Update: MAC Cosmetics has removed the palette from their store following the backlash. MAC confirmed the palette was an old release to Nylon (opens in new tab), saying "Given the broad, diverse community of Sims fans, we wanted the shades and textures in the collection to appeal to everyone – whether they are makeup beginners or artistry gurus.
Therefore, we went back to the vaults and picked a universal fan-favorite palette with some of our best-selling shades that easily allows you to go from natural to glam in one swipe.
This versatile, special deco collector’s item is just one aspect of the SIMS x M·A·C collaboration for fans to create a fun, interactive experience. Other trend-driven, bold looks come into play when our fans and artists bring other M·A·C products into the mix to create exciting expressions of SIMS beauty."
Original Story: MAC Cosmetics is no stranger to questionable collaborations with EA and The Sims. Back in June of 2020, The Sims 4 released a base-game update that included a collection of MAC makeup—and it was pretty awful. Between bizarre colour swatches and eyeliner styles Simmers were likening to sperm (opens in new tab), the collaboration was all-round a bit of a flop.
Now, MAC has once again drawn the ire of Sims fans with the limited edition 'MAC featuring The Sims' palette (opens in new tab). It appears to bear no resemblance to The Sims other than in name and the blue cardboard sleeve the palette comes in. There are no Sims-related shade names to be seen and nothing in the neutral colour scheme resembles iconic motifs from the game—and there's a reason why.
It turns out that the collaboration is MAC's Solar Glow Times Nine palette (opens in new tab) from 2017, rebranded with new packaging. The news hasn't gone down well with Simmers, who've called it 'a sad prank.' Worse still, the product page for the palette claims it's a 'curated collection' inspired by the recent skin tone update for The Sims. Skin tones in The Sims have drawn criticisms from players for years for their lack of diversity and poor representation for people of colour, which makes the description feel just a bit skeevy.
Both Sims and makeup influencers have called out MAC and EA for the shoddy collaboration. Sims Youtuber Deligracy called the palette 'sad' and warned EA to be 'cautious about these kinds of marketing decisions'. Beauty guru James Welsh also tweeted about the palette (opens in new tab), asking if 'this was all they could come up with?!'
The Sims x Mac palette is so sad. The palette itself is lacking any Sims branding. The name of the shadows don't reference The Sims 4 at all. EA should be cautious about these kinds of marketing decisions as it is so transparent how careless it is. pic.twitter.com/ek4V7iSCs5January 5, 2021
The Sims is home to a slew of iconic items and people which could have influenced the palette—a red Bella Goth shade, green Plumbob, and a deep orange Eliza Pancakes-inspired tone could have all been put into a palette. It's a mighty shame that for a game all about creativity, it's severely lacking in this collaboration. MAC, I'll be over here waiting for a bright yellow grilled cheese-inspired shade.