An Open Letter To MAC: What Is This Beauty Madness?

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




  1. Terri Lowe
    February 13, 2015 / 9:41 am

    I do find that their limited edition themed collections are really lack lustre and generally never reflect the theme within the packaging and shades. Weird.

  2. daisy walters
    February 13, 2015 / 9:58 am

    I don't own a single MAC product and I'm actually very pleased about it! I just don't understand the hype, especially when there are brands out there doing the exact same thing for 1/10 of the price!! I would rather save my money and buy 15 £1 lipsticks for the sake of 1 MAC lippy.x x | daisydaisyxxo

  3. sampan_27
    February 13, 2015 / 10:09 am

    Haha! I guess that is true. I have been caught up with the whirlwind of hype, but didn't stop to think. "Actually, would Cinders wear this little?!" And it is so true, surely she would be full of pink cheeks, and blue shadow to match her dress. The name of the collection is amazing, but the colours lack a lot to be desired, don't they? Very well put, I am thinking twice, as to whether I want this collection now! :)haveyouseenhowshespeaks.blogspot,

  4. Kirsty x
    February 13, 2015 / 10:31 am

    Couldn't have said it better myself. Agree wholeheartedly with this! xKirsty – Effortlessly Excessive

  5. Hannah Butterworth
    February 13, 2015 / 10:31 am

    I agree that their collections can sometimes lack, they seem to just push them out. But the Cinderella collection I think does represent her, she's supposed to be a natural beauty and doesn't wear crazy eyeshadow, she has pink cheeks and lips and mega lashes. I think they could have done a brighter pink and a new mascara, but I think the collection is supposed to represent the new Cinderella and not the classic Disney one, and from the images you used she's wearing nudes and muted tones.HannahButterworth – Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

  6. Kiss & Make-up
    February 13, 2015 / 10:40 am

    I hear what you're saying. MAC collaborations are sprouting like mushrooms, it's insane! I personally don't mind relaunches of old or existing shades, but I do mind when the quality isn't up to par. And yeah, what princess sports a no-makeup look to the ball, srsly?? 🙂

  7. Melissa Reynolds-Lawrence
    February 13, 2015 / 10:41 am

    Well said!!

  8. Kemcaflipflops
    February 13, 2015 / 10:47 am

    Hear! Hear! Cinders was never bland in my imagination

  9. Sophia Ford
    February 13, 2015 / 10:49 am

    I love MAC, I really do. And I love the shades in the Cinderella Stroke of Midnight Palette (is that palette a re-release?), but that said, I totally agree.I used to get so excited over new collections, my makeup stash shows how obsessed I used to be about getting all the products I wanted from the latest collection. But then I just….stopped. Like you I rarely see a product which actually matches the theme. Even the packaging of limited edition collections, which used to be a big selling point for me, isn't there anymore. I don't want a product themed around something I love that simply bares the logo/name, I want packaging that translates that too. With the Cinderella collection I expected so much more! The last collection I bought which really promoted a gorgeous array of beautiful shades was the Fashion Sets collection; and that didn't even have fancy packaging, just the standard MAC packaging housing beautiful shades. A lot of the recent collections have been lack-lustre, and if I'm honest, with shades which don't appeal to me because I don't think there's the variety there once was, that accommodates a variety of skintones. The last few collections have all been so pale, that spending so much for a limited edition lipstick didn't even cross my mind; shades so pale that I'd look like I was wearing foundation as lipstick.I fell out of love with MAC's limited edition collections a long time ago, and it's a shame, because they used to be bloody brilliant!

  10. Imogen C
    February 13, 2015 / 10:55 am

    I'm completely with you on this! I was pretty underwhelmed given all the hype – like you said, this neutral look doesn't seem very royal ball-worthy. The same goes for Maleficent and a lot of their other recent collections – as beautiful as the products are, they just seem too safe and vague. I really enjoyed reading this post, very well put!

  11. Jayne Kitsch
    February 13, 2015 / 10:55 am

    I've never been much of a MAC fan, there's so many more interesting brands out there to lust after. I completely agree that they've lost their touch when it comes to limited edition, that last few collections have been very poor. The last one I thought was good was the Disney Villains one a few years ago where you could see the shades were inspired by each character on the packaging. Since then it's just bland with whatever relevant logo whacked on it. Very sad for a brand that has so much money and power to create whatever they want.

  12. Amy Kemp
    February 13, 2015 / 11:08 am

    Ive just checked it out and not one single blue product just blue packaging?purples and nudes. how disappointing and boring!

  13. Zoe Newlove
    February 13, 2015 / 12:22 pm

    I am a huge fan of M.A.C, I even used to work for them. I have to agree though, and you really have hit the nail on the head with this letter. Disney movies hold such importance in my life and hold so many memories. I even remember my Dad buying me the Cinderella film for my video player. Back in the day! Such a shame that they have brought out such a dull interpretation of such a magical, childhood, classic! This is one of my favourites posts :)Zoe Newlove Beauty Blogger & MUA

  14. Arian Yupangco
    February 13, 2015 / 12:33 pm

    I just think with the Cinderella collection they could have added more color choices or variations. I understand and agree with having nude shades, because Cinderella as a character sports a very natural look, but they could have also added another eyeshadow palette that had blue shades, for example.

