VIBE Magazine…R.I.P. print | Welcome Digital

20140423-152306.jpgWritten by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc
I believe the year was 1992. VIBE Magazine was THE hottest magazine in the music business to read outside of Spin Magazine, Interview, The Source and Billboard Magazine that dealt mostly with music charts, statistics and interviews with musicians thrown in for good measure.

But, VIBE? VIBE was a fresh unique voice for music aficionados and industry people as well as for the music loving general public. Not to mention having the #1 charting Rap Group member on the premier cover! VIBE Magazine was becoming a voice for many forms of artistry. VIBE Magazine was becoming the voice of a culture, a youth music based popular music and fashion magazine.

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The magazines founder and creator Mr. Quincy Jones (one of my former clients) best known as a Mega Music Producer, Musician, Grammy Winner, Film Scoring Musician, Entrepreneur had now found his hand in another venture…publishing…VIBE Magazine!

VOGUE is considered the bible of the fashion world, yet it missed a whole chapter, a vibe, a flavor, the real a pulse. The void that the real culture in America, the culture that was walking down the streets of NY everyday, the culture that had a style, sound and look! They only caught snippets of it but, the vault was now open and the treasures about to be shared worldwide .

This cover was the real game changer for Mary J. Blige. Word on the streets after this cover and layout was “Yo, Mary is looking riiiiight! Yo for real!” People hadn’t seen Mary in this way…she was blossoming, no sunglasses, no combat boots or caps. She is now a full grown woman and this was her 3rd album “Share My World”…this was new, the new Mary J.

Mary J Blige game changing cover.

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Everyone has their own personal soundtrack to their lives and guaranteed VIBE Magazine was part of the reason the music flowed. The streets of NY have a sound, a look and people that shape the cityscape. As I’m bustling down the street to my next meeting (the schedule had me go from a meeting about my next tour dates to meeting several magazine editors).

I enter the building that houses VIBE Magazine. You feel something different in this office building. I looked around and there is this eclectic mix of people (myself included)waiting in the lobby for the elevator. Some wearing pin striped suits, others wearing soul fro’s and others wearing hoodies and tims! This is a reflection of city living.

As you ride up in the elevator it’s not your usual elevator music! Shoot! Jamiroqui, Total, Blackstreet, Maxwell, Das FX, Bjork, Groove Theory, Angie Stone, D’Angelo, Fiona Apple,Soul For Real, TLC, even Biggie Smalls on any occasion. What happened to the usual Frank Sinatra playlist? Mmmmmm get ready, your stop is next.

Lil’ Kim photo the billboard as you entered the offices of VIBE Magazine.

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As you step off the elevator it’s like you’re in Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean video where the floor suddenly lights up with his energy. To your left is this huge backlit billboard of the latest photo of Lil’ Kim, and in front of you behind the reception desk is an enormous montage of VIBE covers (at least 7 of them were my covers). Music is everywhere on this floor. Some of the people on that elevator are now at the front desk awaiting their appointment.

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You look to the right and there’s the reception waiting area. This waiting area has a huge coffee table centred in giant fresh cut flowers and covered in the previous and current issues of the magazine. A video monitor that just so happens to be playing Mary J. Blige’s song “Happy”. Mmmm just how I was feeling. It was because I was about to go into a meeting with the new Editor In Chief about the next photo shoot, the addition of VIBE Vixen, the next cover shoot in my new position as CONTRIBUTING BEAUTY EDITOR!! Yessss!

HERES A LIL BACK STORY ON MY HIRING AS CONTRIBUTING BEAUTY EDITOR:
This particular photo shoot opened up a whole new door for the magazine. The magazines first ever “Beauty Pages”! This had not been done before at least not in a popular music magazine forum. The man and my friend/colleague Emil Wilbikin had a vision as the then Fashion Editor of the magazine. He presented something new to the powers that be and they went for it!!! Of course only as experimental but, they went for it.

This spread at the time was THE most talked about thing next to who’s album was going to be double platinum and who was going to be the next Grammy winners that year. The shoot took place in the dead of winter I recall and the photographer was Theirry LeGous (who eventually published a beauty book using these pics, he said he adored the Makeup and everything about this shoot).

We were quickly headed to the year 1996 and people were still buzzing about this layout. EMIL called me, he was no longer Fashion Editor but was now…THE Editor In Cheif of VIBE Magazine and wanted Super Model IMAN and I as his Contributing Beauty Editors for VIBE. I worked with the magazine for 5 years and worked on the most noted covers during my time there.

