of the Chinese market, no matter how noble the cause. It is certainly not one of my criteria when buying makeup.
    2) I never got into the hype of collections. I have occasionally bought stuff because I liked them, but the whole "new collection" thing leaves me indifferent. So, I don't even care how many new collections there are and I won't ever probably care. I'm not that kind of a consumer.
    3) I also don't buy the limited edition hype. I would never, ever buy the same lipstick three or four times because it's limited edition. If I run out, I'll look for something similar. That's my kind of logic. And I would certainly not but something I don't need just because it's LE and I supposedly wouldn't be able to buy it at any other time. I feel MAC is doing this because there are many "victims" who rush and buy. I don't actually blame the company, I blame the dumb consumers. If by any chance they decide to wake up, the company's mindset will probably change. They know it sells right now and they're taking advantage of it.

    4) I don't know about MAC at Selfridges (I've only been there once and I don't recall having a bad experience--quite the contrary), but the girls who work at MAC here in Greece are very helpful and far better makeup artists than the ladies at any other makeup stand I have encountered. They are really friendly, which is another reason I visit MAC frequently.

    5) Yes, they are that good. Not all of their products, of course, there are some horrible ones, but if we compare to other companies, they are good at most everything they do. There are things I would never buy from MAC (such as foundation), and things I would only buy from MAC(such as concealer). It all comes down to personal preference.

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    1. That's all fair enough - I embrace oppositional opinions. If MAC works for you and it's your personal preference then that's all well and good. My point was that for most people, MAC appears to be the end of the line and they don't explore the quality of other brands with perhaps the same excitement or critical eye. They are good, but there are other brands which are just AS good which often get overlooked.

      I would not stop shopping from MAC for items I do use all the time (as stated), but for me, it's definitely a case of a relationship turned sour - but I'm glad you still like them :)

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    2. I definitely agree with you! My post wasn't really about finding fault with yours, I was just inspired to write my experience. I also support the idea of trying several brands, and I own plenty of them, not only MAC. The majority of my collection is from MAC though, and the BACK2MAC program is also one of the reasons. I wish more companies would have such programs.

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    3. Oh, I know! I'm not offended at all - I'm really glad you still find your perfect products from MAC! I think it just no longer fits my requirements, such a shame really! I do agree with you though - the Back2MAC is a really great system, one which I wish more brands would pick up :)

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  4. I pretty much agree 100% with what you've written here. When I first got into make up I was an utter MAC fan girl. Whilst I still love my MAC products, I waited for a long time to get the ones I have and did a LOT of research and mulled it over a great deal first. I have one LE product and that's Russian Red lipstick from the Wonder Woman collection. I'd wanted the colour for a while, just so happens I had the funds when that collection was out so it made sense for me (plus I'm a comic book nerd).

    However my Revlon lipsticks perform to the same standard for me and are half the price and I generally don't get dirty looks from the staff in Boots; I often feel like I'm not considered a true make up lover in MAC as I haven't got every product known to man slapped onto my face at once. Although, I must add, that in some stores the staff look gorgeous and are incredibly personable. Put it this way - I don't feel I'm missing out too much by not being able to afford their products right now. Becca, NARS, Illamasqua and Laura Mercier are still obsessions of mine, however. Especially since purchasing two Becca blushes over Christmas. I have honestly never tried better cream blushes!

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    1. Me too! I still love my MAC lipsticks, but sold all but w 2f my MSFs. I had 11, and now I have 2. It says something about my 'relationship' with MAC now - I'm just disinterested, and it's not even through boredom.

      I just think sometimes (myself included) we get so blindsided by MAC that it takes something huge like animal testing in China to bring you back to the bigger picture.

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  5. I am in agreement about the MAC store in Brighton, they are generally lovely, with a few exceptions. I think that duty free mac-ites are even worse than selfridges, the sneers! the hoity toityness!

    Anyway, the last thing I bought from MAC was foundation in September probably... I just think that you can get more for your money elsewhere. Plus I am saving for a wedding, so am not purchasing anything unless it is absolutely necessary from now until November. I am contemplating have a MAC makeup 'lesson' thing the morning of wedding, then I can buy a natural MSF for blotting etc with the £20... or eyelashes to avoid potential tearing up and smudging mascara incidents....

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    1. The nicest lady at MAC I have ever encountered was at Brighton. She was pregnant when I met her and so lovely and helpful, it was refreshing! I don't think I've bought since November or December (at least, from limited edition) - I think this month was the first time I've even looked at the website in forever, too!

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  6. The Mac counter in brighton is my favourite, I love all the staff there. I agree, they do realease far to many collections now and the quality has gone down hill. thanks for explaining the animal testing thing, I was so confused as to why they all of sudden have decided to start testing. Mac are seriously going down hill (though there is still things I love from them) but they have a huge competetion now. x

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    1. Yeah, the staff in Brighton are great - really friendly! I never buy from MAC anymore - I think the first time I bought something was actually this month, and it's probably just going to go in a blog sale anyway! x

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  7. Great post! I completely agree. Especially about their customer service and the makeup on their "artists." I can't believe the same description about their staff applies to MAC counters everywhere! and I'm in the US! I always get nervous when I have to be color matched for something. Honestly, apart from some of their eyeshadows, I don't find the quality to live up to the hype. Also, the animal testing in China is a damn shame.

