MAC Cosmetics Salaries, Reviews, Interview Information

Parallels and price of beauty

A lot of people wonder about the salaries or hourly pay of makeup artists at MAC.  I found this website that tells you some information on the well as many other companies.
m.a.c. salary
m.a.c. employee reviews
m.a.c. interview questions/reviews
As well as:
I think a lot of people think that working at MAC is their dream job.  While working with makeup would be so many people’s “dream job”, MAC’s employees are more focused on high sales.  If you don’t meet a quota you get fired.. no matter how well you apply makeup.  The other sales people, while nice, are also held to the same quota and with only a certain amount of customers coming each day, there is going to be competition and anger if someone swipes your customer and sale.    While dressing stylishly and having great makeup and application skills are vital to the position, you should ABSOLUTELY know sales techniques like the back of your hand.  Sales skills will get you far when working at a MAC location.  Don’t go into any interview unprepared!
-Scope out the place you want to interview for the level the employees dress on and step it up a notch.  For MAC, go for trendy, stylish, a bit of classic thrown in, well fitting clothes.  For almost all interviews, it is a good idea to wear close toed shoes.  Skirts are favored for women at most places for interviews.  Always wear hose with a skirt to an interview.  Black is fine as are black tights if you are going all black otherwise skin colored hose is good.  Skip the cleavage, it can come off as either slutty and irresponsible or threatening in an interview.  Interviews are best done on the conservative side.   If you wear heels, make sure they fit well and you can walk naturally in them.   For a job standing on your feet all day, I personally would not wear tall heels.
-Wear a full face of only MAC makeup and remember what you are wearing in case they ask, also choose a flattering look for your skin, eye, and hair color.  Use foundation (perfectly matched), primers, blush, 3 eye shadows at least, lipstick and lipglass, fake eyelashes… if you can’t think of combination you are comfortable with use one of MAC’s facecharts, and since you’ve gotten this far i’m assuming you are a great blender of makeup.. if you aren’t just rocking a wild look, go for a nice neutral one that shows off your features.
-Have fresh, well manicured nails,  using m.a.c. polish or a clean french manicure.
-Have a nice haircut that flatters your face shape and depending on the location wear appropriate hair color, normally i’d wear a natural shade to the interview, but like i said it depends on the location…mac is pretty open to funky hair color, but it does vary from location.  Hair should always be neatly styled, clean, and for the most part, away from your face-since it’s your main advertisement.
-keep jewelry to a minimum.
-You might consider wearing all black to the interview, because that is the standard color MAC’s employees wear and it shows off the makeup.   Your face and body language are being heavily scrutinized.  About 55% of you will be judged on appearance in a normal interview, so expect a little more at this type of job.
-Know their products, brushes, company history and programs (viva glam, back2mac, etc).  Be able to describe  the finishes of eyeshadows and lipsticks .
– Practice putting a full face of makeup on a friend or friends in less than 20 minutes I believe.
-Show confidence, make eye contact, have a firm handshake, smile, don’t interrupt and be yourself!
-Follow up the interview if you don’t hear back within the timeframe they said they’d call, call the interviewer…don’t forget their name!! If you don’t get the job send a card thanking them for the interview.  It’s a nice gesture and they are more likely to remember you if you reapply later.
-Go over these interview questions that are commonly asked, you’ll have to look up and personalize your own answers….don’t leave a question unanswered because this can lose the job for you:
-what motivates you?
-where do you see yourself in 5 years with the company?
-what will you bring to the company?
-what do you expect to be paid?
-when do you expect to be promoted?
-how do you get along with a coworker with whom you may not share the same views?
-how do you deal with an angry customer?
-How do you balance life and work?
-Please explain this gap in unemployment?
-What did you learn from your previous manager or job?
– Why did you leave your previous job?
-Who is your hero?
-Why do you think you’d be good at this job?
-Tell me about a time when you failed.
-Tell me about a time that you misjudged a person.
-How do you measure success?
-Tell me about a time that you participated in a team, what was your role?
Remember not to stress, get a good nights sleep, eat breakfast, arrive early and don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get the job.  Another better job may be waiting right around the corner.
And as I hear sometimes.. don’t ever be intimidated by someone that works there!  They are only there to serve you, help you, sell to you, so if you are ignored, go to another employee or just leave.  Complain to the manager or write mac a letter directly if it is extreme.   Most employees i’ve come across aren’t rude.  Either they are busy or they too are a little timid to jump right into a conversation.  The best way to approach any salesperson in my opinion, is to have a specific product question or ask which recommendations they could give you.   If they cannot answer either one at all, step away and decide if you really want to shop there.  If they are rude, smile and leave, it really is their loss. <——m.a.c. forum that has the newest information..

