How to get a job at MAC

I have been asked this question, so many times.
'How did you get a job at MAC?'

I worked for this company a good few years ago now, for around 3 years.
I had worked on various makeup counters from the age of 21 and when I was 29, decided to apply for a position there.
It's daunting, and a little intimidating applying for a job on a counter where nearly all staff who work there, look like they've stepped off a catwalk. But really, it's like any other job in retail/makeup counter job.

MAC is part of the Estee Lauder 'umbrella', and the first piece of advice I would give you is:

Whatever brand you are interested in working for, if they are part of the Estee Lauder group they will want to see that you have a genuine interest in working for the brand. A passion for the products. A knowledge of the brands history and ethics is crucial, and the first step to securing a face to face interview.

I worked for many brands under the Estee Lauder name, and unless it's changed since I had my first interview for Bobbi Brown ( another Estee lauder company ) almost ten years ago, the first step once you find a job online, is a telephone interview.
You will need to call to apply for the position, and THAT'S when you have your telephone interview, so make sure you are prepared.

Questions you may be asked.
Why do you like this Brand?
Why do you want to work for this brand?
What can you tell me about the beginnings of the brand, and give me some history? ( how it was founded, by who, when it was founded )
Name a product from this brand you like, and tell me about it.

This part of the Interview lasts around 10 - 15 mins. It may not even last that long, but it's to give them an idea of your genuine interest,
TIP: Don't be fooled into thinking just because you have a makeup qualification you will automatically get the job. I had a friend who made this mistake and had not researched the brand, so got told on the phone interview she had not been successful. If memory serves me correctly, if you are unsuccessful you cannot apply again for another 6 months. Again, this may have now changed.

I also think, that they now require anyone who applies to already have either retail experience/ makeup counter experience, but this will be told to you when you apply.

IF you pass this telephone stage, you will be told straight away, and then the next step is a Manager from the brand, usually the Counter Manager, or Area Manager will contact you for your face to face interview.

The face to face interview with MAC, is to determine your Makeup skills and to see if they think you will be suitable for the position. I was interviewed by both the Manager and Assistant manger.
It works in your favour to provide a portfolio of any Makeup work you may have done. You are applying for a Makeup artist job, so you need to demonstrate and sell yourself as a Makeup artist should.
I'm pretty sure when I was told to attend the interview I was told to dress, as I would if I had a job at MAC.
I was apprehensive at first thinking they maybe wanted me to do some work on the counter, as part of the interview, but they don't! ( Benefit does this, I also worked for them many moons ago! )

So it goes withour saying, MAKE AN EFFORT. Wear your BEST black clothes. MAC is not Bobbi Brown and Bobbi Brown is not MAC. Both companies portray a certain image. I didn't attend my MAC interview wearing a suit. I wore an embellished black dress, leggings and boots. Makeup was strong, nails painted and hair done.
You need to stand out, look the part. This is part of the interview.

You will be asked about the brand again, Makeup trends, how you would deal with customer situations, the usual. The interview was long, and intense. You will be expected to know about the Makeup trends, Makeup of the season, colours that are now in - again they are almost probing you to ensure you follow Makeup and have a genuine passion for it.

If you pass this stage, you are then invited to a Makeup test.
This is the final stage. This can vary, depending on who takes your test.
It is normally done in store, so you will on the counter while everyone is working, a normal day. You are sometimes asked to provide a model, or they get a MAC girl to be your model. You are normaly assessed by a regional trainer for this.
What you are asked to do will vary.
I was asked to do an everyday Makeup look, and then transform it into an evening look. During this time you need to speak to the model as though she is a customer. You have to talk about the products you are using, and why you are using them.
You will be expected to know the products. Don't use the excuse,
'Well I don't work for you yet, so I don't know the products.'
If you want the job, you should have looked into the products.
Make sure you TALK. Do not do the makeup in silence, you have to be seen to be interacting with the 'customer'
You will have the regional trainer, also asking you makeup related questions whilst you are doing this.

Do not panic about the makeup you have done, not being perfect. Obviously, it need's to look decent! But they are determining that you comfortable applying makeup, that you can communicate effectively with your customer and can also get it done in the set time.