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    1. I know! I do respect some of the staff, as I know retail is a crappy place to be but they make you feel very small and not knowledgeable, when half the time I know more than them about the products because I've done my research!

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  8. I always feel the MAC counter is a trial of 'just how much do you want this ' and 'what are you prepared to go through to get it' Last time I had money to burn and a lipstick shaped hole in my life, I stood by the thousand lipsticks, laden down with shopping bags and obviously bewildered about the finishes and was ignored by a pack of giggling staff for about five minutes. Which in shop time felt like an hour. Getting more enraged by the second, i felt like going to the Dior counter opposite and spending £300 in a pretty woman 'big mistake' fashion until sense got the better of me and I just left the shop. Forever. They're on my list.

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    1. Exactly! I'm glad I am out of the vicious circle of buying everything, to be honest! I feel better watching from a distance instead of being constantly disappointed ;)

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  9. I've always been indifferent to MAC to be honest. Some products are worth the hype and the money (some blushes, eyeshadows and lipsticks), but others are just meeeeh. Like their lipglosses. Sticky. Not that longlasting. Depends on the shade on whether it'll be pigmented enough or it'll just give you shiny lips. Service wise, I believe the people who work there are quite snob. Who, wanting to be unique, edgy and all that, end up looking like clowns. Rude clowns who will say I'm NC25, while I know I'm NC15.
    Great post Cami!
    x

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  10. I totally agree with you about LE collections and the service. With MAC, I always enjoyed saving up money to buy particular things I was excited about in LE collections. Now, I feel like either theres nothing exciting in the collections, or everything comes out at once and I can't afford the things I'd love to get! xx

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  11. Cami, i feel your pain. Am really disappointed in mac - like you it was the place i really discovered make up and i suppose its for that reason i still have a sneaky peak at new collections. I now only ever buy main line items that are firm faves or re-promotes of fave msfs. I have been to selfridges counter in london and the service recieved there was appalingly bad. I left and walked to the pro store i was so angry at them. My regular counter in Glasgow generally fares a bit better in terms of service and the staff in harvey nics in edinburgh have been good any time i have popped in. In the last 12 months any of the limited edition stuff has been absolutly p*ss poor and the volume of new collections is ridiculous. I feel the brand has lost bit of direction/focus and i am no longer a loyal customer.

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    1. It's funny, as when I wrote this I had you in mind, hence why I added the bit about some MAC ladies/men not being as awful as the regular bunch! :) I know that retail is underpaid and I sympathise as it's a hard game, with the continual smile pasted on your face, hardly any break times, the Christmas season and being on your feet all day... I've worked in Selfridges, however, and I know their ethics and other side of the game, too. The thing about the Selfridges London counter specifically is that they are truly awful. Having worked for Selfridges as I have, you come to expect a certain standard of behaviour across the board from the staff, none of which I got from the London counter.

      It's really great to get a perspective from you as a MAC artist too - I know that customers with a mardy face on will totally not get served - but I do think the service goes both ways (hence my mild case study on Selfridges MAC!) I'll be really interested to see the exciting thing coming this year - hopefully it will live up to expectation, whatever it is.

      And I second your recommendation - Sheffield ladies should head for Meadowhall as Ruth is totally an exception to the rule :) Great comment, lovely!

      x

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    2. Hate to break it you all, but Nars (and dozens of other companies) test on animals here in North America, so if that's something that concerns you, it's best to check before you buy. There are lots of sites which list companies that do, and companies that don't. No trying to tell you never to buy from those places, but if it _does_ bother you, just know that it's not jut Mac.

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    3. Would you mind linking me to proof of this? I've always understood NARS not to test, and their website says the same:

      'NARS does not test on animals, nor do we have any other parties, such as suppliers, conduct any animal testing on our behalf. NARS uses only the highest quality ingredients which have a proven safety record and are widely used in the cosmetics industry.'

      Put this against a statement like Benefit, who add something on the end like 'except when required by law', and it seems NARS has a clear stance on the matter.

      Plus, the sites that list people that do/don't test (like PETA for example) do not always have all the facts, just as we don't. I agree that it's a grey area with animal testing - however the fact that NARS is owned by Shiseido (who do test) does not necessarily mean that they do too.

      So I ask - in the most polite, interested and respectful way - would you mind sharing where you found the information regarding NARS?

      Thank you!

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  13. This is a very timely post for me as i only just discovered the revised approach to animal testing on friday night when i was on the peta website. seething, is one way i could describe my reaction. i have repeatedly asked Mac staff the official view on animal testing over the past decade, and I always received this assertive and almost gushing regurgitation of 'ethical mac' blah blah blah. i knew it was overblown, but to make such a u-turn now is just too low for words.
    this has officially ended my sometimes love, many times hate, mostly indifferent view of mac. ive never thought it deserved the almost sycophantic worship that many people receive it with. it has that kind of 'cultish' edge which bothers me anyway.
    aside from a few lipsticks ive been let down by everything ive ever bought from them (eye liner, mascara, primer). I think there are many brands out that are far superior in quality and now of course, ethics!

