I am one of the many eBay sellers offering sample size, usually 1/4 tsp, of every color of MAC pigment ever released. One might ask oneself "why would I want such a piddling amount!" Or "how do I know it is genuine MAC?" I hope this guide will serve to answer these and any other question you may have about buying MAC pigment samples on eBay. I have tried to include the most commonly asked questions, but for application information please refer to my other guide.
MAC cosmetic pigments are a highly concentrate powder used for a variety of purposes. Most can be used directly on the eyelid for shadow, but be sure to check the MAC cautions before running a test. Mix them with mediums and they can be used for body art, lip gloss, lipstick, fingernail polish, or airbrushing. Sprinkle it in lotion for a glowing effect to the skin. The uses are limited only by your own imagination. The amount required to achieve any desired effect is miniscule. MAC pigments run 15.00 for a 7.5 gram jar. This 7.5 jar would, more than likely, last you your whole life, if not contaminated. The shelf life for pigments is indefinate. However, fashion changes. Your taste changes. And with it, your cosmetic palette. So there you are with a whole drawer full of expensive makeup that you no longer use.
Or maybe your like me, I buy a color, get it home, and hate it! I don't like the "hand", or the amount of shine, or just the color! I have box full of these purchases. I don't even want to think of how much money I have invested in these purchases over my lifetime. What the sellers of samples are offering is a chance to try a very high quality, multi purpose cosmetic without the expense of purchasing a full jar. For the same 15.00 you can find many sellers who will let you try 10 colors! MAC doesn't offer any of their products in sample size or gift with purchase, although they will let you have samples of some of their products, repackaged into 5 gram containers, just like here on eBay.
So why the 1/4 tsp? Why not more? Good questions. A 1/4 tsp sample will last you approximately 25 uses. This is a sufficient amount for you to make up your mind as to whether you like the color or not. Some sellers offer larger amounts if you like a color but don't want to commit to a full 7.5 grm jar. The beauty of ebay is that you can find almost any size you are looking for. And then of course there is a question of profit.
I think most people would be surprised at the amount of time and expense it takes to produce a sample of pigment and post it to ebay. It takes approximately 30 minutes to "sample up" a jar of pigment. This includes, sterlizing, chopping, potting, and labeling. Then comes picture taking, writing the listing, and finally posting. Once it sales, printing, packaging, and shipping. And I haven't even gone into acquiring everything you need to accomplish each of these steps, pigment, pots, shipping materials, etc. I think the profit is well earned.
How do you know it is genuine MAC? By sellers reputation. How is the sellers feedback? If the price is considerably lower than every other seller, probably not genuine. Also, are the pictures of MAC jars? I know that it is sometimes confusing to get a small 5 gram jar when the picture is of the MAC 7.5 gram tubs, but it is an assurance that the pigments are coming from these tubs. Are they selling MAC jars? Every legitimate seller would have a constant flow of them, and they are valuable. Returning 6 empty containers to MAC earns a tube of lipstick. And if you aren't certain then, take it to a MAC counter.
I hope this serves to answer the most commonly asked questions about this fun versatile product!
Note from my son: I needed to cover my face in black under my Halloween mask. I grabbed one of my mom's Black Black samples and diluted it with water. It covered my whole face and I still had some left over. I was surprised, I thought I was going to need a couple of them.