MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick and Lipglass

Thursday, February 2, 2017

For those who don't already know about MAC's Viva Glam program, it is a series of lip products of which 100% of the entire selling price goes to the MAC AIDS Fund. Since its inception in 1994, there have been six lipstick shades added to the permanent Viva Glam line-up (aptly named Viva Glam I to VI), but MAC also appoints celebrities every year to be their Viva Glam ambassadors to help raise HIV/AIDS awareness. Every Viva Glam lip product that has been launched since 2010 has been named after the celebrity ambassador(s) of the year, with Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper in 2010, Lady Gaga again in 2011, Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin in 2012, Nicki Minaj again in 2013, Rihanna twice in 2014, Miley Cyrus twice in 2015, and Ariana Grande twice in 2016. For 2017, MAC has appointed Taraji P. Henson as their Viva Glam ambassador. For those who don't know her, Taraji P. Henson is an actress, author, and singer best known for her roles in Hustle & Flow and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for which she received an Academy Award nomination. She currently stars in the TV series Empire with her Viva Glam co-ambassador, Jussie Smollett (who appears in the Viva Glam ads with her in support but does not have his own lip shades), for which she won a Golden Globe award. To date, MAC's Viva Glam campaign has raised $450 million globally to help men, women, and children infected and affected by AIDS and HIV.

Today, we will be seeing the launch of Taraji P. Henson's first Viva Glam lip shades. As usual, Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson will come in both lipstick and lip gloss form. Both are limited edition and will be available for six months going forward (subject to change). As with all MAC lip products, they are vanilla-scented but taste-free. Each Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick comes in special edition red packaging with the signature Viva Glam red metal casing and Taraji's signature printed in black around it. Each Lipglass, which has been newly redesigned for 2017, now comes in a larger clear tube with a red cap and Taraji's signature printed in red around it. Each lipstick contains 3 grams of product, and retails for $21. Each Lipglass comes with a doe-foot applicator, contains 3.1 grams of product, and also retails for $21. As they are for charity, none of the Viva Glam lip shades are redeemable as free products in the Back to MAC recycling program.

Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick

Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipglass

Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick and Lipglass

Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick is a medium-dark vibrant cool raspberry pink with fuchsia-red pearl in a Matte finish. This is a new and limited edition shade, and will be available for six months going forward. It has a soft and creamy texture, and goes on smoothly and evenly. It has high pigmentation and opaque colour pay-off. It is lighter and more pink than D For Danger, slightly lighter and warmer than Flat Out Fabulous, darker and more pink than MAC Red, and warmer and more red than Girl About Town.
Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipglass is a medium-dark vibrant cool raspberry pink with red and fuchsia iridescent micro-shimmer in a glossy finish. This is a new and limited edition shade, and will be available for six months going forward. It has a slightly tacky texture, and it goes on smoothly and evenly. It has medium-high pigmentation with semi-opaque buildable colour pay-off. It is warmer and more red than Girl About Town, warmer than Vibrant Vibe Mineralize Glass, more shimmery than New Love Mineralize Glass, and darker and more shimmery than Loud & Lovely Cremesheen Glass.

There is a depth in Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick that makes it a very wearable bright, and despite its cooler undertones, is also widely flattering on fair to deep dark complexions. I'm not going to say that it's the most unique colour, but there actually isn't an exact dupe to it in MAC's permanent range. It's equal parts red, fuchsia, and berry, so it never looks too red or too pink or too purple. There's also an added pearl pigment in there that doesn't take away from the matte finish but makes it look smoother and more dimensional on the lips. It's a very classy but modern shade — more timeless than trendy — and definitely representative of Taraji P. Henson herself. This launch also sees a Lipglass that matches the lipstick, harkening back to previous Viva Glam lip pairings before last year's Ariana Grande differing duos. Like the lipstick, the gloss will flatter every complexion and undertone, and while the colour isn't different, the sparkly finish and semi-opaque colour pay-off does offer a different look on its own while also looking gorgeous layered on top of the lipstick.

While this is not Taraji's first collaboration with MAC (they had an online exclusive collection last year that sold out within hours), it feels like MAC went a completely different direction with picking her as this year's Viva Glam ambassador — and definitely not in a bad way. Since 2010, they've picked controversial musicians for their Viva Glam campaigns (e.g. Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, etc.), but they've gone a different route with Taraji P. Henson, who is first and foremost recognized for her acting career. She's not as well-known as the aforementioned celebrities, but is widely respected for her work and has received many accolades for it. She has made it known that this cause is near and dear to her, and I think her passion and integrity makes her one of the perfect celebrities to spearhead the Viva Glam campaign. The MAC AIDS Fund is one of the most effective charities I have ever seen a cosmetics company identify with, and it still blows my mind that MAC helps this charity on a daily, on-going basis with their Viva Glam program. Not only that, but they don't just donate a portion or the proceeds to this cause — it's 100% of the selling price of any Viva Glam product. This is a really worthy cause, so if you're not personally a fan of these, it's worth checking out any of the other Viva Glam shades that may be more wearable or flattering on you.
2 comments on "MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick and Lipglass"
  1. These are so pretty and fun! I like seeing Viva Glam shades that aren't red or nude.

    1. Totally agree with reds because I think MAC comes out with way too many reds as it is, but I actually think it's about time for another nude Viva Glam. We haven't seen once since Viva Glam Gaga 2, and that nude was so light and so cool that it wasn't very flattering on the majority of people. I'm sick of these rosy brown shades that have been coming out in droves recently, but I'm thinking a warm peachy-toned nude might be nice. Maybe something in between Cherish and Velvet Teddy...


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