City of dead girls – MAC Rodarte Collection


MAC and Rodarte have collaborated for a collection due to be released in September, and for those who are unaware of the situation as it stands at the moment, the collaboration has caused an uproar amongst the beauty blogging community. Supposedly based on an inspirational road trip and Mexico’s landscape the collection features rather ghostlike, muted colours. Many of the products have been named around and after the Mexican town of Juarez, which is notorious for the multitudes of unsolved murders, rapes and brutal tortures.

The town is a central hub for maquiladoras or factory workers, mostly female who are forced to work in appalling conditions for extremely questionable wages. The conditions are  shocking and the hours are often long, forcing women to work grave shifts that leave them exhausted and ill, sleepwalkers in a town where women regularly are abducted, raped and returned as mutilated corpses. Authorities and the police have shown little to no interest in these brutal murders, and hundreds if not thousands of cases remain unsolved.

So how then has MAC and Rodarte found it acceptable to name a nail polish Juarez? Lipsticks called Ghost Town and Sleepless? Eyeshadows; Bordertown and Sleepwalker? A beauty powder called Softly Drifting? And another nail polish Factory? Did they think that the simple minded wearers of their cosmetics would not object to the clear glamorization of what is really an abominable injustice and horrible example of lack of human rights in Juarez?

The promo image for this collection features a pale, ghostlike woman with muted lips and dark sleepless eyes and a shadowy apparition on the left, perhaps a missing woman? This image is haunting and quite frankly quite disturbing, and with products like Lip Erase (a matte Pro product used to pale out lips) included in the collection my only conclusion is that MAC and Rodarte consider this sleepless, ghostlike look quite appealing.

After the beauty blogging world’s uproar MAC and Rodarte released statements regarding the collection.


Our makeup collaboration with M·A·C developed from inspirations on a road trip that we took in Texas last year, from El Paso to Marfa.  The ethereal nature of this landscape influenced the creative development and desert palette of the collection. We are truly saddened about injustice in Juarez and it is a very important issue to us. The M·A·C collaboration was intended as a celebration of the beauty of the landscape and people in the areas that we traveled.


We understand that product names in the M·A·C Rodarte collection have offended some of our consumers and fans.  This was never our intent and we are very sorry.  We are listening carefully to the comments posted and are grateful to those of you who have brought your concerns to the forefront of our attention.  M·A·C will give a portion of the proceeds from the M·A·C 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.

A portion? Please clarify… because at this point in my opinion a portion of the proceeds of this glorification of murder and abduction just isn’t going to cut it. The one positive outcome has been that many people, like myself, who were previously unaware of the horrendous injustices of Juarez are now aware and able to contribute towards these atrocities.

It blows my mind that no one from MAC or Rodarte throughout the conceptualization of this collection and throughout the entire process thought to question the moral aspect of releasing a tasteless collection like this. MAC who is normally particularly socially conscious (their VIVA glam lipsticks contribute 100% of the proceeds to people affected by HIV/ Aids) obviously saw this as an edgy collaboration with the distinctly dark Rodarte.

I won’t be buying anything from this collection, and the whole debacle has made me question whether I want to support MAC at all in the future. The end result of the collection still remains to be seen, but in the meantime please take the time to educate yourself, as I will be doing, on the fate of those in Juarez.

There are numerous resources available online as well as numerous opinions by other beauty bloggers which you can find on the following sites:

If you have an opinion on this collection and have written a blog post please add it to the comments, or if you have found a particularly interesting and informative resource please add the link below so all of us may educate ourselves.



7 Responses to “City of dead girls – MAC Rodarte Collection”

  1. Very well said Alexa, I’ve read about this over the past few days and in my opinion, it is quite offensive and there is no wonder that the beauty blogging community, amongst others are in an uproar over the new collection.

    Although, that being said, you have to admit that it is brilliant advertising, not necessarily good advertising, but brilliant nonetheless for MAC and Rodarte. At least the products are being scrutinized before even being launched, by everyone who has an opinion on the matter. The quesion is, will the products be used by all that are oposing the advertising, like you stated.

  2. Thank you for posting this info. The dead girl look is NOT ethereal nor is the landscape from El Paso to Marfa. Taking advantage of a wretched situation in Juarez is not “creative” but disgusting. Shouldn’t this dead girl “look” be better connected to “creative” words like “autopsy”, “funeral home”, and RIP. The lengths people will go to exploit others AND make money is … beyond heinous. Good post.

  3. hi, love your blog ive been checking out your gaga pics!
    great post im glad we are all getting involved in this, you can read my view here:
    and the response from mac here:


  4. 4 k.dub

    I just wanted to add a bit about the photo. MAC clearly knew what they were doing when they shot that. Aside from the obvious death reference of the pale girl and the shadow figure, the girl is in a quinceanera dress, which reflects the age of many of the dead girls. Also, the colors of the backdrop as seen through the shadow figure resemble dripping blood. (The bordertown eye shadow also looks like blood, but that’s likely to be accidental.)

    My point is, marketing execs are not morons. They knew what they were doing. I am appalled, as I have just learned of this.

  5. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. mac cosmetics discount.

  1. 1 Teresa Rodriguez: The Daughters of Juárez (2007) Roberto Bolaño, Bordertown and The Story That Wants to be Told « Beauty is a Sleeping Cat

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