They are assessing your makeup skills, communication skllls, time management, all of it.

Once done - the regional trainer will ask you a few questions and assess the makeup you have  applied.
I then found out within a few months if I had the job, which i did!
IF you are applying for a job for MAC, within a department store it doesn't end there. You will then be asked to do a Store approval interview. This is where the store determine if you are suitable to work in their store. Not half as stressfull as what you have had to already do to get this far. Nothing to worry about.

Alot of people look at these jobs and assume it's an easy job, with a similar, easy process to apply for it. It's not. The process is long and intense, and is designed to find the best staff. The job is also just as demanding. If you want a job in the makeup field, MAC is a great place to start. You have daily, hands on experience, and alot of the time working under time restrictions. It really helps prepare Makeup artists who eventually want to work for themselves or in the Fashion/Media Makeup scene.


Freedom Makeup

I love working for myself, and I love how I can work from home too. I'm a self-confessed Social, media fiend. I'm obsessed. I'm constantly checking my Instagram, Emails etc etc. What did we do before mobile phones? Seriously? I couldn't do my job, successfully without mine.

The one dowfall from constantly surfing the net, and working from home, is I can't resist, as the temptation is too great, TO NOT BUY MAKEUP.

I am a full time, Makeup artist. So yes, it's part of my job. But some days, I do find myself wondering, do I need yet, another nude, eyeshadow palette?

So once again I succumb to the Makeup buying devil on my shoulder, and bought more stuff for my kit.
In my defence, this was stuff I actually needed, and in that I found consolation as my poor bank balance dwindled, even more.
I had heard alot about Freedom Makeup, and had seen they were offering 3 for 2 on all products. I knew I needed some Brush cleansing spray, and I had run out of my Anastasia Beverley Hills, Dipbrow but was reluctant to spend another £15 to replace it.

So out came my debit card ( no moths in my wallet ) and I purchased their Brush bath, Brush shower and their own version of Brow Pomade in Dark Brown.

Pro Studio - Brush shower - £5.00
I cannot, tell you guys and gals just HOW much I love this stuff. I have a hectic work life. I work on Photoshoots, Film sets, and with huge Bridal parties. Yes, I have alot of brushes, but all MUA's will sympathise, sometimes you don't have enough and you need something you can use quickly and efficiently to clean, and more importantly, sanitise your brushes to use again asap. I can't be carrying around 10 Blusher brushes, 10 Foundation brushes etc etc.
Just spritz the fab stuff, onto your brush 3-4 times and wipe onto a clean tissue. Done! It doesn't saturate or leave any residue, so brushes can be used straight away!
I have finally found a brush spray that work's. It's not greasy, leaves no nasty residue on your brushes, and (yes there's more) smells amazing? How does it smell so good? Freedom makeup? TELL ME!

This is now a permanent addition to my kit.

Pro Studio - Brush Bath - £7.00
I was working away a few weeks ago, and this would have been a life saver. It's a round 'block' of solid, brush cleaner. Gone are the days of swishing the cleanser in you hands, and using baby shampoo.
'Wet brush, swirl around in jar until it lathers. Work brush in palm of hand to clean. Rinse well. Sqeeze off excess, leave to dry.'
The only downside with this, was it was advertised as an 'on the go solution to cleaning brushes' my small mind assumed it was a quick swirl, clean and done. 'On the go', I now see, means you can take it with you, pack it away and use where you are.
You will need to source some water, so if you were on a job, you would need to take a spray bottle, already filled. You wouldn't be able to use your brushes after, as they would be saturated. This little beauty is perfect for the dreaded, deep cleansing brush days. Worst than leg day at the gym.

EyeBrow pomade - Dark Brown- £5.00
So happy to have found this. I wanted to try it before purchasing any others. They have a fab range of colours, and it's an exact dupe of Anastasia Beverley Hills, at a quarter of the price. £5.00 is a bargain for this.
It's light, creamy and glides onto the brow - Another product I am so glad to have found and will be using it on set next week!
They also have some new skincare launched, I also want to try. Dear God, help me.

Im so impressed with this range! I would love to try the brow powders they stock. Have you tried their products? What would you recommend?