28 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Anonymous
    Oct 10, 2012 @ 09:06:49

    I’ve worked for MAC for years- you do not get fired for not making your sales. Watch what you post my dear….salaries- wages? Not very professional or mature of you –

    • pumpkincat210
      Oct 11, 2012 @ 15:50:23

      Evidence says otherwise regarding sales. As for salary and wages…I don’t work for mac or intend to, this post is for informational purposes only and the information can be found numerous places on the internet. 😀

    Aug 29, 2012 @ 11:12:28


  3. Anonymous
    Aug 27, 2012 @ 03:03:30

    Dear Mac Cosmetics
    I went shopping Kodak center at Hollywood and Highland today. I’m so upset at the worker. They are so unfriendly and careless. A African America hermaphrodite give me the wrong order, waste my time to go back changed my order. I didn’t here one word ( sorry) from it! I am very upset!!!!

  4. Nisakorn Khenchaiwong
    Jul 10, 2012 @ 12:28:48

    I love Mac cosmetic and would live to work with Mac team as a Beauty provider ‘

  5. Anonymous
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 08:13:35

    Why you want to work for MAC. Rate your makeup application skills 1-10. Explain your current make up look. Most questions are retail based. (Why do you like retail? What is your experience in retail? Is there any position you would not work? etc) If you have over 2 yrs of retail that looks good. Also, open availability and ability to relocate to another store.

  6. Anonymous
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 03:43:06


    Thanks for your blog it was very informative! I’m dying to work with mac but before I apply, how do I apply? I just take my resume to my local mac and ask.for a manager? Also do I take a portfolio? I don’t have one so I was wondering if that would be a problem. I thought maybe going all out with my make up and turning in my resume might change the fact that I do not have a professional portfolio.
    Thanks for your time and answering my questions

  7. hair color orlando fl
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 13:18:07

    thanks for the information this will be very helpful!

  8. Anonymous
    May 24, 2012 @ 13:34:33

    Wow, I really do appreciate all of this info. I applied to the company last year & got an interview. After reading this, I clearly understand why I didnt get the job. I was not prepared for that job interview. I did dress appropriately & I wore makeup but it was not MAC. Also, I was not prepared for the line of questioning I received. I am going to apply again. And I will get it this time, thanks to all of this advice.

  9. Anonymous
    May 01, 2012 @ 22:09:42

    After reading all these comments…i thought id put in my two cents.
    i have just finished working at M.A.C two months ago, and all my life i had dreamed of representing that company. It is a fab company, and the artists really do form a sort of ‘family’ but i had to leave do to my financial situation, the downside to working there was that the pay rate is shit.for a counter artist: full timer you will not be paid anything over $18PH, Casual is slightly higher but not by much. You do get other perks like Gratis…training…discounts etc…. and growth in the company can be really quick or really long depending on your skills, sales, and reliability.
    M.A.C Are particualr on who represents the company and being chosen as an artist really is a great feeling.
    If you are in a committed relationship, working retail hours can be difficult.. same if your a keen traveller….just something to think about before applying…as i found this very difficult and… forget asking for any time off in the xmas period!
    My advice for those trying to become an artist…
    – know your shit!
    – a confident and positve attitude is a must.
    – having a fantastic sales skills
    – a good/creative fashion sense
    – show your passionate.
    – knowing someone in the company is always a plus!

    anyway i could go on… but in a nutshell. i loved working for the company and will go back to work for them at some stage again…an will contintue to support the brand. because it wasnt all about the money for me…it was a dream of mine…

    good luck!

    • Grammar cop
      May 08, 2012 @ 23:05:08

      “your” should be used when you are talking about possession. “you’re” is short for you are.

  10. PinaMelba88
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 18:25:45

    I currently work for Shoppers Drug Mart (for those of you who do not know it, it’s a mixture of convenient store, drug store and beauty department all in one). Anyway, I applied for a position to M.A.C recently and after reading what you wrote (Darth) I can obviously see you do know your stuff and it’s super helpful. However, even working for Shoppers I’ve noticed it’s all about sales. I don’t think you can find a job out there in the cosmetics industry without it requiring a high-level of selling skills. The industry is a huge money maker worldly, I believe I read some estimation from the UN to be over 170 billion dollars per yr, point is regardless if it’s Lauder or L’Oreal buying out some fantastic line, you will end up getting yourself into a job where you MUST sell or learn how to do it well. For example, Lancome is owned by L’Oreal and I know my numbers, just my store alone for last year they required us to make at least $85,000 in sales. That is ONE line so you guys can do the math. I know I was just born when M.A.C was created, however I have heard their foundations and quality has changed, but from my recent training with Lancome, the numbers do not lie. M.A.C still holds the top selling and quality of eye shadows in the industry. As well, Cover FX is wonderful, however their range of foundation types (not colours) are very limited and the cream foundations they have are waaayyyy took heavy, unless you got that super dry skin or you just love the feel of your skin being coated all over. All I wanted to say is, regardless of M.A.C or whichever major cosmetic lines there are out there, THEY ARE ALL IN IT FOR THE MONEY, and you cannot blame them because it’s a big business! Also, to all the young women out there, do NOT be discouraged where ever you work it’s about the connections you establish for yourself, just because M.A.C may not be what it use to, don’t let that stop you from trying to be your own make-up artist or striving to be a Kevin Aucoin. Hard work, dedication, connections, and often times luck will help you get to where you want to go, but if you can use the resources around you wisely and know who you are I think at the end of the day M.A.C cannot make you. Like most artists or gifted people, it’s either in you or it’s not and if you were a phenomenal makeup artist to begin with I think M.A.C or any other place will just add to your skills.

