Beauty Insider Series - New York

The Beauty Insider Series address the topics that are shaping the future of our industry and provide unparalleled access to industry influencers and thought leaders. Each event is made up of one hour of informal networking and a second hour of top leaders sharing their insights on career and business.

The Beauty Insider Series New York is members-only.

Share this event
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Beauty Insider Series - New York
MAC Cosmetics: The Path to Success
Karen Buglisi Weiler, Global Brand President of MAC Cosmetics, discusses the creative corporate culture, personnel philosophy, marketing strategies and retail insights that have kept MAC one of the most cutting-edge artistry brands in the world.
Karen Buglisi Weiler Karen Buglisi Weiler
Global Brand President,
MAC Cosmetics
Read Bio
As famous for her bi-annual performances on stage at international artist training Meetings as she is for her skyscraping stilettos and bronzed blonde glamour, what truly sets Karen Buglisi Weiler, Global Brand president of M∙A∙C Cosmetics, apart from the crowd is her boundless energy, endless enthusiasm and ceaseless dedication to the M∙A∙C family. Laughing as she addresses her now legendary dance moves, Mrs. Buglisi Weiler says, “I think sometimes we’re so serious that we forget to have a little bit of fun! My point of view is that if I want our artists to put themselves out there for the brand every day, I should put myself out there for them.”

“Karen has superb leadership skills and has been instrumental in developing M∙A∙C into the number one makeup artist brand in the world,” says John Demsey, Group president of the Estée Lauder Companies. “She has done a tremendous job inspiring our M∙A∙C Makeup artists, who are at the heart of the brand and the key to our success.”

Seemingly born with a suitcase in hand, the indefatigable Mrs. Buglisi Weiler, an army brat, was born in Japan, moved to Taiwan and then to California by the time she was four. “My father was my hero. He was the most disciplined person I ever met in my life. I think he set a standard for me, and I’ve never forgotten that.” after another move to Augusta, Georgia, her family settled in Washington, D.C., where she discovered the Beauty industry at the age of 16 selling Helena Rubinstein at the Hecht company in prince George’s plaza. “I’ve always liked makeup. I got the job and thought, ‘what a great thing, I can wear makeup every day and teach people about makeup and how you can make yourself feel better and look better.’ I never looked at it and said, ‘ok, one day I’m going to be president of a makeup company.’ that never even crossed my mind!”

Working every day since she was a teenager, in addition to raising three sons as a single mother, it’s no surprise that Mrs. Buglisi Weiler describes herself as someone who loves challenges. “Raising my sons has brought out a strength and determination I was never fully aware of. I know many parents can identify with this. That strength has been so meaningful as I have navigated through my life. I do not scare easily.” a member of the Board of Directors of the M∙A∙C AIDS fund since 2004, she adds, “I remember sitting my kids down and talking to them about being respectful to girls and to always protect themselves by wearing a condom. You want to embarrass your sons, just have that conversation with them! Let’s put it this way, someone had to do it and it was me! It’s just too important not to have it!

Before being recruited by Mr. Demsey in 1998 as Vice president of North American Sales and Artist Training and Development, Mrs. Buglisi Weiler was national sales manager for the U.S. market for Adipar, a division of the worldwide fashion house Escada, and has also held the position of field sales manager for Borghese, a global cosmetic, skincare and fragrance company. “Servicing customers at retail and learning how to be a merchant have been invaluable in my career. I’ve done every job. I feel I have the ability to communicate at every level.”

Promoted to Global Brand President of M∙A∙C cosmetics in 2010, Mrs. Buglisi Weiler now finds herself involved in all facets of the brand. “Now I get to work with marketing, global communications, as well as human resources, the MAF, sales operations, artist training and development, finance and forecasting. It also brings me closer to the creative and product development side. James [Gager] and Jennifer [Balbier] are great partners. It’s so important to have that opportunity to connect all the dots. Also, this position gives me the chance to bring the M∙A∙C family closer together and really unite everybody.”

Asked what she’s most energized about for the future of the brand, Mrs. Buglisi Weiler speaks passionately about the growth of emerging markets like the Middle East, India, Brazil and China. “We’re paving the way. In some of these countries, the prestige makeup industry has never existed. We’re actually developing it as we grow and expand. They’re ready for something new and different and we’re the brand that’s perfectly positioned to deliver.

We know when we have a foundation firmly grounded in our brand DNA, the sky is the limit. It’s a credit to all the teams here, working synergistically, making the M∙A∙C brand come alive, market by market.
Moderated by Jenny B. Fine, Editor, WWD Beauty Inc
Location Harmonie Club
4 East 60th Street
New York NY, 10022
Registration will open soon.

Photography by Patricia Willis
Event photos available at:

Initial Message