  15. Shang J.
    February 13, 2015 / 1:21 pm

    I agree! I am very disappointed with MAC Cinderella. There was not even a single product I was tempted by. And I was so looking forward to this magical collection.Shang J. | The Feminine Crusade­­

  16. beautyqueenuk
    February 13, 2015 / 1:22 pm

    Couldn't have said it better myself, I feel as though the entire collection has been made with Prudence in mind instead of Cinderella and that there is no magic to it whatsoever x

  17. Vicki
    February 13, 2015 / 2:40 pm

    So true! The whole collection is bland & not inspiring, glitzy or even pretty enough to be associated with one of the most well known & loved of all the Disney leading ladies. They could have done so much more with this collection but they didn't even get out the starting gate for me. Not impressed at all

  18. BritishBeautyBlogger
    February 13, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    It's so weird – I think maybe there are different teams working on different collaborations so some hit the nail right on the head and others are a complete miss depending on the aesthetic of the team. It also drives me crazy when they re-release because unless you've been to the University of MAC you won't have a clue what's new and what's an oldie returned. I think with Cinderella, they tried to put an edgy slant on it, but don't mess with Cinderella!

  19. Sarah @ Fortytherapy
    February 13, 2015 / 3:55 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree and don't even get me started on the special edition packaging. I do love MAC lipsticks & I adore the simple, classic black packaging – I'd never buy a lipstick in this sickly blue bullet & I fear they must lose a lot of customers through doing this 🙁

  20. lamesha
    February 13, 2015 / 4:44 pm

    You absolutely nailed it. The mass hysteria behind MAC is ridiculous but I've been falling for it recently. My friend wanted to get a lipstick so I went with her and ended up spending $34 on a bullet of ruby woo and lipliner. So much money for only two things. And the lipstick my friend wanted was sold out! Saw the new collection and thought it was "meh" and won't be buying it because it's way too light for my skin tone and I'd just end up looking ashy and weird. I only own two lipsticks and lipliner. I need to stop. Great post.

  21. Jessica Wilson-Leary
    February 13, 2015 / 5:29 pm

    Preaching to the choir! Packaging is one thing but products that actually make sense are what make me part with cash. Cinderella is a nail in Macs coffin, the packaging looks cheap & tacky the products are meh! This should have been all out sparkle a gorgeous pink lipstick, pigments & lipglass in glass slipper! Mac need to up there game!

  22. Charlotte Roberts
    February 13, 2015 / 6:17 pm

    The products themselves look great, but I think the packaging looks so cheap and tacky! I know its supposed to be inspired by Cinderella but it looks so cheap! X

  23. April Todd
    February 13, 2015 / 6:18 pm

    Ugh, i hate when blogger deletes my comment after I sign in!Great post, love your honesty but I adore the look of the glitter lustre eye thing ! I'll probably buy it xx

  24. Anonymous
    February 13, 2015 / 10:13 pm

    After having been on my first ever huge splurge in MAC I was hoping to add my collection with their limited editions but I like you have been left so disappointed! I thought the Cinderella edition was going to blow me away but I was completely underwhelmed! I'm much more impressed with Make-Up Revolution these days, they are incredible value for money, love them!!

  25. Georgina Toms
    February 15, 2015 / 1:14 pm

    I don't think I've ever bothered with the collaborations, firstly I don't enjoy who they work with most of the time. And secondly, like you've said so well, what's going on with the briefs? Where's the thought? Where's the connection?

  26. Laura Brooks
    February 15, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    I'm disappointed in this, this collection looks like it could quite easily have been picked up in my local 99p shop, it should be one of the prettiest collections in a while. But it's one of the worst Laura//libertylovesmakeup,

  27. Anonymous
    February 16, 2015 / 10:10 am

    I don't own any product from Mac but I read 100+reviews and check their limited editions, etc. I don't get all the hype about their nude lipsticks..I see so many minuses and people describe them even on blog but still continue to buy mac. One LE which I fell in love was Aquatic. It had beutiful eyeshadows and great packaging, different from other LEs. The only thing nice about Cinderella collection is packaging but it still looks a little childish and plastic not in a good way.

  28. sabrina.jaine
    February 17, 2015 / 1:56 am

    I agree with you, MAC collections used to be so much more exciting and creative and there also seems to be so much less hype about MAC in general in the beauty community these days. I hope they get back on track soon. I guess the one good thing we can take from this is that we're saving money from not rushing to buy limited edition products!

  29. Shannon Kims
    February 18, 2015 / 11:17 am

    I was so excited for this collection to come out and like yourself I was thoroughly disappointed. I wanted sparkle and glitter!! Golds and Blues – not dull browns and nudes! Very sad indeed.

  30. Georgie Piccaver
    February 19, 2015 / 11:19 am

    i love MAC, but im not even going to bother x

  31. All Hail The Nails
    February 22, 2015 / 11:30 am

    I only own one MAC item and that's the rocky horror lipstick in Frankenfurter which I absolutely love! But all the other LE items just don't seem to match the theme which is a shame. I think I'll still to the cheaper dupes like Make up Revolution for now x

  32. SteffR
    March 4, 2015 / 3:27 pm

    Ha! Maybe they should have gone with Urban Decay, who had so much fun with Alice in Wonderland! But maybe Disney wouldn't go to that company, I don't know! I haven't seen the Cinderella stuff but it does sound awfully boring from your description in terms of the product representing the fairy tale. I too would expect a bit of sparkle, maybe some princess pink and baby blue, etc. Are they doing anything Ugly Stepsister/ Wicked Stepmother related? Maybe that would have been more fun!

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