"Collecting MAC Tips"


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For new-to-MAC folks, post tips for storage of everything, hauling, raising money for the big price of MAC, buying off of eBay, and getting products that started a long time ago but are gone, where to get really rare/discontined products, etc.


New member
Storage: those cheap Sterlite containers w/ the drawers are great. They're also easy to find.

Hauling & Raising Money for the Big Price of Mac: After looking throug all my makeup I see a lot of money that I could have saved for something else. I think it's best to look through what you have b4 hauling so you don't buy anything close to that product. I also think you should have a budget with each collection.

Ebay: There are many discontinued and rare items on eBay. I've bought makeup through ebay but I do check the feedback and the comments of the seller. If it's too good to be true...it is! So don't be buying those $9.99 pigments from Hong Kong..fake...
hope that helps


New member
With hauling, its really easy to get carried away on here, so my tip budget wise to say I will only buy 3 things from each collection or something and stick to it. Thay way you are buying things you really want and will use. As for raising money, I'm lucky that I have a well paid job which leaves me money for mac after all my mortgage and bills. At the weekend I also clean our office building for extra cash, which I use for MAC. But this has only been in the last 6 months or so. Whilst I was at university there was no money for expensive make up etc...

I find storage tips off the Stash Stats and Storage forum, each person does it differently. I have found my perfect combination from looking at lots of different people.

I also don't buy off ebay, i think there are too many fakes and i'm easily fooled. So for the discontinued products, if i can't get if from a CCO, then I won't ever have it. Theres more than enough current products to keep me interested.



New member
Traincases are awesome for storage at home and traveling .But like Distinque said Sterlite plastic containers are good as well and cheap !
As for raising money to haul .
Don't buy anything unless you know you'll use it .
I have a problem with impulse buying with makeup but I somehow find a way to make everything work .
But just raise a little bit of money each week for a rather large haul of a collection you love !
As for eBay your really can't take a chance with it .
Too many fakes are on there !
Try your local CCO .
Your better off not taking a chance .


New member
I'd say definately know which colors are dupable, all though many mac eyeshadows are a different finish, some colors are almost exacly the same.

Stay away from the mac color collection thread lol, its only going to make you want to buy more!!

And always always always check the clearance bin everyday for some great deals.

And buy pigment samples, they are much more worth it, you could probably get 8 1/4tsp pigment samples in different colors verses 1 pigment jar of the same color. 1/4tsp will last a good while.

i'd say if your just starting out, forget about past mac L/E collections. Move on with the new! The price of rares is not worth it, unless you really like the color or something. BTW the only way to find rares is to once again pray and check the clearance bin, it may take months, or it may take years.. depends on how lucky you get.


New member
To find cheap items try CCO. I always find a good few things there and at 30% off you cann't go wrong.
I personally store my MU in one of those clear storage containers with the 7 drawers works pretty good for me.
I always decided what I want from a collection like previously said pick 3 things that you want. I usually don't do big hauls I buy a thing or two that I know I want after my bills are paid. HTH


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Originally Posted by xxManBeaterxx
And buy pigment samples, they are much more worth it, you could probably get 8 1/4tsp pigment samples in different colors verses 1 pigment jar of the same color. 1/4tsp will last a good while.

i'd say if your just starting out, forget about past mac L/E collections. Move on with the new! The price of rares is not worth it, unless you really like the color or something. BTW the only way to find rares is to once again pray and check the clearance bin, it may take months, or it may take years.. depends on how lucky you get.

This is a good point. I just bought my first pigment and it will probably last me years!


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I just kind of started out.

-Look at what you use now. You can't go from wearing absolutely nothing to a flawless 20-minute face, so start out small, and then when you run out of whatever you use, you can replace that with MAC.

-Pick up only the essential brushes to start. If you use foundations, pick up the 109 (liquids) or 182 (powders). Then for powder, pick up a 150 (or a Essence of Beauty powder brush as it's A-MAZING), for blush, the 116, the 217, 219 and 239 for eyeshadows, and finally the 208 for liner and brows. Then, as you start to advance your looks, add more and more brushes to your collection. Be sure to take care of these!

