Thursday, 31 January 2013

When Favourite Brands Disappoint - Mac Cosmetics

MAC Style Black Collection 2009

The above promo visual was from one of my most anticipated collections released not only by Mac but ever. I loved everything about it. The visuals, the products, the aesthetic. Everything. For me, Mac could do no wrong, apart from the DREADFUL quality of their limited edition mini brush sets....which they have since rectified and made better, thank goodness, because I remember one brush being so hard and prickly it actually punctured my skin. I think it was from the Tartan Tale collection from 2010 when I was till buying up virtually every limited release they were doing that I could possibly afford.

Barbie Loves Mac Collection 2007

Barely a month has gone by in the last ten or so years that I haven't been ferociously checking up on when another collection was going to drop and whether it would mean I'd have trouble paying my rent because of it. They were consistently exciting, beautiful, pushing boundaries and in the case of Viva Glam Collection, which donate the entire retail price (minus VAT) of the products in the range to charities that support those suffering from HIV and AIDS and as of 2011 they've raised in excess of $200 million. See one of my FAVOURITE visuals from this range below.

MAC Viva Glam launch campaign featuring RuPaul 1985

So why, given the massive lust, love and excitement over Mac cosmetics, am I currently so disappointed? Well, it's a pretty recent thing. Mac have done the 'limited collection' thing for a long time, and I've always had complete trust in them as a brand to be forward thinking and to bring trend based products to market that i'd expect long before drugstore brands start pushing them to the masses. This had always been the case, Style Black 2009 being a prime example, given that it was pushing black lipstick in several different finishes far before any other brand dared to take that chance. Goodness, they even hooked up with fashionista hangout club BoomBox (which I confess I used to go to, god help me) to bring out a limited edition book featuring regulars there (some I know in person but didn't know till this day they're in there!). Mac have been a brand to laugh in the face of convention and playing it safe. So again...why the title of this blog?

MAC Boom Box ltd edition book, 2007

Well, it's been a build up of things really. Think of the last few BIG trends of the last two or three years. Brows, contouring, and matte lipstick. Androgyny has also been a key look, but again, not a new thing, over the past couple of years or so. Given the fact that Mac is meant to be a fashion forward brand, I was expecting, and needing some releases focusing on these products. Now i'm not saying that Mac isn't tackling these things, but there's been release after release of products, all of them pretty boring repromotes, containing safe, easy colours, or rehashes of seasonal releases. I mean, their visuals are still beautiful and captivating mostly, the below, of the 2012/13 Taste Temptation collection, is androgyny x 1000 and it's stunning, but the actual collection doesn't correlate at all really....

MAC Taste Temptation collection 2012/13

And as for brows, well, finally we got a brow focused collection called The Stylish Brow which is for spring 2013, but surely thats a bit late isn't it? Not that i've expected it from any other brand, but with Mac, they're my favourite brand and i've come to expect a comprehensive collection focused on a trend and in time to wear when it's relevant. I've been doing big brows for two years, I would have expected this collection to drop a long time before. 

As for contouring, we've had the Pro Sculpting collection late in 2012, which was great, and there was the limited sculpting powder, from the Sculpt and Shape collection in 2007, but not only was the revisiting of these contouring products really late, they were so limited in release, that they're all sold out, and now something I use as part of my routine at least four times a week, is nearly used up and I can't get any more! Stop taking things away from me Mac! Of course, Illamasqua have picked up the baton with the fashion forward products being brought quickly to market, but the basis of Illamasqua, as much as am passionate about it, is pretty different, being more theatrical in nature. Visually the below was the nearest to MAC that they've got, but the releases aren't as comprehensive, even if, dare I say it, the quality seems better much of the time in a few mediums.

Illamasqua Human Fundamentalism collection, 2011/12

So where does this leave me and MAC? Well, despite my moaning, they remain my favourite brand overall. I just hope they one day, decide to perhaps cut BACK on the millions of limited releases, and listen to their customer base regarding what they want and need. Also, to stop releasing products that could easily become essential for customers to own, for example, the recent Prep and Prime Illuminating Primer has been the BEST primer I have ever, EVER used, covering every angle of what my oily dull skin needs, but no, they let me have it once and take it off the shelves! 

 So MAC, please hear our cries. I have read several blogs feeling negative about them over the past year. Kick yourselves up the bottom and make us fall in passionate lust with you again....

MAC Hello Kitty Mild collection, 2009

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