Review & Swatches: MAC x Rihanna – Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Set


Many questions have crossed my mind ever since first seeing the new MAC Viva Glam Rihanna 2 set promo images. Is that lipstick black? brown? …no wait, grey? — Are they serious with this one? — Is green hair the thing nowadays? — The promo images confused me, and with me many others. I think it’s time to take a closer look at this…


Just like the previous MAC Viva Glam Rihanna set, this duo also comes in that rubberized, glowing red packaging. Rihanna’s signature pops in a vivid red over top. What I think would’ve been fun, is if they matched the color of this edition’s packaging to the uniquely colored new lipstick. This glowing red packaging definitely was inspired by the previous Viva Glam Rihanna set, and it would’ve been fun to see them do it again with this one — but they didn’t so you can just ignore me here lol!

Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick (Limited Edition)

MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick

VivaGlamRiRi05MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick

VivaGlamRiRi06MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick

VivaGlamRiRi09MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick one pass (L) and built up (R)

VivaGlamRiRi11MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick

Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick ($16.00/€18,50) (Limited Edition); is by MAC described as a warm mauve with silver frost. I don’t know about that, because I see so many things going on. I see a dark-medium, ashy-taupe/brown with hints of mauve peeking through and a silver frost finish. The consistency is on the drier side and definitely needs some work to get opaque. This lipstick provides about 4-5 hours of wear on me and is a touch drying. I also find that it settles into the fine lines of my lips quickly.

Now, here’s the one question that kept running through my mind as I was playing with this: “How in the hell, is MAC going to sell this to the masses?!”. Rihanna, MAC and originally colored lipstick fans are going to get their hands on this, no doubt about it. But what about the “normal” people, that walk by MAC counters… how on earth is MAC going to win them over?

Normally, I could care less. But with all MAC Viva Glam lipsticks every cent of the selling price goes towards helping women, men and children living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. That just simply is amazing. And with Viva Glam Rihanna 2 I’m afraid that MAC is gonna miss out on some big bucks because they won’t be able to sell it to the masses. I might be completely wrong, but that’s what I think of the entire situation.

Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipglass (Limited Edition)

VivaGlamRiRi07MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipglass

VivaGlamRiRi04MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipglass

VivaGlamRiRi10MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipglass one pass (L) and built up (R)

VivaGlamRiRi13MAC x Rihanna — Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipglass

Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipglass ($15.00/€17,50) (Limited Edition); is by MAC described as a cool mauve with red frost. Again, I see something different. I see a clear, slightly gray tinted gloss with lots of purple/fuchsia micro shimmers that have an unique chartreuse duochrome. Yeah, I know… that’s intense. It pretty much just shows up like a clear-nude with lots of shimmer on the lips. This lipglass provides about 5-7 hours of wear on me and is neither hydrating nor drying.

Below is what the lipstick looks like combined with the lipglass…


Now, hello! This is more like it! The lipglass over top of the lipstick totally brings out the mauve, and the purple/fuchsia micro shimmer truly comes alive over top of the lipstick. It might still be a very daring color, but I definitely feel this a lot more than just the lipstick alone.


I’m all for original, unique and daring lipstick shades. But somehow the Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Lipstick leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Perhaps if it had been a little more dark and intense, I would’ve liked it better. But now all it gives me is a 90’s lip gone bad. Dead bad. The lipglass I do like, but I don’t think stands strong enough on its own. I know I’ve already addressed it, but I really hope this daring choice won’t affect the sales for the Viva Glam Fund. It’s a fund I strongly believe in. Finally, I want to close off by saying that I think this will suit dark skin divas a whole lot better. It might still be a little too ashy and frosty, but it’d look way better nonetheless.


The collection is set to release online September 8th and in-stores September 11th.

What do you think of this Viva Glam Rihanna 2 set? Are you feeling this daring new shade, or not? Share in the comments below!

❥ Nikkie

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61 Responses to Review & Swatches: MAC x Rihanna – Viva Glam Rihanna 2 Set

  1. Marjoleine says:

    I don’t really like the colours.. But the lipglass on the lipstick, that looks okay. But I wouldn’t buy it, too bad Mac..

  2. Melissa Beattie says:

    I actually really like this lip colour. Yes, it’s different and not one that is considered “wearable” or an “everyday” colour by most, but I’m glad it’s out there and not a shade that every brand has their own version of. It’s the kind of shade that I feel represents the daring, bold side of Rihanna, although I get what you’re saying about it not appealing to the masses so maybe it would have been better suited in the collaboration she done last year rather than for the Viva Glam campaign.