-Traincases are nice, but I like to use drawers instead as they're more convenient. Especially if you're starting, get a Caboodles or something instead of a $175 MAC one.

-To start out, don't go and get 6 or 7 of one product at a time. Before you get a big collection, make it well-rounded. A foundation, powder, blush, everyday lipgloss or lipstick, mascara, fluidline, paint pot and a self-made neutrals quad should be all you really "need."

-Be aware that not everything you need will be from MAC. For example, you may need a different foundation, primer, etc.

-Don't go all out too fast! Seeing huge collections will make you envious but after you have your basics kit, play around with that. Then, a few at a time, add some colors to your kit.

-WATCH YOUTUBE VIDEOS!!! I cannot stress this enough. People on Youtube talk to you and show you how to do things. I love a lot of youtubers, but definitely check out xSparkage, MakeupByTiffanyD (amazing blending!), makeupgeektv (love her! She's definitely one of my favorites of all time!), Ricolovesmac, wubearkitten, californiacosmetics, stephielaclac, AskMeMakeup, EnKore, pursebuzz, and whatstyleistonickel. Wow lots of those haha!

-If you see an FOTD you love, don't hesitate to PM the one who did it and ask what brushes they like to use/whatever.

-Start out with regular products in your starter kit, because most likely if you get an LE starter kit, you'll fall in love with every product and you'll get a little too excited lol. You may overuse things and waste some of your MAC.

-Find swatches/real life pictures of what you want. A lot of times, MAC.com swatches are off so you'll need to find out a little more before you spend your money.

-When it comes to LE collections, only buy what you really use if it were in the permanent collection.


New member
I just started as well.
I store all my MAC in a large dware... it works out nicely.
I work as a waitress so im pretty in charge of my makeup there. I work at a super upscale resteraunt so i make really decent cash normally.. Last month I made $1,568 AFTER gas money, diaper money for my 5 month old, and overall spending on drinks and food at work. So probably a decent $1,800. I dont make that much ALL the time... but I set a budget for myself.

I pay all my bills first.... then whatever I have left over at the end of the month i have to make last for me until the end of the next month. 1/2 of it I put in the savings, about 1/3 of what is left over I spend on random stuff for my son- and whatever's left over after that (usually $200-$300) I spend on MAC. So I get a decent size haul once a month.

I agree with the posters that say to stay away from the color collections forum. I am anticipating spending SO much money on LE collections.. blach. I have SO MUCH stuff from the perm collection I want but I keep spending money on the LE collections.. its kicking my ass.


New member
Make sure you double check your collection before you shop! I cant even count the number of times I've bought something and gotten home and been like "oh wow this looks exactly like (insert name here)".
Also dont trust the MAC website swatches if you can help it, they are almost always missleading.

Office supply stores and Ikea are also really good places to look for storage.


New member
I started buying MAC around the heatherette collection debut. Actually, my very first MAC purchase was some stuff from heatherette plus mascara, and ever since I have been HOOOKEEEDDDD. Not to mention I don't really get alot my own money and i'd say I have a pretty modest MAC collection now. All of my "staple" items are MAC so i'd say i'm doing pretty good for myself

- have a budget. I didn't really before so when I picked out all my things in excitement and went to go pay, I didn't realize I spent THAT much and its not like you can just tell the MA oh I dont want half of this afterall LOL right when you are paying.

- look through some of your make up now and wait until it either goes bad (like mascara) or runs out (like shadows, foundation, powder etc). This is what I did. I really needed an eyeliner, mascara (which I bought in the heatherette collection plus some lipstick) and a month later my mineral make up from sheer cover had just run out so I needed a foundation and concealer.

- traincases are nice, but if you get one - invest in a really nice one. I have one from ulta where the little "storage" areas are made out of a stiff cardboard and it broke! also, my makeup gets really cluttered there because its how I store my makeup. now that my collection is getting better I WOULD invest in a better storage unit but i'm in college and there's not enough room for me to have an entire storage bin for allll my make up lol


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Originally Posted by xxManBeaterxx
Stay away from the mac color collection thread lol, its only going to make you want to buy more!!

