MAC Cosmetics honors legend Whitney Houston with a limited-edition collection

Featuring some of Houston's favorite shades, MAC x Whitney Houston celebrates the “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” singer.

Whitney Houston was legendary and a trailblazer across industries. Following the crossover success of her self-titled 1985 debut album, Houston broke down numerous barriers in music, paving the way for the next generation of musicians. Since her untimely passing in 2012, the entertainment industry has continued to honor Houston’s legacy — and this year, the beauty industry is following suit, honoring her legacy and impact on her community.

Whitney Houston I Wanna Dance With Somebody MAC Cosmetics
Photo courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

In tandem with the upcoming release of “I Wanna Dance With Somebody,” a biopic chronicling the artist’s journey to stardom, MAC has announced a new collaborative collection. MAC x Whitney Houston is a limited-edition makeup line celebrating Houston’s iconic style and beauty. Working hand-in-hand with the Estate of Whitney E. Houston, members of Houston’s inner circle selected the colors and packaging seen throughout the collection. 

“She had a love for beauty in so many ways,” said Pat Houston, Executor of the Estate of Whitney E. Houston, in a press briefing. “Whitney was always a champion of women feeling beautiful, whether it was a major event or just for everyday wear. Our work with MAC is about creating a line that can meet all of those needs. The line will be true to the eye and lip colors that she loved to work with.”

The collection features four lipsticks, two lip glosses, two blushes, one powder, a set of lashes, and an eight-color eyeshadow palette. To further honor the “I Will Always Love You” singer, each product’s label bears Houston’s childhood nickname, “Nippy.” With shades to create both natural and glamorous looks, “there’s something for every beauty lover” in this collection, says MAC Senior Artist Fatima Thomas. 

Products from the MAC x Whitney Houston collection were used to create looks in Sony Pictures’ “I Wanna Dance With Somebody.” The film’s head of makeup, Tisa Howard, expressed how effective the limited-edition line was in recreating the icon’s looks. For Howard, a protégée of the late Roxanna Floyd, one of Houston’s favorite makeup artists, being part of the film felt like a full-circle moment. 

Similarly, Janina Lee, one of Houston’s makeup artists, emphasized how the collection captures the star’s essence. 

“She was fun,” said Lee in a press briefing. “She was a glamour girl when she wanted to be a glamour girl.” 

Lee vividly recalled her routine when doing Houston’s makeup. As gospel music played and candles burned around the dressing room, Houston would choose a shade of red lipstick for the day. It was her signature look; so much so that Lee would sometimes have to chase the star around the dressing room to get her to remove her red lip for makeup changes. 

While MAC made sure to capture Houston’s glamour in the collection’s products, the makeup brand also honored her philanthropic efforts. In honor of its collaboration with the Estate of Whitney E. Houston, MAC is donating $25,000 to the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Houston’s hometown of Newark to ensure future generations have access to creative tools and resources.

Celebrate Houston’s legacy and the upcoming film by shopping the MAC x Whitney Houston collection on December 8, which will be available both online and in-store. 

Haniyah Philogene is a multimedia storyteller and Lifestyle reporter covering all things culture. With a passion for digital media, she goes above and beyond to find new ways to tell and share stories.

TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku, and Android TV. TheGrio’s Black Podcast Network is free too. Download theGrio mobile apps today! Listen to ‘Writing Black’ with Maiysha Kai.