Members of the MAC Lover (formerly Select) program is in for a treat! The brand is rewarding its loyal shoppers with not only a free anniversary gift but also a free birthday gift! To think that we have a loyalty program that actually rewards its members appropriately is something that I’m afraid I don’t get to say often!
This post has been updated to reflect the recent change in MAC’s loyalty program. The former MAC Select program has a new name (MAC Lover) and look! The announcement came out the beginning of January and I’ve updated this post to reflect the new nomenclature and respective perks of each tiers. The below is part of the email campaign that went out announcing the change and to learn more about the new perks, here is the link on the MAC website.
It’s safe to say that the MAC Select program may be the best beauty loyalty program of the moment – at least here in Canada! I’ve found myself shopping at MAC far more often because of the MAC Select loyalty program, and any makeup lover who’s been disappointed by the Sephora VIB / VIB Rouge program should get on this now! A free birthday and anniversary gift that are full-sized too? Read on to find out what it is and whether you’re eligible for it!
In This Post
MAC Birthday Gift Review
I’m thrilled with the very generous 2018 gift is a full-sized MAC Fix+ Spray ($30, available here) as it is one of my favourite products. The MAC Fix+ is one of the most popular beauty products out there and and it’s not skintone specific, ensuring that ALL MAC Lover members can make the most out of their gift! I’m sure MAC makes a lot of money on it so I’m very surprised by how generous it is – think of it this way, it’s a 20% return-on-investment ($30/$150 spend) for Devoted members and a 6% ROI for Obsessed members.
Previous years’ gifts include (from the most recent to the oldest):
|2022 ($65 value) review here||Pick your own Glow Play Lip Balm ($26, available here) and Glow Play Blush ($39, available here) – any shades that are available/in-stock. Members also receive 2x the points during their birthday month.|
|2021 ($40 value) review here||Pick your own 4x single eyeshadows ($10 each, available here) and a member-exclusive Lover custom palette. Shades available: Omega, Ricepaper, Orb, Antiqued, Expensive Pink, Satin Taupe, Jest, Brulée, Naked Lunch, Espresso|
|2020 ($56 value) Review here||The In Extreme Dimension 3D Black Lash mascara ($30, available here) and a False Lashes Maximizer ($28, available here).|
|2019 ($24 value)||A member-exclusive tote and an eyeliner of your choice: Technakohl Liner ($24, available here) or the Powerpoint Eye Pencil ($24, available here)|
|2018 ($30 value) review here||A full-sized Fix+ Original ($30, available here)|
|2017 ($24 value) review here||A full-sized Patentpolish ($24). This was classified as anniversary gift; you can pick the shade from 6 options.|
|Average value||$40 for each year (excluding the value of the member-exclusive tote from 2019 and palette from 2021)|
Receiving a full-sized product that you can get a lot of use out of is simply very generous – unlike at Sephora where you need to scrimp and save every point for a 5ml mini or sachet sample. I think the program is not only generous but fair – limiting the reward to those who spend a reasonable sum at MAC is a sound business decision. I do wonder if they will eventually release a different gift for Obsessed members as the difference between spending $150 and $500 is quite substantial and I’m sure if the my Sephora VIB Rouge membership experience is anything to go by, eventually the bigger spenders will expect more.
Note that as of 2018, the program changed from gifting “Anniversary” gifts to birthday gifts in line with the change in the name of the program (MAC Select to MAC Lover). I valued these gifts based on the Canadian retailer price at the time of “redemption”. Where there were a member-exclusive gift (such as the tote or palette), I have not added the value of those items as I see it as a nice bonus.
I typically stock up during the big MAC Select sales or when I see interesting value sets/sale items on the “Goodbyes” section – that way I get more bang for my bucks!
Which MAC Lover Tier Should You Aim for?
As I’ve previously mentioned several times in this post, I find the middle tier, “Devoted”, to have the best of both worlds. If you’re aware that Obsessed members get a different gift, please let me know. For “Devoted” members, the 20% ROI on your $150 investment is a satisfying return, to be frank.
As far as I know, there’s no purchase required to pick up your gift! I picked my my gift while exchanging a few B2M and showing an email indicating that I was eligible for a free mini lipstick. Yeah, it was a good shopping day!
I’ve been impressed with MAC’s loyalty program thus far – the MAC birthday and anniversary gifts feature full-size items that are inclusive (i.e. not skintone/colour specific) and also well-worth the spending. With so many launches each year and having a number of colours and formula being a favourite of mine ensures I’ll spend enough to keep coming back! I love that they’ve taken what didn’t work at Sephora and actually turned it into a solid loyalty program. Here is to hoping that it stays this way in the future.
What is the MAC Lover (Formerly Select) Program?
The MAC Lover (formerly Select) program is MAC’s own loyalty program for regular shoppers (it’s different from its makeup artist / Pro program). Anyone can sign up at a MAC store; it’s free to join and although the program has been around for 1.5 years, it remains to be one of the best programs out there (at least in Canada!)
Unlike other stores, there is no app or physical card that denotes your membership; you have a unique identifier code (Mine has the following format: CA-###-###-###) and to get points credited, you must let the sales associate know your email address upon checkout (if buying in-store); points are automatically credited for online purchases.
The points reset every year, so aim to achieve the level you want – I find the “Devoted” ($150 spend – it seems the program was adjusted recently reflecting a change in the threshold for each tier) to be the right middle ground especially because MAC has done a lot of value sets/kits and ran multiple 25% off sales for Select Members during the year (outside the holiday period). You can stock up and save money while building your status. I love that the exclusive sale for MAC Select members are outside of the holiday period which tides you over between the “annual” sale seasons.
How to become a MAC Lover/Select Member
I do recommend you signing up as you never know how the program evolves. With minimal effort on your side and without realizing it, you could have spent enough money to enjoy the annual anniversary gifts!
I already had a MAC Cosmetics account when I signed up, so if I recall correctly, it was a matter of simply creating a MAC Select ID while checking out with my cart and then an ID was generated. It was very straight-forward, and the points from my purchase was was immediately credited in a day or so. If there are any issues, MAC’s customer service (via their chat room) are very quick at sorting these things out. If you’re not yet a MAC Select member or don’t have an online account, you can sign-up in-store with your email/phone number.
You can also check your spending via the online tracker and see how much more you need to spend before “unlocking” your next tier.
A Brief Overview of the MAC Select Tier & Rewards
There are 3 tiers and the tier layout is very similar to Sephora. The more you spend, the better the perks are as both the Anniversary Gift and Birthday gift are available only to the higher tier members. Spends are accrued on an annual basis and points to expire every year so it’s best to aim to get your points up during the holidays/sales if you’re interested in maintaining the perks.
- Tier 1 (Lover): $0 min spend; Everyone who joins is automatically classified as Seduced. Minimal perks
- Tier 2 (Devoted): $200 min spend: You get all the perks of the Seduced level + the Anniversary Gift + the Birthday Gift + a complimentary 30-minute makeup application + early access to collections.
- Tier 3 (Obsessed): $500 min spend; you get all the perks of the Devoted level + 2x complimentary 60-min makeup application + early access to shop + exclusive invites + free shipping with $65 spend
As I’ve only been a Devoted member, I can’t speak to the others; I’ll summarize in that it is the best in-between tier that gives you the most worthwhile perks of the program (birthday gift, complimentary makeup, early access) without spending excessively. You can read more about my thoughts of the MAC Select program over on this blog post.
Have you picked up your MAC Select birthday gift yet?