Back-To-MAC (Diva, Captive, and Photo Lipstick Swatches)

The Back-To-MAC recycling program allows you to trade in 6 empty MAC containers for 1 standard lipstick. In select locations, you may also be able to trade for a lipglass or small eyeshadow. The rules vary, so ask your location for clarification.

The 6 containers that you trade in have to be primary packaging (no outer packaging, boxes, etc). Some examples are an eyeshadow pot, lipstick tube, concealer jar, powder compact, etc. See the list below for more details on what cannot be returned.

  • Pro palette metal pan
  • Outer box that products are packaged in
  • Samples
  • Sponges, applicators, tweezers, etc
  • Makeup bags, belts, cases

I have heard mixed messages about whether or not to clean out the containers if you have product left. So again, I would suggest contacting the location you plan to return your containers to directly to find out. Also, contact them if you need further information on what can be returned.

If you haven’t been following me for very long, then you may not realize how much I love MAC. I have been shopping with MAC since I got into makeup about 8 or 9 years ago. If I remember correctly, my first purchase was the mineralize moisture foundation, which they don’t even carry anymore. My point is, I have a lot of MAC products and some of them were past their prime, so I took advantage of their recycling program. If like me, you do not have a MAC location near you, you can send your empty containers by mail. If you are mailing your items you will need to select a first, second, and third lipstick option in case they don’t have them in stock. I had no issues with the process other than not knowing how long it would take to receive the lipsticks I picked out. From the date I mailed my package, it took about 12 days to get two of my lipsticks and 14 days to get the last one.

MAC Diva, Matte, $19.00**

MAC describes diva as an intense reddish-burgundy.

MAC Diva Matte Lipstick Swatch on Medium Dark Skin
MAC Matte Lipstick in Diva

MAC Captive, Satin, $19.00**

MAC describes Captive as a pinkish-plum.

MAC Captive Satin Lipstick Swatch on Medium Dark Skin
MAC Satin Lipstick in Captive

MAC Photo, Satin, $19.00**

MAC describes Photo as a golden brown.

MAC Photo Satin Lipstick Swatch on Medium Dark Skin
MAC Satin Lipstick in Photo

You can get to the Back-To-MAC page to start the process here: For more details about how the program works, you can check out this article on The article was written in partnership with MAC, so to me, that means that while the information is definitely accurate, it isn’t necessarily objective journalism.

If you would like to recycle old packaging but don’t shop MAC very much, some other recycling programs to look into are Nordstrom BEAUTYCYCLE and Return to Origins. Origins doesn’t have information on their website (that I could find), but there has been an article in the past as well as customer information that they do recycle and also accept packaging from other brands. I would suggest calling the location closest to you to verify.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider sticking around and checking out more of my content. 

  • Brands A-Z: Check out this index if you want to know what products I have posted about in the past.
  • MAC Cosmetics:  I likely have some swatches you’ve been searching for if you love Mac as much as I do. 
  • Shop My Stash:  Join me as I share swatches of my products and occasionally search for alternatives to new releases. 

Disclaimer:  I purchased all products featured with my own money.  This site receives a minimal commission from participating in the WordAds program and using affiliate links.  For my full disclosure policy, click here.

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