Here’s Why MAC Cosmetics’ Makeup Launches For Aaliyah And Selena Are So Important For Women Of Color

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As an Afro-Latina, it’s never been easy for me to find intersections of Black and Latin American communities in the United States mainstream media. These days I have women like Princess Nokia and Amara La Negra to represent me. But, as a young Black Latina with friends who got to look up to and dress up like the Britney Spears and Jessica Simpsons of the world, I craved and cherished the moments in which I too had a chance to claim that a pop star looked just like me.

Ultimately, I was able to find representation, not quite an intersection, in two women of color who did not pass and also embraced their color and roots: Tejano Queen Selena and R&B songstress Aaliyah. The two musicians were women of color, with backgrounds and cultures similar to mine who ruled the music industry at the height of their games and made people listen. It’s why, when MAC Cosmetics revealed two years ago that they would be honoring the legacy of Selena through makeup I was elated and snatched up the Como La Flor lipstick dedicated to her like it was the dawn of the Apocalypse.

This year, especially after watching MAC’s preview of the line,  I’ll be camping out at my computer ready to buy Aaliyah’s upcoming makeup line like it’s Black Friday.

MAC’s answer to a call for a makeup line that honored the legacy of another woman of color is almost finally here.

#Aaliyah 📷 @david_lachapelle

A post shared by Aaliyah Haughton (@aaliyahhaughton) on

Aaliyah fans have begged the beauty brand to launch a collection in honor of the late R&B artist, who notoriously loved and promoted the line, for years. Six years after the death of Selena, the “Rock The Boat” singer died in a plane crash at the age of 22 and like the great Tejano singer, she had a massive fanbase that admired her for her radio hits and influence on both fashion as well as beauty.

Last year after fans kicked off a massive campaign on Change.org, which was supported by Aaliyah’s brother Rashad Haughton, the cosmetics company announced that they would finally release an Aaliyah for MAC collection. I am Oprah-style heeeeerrre fooorrr iiiit!

In a recent interview, Aaliyah’s brother revealed that her family was involved in every aspect of the collection’s creation.

According to Refinery29, MAC Cosmetics implored the help of the singer’s family to design and even name the products. During the interview, Aaliyah’s brother revealed that the family had the idea to name certain shades “Try Again,” “Street Thang,” and “More Than a Woman.” “Other names I chose convey more aspects of my sister’s life and experience,” Houghton said.

While the new line won’t be out for a few more weeks, MAC is teasing the product on Instagram.

The makeup brand teamed up with Aaliyah fans to create a film on the beauty legacy of Aaliyah called “A-Z of Aaliyah.” Seen talking about the legacy of Aaliyah are Latina artists Princess Nokia and Empress Of.

“I remember being in love with her, I’ve always been inspired by that minimalist beauty so different so alternative but still surround the way girl-next-door type,” the Afro-Latina singer Princess Nokia says in the video.

Aaliyah’s limited edition makeup launch will be another big beauty moment for women of color.

For so many of us who have been underrepresented and ignored by the beauty industry for years, it’s exciting to see a major brand invest in the power of another woman of color, a true icon, in this way.

That’s exactly why I’ll be getting my basket ready for checkout come June 20, when it’s released!


Read: The Latina Who Sparked MAC + Selena Got Emotional During Her Radio Interview

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