Friday, 6 June 2008

Me and MAC

I love makeup, infact I'm obsessed with it, but you may be surprised to know that I haven't always been interested in the MAC brand. This is surprising as MAC is like the top dog of cosmetics. It's mostly due to the fact that I don't have a counter near me, so it's never been accessible and I'd rather see and try the products in person than buy online with the aid of rubbish computer swatches. Also, MAC is loved by so many, that this put me off. I didn't want to adore MAC just because 'everybody else does'.
However last March came the Barbie/MAC collaboration and, I'm going to digress here (I do that), but do you remember the episode of E.R. when Carter finishes his shift and goes back to speak to Weaver about the attending position and he somehow ends up with tonnes of patients after being sucked back into the ER? Well, MAC kinda did that to me. It started with the Barbie stuff, pretty colours printed with the Barbie head logo, in Limited Edition packaging, plus they brought out a doll, and £100 later, buying sight unseen I must add, I expected (or hoped) this would be my first and last MAC purchase. However, in that year and a bit I've literally spent around £1000...just on MAC. I, like Carter, have been sucked in and can't get out. As a member of MakeupAlley, an online site dedicated to the world of cosmetics, I did have a slight feeling that if I took the plunge into MAC, I'd become enveloped in the brand and see no way out. You see MAC is like no other brand out there in my opinion. The 'fan-base' are a pretty intense bunch, some will not even buy any other brand, just MAC alone. There are several sites, stalked by millions eager to find out about new releases and colour descriptions, months before they hit the counters. Loooking at celebrity photos, MAC fans find it easy to spot 'Oh, she's wearing 'x' lipglass' or 'that eyeshadow looks like 'x' does on me'. They know colour names and descriptions off by heart and probably remember Limited Edition launch dates better than family brithdays or phone numbers!
Part of why MAC didn't immediately appeal to me is the packaging, it's black and clear and practical I guess...which to me equals boring. Don't get me wrong, I am in no way a brand snob, I'll try anything whether it's an eyeshadow from Collection 2000 at £1.99, Too Faced at £10.50 or Christian Dior at £35. However I am a sucker for pretty packaging, lace adorned items from Pout, funky purple at Urban Decay, pastel shades at Hard Candy and ridiculously pretty pieces from Dior that could just be looked at and never actually used. MAC stepped out of their comfort zone though and got my attention with Barbie and it was then that I actually got the chance to try their products and realised that they were worth all the hype.

Eyeshadows are available in every colour imaginable, the lipgloss is soooo shiny and glossy and the blush goes on like silk. The products are not overly expensive to be honest, priced somewhere between drugstore brands like Bourjois and Rimmel and department store brands such as Clinique or Chanel. Lipsticks cost £11, eyeshadow £10, foundation £19 and blush £14.

I must admit I mostly buy from the Limited Edition (LE) collections. It's getting to the stage where MAC seem to bring out a new collection every week and there's usually something I like from it, so my money goes on that and I never have any left to try out anything from the regular line before the next LE range appears. I still consider myself a relative newcomer to the brand, although it didn't take long until I too, was scouring Specktra to find out about new releases and googling for swatches and colour descriptions! The recent Fafi and Heatherette LE ranges (huge fan of both before mac) firmly cemented my devotion to the brand. I am now on a mission to find older LE ranges that I missed out on before I bought the brand. I'm especially looking for the Lure collection which came in fantastic, metallic, green packaging (pretty packaging again you see).
I mostly buy online from MAC, with the help of sites like MakeupAlley and Specktra, I am usually able to get a good idea of what the shades look like before I get them. It's not ideal, as I normally love swatching the colours on my hand and can tell which shades I'll like with just a glance. I have still never been in person to a MAC counter in my life! My sister will sometimes go for me, with a list in hand. She's not into makeup, but is getting to know new launches almost as much as me. On occasion she's even had to tell the assistant 'It's from the new 'x' collection'! I'll always check out the latest range and reckon MAC will be seeing a lot more of my money in the future, they just continue to make colours that appeal to me, but I'll never completely give up buying from other brands. I just love all makeup too much to do that!

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