MAC Cosmetics

“All Races, All Sexes, All Ages”


M.A.C. Cosmetics is a high-end brand founded by Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo in 1984. Initially just for professional make-up artists it soon evolved to include products for consumers. Headquartered in New York City, the cosmetics giant became a part of Estee Lauder Companies in 1998.


Canadian cosmetics brand MAC Cosmetics- popularly known as M·A·C- was founded in Toronto in 1984 by makeup artist and photographer Frank Toskan and salon owner Frank Angelo. With Toskan as creative director and Angelo as director of marketing, the duo worked out of a kitchen in Angelo’s hair salon. Joined by Toskan’s future brother-in-law and chemist Vic Casale, the team cooked up their debut lipstick inspired by a pink Crayola crayon, Flamingo, and soon the lipstick line expanded to include twenty-three crayon-inspired shades as well as a range of pencils, bases and powders.

Word spread about the quality products and make-up artists in Canada and the US began choosing M.A.C.’s brilliant shades for their makeup kits, spreading word to their clients including cult pop star Madonna. The first M.A.C. Pro store opened in 1982 in Toronto, styled as a space for makeup artists to exchange tips, portfolios and buy in bulk. The products were intended for makeup professionals but were then sold directly to consumers. As Frank Toskan explained in a company release, he “first manufactured makeup for models, but then the models wanted this makeup for their sisters, friends, and so on… ”

In 1985 Mac Cosmetics opening its first retail store in New York City’s West Village at the epicentre of the AIDS epidemic; the duo’s bold approach to makeup artistry was just what the community needed and the store became a hot spot for locals, drag queens and beauty eccentrics. In fact, drag entertainer Lady Bunny was hired to work the door!! The founders hired employees with bold hair color, piercing and tattoos and it was the first brand in cosmetic history to invest in the training and education of its staff.

In the Nineties, MAC Cosmetics had over a hundred stores worldwide, raking in an estimated two hundred million francs. The brand development, the opening of new points of sale, and the adaptation of products tailored to each continent made the brand a best-seller worldwide. In 1994 Estée Lauder Companies acquired fifty one per cent shares and began managing the business end while the founders retained creative control. During this era Madonna requested a lipstick that would last through a performance so Toskan and Angelo formulated Russian Red. It became a sensation and the store had visits from stars like Michael and Latoya Jackson; when supermodel Linda Evangelista mentioned MAC Spice lip liner in an interview, it sold out immediately. In 1994 M.A.C. launched its Viva Glam campaign. The burgundy Viva Glam lipstick was modelled by drag sensation RuPaul and to this day one hundred percent sales of this product goes to the M.A.C AIDS Fund.

In 1997 Frank Angelo passed away due to cardiac arrest. That time MAC was generating a revenue of reported US $250 million and Estée Lauder Companies completed the acquisition when Frank Toskan sold his shares and left the company. However, the beauty brand flirted with controversy in September 2010 over the anticipated release of MAC Rodarte, a potential collaboration with Ciudad Juárez-based fashion label Rodarte; the region had been plagued by violence against women and MAC eventually pulled the line before distribution and instead set up a charity which raised an estimated $3 million in two years.

In September 2012 MAC Cosmetics launched “MAC Selena” in collaboration with Selena Quintanilla Perez which was a sell-out. Due to its high demand, the brand restocked it in December 2016 and it became the best-selling celebrity collection in cosmetics history — the eyeshadows, blush, mascara, eyeliner, gloss and lipsticks were products Selena would have worn herself but were also products Latinas looked fabulous in. MAC had collaborated with celebrities from Rihanna to Ellie Goulding before but a collection by Latinas, for Latinas made headlines.

In 2022 Mac Cosmetics debuted high performance skincare titled Hyper Real. It is designed to improve skin and and at the same enhance makeup. The selection features a hybrid serum-moisturiser product or serumiser- a moisturising cream- cleansing oil- and serum and moisturiser brush. And is available to purchase at over 1,500 MAC Cosmetics stores worldwide as well as online.

Today, the brand is acknowledged as one of the top three global makeup brands, with an estimated annual turnover of $1 billion and five hundred independent stores staffed with professional makeup artists. Without its founders’ core values and joyful approach to beauty, M.A.C. would not be the influential company it is today. “We have never taken makeup too seriously” Toskan told The New York Times. “It is something to have fun with.”


MAC Cosmetics envisioned an innovative approach to cosmetics for both professionals and consumers with its bold colours and textures as also its collaborations with renowned makeup artists in addition to fashion designers and celebrities. The luxury brand’s vision is rooted in creativity, trend-setting and pushing boundaries in makeup artistry.

Mission Statement

To be the world’s leading make-up authority among both professional make-up artists and consumers, and meet their need for superior quality services.

Key Team

Fabrizio Freda (Chief Executive Officer)
Eva Tetzlaff (Vice President, Strategy and Commercial Operations)
jason Garcia (Vice President of Global Creative Operations)
Dunham Bob (VP Global Finance and Strategy)

Products and Services

Cosmetics, high performance skincare and beauty accessories


The MAC AIDS Fund was launched in 1994 to support men, women, and children affected by HIV and AIDS by addressing the link between poverty and the deadly disease. According to MAC Cosmetics, the fund has raised over $400 million through the sale of MAC’s Viva Glam Lipsticks and lip glosses, donating 100 per cent of the sale price to fight HIV and AIDS. MAC has collaborated with many celebrities for its Viva Glam line, on limited edition lip glosses and lipsticks to support the Mac AIDS Fund. Every year MAC selects a new spokesperson for Viva Glam and the first was drag queen RuPaul in 1994.