MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection Series Part 4: Toronto Trip and MAC Production Tour

This is a continuation of my account of the MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection experience. To read about the Bloggers' Obsessions color story and product information, click here. To learn about the inspiration behind my creative concept for this collection, the Sonoran Rain lipglass, check out MAC Bloggers' Obsession Collection Series Part 2: The Sonoran Rain Lipglass Inspiration. To see the step-by-step creation of my creative concept, Sonoran Rain lipglass, check out MAC Bloggers' Obsessions Collection Part 3: The Making of Sonoran Rain Lipglass.

Shortly after I was informed that my creative concept for the Sonoran Rain lipglass would be included in the MAC Bloggers' Obsession collection, I and eight other beauty bloggers whose shades were chosen to be part of the Bloggers' Obsession Collection (Amber, Christine, Ellen, Karen, Lianne, Lily, Patrice, Wendy) were flown to Toronto, Canada. Part of our activities included a tour of the MAC production facilities in Markham, Ontario before mixing our respective shades for the collection.

View from the car on the way to the hotel

I arrived in Toronto on April 13th. I was picked up at the airport and brought straight to the new Thompson Hotel where we were billeted. I promptly took some pictures of my junior suite. It was a cute room and I loved the heated bathroom floors.

view from my hotel room

A nice MAC Tote with gifts from MAC awaited me at the foyer:

Ice Wine!! It survived the flight back home, thanks to the wineskin.

Played with the MAC stuff before dinner:

All That Glitters

Quarry, Vanilla, Sketch

Prism blush


C-thru and Russian Red lipglasses

That night, we had dinner at Nota Bene in Toronto. Appetizer was a refreshing duck salad:

I ordered the red snapper, and onion rings and fries were ordered for everyone.

My dessert was really scrumptious: creme caramel:

I woke up the next day ready to mix my lipglass shade! I was made up at my hotel room by my very charming MAC makeup artist, Francis:

He was super nice and all smiles. He used Face and Body foundation in C3 on me (loved the dewy finish!), neutral MAC shadows and I used my Captive lipstick (which I eventually replaced with Sonoran Rain lipglass). He used my favorite cream blush in Brit Wit so I was really happy with his shade selection.

Off to the MAC production tour! We hopped on a bus to go to Markham, Ontario to visit the Bentley facilities. We had to wear lab coats, safety glasses and steel boot guards. The steel guards clickety clicked on the sterile floors.

our boot guards, safety glasses and lab coats

preparing for the tour- no jewelry please

We were first ushered to this room where gigantic pots of melted substance were housed. The chemist scooped up a small bit of substance from the pot and poured it in molds. After three minutes, the molds were opened and out came the bullet-shaped, freshly-molded lipsticks.

Huge machines were everywhere molding the lipsticks, carefully attaching the tubes of lippies into the tubes themselves. We saw batches of Shy Girl lipsticks being manufactured and carefully inspected. Those with defects were promptly taken out of the assembly line.

On one end of the huge warehouse-like factory, a small team of employees were inspecting lipsticks being made in small batches for a limited edition collection of another brand. Since the batch was small, they were manually making sure that the nicks and imperfections in the lipstick tubes were smoothed out. They also showed us how to achieve that shiny glaze in the lipsticks that we've come to love. So much amazing information in just one day!

Elvira teaching me how to take off imperfections on the lipstick.

Talking about how to make gel liners

We were ushered to the Bentley facilities right across the street: where Estee Lauder Companies Canadian Innovation Centre is housed.

By the lobby was a glass cabinet holding the Cham Pale, Wonder Woman and Surf Baby collections.

We had a light lunch right after with the MAC chemists and creative team. We were given a small exercise by providing two similar (but not identical) MAC products called the standard and the batch. The standard is the prototype that is matched and compared with succeeding batches of products. MAC is creative product-driven company and hence there is a substantial creative freedom involved. The prototype is the model by which other batches are patterned after.

the MAC chemists

Here comes the best part! We were taken to the lab to mix our different creative concepts into life:

the MAC chemists at work with the prototype of Karen's lipglass, Evolution Revolution

prototypes of Patrice's lipglass, All of My Purple Life

Before we got to work on our products, however, we were first given a demonstration on how MAC makes the lipglasses and eye shadows:

Stella talked about how lipglasses are mixed and how the standard is compared to the batches.

Prototypes of Sonoran Rain lipglass

Making the Sonoran Rain lipglass (my creative concept)

The different pigments and pearls used in Sonoran Rain lipglass

Next up: How to make MAC Eye Shadows!

We were given a demonstration on how MAC shadows were made. Can you believe an ordinary blender is used to create shades? Of course, mass production is a different story and bigger machines are used.

These are the pigments used in creating MAC shadows.

It was an amazing tour and it was nice to learn about how cosmetic products that I use everyday are being manufactured.

After the educational tour, I got to work on my lipglass:

We ended our day on a high note and thanked the MAC team, including the hard-working Amara and Erin,  for the great experience. I was also glad to have met some of the best beauty bloggers out there. I cannot wait for you guys to see and enjoy our creations!

With Karen of

Saying our goodbyes

Christine (temptalia), Patrice (afrobella), and Karen (makeupandbeautyblog)


lelila said...

i'm so happy for you sis!!!!! kainggit haha

Greenpease said...

Wow! Sis you've come a long way from being a MAC make up addict to star blogger and now a creator of your own make up! I'm so proud of you! Keep up the good work.

I can't wait to see and purchase your own creation. <3

Polarbelle said...

I can't wait. This is just so cool for you guys. Truly a unique experience

Laura D.P. said...

It sounds amazing!! I really want to see what you and the other bloggers have created! Unfortunally the collection won't arrive here in Italy U____U

Leslie said...

You did a great job of taking pictures and "walking us readers through the tour"! Grats to your successes!

The Shades Of U said...

sol- thanks sis for your support, I appreciate it! xoxo

Smile- aww thank you! I started with you guys and I want to thank you for your support! *hugs*

polarbelle- thank you! The bloggers worked hard for the finished product and we really didn't want to fail our readers, so hopefully we made them happy with these products.

The Shades Of U said...

xasperadastra - I'm still hopeful that with good feedback MAC will eventually make an international release!

Leslie- thank you! It was a magical experience and I wanted all my readers to experience it vicariously through my words.

Jill Oliver-Fox said...

wow way to go. I must say Toronto looks a lot better in person than in those pics you took...haha. I hope you had a great time, and enjoy that yummy Inniskillen tasty and a great winery.

Czel said...

Congrats! galing mo talaga Ms. Aileen!

Iambrigitte said...

ang galing galing! we are so proud of you!