Ep 30 Legendary M.A.C Cosmetics Co-Founder Frank Toskan on Building the Ultimate Beauty Icon and Starting Over

Frank Toskan polaroids 4.jpeg

 

In honour of Canada Day, we went straight to the icon of all beauty brands, M.A.C Cosmetics! We sat down with legendary co-founder Frank Toskan, to hear every detail about how the mother of all beauty companies came to be. In fact, we chatted for so long, we couldn't squeeze it into one episode! Stay tuned for both Part 1 and Part 2 to 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 stalwart beauty brands lining store shelves when it launched in 1984.

 M.A.C Limited Edition Lipstick in Proud To Be Canadian

M.A.C Limited Edition Lipstick in Proud To Be Canadian

 Madonna in M.A.C Russian Red Lipstick circa Blonde Ambition tour

Madonna in M.A.C Russian Red Lipstick circa Blonde Ambition tour

In Part 1 of this two-part special, 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.

M.A.C VIVA Glam 25th Anniversary

Stay tuned for Part 2, where 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 Spice; M.A.C Retro Matte Lipstick in Ruby Woo; M.A.C Lipglass Clear; M.A.C Strobe Cream; M.A.C Proud to Be Canadian LipstickM.A.C Matte Lipstick in Russian Red; M.A.C Studio Fix Perfecting Powder