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Hello Everyone!

My first blog entry was a wonderful success! Nothing could have prepared me for such an outpouring of encouragement from friends, family and fans, alike. Being able to share my life and career achievements is great; yet being able to communicate directly with the people that my artistry affects makes all the hard work and late night writing worth it.

November was a very busy month. In addition to working with longtime clients, Iman, Tyra, and Veronica Webb, I traveled to Atlanta to beautify a dear friend for her wedding day. I also made appearances for M•A•C Cosmetics in Chicago and Harlem respectively. And if all of that wasn't enough, I had to steal a moment to celebrate my 38th birthday and begin preparing for the holidays. Whew...

I can't believe the holiday season has snuck up on me again! With my family being scattered about (Chicago, Boston, Arizona), everyone decided to spend Thanksgiving with my eldest sister and her husband in Boston...well, almost everyone, that is. My sister in Arizona doesn't fly, so she and her husband, James were missed this year. That meant more food for me. [smile] And speaking of food, I couldn't wait to taste my mom's mac and cheese and devour many slices of German Chocolate Cake. I guess you know what my New Year's resolution will be. Hint: It involves a treadmill.

Well, I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was a good one and you didn't eat nearly as much as I did. In between celebrating Christmas and New Years, be sure to leave a few comments for me to review. I look forward to hearing what's up with you and chatting again as we enter 2008.

Even celebrities find time to leave comments and send well wishes!

As if the positive postings weren't enough, I was blown away to receive the sweetest voicemail message from Mo'Nique telling me how honored she was to be featured on my blog. I also received congratulatory emails from both Iman and Veronica Webb. Tyra even went so far as to post a gushing entry (yes, it was her) proclaiming her love for my blog. I never for a minute expect anything, so imagine my surprise after receiving such startling support from individuals I respect and admire.


Hangin' with the M•A•C Cosmetics crew during my recent Chicago appearance

Someone recently asked me what inspires me. I simply answered, "Teaching". Nothing brings me greater joy than teaching makeup classes. Being able to pass along my perspective on beauty for women of color to aspiring makeup artists, consumers and colleagues brings purpose and meaning to my life.

My first of two appearances for M•A•C Cosmetics was in Chicago. The M•A•C store on Oak Street was so wonderfully gracious to my muse, Marie and me. In fact, they gave me a welcoming gift of Frango mints! (If you know anything about Chicago, you'll know that Marshall Field's and Frango mints are synonymous. And although Marshall Field's has been renamed Macy's, the Frango legacy still lives on.)

Assistants, Sonia Rodriguez, Tim Harvey and me, ready to start the show during my M•A•C Cosmetics appearance in New York City

My second appearance was at M•A•C Cosmetics in Harlem. I accepted the appearance knowing that I'd be working on my birthday, but what better way to spend my 38th birthday than with people who love me? To thank the attendees for joining me on this special day, I started the show by giving them red velvet cupcakes from my favorite baker, Rodney Lovejones. Many bakers make red velvet cake, but his light, flavorful cupcakes paired with his flawless presentation separate him from all the rest!

Model and muse, Marie after the M•A•C Appearance

Full Coverage Foundation in NW50

Eye Brow Pen in Stud

#4 Lash in black

Plushlash in Plushblack

Lip Pencil in Chestnut

Lacquer in Varneesh
During each demonstration, I work on half the face, so attendees can remember what we started with and realize what we've created. I spend most of my time on foundation; once you've perfected the canvas, everything else just falls into place. I used Full Coverage Foundation because it's smooth-to-apply, easy - to - blend, emollient formula allows me to achieve the most flawless coverage. I also prefer créme formulas because they last longer... especially when I'm working on 14-hour commercials or 20-hour videos.

After foundation, powder and bronzer were applied, I turned my attention to the eyes and began drawing my signature brow with a brownish black Eyebrow Pen. Then, to add definition to the eye, I used soft shades of brown shadow instead of the obvious pencil liners that can smudge throughout the day. Lastly, I topped this look off with a #4 Lash. After applying the false lash, I fused it with Marie's natural lashes using Plushlash mascara; this extra step really makes them look as if they're her own.

