MAC Viva Glam Nicki 2: Black Girl Beware


MAC Cosmetics, a cosmetics manufacturing giant that operates out of New York City, has collaborated with Nicki Minaj, a US rapper, to release Viva Glam Nicki 2, a collection that consists of a lipstick and a lipglass. This is Minaj’s second partnering with MAC Cosmetics, Viva Glam Nicki was released in February 2012.

If you have noticed by my wording, this will not be your standard write-up about a beauty product.

Black girl beware



The sole purpose of the Viva Glam campaign over the years has been simple; with 100% of Viva Glam sales going to men, women, and children that are affected by HIV and AIDS, the intentions are good. After reading the press release last week, and preparing myself to share this information with you (readers), I thought about something: Why are we black women purchasing this?

Let’s break this down, one line at a time:

  • Nicki Minaj is a black woman
  • From a marketing standpoint they assume that we (black women) want to wear the shades of makeup that she wears.
  • So in turn, we will buy the lipstick
  • Buying the lipstick and/or lipglass means 100% of the selling price goes to people affected by AIDS
  • Black people, while we account for only 14% of the population, account for 44% of all new HIV infections in the United States. This means that we should have a racial obligation to purchase the shade, because not only would it be cute, but we would be helping our race (right?).
  • But because of the color of this lipstick (white based Lavender), we can’t realistically buy it to wear it. Your average consumer does not have money to waste, which in turn means money that could be made amongst the black market, can’t be, because this shade was not ‘black friendly’. Even Minaj herself looks foolish in the shade:

Viva Glam_PR_with signature-300

I simply could not sit back and let ‘good intentions’ minimize something so deep. The phrase ‘all ages, all races, all sexes’ is vital to the MAC Cosmetics brand. Partnering with a black woman, to attract black consumers will not work if the shades the brand allows her to conceptualize does not compliment their skin tone. This is supposed to be a win-win situation, not solely a moral obligation. I challenged all black women to support MAC, but not support this shade. It’s time that we make it clear that yes, Nicki Minaj is a black woman, but she is a poor representative of who we from an aesthetic standpoint and she is not our standard of beauty.

Instead of purchasing Viva Glam Nicki 2 the day it’s released, take a look at a few of the original Viva Glam shades and buy them instead. Maybe this will make the message clear: “We support your cause, but we do not support your current representative.”

MAC Viva Glam Nicki 2 will be available globally February 9, 2013 at all M·A·C locations, 1.800.588.0070 and

For more information on the MAC AIDS Fund, click here

More about Aprill

Aprill, also known as The Fairy Glammother is a beauty blogger and lover of all things beauty. She is the blogger behind Glitter.Gloss.Garbage which shares new beauty products and tips!

  • Kati

    Amazing post! I totally agree that MAC should not allow a celebrity to concoct any makeup that isn't flattering. They should be making shades that compliment, not make a fool out of that person or waste their money. I stand with u on this & support Viva Glam in other ways & other shades. Thank you for being this up.

  • I like Nicki's music and enjoy her unique fashions as "performance art". However, I don't think her fashions and artistic makeup, hair etc. would work on very many other people, and this lipstick is in line with her other fashions, futuristic, artificial looking and also unwearable for most people.

    It would have been nice to have a shade that would look good on at least ten percent of women, and with this campaign, most especially women of color. Maybe they will listen to you and do a better job with Viva Glam Nicki 3?
    My recent post My Very Favorite Heavenly Metallic

  • Angela Hall

    This is a very Nicki color and I think that's the point. A color like Young Rapunzel wouldn't make sense because it wouldn't be one that is in line with Nicki's typical look. I personally don't care for the pale lipstick on dark skin but I know women who love the look and who will buy it and wear it. I'm not sure it's up to us to decide that an entire racial group can't wear something. I was told my whole life I was too dark to wear certain things. I didn't like being limited. I completely agree that you should buy a color that you won't wear… that seems silly. If you want to contribute to the fight against AIDS you don't have to buy a lipstick at all…just send the twenty bucks to the charity of your choice.
    My recent post Brand Profile: MAC Cosmetics

  • I'm multi-racial (Asian/caucasian) and am not a fan of Nicki Minaj's look, or of Lady Gaga's look (both are too theatrical for my taste). Both of them partnered with MAC Viva Glam and their shades of lipstick weren't that flattering. I'm a huge fan of the MAC Viva Glam campaign, but I wish they'd have more flattering shades (Viva Glam Cyndi was amazing for so many skin tones!!).
    My recent post GLOSSYBOX – November

  • Dyan

    Even though MAC has partnered with Minaj.. I do not beleive their intention is to market to black women anyway.

  • Shanel

    You have completely misunderstood MAC's decision for choosing Nicki Minaj for the Viva Glam campaign. MAC chose Minaj because of her popularity, not because she is a black woman. Same reason for having chose Gaga when she was at the peak of her fame, not because she was white. Minaj wears the most ridiculous stuff, so I would rather see a ridiculous colour that screamed NICKI MINAJ than have her wear something totally unlike her. If you love it, great. If not, there are plenty other colours.

    • GGGarbage

      I think that\’s exactly what I said so……

  • Danny

    Hate to be that guy but……… I AM a brown girl (NC50) and i like lavender shades of lipstick….of course I have to use a lip liner but don't say that they are not flattering on black women all together. Buying a lipstick shade like this always falls on the personal preference of the person and the last time I checked you could try it on before purchase. To say that you wouldn't want black women to even try this shade because it seems a little out of the "normal" range of colors we are supposedly limited to seems unjustified. I think that if you like it, go for it and make it work for you. And what exactly are "black friendly" shades? Last time I checked women of all shades can make things work, I've seen it happen in normal day to day all the way to runway and in high fashion/beauty modeling.

  • TheDivaDentist

    Anyone of any shade can wear practically all shades of lipstick. You just have to apply the right lip liner & sometimes apply lipgloss on top. Have no fear when it comes to makeup! I'm MAC NW45/NC50 & I WILL be purchasing this lipstick!


    I disagree. I think all races can wear wear the same colors. We may not be able to wear it all the same way, but we can all wear it. Try mixing. Try it with a gloss. Try it with a liner. I dont like what Nicki represents, but I don't agree with you on choosing her because she is black. Like a previous post she was elected because she is the peak of her career and she has broken records that some artist have be trying to break for 20 plus years. If you think about it, Nicki as a great fan base of all different races and all ages. For example take the youtubers 5yr old white girl dressed like Nicki and on the another had you have a 30 something black woman dressed like her too. To each its own.

  • im sorry this is ridiculous,in case you were unaware people of other races love nicki more than we do.and whether or not it looks ridiculous is a personal conviction.and for the record mac cosmetics isnt based out of nyc,as a new yorker i’d love to take credit lol but it originated in canada.i am a black woman and I can say i never cared for nicki other than her make-up looks and i will be rocking this color once i get my hands on it.everything isnt a conspiracy.

    • GlitterGlossGarbage

      This writing was opinion. I am not forcing anyone to do as I say. I am stating the facts. IN MY OPINION the lipstick looks ridiculous on certain shades of women. Nowhere in this article do I state that MAC is based in NYC, I said MAC OPERATES out of NYC, which they do, and manufacturing is handled in Canada. The more you know….

  • But…Black women come in all shades and so do their lips so…