I was lucky enough to catch up with makeup genius Sam Fine recently as he helped CoverGirl introduce the new Natural Hue Concealer from Queen Latifah's QUEEN Collection (yep, he does her makeup for the ads!) The collection which includes pressed powder and bronzer, should be arriving in stores now.
So... as I was saying last month, Sam was giving a demonstration for makeup pros at the MAC store in Harlem. Even though the primary focus was getting tips that would be relevant in pictures and on television, many of Sam's tips can still translate to an off-camera life.
Nichelle: Concealer can be tricky. What is the best way to apply it?
Sam: I always apply it with my fingers
because it's very heavy - I always think 'spackle to paint'. I rarely use primer because it can change
the color and the effect, so I just take my time with the concealer and eventually the foundation. You have to blend, blend blend. When I apply foundation, I
use a sponge because it helps regulate the product. If you make a
mistake with the makeup - it looks ashy or if it's clearly the wrong
color - take it off. It can look lighter - but not ashy.
Nichelle: What's the best way to handle wearing foundation when you have a breakout? Sam:What do you normally use? Liquid foundation? Nichelle: Yes.
Sam: Most women do for day to day, but a breakout is the time to go for full coverage. Just use a cream foundation directly on the problem area, but use your normal liquid foundation on the rest of your face.
I would like to know what is the best way to create a shape for your brows and which color to choose if you have dark hair? I see that you normally use a light brown eye brow color but I look washed out from that one.
Sam Fine: There's no need to bleach if you don't want to. After your brow is shaped, brush the brows upwards and then trim any remaining hairs with cuticle scissors. You can finish with a clear brow gel.
If you are interested in bleaching your brows (Sam likesSally Hansenand Jolen) here are the steps:
1. Mix the cream according to package instructions and leave the bleach on your eyebrows for a minute or two before checking to find out if your brows have lifted in color.
2. If they haven't begun to lift yet or if you want them a few shades lighter, then simply reapply the bleach you removed and repeat until you achieve the desired color.
Bleaching can provide a color that ranges from warm chestnut to reddish blond. If you find that you've made your brows lighter than intended, you can always darken them with an eyeshadow, pencil or brown mascara until the color begins to grow out.
My beauty blogger pal Avin of 99 Productsemailed back within ten milli-seconds! She was not playing:
I love Sam and of
course I have a question! I would love to know if he would share his
favorite trend for the holiday season. I know that a lot of my
homegirls are starting to think about corporate functions and other
holiday get togethers and they have all expressed and interest in color
this year. So, what does he feel is this years best trend and does he
have any application tips or techniques he would be willing to share.
Don't forget to tell him how much I love his work and how unbelievable Ms. Tia Williams looked after his makeover. In fact, I went out and bought MAC Honey Flower lipstick the very next day. I never leave home without it.
Sam Fine:As far as tips and techniques, stay away from anything that makes you uncomfortable. If you're not sure about using metallic eyeshadow for instance, go to lipstick. You can do red lips or a deep burgundy and you'll be fine. Bronzer is another great thing to try. It goes a long way, especially on brown skin whether it's light, medium or dark. You don't have to follow every trend.
I've been acquainted with Sam for some time now but this is the first time that I have interviewed him - however briefly. This was not a typical Q&A and that is why it is in two parts. It was a MAC Pro event for professional makeup artists only at the MAC store on Harlem's immortal 125th street. It was also Sam's birthday and he served red velvet cupcakes to everyone!
Okay - they're not the greatest shots - but it's hard to snap pictures and eat! You know how I feel about red velvet cupcakes.
Sam has also worked his magic on just about every beautiful black woman you can name in Hollywood and fashion, from Gabrielle Union (he did her Neutrogena commercial) to Veronica Webb (her groundbreaking Revlon ads) to Mary J. Blige (just about all of her Essence covers) and on and on and on!
Look at the magic he worked on Mo’Nique for her infamous, instantly legendary “Beyonce-ish” performance on The BET Awards.
His friend Vanessa Williams has been a client for years. He recently did her for the Emmy Awards (Sam took the shot below as she departed for the ceremonies).
And will you look at this!
That's Vanessa and her oldest daughter Melanie at the SAG Awards in the first picture and her middle daughter Jillian in the next shot heading to her Senior Prom - Sam "bronzified" her for the occasion. Check his blog for the details.
For the presentation, Sam didn't hold anything back. He gave up product names and everything - none of this, Uh, I don't remember.. I think I picked that up in Paris stuff. Although it was a MAC event, he used products from other lines since it was a pro session. His model was Marie Powell. I'll bet you recognize her.
I know she does this with Sam all the time, but Marie was really a good sport. Very patient with all kinds of camera phones in her face and lots of "Over here, please!"
Naturally, I was full of questions for Sam. However, I only had about 5 minutes to talk to him before the presentation (Erin of Scandalous Beauty was also in the house - all the way from Maryland!) so I had to get creative. I decided to ask two of my fellow makeup junkies if they had any questions for Sam. Silly me, of course they did!
Part 2 (tomorrow!) will be the actual Q&A along with the products and techniques Sam used on Marie.