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Cosmetic Company MAC Forced to Issue Public Apology Over Controversial, Mexico-Inspired Makeup Line

A promotional image from MAC's collaborative cosmetics line with design duo Rodarte. The cosmetics giant was forced to issue an apology for what some deemed offensive product titles.Courtesy of MAC

World-renowned cosmetics brand MAC recently announced the September launch of a new collection in collaboration with high-profile fashion brand Rodarte, inspired by the colors and culture of Mexico.  The new line features various products including a pink blush named "Quinceañera," and a sheer white lipstick called "Ghost Town." But it’s the frosty pink nail polish entitled "Juarez" that’s causing all the controversy.

“Naming a shade of nail polish ‘Juarez,’ after an impoverished Mexican factory town that is notorious for the rape and murder of countless girls and women is insensitive and tasteless,” Amelia Parry, the editor-in-chief of the premier women's relationship site TheFrisky.com told Pop Tarts. “Naming a secondary nail polish shade "Factory" further indicates the brand's cluelessness, as most of the women and girls who have been murdered in Juarez disappeared on their way to or from work at the town's factories. As Frisky blogger Jessica Wakeman said in a post on the subject, "I'm not going to go name my Sudan-inspired nail polish 'Darfur,’ which I think is a pretty apt comparison.”

MAC has since apologized for the product titles, and is now working to do all it can to win back offended consumers.

“We understand that product names in the MAC Rodarte collection have offended some of our consumers and fans.  This was never our intent and we are very sorry,” a representative for the collection said to Pop Tarts in a statement. “MAC will give a portion of the proceeds from the MAC Rodarte collection to help those in need in Juarez. We are diligently investigating the best way to do this.  Please be assured that we will keep you posted on the details regarding our efforts.”

And in light of MAC’s apology, Parry said there was no need to boycott the brand.

“Had they ignored the complaints and not decided to donate some of the proceeds, well, then maybe I would have chucked my MAC eye shadows,” she added. “But the fact is, out of all the many cosmetic brands out there, MAC has always impressed with their dedication to raising awareness about important issues, so while this was a stumble for them, their quick and thoughtful response to the outcry is further proof that they're a stand-up company worth supporting.” 

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