For makeup devotees, there is perhaps no place more addictive than the MAC makeup store. Row upon row of vivid eye shadow and blush pots crowd the counters. Bottles of nail polish line the wall. Lipsticks and lip glosses (MAC's own mirror-like gloss) lay enticingly and command attention. A virtual haven devoted to all things MAC, the store is an energetic, loud, colorful, and bold environment for women (and sometimes even men) of all ages. It's also a terrific place to get a makeover.
MAC Makeover Experience: Two Options
The MAC makeover experience is as informative as it is enjoyable. While makeover options may vary by location, MAC stores typically offer complimentary makeovers to customers who purchase at least $50 worth of cosmetics. People who are not planning to purchase makeup and simply want to have their makeup done - such as for a special occasion - can schedule what is called a service makeover for a $50 fee.
1. Complimentary Makeover With Purchase
Complimentary makeovers for customers who purchase $50 or more in MAC products can be done on a walk-in basis, or you can call ahead for an appointment.
- The client is encouraged to browse the store for ideas before settling down; this creates a more interactive, one-on-one experience between the makeup artist and the customer.
- When the client and the MAC makeup artist are ready to begin the makeover process, the client is seated in a high, comfortable leather chair.
- The makeup artist collaborates with the client to evaluate her needs and desires. The artist will ask pertinent questions about which products the client is looking for and inform her of new color trends and/or formulas. The aim is to engage and provide a wonderful shopping experience to meet all of the client's needs.
- The makeup artist may remove any existing makeup from the client's face, if needed. It is always helpful to arrive bare-faced to a makeover session, but this is not required to receive a makeover.
- While applying the cosmetics, the makeup artist will explain tips and techniques based on the client's unique needs and concerns, and allow the individual to ask questions as needed. Occasionally, a customer who needs extra guidance may be encouraged to hold a mirror to see the artist perform the application.
- The makeup artist will also provide the client with a list of all the products used during the makeover.
- As the client makes her final decisions regarding which items she wishes to purchase, the makeup artist will encourage her to consider her choices carefully.
2. The Service Makeover
A service makeover is generally scheduled ahead of time, costs $50, and is a more defined, one-on-one session than the complimentary makeover. The focus is on providing the client with a finished look, per the client's request. If you want a service makeover, it is advisable to call ahead for an appointment. While the store may be able to accommodate this option for walk-ins, personnel are often too busy do to this without a scheduled appointment.
- At the beginning of a service makeover, the makeup artist scheduled will introduce him or herself and seat the client on a high, comfortable leather chair.
- Since a scheduled makeover is more than likely for a planned event, such as a party, prom or other special occasion, the artist will inquire which type of an event or occasion the makeover is for. Knowing the occasion allows the artist to have a better understanding of which colors and application techniques to use for optimal results.
- The artist will ask additional relevant questions. Some things that might be discussed during the collaboration include color preferences, comfort level of application, and information relevant to accentuating the client's features.
- The artist then selects the necessary products to perform the application.
- If the client already has makeup on, the makeup artist will remove it before proceeding with the makeover.
- Upon completion of the makeover, the makeup artist will encourage the client to feel free to adjust any part of the application, if necessary. Customer satisfaction is the ultimate goal upon leaving the store.
If the client chooses to purchase any of the products used during a service makeover, those costs are separate from the service makeover fee.
Tips for MAC Makeovers
A couple of points to remember include:
- If you have a scheduled event or occasion which requires a makeover, don't chance it! It's best to call ahead to schedule a makeover so you can be sure an artist will be available.
- The store tends to be busiest on weekends and weeknights, so those are not the best times to walk in if you want a full makeover.
- The artists will work with you to create any type of look you desire, whether it is bold and unusual or soft and subtle. From club-ready makeup to wedding-appropriate faces, the makeup artists will take on the task.
Behind the Scenes at the MAC Makeup Store
At the MAC makeup store, also known as a freestanding store (as opposed to the brand's department store counters), the focus is on meeting the customer's needs in selecting her cosmetics. Anyone who has ever undergone a makeover knows all too well the dreaded anxiety that erupts as soon as the makeup artist has finished doing his or her work. You're expected to purchase products - and not just one. You are often left feeling pressured, beaten down, and dismayed at the experience. Generally, you are unlikely to return for a second helping.
Fortunately, the mentality at the MAC makeup store is completely different. MAC, or Make-up Art Cosmetics, Inc., is a division of beauty giant Estee Lauder. Coming from such an esteemed family, it is simply no wonder that the MAC philosophy differs so vastly from other brands. At MAC, clientele are treated with respect, friendliness, and a willingness to actually help. There is a marked lack of intensity on the selling aspect, and this is due in part to the company's decision to pay its employees the highest possible hourly rate. Thus, the focus is directed toward the customer herself and not her potential as a commission-earner for the makeup artist.
Visit a MAC Store Location
There are over 1,000 MAC makeup stores located around the world. The majority of the North American locations are found inside shopping malls. The freestanding stores differ from the department store counters in that the stores offer exclusive, limited edition items not available anywhere else. For a complete list of MAC makeup stores, visit the store locator on the company's official website.