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  14. I've gotten really bad customer service online regarding the Back to MAC program. I'm never ever dealing with them regarding that again. And I agree that some reps love talking with each other and ignoring customers. Or spending time with their fave customers/friends and ignoring you completely. I haven't been happy with a lot of stuff about MAC but I go back to them because I find they have great basics - I always always read reviews before buying something though, because there's always a chance to get duds with MAC.

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  15. I don't own a mac product and I think after reading what all you lovelies have written I wont bother any time soon! Haa x

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  16. I gotta say, I have some MAC products here and there and when I started becoming obssesed with make up I thought they were supposed to be the end all be all, and I know differently.
    I don't like how even nw/nc 15 can be too dark on me in the concealers and foundation and I don't love the formula either. I feel like the lipsticks can be so hit or miss, and the eyeshadow aren't the greatest ever either. I remember picking up woodwinked eyeshadow and being disappointed by the pigmentation. I think when I go to get a new eyeshadow palette I'll check out inglot... it's cheaper and much more pigmented.
    I agree with you Cami, I'm not quite digging Mac right now.

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  17. i avoid mac now at all costs.. i only buy mac from debenhams online (who wouldn't when they do 10% off and free delivery?!). i got so sick of rude 'sales assistants', i remember going in there on my 21st birthday to spend a mac voucher and i was completely ignored while some of them just chatted away. i walked out feeling completely gutted. granted though there are a few occasions where i've had good experiences but sadly the bad outweighs the good. great blog post! x

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  18. Bravo! Agree completely with this post. I've not had as many dealings with MAC as other beauty bloggers, but I know exactly what you mean by the Selfridges girls. I went to London with a plan of action to have a proper browse of their products in the flesh, and I ended up spending my money at Illamasqua because their products were of a higher quality and their staff were lovely (both in Selfridges and at Beak street). The MAC girls all had their bitch faces on and completely ignored me, so I took my business elsewhere and was glad for it, I've never seen what was so super amazing about their formulas anyway.

    I don't get why they'd take such a step backwards and start animal testing either.

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  19. I'd had enough of MAC and their attitude last year. The makeup I've seen on artists is like clown makeup. Editorial makeup is fabulous, but you shouldn't wear it to work even if you're an MUA, and I work in the industry myself. I also cannot stand the constant LE collections they sling out left and right. It's almost like fast food makeup.

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    1. I know. Some of them are so pretty, yet caked in the stuff! I've only ever seen a couple of normal looking MAC sales assistants/makeup artists (who knows what they are these days!) I do think they have strong branding in this respect however - with the bright eye makeup - but the orange face needs help! OMG fast food makeup. That's a genius term!

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  20. If anything I think they are understaffed at stores and counters, because they are always all booked doing makeup on customers. I've seen some amazing makeup on the clerks and makeup artists at the mac counters. Especially women of color..I'm pale so I always feel like I have limited options. lol.

    But sometimes I get the feeling that they just hire people that are attractive, instead of focusing on skills as makeup artists or good customer service sales people.

    I think that MAC is smart and makes affordable makeup..or semi affordable..it's like a gateway to other higher end cosmetics. or drugs.

    I completely agree that all the collections and products they produce is a big turn off..and it's also bad for the environment and just plain wasteful. Think of the landfills..even with the back to mac program, it's just consumer overload.

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    1. That's interesting - especially because in my experience, the MAC counter has always been way overstaffed! Selfridges London typically has 10 staff standing around doing nothing rather than giving makeovers, it's quite funny - and none of them want to serve you. I do find in the smaller stores/counters that there is a more apparent shortage of staff though! I love your description - consumer overload. It hits the nail on the head!

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  21. i am starting to find MAC just completely, mind-numblingly uninspiring. given the huge range of products and colours, it's quite bizarre but i'm just bored by them. i visit regularly but haven't bought anything for quite a while.

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    1. Yes, I feel the same. I only really go to repurchase something now, but I don't really look for anything or go shopping like I used to! I bought one thing last week from MAC, and it was probably the first time in about 5 months! It felt a bit odd to buy anything at all! x

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  22. Great post! I agree with all your points. I always feel intimidated when going to MAC counter because some of the staff treat you like you have a disease or something. I don't have spare money to waste on products so I do plenty of research on what I'm going to buy makeup-wise beforehand, whatever the brand. I don't buy MAC items just for the sake of being by MAC like some people do! I do love their lipsticks though teehee :) xx

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  23. Oh, I really can see where you're coming from. I thought I was the only one who had jumped off the 'worshiping MAC like the gods' cloud but I'm glad you've proved me wrong!

    When I first started buying from MAC, I was in love. However, I've bought a couple of products lately that have been so sub-par that I've complained to MAC via email.

    Too much hype not enough delivery.

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  24. Ive been in mac once and dont think I will ever go in a store again. The staff were far too happy to jump on me and try to plaster my face in what I could tell was an unflattering lipstick.If I need the help I would ask but mostly I wanted to just look at the colour choice and pick my first mac eyeshadow the experience was ruined by the staff who followed me round like a hawk. I ended up getting an eyeshadow I hardly use and a mac fluid line that dried up within a month. I want to try mac again and I may visit a counter rather then a store but that whole first experience put me off and no glorious review or 'limited edition' product has made me want to go back.

