Ali Loves

Customer Experience: MAC Cosmetics

Today, Mike needed to pick up his brand spankin’ new iPhone. So, because I love him SO MUCH, I went to the mall with him. Guys, I hate the mall. It’s generic. And full of stores I’d never shop at. And, worst of all, filled with people.  Especially on a Saturday. But, I love him. So I went.

While he waited in line, I noticed the MAC Cosmetic store and thought I’d go take a peek.


CONFESSION: Cosmetics are a weakness. I have a drawer full of makeup, mostly filled with Urban Decay, Benefit and Jennifer Bradley products.  I spend an embarrassing amount of money on makeup. I have always loved everything about it. How it makes you feel sweet, or sexy, or confident. How it can make or break your entire ensam. How one small smudge can literally fuck up your entire day because you just don’t feel put together. It can tell a story, translate your mood and convey things about you that words or actions alone can’t.

It’s god damn powerful.

That may be a good or a bad thing. I haven’t really decided. But I love it all the same.



So, this is MAC. I don’t think I ever really walked into a MAC store because I never, ever go to the mall. I typically shop online or Ulta. I used their products for my wedding and it was lovely – but I didn’t actually do any of my makeup.

Mostly I know that they are very high-end and very much a preferred brand to makeup artists.

So I expected high-end. I thought I’d see fabulously beautiful makeup artists giving make-overs and product demonstrations. I thought I’d have sophisticated sales associates ready to answer all of my questions. I thought it would be luxurious and glamorous and glossy and AMAH-ZING.

However, I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

The store was the size of a closet. SO many people in it, not really buying anything, just touching all the samples and skeeving me out. No one was getting made over. Because, how could they? They’d be sitting at a “bar” in a closet. I saw where those makeovers are supposed to happen, but it’s ludicrous to think a person can sit there with another person doing their makeup with no room to move. Literally, none.

There were samples everywhere, but understanding what it was you may be buying and the cost was really hard to figure out. Some were palettes. Some were individual pots of eyeshadow. Some where “make your own”. AND LITERALLY NOTHING IS AVAILABLE FOR YOU TO GRAB AND TAKE TO THE COUNTER. Nothing. It’s all hidden in drawers. The only thing you can touch are samples.

This but worse. So much worse.

This but worse. So much worse.

So, I asked for help. From nice sales girl with terrible makeup. Literally, all of the associates in the store looked like either a goth tween did their makeup or a 5 year old. Nothing was blended. It was a bunch of dark, smokey-eyed messes trying to tell people how to do makeup. Fucking laughable.  Also it was hot in the store. So they were all glisten-y and smudged.

She went digging around, looking for the $70 palette I wanted to buy. She’s opening drawers. She clearly can’t find it. I’m off to the side, trying to stay out of people’s way in the closet. (Some lady literally had a stroller in there. WTF.) And homegirl is still digging. Like it would magically appear.

She goes to “check with someone”. Nope, no lovely Cool Tone Neutral Palette to be had. She says “We have the warm tones.” Yes, because clearly if I’m looking at cool purple/gray/pink tones, I’ll look AMAH-ZING in coppery, bronzy yellow tones. Nope. No ma’am.

So she was all “sorry”. And moved on to someone else. No suggestions of anything similar. No offer to order it for me. No attempting to help me find anything else I may have been interested in.

It was all so… basic. I’m about to spend $70 on EYESHADOW. And she couldn’t be bothered to try to get me interested in anything else or see if she could at least order it for me.

I get better treatment from the ladies at Walgreens in the cosmetics section. They want to show me ALL the things Maybelline, Cover Girl and Revlon have to offer.  Where I can get an eyeshadow palette for $10.

Your marketing should embody your brand experience. Whether you have a brick-n-mortar store, or only an online presence, every interaction your customer has with your brand should leave them with the same experience and feeling. No matter if it’s digital, print or in person. Every aspect of your brand should portray exactly what your target customer is expecting.

Know your audience. And give them the experience they crave.

Don’t be the smokey-eyed mess in a sea of glamazon goddesses. 

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