The MAC Taraji P. Henson Collection

Published in: Collections, MAC Makeup

mac taraji p henson

Someone in the makeup world finally came to their senses and did a collab with Taraji P. Henson.

Good morning, glory! Happy Caturday. I hope you slept well. 🙂

So, honey. HUH-KNEE. I haven’t watched Empire in ages (I dunno what happened… I think it just got too redonk for me, and I had to peace-the-heck out), but that show will be forever ingrained in my mind as the magical, mystical place where the world discovered the hurricane of fierce that is Taraji P. Henson.


If I could only channel a tenth of Cookie’s sass and attitude into my fingertips, I could rule the world! (Or at least get a handle on my condo.)

I think Taraji’s awesome. Yeah, she’s gorgeous (those cheekbones and lips, WOW), but I also read that she didn’t get her big acting break until later in life. She just kept working and reaching for the stars.

And now she has her own MAC collection.


Yes, someone somewhere is doing the cabbage patch.

Oh, wait — that someone is me, and it’s happening right here in my office chair, RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT!

With six pieces, half of them new and half of them re-promotes from the permanent line, the collection is on the smaller side…

I know, I would’ve preferred a 20-piece Taraji collection with all new things instead, but let’s see what we’ve got…

mac highlight the truth

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Highlight the Truth ($33)

mac taraji glow

MAC Mineralize Skin Finish Natural in Taraji Glow ($33)

Among the new pieces, it’s all about the two Mineralize Skinfinishes ($33 each) in Taraji Glow and Highlight the Truth for me.

On my NC42 skin, Highlight the Truth looks like a peachy coral with golden shimmer, and Taraji Glow looks like a peachy coral with pink shimmer.

mac taraji p henson

Wearing Highlight the Truth, Taraji Glow and Strip Me Down Lipstick

I don’t know if it’s just a weird trick of the light in my house, but both of them appear pretty similar in swatches side by side… When I apply them on my cheeks, though, Taraji Glow POPS more than Highlight the Truth, and I bet it’s because of the former’s pinkish pearl.

Taraji Glow’s finish looks shinier and more pronounced to me, so it seems more dramatic. If you’re looking for a bolder highlight from something in the collection, that’s the way to go.

Both are super pretty, though. It’s hard to choose which one I like better…but I’d probably go with Taraji Glow, because with the pink in the mix, it could double as a highlighter and a blush.

mac taraji p henson lipstick

MAC Taraji P. Henson Matte Lipstick in Strip Me Down ($17)

Strip Me Down Lipstick is NOT playin’. It’s a deep matte beige with, like, a ’90s-style matte finish, so it’s very flat and doesn’t reflect any light whatsoever. It should look lovely as a nude on medium and dark skin tones, but the formula is unforgiving… It’s on the drier side, and after wearing it for about 45 minutes, my vertical lip lines take center stage at Coachella.


mac taraji p henson

MAC Taraji P. Henson swatches from the left: Highlight the Truth, Taraji Glow and Strip Me Down

Look for the MAC Taraji P. Henson collection on the MAC website starting September 6 and at select MAC stores and counters September 8.


Can you believe it’s already September? Where’d the summer go?!


Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Taraji, if you’re reading this, let’s kick it sometime. I feel like you’d get my jokes.

Granted, most of them are super corny, but I think you’d totally get the refs. My door’s always open if you want to split a bottle of rosé and watch Gilmore Girls.

I’m just sayin’. 🙂


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So far, 38 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Chris25 says:

    I really like Taraji Glow.

    I am happy about the end of summer because it’s too sticky hot in NYC. Autumn is my fave season!
    Chris25 recently posted … Boscia Purifying Cleansing Gel

  2. kwmechelle says:

    Gurl, I am so here for this collection. I’ve seen the blush & it’s coming home to mama. I’m indecisive about which highlighter I’ll get but I’ll make up my mind in the store. Sad that the lipstick is so drying. The color is right up my alley, though, so I may have to make some concessions. I’m so excited about this collection that I wanna just drop “dolla dolla bills, y’all!” Even if I don’t even need most of it. But who am I kidding? That’s never stopped me before ☺️

    • Karen says:

      Happy Saturday, Kwmechelle! You can make the lippie work! Layer a balm underneath it and on top. Or a gloss, even. It’s very pretty but not the most forgiving.

