MAC is one of the most loved and lauded beauty brands around today. Here, we take a look at MAC's innovative approach to make-up and the way we use it, their incredible colours and coverage, and the hero products that have stood the test of time.
We all know the frustration of not finding that perfectly-matched foundation shade or when our eyeshadow palette just doesn’t have the right colour for our outfit. It makes you feel like throwing your hands up in the air and forgetting your plans. Well, that was the starting point for MAC founders Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo back in 1984. Toskan, a photographer and make-up artist, was growing increasingly disheartened with the make-up of the time, which never turned out in his images the way he wanted it to look (we’ve all been there, haven’t we?). He wanted a broader spectrum of colours, higher quality ingredients and professional-quality finishes. So, instead of throwing his hands up in the air in frustration, he teamed up with Angelo and the pair got down to work to create what is now one of the most celebrated and award-winning beauty brands in the world. [MAC](, an anacronym for Make-up Art Cosmetics, started out as one of those industry-insider secrets, used by make-up artists on models for shoots. But then the models wanted to share the amazing make-up with their friends and soon, as with all cult products, everyone wanted it. From a few shelves in a Toronto department store, MAC is now sold worldwide, helped along the way by unsolicited celebrity endorsements from the like of Princess Diana, Linda Evangelista, Madonna, Naomi Campbell and Cher. But the key to MAC’s success isn’t just about the celebrities and make-up artists who have been singing its praises for over 30 years. It’s down to their innovative approach to products and the way that they can be used, how they deliver incredible colours and coverage, and how their hero products have stood the test of time. Over the years, MAC has set the bar for make-up, and truly transformed the industry, the products and our experience of them. Here, we look at some of MAC’s most revolutionary and best-loved products, [now available online](
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Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo

When MAC debuted its now-iconic Ruby Woo shade, it had created the most perfect red lipstick. It’s a beautiful, rich red (with blue undertones) that is as bold and vivacious as it is sophisticated and sultry. This celebrated matte lipstick delivers the perfect pout in one fell swipe. We’d hate to use the pun, “once you go MAC, you never go back”, but in the case of Ruby Woo, we’ll make an exception.

Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo, £17.50

Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation

MAC’s Studio Fix Fluid Foundation must have got its name from being a favourite in high fashion studios, where it’s been used on models and stars to give them that Hollywood-ready, camera-friendly, perfect finish. With MAC’s advanced formula, it delivers full and buildable coverage, minimises pores, controls oil and shine, gives a matte finish and it’s sweat- and humidity-resistant. And when they say it’s longwear, they mean it – it’s been tested and the formula can last for a full 24 hours. Now available in 64 shades, everyone can achieve that flawless, photo-ready face.

Studio Fix Fluid SPF 15 Foundation, £26

Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara

When MAC does mascara, it does best-in-class mascara. This powerful carbon-black formula lifts, shapes and thickens each lash (even the tiny ones) and lasts for up to 16 hours, so we can apply it in the morning and not worry about it till we’re taking it off at night. And thanks to its scientific Thermal-Sensitive Technology, the Extended Play Gigablack Lash mascara also doesn’t smudge with sweat or humidity. With MAC's mascara, there's no compromise on definition, colour, application or staying power.

Extended Play Gigablack Lash Mascara, £16.50

Pigment in Rose

If you need any further proof of MAC’s innovative approach to make-up, pop one of its Pigment pots into your make-up bag. One of the best brands offering pigment powder, MAC gives us this highly concentrated, pure colour multipurpose pigment to radically transform our beauty routines. Yes, you can use it as an eyeshadow (apply it dry or, to make the colour super vibrant, wet your brush), but you can use it for much more. Depending on the shade, it could be a blusher, bronzer or highlighter, or apply it to your lips and cover with a clear gloss and you’ve got your new favourite lip colour. MAC's pigments go to show that make-up can be as versatile and creative as you are.

Pigment in Rose, £16.50

Prep + Prime Fix+

Prep + Prime Fix+ is a prime example of MAC’s revolutionary approach to make-up and skincare. This lightweight water mist is infused with vitamins and minerals which soothe and hydrate the skin. Prep + Prime Fix+ fans use it before applying their make-up to protect and prepare the skin, and it can also be used afterwards to set your make-up so that it lasts all day. And even without make-up, this is a fabulous lift for the skin – especially on those warm summer days when you just need a refreshing boost.

Prep + Prime Fix+, £19

Pro Longwear Concealer

We once interviewed Terry Barber, Director of Make-Up Artistry for MAC, and when talking about a fresh-faced complexion, he said: “It’s about being accurate with concealer - which I think is more important than foundation - adding radiance and cleverly using highlighters to bring a natural glow.” And if Terry Barber thinks concealer is more important than foundation, who are we to argue? Thankfully, MAC created the top-notch Pro Longwear concealer to help us change up our beauty routines. Full coverage, matte finish and 15-hour staying power, it gives a natural-looking finish and an inner-glow complexion.

Pro Longwear Concealer, £18.50


Fashion and beauty have long been used to raise valuable money for charity, and in 1994, MAC launched the MAC AIDS Fund to support people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Since then, they’ve raised over $500 million for their fund, all thanks to their VIVA GLAM lipsticks and glosses. Each year, they bring out a new colour, fronted by a celebrity spokesperson (the first face of VIVA GLAM was the legendary drag performer RuPaul) and MAC donates 100% of the recommended retail price (RRP) minus VAT to their charity. We love the supple pink mauve of VIVA GLAM II, a lipstick that not only looks good but does good too.

VIVA GLAM II Lipstick, £17.50

140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush

They say a poor workman blames his tools, but the tools can never be to blame when they’re from MAC. MAC created its make-up for make-up artists, and those artists also needed the best brushes to apply it - so MAC created them. From the full, loose brushes for powders to the fan brushes for highlighters to the sharp and short styles for pigment eyeliner, MAC brushes help you to achieve that professional quality finish and get the most out of your products. This 140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush is made from a blend of synthetic fibres in different diameter sizes to optimally pick up and apply powders, giving a smoother application.

140 Synthetic Full Fan Brush, £35.50

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