MAC Store Makeovers: What to Expect at Your Appointment

Updated September 29, 2020
MAC cosmetics store

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 Lipglass, a glass-like shine) 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 MAC makeover.

MAC Makeover Experience: Two Options

The MAC makeover experience is as informative as it is enjoyable. MAC makeup options may vary by store location. Not all MAC stores offer complimentary makeovers or makeup appointments to customers.

1. Complimentary Makeover Demos

Complimentary makeovers demos for customers can be done on a walk-in basis, or you can call ahead for an appointment. Some stores offer various complimentary services for purchases you make. For example, if you purchase false eyelashes, some MAC stores will trim and fit them for you. Not all MAC stores offer complimentary makeover demos, so a quick phone call can determine if the store offers demos and if there is any related purchase requirement.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. The makeup artist will also provide the client with a list of all the products used during the makeover.
  7. 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.
    Italian Make up artist Manuele Mameli

2. The Service Makeover and MAC Makeup Appointment

A service makeover is scheduled ahead of time and the cost varies by store and is a more defined, one-on-one session than a complimentary makeover demo. The focus is on providing the client with a finished look, per the client's request. While some stores may be able to accommodate this option for walk-ins, personnel are often too busy do to this without a scheduled appointment.

  1. 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.
  2. Since a scheduled makeover is 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The artist then selects the necessary products to perform the application.
  5. If the client already has makeup on, the makeup artist will remove it before proceeding with the makeover.
  6. 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 either separate from the service makeover fee or redeemable for the cost. Always check at the time you make the appointment so you understand the costs.

Woman getting professional makeup done

Mac Makeup Appointment Cost

There are several types of MAC makeovers, such as a costume for a party, Halloween celebration, or bridal makeup. While the MAC website features many types of complimentary and paid makeup choices, not all stores offer the same services. Many of the 30-, 60-, and 90-minute appointments are fee based, or the cost is redeemable with a purchase of cosmetics. In addition, the costs for various MAC makeup services may not be the same for each store location, so you need to verify the services offered and the cost of services with your local store.

How to Book an Appointment

Some MAC Cosmetics stores offer makeup consultations at the MAC counter locations for 30, 60 or 90 minutes. The services may be paid or redeemable when you purchase MAC products. Check with individual stores to verify. Some of the services offered include bridal and private appointments. Other services may include costumer applications and lessons,

Tips for MAC Makeup Services

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.

Focus on Customer

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.

COVID-19 Notice

MAC free-standing stores have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Online book appointments is temporarily suspended. In response, MAC enhanced their Virtual Try-On that is a great tool for trying on cosmetics at home.

MAC Cosmetics Virtual Try-On

With the MAC Cosmetics' Virtual Try-On, you can virtually try on Mac Cosmetics with a live camera, photo or by selecting one of the Mac models. You can try over 200 shades of eye and lip colors from the convenience of your home. There's no makeup to remove, just a great virtual program that lets you try all of the MAC products.

  1. Go to the product page and select the product you wish to try on.
  2. Either enable your live camera, upload your photo, or select a model.
  3. When you click on the swatch of lip color, eyeshadow, foundation, mascara, the makeup is automatically applied to your camera image, photo, or the model.
    Mac cosmetics virtual-try-on

Fun With MAC's Virtual Try-On

If you have a special event and need specific makeup, go ahead and don your attire, go live or snap a photo and test out various makeup looks. Once you find the perfect cosmetic products for your event, order online for home delivery.

Virtual Try-On Tips

There are a few things you need to consider when using virtual makeup. A few tips for MAC's Virtual Try-On for makeup choices will ensure you make the right lip color or eye shadow. These include:

  • Remove eyeglasses for live camera and photos.
  • Make sure you aren't wearing any makeup for the live camera or taking a photo to upload.
  • Natural lighting for live camera and photos is best when selecting a foundation.
  • When using a live camera, you want to center your face so it is inside the circle.
  • With a live camera, look straight ahead.
  • You can compare colors to decide on the one(s) you like best.

MAC Store Makeovers and What You Get

Many customers take advantage of the famous MAC store makeovers and other application services. You must check with your local MAC store to find out if any in-store makeovers are offered, and any related costs.

MAC Store Makeovers: What to Expect at Your Appointment