MAC Cosmetics

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MAC Cosmetics
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedMarch 1984; 40 years ago (1984-03)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
FoundersFrank Toskan
Frank Angelo
HeadquartersNew York City, U.S.
ParentEstée Lauder Companies

MAC Cosmetics, stylized as M·A·C, is a Canadian cosmetics manufacturer founded in Toronto in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. The company is headquartered in New York City after becoming a subsidiary of Estée Lauder Companies in 1998. MAC is an acronym for Make-Up Art Cosmetics.

It is named one of the top three global makeup brands, with an annual turnover of over $1 billion, and 500 independent stores, with over thirty stores in France. All stores are run by professional makeup artists.[1] MAC is an official makeup brand, used to create makeup for movie actors. The most popular products by the brand are Studio Fix Fluid and Ruby Woo Lipstick.[2]


MAC lipstick and eye shadow products

The company's products were intended for makeup professionals, but are sold directly to consumers worldwide. Frank Toskan stated that he "first manufactured makeup for models, but then the models wanted this makeup for their sisters, friends, and so on... ".[3]

In the 1990s, the brand had more than one hundred stores worldwide, earning 200 million francs.[3] The development of the brand internationally, the opening of new points of sale, and the adaptation of product lines tailored to each continent, left little time for the founders to create new products. In 1994, the Estée Lauder Companies took control of 51% of shares of MAC Cosmetics and began managing the business end[4] while the two founders retained creative control. In 1997, co-founder Frank Angelo died of cardiac arrest during surgery at the age of 49.[4] Estée Lauder Inc. completed the acquisition in 1998,[5] and Frank Toskan sold his remaining shares shortly thereafter before leaving the company at the end of the same year.

The MAC AIDS Fund was established in 1994 to support men, women, and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally by addressing the link between poverty and HIV/AIDS. According to MAC Cosmetics, the fund has raised over $400 million through the sale of MAC's Viva Glam Lipsticks and Lip glosses, donating 100% of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS.[6] The Viva Glam product line has been a best-seller for the MAC Cosmetics brand.[7] MAC has collaborated with many celebrities for its Viva Glam line, on limited edition lip glosses and lipsticks to support the Mac AIDS Fund. Every year MAC selects a new spokesperson for Viva Glam. The first was drag queen RuPaul in 1994.[8] RuPaul’s Viva Glam lipstick was the first product MAC Cosmetics advertised.[9]

Controversy arose in September 2010, over the anticipated release of the MAC Rodarte collection, a collaborative effort with the fashion label Zara Rodarte, based on the border town of Ciudad Juárez. The city had been plagued by violence against women including hundreds of female homicides. MAC first changed the names of Juarez-related products and eventually pulled the line before distribution,[10] and instead set up a charity which raised over $3 million in two years.[11][12]

MAC Cosmetics store in Westfield Carousel shopping centre in Western Australia

In September 2012, MAC Cosmetics launched in India firstly the "MAC Selena" collection in collaboration with the estate of Selena Quintanilla Perez. A petition on proposed the idea of this collaboration to MAC Cosmetics.[13] Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, worked with MAC to create a collection that represented Selena.[14] The collection sold out within hours not only at MAC stores, but also at other retailers that carried the collection such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Macy's.[15] Due to the high demand for this collection, MAC restocked the collection in December 2016.[16] Her posthumous collaboration with MAC Cosmetics became the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetics history.[17]

In May 2017, MAC Cosmetics became available for purchase online at Ulta Beauty.[18] Products became available in stores in June 2017.[19]

On August 24, 2017, MAC Cosmetics announced that a collection involved with the estate of late singer Aaliyah will be made available in the summer of 2018.[20] The Official release date for the "MAC Aaliyah" collection was made available on June 20 online and June 21 in stores. Along with the MAC collection, MAC and i-D Magazine had partnered up to release a short film titled "A-Z of Aaliyah" which coincided with the launch.[21]

In May 2018, Sephora Canada announced it will carry MAC Cosmetics online and in its stores.[22]

In March 2022, MAC Cosmetics released their new spring Wild Cherry Collection and launched it for Japanese consumers.[23]


  1. ^ Chapuis, Dominique (2 February 2012). "MAC Cosmetics s'offre une vitrine sur les Champs-Elysées". (in French). Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  2. ^ "MAC absolute bestsellers". MAC Cosmetics Official. February 2018.
  3. ^ a b "MAC, cosmétiquement correctLa marque canadienne aux grandes causes va s'implanter en France". Libé Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  4. ^ a b Schiro, Anne-marie (1997-01-17). "Frank Angelo, 49, Cosmetics Innovator, Dies". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  5. ^ "Estee Lauder Buys Remaining MAC Equity". Los Angeles Times. 1998-02-28. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  6. ^ "Viva Glam & MAC Aids Fund". MAC Australia.
  7. ^ President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (November 14, 2014). Press release: "PEPFAR and MAC AIDS Fund Partnership Will Strengthen HIV/AIDS Services for Youth". Retrieved 7 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Mac Aids Fund - Campaign History". MAC MAF Coresite.
  9. ^ Benoit, Andrea (2014). "An advertising world gone completely haywire: MAC VIVA GLAM". Advertising & Society Review. 15 (1). doi:10.1353/asr.2014.0007. S2CID 145107722.
  10. ^ Odell, Amy (August 17, 2010). "M.A.C. Cancels Rodarte Line". New York.
  11. ^ Forrester, Sharon (2010-07-20). "MAC's Rodarte Make-up Collection Sparks Controversy". British Vogue. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  12. ^ "Cosmetics Boycott Launched". La Prensa San Diego. August 6, 2010. Retrieved 2015-07-17.
  13. ^ "Why MAC's Selena Collection Is SO Important For Latinas". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  14. ^ "MAC releases Selena makeup collection this week". 28 September 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Latinas behind growth in cosmetic sales, sold out Selena makeup line - Cronkite News". 4 November 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  16. ^ Sciarretto, Amy (28 December 2016). "Is The MAC x Selena Restock Sold Out? The Collection Is Back & As Popular As Ever". Bustle. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  17. ^ Acciardo, Kelli (17 May 2017). "20 Best-selling MAC Celeb Collaborations of All-time". Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  18. ^ Low, Elaine (3 May 2017). "Ulta Beauty Shares Break Out As Estee Lauder Pops On Earnings". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  19. ^ Shapouri, Beth (10 March 2017). "MAC Cosmetics Is Coming to Ulta, and Now Our Wallets Are in Trouble". Glamour. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  20. ^ "MAC Just Announced An Aaliyah Collection". August 24, 2017.
  21. ^ "Finally, We Have a Launch Date for M.A.C's Aaliyah Collection". April 2, 2018.
  22. ^ M.A.C Cosmetics and Sephora Just Announced an Iconic Partnership Fashion Magazine, August 18, 2018.
  23. ^ Michelle (2022-02-21). "Sneak Peek! MAC Cosmetics Spring 2022 Wild Cherry Collection". BeautyVelle | Makeup News. Retrieved 2022-03-16.

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