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The History Behind MAC Cosmetics

MAC Cosmetics Inc. (Make-up Art Cosmetics) was started in Canada by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in 1984. Angelo was the original founder. Toskan was a make-up artist and photographer, and Angelo was the owner of a hair salon chain. Since they were both involved in fashion photography, they both quickly recognized the need for more durable, versatile and creative cosmetics products that could handle the demands of professional photo shoots.

Always on the cutting edge with their engagement of celebrity endorsements, awareness of social and cultural diversity, and involvement in charitable social initiatives, MAC Cosmetics has now grown to become one of the most popular and influential cosmetics companies in the world.

Estée Lauder gained controlling interest in MAC in 1994 and finalized their acquisition of the company by 1998. The MAC AIDS fund was also introduced in 1994.

The year before Estée Lauder acquired the company (1997), Frank Angelo passed away from complications during a surgery. A couple years later, Toskan left MAC and founded another AIDS Charity, with his brother-in-law, Vic Casale. Casale was also one of the original Chemists at MAC.

The new MAC owners have continued on with the MAC AIDS Fund, a program where the sale of MAC’s Viva Glam products provide help men, women and children living with HIV and AIDS. MAC donates 100% of the selling price of these Viva Glam products to the cause. As of 2008, the fund had raised over $128 million dollars.

MAC also features additional programs for cruelty-free makeup products, child abuse and protection of the environment through recycling. MAC is definitely one of the leading cosmetics companies when it comes to social and environmental awareness.

When it comes to contemporary cosmetics, MAC is very likely the most sought after cosmetics line. Within the MAC Cosmetics line are some of the most desired products on the market. MAC also provides their customers with a client-focused philosophy which contributes to growing number of clients who adore MAC products.

Color palettes have been developed by MAC Cosmetics for every possible shade, tone and type of skin. Well over 160 shades of lipstick and 150 shades of eyeshadow have been created to date with numerous finishes. In addition, MAC consistently releases fresh, new, limited edition collections.

MAC’s newly developed skincare line (2007) also meets the needs of diverse skin types. MAC also focuses on offering products to cater to the innovation and creative needs of professional makeup-artists and imaginative customers.

MAC doesn’t use advertising to drive their sales. They don’t try to talk people into buying their cosmetics. Instead, most of their sales are driven by their celebrity endorsements (professional makeup artists, models and celebrities alike), constant word-of-mouth promotion and continued loyalty of current clients. The brand is sold in over 50 countries around the world.

Makeup artists and sales people are hired based on artistic talent. MAC Makeup Artists are an integral part of the MAC philosophy. MAC’s co-founder, Frank Toskan, said, “I don’t have the luxury of communicating with my clients, so therefore my salespeople are the link between my philosophy and their customers.” The company doesn’t train their employees to pressure the customer into a purchase. Instead, they are encouraged to act as a resource and artistic consultant for the client. The client focused philosophy at MAC has proven to contribute largely to the success of MAC Cosmetics in both client and employee loyalty. MAC Cosmetics retail staff turnover has historically been around only 7% as a result of the high demand for employment.

Here are some things to keep in mind when purchasing MAC makeup:

  • MAC has a special recycling program to encourage customers and clients to bring in their used makeup containers for recycling. This "Back to MAC" program allows customers to bring in 6 containers to any MAC Store or MAC Counter. In exchange, the customer receives one free MAC Lipstick of their choice.
  • MAC Gift cards are redeemable only at actual MAC stores. If you want a gift card that is redeemable at a MAC Counter, you should just get a gift card to the department store where the
    MAC Counter is located.
  • MAC Cosmetics offers the MAC Pro and MAC Pro Student programs to provide support to Makeup Artists and Makeup Artists in training. Certified Makeup Artists are eligible to apply. If selected to become a member, Artists enjoy the benefits of special MAC previews, makeup master classes, product discounts, and special events.

MAC Cosmetics continues to be client focused and to offer their customers more than other cosmetics companies with overall client service as well as superior products and selection. As a result, MAC’s popularity is continuing to grow, and clients are continuing to rave about their products.


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