clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What to Know About the M.A.C Sample Sale

New, 2 comments
MAC Cosmetics brushes backstage at a fashion show. Photo: Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Through Friday this week, M.A.C Cosmetics is holding its first-ever sample sale in Chelsea, where cosmetics are 60% off retail prices. I made it inside the sale within thirty minutes of the 2 p.m. door opening, a small miracle considering that by 3 p.m., the line snaked through three city blocks. The sale space stayed open until 7 p.m., but event organizers cut off the line before 5 p.m.

When I made it into the sale, the room was spacious and better organized than most lipstick-smeared crime scenes that beauty sample sales end up being. Likely for the sake of hygiene and efficiency, however, event organizers prohibited customers from trying on any makeup, which, coupled with the frenzied assembly lines of cosmetic browsing and the stifling heat of the day, made for a lot of quick purchases made only because they were at arm’s reach. (For this reporter, anyway.)

Here’s the quick pricing breakdown: Blush is $10.40, brushes are $12, eye pencils are $8—$9, eye shadow is $9—$22, skin products are $10—$29, lip pencils are $7—$9.60, lip gloss is $8.40—$11, lipstick is $6.80—$11, and nail polish is $5 or $6.

The M.A.C sale, early in the first day, at least, offered tons of lip pencils in all finishes (huggable and matte), as well as a comprehensive nail polish display. The sale’s biggest weakness is that it offered no foundations or concealers, though it did have contouring kits in varying flesh tones. Nary a Rihanna collaboration was to be found, though the sale had enough Brooke Candy edition eye gloss to outfit an entire league of dancers for a dozen Grimes videos.

The sale is taking place at 125 West 18th Street on Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. through 7 p.m. and on Friday from 9 a.m through 4 p.m. Expect items to go quickly without restocking and more line limitations throughout the week — or, in other words, get there sooner than later. For more on this sale, scroll through our Twitter feed and check out rackeddotcom on Snapchat (while the story is still live!).