In the beauty world, you aren't a Mac or a PC. You're just a MAC, one of the biggest beauty powerhouses with a reputation for celebrating individuality and big, often highly anticipated, collaborations. A new book titled Miles of MAC, out September 9, showcases both of these things, with pages of vintage ads shot by photographer Miles Aldridge in collaboration with James Gager, the senior vice president and creative director for MAC. The results are highly cinematic and graphic. Click through the slideshow for a taste of just some of the lush images. Below, read our interview with Gager, who explains why this isn't your typical makeup book.
You start your foreword by saying that this isn’t your typical makeup book. What do you mean by that?
MAC is not your typical beauty company. We celebrate individuality in a way that’s very different. Most makeup books are how-to's where they teach you how to do makeup. This is not that type of book at all. It's a celebration of all the creativity behind the brand and my work with Miles Aldridge. Each of these images reflects my attitude and MAC's attitude toward beauty and being an individual and finding beauty in each of us. It's meant to showcase makeup but also celebrate each of us as people.
You and Miles have now worked together for many years. How has your relationship changed over the years?
It's like being in a relationship with anyone. You discover things about each other and points to touch and not touch. We both like storytelling, and I like his voyeuristic sense of creating images. I’m a bit of a voyeur myself. His [images] have a tendency to be darker than perhaps mine. I don’t want the images I create to feel dark; I want them to feel beautiful in the hope of looking better. For him, I bring the power of theatrics.
But our relationship is built on the idea of trust. We have our strong egos, but we relinquish our egos to create something better as a team. We are all in it for the creation of an image that we can ultimately look at and go, Oh that’s fabulous. That’s unusual. I look forward to our shoots, and they give me great pleasure after they're finished. It's like when you're at the end of a party and think, I want more.
In the book, Valerie Steele says that fashion isn’t a language, it’s music. What do you think of beauty as?
Beauty for me is like a delicious dessert. There are many kinds, from a simple pound cake to an elaborate creation. I like desserts. I try to avoid them, but I love them. Ultimately, I am a dessert freak. And they always make me feel very good after I eat them. There’s a taste to them leaving, like you want more. Beauty is somehow in that vocabulary. It also has the ultimate power to give you confidence to transform you when you aren’t wearing makeup. You feel like a better version of who you are, and who doesn’t want to feel that? Fantasy is so important. I hope this book celebrates the power of the individual and being yourself and not being afraid of who you are.
Most Viewed Stories
‘Weed Dick’ Is the New Way for Men to Sexually Disappoint You
The Big Secret of Every Dating App: Tech Doesn’t Matter
How to Get Out of Any Party Conversation
Amber Rose, Populist Slut Hero of Our Time
Cindy Crawford on Bagels, Instagirls, and Bringing the Supermodel Era to TV
7 Alternatives to Those Sold-Out L.L. Bean Boots
You Think You’re Too Classy to Drink Champagne From a Bong?
Why Do I Jerk Awake Right As I’m Falling Asleep?
All the Ceilings Women Keep Hitting Their Heads On
From Our Partners
7 Eyebrow Mistakes You Need to Stop Making Immediately
Fabulous Find of the Week: Forever 21 Trench Coat
This 30-Day Squat Challenge Will Transform Your Body
Thrillist: Things No Self-Respecting Adult Should Be Doing on Facebook
powered by PubExchange
The Cut’s Latest Beauty FeaturesJohn Galliano Doesn’t Do Instagram Eyebrows
Put down the brow pencil.Chanel Brings Back the Pigtail
You're going to want two of everything.Adriana Lima on Boxing, Brazilian Beauty Secrets
"It's in the water, I think."Assessing Steven Klein’s NARS Collaboration
Does the famed photographer's aesthetic translate to lipstick?The One Beauty Item That Keeps Popping Up at Fashion Month
A new makeup-artist favorite.Right Now the Exercise Pill Is Nothing But a Beautiful Fantasy
It isn't happening anytime soon.This Terrifying Face Mask Is a New Korean Beauty Trend
You'll look like a serial killer, but it gives you extra-soft skin.Phoebe Philo Does Not Believe in Hair Extensions
About the strong beauty look from Sunday’s show.Even Barbie Wants Kim Kardashian’s Makeup Artist
Life in plastic, it's fantastic.This Is How You Should Smell for Fall
Hint: not like a pumpkin.
What "past future perfect" means in terms of hair and makeup.Why Does My Heart Feel Like It’s Exploding?
A girl's guide to chest pain.The World’s Easiest Way to Highlight Your Face
How to strobe like a pro.A Pregnant Supermodel Explains What She Eats
"Don't be afraid of the fat."It’s Harder to Be Thin Than It Was in the ’80s
Hate you, boomers.Inside a Beauty Editor’s Insane Skin-Care Routine
A minimum of 12 products.Pat McGrath Wants You Dipped in Gold
The legendary makeup artist launches an exclusive product.Let’s All Get High on Cold-Pressed Juice!
Juice Crawls just killed nightlife.John Legend on His Sitcom Pilot With Chrissy Teigen
"A modern-day romantic comedy."3 Fall Polishes to Express Your Inner Angst
For the #FallGoth inside you.