      What makeup’s on deck for today? I’m about to dive into the Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics palette. I’ve been testing it for the past couple days. 🙂

      • kwmechelle says:

        I’m makeup-less at the moment. Plans involve going to a b-day party where I was thinking of wearing a pair of booties with skinny jeans. But I’m so tired that I might skip it, veg out at home, & Netflix & chill. Got word yesterday that UD is releasing 20 of their original shades (maybe more or less?) celebrating their 20 year anniversary. They’re all 90’s inspired & I can’t wait. I remember when I first got introduced to them & they were bad a$$. Looking forward to their release. Still contemplating swatching the ABH Modern Renaissance palette & going to Sephora to play. Looking forward to your review of the UD palette. The colors are really pretty. Choices, choices. First world problems…. 🙂

        • Karen says:

          I have those 20 UD lipsticks on deck! I’m really hoping to review them this week because my schedule will finally be opening up, YES!!! I know that ABH palette is getting a lot of chatter but I dunno, red is kind of hard to wear for a lot of people. I think it looks interesting in pics but in real life it might be challenging. You really have to like warm colors.

          I’m so ready for the season of boots and booties! It’s been very cool here in Nor Cal, and it already feels like fall.

          Have fun at the birthday party and eat some cake for me!

          • kwmechelle says:

            Yep, the hype. That’s what has caused me to wanna swatch the ABH palette. I’m a warm shadow lover but with the release of the new UD palette, I’m taking my time because I may want that one instead. So indecisive. And totally going through makeup withdrawal. Haven’t bought any new makeup, save for Cover Girl’s Katy Perry in Panther (which I love), so a girl’s gotta go play in Sephora land. Can’t wait to see your review/swatches and, hopefully, pics of you wearing those UD lippies. Even the throwback cases are calling mah name. I’m gonna go ham when I buy makeup again. And lose. My. Mind! Enjoy your Caturday,

  3. Efrain says:

    You know when I’m older I want to be a mix of Cookie and the Dowager Countess of Grantham from Downtown Abbey. Cookie is the queen of sass but the countess has some unbelievable comebacks in every chapter so if I can be a mix of both I’d feel realized.

    About Empire in fact we haven’t finish the second season, I’m watching it with Alisson but neither of us have had time because we were watching other series; but at least for was like: how everybody can be evil in a show? And yes is like a telenovela but with black people.

    And about the collection is so gorgeous that lipstick is THE NUDE, and both cheek products look gorgeous so I’m crossing my fingers to make it available here. Between this collection and Selena’s, MAC is taking all my money.

    • Karen says:

      That is the perfect mix, LOL! I would like to be 1/3 Cookie, 1/3 Dowager Countess and 1/3 Sophia from the Golden Girls.

      How’s school going?

      • Efrain says:

        I’ve never watched the Golden Girls so I don’t know who Sophia is, if you want to mix her attitude with the Countess’ and Cookie’s she must be soooo sassy.

        Uni is going well in fact I could say a little too calm, but for me that’s right. I’m in my first thesis seminar and I’m excited and scared about writing my thesis.

        • Karen says:

          GURL. You’ve never watched The Golden Girls?!? I JUST CAN’T HANDLE THAT! It is a cult classic show about four sassy older ladies living in Miami in the ’80s. I know it sounds odd but it is hilarious. I used to watch it when I was a kid, and back then all of the dirty jokes went over my head. Now when I watch it I’m like WHOA! So *that’s* what they were talking about. It was also refreshingly progressive for the times. Look it up, I think you’d enjoy it.

          Writing a thesis is a huge thing, but like with any writing project, if you break it down into bite-sized parts, you can get through it.

          • Efrain says:

            Well I’ll google it to look the chapters online. I hope I get all the dirty jobs if not I’d be like “I’m pretty sure that is dirty but I don’t really know why”. Between the Golden Girls and the Gilmore Girls you’re making me not watching more things (I was going to watch Buffy the vampire slayer also, I need more time to watch series).

            The part I think would be harder is going to be investigate but also doing field work. Then for redaction I’ve already asked a professor his help to check it.

          • I 2nd this. The Goldden Girls is entertaining and inspiring. So much good stuff in there.
            TravelingBlush recently posted … Review: Revlon ColorSilk Permanent Hair Color

  4. Denise S says:

    I love Taraji ! Wish they’d made this collection larger though. I’ll probably pick up the lipstick and one of the Skin Finishes. I can never find the right nude lipstick and since me and Taraji are about the same complexion I’m hoping Strip me Down will look good on me. I’ll probably wear a gloss with if it’s too dry.

    • Karen says:

      Hey Denise,

      I would’ve loved for this one to be a 20-piece collection too. You can pull off Strip Me Down, but just be sure to layer a balm underneath because it’s on the drier side.

      I hope you’re having a nice Saturday so far. What are you up to this weekend?

