*Artist Spotlight | Kevyn Aucoin…a friend

20140414-123821.jpg

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

I remember the first time I met Kevyn Aucoin (of course I stand at 5’2 and he at 6’4 , I had to look up, hurting my neck! Lolol) and the first thing he did was to put his arms around me and hug me and say ” I have been following your work and girl you are awesome. You’re gonna be fine don’t worry”

He began to break down my work to me with such clarity and passion. He showed me his secret weapon which I have since embraced into my makeup technique. Little did I dream that I would meet him in what was only my 3rd year in the entertainment/beauty industry and on this occasion of having to recreate his work on tour with none other than mZ. Janet Jackson! Talk about pressure!! I’d never assisted any Makeup Artist and now to have to recreate what’s already been established by a legend. He didn’t hold my hand but he talked me through it allowing my handwork to flow.

20140414-130817.jpg
He showed me exactly what he used on her with no reservations, attitudes or fear of client theft. He was generous to a fault and all we did was laugh for the whole day into night. We shared person thoughts and dreams. I loved him. We didn’t get to see each other often (accept for accidentally meeting up on frequent flights to LA) but every now and again I would get a call from him laughing “No …you didn’t. I loved that spread and when I saw your name I was glad for you.That color combo was sick! Go girl!”

I told him that I was in shock about even being invited on this tour because it had only been 3 years of me working in the biz, I didn’t know I had made that much of a dent that anyone would even know my work like that. He said “You would be surprised who’s watching.”

I shared with him that it was only a few years earlier that I was doing sketches of Janet ( I did this with several artists that I liked at the time and surprisingly wound up working with most of them later) as a teen at home in my room living with Mum.

I never knew I would actually wind up working with Janet, here like this right now in what would only be like 6 years later! (Here are some of those sketches)

20140414-130207.jpg

My Mum was/is/forever in heaven now an angel. Once she settled into the thought of my being a Makeup Artist, she embraced my vision with both hands! I remember it was Christmas and Mum had several gifts for me as always…but there was this one that was large and semi heavy. “Mmm” I thought “I dunno what this one is at all.” And on opening I like to pass out it was it was Kevyn’s first book “The Art of Makeup” 1994. Guess he was in the process of completing the book while I was on tour with Janet.

20140414-132352.jpg

I can hear her voice now (it was small,gentle, and sing songy) “I thought you may like this one Zing, didn’t you say you worked with him while you were with Janet? I saw him on Oprah. He does beautiful work. What kind of person is he? He seems lovely. Maybe you can get him to sign it for you Zing.” I was in tears because her gifts were always so well thought out and just thoughtful. I felt like I’d just gotten an Oscar from her 💗💗💗💗
forever Mum!! I never got that opportunity for him to sign it, he’d passed away before I could ever see him again. Oddly we’d spoken only months before his passing.

20140414-134439.jpgIt was Kevyn’s humility that struck me even more than his obviously brilliant work. It wasn’t a fake humility like I’ve seen some of my contemporaries display, it was real, really who he was. He was mature in every sense of the word and secure. It wasn’t about him striving to be famous, and look at me business. He made each woman look like an amplified version of herself not “OOOooh I’ve got Kevyn Aucoin makeup style makeup on!” He said it himself “I want people to say SHE looks beautiful, not her MAKEUP looks beautiful.”

20140414-150714.jpg
I remember looking at his hand movements as he was painting Janet’s face while we were in the trailer that day and thinking he has to have the largest hands I had ever seen!!!! I handed him his brushes at his request and we all were joking and talking…they (he and Janet) were mostly asking me questions (I guess I was still being interviewed for the position of on tour Makeup Artist).

While handing Kevyn his secret weapon I accidentally touched his hand and was in shock. I asked him to give me his palms and he did and to my amazement he had the softest hands and moist fingertips, he told me that the heat from his fingertips helps him with the blending “Guess it works to my advatage” laughing, he said “Now remember Nzingha, blend this line right here and add just a little bit more of this color.”as he went on with the visual instruction.

20140414-134623.jpg
I remember thinking I’m gonna die! I can’t believe I’m here…in this fabulous trailer…with the most sought after Makeup Artist in the world and …with Janet Jackson!!! Me a little British West Indian girl born in the Bronx and hailing from a single parent home! ME????…,HERE???? Oh, GOD Lawd’ thank you..help me to do my bes’ an represent mi family well ( my immediate family and my Caribbean family everywhere)!!!

