Women of Color

From tawny to deepest blue brown there's a world of difference among the shades. No matter what shade you are your skin needs care and protection. Dark pigmentation protects against some sun-induced damage and stays wrinkle free longer, however scarring, and irritation is more prominent. Use an alpha hydroxy product such as gycolic acid and salicilic acid to regularly remove dead skin cells, lighten brown spots, freckling and give the skin a more vibrant color. No matter what, use sunblock.

A few suggestions in specialty skin care are: Brazilian Peel by Advanced Home Care Home Actives at Sephora.com
. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formla Skin Therapy Oil at food, drug and mass stores nationwide and www.Palmers.com, Go Clear 3-Step Acne and Blemish Regimen at Sephora.com
is unique in that the products in the line are oil-free and allergy-tested and do not contain common skin-irritating ingredients, including benzoyl peroxide, alcohol, propylene glycol, PABA, lanolin, artificial dyes, or fragrances. Formulated with healing botanical extracts and potent antioxidants, your skin will appear smoother and softer to the touch

specifically created for multi-hued skin tones, Specific beauty skin care products at www.specificbeauty.com with a full regimen from Exfoliating Cleansing Cloths to Skin Brightening Serum

Match your foundation to your skin tone. I got my hands on several makeup lines for women of color and have been testing them as I teach a Women of Color class to up and coming makeup artists. With excellent choices in foundation, concealers powders and color, definitely check out, Black Opal, CoverGirl Queen Collection, and Mary Kay. Another newer line out comes from Makeup Designory. This innovative line once sold exclusively at their schools in New York and LA. Now their makeup collections are available nationwide. Using any of these brands, set your makeup with translucent powder or a powder one shade lighter then your skin tone. Use an oil free liquid, cream to powder or dual finish powder foundation.

Go for contour rather than cheek color for blush. Keep blush soft, and neutral. Vibrant color lips are beautiful as well as soft gloss tones, so keep several lipsticks in your makeup bag. I'm a fan of neutral or matching lip pencils especially long
wearing ones. Estee Lauder and Mally Beauty are a few brands. Also do check out OCC Lip Tars.

FACEatelier www.faceatelier.com just came out with a Women of Color Collection and I got to see a demonstration and products last May in New York. Their Ultra Foundation needs no primer. The Long-lasting lightweight foundations are moisture and oil resistant with silicone as it's significant ingredient. These age neutral foundations applies in sheer to full coverage and are available in 5 new shades including HEAT a color adjuster and Zero +++, that well, you'll just have to see.

Just out from CoverGirl Queen Collection, Natural Hue Concealer matches skin tones well, and
goes on light- weight with it's own sponge tip applicator. In 4 shades. Natural Hue Compact Foundation is a liquid to powder formula that also helps to control shine. Queen Latifah had input in the line's creation and her fabulous complexion screams perfection! Yours will too. in 12 shades.
Rounding out the collection is CoverGirl Queen Collection Natural Hue Minerals Pressed Powder and Bronzer. The non-oily pressed powder comes in 6 shades from Light Bronze to Ebony, and the bronzer in 3 shades that provide shim
mer and controls shine.
Great coverage in a mixed bag of foundations and powders. Cover FX is available to test at Sephora stores and easily purchased at Sephora.com
. I use the Natural FX Water Based Liquid Foundation and Total Coverage Cream Foundation as an undereye concealer. With the addition of a little eye cream or silicone gel, it goes on and stays on. The coverage of the FX collection is great, and the shade assortment is the best I've seen. There are 30 shades in the Cream Foundation which is packed with a 30 SPF. The size of the packaging is generous and it's water resistant
I was surprised when I opened the box of Mary Kay Women of Color Collection. There was PLENTY to choose from including some very nice shadows and blush. The Shadows and blush came in "disk" form meaning you can take the color disk out of it's packaging and lay it in a Mary Kay palette. I used my new Z Palette with the clear top so I can see all my colors inside before opening the palette cover. Compared to my MAC, Bobbie Brown and Japonesque Palettes, the Z Palette is a breath of fresh air and much easier to lay out when I'm on a photo shoot. The Mary Kay shadows and blush are rich in color, apply with a smooth touch and look great on. Their new Mineral Powder Foundation in 12 shades and I haven't tried it but they say the foundation won't rub off on clothes. Dark makeup shades and light clothing still make me nervous! A brush is available with the mineral foundation, so if you don't have one, get one. The powder will go on better and the way it was designed to work. The Mineral Eye Color comes in 10 new shades this year, both matte and shimmery pearl like Copper Glow, White Lily, and Azure. The disks or "pans" fit into Mary Kay Compact and Mary Kay Compact Pro. Smaller compacts are perfect for the individual to drop in her purse or overnight bag and you can combine Mineral Cheek Color (in 10 shades) and eye shadows in the same case
Design Essentials Salon System a hair care company for women of all ethnicities and hair textures has launched a new line of hair products called Design Essentials Natural, a product line dedicated to providing hair care solutions for women flaunting their natural curls and coils. The suite of products is infused with a blend of natural butters and oils to maintain and style loose wavy to tightly coiled hair textures. These nourishing ingredients, such as Jojoba, Cocoa Butter and Almond Oil, help women maintain natural hair and reveal their hair’s natural beauty. www.DesignEssentials.com/Natural

Design Essentials Natural Hair Care System consists of:

Natural Curl Cleanser, a sulfate-free shampoo

Natural Moisturizing Conditioner, an emollient-rich moisturizing conditioner

Natural Daily Moisturizing Lotion, revitalizes dry curls and waves

Natural Defining Crème Gel, defines and separates curls of highly textured hair

Natural Curl Stretching Cream, moisturizing cream that smoothes and conditions textured hair

Back to more Women of Color Info.

