Well blow me down with a feather. MAC… count me one seriously impressed consumer who loves you more. Following from the global outrage from the serious blunder of the names of the products from the MAC/Rodarte collaboration, MAC have now announced that they are going to donate the entire global profits of the collection to the “Women and Girls of Juarez Initiative”. From my point of view MAC have completely redeemed themselves by renaming the products, apologising and following up by donating 100% of the profits from the collection. It’s what I (and many other bloggers and consumers) called for and MAC have done everything they can to make amends for their lack of foresight. The entire statement can be viewed on Temptalia.
It’s not often that a company completely and wholeheartedly apologises and takes charge of their mistakes. I’ve also been impressed at how quickly they’ve responded. It’s not as if there were people picketing MAC counters and stores and the whole affair never made it beyond the internet and onto actual newsprint or TV. This more than simply trying to do damage control, MAC are trying to actually do some real good.
I will continue to be a huge MAC supporter, and buy their products with a clear conscience but I must admit that I still can’t get over Rodarte’s role in all this and it hasn’t warmed me to them whatsoever. It was their initial fashion collection that started all this. I’ve decided not to buy anything from the collection itself as I don’t want to support Rodarte at all, but will donate to the Juarez initiative and buy other MAC products.
I was so pleased to read via Temptalia the following official statement from MAC.
“We understand that product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection have offended our consumers and fans. This was never our intent and we are very sorry. We continue to listen carefully to the comments we have received and have the following plans to address concerns:
- We are committed to donating $100,000 to a non-profit organization that has a proven, successful track-record helping women in need and that can directly improve the lives of women in Juarez in a meaningful way.
- We are changing the product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection.”
It’s so heartening to see a company respond so quickly and decisively following a blunder like this. It also relieves me personally that it looks as if MAC and I are on the same page again. Of couse I’m not going to agree with the decisions of every single company whose products I buy but having been “my” brand for so long (over 15 years) it was so important in this case to see that my belief and faith in the principles of MAC have not been wrong.
This still leaves the sticky question of how this could have happened in the first place. As many commentators have already said, was there really no point at which anyone in the decision making process put their foot down and said “Hang on, there’s something not big or clever about this…” ? Or worse did they all agree that “This could be cool, edgy, political, making a statement….”
What’s worse, ignorance (of which I myself was guilty of before all this), incompetence, or insensitivity?
Although the question remains, it doesn’t take much away from the fact that MAC done good with me in the end. After only 48 hours since this exploded online, MAC have changed the product names, committed to making a sizeable donation (although nowhere near the 100% proceeds I would have ideally liked) and apologised.
I find the poll in Temptalia’s post interesting: at the present time, just under 20% of people have said they have turned in MAC’s favour following the decision whilst nearly double that number appear to have been unaffected by the whole fuss, saying they would have purchased from the collection anyway. The statistics don’t sit pleasantly with me in my feelings towards the make-up buying public. But I offer thanks and congratulations to all the beauty bloggers who took up the cause and discussed and publicised this issue whipping up the storm in the teacup of the beauty business. I didn’t agree with all the opinions offered but I am thankful all the opinions were out there and that they didn’t ignore the situation or take the stance that “it’s just make-up” or “let’s leave politics out of it”.
There were more blogs, but I’m just mentioned the ones of those which I read, discussed and commented on. For my part, I think I’ll limit myself to buying one item from the collection and making a cash donation of anything else I would have spent to a Juarez non-profit organisation. I’m not considering ever becoming a Rodarte customer in the future.
“M·A·C Cosmetics honors the beauty in everyone – all races, all sexes, all ages. Upholding the rights of everyone for creative self-expression, M·A·C offers an extraordinary collection of professional quality cosmetics. Eschewing the high-price “face” of traditional fashion marketing, M·A·C lets its products speak for themselves through seasonal runway debuts and its commitment to providing customers with sophisticated retail environments that in design, ambience, and artist-based service, lie outside the mainstream. Beyond a brand, M·A·C is a culture that extols the provocative, and upholds high style, while staying real. It’s efforts on behalf of AIDS, cruelty-free testing, and recycling programs remain an integral aspect of the culture, ethos and identity of M·A·C.”
The above is taken directly from MAC’s website about their philosophy.
If MAC is just another make-up company to you, then you might be wondering what all the fuss is regarding the upcoming MAC and Rodarte collaboration make-up collection. To get the lowdown on the situation I’m going to direct you to BritishBeautyBlogger’s post on the whole affair. It’s thanks to her and her network of beauty bloggers that the news of this controversy has spread throughout the beauty blogging community. I first came across it yesterday whilst on Temptalia catching up with upcoming MAC and make-up news. In short, the upcoming MAC & Rodarte collection is supposedly inspired by the landscape and imagery of the people, events and geography of Ciudad Juarez, a bordertown city in Mexico across from Texas. Tragically the town is infamous for poverty, high murder count and ‘feminicidios’ – female homicides and las muertas de Juarez (the dead women of Juarez).
