I’m glad I had only thrown away a couple of panned out MAC blushes – all Pink Swoon – before I got to know about the Back To M.A.C Program. Haha, I wasn’t too adventurous in the past when it came to blushes. I still have another Pink Swoon in my stash, but the most often used blush now is Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso.
Back To M.A.C is the company’s recycling program, and is one of its five social initiative programs.
The program is pretty clear-cut – return six M.A.C primary packaging containers in exchange for a free MAC lipstick of your choice. The lipstick cannot be from the M.A.C Viva Glam program as 100% of the purchase price of any item from that program contributes to the M.A.C AIDS Fund. I think they used to offer lipglass and eye shadow too, but now it’s only lipstick.
So you can pretty much bring back anything MAC, except for samples, applicators (like puffs, sharpeners, curlers), false lashes, cases, etc.
From MAC website:
Most primary packaging of M·A·C products is accepted as Back to M·A·C “currency.” M·A·C does not accept the following as a part of the program:
- Secondary packaging of any sort [paper box, plastic/cellophane wrapper, shopping bags, etc.]
- Samples [sample containers, special/trial size products for promotional/seasonal kits]
- Cosmetic applicators/tools [disposables, puffs, sponges, scissors, spatulas, swabs, sharpeners, tweezers, curlers]
- Accessories [bags, belts, makeup cases, lashes, Blot Film].
If you are unsure of whether an item is considered a ‘primary packaging’, simply bring it to a MAC counter or see if your item falls into any of the categories below.
I brought home 2 lipsticks in exchange for 10 eyeshadow pots and 2 blush pans! YAY!!!
I didn’t choose the colors on a whim, though; I spent a long, long time picking the top 2 that I liked – a pink and a coral. It must have been 3 or 4 trips to various MAC counters, asking the opinion of several MUAs before I decided on See Sheer and Speed Dial.
Really, never judge a book by its cover. I was not entirely positive the shades the young and trendy-looking MUAs picked for me previously suited my taste that well. Then on the last visit, it was a slightly um, older and less hip-looking MUA that served me. She picked See Sheer and Speed Dial and I LOVED how they looked on me straight away!
I told her I wanted a pink and a coral, but unlike the others who simply chose a general pink and a random coral and shoved it into my hands, she actually stood in front of the lipstick counter for a while and gave thought to her selection. Talk about professionalism! Wootz!
Back To MAC Program lipsticks are marked with a cross. And apparently they keep different stock for normal purchases and Back To MAC. If you want a color that is not stocked for the Back To MAC Program, they will not give you one from the normal inventory. That was what happened with my See Sheer. Raffles City MAC ran out of stock so I had to get it at the Ngee Ann store.
I think Back To MAC is an excellent recycling program. It not only helps us to correctly dispose of plastic containers, but also encourages us to depot our eyeshadows to save space! Some people immediately depot their eyeshadows to put in customizable palettes like the Z-palette and accumulate enough to exchange for a MAC lipstick!
It’s a pity only MAC in Ngee Ann City Singapore sells the refill pans. They cost about SGD5 less than the potted ones. MAC should sell those refill pans in all Singapore stores so we can save money and the environment!
Oh, another thing. One of MAC’s five social initiatives is MAC Cruelty-Free Beauty, and the company prides itself on not testing on animals. This seems to have changed though and there have been cries of outrage from bloggers (like Phyrra) who feel betrayed that their trust has been trampled on. What are your views?