MAC Cosmetics' Metaverse Debut Involves The Year's Must-Have Lipstick

Makeup that makes a difference.

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MAC model with keith haring viva glam lipsticks

Even now, it’s understandable if you find the Metaverse as confusing and foreign as an actual parallel universe. NFTs, avatars, virtual stores, and even virtual land ownership are about as confusing as it gets. If you’re just dipping your toe into the Metaverse or NFT world, it helps to have your explorations built around something familiar, something you already know and love. MAC Cosmetics’ Metaverse journey, combining the tangible, real-life makeup you love with limited-release digital NFT works by the late, great Keith Haring, is the perfect place to start — if you love beauty that is.

The combination of actual products you can wear with some accessible digital real estate makes it an ideal first foray into the Metaverse landscape — and the charitable component makes getting involved all the better. The VIVA GLAM x Keith Haring NFT collection features three different digital Keith Haring artworks, tiered by rarity and, as a result, price.

If you’re already a MAC-shopper, you’re probably familiar with VIVA GLAM, the give-back campaign that partners activist celebrities with the makeup brand to release a limited-edition lipstick, the proceeds of which go to HIV/AIDS programs. Since the program’s launch back in 1994, celebrated stars like Mary J. Blige, Miley Cyrus, Lil Kim, and Lady Gaga have raised a half-billion dollars for the cause, and Keith Haring, who himself died young of AIDS-related complications, honorifically serves as the program’s 27th ambassador — and its very first digital contributor, too.

“VIVA GLAM is as iconic to MAC as our lipsticks and as our relationship with technology evolves as a society, we must also expand how we fundraise for the campaign,” explains André Branch, MAC Cosmetics General Manager, North America, in a release. “This will be the first time in VIVA GLAM’s 27-year history that fans and supporters in the U.S. will be able to contribute to VIVA GLAM without buying a physical lipstick.” That’s right — the digital NFTs can be purchased with or without the lipstick, meaning you can build up your online art collection (and donate to HIV/AIDS funding and research) without having to add another cosmetic to your stash, either. However, the trio of lipsticks available as part of the collection and individually — and their signature Keith Haring packaging — is one you probably won’t want to miss.

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Up to 5,000 Keith Haring Red tokens are available for $25 each, which includes an animated illustration of red lipstick with Haring’s signature style. As the most widely-available option, it’s classified as “Rare” by MAC. On the next tier is Keith Haring Blue, of which 250 total pieces are available. Classified as “Exclusive”, the animated illustration of blue lipstick runs $150 and also includes a digital face chart for a Keith Haring-inspired makeup look. Finally, the highest level available is Keith Haring Yellow, classified as “Icon” status by MAC with only 25 total pieces available at $1,000 each. Not only does this come with an animated illustration of yellow lipstick but it includes a 30-minute personalized makeup consultation as well as the trio of Keith Haring-branded lipsticks. Unlike many NFTs, these digital works don’t require any sort of cryptocurrency to complete the transaction — a regular credit card or bank card works just fine.

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If you’re still not quite into the Metaverse thing, rest assured that you can buy all three limited-edition Keith Haring lipsticks on their own. Available in a bold red, blue, and yellow to match the digital artwork, they’re vibrant, portable forms of self-expression. “Keith Haring and MAC Cosmetics are really a perfect match,” says Gil Vazquez, Director of the Keith Haring Studio, in a release. “Both the artist and the brand have long stood for equal rights and self-expression for everybody. We are happy to team up with M·A·C to continue supporting a cause he cared about so deeply.” All primary sales from the NFT collection will be donated to the MAC VIVA GLAM Fund, while 2.5% of secondary sales go straight to The Keith Haring Foundation.

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