    • NikkieTutorials says:

      Exactly! I feel like this would’ve been great as an addition to that collaboration from last year, but I’m afraid it’ll scare too many people off as a Viva Glam color… And I really want Viva Glam lipsticks to do good because it’s a fund I strongly believe in.

      • Melissa Beattie says:

        Yeah, it’s not really MAC’s smartest move including it as a Viva Glam shade.

      • Jessica says:

        I think this is a much safer color than Viva Glam Nicki 2 lipstick. I would wear this over nicki 2 any day lol. I do love the color though. It’s different. I will have to see this in person before I can buy it or not. I’m NC15-20 for reference :)

      • Jelena says:

        I think you are always missing the point people. This is a perfect lipstic for black women! And I’m glad they made it for them.

        • Arabelle says:

          I wholeheartedly agree. I think Rihanna really makes sure the lipsticks she puts out cater to black/brown-skinned women, and I appreciate that. Too often collections (and brands in general) cater to who the “masses” really are, which would be white/light-skinned women. It’s nice to see something with us in mind for a change.

  3. jouvence says:

    wauw, prachtig ♥

  4. Marieke Korendijk says:

    Not really feeling this colour.. but thats just because brown just doesnt suit me. I do like it with the Lipglass actually.. but.. youknow, to spend 18,50 for a lipstick is reasonable.. but if the colour doesnt suit you its a lot of money, and to buy the lipglass with it.. it suddenly gets an expensive lip. You always have the most beautiful, and kinda expensive makeup.. dont you ever have just.. problems with the prices? I LOVE LOVE LOVEEEE you btw Nikkie. Je bent geweldig ♥

  5. Alexis says:

    This looks better than I thought but still leaves scratching my head. Why did they think this color was worth a whole viva glam collaboration? I would be interested in trying it on, but not buying.

  6. Loraine Wiltshire says:

    I love the colours, and like that for a change the lip colour can suit people that aren’t just of a fairer complexion…just my opinion but I think it will do great with people of a tan complexion and deeper.

  7. Precies wat je zegt Nikkie. MAC, en daarmee het goede doel, zal in mijn ogen wel wat mislopen door deze gewaagde kleur als Viva Glam. Had beter in de collectie van vorig jaar gepast. Ben niet weg van deze kleur lipstick. De lipgloss vind ik wat draagbaarder. Ga het zeker in de winkel uitproberen. Wie weet verander ik wel van gedachten.

    • Naomi says:

      Benay denk jij niet dat deze lipstick meer gericht is op women of color? Ik heb vergelijkbare kleuren gezien bij andere merken die make-up voor de donkere vrouw maken en het staat prachtig i.c.m. een (donker)bruine huid. Ik ben benieuwd hoe de lipstick bij jou staat en of er een review komt op jouw blog.

  8. Laarni says:

    This part 2 is a lot bolder than the first one! Thanks for the swatches!

  9. Luiza says:

    Hi, Nikkie! First of all: I love you, girl!!
    I totally agree with you about this Viva Glam set. The lipstick on its own is such a daring colour and I’m afraid that it will not please everybody’s taste. But when you applied the lipglass, BOOM, I tought it made such a difference! In my opinion, the lipstick instantly looked prettier. But for my very fair skin colour, it might look strange. But, as you said, on dark skin divas it’d look better!
    Kisses from Brazil!

  10. Jenn says:

    I think it will do better than you might think, first of all it doesn’t seem to matter what the product is the Rihanna stuff sells and it sells fast. Not all of the lipsticks from the last collection were super wearable(IMO) and they still went like crazy. Also, people will buy Viva Glam just because it’s VG, and it goes to a good cause, and others to add to their collection. 90’s is making a comeback(of which I am not a fan, I lived the 90’s as a teen and none of it is worth coming back), and this is definitely leaning towards that 90’s trend. It’s definitely not for everyone, but I think it will do just fine. I mean, the first VG was promoted by a drag queen, and I am sure that was’t everyone’s taste either. ;-)

  11. Marjolein says:

    I don’t like this colour and I think it would look horrible on my fair skin haha, but I do have a note about your (and many others) review: since this is not a colour for the light skin ladies among us, you suggest that it’s not a colour ‘for the masses’, in which you imply the masses are white. I personally think this colour would look great on darker skintones and a fact is that many in this world have a darker skintone than you and I ;) like Rihanna! So I think many people might actually buy this :) This is a way easier shade for darker skin than the lady gaga lipstick.
    So again, not a favourite of mine, but I’m sure this lipstick will sell ;)

    • Naomi says:

      I totally agree!!