Controversy and dodgy “inspirations” in fashion imagery in the name of art is nothing new. Rodarte are just another fashion house to me, beautiful clothes, but their collections and inspirations don’t concern me. What has saddened me is that MAC are behind this. To many many many people MAC are not just a make-up company. They are supposed to be for everyone, all races, all sexes, all ages. They are political in their creation and their causes. Their first brand spokesperson was Ru Paul. They signed up K.D. Lang for their 2nd Viva Glam lipstick. They are supposed to be aware of issues and sensitive to the world beyond make-up, and fashion. They are the brand famous for giving 100% of the proceeds of Viva Glam lipsticks to their AIDS causes, and promoting this cause at their own expense.
Time and time again when make-up enthusiasts name MAC as their favorite make-up brand, it’s not just about the make-up. It’s about their philosophy, their politics, their causes and the thinking behind their decisions.
I’m glad that this issue has brought up discussion and awareness. I was not aware of the situation in Juarez before this. MAC please make it right. I don’t care about Rodarte, but I expect something more, something different from the company behind Viva Glam, Back to MAC and Kids Helping Kids.
- Change the product names.
- Give 100% of the collection proceeds to Juarez causes.
- Be aware that, like you set out in your philosophy, to your fans you are more than just another make-up brand.
I mentioned it before, but cosmetics brands promote a bit more aggressively in Korea. Even the high end and department store brands aren’t averse to throwing samples, freebies and loyalty card schemes at you and they track their customers’ purchases and activity closely. Chanel, MAC, Dior, Benefit, Armani, and probably all the other prestige brands have showered me with good service in Korea. Partly it’s the culture (Korean’s chase value for money) and no brand can afford to be left behind. (more…)
Here’s the new BB cream from MAC! Although they’re calling it a “Beauty Balm” rather than the Blemish Balm that BB cream originally stands for they’re obviously trying to reel in the Asian woman who has abandoned foundation in droves for BB cream. Multiply that all over Asia and you can see why L’oreal (via Maybelline and Lancome) and Estee Lauder have been chasing the bandwagon. Good try, but a bit late guys. It’s like their lame attempts to get some of the mineral make-up market after being left in the dust by Bare Escentuals and other start-up companies. You need to innovate not imitate especially when you’ve got millions and millions of dollars in research budgets at your disposal. You’ve got no excuse. What’s betting their next attempts will be a foundation with the letters “H” and “D” in the title?
Behold my MAC Style black haul. Yes, this post is really late! This was one of those lust collections for me that I’ve been lemming and lemming ever since I heard of it. I wasn’t going to go for the black lipsticks (I actually have a pretty good Barry M black and this girl only needs one black lippie). What I had my eye on was the mineralize eyeshadows, the nail varnishes, the skincare and the greasepaint sticks. Well FAIL on the nail varnishes and skincare because they aren’t being released in Korea. WHAAAAAAT!!!!!!!! I hate it when they do that. We got some crappy repromotes of nail varnish shades which are in the permanent collection in other countries. Grrrr. We also DIDN’T get the greasepaint stick in black for I don’t know what bloody reason.
Luckily I have a friend visiting from the UK who’s bringing me all the missing items (along with a pair of winter boots: you can’t buy my shoe size in Korea in women’s shoes as I have freakishly big feet apparently).
The shadows: LOVE but only when applied wet. I don’t like them dry, too much fall out and a dry dusty look with scattered glitter. But foiled, beautiful. As they’re baked products, they are fine to use wet.
Greasepaint sticks I’d rate 3 out of 5. Great pigmentation, glide on, but they set too quickly and are difficult to blend so limited use as an eyeshadow base. I use it for smokey dark lid colour and eyeliner. These are officially part of the DSqauared collection, not Style Black. The purple is my favourite of the two.
I also bought a back-up of the #165 brush which I love for blusher, powder and highlighter and even blending small areas of concealer. Love.
Head on over to the Vogue UK beauty blog to see sneak peeks of some new MAC products, currently on trial backstage during London Fashion Week.
The Vogue beauty blog isn’t usually essential reading but their backstage coverage at London Fashion Week has been great with some great behind-the-scenes scoops. Those blushers have awakened the lemmings within.
Talking of London Fashion week, what a great line-up this year. Anna Wintour’s making a guest appearance, something she only does every leap year or so. With big name hitter Burberry Prorsum showing the buzz in London is almost audible from this side of the world, and look at the schedule for today:
|13:15||Fashion Fringe at Covent Garden|
|17:45||House of Holland|
|20:45||Pringle of Scotland|
Every show is either a cutting edge or advertising must have (well, maybe not Twenty8Twelve) so all the junior fashion editors will be lurching around on their ridiculous platform shoes from 9 am. It sounds like a nightmare day…. but I half wish I was there.
