My Hunt For MAC Stereo Rose MSF

July 8, 2010
I rarely write about bad shopping experiences, but finding the re-released version of MAC Stereo Rose was such a hassle I am making a pact with myself not to do this again. At the end of the day, I have my new Stereo Rose, but sometimes the ends do not justify the means. As a customer I am frustrated. Frustrated with poor inventory management, over-sold pre-sales and the limited-edition-factor of these “hot today, forgotten tomorrow” items.
The most helpful part of this post will be a comparison of the original 2005 Stereo Rose to the new re-released version of the 2010 Stereo Rose. I will save my rantings for the end. Here they are photographed together, side by side (per Lakshmi’s request).

The new 2010 version is very similar to the original 2005 version but not quite the same. The difference is subtle. This is what I see in comparing the two:

  • Original 2005: slightly lighter in the compact, more pink on the skin
  • New 2010: slightly darker in the compact, more orangey-peach on the skin

I prefer the original version. When applied with a light hand it just glows. The new one is very similar – I know some of you won’t be able to tell the difference from the photos. It’s just slightly different in the undertone. It’s more peachy-orange, still lovely, but not different enough to justify owning both. (Update: the new one I just bought is being re-gifted to a friend who was also searching for this.)

A disclaimer for what you read below: this is my own personal experience and opinion. I do not expect anything to be done about this, it’s just an expression of what I feel as a customer.

I arrived at Nordstrom today to pick up my pre-sale items from In The Groove (Stereo Rose MSF, Soften The Mood Trio and Happy Together Blush) and was shocked to find out that they did not have my Stereo Rose. Shocked because I had done my pre-sale with my sales associate a week before the release date. As we were on the phone she said, “tell me what you want and I will grab them as you list them because I know if I don’t grab them now, someone will take them.” She ended our phone conversation by telling me she had “grabbed and bagged” all my items and that they were “safe” for me to pick up on Thursday.

Yet when I arrived today I was told many of the pre-sales were not fulfilled because of something that “happened” and they were not sure what had occurred. Not the fault of my sales associate though. I saw on the handwritten pre-sale slip in big letters, “DO NOT TOUCH,” bless her heart. I heard that someone went through all the pre-sales and removed the Stereo Roses but it was kept a bit hushed and nobody could confirm.

They called the MAC Store for me and they luckily still had some. They did say over the phone, “we can only hold it if you literally run up here right away.” So run I did. When I got to the MAC store, I went to the cashier and said “I have Stereo Rose on hold, Nordstrom just called seconds ago.” I received a shocked look followed by, “What? We don’t hold the new collection items anymore for anyone …” but she saw the box with my name on it to her right and said, “Oh, HERE it is, good thing a manager didn’t see this.” I did thank her for making an exception. I explained my situation with my pre-sale and she said, “you know, you are the 4th customer who has come here and said that is what happened to them too.”

So at the end of the day I have my new Stereo Rose. Why I went through the extra effort to call ahead of time to do a pre-sale and run to 2 different stores to get it – I have no idea. Makeup just not worth this kind of “tracking down”. Chances are MAC will re-release this again. It won’t stop me from shopping at Nordstrom and MAC. I value Nordstrom for their excellent customer service. Especially the women I shop with personally. I know this wasn’t necessarily their fault. But the fact that it did occur is bothersome.

I realize the limited edition factor creates buzz and attention, but I feel bad for those women who couldn’t get this. I don’t know the reasoning behind why Nordstrom counters were sent such a limited supply. It could be for a variety of factors, economic downturn/struggles, loss of profit from unsold inventory (hence decreasing the supply) or something entirely different. I just heard they only received 6 pieces of Stereo Rose which I think is poor inventory management/forecasting.

If you are desperate to find one, I recommend checking out MAC stores, Macy’s and Bloomingdales as they might have more inventory than online distributors.

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