Hong Kong

Meet VIVA GLAM Ambassador Amena

How long have you been working as a makeup artist?
I actually worked in the music industry for about 12 years before working for M·A·C. At that time I was probably in a M·A·C store about twice a week, every week. It didn’t matter how successful I was in the music industry — there was nothing cooler than a M·A·C artist.

When did you start working for M·A·C?
I left the entertainment industry and started a family, and when my little boy was old enough, I got a part-time job at M·A·C Times Square. I wanted to be with the company so badly that I took a position as a cashier. I had no makeup artist experience other than doing my own and my friends’ makeup. I have to say, it was a huge humble pill that I swallowed.

Amena Aziz

How did you become involved in the M·A·C AIDS Fund?
I got involved within one month of working at M·A·C. I always wanted to work for a company that gave back. It’s important for me to do something I love and I’m passionate about, but at the same time, I need it to be meaningful. Through makeup, we help people feel great about themselves — whether it’s the women who walk through the door having a bad day, or individuals living with or affected by HIV.

What is a VIVA GLAM Ambassador?
VIVA GLAM Ambassadors are cheerleaders for the program in their store. They help motivate sales and encourage and organize participation in M·A·C AIDS Fund events.

What is your involvement with the program?
I serve as a regional VIVA GLAM Ambassador with responsibility to motivate store ambassadors from 14 locations. Every few months we meet to educate new ambassadors about the M·A·C AIDS Fund, to talk about successes and to share why they chose to be a VIVA GLAM Ambassador. It’s great because I can touch more people.

What impact do you think the VIVA GLAM program has on customers?
It’s really fantastic when you are showing customers all these beautiful lipsticks, and you share with them what the lipstick actually does for the cause. The celebrity spokespeople for VIVA GLAM lipsticks help younger generations connect. I can’t even tell you the success we had with Rihanna. It was the first time I had ever seen a line out to the corner for a M·A·C product.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Helping people build self-confidence, whether it’s my staff or working a M·A·C AIDS Fund event where we boost the spirits of HIV-positive women, many of whom would never walk into a M·A·C store. We’re able to help them transform in a way that makes them feel confident and not embarrassed by the physical side effects produced by various AIDS medicines. It’s a really beautiful thing.
I also appreciate that my family gets to participate with me in M·A·C AIDS Fund events. We have done the AIDS Walk for five years. It has become part of our family tradition.

What is your definition of beauty?
I think beauty is how someone behaves when no one is really looking and they have nothing to gain from what they are doing. At the end of the day what makes someone beautiful is how you behave, how you treat others, how you respond to things. One lipstick at a time.

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