Bronzer in gold tones are lovely and will give a pick me up on darker skin tones when applied to the cheek bones, jaw and down the center of the nose.

Blush: comes in creams, tints/stains and powders. A little blush will add brightness and sparkle to the cheeks. Start with a natural tone that if needed will give the face “structure” by lifting the cheekbones. A sweep of hi-light along the cheekbone will add to that. and also lift the eyes on the outside. Colors can be in deep berry, orange, rose, and tawny. Give that extra “pop” right on the apple of the cheek to finish the look if needed.

Stay away from orange tones. If your brows are very dark, think of lightening them. Otherwise, use a pencil or powder brow color in a shade lighter then your hair color and tame them with brow stay, hair gel or a drop of hairspray on a q'tip, brow comb, or finger. Think Senna, and Anastasia Beverly Hills for quality brands.

Eyes:  There are many primers usually made from silicone or polymer, on the market that will help keep the lid from creasing and smudging. You can also use foundation and powder on eyes that are less oily. Allow any eye cream to dry before applying primer or foundation. 

Powder shadows go on sheer and can have an opaque application when applied with a sponge tip applicator. Cream shadows and cream to powder, have a tendency to crease more on the lid. Be careful of shimmer shadows. They can cause fine lines to show up more and applied in the crease can give the illusion of a puffy eye. I like to use a matte shadow in the crease line to give the illusion of depth.

When using light shadows on very dark skins, try a warm tone like gold, pale yellow or pink rather than a cold true white. The white will come out looking ashy gray.

Contour shades should be darker than the skin tone. Nice hues are bronze, copper, berry, navy, eggplant and their variations. Bright colors look great around the eye lash base. When in doubt, look at the color of iris of the eye, and choose your color scheme from there.

Lashes come in flairs, singles, and a variety of strips that flatters the eyes. Start by curling the natural lashes and adding mascara.  Measure the strip first on the eye to ascertain if they need trimming. If they do, always trim from the outside. You can actually cut the strip in thirds for easier application starting at the inside beginning of the eye and working your way out; or add only the outer third for a flair and lift. 

Individuals: about 2 or 3 flairs can also be added to the outside of the eye for a lift. Glue comes in small jar for individual and a tube (white iridescent or dark) I tend to use Duo. The adhesive effect is not too strong and not so thin, that the lashes don’t stick to the lash base. Use a lash applicator or tweezers to help you hold on to the lash and apply. Tilt your wrist a bit so you apply them at an angle and not “laying them” on the lash base. While applying, lift the skin at the brow as the client looks down. As the glue dries and sets, push the skin slightly over the lash base. Add a gel or liquid liner on top. Squeeze the lashes a bit either with the tweezers, or with a curler. You can mascara again so the natural lashes stick to the false lashes but wait for the glue to dry. 

Liners come in pencil, liquid, gel and cream. Some are waterproof as in Mally Beauty, Makeup Forever Aqua Pencils and in gel liners, such as Lorac and Urban Decay among many. You can apply in one big swoop of the brush adding some thickness and lift to the upper lid, or using a small angle brush, make dashes across the eye line. I prefer waterproof pencil liner if you are going to line the inside top and bottom of the lids.  

Lipsticks/gloss;  So many, so little time. And that’s why I prefer the long wearing that comes with its own lip gloss. There is a plethora of textures, colors and stay-ability to choose from. Choose from, stains, gloss, sheers, satins, cream, long wearing and matte in colors from natural bare, orange, cherry, berry and ruby tones. Keep in mind the undertones of the lip color too. Liners these days come in long-wearing also. Decide if your makeup is balanced or if your eyes or cheeks are enough. Do you need a little more blush to pop the look?  Are your eyes strong enough or looking faded?

Give a last look, keep pressed powder or blot papers in your purse with gloss or lipstick and have a great day!

The makeup lines out are all beautiful. I've only touched on shades. Bring a hand mirror with you. Try colors on and go into the natural light with your mirror to check out the true shade. Remember try at least 3 foundation shades on your cheek or jawline, not your wrist or back of hand And enjoy experimenting with color both bold and soft.

Our young model Morgan O'Murray from Janelle Amella management ...photo by David Haskell

Brenda Drumm has a very nice blog full of more information for women of color. check out  makeupforblackwomen.com

Richie Fontenot photographed by Bernard Grant wearing Kett FIXX Foundation, using The Makeup Room brush kit. check out the newest beauty books Including Scott Barnes," About Face" ; Iman "The Beauty of Color" and "Style Eyes" by Taylor Chang-Babaian Just out August 2010.

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