black|Up! Cosmetics | Review

20141007-213750.jpg

black|Up! Cosmetics | Review
Written by NZINGHA for TheGlamSquadFiles™

I have been wanting to review this product since it was first introduced in the mid 90’s!!! black|Up Cosmetics Paris. Yes, I have been an avid follower of this product line. They were first released overseas in Paris in the mid 90’s and were doing what seemed to be well then suddenly disappeared!!! I was mortified because before I could even give them shout outs they had gone AWAL!!

I first found out about them when I was on tour with Mary J. Blige as her Makeup Artist. We had a brief stop over performance and promotion in Paris. I met a few young ladies there who introduced me to the line and told me where I could get it! And I indeed found it and purchased some foundations in the line and bought them back to the US! In fact I had used it for my own personal use and also for a few of my clients and I loved it!! Until I ran out and could no longer access the product!!!

The black|Up Cosmetics Pro Catalogue. Full Color product selections with high gloss pages. 75 pages of beauty!! Magnifique’!!

20141009-204717.jpg
PANIC MODE 101!!! Client loves the colors you’re using…wants you to buy the product for them for their personal use…me…PRO MAKEUP ARTIST…BLANK STARE!!! WTH!!!! I can’t find them anywhere!!!! WHAT DO I TELL MY CLIENT…until now…close to 10years later! Revamped, repackaged, reformulated and rebranded…ready for action! IT WAS WORTH THE WAIT HONEY!!! YASSSSSS!!! Don’t miss this opportunity guys! I say stock up on this amazing brand designed unapologetically for Women of Color!!

Here I am in full black|Up makeup I used all the colors in one shot to get this makeup look. I use the CC Cream Foundation #04 daily(this is my Summer Tanned Skin color, my Winter color is #03,this is my normal skin toned color)

20141007-190214.jpg
While on tour in Europe numerous times going to the best makeup shops I could barely find beautiful colors for Women of Color!!! I was highly offended!!! Then I thought really??? I mean for real people of Color are truly a minority in Europe…but not in the rest of the world so what can you expect from this market! And imagine a line for Women of Color over here would fly off the shelves simply because their beauty needs are being met!

I’m not here to apologize for my blackness or for any comments I make regarding any brand that is not inclusive of Women of Color. As far as I’m concerned I want to solely deal with brands that speak to my complexion without having to worry if I’m going to look grey, green or just chalky. I want a brand that suits my complexion and yes, there needs to be more brands worldwide for Women of Colors choosing!! NO APOLOGIES!!

Here are the colors that were sent to me and I am thrilled to say …I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS LINE!! Everything about this line I LOVE!!

20141007-195435.jpg

20141007-213914.jpg
Here are the eyeliners (liquid gold and orchid colored gel pencil eyeliner) and concealer

20141009-201547.jpgI am in absolute awe of this liquid eyeliner!! I can’t believe I’ve never had anything to compare to it EVER in my Pro Kit!!! And honey I’ve had my kit full of products that have come and gone in my 27year career!! I’ve got to order like 4 more of these!!! Long wear and waterproof for real waterproof (even with dish soap I couldn’t take it off!)

20141007-195405.jpg

20141007-195413.jpg
Here are the blushes in the colors 01(Fuschia Pink) and 11(Shimmery Coral).

20141007-210034.jpg
http://www.blackupcosmetics.com/makeup/face/blush/new-blush.html

PRICE | $25.50

Here’s the black|Up CC Cream Foundation in #03 and on my hand 04

20141007-200844.jpg

20141009-201624.jpg
http://www.blackupcosmetics.com/cc-cream-multi-action-complexion-correcting-foundation.html
PRICE | $39.50

Here we have the glorious Complexion Enhancer/ Embellisseur de Teint (EMB03)

20141007-195446.jpg

20141009-201607.jpg

Here’s the black|Up Poudre Sublime (PS04)

20141007-195456.jpghttp://www.blackupcosmetics.com/makeup/face/bronzer-1/sublime-powder-1446.html
PRICE | $36.50

Here is the Creme Poudre’ (NFC03)

20141007-195508.jpg
http://www.blackupcosmetics.com/makeup/face/foundation/cream-to-powder-foundation-new-formula.html
PRICE | $41.00

Rich Moisturising Lipsticks

20141007-200859.jpg

20141007-214043.jpg
http://www.blackupcosmetics.com/makeup/lips/lipstick/new-lipstick.html
PRICE | $22.50

BONUS
So ok, listen if you are not sure of how the colors of the foundations will work on you, you can always test it out with these blister packs that have a range of 4 shades to test! Shads #04-#09 uhh and there are 16 shades to choose from that selection were just the colors they chose for me based on knowing my skin tone. AMAZING CUSTOMER SERVICE!!! What more could you ask for.

