MAC Cosmetics

MAC Cosmetics, stylized as M·A·C, is a cosmetics manufacturer founded in Toronto, Canada in 1984 by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. The company is headquartered in New York City and became part of the Estée Lauder Companies in 1996. MAC is an acronym for Make-up Art Cosmetics.

MAC Cosmetics
FoundedMarch 1984 (1984-03)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
FoundersFrank Toskan
Frank Angelo
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, U.S.
ParentEstée Lauder Companies


During his time as a photographer and makeup artist, co-founder Frank Toskan realized the lack of suitable colours and textures needed to maximize performance and result of makeup for these industries. Further, he realized how limited conventional products in the cosmetic industry were to responding to the needs of the modern woman. For the first time ethnicity in makeup was addressed. Toskan began to craft a niche market in the world of makeup. Family joined forces including brother-in-law and chemist Victor Casale. The Franks created the brand that was “by makeup artists for makeup artists.” They were also were known for creating many vivid and rich colours, for every skin tone, focusing on darker skin tones.[1] MAC very quickly cultivated a following in both the fashion and the retail markets, and was responsible for creating many trends.[1] Initially sold exclusively at the BAY in Canada it quickly expanded to Henry Bendel in New York. Nordstrom department stores welcomed the brand soon after marking MAC's first foray into the mass North American retail market Saks, Macy's, Dillard's, and Bloomingdale's rapidly followed suit as well as dozens of MAC owned stand alone stores. Unsolicited celebrity endorsement was key to MAC's success as Madonna, Mariah Carey, Princess Diana, Linda Evangelista, Naomi Campbell, Cher, and Janet Jackson embraced this new world of makeup art. MAC continues to be the leader in creative cosmetic innovation worldwide.

The company's products were originally 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... ".[2] Today, the brand continues to work with in fashion show professionals: "From a niche brand [mainly for photo or film], MAC has become a global brand."[3]

In the 1990s, the brand had over a hundred stores worldwide, earning 200 million francs.[2] 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 company Estée Lauder 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] At that time, MAC had a revenue of US $250 million, which doubled ten years later. Estée Lauder Inc. completed the acquisition in 1998,[5] and Frank Toskan decided to sell his remaining shares shortly thereafter before leaving the company at the end of the same year.

MAC Cosmetics 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.[6] 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.[7] MAC has the highest number of Instagram followers among all cosmetics brands in the world.[8]

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.[9] Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, worked with MAC to create the perfect collection that really represented Selena.[10] 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. Fans stood in line for hours to get their hands on the collection but some did walk away empty handed.[11] Due to the high demand for this collection, MAC restocked the collection in December 2016.[12] Her posthumous collaboration with MAC Cosmetics became the best-selling celebrity collection in the cosmetics history.[13]

In May 2017, MAC Cosmetics became available for purchase online at Ulta Beauty.[14] Products became available in stores in June 2017.[15]

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.[16] The Official release date for the "MAC Aaliyah" collection will be made available on June 20 online and June 21 in stores. Along with the MAC collection, MAC and i-D Magazine has partnered up to release a short film titled "A-Z of Aaliyah" which will coincide with the launch.[17]

In May 2018, Sephora announced it would be carrying MAC Cosmetics in its stores.[18]


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 Lipglosses, donating 100% of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS.[19] The Viva Glam product line has been a best-seller for the MAC Cosmetics brand.[20] 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.[21] RuPaul’s Viva Glam lipstick was the first product MAC Cosmetics advertised.[22]

MAC Collaborations

MAC has collaborated with several famous personalities over the years, including the following;


  1. Benoit, Andrea (2014). "An Advertising World Gone Completely Haywire: MAC VIVA GLAM". Advertising & Society Review. 15 (1).
  2. "MAC, cosmétiquement correctLa marque canadienne aux grandes causes va s'implanter en France". Libé Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  3. "Résultats recherche". Les (in French). Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  4. 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. Chapuis, Dominique. "MAC Cosmetics s'offre une vitrine sur les Champs-Elysées". (in French). Retrieved 2016-02-20.
  7. "MAC absolute bestsellers". MAC Cosmetics Official. February 2018.
  8. "Instagram: most-followed beauty brands 2019". Statista. Retrieved 2019-09-19.
  9. "Why MAC's Selena Collection Is SO Important For Latinas". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  10. "MAC releases Selena makeup collection this week". Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  11. "Latinas behind growth in cosmetic sales, sold out Selena makeup line - Cronkite News". 4 November 2016. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  12. Sciarretto, Amy. "Is The MAC x Selena Restock Sold Out? The Collection Is Back & As Popular As Ever". Bustle. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  13. Acciardo, Kelli. "20 Best-selling MAC Celeb Collaborations of All-time". Retrieved 13 September 2017.
  14. Low, Elaine (3 May 2017). "Ulta Beauty Shares Break Out As Estee Lauder Pops On Earnings". Investor's Business Daily. Retrieved 8 May 2017.
  15. Shapouri, Beth. "MAC Cosmetics Is Coming to Ulta, and Now Our Wallets Are in Trouble". Glamour. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  16. "MAC Just Announced An Aaliyah Collection". August 24, 2017.
  17. "Finally, We Have a Launch Date for M.A.C's Aaliyah Collection". April 2, 2018.
  18. M.A.C Cosmetics and Sephora Just Announced an Iconic Partnership Fashion Magazine, August 18, 2018.
  19. "Viva Glam & MAC Aids Fund". MAC Australia.
  20. 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.
  21. "Mac Aids Fund - Campaign History". MAC MAF Coresite.
  22. Benoit, Andrea (2014). "An advertising world gone completely haywire: MAC VIVA GLAM". Advertising & Society Review: Project MUSE. 15 (1). doi:10.1353/asr.2014.0007.
  23. "Hiring RuPaul was just one of MAC's bold, progressive moves — now, Frank Toskan finally gets his dues". National Post. October 31, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
  24. "Finally, We Have a Launch Date for M.A.C's Aaliyah Collection". April 2, 2018.
  25. Davis, Arianna (September 16, 2016). "Why MAC's Selena Collection Is SO Important For Latinas". Refinery29. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  26. Schott, Julie (Aug 22, 2017). "Here's What Nicki Minaj's New M.A.C Lipsticks Look Like". ELLE. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  27. "What's In The MAC Cosmetics x Mariah Carey Collection?". December 13, 2016.
  28. "Get a First Look at the Ellie Goulding for M.A.C. Collection". December 3, 2013.
  29. "MAC Cosmetics + Kelly & Sharon Osbourne Limited Edition Collection". June 12, 2014.
  30. Capon, Laura (Nov 15, 2017). "Patrick Starrr's MAC collection is dreamier than Ryan Reynolds". Cosmopolitan.
  31. "MAC x Jeremy Scott Collection for Spring 2018". Temptalia Beauty Blog: Makeup Reviews, Beauty Tips. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  32. Fasanella, Kaleigh (December 1, 2017). "A M.A.C. x Sia Viva Glam Lipstick Is Coming". Allure. Allure Magazine. Retrieved 12 November 2018.
  33. "See Rihanna's Latest Collection For MAC Cosmetics". 2010.
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