Makeup / Say What

First ‘Back to MAC’ Experience

Back 2 MAC Experience 1Back 2 MAC Experience 2 Back 2 MAC Experience 4

I was terrified to make my first Back to MAC exchange and purchase. Why? Because I’ve heard and read so many horror stories about the usually testy lovely MAC employees that sometimes refuse customer’s recycled products because they’re not exactly “right” (i.e. not having the pans in the pots anymore). Being in an awkward situation like that is one of my worst nightmares. So, I put my big girl panties on last week and this was my experience…

Back to MAC 10

First, the recycled products: I finally de-potted all of my individual eyeshadows out of their adorable little black pots (kinda a pain but worth it for the end result). I had exactly 12 eyeshadow pots and 6 plastic or glass containers (or anything with the “Back 2 MAC” logo on the product’s box) will get one FREE product. Part of my anxiety came from the fact that counters have different free offerings than the freestanding MAC stores. I believe you can only get lipstick at the counters while stores will offer you an eyeshadow, lipstick or lip gloss. You all know I’m not a big lipstick wearer and I’m certainly not a lip gloss kinda girl, so I opted for a stand alone store so I could fill the remaining spots in my eyeshadow palette.

The only MAC store in Atlanta (to my knowledge) is at Perimeter Mall in Dunwoody. So, last Friday, I popped over there after getting an amazing facial at Nordstrom Spa (an amazing spa – you should go). I HATE shopping on the weekends. Saturday shopping is my idea of hell <shudders>. Anyways, they had 23084 employees swarming around while I immediately went to the eyeshadow display to confirm my planned purchases. Thankfully, a really nice MAC employee helped me that day and we struck up a conversation.

I actually had a tactic for this experience. I wanted to “bond” with the employee and hold off handing over my recyclable containers as long as possible so that by the time I did she would be too invested in the transaction and hopefully not give me any trouble. So we chatted about her makeup (which really was spectacular), I asked if they had a few products in store (that I already knew were online only – hello, “Emphasize” setting/highlight powder) and she asked all about Spa Nordstrom which I was happy to rave about. Finally, I picked my two eyeshadows out and after she rang them up, I nonchalantly tossed the bag over the counter while acting completely absorbed in the “tempt me” section full of mini products. She counted out my 12 eyeshadow containers, took a good, long look at them all and finally rang everything up as free.

What a sigh of relief. Phew. 

Back 2 MAC Experience 5

Back 2 MAC Experience 3

I ended up getting two more eyeshadows, Mythology and Contrast, to finish out my 15-pan eyeshadow palette. I have not used them yet (because pictures #bloggerprobs) but I’m sure they’re lovely. Especially Contrast which will add a little punch of navy into my neutrals-themed palette.

Looks like all my worries were for nothing 🙂 … or did my diversion tactics work?

Have any of you had a frustrating Back to MAC experience? Or heard of one? If there are any MAC employees reading this, I would love some insight. 

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20 thoughts on “First ‘Back to MAC’ Experience

  1. I’m totally with you on the anxiety! I always put off bringing my empties back because you never know what kind of experience you’ll get! I’ve had great experiences with no problems, and one time where the employee flat out lied to me and said they didn’t have a recycling program. I think your diversion tactic worked out great!


    • WHAT?!? Was she new or just couldn’t be bothered?!?! That is terrible and I would totally have reported her! What an awful experience!

      Glad to know I’m not the only one with B2M anxiety!! I honestly never want to do it again and asked the chick if she would just give me the pans instead (I mean, they’re cheaper! That’s a deal for them!) and she said no 😦


  2. I have never had any trouble with any recycling program at MAC and I have been shopping there for years so I am a little surprised to even hear of an issue. I currently have what seems to be a crap ton of B2M empties and only wish that there was a mac near by where I could opt for some eyeshadows instead of lip product.
    Lovely eyeshadows you picked out- Mythology was one of my first MAC colours I bought!


  3. Yay! I have only done two back to MAC’s before and I did not have any trouble! I thought maybe they would say no because the pans weren’t in the little pots, but they didnt care. I TOTALLY agree with you on Saturday shopping! That made me laugh because I never go anywhere on Saturday! I refuse to even go to the grocery store cause I hate crowds so much! I really want to try Mythology too, it looks so pretty!


  4. Ha ha … I have never don’t the Mac exchange or return .. Actually never purchased MAC (I know I know !!! ), but I understand the anxiety…! Happens to me when I want to make a return without receipt because (Hello!) who saves the receipts ???!!


  5. Well, I can understand when MAC employees won’t take pots without the pan – someone may try to first take the pots back and later the empty pans for another free product. And – it’s a bonus programm for empty products, not for the pots of depotted products … so it’s all right if an employee does not take pots without the pan.


  6. I love this story. I to have so much anxiety over returns or swap outs. I have brought black pots back to lush to get a free face mask. I am always so nervous about it even though they’ve always been nice to me.


  7. What the actual fuhhhh? I’ve never had an issue with these hussies. I’m usually an ass who counts wrong and one look at my puppy dog eyes and they end up giving me a pass. I’d be mortified if i had to deal with a jerk. Acting entitled will get you dirty looks and a kick in the ass so I always go in with my biggest accessory – innocence. Heh.


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