I Tried MAC’s Entire Selena La Reina Collection and My '90s Makeup Dreams Came True

Two weeks ago, MAC dropped an early vault edition of its highly-anticipated Selena La Reina collection, and it sold out in 37 seconds. If you weren’t refreshing the brand’s Instagram page incenstantly and couldn’t get your hands on one early, don’t fret. You have another chance to get your picks from the collection today at 11 EST on MAC’s website, and trust me - you don’t want to miss out. 

MAC Selena La Reina Collection


BEST FOR: '90’s makeup fans, glistening lip lovers, red lipstick devotees, and anyone who loves a brown-toned cut crease and pops of color.


PRICE: $19.50 - $37 per product

ABOUT THE BRAND: MAC is a cosmetics manufacturer founded in 1984, and is an acronym for Make-up Art Cosmetics. Headquartered in New York City, the mega-brand is known for their wide range of excellent makeup and professional-use palettes. 

Product Story: Selena’s family honors her 25-year legacy, and superfans rejoice

MAC’s original posthumous Selena collection is somewhat of a legend in the beauty world. It was born from a Change.org petition signed by her fans demanding a line to honor the late singer on the 20th anniversary of her passing. MAC obliged and tapped the people who know the Tejano star best to collaborate with: her family.

Selena’s sister, Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga, worked closely with MAC on the new La Reina collaboration and told Byrdie that Selena’s favorite product would be the blue-red shade, Siempre Selena, in the Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour formula and the light pinky-nude Selena Vive lipstick.

And in a throw-back to the doyenne of early '90s beauty styles, her sister described one of Selena’s favorite lipstick styles—“[She] loved to wear red lip liner with a clear gloss”—which can be easily recreated with the red Selenavilla lip pencil and Lipglass in The Washing Machine.

As far as skincare was concerned, the Queen of Tejano’s routine was simple, but her sister remembers one thing the singer was diligent about: taking her makeup off before bed. A passion for makeup has always bonded the two sisters. “We pretty much wore our makeup the same way, and I still love me some winged liner,” Quintanilla Arriaga notes. “We always did our makeup together on the road when we were touring. We would get ready in the back area of our tour bus, so I would always seem to find my mascara in her makeup case instead of mine.” 

MAC Selena La Reina
MAC Selena La Reina Collection $19 - 37

About My Skin: Dehydrated/combination with frequently dry eyes and lips

The two weeks of straight rain, doom, and gloom in LA have not helped my dehydrated dermis. I’m pretty proficient at doing my own makeup, but skill doesn’t help me if my skin isn’t prepped. Before applying any makeup, I always exfoliate my face, eyelids, and lips with a scrub, like Reflekt, or a balm cleanser, like Emma Hardie’s Moringa Cleansing Balm, with a muslin cloth. I prime my skin with a hydrating moisturizer that won’t pill under products, like my favorite Noble Panacea Radiant Resilient Moisturizer. On my lips, I’ll use a generous portion of Le Labo’s Lip Balm and Dr. Barbara Sturm’s Eye Cream, which also doesn't pill on my under \-eyes and eyelids (especially on the inner corners).

The Feel + Scent: Range from having no detectable scent to smelling like fresh banana muffins

Many of the products, like the eye shadows in the palette and the two lip pencils, do not have any scent at all. The four Lipglasses, however, all have the same scent that they always do: fresh banana muffins. The four lipsticks each have a very slight tinge of banana muffin, which some people have called traces of Play-Doh, but the familiar scents of the lip products have never bothered me. 

Each lipstick feels hydrating, which is perfect for my dry lips. The Lipglass is familiarly non-sticky and long-lasting. As for the Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolors, they’re non-sticky and apply as easily as acrylic paint. These have staying power, and they dry relatively quickly, so be careful when you’re applying them—any missteps outside the lip line may be hard to erase. These won’t budge while you’re wearing them. I know several on-stage musicians and performers who love this formula because it doesn’t move during a show (it’s a good option to wear on a date when you don’t want lipstick transfering onto wine glasses, too). 

And like all MAC eyeshadows, this palette’s edit is finely milled and blends seamlessly.

The Swatches

MAC La Reina Swatches
 Tanya Akim 

Eye shadow (L to R): Live in Concert, Te Amo, 25, Captive Heart, Me Siento, It's a Texas Thing, Como Te Extraño, Los Dinos

MAC La Reina Swatches
Tanya Akim  

Lipstick (L to R): Selena Vive, La Reina, Inolvidable, Queen of Cumbia

MAC La Reina Swatches
 Tanya Akim

Lip Pencil (L to R): Selenaville, Entre A Mi Mundo

MAC La Reina Swatches
Tanya Akim 

Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour (L to R): Siempre Selena, Dame Un Beso, Big Bertha

MAC La Reina Swatches
 Tanya Akim

Lipglass (L to R): The Washing Machine, Bidi Bidi Bom Bom, Hey Dad Pizza!

MAC La Reina Swatches
 Tanya Akim

Skinfinish: La Leyenda

The Results: Great quality, dependable makeup with fun colors, amazing packaging, and a '90s-meets-present-day vibe

I’m very comfortable with MAC products; I’ve been using them for almost 2 decades. I knew what to expect from each product, so the excitement for me with a new collection like this comes from the colors and packaging. I love the looks I’m able to create with this collection, and I can’t wait to have somewhere to wear them to.

The Value: Worth every penny

MAC makeup ranges on the lower-end of price points next to its neighboring department store brands. It’s a great way to have fun and experiment with color and glitters without the guilt of a broken piggy bank. 

Our Verdict: A dream come true

The MAC x Selena La Reina collection is far from just being a collectors item or a novelty; the products are really so good. It’s almost impossible to pick favorites, but from a personal preference, I love brown lipsticks. I like layering the brown lipstick shade in La Reina with the golden-brown Lipglass color, Hey Dad Pizza!. It reminds me of my favorite and always sold-out Pat McGrath lip gloss in Blitz Gold. I’m also partial to both Dazzleshadows because I’m obsessed with glitter, and the rose-gold tone is paradise for me.

Related Stories