Some beauty companies avoid talking about the ugly problems of the world at all costs, while some choose to tackle them.
Along with the glam era of the 1980s came the AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) epidemic. Celebrities were among the casualties of the disease.
The ’90s saw a growing awareness, openness and clarity about the issue. In 1994, the same year AIDS became the leading cause of death for all Americans ages 24 to 44, MAC Cosmetics produced the first and original Viva Glam I, an intense brownish blue-red shade supported by celebrity drag queen RuPaul.
It marked the beginning of MAC changing cosmetics history. One-hundred percent of Viva Glam lipstick and lipglass sales are devoted to the MAC Aids Fund (MAF)—the “heart and soul of MAC Cosmetics”—to fight HIV/AIDS.
Viva Glam campaigns have involved celebrity superstars such as Elton John, Mary J. Blige, Dita Von Teese, Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Martin, and, most recently, Nicki Minaj. Since 1994, it has raised US$300 million.
This year, in celebration of World AIDS Day on Dec. 1, MAC launched volunteering programs in different markets including Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, New Zealand and Malaysia.
MAC Philippines also partners with Positive Action Foundation Philippines Inc., a nonsectarian organization for the prevention, treatment, care and support for Filipinos with HIV. The two institutions formed Glam for Life, a three-year program which aims to improve the quality of the lives of infected Filipinos, assist their recovery and ingrain essential knowledge in infected individuals.
MAC also donated P1 million to Supertyphoon “Yolanda” survivors in the Visayas. An additional US$100,000 grant was committed to support Medicins San Frontiers and Mercy Corps for relief operations.