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Mac Cosmetics, the beauty brand known for its colour cosmetics and network of professional makeup artists, is making a big play for the growing skincare market. Its goal is for at least 30 per cent of its beauty customers to also use its skincare products in the next three years.

The brand, which is owned by The Estée Lauder Companies, will debut a new “high-performance” skincare range called Hyper Real, designed to simultaneously improve skin and enhance makeup. The range features a hybrid serum-moisturiser product or “serumiser” ($55), a moisturising cream ($49), cleansing oil ($48) and serum and moisturiser brush ($37). From January, it’ll be available to purchase at over 1,500 Mac stores worldwide as well as online.

Mac Cosmetics is entering the performance skincare category with Hyper Real.

Photo: Mac Cosmetics

This isn’t Mac’s first venture into skincare — the brand has a Prep and Prime series that includes a primer, finishing powder and setting spray, as well as a Lightful C3 range of cleansers and micellar water sold predominantly in the Asia-Pacific region. But its skincare has historically had more of “a supporting role to bring makeup to life”, says CMO Aïda Moudachirou Rebois. Today, it’s taking centre stage as customers invest more in their skincare routines. “For the customer, having beautiful skin is as much a statement as beautiful colour,” she says.

Mac isn’t the only cosmetics brand to make a push into the skincare market, which is set to reach $181 billion globally by 2025, up from $155 billion in 2021, according to Euromonitor. Unilever-owned Hourglass Cosmetics launched a skincare collection in February 2021. Huda Beauty did the same in launching Wishful, Kylie Cosmetics ventured out with Kylie Skin, and Fenty Beauty expanded into Fenty Skin. They join makeup brands like Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier and Chantecaille, which have sold creams for decades, as well as skincare upstarts such as Beauty Pie, which sells makeup and skincare direct to consumers without the retail markup.

The skincare sector emerged as a bright and profitable spot during Covid, says Accenture’s global beauty lead Audrey Depraeter-Montacel. But she adds: “It’s one thing to be willing to go into that category, and another to do it well.”

Owning the skincare category

Mac may seem late to the skincare game, but Moudachirou Rebois says it took time to get the products right — the skincare line has been in development for four years. “That’s how long it takes to bring something great to the very competitive market,” she says.


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