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  25. Wonderful post!! Couldn't agree with you more!

    What really bugs me about MAC is the constant, never ending, stream of collection launches. There seems to be one every second week. It's beyond ridiculous at this stage and nigh on impossible to keep up with (if you can be bothered to do that).

    If you do see something, it's more than likely to be limited edition! Another MAC bugbear of mine. Limited-bloody-edition. Nearly everything is LE! So if you do manage to wade through the treacle of launches and find something you want to buy, it's more than like going to be LE and even more likely to be sold out by the time you get the chance to reach your local MAC counter!!

    I'd better stop now, I feel a rant coming on.....

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  26. I feel really bad about Mac right now, specially for the animal testing, I stopped buying brands that test on animals and I'll stop buying mac products without thinking if they are really testing on animals in China! xx

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  27. Good post :) I agree about the animal testing; it's horrible and a huge shame. That was one of the things I really liked about MAC before. I'm always overwhelmed by the collections. While it is nice to see new things, it also means that your new things will become 'old' in the blink of an eye.

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  28. There are a few MAC items that I love. Bountiful Brown and Buried Treasure Powerpoint pencils, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, a few Mineralize blushes, and right now Hue lipstick. Personally I have been disappointed by most of the hyped up products such as Naked Lunch eyeshadow and Well Dressed blush. I have a bunch of MAC shadows..but I tend to use my Urban Decay ones a lot more. They just perform better for me. I guess what I am not loving about them lately is that it seems that the quality just is not where it should be for a lot of the newer products. AI think that they should spend more time on quality of collections rather than having SOO many sub par things coming out all of them time.

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  29. I totally agree with all of this. I haven't ever really ventured into MAC cosmetics, mostly because it's just SO overwhelming. AND all of those collections. It's ridiculous.

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  30. I have only ever received very good customer service in my local MAC, which I think is an incredibly important thing- working in retail myself, I appreciate people who take time to serve you. Especially with a brand like MAC that is fairly pricey, and so extensive, I really like the advice the make up artists can give and wouldn't want to spend that money if I had a rude assistant. Going to MAC for me is a treat, and being served well is an important part of that, so I can understand that if you had had a bad experience it could put you off a brand quite considerably.
    I've never been a massive fan of MAC collections, I think just because I have quite specific taste in make-up and often the stuff in collections is quite garish and sparkley. I'm also not very good at keeping on top of when they come out!
    I would love to explore other brands more like Illamasqua and Nars but I don't have counters for them down here, living in the depths of Devon like I do. So until I can get to more counters, I think MAC will have to do!

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  31. oh I so agree with you. i only go for the limited edition if the color suits my yellow tone skin (which is seldom because MAC seems to make products for fairer paler people). And also if Temptalia gives it an A.

    I've got pretty good service at my regular MAC. But hell, the other outlets have horrible service, yeah, agree.

    Oh, and yes, of course there are sooooo many other great brands. Love MUFE, Urban Decay, Laura Mercier, and Chanel, Dior. MAC is really not the only brand around.

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  32. I'll always go 'back to MAC' for various bits and pieces, but I feel much the same way. I'm slowly falling out of love (and respect) for MAC. The service issue particularly upsets me, I used to work for them (a very long time ago) and when I make a rare visit to a counter I'm usually left feeling a little appalled (and sometimes offended).

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  33. I used to be a total MAC whore. Like yourself, I loved going on Specktra and discuss the upcoming collections and spend my hard earned money on limited edition stuff. I never had much trouble with staff, either, they've mostly been very nice to me. But after a while, all these collections that continued to come out every week (or so it seemed)... It felt like MAC tried to force-feed me cosmetics, or something. This coincided with me going back to college, which meant having no money, so I had to stop shopping so much anyway. Now, I've kind of branched out and realized that there are other good brands than MAC. (And that a Dior quince isn't really much more expensive than buying 5 separate MAC shadows.) I still love most of my MAC things - their foundations, not so much, but the lipsticks and the paint pots, some of the blushes, are staples for me. Their eyeshadows are quite good too, although Chanel have them well and truly beaten.

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  34. I have been to many counters in the search for the perfect makeup and I have to say MAC always makes me feel empty and deflated when i walk away.It should be a makeup artists dream with all of the avaliable colours- its like an art shop. I agree with your comments about the collections, its like they lack focus and are lauching anything that comes to mind in a desperate attempt to beat other brands to the ideas. Its a shame because other companys are starting to understand the power of the blogger therefore poorly made makeup and collections just wont get the buzz- or sales.

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  35. I too was once excited about MAC, to the point that if there was a collection coming out, I'd be on the site as early as possible to get what I wanted. Oh, the money I have wasted -_- My opinion nowadays of MAC? Read this blog post and you'll know exactly how I feel =) Well said!

    http://www.nickysbeautyquest.com
    Xo

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  36. I used to be a bit of a mac freak jumping on every collection going until fabulous felines I think it was called? The quads were total rubbish and I bought all of them thinking they would be amazing. Served me right eh? I prefer the staff at illamasqua and nars in general they have been really honest and helpful. There are exceptions everywhere of course but in general I don't find mac staff massively helpful.