So here are the pictures that started it all.

Photographer: Theirry LeGous
Fashion Editor: Emil Wilbikin
Hair Stylist: Michael Bodai
Makeup Artist: NZINGHA

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The original photo taken by Theirry of model Celia was recreated for Brandy on her cover for the annual Sexy Issue.

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Fast foreword…I’m in the waiting area at VIBE Magazing about to go into that meeting with Emil we talked about 4 spreads that he’d had in mind and wanted my input. All were fashion and story driven. And one would sadly out of the murder of Biggie Smalls become one of our covers. The other would ironically be a cover shoot with Lil’ Kim.

This was one of VIBE’s first Fashion Spreads. The concept of color was taken from the then colorful Apple iBooks…rember those?!

Photographer: Daniel Garriga
Stylist: Emil Wilbekin
Makeup Artist: NZINGHA

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This was part of a hip hop fashion movie story featuring the films of director Alfred Hitchcock. Headlining the story as Alfred Hitchcock is Biggie Smalls, Foxy Brown, Monifah, Kenny Latimore and Monica and a few others. This photo of Biggie would later be the cover of the magazine as our tribute to the now late Artist.

Photographer: Guy Aroch
Stylist: Emil Wilbekin
Grooming: NZINGHA

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This next shoot was intended to be a two fold shoot for Lil’ Kim and was actually a two part CD package shoot (we shot the day before for the record label, which wound up being picked for the cover of INTERVIEW Magazine and then the next day for VIBE). No one had seen or will ever see Kim like this before its truly a classic.

Photographer: David LaChappelle
Stylist: Patti Wilson
Makeup: NZINGHA

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Years later we’d see the original photo taken by LaChappelle of Kim would be recreated with Nicki Minaj. To me emulation is the highest form of flattery.

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Now all the players that made VIBE Magazine percolate were pretty hot and celebrity status themselves in their respected field. But each person had their finger on the pulse of the next latest and greatest thing that would define the era we now call “the 90’s”. These people were the real INFLUENCERS of that era and certainly left and indelible mark in fashion, social culture and music history.

Emil had a lot of people on that Hit List of mover’s and shakers in the music industry glad to have been part of first “HIT MAKER’s” list ;-* That list reads like a serious who’s who to the game. Names; Russell Simmons, Kimora Lee Simmons, Queen Latifah, Kedar Massenburg, Brooke Shields, Dah Len, Miguel Baguer, Alek Wek, Patti Wilson, Misa Hylton Brimm, Brandy, Lil’ Kim, Puffy, yours truly and many more!

The headline for these next 3 pictures reads: “Pop culture guru Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone would be world famous for 15 minutes. So in true hip hop style we sampled Mr. Warhol’s idea of shooting Polaroids of his Famous Factory Friends. Check out VIBE’s Remix.

Photographer: Caroline Torem-Craig”

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Some of the Legendary Staff and Friends at VIBE Magazine.
Emil Wilbekin
Mimi Valdes
George Pitts
Memsor Amorake
Sonya Magette
Michaela Angela Davis
Misa Hylton Brimm
Patti Wilson
Carlton Estillo Jones
June Ambrose
Susan Moses
Michael Bodai
Chuckie Amos
Dionne Alexander

Some of the Legendary Photographers I worked with while working on the numerous shoots for VIBE Magazine.
Barron Claiborne
Theirry LeGous
Dana Lixenberg
Terry Richardson
Christian Witkin
Melodie McDaniel
Marc Baptiste
Ruven Afanador
Taryn Simon
David Lachapelle
Stephane Sednaoui
Dah Len
Michael Thompson
Ellen von Unwerth
Robert Maxwell
Cleo Sullivan
Larry Sultan
Bruce Weber
Norman Watson
Jonathan Mannion
Albert Watson
Daniela Federici
Sacha Waldman
Guy Aroch
Tony Ward
Shawn Mortensen
Hype Williams
Alexei Hay
Walter Chin
Eddie Guy
Andrew Dosunmu

💗Anyone I’ve missed on this list know my heart and forgive my mind sending all much love and light.💗

http://www.vibe.com/

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https://www.linkedin.com/company/vibe-media?_mSplash=1

http://m.youtube.com/user/VibeMagazine

http://www.vibevixen.com/

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Why we 💗 Whitney Houston

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC, nyc

My hands were literally shaking while uploading these photos of Whitney Houston. Why?…because I realized I had missed Whitney’s light in the world. I missed her voice in the world and that R&B had literally tanked after her passing. I think many in the industry have suffered a depression in losing her voice in R&B so they’ve been mourning, grieving the loss and in shock.

