Over the years I’ve worked with StyleDemocracy, I have become a big fan of warehouse sales. The deep discounts and the thrill of the hunt get my blood pumping and my adrenalin high, so when I was given the opportunity to attend the Estee Lauder and MAC Warehouse Sale in Toronto, I couldn’t say no.

The event happens four times a year (March, June, September and December), but tickets can be hard to come by – they are usually given to people associated with Estee Lauder: employees, companies, or clients. If you’re really eager to go, you can typically find tickets on Kijiji for around 20 bucks a pop, though it is frowned upon as tickets are not for resale. Fortunately, I was able to score my tickets from a friend who works in the industry and has been attending the sale for years.

The Estee Lauder and MAC Warehouse Sale happens at the Markham Fairgrounds, which was a bit of a trek (a 30-45 minute drive) for me as I was travelling from downtown Toronto. Once I arrived at the sale, there was a big line that moved fairly quickly. I only had to wait 30 minutes. mac warehouse salemac warehouse saleOnce inside the sale, it was even busier than outside. The sale took place in 3 buildings and each building held a different variety of products from brands like Mac, Estee Lauder, Bumble and Bumble, Bobbi Brown, Clinique, Smashbox, Coach, Michael Kors, and more.

Despite the chaos, and to my surprise, the sale was pretty well organized. Gift sets, lotions, and boxed items are available for grab on the floor while items like eyeshadow, mascara, eyeliner, lipsticks, lip glosses, and compacts were taped to tables for testing.

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If you find something you like taped to the table, you write down the number (be sure to bring your own pen/pencil!) of the item and take it to a pick-up area where an employee will collect your items and put them in a sealed bag. If you change your mind about an item, you can take it to a sorting station where employees will collect the items you don’t want and reseal a bag with the items you do want.

At the sale, shoppers are allowed to spend a maximum of $600. I spent around $150 and walked away with more than enough! My purchases include an Estee Lauder Stay-in-Place Gel Liner (reg. $30, sale $9), an Estee Lauder Hydra Lustre Lipstick (reg. $25, sale $10), 2 MAC Lipsticks (reg. $20, sale $10/each), MAC Fluidline (reg. $19.50, sale $9), a Smashbox Lip Enhancing Gloss (reg. $20, sale $10), Smashbox ‘Rock a Legendary Lip’ Set (reg. $45.50, sale $30), and a Clinique 3-Set Cleansing Kit with travel pack (reg. approx. $95, sale $45).

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So would I go back to the sale? Probably not. Overall, I was happy with my purchases (especially my Clinique 3-set Cleansing Kit,) and extremely impressed with how well organised the sale was however, there are a number of reasons why I would not go back:

  1. Travel & time. For me, personally, the sale was a bit far. Without a car, getting to the Markham Fairgrounds can be a bit difficult. The savings & product selection would not convince me to travel the distance again. I found I was buying things just because it had taken me so long to get there and because I had waited so long.
  2. Lines. There are a lot of them. I’m talking lines to get into lines. Lines one after the other. Patience is a virtue.
  3. Product. Though there was a HUGE amount of product, I’m not as dedicated a beauty maven I once thought I was. My selection was limited as I don’t actually wear that much makeup, but true beauty addicts would have a blast.

I would suggest the sale to make up artists & addicts, anyone with a lot of patience, anyone looking to pick up Christmas gifts, and anyone looking to score deals on eyeshadow, lip and fragrance sets.

Have you ever been to an Estee Lauder & MAC Warehouse Sale? Share your experience in the comments below!

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  • Fatim101

    I went this month, it has been my third time going. I love going to it, I get some amazing stuff for great prices. Funny thing is all my brand name/high end products that I own were only bought from the warehouse sale and never from the actual store. As a makeup artist this sale is my holy grail. I do admit the line and location could easily be discouraging for some but I usually plan it in advance that I’m going and always bring a couple friends with me that are into makeup as well. Question is could I go again in December….absolutely.

  • Tynisha Trudy Lalchan-Pantin

    I completely agree with Fatim101