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  37. Firstly I am a tad of a hypocrite as I do purchase MAC products, love them or hate them a majority of it is good stuff. But I agree with many of your points one being the service you receive. I actually have bought a significant amount of stuff from MAC and on a recent occasion whereby I was spending a vast amount I kindly asked the girl if I could take a couple of samples of foundations as I could not decide between the 2. I was abruptly told no samples were to be issued as people were coming in getting samples and not purchasing and then as a result sales were down. I fail to believe this considering if I had asked to have it applied in store they would be using exactly the same amount of product. I then contacted HO who basically agreed with the staff but said they had a good exchange policy and I could return if unhappy. I then requested confirmation that should I purchase both the products I could then return them and they backtracked and said it was down to individual store. As a result they lost my custom. Good service costs nothing and when a company such as this charges so much they should look after their customers.

    Becky
    Becky’s Makeup and Beauty

    ReplyDelete
  38. I'm an ex-MAC employee and I'm very disappointed to hear about the change of policy on animal testing, it's disgusting. You make some very good points Cami and you have no idea how hard it was trying to be the "face of MAC" selling utterly atrocious limited edition products, that's not to say that occasionally something good does come out.

    I hated being told how I was supposed to dress and how I was supposed to wear my make-up. My understanding when I took the job was that I was hired because of my individuality and my ability as a MUA yet that was never good enough and at the end of the day if my sales figures didn't stack up I'd get some serious flack. That's why there are so many limited collections (ever noticed how the Xmas collections are just a rehash of the previous year in different packaging?) and the quality of products has really gone down hill in recent years, it's all about making money for Estee Lauder. They even dangle the carrot of a quarterly bonus if you hit your sales targets yet continually shift the goal posts so it's just out of reach.

    You do get good customer service, I know I bent over backwards because it was my reputation as a MUA that concerned more than trying to link sell just to get that extra £20 out of someone for something they clearly didn't need. Although, customer service at MAC is based on selling as many items to each individual customer for as much as possible so you will be bombarded by "sales bullshit" if you are asking a Retail Artist about a product or sitting down for a demo. The staff are expected to tell you three key things about each product that they talk to you about but few actually learn about ingredients/benefits etc. and just make it up as they go along. Things become waterproof/longwearing that aren't, suitable for sensitive skin that aren't etc. The more ruthless a salesperson, the more exaggerated the claim becomes. What I would say is that if you have a bad customer experience then complain and read them the riot act.

    As for the standard of make-up artistry the basic rule that I would advise anyone to follow would be that if you want to talk to a MUA then go to the Pro Store. Most counters (with the odd exception) are made up of young impressionable girls (and boys), fresh out of a beauty therapy course, who have no discernible ability what-so-ever. I've even known of jobs being given to a manager's friends daughter because the daughter was looking for any old Saturday job! Most can't colour match, particularly darker skin tones, and over apply skincare, foundation etc. without any blending of colour and certainly no hope that the make-up will stay put for any length of time.

    I was actually a member of the MAC Events Team but it got to the point where my ability as a MUA was ignored whist my integrity was continually being questioned in store, and I just couldn't sell some of the crap that they currently produce to unsuspecting customers.

    Apologies for posting anonymously.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Oh. my. goodness. - Thankyou SO much for this.

    I loved MAC - I love their powder foundation as its the only one I feel really suits and matches my skin colour and type. However, after this whole animal testing in China ordeal I am anti MAC as I believe to buy MAC is to give profit to Estee Lauder which funds their animal research for products to be sold in China.
    I have recently said bye bye MAC and have found some great alternatives! - Check my blog for fantastic alternatives to their powder foundation and their fluidline liner!

    I agree, after the Disney collection, I've grown very bored of MAC's new offerings and am keen to look to other cruelty free and upcoming brands who deserve the support. The dupes of certain MAC Products that I have found have been a mere snippet of the price! £20 for a foundation? Erm no MAC, hello Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum (I am yet to buy this but convinced after seeing your review and photos!)

    Also I agree about the customer service! The women on the MAC counter in Selfridges in Manchester city centre: are these women for real?! They seem to act so 'mightier than thou' just because they work for MAC! I had to stop going as the amount of times I had numerous members of staff come and ask me 'can I help you' was absurd - do they not work as a team and ask each other who's served who? As soon as I'd say 'just browsing thanks' they just swan off like you're too much trouble. There have been some wonderful MAC MUA's in other stores but my experience in the Manchester store is just ridiculous.

    I never thought I'd say this but I am so glad to be MAC-free! I am keeping the MAC items I own but I can say I won't buy from them again. Even if the animal testing issue changes, I wouldn't feel the need to return as due to this whole issue and seeking other alternative brands I have found great new brands whose prices are always cheaper than MAC.

    Remember, when you buy MAC you're buying an 'image' not necessarily superior quality. I loved carrying those MAC carrier bags as I felt sleek, fashionable and like I used the best, but after my dwindling interest in MAC's newest offerings and this awful animal testing revelation I am glad to say goodbye to them. I have to be honest and say that I actually much prefer my £3.50 ELF makeup brushes over my £30-odd MAC ones!

