M·A·C Cosmetics was founded by Canadian make-up artists Frank Toskan and Frank Angelo as Make-up Art Cosmetics in 1984. The original idea was to provide professional make-up artists with high-quality products and while remains the brand's main point of reference to this day the excellent products have also become very popular with regular customers. The brand that started off in a private kitchen in the founder's Toronto home has since grown to become a major global player and MAC products are sold in more than 1500 locations in 78 countries world-wide.

Initially MAC products were aimed exclusively at the professional market but thanks to the brand's growing popularity they were soon made available to the general public. The year 1991 marks the opening of the first MAC store in the USA. The huge interest in the company called it to attention to the Estee Lauder company who purchased a share of 51% of M·A·C Cosmetics in 1995. After Angelo's death in 1997 Estee Lauder bought the remaining shares and appointed John Demsey as head of the company. Under Damsey, M·A·C moved its head quarters to New York City and expanded rapidly.

With a stress on colour and self-expression, the brand became popular in theatre and drag circles in the 90s which suited their idea of being accessible to all sexes, races and ages. The brand has been known for their charity work, notably the M·A·C Aids foundation, which has raised an excess of 220 million dollars through sales of the Viva Glam range since its initial release in 1994. Their charitable work and products are endorsed by numerous celebrity collaborations with big names from the fashion, music and film industry. Famous collaborators include Alexander McQueen(2007), Disney (2010), Miley Cyrus(2015) and Rihanna(2014) to name a few. M·A·C Cosmetics' range includes lip, eye, face and nail make-up as well as skin care and make-up tools. Especially their face make-up range has been praised for supplying a wider palette of skin tones, including darker shades, the lack of which has been pointed out as a huge problem within the Western cosmetic industry. Their most iconic products are their Lipstick in Mac Red and Ruby Woo, their Pro Longwear Foundation and range of Make up Brushes.

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