MAC Cosmetics (Make-up Art Cosmetics; stylized as MÂ·AÂ·C) is a manufacturer of cosmetics headquartered in New York City.
MAC Cosmetics, Makeup Art Cosmetics, was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in 1984 with the assistance of chemist Vic Casale. The first U.S MAC store opened in 1991, in New York.
The company's products were initially specifically designed for professional make-up artists but are now sold to consumers worldwide. Long before their company history, MAC cosmetics founders directed their product line towards professionals in the beauty and fashion industry who had to rely on heavy cosmetics, cake makeup, and stage makeup to create the visual effects needed to withstand bright lighting during photo shoots. MAC cosmetics can be found at department stores worldwide such as Belk, Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's and Dillard's, as well as MAC Stores. Nordstrom was the first department store in the United States to sell the product exclusively and was significant in helping the company establish a resounding financial success in the US. After a four year contract was up, MAC began expanding to other retail stores and vigorously began opening industry stores.
EstÃ©e Lauder Companies acquired a controlling interest in MAC in 1996, then completed their acquisition of the company in 1998. Original founder Frank Angelo died in 1997 due to complications during surgery.
MAC provides a wide variety of products for the everyday consumer such as eyeshadows, lipsticks, lip-gloss, all types of foundations, concealer, nail polish, stage makeup, and mascara. Among all of these make-up products, MAC also sells fragrances, make-up brushes, and skin care products.
On January 8, 2011, Warner Bros. Consumer Products announced that DC Comics' fictional heroine Wonder Woman would team up with MAC Cosmetics to create a Wonder Woman makeup collection that would be available in MAC stores in the spring of 2011. The collection included blush, eye shadow, eyeliner, lip gloss, lipstick, mascara, mineral powder and nail polish.
Most MAC products are oil free. Some MAC products do contain natural oils which function as emollients (for example: orange oil, jojoba oil).
The MAC PRO Program is available to cosmetic professionals. A MAC PRO membership application is required along with two forms of professional identification. The application is mailed and approved by a MAC PRO representative. Cosmetic professionals and students receive discounts on purchases. Only schools of Makeup Artistry, Aesthetics and the Performing Arts are eligible to participate in the MÂ·AÂ·C PRO Student Program.
MAC has five social initiative programs currently in place:
- MAC Cruelty-Free Beauty: MAC formerly guaranteed that no animal testing was performed by them or their suppliers, however MAC no longer guarantees its products are cruelty free. Current policy is that "Our products are not tested on animals except when absolutely mandated by law" '
- Back 2 MAC Recycling: offers free lipgloss, eyeshadow, or lipstick at any MAC location (lipsticks only at MAC counters in department stores) with the return of six empty MAC containers. The only items that can be obtained free through Back 2 MAC are original Lipglass (excluding: Lustreglass, Plushglass, Cremesheen Glass, Pro Longwear Lipglass and Dazzleglass), single (non-refill, small-size) eyeshadows (excluding Pro Longwear, Mineralize, and Pressed Pigments), and lipstick in the original black and silver bullet packaging. Viva Glam, Mineralize, Sheen Supreme, and Pro Longwear lipsticks, as well as lipsticks in special decoration packaging, are excluded.
- MAC Kids Helping Kids: ran from 1994 to 2013 where kids affected or infected by HIV/AIDS created images that were reproduced as greeting cards for retail. 100% of the selling price went directly to participating organizations.
- The MAC AIDS Fund: supports community organizations providing direct services to men, women and children affected or infected by HIV/AIDS. To date the foundation has raised over $295,000,000 usd since its inception in 1994.
- MAC Viva Glam: 100% of the purchase price of any Viva Glam product (lipsticks, lipglasses and holiday sets) goes to the MAC Aids Fund. Multiple Celebrities have endorsed the MAC Viva Glam products, such as: RuPaul, Lady Gaga, Cyndi Lauper, Elton John, Nicki Minaj,Miley Cyrus Christina Aguilera, Rihanna, Boy George, Ricky Martin, Dita Von Teese, Shirley Manson, Mary J. Blige and more.
MAC was the center of controversy when public offense arose over the anticipated September 2010 release of the MAC Rodarte collection, a collaborative effort with the fashion label Rodarte. The collection was based on the border town of Ciudad Juarez, in which at least 400 women have been killed in brutal slayings. MAC eventually pulled the line before distribution, and instead set up $100,000 in a charity. The charity has currently raised over 3 million dollars in 2 years.
- MAC Consumer Site
- MAC PRO Site