    My blog for MAC dupes and alternatives: http://www.laurajeangriffiths.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  40. I do agree with everything you wrote, but the number 2 even made me laugh, ¿why? because I'm from México and I can to tell you that it's exactly the same here. I started with make-up stuff not long time ago and I made the mistake of visiting MAC in my first attempt to find the correct foundation for me because I heard from friends and a lot of make-up artists in the tv about how fabulous this brand was. I can sincerely tell you I went out of the store felling little depressed/annoyed (on of course without foundation). They're just there using the make-up and ignoring every person that enters to the store and If you dare to ask them something they first do these eyes like saying "are you stupid?" and then "helping you" with 3 words that took them the hell lot of effort to pronounce...
    Every time i walk outside a MAC store I can notice 2 things. 1. They always look like clowns (as you said) and 2. They are just like ravens observing, speaking softly and waiting to attack.

    Today I have like 5 products of MAC in total, all of the brushes. There are plenty of brands out there better than MAC or at least equal (as you also said). I can tell since my first experience I ever had in this store that I felt that was absolutely not my brand at all.

    I agree 100% with everything you wrote.
    Greetings!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Ohhh.. I can understand what you are saying. I live in Czech Republic and here customer service at MAC is so so AWFUL! They never help you or try anything on your face and when you ask them to you can actually feel how much they hate you. But I love their lipsticks and blushes.

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  42. An excellent blog post. Its great as consumers we are highlighting what we dont want. maybe its just one but eventually more and more people will stop throwing money at things just for the hype. the amount of time you go to any make up counter and they tell you a loooad of rubbish. but impressionable people will probably believe them and thats the sad bit.

    You are 100% right about selfridges. i live near oxford street and i dont talk to them when i go in because you get a look. i dont wear make up on the weekend because i wear it all week and want to just lazy around in the weekend and when i go in causal looking they think im there to waste time. I am 29 with a job that chooses not to dress up every time i go shopping!!

    :) xxx

    ReplyDelete
  43. Wow. And here I was thinking I was the only one who didn't think Mac was all that. For years everyone raved about it saying it was the make up of make up artists. I have a few of the eyeshadows that I like but I still think Dior does the best shadows. The Prep & Prime for eyes was raved about on make-up forums but I found it was worse than not using any primer on the eyes at all - some people said that their SA explained that it was not to be used as a primer but to give the eyes a uniform base colour. What??? if that's the case I may as well just use my foundation. I think what turned me off completely in the end was having my foundation done by an SA who kept insisting the pink toned foundation was great for me when I very clearly have olive skin. Thanks for being brave enough to do this post!

    ReplyDelete
  44. I often compare the mentality of a MAC worker to that of someone who works at Apple - a cult! They are completely brainwashed and have no interest in good make-up for the individual because after all, thats what make up is about - being individual!

    It would be interesting if anyone who works at MAC spoke up =)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, that could be! I've always found Apple staff way more helpful than MAC though ;)

      Delete
  45. I'm late to the world of make up and missed the MAC craze. I remember my friends used to tell me they would only shop at MAC, but since I've been make-upping, I've never really "gotten it." I got a few things from the most recent collection that I like, but nothing better than other brands like Tarte, Smashbox, Nars, etc. etc.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Hello,

    My 2 cents:

    1) Animal testing - althou I am not extremly carefuly picking "not animal tested products" I think mac has gone too far (heard Urban Decay did the same). If more people would do what they did, there would me no true values, believes and standards. What they are saying is "We are never ok with animal testing but when it comes to big money we can bend the rules and come up with a poor excuse on how thanks to the new opportunities we will be able to fight with the testing". But really how can they fight with animal testing if they allow it! No legs to stand on there... and the company has lost a lot in my eyes.
    2) Limited edition+collections - tbh I am not bothered about these at all. I'm not the one to stand in the queue for ages to get a product. Nor I will spend a lot of money cause it's a limited edition and I need 10 backups. So this at Mac does not bother me but I can see how people get annoyed at it if they are those "LE hunters".
    3) Inglot - this brand to me is kinda like Mac to you. It's a polish brand and I'm polish. It has been in shops for a long time and for years it was the best because drugstore was crapest crap and highend way too expensive. Only recently they've changed their packaging and opend new proper stores (everything strangely similar to mac) plus they've launched in the USA and Britain. Now everyone is like: oh Inglot is sooo amazing and cheap. I'm like - really? Matte shadows don't blend, sparkly ones fall out like crazy, gel eyeliners dry out after couple of weeks (i'm sorry but I haven't got time for mixing it with special solution I have to pay seperately), polishes have a tiny crappy brush and don't even get me started on the foundations. Yes I do have a few nice products from there but overall I think it's not that good of a quality. And tbh some polish (german actually but sold in Poland)drugstore brands are far better than Inglot.
    Also! Sales assistants there are soo rude (exatly like in mac). They act as if they're doing me a fovour by helping. Their makeup is worst then.... well I can't find a comparison because I've never seen such bad makeup on anyone ever!

    So this is offically THE longest comment in the history. I hope I didn't offend anyone but that's just my experience and how I feel about it all.

    Thank you for the post Cami! I like when people aren't afraid to say they don't like something!