  11. Anonymous
    Mar 25, 2012 @ 19:59:23

    Mac is about selling and reaching high goals. They stress you with numbers that you need to make or make up because you missed it. They pay well. However, it is stressful. Training is poor and people become to catty on the sales floor. I don’t blame them. Goals are on our mind.

  12. Anonymous
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 02:29:34

    I am scared! I work for sephora and now mac wants to hire me! I am glad that they will and start me with a higher wage. However, after listening to the reviews, I have mixed feelings.

  13. Darth Kater
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 17:01:30

    M.A.C. became the McDonald’s/Starbucks of make-up after Lauder bought it outright in 1997 (51% of it in 1995; Frank Toskan’s original plan was to buy back his 51%). It is NOT what it used to be, nor is it the same once-awesome company to work for!

    In 1999, I turned-down a part-time, seasonal contract with M.A.C. I’d seen what had become of M.A.C. (it became gradually worse) within the couple of years of the Lauder buy-out, and it’s all about … selling “the Lauder way” (3 items per transaction, linking/bridging sales). Lauder is more concerned about your SELLING abilities than your talent as an artist or knowledge. (At 25, in 1999, I knew more about the company and its corporate structure than the manager who offered me the job I declined.)

    The wages aren’t the same (nor nearly as good as they once were), the benefits aren’t what they used to be, and like the customer demographic which they now cater to, much of the staff is too young to know or remember what Frank Toskan’s once genius company and its products WERE.

    I’m now 37, and have 15+ years experience as a make-up artist. I began wearing M.A.C. in 1991 (when lipsticks cost $8, and it was still a professional quality brand) — M.A.C. used to send me training videos, as a teenager living in small town, northern B.C. I have freelanced in Vancouver, I have worked doing contract negotiation/brand procurement for others, and am now earning a VERY nice income (with benefits, perks, and a lot of free product) for an L.A. company. I make them a LOT of money (company: once owned by Lauder) — in excess of $10,000 in product sales, in less than four weeks.

    I know my sh*t, and I can tell you, with honesty, experience, and maturity that … M.A.C. is marketed by Lauder well. They coast on the reputation of what M.A.C. WAS. The product quality went down, and the prices went up. It simply became another money maker in Lauder’s corporate crown, losing its heart, soul, and core values.

    Case-in-point: Smashbox was bought out by Lauder last year. Dean and Davis Factor saw what happened to M.A.C., and didn’t want for the same to happen to their company. In the sale of Smashbox, they stipulated that if Lauder were to stray from the core values which SBX was founded upon, or change formulations (a lot of M.A.C. products changed for the worse! Shadows, foundations, and brushes in particular) … Dean and Davis Factor can buy back their company for a mere … ONE dollar. That in itself should illustrate my point. (The info was conveyed to me by Shawn Hlowatzki, national training director for Smashbox, Canada.)

    Working for M.A.C.: you will likely have fun (if you’re really young, catering to their customer demographic) and receive a lot of free product (from their many, many stupid collections, pumped out every other week!), but you will not earn decent money, benefits, or have much room for advancement. You’re not going to be the next Jonathan Hennessey or Gordon Espinet. You will be one of Lauder’s retail Stepford Wives, except … dressed in black, with too much make-up on, and perpetuating the lie that M.A.C. is “what all the pros use”.

    Sorry to burst peoples’ bubbles or crap on peoples pipe dreams.

    FYI: better product lines which are 100% Canadian, and of amazing quality: FACE atelier (their Ultra Foundation is incredible) and Cover FX. The latter of which Victor Casale sits on the board of. Vic Casale: brother in-law of Frank Toskan (creator of M.A.C.), and the chemist who cooked-up the original (now changed) formulations for M.A.C. (And I do mean “cooked” in a literal sense. The products were cooked on a stove top when Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo launched M.A.C. in 1985.)

