Last week I attended an event where bloggers were introduced to the Master of Makeup - Mr. Sam Fine. For all of you beauty buffs, you probably already know all about this Chicago native who's painted the faces of just about every BG in entertainment. From Vanessa Williams to Gabrielle Union, Sam has beautified them all.
After penning a best-selling makeup book, "Fine Beauty," nearly 10 years ago, he now has a DVD, The Basics of Beauty, where he divulges all of his tips and techniques in a fun, easy step-by-step guide. The DVD, which will be available next month shows viewers how to apply a full face of makeup from beginning to end. If you've ever wondered how to get his signature bronzy glow, or perfectly arched brow, this DVD is for you!
In the meantime, check out our Q&A: (Thanks to those readers who provided me with questions to ask. I couldn't ask them all, but I appreciate your feedback)
BGG (Philly0309): What’s the key to achieving the perfect nude lip for African-American women?
Sam Fine: Great question! Because nude is kinda of hard for us to achieve, it’s important for us to use 3 products: liner (a dark brown liner 2 shades darker than your complexion), lipstick in a consistent shade. MAC has a good shade, as well as Yves St. Laurent and Francois Nars. Because I don’t know her complexion…
BGG: She said that she uses Bobbi Brown foundation in Honey.
SF: Ok, so any of those lines will work. I can’t think of a name of lipstick because I chop mine up and put them into a little box. MAC has a collection that’s highly pigmented, which works really well. Each of those three brands (MAC, YSL and Nars) has great consistency that will cover the color of her lip. Finally, top that off with a gloss! Dior is one of my favorites because it also has great consistency and has a really nice shimmer to it, which adds dimension to the very nude lip color. If she finds that she has too much of a varying skin-tone or that her lips are darker than her skin-tone, she should use a little bit of concealer on her mouth first and then blot. This will help achieve the color that she sees in the tube and will make it go on more consistently to get that great sexy nude shade.
BGG (Andycne): What are the three "must-have" products for every woman's make-up bag?
SF: For every woman those three products are going to be different! Each woman has such different basics. However, three products that every woman is going to need are: a pressed powder or a loose powder, which helps to alleviate shine and makes the complexion appear more consistent in color and texture. Even if you’re not wearing foundation, you should be using powder. Mascara is something that always adds instant attention to the eyes in a very natural way. You can lick your lips! (laughing) So I would say bronzer would be the third item. Bronzer can help the skin to glow. I know it may seem like two powders, but one will help make your skin seem more consistent in color and texture, while the bronzer will add a bit of glow and luminescence to the complexion; so the two of those together are really fun products for me. Top that off with mascara, I think that makes for a natural, basic look for any woman no matter her (specific) needs.
BGG: (Rebee): What would you recommend for combating oily skin? Blotting papers or mattifying makeup?
SF: Both and all of the above! There should be one more: mattifying solutions or primers. You just have to be careful with primers because they can change the color of your foundation.
BGG: I’ve never been clear on what primers are exactly. Please explain.
SF: I don’t use them because I use powders and foundation. For me, primers help for products to grab stronger and to stay on longer. So primers can work…there are eye shadow primers and skin primers. Laura Mercier, Urban Decay and Smashbox make good ones. These are the ones that I’ve heard great things about. If you want to have your makeup last a bit longer, try some of these primers, but just remember that your makeup may change just a bit because they (primers) do have a color to them and sometimes it may change the color of your foundation, but it is a great option.
Just a few examples of his work.
BGG: (S. Bailey): What tips do you have for minimizing creases in eyelids for smoother eye shadow application/coverage?
SF: Same thing, primer. Also, if you’re going to use a bit of foundation on the eyelid, like I did on the makeovers on the DVD, I just use a bit of what’s left on the foundation sponge because you aren’t trying to cover the color of the eyelid, you just want a little bit of grab. You just want it to be a little suppler so that when you apply eye shadow it will cling more easily. You shouldn’t be applying a ton of foundation to the eyelid anyway because it folds naturally so it’s going to crease. Even if you’re not wearing any eye shadow just take a loose powder and go over your eyelids, but try not to use a lot of product in that area or any area that naturally creases. So once again eyelid primers would help.
Are you a fan of mineral makeup?
SF: NO! I think mineral makeup is nice if you want a sheer look and don’t require much coverage whatsoever.
BGG: So basically it’s for women with nearly perfect skin?
SF: Basically it is powder with a little bit of shimmer. I think we’ve been misled thinking that these products are offering this wonderful coverage without wearing anything at all, which is so untrue! So where does the coverage from? How do you highlight under your eyes? How do you find the perfect color? You’re talking about a powder that has shimmer in it. So if it has shimmer to it and you’re saying that you have texture on your skin, it’s going to bring a little bit more texture because it shines. I think if you use it on top of your foundation in certain areas…you know I really think it is hope in a bottle. I don’t know many of my sisters who are thrilled with these products. There’s no build-ability to products like that. You can’t layer on more powder to get more coverage. No powder will ever give you the coverage that foundation or concealers are going to provide. With women of color, you’re going to have to use some type of foundation due to the varying complexions; I don’t care what level of sheer it provides, whether it’s a tinted moisturizer or a cream-to-powder, it’s going to look better than one kind of product (mineral makeup) that seems so simple.
What do you enjoy working on the most on a woman’s face?
SF: It depends on who it is. Every feature is different. For example when I’m done using powder and foundation on Iman, I just am in awe of her bone structure, but I don’t stop right there. I still go for a strong eye, a nude lip and sometimes even a dark mouth. The great thing about working with celebrities and models is that you get to switch it up; that’s the fun of makeup. After working with Vanessa Williams for over 16 years, if I loved to do her eyes, I’d kind of be over them by now! (Laughing) So you have to switch it up. You can’t be afraid to pay attention to another feature. Even if you know that your eyes are your favorite feature to play up, sometimes you have to give attention to the lip because it can totally change the whole statement and shape of the face.
What do you think is the biggest beauty misconception that women of color have when it comes to makeup?
SF: That makeup is going to make them look fake and that they're not going to look like themselves. We tend to think that makeup is going to look like it did in the 1970s or 1980s when we were just getting into makeup. Back then it was all about color and seeing makeup…strips of blush, ruby red lips, disco eyes, lashes and gloss. But really it has changed so much, if you look at J. Lo, Beyonce, Vanessa Williams, Queen Latifah, and Halle Berry, these women have on makeup – don’t be fooled! They’re enhancing their natural beauty. It’s only what you make of it. If you want great coverage you can have it, if you want to play up your eyes in a subtle, sexy way, you can have that too. Stop thinking that wearing makeup is going to make you look fake or something that you’re not. It’s going to make you look more of what you are and that’s more beautiful!
Are you looking forward to his new DVD? Have you read his book, "Fine Beauty?" Click here to check out more of his work.
**The winners of the Revlon Lashes are: Whit and Chrissy! Congrats! Please email me your mailing addresses. :-)