Beauty

Aaliyah's brother on what her upcoming MAC collection would mean to her

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Ava Welsing-Kitcher
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After the overwhelming support for MAC’s collection in memory of singer Selena Quintanilla, Aaliyah’s fans set up their own petition to honour Aaliyah in the same way. Stylist spoke to the late star’s brother, Rashad, on the collection.

Whether she was bronzed to perfection in the More Than A Woman video, or rocking dark green lipstick in Are You That Somebody, Aaliyah was as much of a beauty icon as she was a pop and R&B queen. After a fatal plane crash in 2001 that also killed her team and video crew, Aaliyah’s life was tragically cut short, but her influence and fandom has remained strong for years. 

With the news of MAC collaborating with Aaliyah’s close friends and family on a collection inspired by her most memorable looks, we sat down with her brother (who you might’ve have spotted accompanying her on red carpets), actor and director Rashad Haughton, to learn about his family’s vision behind the line and how her dedicated fans made it all happen.

How did you learn about the petition for MAC x Aaliyah?

“I’ve been in contact with my sister’s fans on social media for a while, so I’ve seen how incredible they are in their dedication to her. They started a petition after checking with myself and my mother that we actually wanted a collection to happen. My sister loved MAC, it’s just such an incredible brand so it made perfect sense.”

How closely did you and your family work with MAC to make the line?

“From day one until this very moment right now. We’ve been part of every single process, from picking the products to helping them figure out what this entire campaign was going to be. MAC has been amazing, their entire team are wonderful and so creative and so brilliant and their products show the result of their team. They’re the perfect fit to honour my sister’s memory.”

Did you have a clear vision in mind of what you wanted? Was there anything that you didn’t want the line to include?

“I think we were more obviously focused on what we wanted it to be. Because my sister was such a versatile artist with so many assets to her career from featuring in martial arts films to tackling several music genres, there were no boundaries when it came to her line. That’s what she represented – the idea of having no boundaries.”

How did you manage to decide on the products and shades that would encapsulate Aaliyah and all her iconic looks in one collection?

“My sister knew what she liked, but was always open to experimentation. We went from there, based on the red lipstick or smoky eyeshadow shades that were her go-to, as well as bronzer, lip gloss and metallic shades, then opened it up by adding her occasional black eyeliner and black lipstick so her fans can really make her look their own.”

Do you have any beauty memories of Aaliyah from when you both were growing up?

“All her life her style was what I’d describe as ‘tomboy chic’. She wore a lot of my clothes, stealing my jeans and jackets but then trying really hard to ensure her make-up was immaculate. She wanted to look ultra-feminine, but subvert that by rocking boys’ clothes.”

What were her favourite beauty products?

“She always carried a bold red lipstick and a lip gloss wherever she went. As her days were spent on video sets for hours on hours, she always wanted her lip gloss to look fresh for a clean nude lip, or switch it up if she was rushing to an event with a red shade. She also loved a black lipstick and black nail polish. From day one she was always kind of creating those bold stark looks.”

What’s one product that you will always associate with her?

“A deep smoky eyeshadow. She wore it in the Try Again music video, and paired with the Dolce & Gabbana leather trousers it’s a really iconic look.”

Finally, what do you think she’d say if she knew she’d have her own MAC collection one day?

“I think we would see that incredible infectious smile that we all loved. I think it would be one of the happiest moments ever because she truly was a devoted fan to make-up and to MAC, that was her favourite brand. The launch day would be a very powerful day for her and I know she sees it happening.”

MAC x Aaliyah will be available on June 20th for a limited amount of time on maccosmetics.co.uk.

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