Releasing today, at the height of a ’90s comeback, MAC Cosmetics’ latest limited-edition collection has been years in the making. Thanks to the relentless petitioning of adoring fans, R&B icon Aaliyah is finally being honored with a 12-piece edit of lipsticks, eyeshadows and glosses inspired by her very own makeup bag.
The collection is a perfect representation of the ’90s legend’s signature look (including THE satin nude lip from the video for the hit song “Try Again”) and also imagines how her approach to beauty may have evolved in 2018. The contemporary edit transcends time and trends to capture the hearts of Aaliyah fans old and new with her timeless, understated beauty. It is her enduring influence that makes Aaliyah a true icon.
To celebrate the launch, we’re breaking down two of our favorite Aaliyah looks with step-by-step tutorials to achieve her “tomboy ingenue” aesthetic. For best results, apply while jamming to this ’90s powerhouse.
A ONE-IN-A-MILLION GAZE:
- Start with a bold brow by applying Fluidline brow gel with a 266S small angled brush. Then, open the Age Ain’t Nothing Eyeshadow Times Nine palette and pop Lovesmoke (top row, far left) on the brow bone to highlight.
- For the eyes, start with Prep + Prime eye base. Then, use a combination of the palette’s two mattes—Princess of Soul (middle row, far right) and Dance in the Dark (bottom row, far right)—and swipe them gently across the lid. In the crease, use the satin shade That Somebody (center) to impart a subtle golden shimmer.
- Aaliyah’s smoldering lined eyes were paramount to her signature look, which is on full display in her “One in a Million” music video. Take Dance in the Dark on a 239S eye shader brush and trace along the upper and lower lash lines. Lining the eyes with shadow helps to create the diffused, slightly smudged look that the singer was known for.
- Finish the eyes with In Extreme Dimension mascara.
- For the lips, start with Prep + Prime color-free base. Then, using the Fresh Clay lip pencil, trace the shape of the lips with a heavy hand to get that full-on ’90s look. In the center of the lips, use a bit of Try Again lipstick and blot to disperse color. Finish the pout with a swipe of Brooklyn Born lipglass.
- To contour, apply Baby Girl bronzing powder along the cheekbones, temples and the sides of the nose using an angled 168S contour brush.
MORE THAN A WOMAN LIPS:
- Instead of contouring, use Baby Girl bronzing powder in a light dusting across the high points of the face for an overall glow. (The 140S fan brush is perfect for this.)
- Start again with eye base on the lids before brushing on a combination of That Somebody and Dance in the Dark eyeshadows. In the crease, use a 224S tapered blending brush with the soft-brown eyeshadow Princess of Soul to further define the eyes.
- To line the eyes, use Blacktrack Fluidline with a 210 precise eyeliner brush in the upper and lower waterlines. The trick is to stay very close to the waterlines to create the illusion of fuller lashes rather than creating a statement liner. Lastly, apply Bold & Bad mascara to finish off this neutral smoky eye.
- For brows, use the brow sculpt to get soft yet defined arches. Again, use Lovesmoke on the brow bone for added highlight.
- For the bold lip, start with primer and then fill in the lips using Nevermore and Follow Your Heart lip pencils. The pure black and bluish-red lip liners create a deep warm brick color when combined. Top that with More Than a Woman lipstick to intensify the red color. For “If Your Girl Only Knew” vibes, finish off the lips with lipglass in At Your Best You Are. The finished result is Aaliyah’s brown-berry pout.