"What lipstick is that?" Ask anyone working a good lip this question and we're willing to bet they'll rattle off the name of a M∙A∙C Cosmetics shade. Ruby Woo, Snob, Lady Danger... you name it, we've swatched it. And so when we were approached by one of our favorite beauty brands to join the ranks of RuPaul, Iris Apfel, Carine Roitfeld and Rihanna to create our own lipstick, we reacted in a way that can only be captured by a chain of hyperbolic descriptors.
After all, we've always felt a twinge of pride knowing that one of the world's biggest beauty brands is founded by fellow Torontonians Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo. With heavy roots in the fashion industry, M∙A∙C has long championed inclusion and diversity—their credo is All Ages, All Races, All Sexes for a reason.
Fast forward to the morning we found ourselves at M∙A∙C's Toronto HQ. We were welcomed by Valerie MacKenzie, Vice President of Product Innovation, a veteran who started out answering phones at Toskan and Angelo's Cabbagetown home and office. After getting a brief tour, we were brought to the lab and introduced to Stella Niinoi, Manager of Research & Development, who gave us a crash course in all things cosmetics and chemistry. From mixing pigments, waxes and fragrance, to cooking all of the ingredients and filling the old-school metal mold to create individual lipstick bullets, we watched carefully as Erin and Stephanie's two lipstick shades ('You've Been Coveteu-red' and 'Violeteur', respectively) came to life.
"I feel like Walter White!"exclaimed Erin as she stirred.
After a lunch with MacKenzie and the rest of the M∙A∙C team, it was off to the production facility, where we got a full tour of where all of the M∙A∙C magic is readied for retail. Is it too late for us to go to chemistry school?