Oh MAC, what are you doing to me? We’ve never been best of friends, there’s no doubt about it, but I always admired the way you caused so much hysteria among the beauty community. I loved that people felt as passionate about a bullet of Ruby Woo as they did about politics, got as excited about the latest collaboration as the rest of the world did about the newest Lady Gaga album. You’ve created a worldwide phenomenon that underlines the blogging community (where would we be without those ‘my five favourite MAC lipstick’ posts and swatches of their newest eyeshadow haul?) and is hidden within every makeup pro’s kit. You manage to collaborate with every star of the moment (from Rihanna to Ricky Martin, with a provocative Miley Cyrus thrown in for good measure,) and are endorsed by every magazine, celebrity makeup artist and fashion week aficionado. There’s no doubt about it: you’re a powerhouse of makeup. You could create a green lipstick and say it’s this season’s shade du jour, and women across the world would embrace it – no questions asked. So why, oh why do you continue on launching collections that are re-hashed from existing products, or focus on statement pretty packaging rather than on creating lustworthy shade combinations that we just must have?
The latest ‘Cinderella’ collection was the final straw for me. How can a concept so magical, so wondrous and so sparkly be translated into a nude look that would be more suited to Sienna Miller on a down day? In the words of one of my readers: “Did Cinderella really sport no-makeup-makeup to the ball? I think not!” I’ve grown up with the fairytale of Cinders in all her beaten down glory, rising from the ashes in a whirlwind of sparkles and shimmers ready to find her prince; there’s nothing magical about nude lipstick and brown eyeshadow. I feel like you’ve taken a story so precious to so many and made it just about selling makeup to the masses in the easiest possible way – via a nude palette and understated lipgloss. Disney have entrusted to you the brilliance of this story and the fantastical dreaming that goes along with it, only for you to translate it into an existing colour palette with a new shimmery blue pack.
To me it seems like you’re so busy beavering away ‘creating’ new collaborations and plotting how you can shift more Ruby Woo, that you forget about what it is you’re offering within one of these limited edition collections. They should be special, something to be treasured and enjoyed – not just a pack that contains something you can already buy but for a few quid cheaper without a picture of a Disney villain on it. If you’re going to link up with the Simpsons then I want bright blue eyeshadow and a yellow lipstick; if you’re going to launch a collection with Rihanna then I want all the smut you can give me; if you’re going to re-incarnate Wonder Woman in makeup form, I want products that have the power of a superhero. Everything I stumble across leaves me somewhat underwhelmed and wondering if you really understood the brief.
Are you just in it for the money MAC? Are you just linking up with all and sundry because you know it will generate coverage, that you won’t produce enough of the newest launch and there will be a scramble in Selfridges of epic proportions only known when a member of One Direction pops in for a new pair of trews? Have you forgotten your roots, MAC? Have you forgotten the reason people loved you was because you just did great makeup that made them feel good? Have you lost sight of what it means to be MAC, too focused on the bottom line and taking over the world one limp collection at a time? Have you misunderstood your customer MAC, targeting a whole new area of the market by reaching out to cult fan bases who will buy anything with a Disney/Rihanna/Simpsons logo on? You may have your hardcore fans who will buy anything with your name on, but the rest of us are feeling a little alienated MAC.
So here’s how I see it… We can either part ways indefinitely, me leaving you to launch your latest collaboration with Whatserface later on in the year because she’s the current girl of choice, or you can surprise and delight me with some kick-ass products and awesome creative collections. I really hope that 2015 is the year you start to go back to your roots, forgetting about the endless churning out of collaborations and limited edition collections in favour of products and spokespeople that really make sense. I’ve got high hopes for you MAC and I hope you meet my expectations, if not succeed them. I really want you to regain your place in the hearts of many beauty enthusaists who have supported you for years, no questions asked. I want you to push aside those same-old-same-old nude palettes and pinky lipgloss and start being creative. Shock me with something awesome. I await it with bated breath.
Yours Hopefully, LBQ x
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