Friday, January 5, 2024

Finding Your Fabulous

Navigating the Art of Makeup at MAC

By Paula Gaikowski

For many people exploring the world of crossdressing or transgender expression, navigating the art of makeup can feel like a daunting task. Fear not! One of the best resources for beginners is a visit to a MAC cosmetics store. 

While I admit to a personal bias here, my experiences across the country, from Massachusetts to California, have been consistently positive. The staff at MAC is known for their genuine support and understanding of the transgender and crossdressing communities.

To delve deeper into this welcoming environment, I recently embarked on a research mission for the Femulate community, specifically focusing on makeup consultations and makeovers at MAC stores. I contacted locations in Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, and here is what I discovered to help make your own makeover exploration a breeze!

Service Options for Every Need

MAC caters to a variety of desires, with service options to suit individual preferences.

  • Makeup Lesson: Learn the basics or refine your technique with a one-on-one session. Prices range from $75 to $100, depending on the location and duration.
  • Makeover: Let the professionals work their magic! They'll create a personalized look using MAC products tailored to your preferences and features. Prices range from $75 to $100.
  • Night Out: Glam it up for a special occasion with a dazzling makeover that will have you sparkling! Price: $100.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

As a transgender individual, my biggest concern was feeling comfortable and accepted. I'm happy to report that every makeup artist I spoke with was incredibly welcoming and reassuring. They expressed excitement about working with me and emphasized their desire to make me feel confident and beautiful as a transgender woman.

Private Rooms and Personalized Service

MAC stores typically have a dedicated private room tucked away in the back, offering a comfortable and discreet space for you to relax and chat with your makeup artist during consultations and makeovers. This privacy allows you to feel at ease while discussing your preferences and trying out different looks.

Tips for Planning Your MAC Makeover

  • Book your appointment in advance especially if you’re interested in a specific service or makeup artist.
  • Come prepared with photos or ideas. Share your desired look with the artist to ensure you’re on the same page.
  • Be open to suggestions. The pros know their stuff! Trust their expertise and let them guide you towards a look you’ll love.
  • Relax and have fun! This is a chance to explore and experiment with your makeup. Enjoy the experience and embrace the transformation.

Invest in Yourself

The price tag might raise an eyebrow at first, but consider it an investment in yourself, not just an expense. Think of all the money you've wasted on makeup that wasn’t the right shade, formula or simply never got used. 

The MAC artists will create a personalized list of products they used on you. You can buy them all at once or spread it out over time. The quality and longevity of MAC products make them worth the initial investment. Treat yourself to a new item every couple of weeks and slowly build your own go-to kit for stunning looks every time you step out the door.

Remember, exploring your makeup journey is about having fun and expressing yourself. With welcoming staff, personalized service options and high-quality products, MAC can be a valuable resource for anyone navigating the art of makeup, especially those in the crossdressing and transgender communities. 

Go forth, experiment and embrace your femininity!

Source: Rue La La
Wearing Rue La La

Tony Curtis
Tony Curtis femulating in the 1959 film Some Like It Hot.


  1. I just wanted to share a picture of me at a MAC store in San Diego. I just want to add that IMHO the makeup artists at MAC at much better trained than Ulta and Shephora
    Paula G

    1. I’m glad your location is still good. On my very last visit to MAC the sales assistant was not very helpful and left me feeling quite irritated. I went to the nearby Sephora (which I hadn’t been into for years) and the girl there knew her stuff, I walked out with some new colours of eyeshadow that I would not have thought of wearing before; they are really a nice fresh departure from my usual look but still retain my overall vibe. [I never get makeovers so can’t comment about those.]

    2. you look right at home, like you belong there, Paula

  2. Paula, thanks for this excellent advice. I'm looking forward to my first visit!

  3. Ironically, I have abandoned MAC after their 30-50% price increase last year and—the nail in the coffin—that they no longer take back empty containers in exchange for a free lipstick. I certainly got my start there and while ten years ago they had the edge with embracing all and long term employees you could build a relationship with, girls like us can get great service just about anywhere. Now my old MAC is a revolving door of employees who stay for three months tops.

    Makeup quality has increased across the board as well, you can deck yourself out for less than half the money (which is a substantial amount when you are still finding your feet). Makeup is expensive, the profit margin is astronomical, so go with whoever makes you feel comfortable. MAC certainly used to have that down pat, I just feel like they lost sight of that in the race to bleed us dry.

  4. I saw some like it hot. I believe it's black and white movie not colored

    1. Some Like It Hot is a black and white film. I colorized a still from the film.

    2. Tony Curtis looked really good as a woman