Friday, July 03, 2009

More Than a Pretty Face interviews Sam Fine, Part 1

Sam Fine, makeup artist extraordinaire

Some of my questions are based on your 1998 book Fine Beauty, in which you provide your life story. You had planned to become a fashion illustrator. You took a job at a cosmetics counter to supplement your income, and served as an assistant to makeup artists. Naomi Campbell provided you your first major break. You emphasized that your success is due to the many people who supported on your way to becoming the pre-eminent makeup artist that you are.

Fine Beauty by Sam Fine

I will also base my questions on the feature Sam’s Club in the May 2009 issue of Vogue.

1. There is no doubt that mainstream cosmetics lines have greatly expanded their options for women of African origin (I use this term, as “African-American” doesn’t seem to apply to women who were born and live outside the U.S.). Is there still a need for niche cosmetic lines? Is there anything that niche cosmetics line offer that mainstream cosmetics lines still don’t cover?

Niche brands tend to have better shade range and also products with higher pigment, which are what a woman of color truly needs.

2. Would you care to volunteer your thoughts about niche cosmetics lines? The least expensive that I can name are Zuri, Black Radiance, Astarte, and Posner. There’s also Queen Latifah’s Queen Collection for Cover Girl, Iman, Flori Roberts, Nacara (Canada), Fashion Fair, Sleek MakeUp (UK), and blackUp Paris.

I still use these brands on my clients - and probably always will. As I mentioned above, they not only provide great shade range but they also provide great coverage, such as Black Opal’s Flawless Concealer, Iman Cosmetics Eyeshadow in Tiger Eye, to name a few.

3. What do you think about mineral products such as sunscreen and mineral foundations for women of African origin? Many of these products are formulated with titanium oxide and zinc oxide, which can look ashen on darker skin tones. What alternatives do you recommend?

Women of color need more coverage than mineral makeup can really provide. Nevertheless, mineral makeup is great for women who are looking for lighter coverage.

4. What challenges do you face when doing makeup for Hi-Definition TV or other Hi-Def video?

You need to spend more time on skin – but I’m a perfectionist, and tend to spend a lot of time perfecting the skin to create a flawless canvas no matter the situation.

Continue to Part 2:

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