I can't even tell you how many times I tried to reenact every dance move in Aaliyah's "Rock the Boat" video. Fun fact: I actually grew up dancing and performed a choreographed piece to her iconic song "Are You That Somebody" in fifth grade. So to say that I'm a fan honestly feels like an understatement. I have such a soft spot for Aaliyah—her angelic voice lives on forever and still cures my hopeless romantic daydreams on a regular basis. She's known as the sweetheart of R&B and hip-hop, so it's only right that a massive makeup brand like MAC pays tribute to her.
I was on the edge of my the seat the moment I got word of this collab and felt the need to tell everyone when a press email notified me that the MAC x Aaliyah collection would drop. This was a highly requested collection for MAC from die-hard Aaliyah fans. What's even sweeter is that her brother, whom she was very close with, had a close hand in curating the collection. He even came up with every shade name to be sure it represented her to a T. "We wanted the line to represent the totality of my sister's story in beauty," her brother, Rashad Haughton told Refinery29. "There are products I named like 'Try Again,' 'Street Thang,' and 'More Than a Woman.' Other names I chose convey more aspects of my sister's life and experience."
To put it simply, this is a special collection. These shades are so Aaliyah and are the perfect blend of modern-day and throwback feels. Here's what I look like wearing the bronzing powder, eye shadow palette, and gorgeous lip shades.
This palette offers a good range of neutrals along with moody, deep shades if you want to take it up a notch. The thing about MAC is the brand is famous for its highly pigmented products. So you don't have to do much work when it comes to applying (hallelujah). I wanted to go for a light, summery vibe, so I used the warmth of my finger to apply the taupe shade all over my lids. Then, I applied the violet purple hue on the outer corners of my eyes—obsessed with this iridescent look. To finish off my eyes, I popped a tiny bit of the champagne gold shade on the inner corners of my eyes, which really set it off, if I do say so myself.
I was already wearing foundation, so I took a fluffy powder brush and dusted this golden bronzer all over my face to enhance my glow. It gave my skin a warm, kissed-by-the-sun effect I really dig.
Aaliyah and her iconic lip moments are one of the most vivid memories I have as a young one. I'd get up and dance to her music videos while marveling at her bold lip choices. Of course, swatching and testing out these lipsticks and lip glosses was what I was most excited for.
Naturally, I initially gravitated toward this deep berry shade. It has a creamy, velvety finish that feels comfortable on the lips. I love how hydrating this texture is—it leaves a subtle shine behind.
This lipstick is more of a muted beige, so at first, it didn't work for me when I applied it all over. It was way too chalky and light for my skin tone, so it looked ashy, which is an ongoing woe I have with "nude" lipsticks. However, I discovered a hack. I applied my all-time favorite nude all over my lips, Inglot Matte Lipstick in shade 440, and dabbed a bit of this shade in the center for an ombré effect. Result: obsessed (plus, look at how well it photographs).
I'm not one to shy away from edgy lipsticks, and this badass shade definitely did not disappoint. I'd describe it as a charcoal black with hints of grey. It has a gorgeous shimmer, too. And can you believe that I didn't even need a lip liner?
Truthfully, I feel like my best self in a red lipstick. Applying one can turn my whole day around. This fiery red hue was everything—it almost looks orangey-red on my dark skin tone. MAC is responsible for one of my OG-favorite red lipsticks, Ruby Woo, so it's no surprise I was into Aaliyah's version.
My overeager, pre-teen self begged my mom to take me to Nordstrom's MAC counter every month to re-up on its legendary clear Lipglass. So trying on these formulas felt overwhelmingly nostalgic for me.
This high-shine hue closely resembles the above More Than a Woman lipstick—its berry shade seems like it's the sister shade in gloss form. I love how pigmented this gloss is. You don't even need to wear a matte lipstick underneath for the color to show up so vividly.
I want to be on the beach with a margarita in hand wearing this peachy, coral gloss. That's not at all my current situation, but a girl can dream.
I was a tad hesitant about this one. Like, felt like it could've given my lips a ghostly white cast. I swiped it on and toned down the icy-white hue a bit by taking off some of it with my fingers. After I did that, I was into it. This one truly gives my '90s vibes.
I felt sexier than ever in this deep plum gloss. I'm actually reaching for this on my next hot date. The color payoff is a hit—it literally only took one glide across my lips to deliver this intense hue.
The collection also comes with two lip liners.
This is a vibrant red-orange shade that pairs well with the Hot Like lipstick.
This is a deep burgundy shade that reminds me of MAC's famous Nightmoth lip liner.
Are you an Aaliyah fan? Have you copped the collection yet? These are QTNA. In case you haven't yet, shop the full collection here.