Celeb makeup artist, Sam Fine, was called "The go-to makeup master for women of color" by Vogue. Upon hearing that, I knew this would be the man to talk to about any of my makeup worries. Oh, did you think I didn't have any makeup issues because I'm a beauty blogger? Let me back up for a minute... there's 2 things you may or may not know about me already from this blog.
1. I come from a mixed ethnic background. I may look like your average brunette "white girl", but I'm actually half black. I'm not going to spend time being politically correct here. My mom is Oprah-black. Obviously Ilook a bit more like my dad in complexion, but my exotic features have become somewhat of adisability in trying to find makeup shades that match my skin. I've had many a makeup artist make me look ghostly pale because they use the wrong colors on my skin. Which brings me to...
2. I'm not a basher-blogger, so you generally only hear about the products that make me happy on this blog. I usually don't tell you about the botched makeup and hair jobs that I've had, because I'm trying to keep it upbeat. But TRUST ME... I've spent many an evening bitching to my blogger pals about makeup artists who have made me look like a mess.
So now that that's covered, when I was introduced to the genius that is Sam Fine the other night, can you think of the one and only question I asked him? That's right, I asked, not quite as eloquently as I've written here, why so many makeup artists use the wrong makeup shades on me. So it was there, in the middle of the Duane Reade "Beauty Look" department in Herald Square, that a world-renowned makeup artist solved some mysteries for me. The first thing that I need to do when having my makeup done is to take control of the situation. If you have a big mouth like I do, there's no reason to clam up around a hair or makeup artist just because they're a professional. So if I see a makeup artist reaching for the bottle of "fair" face powder, as I have so many times, I can speak up and tell them that I have olive undertones to my skin so they might need to go darker. Apparently Vanessa Williams has the same issue as me! At least I'm in good company.
Another issue for "mixed" girls is the range of shades that are out there. Sam recommended a line like Becca cosmetics, that has a wide range of shades that would suit my needs. He also spent time with me showing me what parts of my body I should use to match my makeup shades. It is typical for people to try makeup on the back of their hand in a store to find the right shade, but that's not always the best place for everyone. Sam recommended, for me personally, to try to match my foundation shade to my forehead or my clavicle region.
Besides the fact that I found Sam Fine completely and utterly fabulous, I was happy to spend time in one of my fave places: Duane Reade. Since the party was held upstairs in the Duane Reade Beauty Look department, guests were given $25 gift certificates to run rampant about the store, testing their new-found beauty knowledge. At this Duane Reade they have all their regular drugstore brand makeup, but they also carry higher end lines that you wouldn't normally see in a drugstore like Becca, Pur Minerals, Vichy, La Roche-Posay, Talika, Iman, and many others.
I can't wait to try my new beauty tricks, and to pick Sam's brain more on people's makeup issues. Feel free to tell me your makeup woes, via comment on the blog, twitter, facebook, or email. I can't be the only one to have my problems solved, can I? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.