I’m shaken in knowing like Michael Jackson we will not see her again. I was shaken because purely selfish reasons, perhaps I should’ve taken that project to do Whitney’s makeup in a dear colleage’s absence when it was offered to me (Roxanna Floyd her Makeup Artist). I knew Whitney only in passing in the industry and had spoken briefly with her on several occasions. She was incredible!!!

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*Artist Spotlight | Sharon Gault Mama Makeup

20140408-082839.jpgWritten by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

It was last year (2013) April at IMATS (International Makeup Artists Trade Show) that I’d first met Sharon Gault aka Mama Makeup. We’d know of each other for many years as she and I both have worked with world renowned photographer David LaChappelle over the years (very few MUA’s get that opportunity because his “family” is tight knit). I was with a friend of mine while passing through the myriad of vendor booths and standing quietly at the RCMA booth, I saw the profile of one fire red head diminutive girl speaking with an older man. I immediately knew who she was,…it was indeed Sharon!

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I walked over to her and said “Hi Sharon, I’m NZINGHA.” Immediately she hugged me ,”NZINGHA! OMG! For real, finally I get to meet you! I’ve heard so much about you!” We hugged and giggled like two little girls in a candy store. “Sharon I’m so happy to meet you too! I looked and instantly knew it was you! How are you muffins?! How’s David doing? Tell him I said hi!”

We talked for quite a bit before I was able to introduce her to my friend who was with me shopping and enjoying the show. Sharon immediately introduced me to the makers of RCMA cosmetics and we all chatted. She and I immediately found a place to sit down and chat for about an hour! We spoke to each other with no reservation and telling our life stories to each other. It was truly a sister bonding moment, like we’ve known each other for years. And in a way we have…through our art.

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I wanted to talk with Sharon forever it was such a joy. Her presence is warm and fuzzy yet powerhouse all rolled into one. We talked about everything but makeup!!! Hahaaaahaa! We mostly talked about life in the fast lane of life and family.

As I looked at her I thought what a doll baby, how could anyone treat her with malice or cruelty. I recalled briefly in my mind her time on tour with Madonna and the ugly behaviour Madonna displayed in the film “Truth or Dare” and I thought about Sharon “You can’t stop a great woman from being who she is destined to be!!!” Sharon moved past Madonna and anyone or anything else that may have appeared to be an obstacle! “Team Mama Makeup” all the way!!!

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I also recalled many years back while I was on tour with Janet Jackson, as the tour was coming to a close I got a call from someone telling me about Madonna’s tour and her looking for a Makeup Artist, I’d been referred.

After seeing that Truth or Dare all I could think of was “not gonna work for any amount of $$$” my West Indian self and her…”Nah man, mi a haffa go beat her pon she head, mi no take tea fa di feva, she come bruk up mi son! Mi give her new eyeshadow called “FIST”!”

I was young and extra spicy then, Lololol! My reply to that person who called me was a healthy no and boy am I glad about that. Had I gone out on that tour I would’ve missed the whole new wave of R&B artists that were about to kick the door down.

Sharon was also on that wave with her roster of musicians and actors that seem endless to even mention. Did I mention Lady Gaga? No?…Lady Gaga….team MAMA MAKEUP all the way! Needless to say Sharon is a fabulous face force to be reckoned with! Some say their brush is not a magic wand but in the hands of Sharon Gault I beg to differ!! Sharon is pure magic on makeup,…the skin comes alive with warmth, depth and boldness.

Mama Fashion

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Mama Music

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Mama Actors

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Mama Means Business

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The original interview with Sharon Gault aka Mama Makeup by Vaga Magazine
Like many people who grow up with little means, the choices are: become a victim of your situation, or use it as an impetus to break free. Though her childhood may have been bleary, her escape (as it is for many) was the world of fashion. Collecting fashion magazines like some people collect baseball cards, Gault had every issue of Vogue: “I was obsessed with collecting my Vogue magazines, and I loved the make-up in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.”

