Let there be a full disclosure at the beginning of this post – I love Taraji P. Henson. I’ve BEEN loving Taraji P. Henson, at least since Hustle & Flow. She has been out there in Hollywood, grinding since the late 90’s. Through it all she has remained true to herself, a riot, a force of nature, and a sisterfriend-in-the-head to so many. Taraji is loved because Taraji is TARAJI. She stays true to herself, and every interview I’ve ever seen or read features just that. Her personality is genuine and irrepressible. So when her MAC collection hit – click here to shop #MACTaraji – of course the reaction has been joyful and sales have gone through the roof. Because Taraji P. Henson inspires that love.
I was lucky enough to catch up with her on a 90 degree afternoon in downtown Chicago, on the day of her #MACTaraji launch. And I’m happy to report, she is warm, wonderful, funny and super genuine and approachable. In summary, Taraji is just as cool as you imagine her to be.
Afrobella — Such an amazing accomplishment and such a beautiful moment… Tell me the story of this MAC collection, how this opportunity came to be and what your vision was for these products.
Taraji — “Well, I got a call from MAC and they said “we wanna do business with Taraji” and I was like **shimmies** – it’s actually a dream come true, because I’ve seen so many to look up and admire before I became anyone too look up and admire like this…on this wall, or in the windows of MAC. Just from having a dream of “ooh I wanna do that one day” and now here we are. Because I’ve always dreamed of doing this, of course when opportunity strikes, you better be prepared. What I wanted to show is – because I play Cookie and I’m always trying to trying to remind people that I’m not just Cookie. I don’t wear Cookie stuff and I don’t do Cookie things. I literally just don’t wear a lot of makeup when I’m not working. If I’m just kicking it with my girls, this is something I would wear. This is all you’ll see on my face. Put a little of this across the cheekbone to highlight it, put a lip on, a cat eye and mascara – walk out the door. And I don’t like clutter in my purse, and it’s summertime, it’s hot – you don’t want all of that! What I love is, it’s easy on the face, it’s not clogging to the pores. It’s multi-use. I mean, it’s everything.
Afrobella — This collection is getting a lot of love from Twitter, people are calling it one of the most brown girl friendly MAC collections in a while. Was that part of your vision?
Taraji – Yes, absolutely. That, and also something ALL women can wear…I have friends of all nationalities. I was really interested in something anyone could wear, whatever skin color you may have. I knew I was successful when people – bloggers, like yourself — started tagging me to share the product. There was a Caucasian young lady, a black young lady, and a third young lady who I believe was Latina. And it looked beautiful on all three. All palettes. And that’s what I’m all about, and I think that’s what MAC has always represented every color. I mean, I’ve been using MAC since….well we gon’ skip that (laughter)
Afrobella — Tell me about some of your upcoming projects, you’ve got Hidden Figures where you play the amazing Katherine Johnson of NASA…
Taraji – Yes, I’m very, very excited about that because my heart was broken when I originally got the script. Because I just didn’t understand why we don’t know about these women. Who even knew women had anything to do with all the footage I’ve ever seen was just of men talking in a room. They were totally edited out. So this story it’s very important. I think the timing is proper.
Afrobella – The timing, and the casting is proper, you can see the sisterhood behind the scenes and on the screen.
Taraji – Awww thank you! Oh my goodness, we had so much fun. Me, Octavia and Janelle. We just really had a good time. Its gonna be a great publicity run.
Afrobella – Of course you shoot Empire in Chicago, what are some of your favorite places in Chicago that you love going to?
Taraji — I’m a big seafood head. You’ve got your usuals, but Shaw’s is probably getting most of my money.
Afrobella – the brunch at Shaw’s is so good!
Taraji – I id the brunch once, but I just like Shaw’s on a random day at a random time – Shaw’s ANY time. There’s just something about it! I like there, I like Eddie V’s…Mercadito’s for tacos, they got the best margaritas. I like Angry Crab and there’s a new one called The Mad Boiler — ooh yes. You need to check it out. It’s not far from Angry Crab.
Afrobella – thank you so much. I feel proud of you! Thank you for all of this.
And then we snapped this photo.
And then I got to say hi to her amazing makeup artist, the one and only Ashunta Sherriff, who is so awesome and cool and knowledgeable!
And then all the Taraji fans came in to experience for themselves. So much LOVE in the store!
All in all, a great afternoon. Thanks, MAC! To see what the collection looks like on me, click here to check out my post!
Check out the brand new @maccosmetics collection, #MACTaraji by @tarajiphenson — I LOVE it! I went to the #MACMichiganAve store where artist @JohnDanielNaughton beautified me and showed me how to use the gorgeous Mineralize Skinfinish products in Taraji Glow (reddish brown, on my cheeks) and The Truth (a soft bronze coral with golden shimmer). On my lips he used Cork lipliner and then Taraji’s Strip Me Down lipstick, which is a deep tone matte beige. You can get it online, 9/6. Thank you for sending, #MACCosmetics #MACTaraji <3
A photo posted by Afrobella (@afrobella) on