Aaliyah’s Brother Talks About the MAC Tribute Collab, Credits Her Fans With Protecting Her Legacy

Aaliyah at The Tonight Show With Jay Leno at NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif, on July 25, 2001
Aaliyah at The Tonight Show With Jay Leno at NBC Studios in Burbank, Calif, on July 25, 2001
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Nearly 17 years after her untimely death, the influence of the beloved singer and actress simply known as Aaliyah remains strong, a legacy her older brother, Rashad Haughton, attributes to her still-loyal fan base.


“My sister’s fans are so lovely and respectful,” he recently told Vogue. “But if they see something that is not approved by [the family], they attack it. They are very protective of my sister, which is heartwarming.”

Fans who weren’t aware that MAC’s upcoming limited-edition line in tribute to Aaliyah was co-created by Haughton were certainly concerned; an earlier post we published about the collection had a few up in arms about possible exploitation of the star’s legacy.

But the collection—which was started thanks to an online petition—was not only created with the cooperation of Aaliyah’s family, but big brother Haughton used his late sister’s actual makeup for MAC to build the collection around.

“My mother has these storage units that she always talks about trying to downsize ... She actually has my sister’s makeup, her lipsticks [in there] still,” he said. “We were able to grab them and show them to MAC.”

Many of the resulting shades are named around some of Aaliyah’s hit songs and nickname, including the questionably named eye shadow palette Age Ain’t Nothing, a matte lipstick called Try Again and a bronzing powder named Baby Girl. “That was her nickname,” Haughton told Vogue. “She always dreamed of having her own makeup line, and we wanted it to feel familiar but also be able to move into the future, because she was always so revolutionary with her looks.”

The Glow Up tip: MAC x Aaliyah will be available on the MAC website on June 20 and in select stores June 21.

Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?