Courtesy of MAC

People can’t get enough of Cookie! After the insane success of Taraji P. Henson’s first collection with MAC Cosmetics (even her mum couldn’t get her hands on it before it sold out!) the Empire actress is teaming up with the cult cosmetics brand once again. From February next year, Henson will front the legendary Viva Glam campaign and she’s bringing her co-star, Jussie Smollet along for the ride this time.

100 per cent of proceeds from every M.A.C Viva Glam Lipstick and Lipglass are donated directly to the MAC Aids Fund, which was established in 1994 to support men, women and children affected by HIV/AIDS globally. Taking over from the current ambassador, Ariana Grande, Henson and Smollet join a legendary crew of past famous Viva Glam faces, including Miley Cyrus, RuPaul, Lady Gaga, Ricky Martin and Cyndi Lauper.

The fierce campaign image is already heating up the Internet, while also giving us a sneak peak of the next Viva Glam shade slicked across Henson’s lips. We have a feeling lipstick loving Cookie would approve of the cool, bold raspberry shade. Here Henson chats exclusively to GRAZIA  about the collaboration, how she feels about cosmetics with a cause and her top lipstick tips. 

Taraji P. Henson with Empire co-star, Jussie Smollet
Credit: Getty Images

How did the Viva Glam collaboration come about?
MAC has been so brilliant in picking artists that relate to humanity. They mean something to the world beyond their artistry; they touch people in a certain way.

Why is this cause close to your heart?
I’ve always admired the stars that supported MAC Viva Glam. It is so impactful and positive globally. I’ve always wanted to be an artist that affected people all over the world. Education is key. With all the money that they have raised (over $440 million!), I see them finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.

What does it mean to be the face of MAC Viva Glam?
It is a dream come true. I’ve walked through the mall and I’ve seen the Viva Glam advertisements in M∙A∙C stores and just can’t believe I now have my own Viva Glam shade. Dreaming big and living to see it all come true. I’ve lost so many friends to AIDS so it is a passion of mine to find a cure. The fact that they give away every dollar spent on a tube of lipstick or lipglass is amazing to me.

Courtesy of MAC

Who was your favourite past Viva Glam ambassador?
Mary J. Blige. Mary represents heart, soul and humanity. I know what kind of woman she is and where her heart is and she represents the best part of humanity. She’s a champion and loves to give back. There is something you just trust about her.

Your character from Empire, ‘Cookie’ sure knows how to nail an array of different lipsticks! What are your top lipstick tips?
Oh Baby! Lipglass which I’ve been using for over 20 years. That gloss with M∙A∙C Lip Pencil in Chestnut is beautiful. Heroine is also a favourite of mine.

MAC Taraji P. Henson Viva Glam Lipstick and Lipglass will be available from February, 2017.