    • Jessica says:

      Couldn’t have said it any better. Amen!

    • Dina says:

      I think you’ve read a bit far into this, I think Nikkie said it wasn’t for the masses in the sense that the “masses” probably wouldn’t gravitate towards a shiny brown lipstick. Skin colour really had nothing to do with it.

      • C. Faune says:

        As someone with darker skin, the first thing I was excited about was that the new color looks like it will look gorgeous on us melanin rich ladies.

        I thought Marjolein’s statement was well put. : )

  12. Hao says:

    I think MAC should’ve released a more wearable color so that the masses could buy it. I know the previous two spokespeople had sort of not wearable colors too, but not as much as this. I was actually pretty excited for another year of Rihanna, but I’m just so disappointed with the color choice. Would’ve been interested as a separate lipstick, but not as a Viva Glam color.

  13. nenacecilia says:

    Ik snap dat ze gedurfd willen doen en Rihanna staat er vast geweldig mee, maar ik vind hem echt lelijk. Gewoon lelijk ^^

  14. Jolien Verschaeve says:

    Ik dacht dat ik de lipstick zou haten, maar vind hem eigenlijk echt iets hebben!

  15. Mulaty says:

    Als mijn lippen er zo zouden als ik ik mijn kist lag zou ik tevreden zijn. Maar er mee lopen, hell no.
    Geen slimme move van MAC.

  16. Lucinda says:

    This colour only works for me when it is combined with the lipglass, otherwise it’s a bit no-no for me. I completely feel the same way, how are they going to market this to the masses? I’m curious to see how this goes. I for one will not be buying this one, sorry. xxx Lucinda

  17. Julia says:

    Way to unique for me! I would never wear this… But as you said, dark skin divas could rock this one! XO

  18. Lisette says:

    Wow dit soort kleuren droeg ik 16 jr geleden!! Niet meer van nu vind ik.
    De lipglass vind ik overigens wel heel mooi!

  19. Laia says:

    I totally think this lip color is suited for people who have Rihanna’s complexion or darker. This is totally a medium. to dark skin color lipstick. It looks so beautiful on the promo shot

  20. Christiane says:

    I actually really do like the color!
    I like how unique it is but I can see the point that it’s definetly not everyone’s taste.
    I might purchase this one :)

  21. Joëlle says:

    Heb hem al op meerdere blogs gezien maar ik vind de combi lipstick en lipglass echt stunning! 1 + 1 is meer dan 2 in dit geval! Helaas, met m’n lichte huid en blonde haren, blauwe ogen lijkt me dit geen succes!

  22. Kadie Lee says:

    I was not even the least bit attracted to the lipstick shade from the get go, but I was definitely all about the lipglass…but seeing them layered is giving me LIFE!

  23. Gabriela says:

    I used to wear this lipstick color when I was fourteen. In the 90s it was so cool… But today, I really dont know if I would use this again!

  24. Bij mijn huidskleur zal de lipstick een stuk minder heftig lijken, dus ik ga zeker weten op jacht :) Gecombineerd met de lipglass wordt de kleur nog mooier!

  25. Paula says:

    I kind of like the color, in a world of pink-red-purpleish lipsticks it really stands out, I wouldn’t buy it online, I think I would have to test and see how that would look on me first (I’m a olive tone skinned redhead, yeah, i know, it’s weird), but I like that it’s just so different

  26. alisha says:

    I tried brown in the 90s and thought it looked good but looking at pictures, it obviously did not! It prob doesnt help i have fair cool skin. I do think that this taupe color is better on darker skintones like riri’s however I’m still not too keen on brown…lol.

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  28. Katelyn Ziegenhagen says:

    I like the lipstick colour if it’s built up. I’m sad to hear about it’s consistency. I don’t really like how the lip lass looks, but on top of the lipstick it’s perfect! I very much love them combined, which is unfortunate, because I’d have to buy both, even though I don’t like one of the products.

