Ep 71 – Founder #Flashback: The Blood, Sweat and Pride behind M.A.C Cosmetics With Co-Founder Frank Toskan

June 26, 2019

We’re on vacation and we hope you are too! In honour of Canada Day, PRIDE and epic road trips, we are re-releasing our founder episode featuring legendary entrepreneur Frank Toskan, who co-created M.A.C Cosmetics! We also want to say a happy birthday to the iconic brand, which is celebrating 35 years in 2019. We originally launched the episode in two parts last summer, and this time around, we’re delivering one long track for your long-listening pleasure.

You’ll hear all the deets dedicated to the trailblazing brand that paved the way to so many modern, inclusive beauty lines today.  With its unforgettable, original tagline: “All Ages, All Races, All Sexes“, M.A.C was waaay ahead of its time, tapping into a culture completely foreign to the heritage beauty brands lining store shelves when it launched in 1984.

Jill and Carlene recall the M.A.C beauty products that helped form their youths (hands up if you wore Twig Lipstick!). Plus, we remind you of the brand’s ultimate best-sellers like Ruby Woo Lipstick (2,900 of their made-in-Canada lipsticks are sold everyday around the world) and their epic Studio Fix Foundations (still #1 in prestige in Canada), which offered nearly 40 shades decades before Fenty Beauty came along.

Then, Frank takes us way back, on coming to North America as a young immigrant, with little more than a children’s suitcase and a few small trinkets inside. Beauty history buffs will want to hear the story of “Frank & Frank” as the two founders would become known, partners in life and business until Frank Angelo’s passing in the 1990’s. And finally, the origin story on how Frank Toskan came to compose early M.A.C prototypes using nothing more than craft store supplies in his Toronto kitchen.

We hit you with all the juicy celebrity moments that helped catapult M.A.C to household name status (a young Lady Gaga, Madonna and Linda Evangelista were all involved.) Don’t miss the rebellious acts that had department stores up in arms, like hiring crossdressing beauty consultants, and giving out condoms at beauty counters (mon dieu!) We also go deep on VIVA Glam, the unparalleled giving-back program that’s earned a whopping $480M for M.A.C’s AIDS Fund, including a sneak peek on an academic book on the topic (launching just in time for VIVA Glam’s 25th anniversary next year). So, what’s Frank Toskan up to now? We’ve got the scoop on his next indie startup, called Impact Kitchen, that tastes as good as it is for you.

Products mentioned in this episode: M.A.C Satin Lipstick in TwigM.A.C Lipliner in SpiceM.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo;M.A.C Lipglass ClearM.A.C Strobe CreamM.A.C Proud to Be Canadian LipstickM.A.C Matte Lipstick in Russian Red;M.A.C Studio Fix Perfecting Powder

Every product is independently selected by Breaking Beauty Podcast hosts and/or guests. Products you purchase through our links may earn us a commission.