Surprisingly, make-up was not where Gault started off. Sharon Gault got her start as a wannabe photographer in California after she became infatuated with a sexy boxer named Lee Canalito. “He looked like a Michelangelo sculpture – he is so beautiful. I started photographing him and photographing things at the gym.”

But as a babe on a budget, photography soon proved to be an expensive habit this was back in the days when people still used film – imagine that. So Gault got a job as a receptionist at Vidal Sassoon.

And thus a new chapter began.

“I used to have a Farrah Fawcett kind of hairdo, like feathered hair and highlights. So I became a hair model.” Her mane soon became the sounding board for Vidal Sassoon. Red, black, platinum, asymmetrical cuts, shaved, she did it all. “I’d go from having this long gorgeous lion’s mane hair to cutting all my hair off, being a house model at Sassoon.”

Though she loved modeling the different looks, Gault’s interest ran deeper than just the superficial.

“I was fascinated at how hair revolutionized fashion and I was really excited about studying what Vidal Sassoon did and how he created his signature shape.”

Her fascination with hair soon led to Gault doing hair for others. She studied at the Vidal Sassoon Academy where she honed her skills as a hair and make-up artist.
Her charming, personality and skills soon took her to the top of the celeb circuit where she notably became famous for appearing in Madonna’s movie, Truth or Dare. Under the guidance of Peter Savic, she keyed the hair for the background dancers and singers for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour.
Though she may not have become Madonna’s BFF, she did find a soulmate in David LaChapelle. “He’s the closest thing to a husband I’ll ever have,” she jokes. After meeting LaChapelle at a photo shoot in New York, the two became fast friends.
“I was assisting a hairdresser and someone on set said, ‘If you and David LaChapelle meet each other, you will be inseparable.”

And inseparable they were. She went on to become LaChapelle’s muse, working with him on an i-D magazine shoot in which she appears naked lying underneath a bubble perched on a field. Gault may have appeared calm and serene, but in reality she was lying on a trash landfill.

“I’m lying on this landfill, sweating, thinking I’m going to get some bad toxic thing in my system. I’m sitting there crying. And they had no permits and the police were driving by, and here I am naked, and everybody is looking at my coochie.”

Though most people might be a little hesitant about appearing naked even if they have model-perfect bodies, Gault says she was comfortable being photographed nude.

“My mom tried to teach us to honor our bodies. It’s that side of me that likes to show that people love me for me, not for my body.”

Not unlike what she did for the Calvin Klein “Pepper” fragrance commercial.
The commercial was all about encompassing different body types, different people,
and different looks.

“Kate Moss used to live with me, and it’s so nice because it opens up with Kate talking – and at the end it’s
me, and I’m like, ‘It’s for you, it’s for me, it’s for everyone.’ Like we’re all one.”

What’s in the Pro Makeup Kit?

20140421-132651.jpgWritten by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

Okay, so Ive been asked this question over and over again by Pro’s as well as novice Makeup Artists and makeup enthusiasts alike…”What’s in a Professional Makeup Artists Kit?” Young Makeup Artists have you ever wondered how much money it will take to build your Pro Kit?

Have you ever been asked by the production company the “INVENTORY LIST” for your Pro Kit during filling out your “Start Paperwork” (this is required for the reimbursement of product in the rental of your Pro Makeup Kit)?

Well, every Professional Makeup Artist should have an “INVENTORY LIST” of what’s in their kit and the makeup and makeup supplies, tools and miscellaneous items they have in storage. If you don’t have it it’s time to do some “Spring Cleaning” and organize that kit! Out with the old and in with the new!

Just to help you get started, here’s a sample of an older version of my former Pro Makeup Kit. Some items are a staple in the kit and others have been updated as new and more efficient products are being manufactured. Your inventory list would best serve you in an Excell Spread Sheet so you can list all items, quantities and price points for each item.