  29. Adrianna says:

    This is definitely a unique (or odd) color for MAC to create and like you said, how are they going to mass sell it? I won’t buy it but that doesn’t mean others will. The lipstick does look better with the lipglass than it does alone. To me, I don’t think the lipstick can stand alone well (without the lipglass) but hey, maybe I can be proven wrong about that. I can say though that I am interested in the lipglass. It might be a unique addition to my lipgloss collection and it’ll be my first MAC product. I can’t wait to get my paws on the lipglass :) And BTW I love your videos Nikki, I’m always excited when a new video comes out and now that I’ve finally looked on your website I love you even more lol I hope you have a good day/night

  30. Macy says:

    I actually really like this color. Definitely going to go try it out when its in stores. Im starting to become a fan of more out there, bold colors even though I have fair skin so we’ll see how this looks on me. When I do go I’ll ask how their sales have been for it!

  31. dee.m says:

    It will look good on women of colour. Frosts such as these look beautiful on us. So I’m all for this colour being produced and will definitely be buying it. Also, even if you wouldn’t wear it, I think it would be a good addition to a kit for anyone who is an equal opportunity MUA.

  32. Kassi Mikaela says:

    I can’t wait to buy these. I wasn’t a huge fan of her frosted red lipstick last time (but I did like the gloss) but this I am all over! Love it!

  33. Taylor says:

    I actually love this set so much, totally on my ‘to buy’ list when it comes out.

  34. N says:

    I really miss a full face look with this one, with such a daring colour I was wondering about what kind of eyelook you would wear to match it..

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  36. Britt says:

    Please remeber RiRi nude, i thought that color wasnt gonna go for the masses but i was completely wrong it sold as fast as it was released and i saw people buying it on ebay and amazon for $50-90, so you might be surprised

  37. Kathryn says:

    I definitely agree that they should have made the casing for the tube the same color as the lipstick. If that was the case I probably would have bought it for the packaging alone!

  38. Very unique. Actually I think you rock it all separately and together. They’re stunning layered though. I’m very, very pale and not keen on anything too frosty yet somehow this is intriguing me.

  39. Pingback: Makeup Tutorial: MAC Viva Glam Rihanna 2 | NikkieTutorials

  40. A.M. says:

    I actually just got the gloss and am very eager to try it over Diva (or any red/burgundy, really). The lipstick is nice, but yes, a tad bold for an everyday selection.

  41. Emilyxh says:

    I actually think that this is a very good selling lipstick, some stores in my country have already sold out this lipstick. It looks absolutely stunning on people with darker skin, also it’s a very fashionable and on trend colour. However I have fair skin, but i was surprised that it looked amazing on my skin type as well, i will definitely wear them in the winter!

  42. Oydi says:

    hi everyone, simply try to incorporate this lipstick if you have any existing lip pencil. apply the pencil ( try various shade) all over your lip. makes it more long-wear as well.

  43. Lucia Vallejo says:

    The Viva Glam Rihanna 2 lipstick looks good on you and I agree with you that while this lipcolor is hip and mod, it is not a good everyday lip color for women over 40. I have always thought that Mac should create a classic universal rose or pink matte lipstick, maybe a subtle fuchsia, to really raise money for the AIDS awareness. A Viva Glam V with a little more pink maybe a pink copper.

  44. Petal says:

    Nikki, I just found your blog omg btw. Have you tried this lipstick applied over Mac’S Stone lip pencil, you can thank me later . It’s the bomb

  45. bill says:

    I am a MAC artist and i want to say that even though viva glam rihanna was a red colour was not that easy to face ruby woo and as a result it was not so easily accepted by the clients.
    Viva glam rihanna 2 lipstick and lipglass are really popular for the clients. it arrived on the store last tuesday and we have already sold more that 100 lipsticks and 100 lipglasses!
    Really amazing! Because when we saw the colour, we though that it would be very difficult to intoduce that colour to women!

  46. Cora Mulhall says:

    Maby if you put on a pink lipstick with the lipglass it might look prettier

  47. Faye says:

    Lipstick 2 is very daring!

  48. Didem says:

    looks really gorgeous!!


  49. Amy H says:

    I want to purchase the lipstick soo badly but the lipglass is OOS, and that is what makes the look, IMO. The lipstick is still available at other larger retailers, but not the lipglass.
    Since it’s fairly sheer with micro glitters inside, would you happen to know of a similar shade so that my final look comes somewhat close to what it is meant to be? I’ve tried my stash, and have come up empty. I’m sure your stash is MUCH larger. Any ideas? Thanks Nikki!!

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