photo by Shardae Jobson

The Viva Glam lipstick from cosmetics giant MAC may be the most charitable beauty item on the planet, and its direct connection to helping fund scientific research and medicine for the millions living with HIV and AIDS only makes the purchase all the more gorgeous.  MAC’s altruistic efforts have proven to be honest and successful, with $235 million donated to charities since 1994, when the MAC AIDS Fund officially began.  The greatest factoid is that 100% of proceeds go to organizations fighting against the disease.  RuPaul was the first celebrity spokesperson for the fund, and since then Fergie, Mary J. Blige, Boy George, Lil’ Kim, Dita Von Teese were some of the familiar faces to lend their star power to the cause, and prior to Nicki Minaj and Ricky Martin being the new faces in 2012, it was the duo of Lady Gaga and Cyndi Lauper continuing the idea that beauty can possibly help save lives and promote safe sex.  The celebrities chosen for the Viva Glam campaign are of course big names, but also distinctively fashionable in massively suave and kooky ways—usually at the same time.

This year, Viva Glam now includes a color-free lip conditioner, and the latest lipstick (“Viva Glam Nicki”) is a punched up version of bubblegum pink (though all shades from previous campaigns are still available such as a classic red, the original Viva Glam, and Viva Glam III, a matte purple-pink, and the Gaga and Lauper gold-flecked colors).  While this is Ricky Martin’s first foray into the cosmetics game, this is Minaj’s second partnership with MAC. In November 2010, a limited edition lipstick called “Pink Friday”, a slightly frosty, pale pink named after her debut studio album, went on sale and quickly became sold out.

Both superstars expressed personal concerns and reasons for doing the campaign, as Minaj openly conceded that an uncle of her died of an AIDS-related ailment and that the disorder was one the biggest culprits of the death rate of black women in America; while Martin shared that it was a prime necessity to still inform the public that HIV/AIDS is not of the past or exclusive to the homosexuals:

“Kids are being infected with HIV and AIDS,” Martin said in the interview with GMA, “Some people think that this is an issue of the 80’s and now we are still dealing with this issue. The fact that it’s a disease that doesn’t discriminate: men, women and children are being affected by this virus. Let’s talk about it. I want to be part of this.”

The current poster for the rally was shot by famed visionary photographer David LaChapelle, and all proceeds for this year are for the communities of Latin America.

To learn more, go to the official website for the MAC AIDS Fund, as well as

—Shardae Jobson

this writer can be reached at

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