“I’m a completely different person today than I was on my first day,” Working at M.A.C Cosmetics and whether you really need experience..

In London there are currently 36 stores, which will no doubt continue to grow and expand, for anyone wanting a career at M.A.C Cosmetics this is an interview you will want to read..

Written by: Jessica Penfold | Sub-editor: Grace Brown

M.A.C founded in 1984 and was originally only available to makeup artists and industry experts however beauty gurus and makeup fanatics have taken such a liking to the brand it is now available to the public, making it the billion pound company it is today. With its distinctive black packaging and motto of ‘All ages. All races. All sexes’ the aim of the company is to appeal to everyone. M.A.C is a well-known and much loved brand in London , I had an interview with one of the makeup artists at the Bromley branch to find out a little more of what a typical day consists of and get some tips and tricks.


Outside Jessica Penfold

What does a day at M.A.C typically consist of?

M.A.C always promotes and strives around customer service and everything you do during a typical day will be surrounding customer service. This could be anything from foundation matches to 10 minute demonstrations. If you’re certified to do a longer appointment then you would be doing those on the shop floor in front of the vanity mirrors. We’re around in store to answer any questions or give any advice on products and recommendations. 


Vanity tables and mirror by Jessica Penfold

Do you need any particular skills to work at M.A.C and is experience necessary?

They would ideally like you to have some sort of experience, never normally a qualification but that would always work in your favour. We like people to grow with our brand so you don’t need to be a makeup artist already to work with us, we like to see potential and helping you grow as an artist within the company. 


Foundation counter Jessica Penfold

How would someone wanting to work at M.A.C go about doing so?

Everything is done online now. I would say get as much experience as you can, and when I say that, I mean doing your family and friend’s makeup, to get used to working on different skin types and tones. Retail experience is crucial, even though M.A.C is a makeup artistry brand we are so focused on customer service so you need experience in that field. Having the artistry skill is great but the experience is what makes us M.A.C.

Any challenges you tend to face at work as a makeup artist?

When dealing with many different customers everyday, there are always new challenges that arise. You never really know what to expect, but you use your knowledge of the brand and remember the standards needed for customer service and take those on board when dealing with customers. We have a standard when it comes to dealing with customers and aim to treat everyone the same. However, customers don’t always have the same mindset, and being that the store does get busy it’s difficult to tend to everyone as quickly as we would like.


Foundation counter Jessica Penfold

What’s the most enjoyable thing about working at M.A.C?

The artistry 100%. But the fact that theres so much room for growth and the amount of different directions you can go is crazy, the company really grow with you as an artist and person. They really do help and push you with where you want to be within the company. For example, I’ve become the Viva Glam Ambassador. This means that each week I’ll make a set look designing a face chart for the whole team to wear on a Friday to help boost the sales of Viva Glam lipstick, which is really fun.

Does working in this environment help you become more confident?

Most definitely! I can say 1 million per cent that I’m a completely different person today than I was when I walked in on my first day. To be honest you could have all the qualifications in the world but nothing would prepare you for a day working at M.A.C. It’s like another world in terms of makeup and artistry. But you truly gain so much more confidence in yourself just being hands on in the job and I wouldn’t have it any other way.


Eye counter Jessica Penfold

Favorite M.A.C products?

The ‘217’ brush is like a girls best friend, I can do eyeshadow in about 10 seconds with it, I must have about 5 in my brush belt. Mineralize skin finish in ‘dark deepest’ to bronze up the skin as bronzer is a necessity in any season to warm up the face and give a little glow.

What are some of the most popular M.A.C products?

Studio Fix fluid foundation without a doubt and fix plus spray to set everything on the face. Strobe cream especially now its gotten a lot colder and people’s skin tends to be a lot drier than it would in Summer and of course M.A.C lipsticks which are probably the most popular products we have. 

Is working at M.A.C as fun as it looks?

Definitely, every store is different though and the store here may be different to a store in central London where its obviously going to be a lot more demanding as its so busy. For me working at M.A.C has given me a second family and I’ve never experienced that in a job, ever.

Is being a makeup artist competitive and is it hard to stand out?

I believe it is now, so many people claim they are a makeup artist because of social media and its a lot harder to stand out. But working at M.A.C has taught me that theres more to makeup than what you typically see on Instagram; it’s all about breaking boundaries. If you can only do that standard type of makeup its not fair to claim you are a makeup artist.


Christmas Nutcracker Sweet counter Jessica Penfold

Any winter makeup trends we should know about?

We go on training days every 4 months to find out about upcoming product launches (but this is all secret until the launch)  but this season its all about metallic lips, which is interesting, but then again at M.A.C we like to break the boundaries.

Link to M.A.C UK website here


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