Truer words have never been spoken!


New member
Ok, here's what I do. I have entered all of my colors (I have over 150 now) onto an Excel spreadsheet. I print it out and take it to my MAC counter. The girls there know me and how I'm such a hauler but when new colors come out, they look at my list and see what else I have that will work just as well. That way, I only buy the colors that I can't live without (which lately is all of them) Anyone know the number to MAC USERS ANNONYMOUS? Hope that helps.


New member
I bought my MAC train case from the CCO (cheaper than in the regular store). But by far my best investment was a 6 Draw chest with Compartment top from Staples ($20)

Hauling & Raising Money:
  • I try to depot everything. If there is a collection coming out I use my B2M empties for new e/s and lipsticks. (Saves on money)
  • I also sell some of the make-up I don’t use
  • Buy other brands!!!! NOT everything needs to be from MAC. I love their e/s so that’s mainly what I buy.
Start off small!!! I have been collecting since the late 90’s. When I started I only had about 4 e/s and slowly I built my collection I have over 250 now. Trading makeup helped me build my collection the fastest; I would start there for sure!!

I try to get at least one thing from every collection, but sometime I don’t because I don’t see anything I likeL

I rarely buy makeup through eBay because
  • There are so many fake products out there
  • People overbid for items (example: 15 pro palette cost $12 in a MAC store. They will sometimes be $20 on eBay with $5 S&H….that’s crazy
  • It has to be something I really, really want and even then I investigate.
Discontinued/Rare Items:
Makeupalley.com (trade makeup), Call MAC’s Gone But Not Forgotten hotline 888.378.3359 (if an item has been discontinued they can help you try to find it)

Quads are a good investment (save a couple of dollars)
Also, Find as many dupes as you can


New member
I used to do makeup freelance YEARS ago, and am just getting back into now and starting up my collection. I don't have any MAC yet but plan on getting some soon. These are great tips. Thanks.

I just bought a case from Lowes for my stash. It's perfect for what I have and would use to work offsite...and it was only like $25. I put my brushes in the sleeves in the top. Under the foam there is things to make your own sections and my palettes fit into those just fine



New member
Most of my cosmetics are from MAC, Bobbi Brown and Sephora (I like their some of their e/s). I've been collecting MAC since 2003.

I recently bought some MAC e/s off eBay UK and turned out they're counterfeits. Be careful with eBay, even if they're PowerSellers and have 100% positive feedbacks. Sometimes they've no idea they're actually selling counterfeits!


New member
if you're building up your brushes i would say go to target/walmart. 4 years ago i got a small eyeshadow brush there for 3 $ and i still use it.
Also Go for the brush sets at xmas. I found the eye to be good, as well as the face one. The general kit was kinda sucky.

Pigment samples are the way to go. I bought some 2 years ago and have yet to use any of them us. They are fabulous. The ones i was crazy for/couldnt get in sample form i bought in full size.

Buy the palette shadows if you can They're about 4$ cheaper than the ones in the pot. If you can't DEPOT!! Palettes are easy to move around, take way less space, and look beautiful.

I don't like wasting a lot of money on mascaras. I think people get all hyped up by a name (like dior show) but i dont think theres a big difference between a fancy pantsy mascara and something by loreal. Im yet to be wowed. Ive blown a lot of money on designer mascara.

It's easy to get caught up in shadows, but don't neglect other areas either. Foundation maybe not seem like the most exciting thing in the world, but a good one can save a busted look. While you may not think you're into blush, you might find that you actually love it (that was the case with me) and same for lips. I always neglect lips...

And lastly and most important (imo) try new things brand wise. Trust me, i love mac, but im not the kind of girl that becomes obsessed and ONLY buys mac. While i mostly stick to MAC, there are other lines that carry superior products, like foundations and primers. Had i only had mac on the brain i would have never found UDPP, or orgasm blush, or benetint (all of these i wear religiously).

And yes, like everyone said, look for dupes. It sucks to bring home a new shadow you're pumped for and realize you already have something exactly like it. Do you're research before a new collection comes out. It's easy to walk into MAC after a launch and see pretty colors and get overwhelmed and buy the store.