The MAC Graphic Garden collection is now for sale in Korea on their website. It’s pretty late after the states but there doesn’t seem to be any particular rhyme or reason to the timing of new collections: sometimes they hit the same time, sometimes weeks later.
The two palettes are worth getting especially for the extremely cute holographic cover. Me? Darling, I got mine weeks ago via other channels. (A friend from the UK who knows my weakness for special edition palettes).
You know those MAC Fall Jin Soon Choi nail varnishes that I failed to find yesterday? I called every MAC counter in Seoul (and the suburbs) to see if I could get my hands on Cool Reserve (the pale grey lavender), Dry Martini (dirty olive), Beyond Jealous (teal/indigo), and For Fun (cream grape). Of course not, they’re all sold out, I knew that even before I started calling around. But still I put myself through it because, pity me, the lemmings have come to play.
I don’t even want the nail varnishes *that* much. I have about 50 nail varnishes (mostly Korean brands) which I love and I know the shades are probably dupable or I can frankenpolish them but the fact that I can’t get them makes me want them. I like my make-up lemmings to play hard-to-get.
For my non-beautyaddict readers asking what on earth is a lemming, let me explain.
The online make-up bible, Makeupalley defines a lemming as:
- lemming – to follow suit with the raves, to really want something
This doesn’t even begin to explain fully what a lemming is. In the real world, a lemming is a cute fluffy rodent creature which has the reputation for flinging itself off cliffs. This is actually not true, but lemmings are prone to wild population fluctuations leading to the mass suicide reputation as immortalised in the Lemmings computer game. It’s the mythical zombie like, follow the pack behaviour of lemmings that has led to the word’s use by make-up crack addicts.
In the make-up junkie world, a lemming is something that you desperately, completely, obsessively, irrationally want because loads of other people have said that it’s great and all you can hear are the raves ringing in your ears. Without testing or trying the product, we want to get our hands on it (by that I mean purchase, not take a look at) so that we can be “in” with all the other cool kids on the playground. It doesn’t matter whether we’ll ultimately like it or not because sometimes being disappointed in a product and bitchin’ and moanin’ about it to others is half the fun. The products make us into lemmings because we blindly follow in the trail of each other’s chittering and chattering like rodents. Call it the beauty equivalent of a fashion victim.
Legendary make-up lemmings (of my time) have been:
- Chanel Rouge Noir (a.k.a Vamp in the USA) Nail Varnish
- MAC Kitschmas pigment
- MAC Parrot eyeshadow
- Balmain Ambre Gris fragrance
- Lancome Behnaz Lipstick
Have I owned them all at one time? Hell yeah. Were they all they cracked up to be? Um, well no not really. But that’s neither here or there. Lemmings are crazed obsessions and until they are purchased or killed they will continue to gnaw away at the corner of your credit card until you are sick with desire. A “lemming killer” is a usually sensible friend or negative review which will point out why you don’t need a black limited edition lipstick you’ll never wear but unfortunately, successful lemming killers are in the minority. The majority of friends will be “lemming enablers” or maybe I just surround myself with yes people.
In me lives a Lemming Monster, bigger and beastlier than my resolve or bank balance will ever be. It is the Lemming Monster which has in the past made me a slave to eBay, buying soldout limited edition products, paying over the odds for little needed pots of pigment and tubes of lipgloss because the Lemming Monster needed blood. Sometimes it lies dormant, held in check by my resolve for months even years at a time, but then it will come roaring back up to the surface, driving me to the make-up counter, and having me chained to the make-up blogs looking for its next meal.So far, I feel a little bit shaky but ultimately think that I will win my tussle with the MAC Jin Soon Choi nail varnish lemming as it’s sold out and I won’t go to the lengths of eBay. I won’t, I won’t, I won’t. But with the new Barbie by Stila collection coming up, expect to hear the squeaks of an excited pack of make-up junkies scuttling to the counters blindly following each other to pick up the eyeshadow palette and garishly bright smudge pots. Either stand back and let us pass or get swept up in the pack.
Forget any other make-up or beauty purchases for the time being…. I’m saving for the Colour Craft collection. They’ve just posted some initial information on Specktra and this is the one I’m holding out for. I’ve let most MAC collections pass this year and my resolve has been buckling recently. I was really considering getting the 2 rose beauty powder blushers and Circa Plum pigment from Rose Romance which is hitting counters in the USA about now. I’ve never been 100% convinced by beauty powder blushers so this purchase would purely be about buying for the sake of buying.
However Colour Craft sounds right up my street. The main thing whipping up my frenzy is a new brush release: the #130 which sounds like a duo fibre stippling brush variation…. exciting. The only thing that I obsessively collect these days are MAC make-up brushes. The sexy #226 tapered blending brush is back too. Must get a back-up for my kit. (BTW does anyone know a good carpenter for a small but detailed job…..?)