  5. Jessica says:

    It’s not September yet….. not quite…oh how I cannot wait for September!

    I like the lippies.
    Jessica recently posted … Rivet (PRT)

  6. Rachel says:

    I like that lipstick, looks unique. I’m sort of ready for fall but definitely not ready for winter, they are brutal here in North Dakota!

  7. Melissa Valdez says:

    I LOVE these colors! I am going to have to get these if I can. I love your new haircut too!

    • Karen says:

      Thanks, Melissa! The bangs were a spur of the moment thing, and I’m glad I did it! I just hope that they don’t start driving me cray in a week or two, LOL.

      If you end up grabbing this collection, don’t forget to keep your favorite lip balm around. You’ll want to layer it underneath the lipstick, for sure.

      Hope you’re having a nice day so far. What are you up to this weekend?

  8. Whoa, cute new do! Love the bangs, Karen.
    TravelingBlush recently posted … Review: Revlon ColorSilk Permanent Hair Color

  9. Lupe says:

    Can I join you for Gilmore Girls? I’m so excited for the revival. I also need Taraji Glow in my life.
    Lupe recently posted … Allure August 2016 Beauty Box

  10. Erin says:

    I like these colors on you quite a bit… perfect “nudes”!
    Erin recently posted … Play! By Sephora August 2016

  11. Indya says:

    I love all of these! I think I can deal with the lipstick being drying as I mostly wear liquid lipsticks!
    Indya recently posted … I’m Not Your Superwoman: Very Natural Makeup with Ardell Double Individual Lashes

  12. hanna says:

    oh this collection looks so nice.
    hanna recently posted … Outfit – Black Dress down by the River

  13. Chelsea says:

    I just started watching Empire! Taraji is beautiful. These products look gorgeous too.

  14. Nicole says:

    This collection looks nice! The lipstick looks gorgeous! Definitely something I would go for 🙂
    Nicole recently posted … Top Picks | Makeup Brushes & Tools

  15. MelodyJ says:

    I was just looking at a season 1 episode of Person of Interest. I loved Taraji as Detective Joss Carter. She was like a superhereo on that show. On Empire she is sassy, crazy Cookie which is is lovable in it’s on way. I can’t wait for her movie Hidden Figures to come out early next year. this is a nice collection.

  16. Fancie says:

    When I saw MAC post about this on Instagram I literally screamed LOL. Taraji is so beautiful and amazing with a such a radiant spirit. She’s totally my bff in my head lol. I’m so happy that she’ll have her own collection that I might end up buying every last piece. I’m a little sad that Strip Me Down is so drying because it looks like everything I want in a fall nude but the formula sounds like it’s going to be a doozy on my dry lips. I’ll probably still buy it but I wish MAC went with their more creamy matte formula. At least the MSFs are very pretty. I can’t wait to get my hands on Taraji Glow!
    Fancie recently posted … On Wednesdays We Wear Pink!

  17. Katie says:

    I love the lipstick shade! Shame that it’s drying, it’s just the color I like.

  18. Hm, might be skin tone, but I am not tempted by the collection at all.
    LindaLibraLoca recently posted … Vlog – All the mess. all the mess

  19. kellly says:

    I would buy in an instant whatever she’s wearing on her eyes in that promo ad. I love that shine! I’m going to check out the skinfinish Taraji Glow (I use those as eye shadows and love them!) and Strip Me Down. That looks like it will be a good color for me unless it’s more pinkish in real life than it looks on my screen. I’m waiting for these to come out and am planning to go see them IRL before I lay down my cash!
    Those colors look terrific on you!

  20. Lisa T. says:

    These look absolutely gorgeous! In your opinion which one would be a better shade for dark/deep skin tones “highlight the truth” or “taraji glow”?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lisa!

      I think it really depends on what you’re looking for. If you want more of a shimmery highlight and you’re all about the shine, then Taraji Glow would be a good choice. It’s the bolder choice between the two. It also has a lovely pink tint, which I think could be very flattering.

      If you prefer more of a subtle shimmer, then Highlight the Truth is the way to go. There’s less pink and more gold.

      If you have any other questions about either of them please let me know, I’m happy to help.

  21. Sofie says:

    I really like the colour of the lipstick, but from the swatches I’ve seen online it looks a lot like Mac “taupe”, which I already own… so I’m not sure if I should order it! Do you know if they are really similar? I can’t find any pictures of them swatches side by side.

  22. Alexis Mcleod says:

    The swatches look exactly the same in the photo when Taraji glow should be red-brown. MAC totally messed up this collection and sent people the wrong item. I received the highlighter instead of the glow. I’m beyond frustrated.

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