Finally, using everyone's favorite Lip Pencil, I lined the mouth and applied a nude lipstick to conceal any discoloration on the lips. And no nude lip would be complete without a glossing of Laquer for a naturally glamorous finish.

Any true artist knows that one cosmetic line could never satisfy every cosmetic need, especially when most cosmetic lines aren't developed with women of color in mind. For that reason, I also used a few additional products during my M•A•C appearances.

To add warmth and color to cheeks, I adore NARS blush in Taj Mahal. This burnt orange shade is infused with flecks of gold, which make it must-have for any brown skinned woman. To add a bit of shimmer near the inner corner of the eye, I used a glitter liner from Lise Watier in Gold. This nifty liner comes in a wide variety of colors and allows me to apply glitter quickly and easily around the sensitive eye area. In addition to using Plushlash mascara, I turned to Chanel Sculpting Mascara Extreme Length to address Marie's bottom lashes (for more information on why I love this mascara, check me out applying to Veronica Webb below).


Speaking of special occasions, I recently had the pleasure of working with an old friend, Myra Hopson - Cornwell on her wedding day. Now, don't get any ideas; I don't normally do weddings. In fact, I almost wasn't available for Myra's big day. She asked me many months in advance, but because of my busy schedule, I can't always commit until the very last minute (which can really make a bride nervous). Well, the date was quickly approaching and she needed an answer, so I committed. Thank goodness no one called with a makeup emergency.

I always ask the bride for at least an hour and a half to do makeup. Because it was my first time working on Myra, I wanted to make sure that I captured her vision of what she had in mind for her wedding look. We began with tweezing her brows. I asked her not to tweeze for a while - which was sheer torture because she's always impeccably groomed - but this allowed me to "fine" tune her brows to perfection.

Afterwards, I applied créme foundation, powder and tons of bronzer. Forget blushing bride; I wanted this one to glow! Because weddings can last all day and long into the night, I used my favorite cream stick foundation from Black Opal and bronzers from Cargo. When playing up the eyes, I favor shades of vanilla and chocolate to add definition and always apply lots of individual lashes.

I've been called upon to beautify a variety of brides. Some request strong, red lips that look striking against a backdrop of pure white, or a pale nude shade, which looks equally elegant. Myra chose the latter and looked gorgeous with a golden nude shade from Christian Dior.
FYI: If you can't book me for your wedding and aren't familiar with a professional makeup artist, I often refer friends to M•A•C Cosmetics. Their artists are some of the most talented around. Not only are they highly skilled, they're also the most prepared to address the unique needs of women of color. So when time rolls around for you to walk down the aisle, visit your local M•A•C counter and schedule a consultation to insure winning results...then book your date and time. Just remember; I began my career behind the cosmetic counter, so you may meet a makeup star of tomorrow!


IMAN: Giving good face.

After working, with one of the most legendary models of our time for over a decade, Iman and I are still going strong. Our most recent collaboration was for a resort development in Anguilla named Rendezvous Bay. The photo spread was amazing!

While Oscar spent hours preparing hairpieces, I added layers of bronzing powders and blush. The talented photography team Laspata Decaro created sets with sand and concrete slabs to achieve an "under development" atmosphere. With hours of preparation, and plenty of hair changes too, this campaign will definitely be one to remember.

My favorite Iman Cosmetic products used to create this look are: Second to None Stick Foundation in Clay 2: This oil - free, silicone based formula is one of the lightest créme sticks on the market. Luxury Mineral Enriched Semi Loose Powder in Clay Medium Dark: This silky, mineral infused semi - loose powder will keep your complexion shine free, fresh and flawless. Luxury Blushing Powder in Sunlit Copper: These silky powder blushers provide true color with a natural looking, long-lasting finish. Perfect Lip Pencil in Espresso: A creamy texture lip liner that helps prevent feathering. And Luxury Lip Shimmer in Brownie; bringing high-shine gloss that moisturizes lips.

If you're searching for Iman Cosmetics, check out to find a location near you.


Iman Cosmetics is looking for talented, responsible, freelance artists for promotional events in the following cities:

    • Portsmouth, Virginia
    • Inglewood, California
    • Oakland, California
    • Mullins, South Carolina
    • San Francisco Area
    • St Louis, MO
    • Oak Park, Michigan
    • Detroit, Michigan
    • Flint, Michigan
    • Southfield, Michigan
    • West Palm Beach, Florida
    • Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Miami, Florida

If you think you've got what it takes, email 3 to 4 photographs of your work, along with your contact information to Good luck!