    Sylwia xxx
    www.my-beautyful-world.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Addition:
      1) I should really support polish brand because of my heritage but if it's crap, it's crap. Can't help it...
      2) This wasn't THE longest comment :D Some are longer on here and 'm just about to read them.
      3) I should really do some work now... but I guess I can read you blog a little more...

      xxx

      Delete
  47. mac has disappointed me so much, this testing in animals thing is so cruel!

    ReplyDelete
  48. Im not particularly for animal testing, in fact i am a vegetarian. i just think its silly getting all hung up about it, because incase you didn't know, any medication that you take or will take is tested on animals. Anyway thats going off on a tangent. most your points i agree with. People are so consumerist and greedy and self absorbed, with trying to own every single limitted edition item. such a waste of time and money.

    ReplyDelete
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  50. M.A.C. is shit, and Lauder has made it the McDonalds of makeup. The company has its HUGE following of brainwashed, soccer mum/young women/lemmings who think they're part of something special, but ... not so much!

    I'm 38 years old. I've been a makeup artist for 16 years, working in various facets of the industry. I began wearing M.A.C. at the age of 16 (1990-1991), when it was still a little-known, small company run by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. I lived in a small town in northern British Columbia (west coast of Canada), and used to get M.A.C. sent to me from Toronto. So much so, that the company would send gifts to me, such as ... training videos that their staff no longer needed.

    Word of mouth: this is what M.A.C. relied on. The products were great. The pigments endured. There was NO STUPIDITY, and definitely NO ridiculous collections.

    And then the Lauder-thing happened ...

    Quietly, Lauder bought about 51% of M.A.C. in 1995. This was because of distribution; M.A.C. didn't have the funds to expand, nor could keep up with the demand for their products. A lot of diversion was happening (particularly to Asia, sold on the grey market in Hong Kong), clearing out inventory from the few, exclusive retailers in North America.

    Lauder had the financial ability to expand M.A.C. (and this is why it started popping up in other markets).

    Frank Toskan initially planned on buying back the 51% of his company, but then his business and life partner, Frank Angelo, died. Toskan: sold the rest of his shares to M.A.C., and by late 1996, the acquisition was complete. It became one of Lauder's money makers.

    Part of the initial deal: Lauder wasn't to change the way M.A.C. marketed itself (no advertising, except for Viva Glam), stray from the core values of M.A.C., nor change the formulations.

    The formulations were changed, BIG TIME. However, by the time the average consumer learned of M.A.C./was introduced to it ... they didn't know the difference, because ... they weren't on the M.A.C. bandwagon before it was Lauderized (or they were too young/not born when M.A.C. was still its own company)!

    Lemmings jumped on the bandwagon, buying into the notion that M.A.C. was "professional" (ha!)--that all the pros use it. They believed the HYPE and MARKETING of BULLSHIT, and like a bunch of brainwashed cult members, line up in droves to buy over-priced, highly overrated, GARBAGE products.

    Most of the people who work for M.A.C: are too young to know the difference, too. The company used to be all about the makeup. Now, it's all about the sales, and selling the Lauder way (three items per transaction, marketing with dumb collections). It's like comparing McDonalds fare, to something lovingly made/nourishing food.

    True: there are some great colours, but ... they're SHIT quality. Their brushes are now CRAP, too. The salespeople (and they ARE just that: salespeople, with egos) tend to be young women, overly-flamboyant queens, and half of them look like the M.A.C. counter threw up on their face! One can always tell when someone's had their makeup done at M.A.C. It's very heavy handed.

    Lauder is well-known for relaunching/repackaging the SAME products, over and over again, with various lines (in different packaging).

    I was once offered a job with them (1999), but turned it down, because of their new hiring practices. I haven't touched the brand in over 10 years, and I used to be HARDCORE into the product. T-shirts, original brushes, attending Fashion Cares, letters from Frank's sister Julie ...

    As a 38 year old woman, why would I want Hello Kitty, Barbie, or Archie comics associated with my makeup? And do I want to look like freak show Nicki Minaj?!?

    No.

    Better products: Yaby (Canadian!), FACE atelier (Canadian!), Cover FX (Canadian, and Frank Toskan's chemist brother in-law, original M.A.C. product formulator, Vic Casale, sits on Cover FX's board!), Whip Hand, Inglot, and Purely Cosmetics.

    ReplyDelete
  51. in my country people's love kosmetik mac product because the result can give natural look and soo flawless

