One of the first brands to launch into gaming, MAC Cosmetics is teaming up with Xbox for the first time this Halloween.
For a new campaign announced today, the brand has called on makeup artists to create four looks based on characters from the Xbox games “Halo”, “Sea of Thieves” and “Psychonauts”. The campaign released today continues MAC’s continued involvement in the gaming world as growing number of beauty brands kiss him.
“The gaming community is incredibly diverse and full of beauty consumers who enjoy recreating looks from their favorite games in real life, especially for Halloween,” said Aïda Moudachirou-Rebois, SVP and Global CMO of MAC Cosmetics , by email.
“The gaming community is extremely important because when you think of gaming, fantasy and escape, that’s always what makeup was like,” said Alicia Martinez, Regional Education Trainer for MAC Cosmetics . Martinez created a look based on the Milla Vodello character from “Psychonauts” for the campaign. “We are in a space of the world where escape is something that we are all looking for,” she said.
Xbox game characters featured also include Sasha Nein from “Psychonauts”, via a look created by John T. Stapleton, senior national artist at MAC Cosmetics, and Cortana from “Halo”, created by British makeup artist Martina Derosa. The “Sea of Thieves” pirate Lesedi was created by Romero Jennings, MAC Cosmetics artistic makeup director.
Jennings said artists took inspiration from cosplay looks at various events like Comic-Con.
“When we discussed it, we were like, ‘Let’s try to elevate it,’” Jennings said. “Everyone is improving their game,” Jennings said when it comes to cosplaying her favorite characters, especially around Halloween. “There are so many ways to show off and present yourself on social media, as well as at these conventions.”
MAC Cosmetics was one of the first beauty brands to become active in the gaming world, sponsor Twitchcon in 2019. In 2020, the brand launched a collaboration with “The Sims”, for which Jennings created looks that appeared in the game. Her involvement in the game is international, as she launched very fruitful collaborations with Tencent game “Honor of Kings” in China in 2019 and 2020.
“I remember being at TwitchCon and seeing so many people coming to the MAC booth, and really congratulating us and welcoming us, saying they were so happy that we were here,” Stapleton said.
Switching to gambling may further help cosplay enthusiasts, who “traditionally used theatrical makeup that they might have found in subreddit,” Martinez said. “We have really opened our eyes not only to our traditional makeup line, but [our] professional makeup too. With more exposure, people see cosplay doesn’t fit in a box.
Prior to playing, the brand also engaged with the cosplay community by attending Comic-Con and a Star Trek convention in 2016 for their Star Trek collection.
“We’ve been working with different fandoms and things for so long,” Martinez said.
Other beauty brands active in the game in recent years, have included Benefit Cosmetics, Elf Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury and NYX Cosmetics. Beauty brands entering the space have often worked to encourage gender equality in the gaming world.
“Gaming has long been a very male-dominated space, even though there are so many women and people outside of the gender norm who play and really feel connected to this space,” Martinez said.
“We are proud to partner with MAC Cosmetics to showcase the exciting intersection of the gaming and beauty communities,” Marcos Waltenberg, director of Xbox Global Partnerships, said via email.
As a result of this campaign, MAC Cosmetics plans to continue engaging with the gaming world.
“We dip our toes in the water,” Jennings said. “The problem with gambling is that audiences really are the next generation of consumers. The sky is the limit, and there are so many opportunities.