NZINGHA’s Makeup Inventory List
(SAMPLE)
Shu Uemura Makeup Case $800.00
2 Small Lavender Suitcases $300.00
Makeup Brushes (Various Brands) $2000.00
1 MAC Lip Conditioner $12.50
1 MAC Tinted Lip Conditioner w/SPF $14.00
1 MAC Embelish Glitz Gloss $14.00
8 MAC Brow Set (Various Shades) $12.50
6 MAC Eye Brow Pencil $13.50
1 MAC Fix + Spray $15.00
1 MAC EZR $29.00
1 MAC Day SPF 15 Light Moisture $25.00
1 MAC Moisture Feed/Skin $27.50
1 MAC Strobe Cream $25.00
8 MAC Select Cover Up (nc20, nc45, nw30, nw25, green, peach, nw40, nc30) $14.00
1 MAC Fast Response Eye Cream $27.50
20 MAC Lip Glass (Various Shades) $14.00
6 MAC Lipliners $12.00
1 MAKE Ready Brightening Mist $32.00
1 MAKE Away Mist Away $32.00
1 MAKE Under Transparent Coverage $32.00
4 MAKE UP FOR EVER Waterproof Eyebrow Kit $24.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Corrective Makeup Base $24.00
6 MAKE UP FOR EVER Diamond Powder $24.00
2 MAKE UP FOR EVER Loose Powder $26.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER #5 Camouflage Cream Palette $36.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Lipliner Concealer $18.00
6 MAKE UP FOR EVER Glitters $18.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Metalizer $36.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Puff Pouch $35.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Freelancer Bag $45.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Touch Up Smock and Bag $
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Makeup Brush Case $32.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Set Bag $45.00
1 MAKE UP FOR EVER Makeup Apron $30.00
2 Kevyn Aucoin Liquid Shimmer (Various Shades) $24.00
3 Kevyn Aucoin Pencil Liners (Black, Brown, White) $26.00
2 Kevyn Aucoin Lip Gloss (Bliss, Aurora) $27.00
2 Kevyn Aucoin The Pure Powder Glow $37.00
1 Kevyn Aucoin The Essential Eye Shadow Set $45.00
4 Kevyn Aucoin The Expert Lip Tint $34.00
12 Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Enhancer $45.00
1 Revlon Fineline Natural Brow Pencil $3.14
2 Revlon Fineline Natural Brow Pencil Refills $3.00
6 Prescrptives Liquid Eyeshadow (Various Shades) $24.00
6 Prescriptives Adjustable Coverage Pressed Powder (Various Shades) $35.00
6 Prescrptives Colorclick Eye Sticks (Various Shades) $16.50
12 Prescriptives Liquid Foundations (Various Shades) $32.00
12 Lancome Juicy Tubes (Various Shades) $16.50
1 Laura Mercier Foundation Primer $34.00
1 NARS Body Glow $60.00
6 JAPONESQUE FAST LASH THICKENING FIBERS $14.00
2 JAPONESQUE Heated Eyelash Culers $14.00 2 JAPONESQUE Brow/Groomer/Scissor/Comb $13.40
2 JAPONESQUE Preo Prescision Lash Curler $34.00
1 Calvin Klien Liquid Crystals for Body $20.00
1 Calvin Klein Eye Glass $25.00
6 Posner Cover Cream $6.99
7 Vera Moore Lipstick Palettes $30.00
3 Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs $12.95
6 Posner Derma Color Camouflage Crème $6.99
6 NZINGHA Beaute` Lipglosses (Various Shades) Not Yet Priced
6 Pack of Purell Hand Sanitizer $4.00
2 Double Sided Metal Makeup Pencil Sharpener $20.00
1 Samuel Par Blemish Pen $12.00
1 Duo Eyelash Glue $3.00
1 Mavala Clear Nail Polish $3.75
1 Travel Size Visine $4.00
1 Box of Square Cotton Makeup Remover $12.00
1 Box of Square Makeup Blotters $30.00
1 Carmex Jar $5.00
1 Nosehair Clipper $12.99
Small Set Lip Palette Cases (Various Lipstick) $25.00
2 Alcone Professional Foundation Palette $30.00
1 Hard Candy Training Brow Dark Hair Girl $24.00
1 Small 5 Comparment Makeup Pallette $27.95
1 Small Tortoise Set Foundation Palette $30.00
1000 Small Pink Cotton Squares $36.00
1000 Triangular Sponges $100.00
1000 Small Clear Spatulas $36.00
25 boxes Double Sided Point Q-Tips $51.25
2500 Double Sided Small Round Q-Tips $.33ea
1 Viseart Professional Makeup-Palette $30.00
12 Mark Traynor’s Temporary Face & Neck Lift (Brown) $19.00
1 Dozen Alcone Professional Makeup Sponge $20.00
1 Small Black Fan $19.99
2 Double Sided Black Mesh Makeup Bags $12.99
1 Prestige Individual Eyelash Curler $16.00
6 Small Pack Brumisateur Evian $10.00
2 Small Artisan & Artist Standup Hand Mirror $30.00
3 Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner 32oz Containers $25.00
1 Box of Dental Floss Sticks $4.35
1 Travel Size First Aid Kit $5.00
1 Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil Gel $3.95
24 Case Lashes (Various Styles) $24.00
1 Pack of Straws (36 units) $.99
6 Pack of Wet Wipes

Now here’s a visual update of my current kit found on Pinterest. This visual display makes it easy for me to know what’s in my kit as assisting me in creating the updated inventory list.