Speaking of great products, two new brands have been added to my makeup kit. The first is a gorgeous new line of glosses from celebrity makeup artist, A.J. Crimson. His brushes have touched the faces of Fergie, Amerie and most recently, Keyshia Cole on her recent Essence cover. He and partner, Keisha Whitaker (yes, as in Forest Whitaker's lovely wife) have launched a lip gloss line entitled Kissable Couture.

There aren't many cosmetic companies owned and operated by people of color, so be sure to show some love and check out the Kissable Couture website, or experience them firsthand by visiting Fred Segal in Los Angeles and Henri Bendel's in New York City.

After working together on Project Runway Canada, Iman thought Beau Nelson, Creative Director for Beaute' Cosmetcs, and I should meet. He recently moved to New York and was kind enough to attend my MAC Harlem seminar. As if his attendance wasn't enough, he graciously gave me the complete Luminous Volume Gloss Collection (all twelve shades) and the Essential Brush Set that would make any makeup artist smile. The case alone is worth having; it's a chic snakeskin clutch that could easily double as an evening bag. I can't wait to pull it out during one of my assignments.


I recently traveled to Las Vegas to work with Mo'Nique; I just love this woman! Aside from being the funniest woman in the world, Mo' has a heart of gold and really cares about the people who work for her. She was booked at Mandalay Bay for an evening of side-splitting humor, and as usual, she didn't disappoint.

When I do makeup for a show at a large venue, I always hear Patti LaBelle in my ear saying, "Paint me so the people in the cheap seats can see me". Well, that's exactly what Mo' got. Underneath heavy lights, contour and highlighting not only bring shape to the face, but help you to see the features of the face more clearly. Mo'Nique is definitely a beauty, and by the time I was finished painting her pretty face, she looked like a full-figured Janet Jackson. (Am I the only one who sees the resemblance?)

If your interested in highlighting and contouring your face, *start with loose powder one shade lighter than the one used to set your foundation. Apply it with a wedge sponge to the T-zone, the area that's always lighter; this is a guide for contouring other parts of your face as well. With your contour brush, sweep deeper shades of pressed powder under your cheekbones, down the sides of your nose, and near your hairline, for soft yet subtle shading. If you feel you've gone too far, and you look like a character in Cats, dust loose powder over any of these areas to soften the effect.
* As seen in Fine Beauty: Beauty Basics and Beyond for African - American Women


Supermodel Veronica Webb recently developed a jewelry line called In The Name of Love, and needed a few promotional photos. To our surprise, Ms. Webb walked in with a chic new bob haircut ala Louise Brooks. It became the focus of the photo shoot. She mentioned that she always wanted to have bangs but because of her fine, curly hair, everyone advised against it. Well, she showed them!

I'm aware that this is a beauty blog, but when I'm at work watching celebrity hairstylist, Oscar James workin' his magic, I just can't help but think that you'd want his secrets for getting beautiful, healthy hair.

Oscar began by applying a dollop of L'Oreal Studio Line Amped Up Mega Mousse to add volume and fullness to Veronica's fine, curly hair before dividing it into sections and roller brushing it dry.

Because Veronica doesn't have a relaxer, Oscar used an FHI Flat Iron with a 1" barrel to achieve long-lasting manageability before spraying a soft mist of Paul Mitchell Hold Me Tight Hairspray to keep each strand in place.

With Veronica having been the first African-American woman signed to a cosmetic contract, you'd think she'd love everything about makeup. Not true. Instead, she favors a more natural look; so I applied a bit of Black Opal as concealer. I also applied tons of L'Oreal Voluminous Waterproof Volume Building Mascara on the upper lashes and Chanel Sculpting Mascara Extreme Length on bottom lashes. (The brush is so tiny, I don't get mascara on the skin underneath the eye.) I finished up with Kevyn Aucoin, The Elegant Lipgloss in Molasses for a smooth, satiny finish.


March 8, 2008
A Fine Ladies Affair
Trinidad & Tobago

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December 2007
November 2007


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