Makeup Monday – How to Shop at MAC

I have had so many people tell me that they’ve never been into MAC cosmetics store because they are too intimidated. I think that’s such a shame because MAC has amazing products and to me walking into MAC is as exciting as Christmas morning, every time! But I remember, it wasn’t always that way. When I was younger, I walked by MAC all the time. I would gaze into the store as I walked by but would never go in. I mean, that makeup is for professionals and it must be incredibly expensive. Plus, if I went into the store I would have no idea what to ask for and would look like a complete idiot in front of the gorgeous women who work at MAC.

MAC store


But really MAC isn’t that scary, I promise! But here are a few tips to help you navigate the store.

First and foremost, let the staff there help you! All the staff at MAC are makeup artists. MAC has an incredibly rigorous interview process that includes practical tests, so if the person works there, they know their stuff. I’ve often heard claims that the MAC workers are rude or snobby. I have never, ever had a bad experience at a MAC. Every time I have went in the staff have been incredibly helpful so I really wouldn’t let that rumour scare you away.

The staff will try any and all products on you. You want to know what a blush looks like on your face, not your hand, and they will do that for you. If you bring in a picture of a makeup look you like they will show you how to recreate it. If you have no idea what kind of foundation you need, they will ask you all the right questions to find you the right formula and swatch it on you to colour match your shade. My only piece of advice for this is that sometimes when the store is very busy it can be more difficult for them to offer you all the customer service. Therefore, if you really want some dedicated help try to shop outside of peek hours. (IE avoid weekends).

Another great option is booking an appointment. Many stores offer free full makeup application with the purchase of $50-60 products, which is easy to do. However, some stores do charge a $50-60 fee for the application. The appointment is a great way to learn about the products and learn application tips from the makeup artist. When you are finished your appointment they will give you a list of every product that you used. So even if you like a product but don’t want to spend money on it at the time you have a record of the product for future reference.

One of the differences you’ll notice right away at MAC compared to a regular store is that you’ll see lots of display but yet there isn’t product for you to grab when you are wanting to purchase. For the most part, you need to ask one of the workers there to grab you the product that you like. But you are free to play with all the sample makeup that you like. When it comes to eyeshadows, you can go ahead and swatch as many eyeshadows as you like. There are cleansing wipes located all around the store so you can clean your hand and start all over. If you are looking at lipsticks, just ask a staff member to sanitize the lipstick for you and then you can try it on. If you’re looking for concealer or foundation, have a staff member help you out with choosing the right formula and the right colour for your skin.

Prices – don’t worry, MAC displays their prices. If you look at the bottom of the displays you will see the pricing for all products.


And, their prices are not outrageous. Yes, you will be paying more than at the drugstore but you are also buying quality products. That means, you will use less of the product and therefore it will last you longer. Overall, most of my MAC products end up costing me less than drugstore products if you consider how long they last.

See, it’s really not that scary of a place. Take the plunge once and I promise you will never look back! While I was once scared to enter those doors, it now takes a lot of effort and encouragement to get me out of the doors.

A few other noteworthy facts:

MAC account – At the register, they will ask you for your name to set up an account. You definitely want to do this. It’s not a points system or anything but they keep on file every product you buy. That way when you’re swatching an eyeshadow and you can’t quite remember if you already have that shade, you can just ask them to look it up and they will tell you whether or not you’ve bought it before.

Sales – Sadly MAC does not ever have sales on their makeup. They are kind of like the Apple store, they have a great product and feel no reason to reduce their prices to drive in traffic.

Recycle Program- MAC has a recycle program where if you bring in 6 of your empty containers you get to choose either an eyeshadow or lipstick for free!

Returns-  MAC’s return policy is amazing. Anytime you buy a product, KEEP YOUR RECEIPT! You can return any product, it does not matter whether it is used. If you are unsatisfied for any reason at all, just bring it back. They won’t even look at the product or ask you why you are returning it, it’s a no questions asked return.

Collections – MAC has their standard products that are there all the time. But they also bring in limited edition collections all the time. These are typically set up on pretty displays near the front of the store. These collections tend to go fast and most often the products are limited edition. So, if you like a product from a collection you will want to pick it up while you’re there or you likely won’t be able to get it again.

Have you ever been in to a MAC store? Do you have any further questions about MAC?


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