The obvious connection on Hidden Figures, role models, and MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson? It stars the lovely Taraji P. Henson. The not so obvious?

Well, actually if you know me, you’d probably already know that:

  1. I’m a geek. One of the thing I considered fun at school was solving difficult math problems.
  2. I love going to the cinema (and blog about it occasionally on my personal blog here). On average I probably watch around 50 movies a year (that’s excluding the ones I saw on Netflix).
  3. I LOVE it when cosmetic brands put a women of color front and center in their campaign (which doesn’t happen much, sadly).


On Hidden Figures

It is then of no surprise when I really look forward to watch Hidden Figures. It’s a beautiful, inspiring, and feel good movie about three women who worked in NASA in 1961. At that time, NASA’s main mission was to send an astronaut to space (and beat the Russians to it). Also at that time, segregation was still prominent in Langley. So you’ll get to see the hidden brilliance of these women and their struggles just to get to equal.

I love this quote from the movie, from the conversation of Mary Jackson and Karl Zielinski (taken from IMDb)

Karl Zielinski: Mary, a person with an engineer’s mind should be an engineer. You can’t be a computer the rest of your life.

Mary Jackson: Mr. Zielinski, I’m a negro woman. I’m not gonna entertain the impossible.

Karl Zielinski: And I’m a Polish Jew whose parents died in a Nazi prison camp. Now I’m standing beneath a spaceship that’s going to carry an astronaut to the stars. I think we can say we are living the impossible. Let me ask you, if you were a white male, would you wish to be an engineer?

Mary Jackson: I wouldn’t have to. I’d already be one.

This conversation made me rethink of the notion of having privilege, the equal rights and access to education and chance to pursue your aspirations.

I love Katherine Johnson’s character (played by Taraji P. Henson). She is smart and she stood her grounds. She also made me wonder, had I known about her story at NASA when I was a child, would I dare to dream to work at NASA?

Which brings me to the topic of role model. I know I’m a dreamer and I always believe that I could do anything I want as long as I kept my focus on it. But I now I wonder, had there been a story of a female Asian immigrant who worked at NASA, would I then believe in the dream even more?

On Role Models

Astrid on Women in Data Science Panel
Astrid on Women in Data Science Panel

Earlier this month, I was invited to be on the panel of Women in Data Science as part of a global event from Stanford University. The event in Berlin was sponsored by SAP, February 3rd.

As I was on the panel with these wonderful women, Cindy Perscheid, Dr. Vedrana Högqvist-Tabor, Elena Poughia, Hajnalka Hejja, MD, Zwetana Penobscot (Lernox), I realized even more how important it is to have role models. Women you can connect with, who’ve taken that step first. Be it being a scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur.
And here’s why campaign like MAC Viva Glam x Taraji P. Henson is important.

On MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick and Lipglass
MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick and Lipglass

I know I’m partial whenever a cosmetic brand featured a women of color as the face of the campaign. And if you think “nope, this color would only fit women of color”, that’s basically how I felt looking at many beauty campaigns.

So yes, A huge part of it is because I can see better from the campaign how the color would look on me. And all praise to this new MAC Viva Glam color indeed!

It came in a lipstick and a lipglass format. Both have this beautiful casing color (love it when MAC didn’t do the normal black case for these campaigns). Here you can see both of them swatched.

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick and Lipglass Swatch
MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipglass and Lipstick Swatch

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipglass

I’ve to say I’m not a fan of MAC lipglass. They are too sticky for my liking and actually not a fan of gloss type to start with. Then why did I buy it? Well, the color is just gorgeous, and I kind of want to support the campaign in my own way. Besides, I figured I’d wear this format more in winter when my lips are dry anyways.

Wearing MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipglass
Astrid is Wearing MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipglass
It doesn’t spread evenly at first (as you can see in the swatch), but it is super pigmented, and the color stayed for a couple of hours even after the stickiness is gone. I’d totally recommend it if you don’t mind sticky lipglosses. 5/5 for colors, 3/5 for textures and overall feel.

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick

This is totally my color. It also seemed like they’ve improved the texture of the MAC matte lipsticks? This one doesn’t feel as thick as the previous matte lipsticks I have. It has the lighter texture like the retro matte, but not as drying. It has a very pleasant texture on the lips, doesn’t tug, stays on, and fades nicely on the lips. Total win. 5/5. I think I might have found another holy grail!

Wearing MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick
Wearing MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick

Comparing it with other colors on my stash, the color feels like it’s a love child between MAC All Fired Up and Flat Out Fabulous (both colors which I love). And on the plus point, the texture feels definitely better on the lips.

MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick Comparison Swatch
MAC Viva Glam Taraji P. Henson Lipstick Comparison Swatch

PS: Have you seen Hidden Figures already? I went to see it with the hubby, and I totally recommend seeing with anyone from both genders, especially ones with a penchant for science and engineering.

Related To This Article

Founder / Chief Everything Officer at twindly. Occasionally write on this blog about her beauty obsessions, mostly can be found designing and coding for the twindly application. Sometimes can be found pitching.


  1. Mmmm, sticky lip glosses and I have a love/hate relationship… They get stuck all over my hair but I love how moisturising they can be and this colour is so gorgeous. Makes brown eyes pop! And I totally agree on having role models, which, for me, means people I draw inspiration from. And I’d love to be a role model for someone one day too, probably (hopefully?) my children. As for the movie, we haven’t watched it, but seems like something hubby will enjoy, so I will definitely suggest. Thank you for the review, was really interesting to read 🙂

  2. Totally know what you meant with Lip glosses! I normally wear glasses on work day and I hate having sticky glosses on them transferred by my hair!

    I’m pretty sure you will be a good role model :). Most likely you already are, without even realizing it!

    Happy you enjoyed the review! Thank you for stopping by and commenting <3

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