    • Lily
      Feb 02, 2012 @ 09:06:44

      HI Darth,
      I read your comment about working for MAC….its surprising and now scary for me as it is my dream to work for MAC.
      I went for an interview few months ago, I was soo sure I aced the first and the makeup interview…only to get a phone call 2 weeks later that they were sorry but they found someone that had more experience in customer service, she urged me to continue going to the MAC interviews. I found this strange because my strength is in customer service….and why would she urge me to go for more interviews if she found I wasnt stronge enough? So now I have another interview different location ….after reading this I really dont know what to do?

    • Sarah
      Jul 01, 2012 @ 13:19:33

      Hi, great blog. It has really made me think twice about trying to get in with Mac. Im a late starter, (39) i have always wanted to be a MUA but due to reasons i didnt. Im starting a diploma in September in makeup and then was going to try and get on a Mac or another counter for experience. I knew to some extent it was about sales as noone would be in a retil job if it wasnt but i didnt realise it was to the point of loosing the values of what the Mac brand stands for. I will defiantly think twice now.

    • Anonymous
      Aug 07, 2012 @ 09:17:18

      So where do you suggest an artist go to enhance women’s beauty and get paid well to boot? I am in S. Florida

  14. Anonymous
    Oct 09, 2011 @ 00:51:40

    ii love mac and i want to work there reALLLLLLLY BAD

  15. Beauty
    Jul 18, 2011 @ 06:25:36

    Informative post, thank you ! Beauty Well

  16. Sanj
    Jun 09, 2011 @ 05:53:45


    this has helped me alot, It madness i didnt think that MAC would be soo sale sale sale crazy, i really thort this was about customer focus, the art and creativity, but guess not.

    I appiled for the job and didnt get it only beacuse i dont have enough retail experience, i mean i have worked in a bank for 6 years serving ppl on a daily basis selling them mortgages accounts loans (whats a few bits of make up), also worked in Subway sandwich, chippy clothing store, i dont get more experince they want, i found it was totally unfair what they declined me for, but i still want the job. Can anyone else recommend trying anything else?

  17. Smiley
    May 19, 2011 @ 22:29:17

    Hello..I love this blog it’s very helpful to me. I need some advice (i should say plenty) about M.A.C. I’m currently a Cosmetologist dying to get into M.A.C. Cosmetics. I did two interviews so far. I did one with the manager at the counter and one over the phone with the Head Regional Manager. I still didn’t get hired. I’m very familiar with their products and the color wheel. While I was being interviewed I was asked on the scale of 1-10 how I feel with each questions I’m asked? i didn’t want to sound too perfect , so I said 9 for all my answers. People say, I should rated myself as a 5, because they can train me their way. I noticed that they hired someone with no Cosmetic experience. Is that fair? I even spoke with one of the Makeup Artist and they told me it’s based on personality or skills it depends on who you interview with, as well. Others have told me I look too normal and I should dress more funky..I don’t know! Plese Help?

    • pumpkincat210
      May 27, 2011 @ 18:14:41

      Thanks for reading my blog…
      Well, it’s all different for hiring at M.A.C. An outgoing personality, ability to sell their products (quickly so you can move on to the next customer), stylish dress and overall appearance (you can drop by and take a peek at the outfits they wear, all black trendy), good application skills are the main things that the employers look for. Most likely you should apply for a freelance job first, this is like a trial employment, they will call you as needed, so be prepared in advance to move quickly after they call. They can hire anyone they want…experienced or not..
      Your sales are a huge factor in your employment with mac. If you don’t reach your goal each month, you’ll probably get fired. Although the job is about “art”, they want to sell their product, so sell yourself and learn sales techniques. Often the person that you would think wouldn’t buy anything, buys the most so never ignore or give the impression you are better than anyone. Each customer is different, so you’ll have to change your attitude and technique to appeal to them. Please go to this site for much more detailed information: (you will probably have to sign up)

  18. Kmatt
    Sep 07, 2010 @ 08:15:49

    This article was helpful. I was just hired by MAC. I do disagree with the dress code suggestions. I think the last thing you want to do would be wear pantyhose to an interview for a company as young and trendy as MAC. I went to my first interview dressed semi-conservatively with my hair in a bun and “office” makeup.The manager that hired me encouraged me
    to wear my mohawk and crazy makeup to the follow up interview! I got the job! So defintely let your funky self shine through while not forgetting that your selling your ability to WORK for them. Peace.

    • pumpkincat210
      Sep 08, 2010 @ 13:52:40

      Congratulations on getting the job! That’s great. I guess I should have clarified that instead of pantyhose would be opaque black tights. I’m going to most likely change my blog about the things people wear, because I’ve heard of people getting hired wearing lots of clothing colors too, but i have also heard of people wearing black. Also I think some stores in some areas tone down their look or hype it up because of the type of customers in the area you work in.

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