Beauty / In Profile

Now and forever

Beauty fades, but cool is what we’re after. Old fashioned, all encompassing, everlasting. We talk on staying ahead of the game with M.A.C creative director James Gager.

What do you think it is about M.A.C, the culture there and what you do, that you are always able to know what’s cool seven years before everyone else knows what’s cool?

I think there’s something about being alert and attentive and aware and lucky that works, certainly in my favour, I just try to be as aware as I possibly can. And kind of maybe through experience when to pursue something and when not to pursue something.

Is there anything specifically you ask your teams to always be looking at?

I ask for ideas, and I ask of myself the same thing. I am constantly pulling clippings from magazines and looking at this and looking at that. I will say loud and clear, I love magazines. I love print magazines. I’m very old fashioned … I love to rip out pages and get inspired. Online is fine, but I really love stuff.

You championed the ‘All Ages, All Races, All Sexes’ slogan. Were you initially met with any resistance or hesitation from this approach?

It was just an idea that we don’t place any judgments on anybody, we welcome everybody. So for me when it was originated as a phrase or as an ideology, I think it was very far ahead of its time because now you see brands that I think call out minorities. Lots of brands have products for ‘dark skin’ or products [for] ‘Asian skin’. I don’t think we need to do that, I don’t think it’s very modern actually to be doing that, I think it’s better just to be ‘everybody’s equal, come on in’, you know?

What do you find most frustrating in the beauty industry?

I’m kind of sick of Instagram, I kind of am. I recently started following it and I’m like this is so boring.

Is there something else that inspires you from social media? Or you just don’t like social media?

It’s fine, I just think it’s a little communising. I don’t know if everybody’s opinion is great, we’re all equal. I don’t know I love the fact that everybody has a voice, but you get a lot of people that want to follow a few voices that aren’t so smart.

“I think makeup is a great game. Also, simple makeup remover will get if off your face, it’s not like your scarring yourself. Put it on; if you hate it take it off.”