20141009-224657.jpg

black|Up! Video Reviews

20141008-005458.jpg

Lupita Nyong’o in Star Wars…Jehdi or Sith?

20140603-210622.jpg

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

Okay so I’m corny and a Star Wars junkie, I could watch them all over and over again…seriously! So now you put one of my favorite actors in a Star Wars film?!? I’m done!! Lupita Nyong’o in Star Wars? Yaaaasssssss!

I loved Natalie Portman as Queen Amadala! Loved makeup and hair all day all the way on her character accept for Hayden Christianson’s hair as Anakin Skywalker that weave was a disaster (sorry I have to tell the truth)!

So anyway, not even the Hollywood Reporter has given a hint as to Lupita’s latest role but I have a guesstimate of who I think she’ll play and trust me its not a Jehdi! Some dumb report said she would be playing a Jedhi and not just a Jehdi but a supposed descendant of Obi Wan Kenobi…I think that’s just terrible!

Ok, here goes my guess: I think she’ll be playing…

20140603-201853.jpg
Asajj Ventress

Yes, a villainess! Ok for my Star Wars junkies who can really relate and know their galaxy characters…here goes…

Asajj studied under Dooku during the Clone Wars. Although she was only a Sith apprentice, her powers quickly drew a lot of attention. A lot of which came from Palpatine who ordered Dooku to destroy his apprentice (which he failed to do). Asajj struck back at Dooku with two Nightsisters, but was unsuccessful in her assassination plot. Asajj wiped the floor with Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan on more than one occasion. Before Palpatine thought she posed a threat to him, he was impressed with her lightsaber skills.
“The child’s skills with a lightsaber are most impressive. You have found a promising disciple, my apprentice. She shall serve us well.” ~Palpatine

20140603-205419.jpg


I like the direction JJ Abrams is going in with this cast and if my guesstimating is correct he won’t have Lupita as some wimpy character with no gut. I like his quick cut film edit style that keeps you on the edge for Sci-Fi films. Yet he manages to tell a good story in the midst.

This role will not be a passive one…no sir! This one will call for some serious physical dexterity which I think Lupita is ready for. I’m sure shell have to train in combat and some martial arts and most assuredly fencing. It will be a vast difference in character from what we saw in her role as Pasty in 12Years.

Time to move away from those visuals to a new visual for her as an actress.

I could be all wrong about this one but Mmmm I dunno, I could be right. Any feedback what do you all think?

http://m.hollywoodreporter.com/v/HeatVision/GwendolineChristieJo

Kenig + Alcone…Beauty Curators…a beauty ingenues heaven

20140415-100108.jpg

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.

20140415-100639.jpg

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

20140416-125740.jpg
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!

20140416-124843.jpg
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?”

20140416-120148.jpg
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.

20140416-120213.jpg

20140416-125217.jpg

20140416-120226.jpg
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.

20140416-125524.jpg
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

Why we 💗 Lupita | Lancôme’s Latest Spokesmodel

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

20140408-090049.jpg
Nairobi’s rose and now America’s darling. Lady Lupita Nyong’o has taken our breaths away in all of her visual forms from us seeing her as her character Patsey in “12 Years A Slave” to her glorious self on the covers of magazines and in every tweet, post or comment. Even when you thought it wasn’t going to happen she was still winning!

Oh and can we say her name correctly please, especially after she’s been on several talk shows showing you how to say her last name not “GO” but “O”softly, smoothly and rhythmically.

I’m hearing people say she just came out of nowhere and stole our hearts. Well, I’m here to tell you she didn’t just come out of nowhere (no one just comes out of nowhere, everyone has a place of origin, a beginning before we met them)…she came from Kenya, Africa born in 1983 to Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o a Kenyan politician.

20140408-094813.jpg
Her father is the Secretary-General of the Orange Democratic Movement is currently serving as the Senator for Kisumu County

Lady Lupita has a degree from Hampshire College in film and theater studies and her Masters of Fine Arts from Yale University. She has written and directed a documentary film called “In My Genes” stories of life for the albinos population currently living in Africa. She’s also directed a music video that was nominated by MTV Africa in 2009.

20140408-094740.jpg

Lady Lupita is one of the few actors who has won an Academy Award for their debut performance in a feature film. Lupita was chosen as one of the faces for Miu Miu’s Spring campaign. She has won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress and numerous other awards.

20140408-153406.jpg

20140408-153532.jpg
And yes Lady Lupita is *THE FIRST AFRICAN* Actress TO WIN an Oscar.

