MAC Cosmetics is unofficially stocked at Target Australia and is real?

Let’s face it, the RRP of MAC Cosmetics in Australia is a little more than if you were to buy MAC Cosmetics in America. It’s one of those long running gripes many who have had the opportunity to travel have with the beauty industry in Australia. But  now you can buy MAC Cosmetics for a lot less, thanks to Target Australia.

Since May 2012, Target have been selling MAC Cosmetics within selected Target stores around Australia at up to 40% off the recommended retail price of the products in Australia. Example? MAC lipsticks are priced at $21, Eyeshadows for $22 and foundations for $29.

So we asked the guys at Target to clarify where they get their stock from (i.e. is it genuine).

Target Australia’s official statement about MAC Cosmetics being stocked in their stores:

Target prides itself on the quality and value of its products and always seeks to find ways to bring customers a wider range at great prices.

Target Australia offers customers genuine MAC cosmetics that are sourced lawfully by a domestic supplier from a legitimate MAC wholesaler overseas.

We can assure all our customers that our MAC stock is genuine. Our local supplier verified that the products are genuine through two independent laboratory tests as part of our due diligence.

The differences our customers may see in our products compared to other outlets are simply a result of the same strategy that lets us offer customers genuine MAC products at 40% less than other Australia retailers.

Target is able to lawfully import genuine MAC products at a price our customers appreciate, although it is not an official M.A.C. outlet.

However, while Target has lawfully sourced these products, in order to avoid copyright infringement, it cannot use the M.A.C. logos or trademarks in advertising or marketing collateral.

This is why our customers have not seen the official M.A.C. logo in any of our advertising or marketing in our catalogues, online or in-store when promoting these genuine products.

Wholesalers in different countries can produce slight variations in packaging, branding and the products themselves, which may explain why our MAC products may look slightly different to those of other Australia retailers – it is simply that they may have been sourced from a different wholesaler.

What are your thoughts about MAC Cosmetics being available at Target Australia?

It is a fraction of what you would pay in MAC’s official retail outlets in Australian departments stores but you aren’t getting the same retail experience and expertise as you would if you were to shop at MAC (especially at their Pro stores).

We asked a few friends about their thoughts and they loved the idea of buying MAC for cheaper (who doesn’t love a bargain after all) but they questioned the authenticity of buying a prestige brand from Target. And they aren’t alone in that thought.

According to Vogue Australia Forum member DazzleBlue:

“[I] went into a local target today to check it out for myself. Fake or not i definitely wont be buying mac from target. Most of the lipsticks/eyeshadows had been opened and swatched and then put back into the packaging. I also saw mac being sold at a trade secret here in Sydney. Same quality as the Target and I would assume from the same wholesalers.”

The girls over at BeauteBuzz snapped a few photos of the range instore and the range doesn’t look anywhere near as extensive as what you would find in MAC outlets. But then if you’re saving up to 40%, even if it is old stock.

Personally, I am someone who always wants things from the newest collections (I’m currently itching to see more of the Carine Roitfeld for MAC collection) and to have too many options to choose from. I will continue to shop at MAC counters and in their pro stores.

What are your thoughts on buying MAC from Target Australia?

We will be asking MAC Cosmetics Australia for a statement about Target Australia stocking MAC products ASAP.

[Update] Hot tip from an inside source.

Go smell the MAC at Target Australia lipsticks and compare it to the smell of MAC lipsticks you bought from a MAC cosmetics counter or Pro store and make your own decision.

[Update: Estee Lauder Companies launches legal action against Target]

The saga continues with The Estee Lauder Companies (the parent company of MAC Cosmetics) launching legal action against Target Australia with the claim that they are selling counterfeit MAC Cosmetics products in their stores. Target have since been asked to remove the products from their shelves.

According to an article in the SMH:

The cosmetics group said on its US-based website that it could not guarantee the quality or safety of products not purchased from authorised retailers of M·A·C Cosmetics in Australia.

“Target Australia is not an authorised retailer of M·A·C Cosmetics and we did not supply any M·A·C products to Target Australia,” said the statement, which features prominently on the make-up company’s website.

“We urge our customers to shop at our authorized retailers to ensure the M·A·C Cosmetics products they buy are authentic and meet the quality and safety standards that we promise.”



  • Susan says:

    It’s a shame that MAC test on animals first and foremost. I really wish they’d go back on that. That said, i’d still rather buy genuine MAC from an official mac retail then getting goodness knows what and from where. Real > Fake everytime.

  • Carol says:

    Have you checked the manufacture dates/batch codes on these products, there are some there that are over 9 years old. The idea of putting products of that age just doesn’t seem right to me. Also if they can’t use the logo it smacks a little of not 100% above board.

  • Basil says:

    Mac is not an expensive brand in the UK or US but they think they can charge crazy prices here. The Target and Trade Secret prices are actually similar to what people in these countries pay. I was weak and bought a few and they are rubbish and not the same quality as my authentic MAC makeup- i will be trying to return them. And i will be strong from now on and stick to my previous resolve to boycott Estee Lauder products until they reverse their animal testing policy. Shame on me

  • Jodi says:

    The $21 “MAC” lipstick does not make a lovely present at all, when it actually stinks and doesn’t smell at all like that typical MAC scent. Not a lovely present when the recipient applies the 9 year old lipstick and breaks out in a terrible reaction from using an expired product. Shame on Target for misleading consumers and not doing their due diligence.

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  • Mica says:

    I’d bought an eyeshadow from Target before, it’s named “top knot”. after seeing these debating articles I then went back to compare with my old MAC eyeshadows that’s bought from different MAC counters/pro stores in different countries(Mainland China, Hongkong, Macau, America, Australia). The conclusion I can give is, there is nothing different between the Target MAC and counter MAC. I do believe Target was selling authentic MAC, no wonder, MAC isnt anything expensive, not an luxury, there is no reason of saying because of the price(if u look at the MAC price in America), Target is selling fake products. Im not a professional cosmetic collector, but as a 4-years-cosmetic-buying person, I think that Target is only selling imperfect products that has been failed from quality check before going into stores and counters(China has lots of ppl selling authentic but imperfect G*uess, B*urberry D*&*G wallets&bags online with price lower than u could imagine, this is true, trust me=) ). I have seen lot of fake MACs, the texture of powder, the shimmer, the package, Target MAC has no chance to go wrong. Some mention the smell of it, that is what I said before, the imperfection, the reason why they went to MAC outlets instead of going in Myer pricing $40. That is only my opinion =)

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