The MAC x Aaliyah Collection launches in stores today with limited-edition pieces for eyes, lips and cheeks. I wanted to share some quick swatches and first impressions as I suspect some pieces will sell out quickly. The overall vibe is what MAC calls moody, deep and neutral. I’d say it’s just that. The color scheme has more of a fall vibe but I think there are some stand out pieces that I think you should not miss. The items in the collection include:
Lipsticks ($18.50 each) in four shades – Try Again (matte), More Than a Woman (amplified), Street Thing (frost), Hot Like (amplified)
Lipglass ($17.50 each) in four shades – Brooklyn Born, At Your Best You Are, Li Li’s Motor City, 1 in a Million
Lip Pencil ($18 each) in two shades – Nevermore and Follow Your Heart
Age Ain’t Nothing Eyeshadow x 9 ($32) – Age Ain’t Nothing (mix of finishes)
Bronzing Powder ($28) – Baby Girl (pearl finish)
Up first are the lip products. There are four Aaliyah Lipsticks, three of which are very creamy and smooth, one is semi sheer and a little patchy on my lips. From left to right we have Try Again (matte nude brown), Hot Like (perfect red cream), More Than a Woman (the perfect wine plum cream), Street Thing (shimmery sheer black). All of these have that signature soft vanilla MAC lipstick scent.
I think More Than A Woman is the most perfect wine color I’ve ever tried. Plum wines are hard to pull off for my complexion – so many are either too blue or turn fuchsia on my lips. Try Again almost looks almost deathly on my olive complexion. Street Thing was the worst for my lips – it swatched nicely on the arm and as I was swatching I thought to myself I wish this color was in eyeshadow form, powder or cream because it would make for a unique black shadow with shimmers.
There are four Aaliyah Lipglasses. They don’t necessarily match the Lipstick colors exactly but can be worn alone or layered on top of the lip colors. We have left to right: Brooklyn Born (soft champagne pearl), Li Li’s Motor City (orange cream), At Your Best You Are (sheer wine), and 1 In A Million (sheer/patchy deep plum brown). My favorite is Brooklyn Born which has the smoothest pearl and actually didn’t wash me out. At Your Best You Are is another perfect plum for me. Li Li’s Motor City is fun for summer but with my olive skin sometimes orange can be a hard color to pull off all the time. 1 in a Million is so pretty color-wise but pulled streaky as it contrasted with my natural lip tone quite a bit. If you have deeper lips the contrast won’t be as obvious. I think if I were to add a deep liner underneath and blend it would smooth out.
There are two Aaliyah Lip Pencils which I think were odd color choices given the range of lipstick and lipglass colors. Nevermore is a deep blackened purple which would go well with Street Thing or 1 in a Million but would contrast sharply with all the other shades. Follow Your Heart is a standard brick red which would go well with the reds, but not so much with any of the other shades. Still they are creamy and soft in formula.
Finally there is one item for eyes and one for the cheeks.
MAC launched an Aaliyah Bronzing Powder called Baby Girl which I have mixed feelings on. On my complexion it applies nicely but it has a very stiff texture and sheer finish. The color is going to be better suited for women who are light to medium in skin tone, I think it will be too light to show up on deeper skin tones. It works for me but I feel like it would have been better to have at least 1 more shade option. For this particular bronzer it looks nice – but I think there are much better options including the Becca Sunlit Bronzers or Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzers to name a few.
The Aaliyah Times Nine Eyeshadow Palette called Age Ain’t Nothing which is excellent in pigment and texture. Some of the other Nine Eyeshadow Palettes have great colors but aren’t the best in terms of texture. This one in the Aaliyah collection is smooth and well pigmented. The colors can create a variety of looks. I find myself gravitating towards the bottom two rows but every single color blends and layers well together. As usual my recommendation for palettes are to buy only if you think you’re going to use most of the colors. Texture and quality-wise it’s really good.
Overall some nice pieces, but I don’t feel like I really gravitate towards most of the colors. The three stand outs for me are the More Than A Woman Lipstick, Brooklyn Born Lipglass and At Your Best You Are Lipglass. These aren’t seasonal colors but I can appreciate a really nice wine-colored lip. And for Brooklyn Born I feel like the texture and shimmer are so smooth they add a really pretty shine. Whether or not you like these colors I hope this post along with all of mine helps as a reference guide especially if you don’t have in-person access or can’t get to a counter right away.
You can find the MAC Aaliyah Collection out now. Everything is limited-edition. Online at MAC, Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Dillard’s and Bloomingdale’s.
Many thanks to the MAC team for providing the MAC Aaliyah collection provided courtesy for review.