By Megan Murray
I love a good list. I love a good countdown. I would probably watch a countdown of what you had for lunch this week. For this reason, the first weeks of the New Year are like mental candy for me. Best, worst, happiest, saddest- I love them all. I even tried to write my own list, but as I was scouring the blogosphere I noticed something startling: MAC cosmetics are all over the “worst-of” lists. Was this the year that MAC went MEH?
For most of my adult life, MAC cosmetics were the common thread that bound the make-up junkie. A new release from MAC could whip the Internet community into a frenzy. A discontinued MAC pigment could empty a trust fund on eBay. We would justify the price because MAC had colors and textures like no one else. (Remember those days- before brands like By Terry could charge four vital organs for a concealer? Ahh…youth.)
I know there has been debate about the quality of MAC since it became a Lauder Baby, but I’ve never seen such–indifference. Have we become tired of the constant barrage of LE products? I think the answer is much smaller, AND much bigger.
This was the year of the e-tailer. When I name three eyeshadow colors that make my pulse quicken, they are
We also cannot avoid the elephant in the room. These small companies are very good at creating relationships. Once upon a time, in the age of the New-Luxe consumer, MAC’s “hipper than thou” reputation worked. We sought out aspiration and exclusivity. That world of Manolos for the middle class just does not exist anymore. We live in the information age, and we want to be treated like the savvy consumers we are. Small companies use social media to create community celebrate their consumers, and we are going to see that marketing technique become paramount in this brave new world.
Now, while the elephant is sitting on the couch, there is a brontosaurus eating the garden. I don’t know what patent may have expired, or what secret underground laboratory was discovered, but mass market nailed it this year. The quality of the Wet N Wild shadows is insane. Maybelline is going full on Neon for 2012. There is glitter everywhere now. This elevation of the cheaper products is naturally going to siphon off the very young consumer, the trend makers, and those of us who just cannot afford the luxury lifestyle due to the economy. The fashion conscious consumer who bought $1,000 purses 5 years ago is now storming Target for cheap designer goods (Missoni debacle anyone?). Why wouldn’t they buy drugstore cosmetics with luxury quality?
I don’t want this to be seen as a bash on MAC. I will always love MAC cosmetics. Dazzlegasses and Studio Tech NC20 are my Holy Grails. I believe they have great quality and innovation in them, and there is still a lot of glee in those little black boxes.
I believe they can fix their funk with focus and community.
So after that lengthy rant, I want to know what the Painted Ladies think. What are your feelings towards MAC these days?