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New Ricky & Nicki for MAC Viva Glam Collection — The Cosmetics Cup of Life

For its Viva Glam campaigns, MAC Cosmetics tends to recruit celebrities from different musical genres or artistic disciplines and with remarkably divergent (yet equally outlandish) styles. At times, they’ve accomplished this feat by creating advertisement materials featuring individual images of each spokesperson for the campaign, as with the Viva Glam VI  initiative featuring Debbie Harry, Eve, Dita Von Teese, and Lisa Marie Presley. But the most memorable MAC Viva Glam images, in my opinion, have been the result of group photos like that of Elton John posing alongside Shirley Manson and Mary J. Blige for the MAC Viva Glam IV promo shot or, most recently, Cyndi Lauper camping it up alongside Lady Gaga. For its latest Viva Glam campaign, MAC summoned the current “it” girl in the rap milieu: Nicki Minaj, pairing the self-proclaimed “Black Barbie” with Puerto Rican pop icon Ricky Martin, who recently opened up about being gay after years of dodging questions about his sexual orientation. The  Ricky & Nicki for MAC Viva Glam campaign , then, features Minaj clad in a bright pink leather dress, chunky bangles stacked on her two wrists, her knees atop a motorcycle seat and her elbow propped atop the bike’s chassis, while Martin stands beside her ina gray tank top and a white sleeveless vest with black lapels and black zipper details, his tattooed arms stretched upward as if he were bench-pressing the life-sized lipstick hoisted above his head.

This, of course, marks the first time Martin has been featured in a MAC campaign and Minaj’s second time spearheading one such effort. Those of you who are MAC fiends might remember how she joined forces with MAC in late 2012 to release her Pink 4 Friday lipstick, a launch that coincided with her Pink Friday album launch, guaranteeing the budding rap star and future Grammy winner even greater publicity.

I had my doubts about Minaj’s Pink 4 Friday lipstick, wondering whether the entire collaboration was more of a gimmick than a true artistic endeavor worth noting, and questioning whether the color would in any way stand out from all of MAC’s other stellar offerings. And, as most of you know, I was pleasantly surprised by the shade of pink, which reminded me of everything from Benadryl tablets and old-school Pink Panther cartoons to Minaj’s own wig  on the Pink Friday album cover.

This time around, Minaj opted for more of a warmer, peachy pink hue for her MAC Viva Glam Nicki Lipstick ($14.50 at MACcosmetics.com), a shade that reminds me of yellow-pink dahlias and which features a gorgeous satin finish. The shade is saturated with pigment so that it offers a fantastic color payoff — and really, anything else would be unacceptable to fans of Minaj’s quirky, unabashed, adventurous but always feminine style.

Here’s a swatch of the Nicki Lipstick for your reference:

As for Martin, his autograph covers each tube of the MAC Viva Glam Lip Conditioner ($15 at MACcosmetics.com), a deliciously emollient moisturizer that smells like shea and cocoa butters.

All proceeds from the sale of these items will benefit the MAC Aids Fund.

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