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Kenig + Alcone…Beauty Curators…a beauty ingenues heaven

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

It was just an ordinary day for me on my way home from work. I happened to be walking towards 14th Street up 6th Avenue (in NYC). And I stopped by a window and saw beauty items. I originally wanted to go to Ricky’s that night for a special product I always use. This place would be a detour for me on the way.

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The boutique like store was closed! I knocked on the window for the attention of what looked like a sales person. We spoke through the closed glass door, I asked if they carried the item I was originally going to Ricky’s for. I thought perhaps they may have it. He said wait hold on let me look. He looked and said “No, but you may find that at Ricky’s it’s just up 14th Street.”

The original brand store in NYC called Ricky’s

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I thought to myself how sweet of him to stop to talk to me even as they are closing up the shop. I asked what time they’d be open again tomorrow so I could be sure to come back. I turned on my heels and found my way over to Ricky’s for my products.

I returned again the next day again after work but a bit earlier. Again looking through the clean clear glass windows of this beauty boutique I could see what seemed to be an endless wall of hair goodies and supplies. Well, you’ve already reeled me in! As I walked in the door to this sleek airy and modern space to my left was what looked like an electric chair. I didn’t bother to examine it because I was pulled in by what I saw…PRODUCTS!!! Turns out that that “electric chair” is the original hair perm machine used in the 1930’s. A magical, historical and vintage find!

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As a beauty Artist you find yourself always on the lookout for the next best thing that will become the “SECRET WEAPON” in your makeup kit. And sometimes the “SECRET WEAPON” is… a place. I always want to be surprised by the latest and greatest new thing on the market that will wind up becoming legendary and something my clients (celebrity & non celebrity alike) will absolutely love.

When I was deep into the store a most stunningly handsome man asked if he could help me. In my usual frank and nautily witty way I replied “Mmm you don’t even know!”, “What’s this place?…it’s new. I’ve not seen this store here before. And it says outside Kenig + Alcone? I know about Alcone I’m a big supporter of Alcone are they the owners of this store?”

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He said yes. And began to tell me of the merging of my two favourite brand stores. OMG!! I’m in love!! Truly an amazing find I thought. And funny just the night before I came here looking for products I usually find at Ricky’s!!! The irony of it!! Well, just then the same young man who spoke to me through the glass just the night before came barreling down the steps.

He said “I remember you. How are you? Where you able to find your products? My name is Ray. Ray Holt.” I loved him instantly! He took me for a tour upstairs as I told him my specialty is makeup. He asked if I knew Ricky then. I said “Ricky who?”, he said “Ricky Kenig. The owner of this store and the founder of the original Ricky’s beauty supply.” Me “WHAT?!?!” Wait a minute, Ricky’s beauty supply and Alcone merged? GENIUS!!!! Who knew! No I don’t know Ricky.”

Ray, “Surprising, everybody knows Ricky.” I guess Ray was right everybody does know Ricky if they’ve been in his store but do I know him personally,…no. “He knows everyone in the beauty industry you had to have met him.” “I should know him, his store has been my go to all throughout my career! Guess, if you think about it,… you can say I know him and he knows me.”

Well, upstairs was a virtual smorgasbord of beauty and makeup items a beauty ingenues heaven!!! There were two young MUA’s up there browsing like myself. We wound up chatting all four of us.

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This time I had to run because I was going to my next job but I wanted to meet Ray and browse the store. I would return again and upon my next visit after sending several clients to pick up items at the store, I walk in and there’s a handsome distinguished gentleman who greeted me at the door he said “Hi! Welcome to the store, I’m Ricky (with a firm handshake).”

I’m now floored by all the irony surrounding Ricky and myself today. I finally after years of supporting his other stores get to meet him today…, genius serendipity and not accidental! We spoke for at least an hour and a half ( such an amazing man, with the warmest heart and incredible brand knowledge). Please look for upcoming classes from yours truly at Kenig + Alcone Boutique.

