James Gager, MAC Cosmetics
Which collection didn't do as well as you expected? What did you learn from that experience?
We did a collection with the amazing photographer Cindy Sherman. For her photographs, she transforms herself and then takes her own picture. With this collection, we gave her the products from the collection to create three visuals using all the colors. Unfortunately, people did not relate to the images. They were more works of art than aspirational makeup. Many people in the beauty and fashion industry loved the images, but unfortunately sales were not what we expected. I still found that collection so rewarding and am very proud of it. Sometimes what you think is cool is not cool to everyone else. It's about finding that balance.
Tell us how you use a cult product.
I love to use Prep + Prime Skin Refined Zone. It creates a flawless complexion by evening out your pores. Your skin texture looks incredible. It's great for men. I also love our colored Brow Gels. They smooth out your brows perfectly and are great for giving a light wash of color.
What is your best advice to someone trying to break into the beauty industry in 2016?
My advice is get ready for a ride! This industry is amazing, constantly changing, especially due to social media. You need to stay current in all areas of your life. It's best to have many interests and understand not only the world of beauty but also art, design, fashion. That will help you better understand makeup and create memorable products and collections. Be aware of everything around you. Lastly, know who you are, recognizing your strengths and weaknesses. Dream a lot!