MAC Cosmetics

This article is about MAC Cosmetics. For Computer made by Apple Inc., see Macintosh. For Mac's operating system, see Mac OS.
MAC Cosmetics
Industry Consumer goods
Founded Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1984)
Founders Frank Angelo
Headquarters New York City, New York, United States
Products Cosmetics
Parent Estée Lauder Companies

MAC Cosmetics, stylized as M·A·C, is a cosmetics manufacturer founded in Toronto and now headquartered in New York City and part of the Estée Lauder Companies.


MAC Cosmetics (MAC standing for Make-up Art Cosmetics) was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in 1984 with the assistance of chemist Vic Casale. Nordstrom was the first department store in the United States to sell MAC products.

Estée Lauder Companies acquired a controlling interest in MAC in 1996, then completed their acquisition of the company in 1998. Original founder Frank Angelo died in 1997 due to complications during surgery.[1]

Mac Cosmetics creator Frank Angelo

The brand first appeared in 1985. Frank Toskan became creative director, and Frank Angelo became director of marketing.[2] The first store opened in 1991 in Greenwich Village.

The company's products were originally intended for makeup professionals, but are now sold directly to consumers worldwide. Frank Toskan states that he "first manufactured makeup for models, but then the models wanted this makeup for their sisters, friends, and so on... ".[3] 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."[4]

In the 1990s, the brand had over a 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. The company Estée Lauder took control of 51% of shares of MAC Cosmetics in 1994;[2] the two founders retained creative control, while Estée Lauder managed the business end. The brand opened their first store in France in 1992 in the Latin Quarter. One of the company founders, Frank Angelo, died of cardiac arrest during surgery in 1997 at the age of 49.[2] At that time, MAC had a revenue of US $250 million, which doubled ten years later. Estée Lauder Inc. completed the acquisition in 1998, and Frank Toskan decided to sell his remaining shares shortly thereafter; he left the company he founded at the end of the same year, 1998.

In 2013, MAC opened stores in Lagos, Nigeria, as well as in Zambia and Botswana. The Lagos store is located in the Ikeja City Mall.

Today, MAC Cosmetics is 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.[5]

In September 2016, MAC Cosmetics launched the "MAC Selena" collection in collaboration with Selena Quintanilla Perez. A petition on proposed the idea of this collaboration to MAC Cosmetics.[6] Selena's sister, Suzette Quintanilla, worked with MAC to create the perfect collection that really represented Selena.[7] 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.[8] Due to the high demand for this collection, MAC will be restocking it in early January 2017.[9]



Main article: Mac AIDS Fund

The M·A·C 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. It has raised over $400 million through the sale of M·A·C's Viva Glam Lipsticks and Lipglosses, donating 100% of the sale price to fight HIV/AIDS. Since the release of the Viva Glam product line, MAC Cosmetics has released six Viva Glam lip shades; The first, Viva Glam I lipstick shade has a matte, intense brownish blue-red; Viva Glam II is a pink-beige shade with shimmer in a satin finish. Viva Glam III is a muted brownish-plum with a matte finish; Viva Glam IV is a mid-tone rose with gold pearl in a frost finish; Viva Glam V has a lustre finish in a neutral pink and pearl shade. The latest Viva Glam shade, Viva Glam VI is a terracotta-plum shade with pearl in a lustre finish. The Viva Glam product line remains to be an iconic, best-seller for the MAC Cosmetics brand. [10]


Controversy arose in September 2010 over the anticipated release of the MAC Rodarte collection, a collaborative effort with the fashion label 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,[11] and instead set up a charity which raised over $3 million in 2 years.[12][13]


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