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have to say I do love my mac but in highcross Leicester the women there look ever sio miserable. They hardly smile. They don't even know how to approach a customer. I have experienced problems at highcross many times ay mac. When I go there they ask do you know what you want. How about may I help you and a big smile like they do at dior. Honestly it upsets me and id rather buy mac online and do my reasearch online. John Lewis and house of fraser are fantastic at delivering you with good customer service. I don't know why this happens at mav counters but the sales rep act sll busy and give a customer a look like im busy. Duhhh you work at mav to serve us.! Honestly nothing bad to say sbout the products but the service is terrible and I think mac cosmetics should have a trsining program especially on customer service.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Highcross shopping centre in Leicester have sales assistants there that look like they don't want to help you. Ive been there many times and your standing there for at least ten minutes. Mac sales assistants have attitude I hear it all the time from different countries. Mac Leicester is one if them. They need to improve customer service. I don't like the LE products lately they come do fast and maralyn Monroe collection was crap. And other collections too. I have explored other brands like sleek, pixi, etc and they make yoy look much natural because there face products are not so cakey looking as mac. Overall I love mac cosmetics but I won't be going to mac counter too much I want to avoid as much as I can because you don't get approached in a nice way. It is better to order online from mac and you won't be disappointed because most things are in stock, but whenever I go to mac they are akways out of stock. Also I had one bad experience with mac I went into the store debenhams mac, I approached the sales assistant could I please have foundation spf in nc35. She said one minute il just check we have this in stock. So she went to check the cupboards where they keep all the products locked up and came back and said " sorry we do not have this in stock. I thought thats strange because just yesterday I came in store and the lady saud they have in stock.... so I decided to double check and I walked out the store and waited outside 3 minutes, I decided to call them on my mobile and ask them if the foundation I wanted was in stock. So the phones ringing and another sales assistant picked up yhe phone. I thought to myself at last Yes at least it wasn't the other sales assistant that was checking stock for me. SO I SAID TI HER HI IS THIS FOUNDATION IN STOCK, she kindly said yes please hold il check for you....... she came back on phone and said yes we have this foundation in stock! I was so shocked I straight away said ok il come in and collect it. So as I was just outside I walked back in and the sales assistant that approached me first looked at me in a funny way, I go hi ive come to collect the foundation that you said was oyt of stock. She said ohhhhh im sorry I never saw it. I mean how csn you not see. They are just so lazy and they move around so fast its unbelievable they are not calm and they need a big change in my opinion. Ive been many times and im told things are not in stock but really they are. I absolutely hate seeing this one women there, she's seen me many times at mac an I think she has some kinda problem with me. I recently called mac too to ask about if macs hue was in stock and the girl on the phone said the lines not clear so she slammed the phone down. They actually have caller display and I called several times an I got no answer. I decided to call from different number and they picked up the phone. I asked my question got my answer then I said the lady put the phone down on me, she goes no darlin were busy. I am suspicious about mac in Leicester and ive always had a bad experience there. They never smile or approach you in a jolly mood. So I decided the best thing to do is order online, of course I won't stop going there but I won't be going too much now, I would rather avoid going because this breaks my heart as mac is one of the brands I absolutely love and I won't let some sales assistant get in my way. Its the customer service that gets to you and I feel its not just me but many people feel like me. Ive bewn to other counters in debenhams and they are much friendly and the way they say hello and welcome is of a high standard. Anyway I love my mac but thats how I feel about counter service snd LE products. ..

    ReplyDelete
  54. Sorry there is spelling mistakes above, But you know what im saying.

    ReplyDelete
  55. I completely agree with everything people are saying. I actually worked for MAC for the past 5 years and I am definitely over it. When I was in high school, all I wanted was to work at the MAC counter. It was a lot of fun for a while and I learned quite a bit, but a lot has changed even since then. I originally wanted to work there because of the artistry and creativity that I thought the brand encapsulated, but it's a lot different than it seems once you actually work there. Of course there has to be sales goals in order for the company to be successful, but they have gotten ridiculous. The numbers are super inflated and you are expected to sell at least 3 items in each transaction. You are expected to push the limited edition products even if they suck, and they are always down your throat about selling Viva Glams and brushes. I mean the Viva Glam thing is a great charity practice, but not every single customer wants those shades! And the brushes, yes they are good, but I have found some that I like better for a fraction of the cost.

    When it comes to customer service, there are so many of my coworkers that would just stand around and chat and I always felt like I had to greet each customer. It made me feel bad because sometimes I could tell that the customer thought they were being completely ignored.

    I still love most of the products, but working there is a bunch of bs. I got so sick of having to do back to back appointments because other artists would make excuses for why they couldn't do it. Why would you work at a makeup counter if you didn't want to do makeup on people!?

    MAC is doing something right if so many people are obsessed with the brand, but I feel that I became somewhat of a victim of being brainwashed because I really don't know much about other makeup lines at all. MAC just has this massive ego and it trickles down to all the employees. I am so sick of all these girls on Instagram with their whole #ilovemacgirls thing. Like seriously, you're really not that special. You work at a makeup counter AT THE MALL.

    Sorry for my rant, but I recently got very irritated with MAC as you can see and I needed to let it out! I felt that here would be a good place!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Oh and I forgot to mention that it is not about the artistry anymore. All they really care about are the numbers. You are expected to do makeup appointments in 30 minutes, which is insane if you want the customer to look good as well as learn how to do it themselves. Some of the people they hire now are just not that good at makeup, but if their sales are good then it doesn't seem to matter.

    ReplyDelete
  57. I feel the same...MAC makeup artists are crap. Seriously. I tried almost all stores possible in New York City and Denver."Indian's with lighter skin is always NC 42 and a darker shade is always NC 45", no matter whether you try makeup or not. Have no idea why so... However Sephora on the other hand really have great staff most of the time. I find MAC product quality is way off compared to the current market, sometimes even drugstore brands... But there are some nice lipstick colors and eye shadow shades.

    ReplyDelete

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