20140408-155801.jpg

20140408-090420.jpg

20140408-090432.jpg

20140408-090447.jpg
Ralph Lauren cape dress | Lupita the fashionable

20140408-094758.jpg

20140408-160047.jpghttp://youtu.be/bjwYJ11RDcA

Lupita Nyong’o is the newest face of French beauty brand Lancôme

20140408-154408.jpg
“I am truly honored to join the Maison Lancôme, a brand with such a prestigious history that I have always loved. I am particularly proud to represent its unique vision for women and the idea that beauty should not be dictated, but should instead be an expression of a woman’s freedom to be herself,” Nyong’o said in a statement released by the French beauty house.

20140408-154958.jpg
“I had to give a speech about beauty right before the Oscars,” she told WWD, “and for me, beauty is a compassion for yourself and those around you. And I think that in focusing on that, the light inside illuminates the beauty outside. The idea that Lancôme now has a few actor ambassadors is significant because actors are not just faces, they are spirits that people enjoy and relate to more than in an aesthetic way. We have the privilege of standing for something other than just looks.”

The ads will start running in September 2014.

The Wonders of Vaseline Review

20140403-024312.jpgWritten by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

THE HISTORY OF VASELINE’s ORIGIN

20140403-141347.jpg
Robert Chesebrough, a British industrial chemist, was laboriously working to clarify kerosene from sperm whales. Whales and their body oils and even fluids in the early 1800’s helps to create balms, salves, creams, and various distilled oils.

In 1859, oil rig workers, reportedly found a substance that built up on the machinery, resulting in frequent mechanical malfunctions. They called it ” black rod wax”. The men who worked on those oil rigs used the remnant as ointment for their bruises and wounds. Chesebrough got wind of this unrefined ointment and then traveled to the United States to visit this Pennsylvanian rig. He found that the black rod wax could be distilled to form a light-colored gel.

Read more about the history of Vaseline. Love discovering something new to me but historical in its time.http://www.damninteresting.com/story-of-vaseline/
Mr Chesebrough obviously knew early on about marketing and eventually becoming a brand! Check out these ads over the years

20140403-141514.jpg
Obviously from its really early days

20140403-142751.jpg
This ad looks like it may have come in the 30’s-40’s

20140403-142948.jpg
This display looks like its from the 40’s or 50’s

20140403-031126.jpg
PACKAGE DESIGN OVER THE YEARS

20140403-031108.jpg

And now the packaging for Vaseline has this great new flip top and has 4 different scents ; original, baby, coco butter and aloe. Really cool! Love it and love the colours added to the newer scents labeling.

20140403-041526.jpg

Vaseline internationally. Kinda sad that its played into the obsession of skin lightening in India. I don’t see anything wrong with being brown! Guess its age old in the African American community we have always had lightening/whitening creams too.

20140403-041904.jpgI personally love the gels because I’ve got really dry skin and it just guzzles moisturizers as if it were nothing. Although it leaves the skin soft but you can see visible dryness, so love, love, love the gels. I also use them for glossy makeup looks. I keep a little squeeze bottle of it for my Pro Makeup Kit. Yeah!

20140403-041514.jpgHere’s that special “glo” you get from Vaseline in a fashion look. Really beautiful. Women used to wear Vaseline for eyeshadow in the 20-30’s all the time. It was used with black coal chips to make mascara (hence how Mabelline got its start).

In fact I learned that eye technique from my Grandmum who used Vaseline for 99 years (literally she died just before reaching 100). She used it as a night moisturizer(every night) and in all those years even at 99 she had minimal amount of wrinkles on her skin all over body.

20140403-151042.jpgSpecial packaging just for men. I guess it’s necessary because let’s face it men like packaging too. And in this era of designer this and that men like to see cool packaging on their shelves too, oh and have good skin as well.

20140403-142715.jpg

My least favourite product from Unilevers Vaseline brand are these sprays. HATE EM’!!!! And they’re relatively new however, I do not expect to see these on the market next year. The product gets everywhere but directly where it’s supposed to go…ON THE BODY GUY’s, ON THE BODY!! Not on my floors so I can skid on them accidentally as I’m walking by!

20140403-025057.jpg

The lip balm packaging now is so vast for Vaseline and has over the years added Color and flavours to the brand. I think it’s great!

20140403-030258.jpg

20140403-030311.jpg

20140403-142734.jpgOf course the “millennials” love anything with bling to it (I’m a bit guilty of it too) so here’s a LIL’ bling thing for those that like a lil’ sparkle with their lip product

20140403-041539.jpg