After doing a bit of homework after my meeting the charming, stylish and enigmatic Ricky, I found out that Ricky’s was not his first beauty supply shop but “LOVE” Beauty Supply during the 80’s was! I lived for Love’s back then at the the beginning of my budding makeup career out of HS. My how we both have grown, I thought. Not only is Ricky a man with a Midas touch for beauty stores he’s got a creative talent for making things happen. Ricky Kenig is the originator of the fashion runway worlds choice hair clips and matte hair pins only found at Kenig + Alcone and created by Ricky Kenig himself.

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Well, in closing, I’ll say this…Kenig + Alcone is certainly no kitschy novelty store but a sleek, modern boutique with an almost millennium apocathary feel. It’s for the more mature polished consumer who knows about Pro Makeup and Hair brands. NY’s answer to LA’s Frends and Naime’s (I dare say Kenig + Alcone will give the West Coast brands a run for their money!). Not to mention you can find just about all of your beauty needs that a Sephora cannot fill. Specialty beauty items never seen before and only used by Celebrity Pro Makeup Artists and Hair Designers. The items as only Ricky Kenig and Alcone can deliver. BRAVO Kenig + Alcone, BRAVO 👏👏👏👏

20140416-125102.jpgKENIG & ALCONE LLC 538 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10011 (917) 261-2640 10am-8pm

Ombré * Reverse Ombré * Ombre??

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

There’s one thing I’m a stickler about is correct information. I’ve been seeing and hearing this word being used a lot in the past year into this current year…Ombré (correct use with an apostrophe, refers to artistic color gradation starting from light to dark) or Ombre (incorrect use in this case referring to fashion, without the apostrophe, referring to a card game)

Ladies are getting their hair colored Ombré (Light to dark) or either “Reversed” Ombré (dark to light) fashion. Here’s the breakdown from Webster’s Dictionary.

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The latest lipstick trend Ombré Lips

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Main Entry: om·bré
Pronunciation: \ˈäm-ˌbrā\
Function: adjective
Etymology: French, past participle of ombrer to shade, from Italian ombrare, from ombra shade, from Latin umbra — more at umbrage
Date: 1893
: having colors or tones that shade into each other —used especially of fabrics in which the color is graduated from light to dark
— ombré noun

Main Entry: om·bre
Pronunciation: \ˈäm-bər; ˈäm-brē, ˈəm-, -ˌbrā\
Function: noun
Etymology: French or Spanish; French hombre, from Spanish, literally, man — more at hombre
Date: circa 1661
: an old three-handed card game popular in Europe especially in the 17th and 18th centuries


Ok so there you have the breakdown for the meaning and correct way to say the word. In fashion we are not talking about a 17/18th century card game, so say it correctly. If you’re in fashion or into styling you should know the difference!!

Now the fashion look concerning the reverse Ombre’ lip (which has been more popular) in particular had its origin in the theatre world to help greater define the lip for stage. Theatrical makeup is done heavily and colourfully so that the performers face does not get lost with all the stage lighting, and that the audience can see the face.

How this and when this look really met mainstream is unknown to me. However my personal exposure to the look was in the 1980’s. Women of color (black & latino) in NY city wore this style and still do. Lipliners back then were either too light or non existent in colors that were comparable to the women’s skin tones so they began to use darker lipsticks or simply eyeliners to not only line their eyes but also line their lips.

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Like many other fashion trends that came out of urban America so did this look. Most white women rarely wore the look and those that did used other colors besides black or dark brown pencil. In the performers realm many female impersonators would and still do wear the look. In the 80’s music scene Grace Jones (Caribbean decent) bought the look to the mainstream through her music and personal style.

Some people love the look, some people amplify the look and others despise the look calling it “the worst look ever”. Well now it’s back and you all are calling it “Ombre”!!

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Here are a few sketches of makeup I did for Lil’ Kim featuring a strongly lined lip that is now called “Ombré” back then it was just a lined lip. Some people loved the look and others hated the look.

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Here you can see the “Reverse Ombré” lip look I featured frequently on singer Mary J. Blige in the mid-90’s.

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20140415-150338.jpgHere I recreated the Reverse Ombre’ look on the cover of Modern Salon Magazing

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http://m.vogue.it/en/magazine/cover-story/2012/03/over-the-top
Simple Ombre’ Lip

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And here it is again for the Millinials. Everything old becomes new again!
Reverse Ombre’ Lip

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