COSMO Exclusive: We Talk to Taraji – Power Woman, Award-Winning Actress and Face of MAC Viva Glam

All-round queen of everything Taraji P Henson talks about her latest campaign.

We’ll admit, we fan-girled pretty hard when we found out that Hidden Figures star and all-round queen of everything Taraji P Henson would be the face of MAC’s latest Viva Glam campaign. From inspiring girls around the world with her performance as NASA scientist Katherine Johnson to raising money for charity, we can’t get enough of this power woman. COSMO beauty writer Zipho Ntloko sat down with her to get the lowdown on MAC, makeup and all things fierce.

Firstly, congratulations to you and Jussie on being announced as the new faces of MAC Viva Glam. What does it mean to you to be a part of such an influential charity campaign?
I’m the type of artist who likes to do work in anything, whether it’s a product I represent or a character I play that impacts humanity in a positive way. I’ve been a MAC girl since MAC has come into existence, and I’ve always admired the stars who’ve done Viva Glam. Growing up as an aspiring artist, I always wanted to be the face of that – something so impactful –and here I am. Dreams do come true!

Could you give us a little background on the Viva Glam campaign and what it involves?
MAC developed the lipstick Viva Glam and all of the proceeds – every cent you use to purchase the lipstick or the Lipglass – goes towards finding a cure for Aids. So it’s not five or 10% – it’s all of the money. Let’s say a lipstick costs US$17 – that entire US$17 goes towards the fight against Aids.

MAC Viva Glam

MAC Cosmetics

You also recently released your MAC and Taraji makeup range; and the one thing we love about it is that its very Taraji and not Cookie Lyons. Youre a huge fan of natural makeup and thats your thing – glossy makeup, neutral tones… How would you describe your MAC x Taraji collection?
It’s meant to show women that less is more. You have an eyeliner and you have a mascara, and you have two mineral powders which are also bronzers – you can use them as eye shadow or you can use them on cheeks, to pop your cheekbones. Often when I go out, I don’t put foundation on my face because I don’t need all of that all the time. I’m not going to be in front of a camera all the time. I just want to pop my features, and look fresh and awake… So that was an attempt to show women they didn’t need all that makeup. Sometimes you just need three pieces – lipstick, an eyeliner and a great bronzer.

I also read somewhere that your Taraji bronzing powder sold out so quickly, your mom couldnt even get one online
Yeah, that’s TarajiGlow, which is the lightest colour. It sold out the day it dropped. I had people calling me to ask, ‘Are they gonna make any more?’ – and I was like, ‘No, it’s limited-edition!’

Whats your favourite item from the collection (if you can pick one)?
I’d have to say the TarajiGlow because it’s the essence of me. It’s just the perfect colour for my skin – it’s not too much, and I look refreshed and young.

What is the product every woman should have in her makeup bag?
A great lip product. Then you can make such a great statement. I used to say mascara, but now that I can get [false] lashes, I don’t need mascara any more!

All you need are false lashes and you’re sorted!
Exactly – and great lips.

MAC Viva Glam

MAC Cosmetics

MAC Viva Glam

MAC Cosmetics

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson Lipstick (R240) Bright Fuchsia (matte)

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P Henson Lipglass (R230) Rich Fuchsia with Pink Pearl

Available at Maccosmetics.co.za

Read more beauty news

More From


Beauty 24 Nov 2017 SHARE
7 Quality Mascaras Under R300 That We Love
Beauty 23 Nov 2017 SHARE
The Best Nail Polish Colour to Wear According to Your Zodiac Sign
Beauty 23 Nov 2017 SHARE
5 Ways Wearing Makeup Can Promote Body Positivity