20140414-154224.jpgIt was this photo that changed my whole visual makeup path. It was so Kevyn yet so Way Bandy (one of my other fave icons). Kevyn admitted to being a fan of Bandy’s too during our convo’s.

Well, now it was my turn to do Jan’s makeup with Kevyn watching and her feeling my hand on her face observing my technique now merging with Kevyn’s (I was shaking on the inside) . She loved it and so did he!!! She said “You’ve got such a gentle hand, Nzingha, I wanted to go to sleep yet, it was firm. You both have a similar way about you, I feel comfortable”. Well, after her 6 month Makeup Artists search with some of the worlds best, she chose me to join her “family”!

Many had come and gone but, I was still standing! I asked why me? “Because you feel like family, you have a great and humble attitude and when asked to perform you went right in on it with confidence under pressure. That’s why.” I never forgot what she said to me nor, did I ever forget the many conversations I had with Kevyn on the road and later on in my growing career. And in that short amount of time he was now to author 2 more beauty books and launch his own cosmetic line! Bravo Kevyn 👏👏👏👏

20140414-125021.jpg
Kevyn’s final book which I have still yet to get in my estimation seems to be the perfect closure to a life well lived and a work well appreciated by many. He must’ve known when he would leave us, still so generous even in his illness, to give us just one more peek.

20140414-151030.jpg
I wound up working along side of Kevyn again this time it was a Vogue photo shoot with all three of my then clients Mary J. Blige, Missy Elliot and Lil’ Kim. There was no tension in his doing their makeup, he was very careful to “big me up”. So sweet, I was shadowing him and schooling the ladies on his legendary status, it was such an amazing shoot and most of all to see Kevyn again in work mode. He said “You know Nzingha, I love what you do with all three ladies, mostly cause all of them look different in your makeup. You beat them all differently. You’ve got all these music ladies on their best! Keep up the amazing work.”

20140414-150338.jpg
Kevyn was an encourager and never a hater. He always had an encouraging word to say and sometimes words of admiration of my work when he’d call me. He was always secure in his skin and in his ability and that’s what truly made him a Makeup Icon. A LEGEND!! Often imitated but not duplicated. So Here’s my tribute to Kevyn…

Peacefully Rest Dear One, your influence still lives on.
Paint On ViZionaire!
NZINGHA

Why Do Most Makeup Artists Wear Black? (Part 2)

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

20140403-175743.jpg
Wearing black is the Artists “uniform” if you will. Wearing black is tasteful and is well groomed not over or under dressed. As one of my favourite designers Tom Ford says ” Dressing well is a form of good manners”. Hospitality is also a form of dress (atmospherical dress, setting the tone of your dressing room). Also your clients should only be able to see you and not all that you wear or anyone else on set while you’re working as being too flashy can cause distractions (more about that below).

We first discussed the functionality of black in the theater, what types of clothes to wear, some unconventional things to know in what to wear and why. I shared with you some additional Makeup Artists thoughts in Why Do Most Makeup Artists Wear Black? (Part 1)Okay, so lets talk a bit about the psychology and history of why Artists wear black.

20140403-180054.jpg
The fashion world goes hand in hand with the beauty world. In fact this marriage had a plan starting long ago. Designers like Coco Chanel made “The Little Black Dress” in the 20’s and it was a must have for every woman’s wardrobe because it was stunning, simple yet powerful.

20140409-011432.jpg

It’s was said to make every woman look their best. Well worn for a night out and looking elegant. Best dressed for ladies in suits and now trousers for work during the day. Chanel was always known for her black and white clothing designs making the wearer most chic after the post war era. Black and white both became a power colors. But black always signified both power, authority and irreplaceable style.

20140409-011249.jpg
And because Chanel had such an impact on the fashion world her mark has clearly been left. Now designers make their most stunning pieces in black.

So wearing black became a fashion forward trend. Not to mention wearing black creates an optical illusion in making one look more slender in their garments. Many years later not only was wearing black functional for working backstage but it also became “fashionable”.

CHANEL MODERN STYLISH COMFORTABLE FOOTWEAR

20140403-175456.jpg

20140403-175509.jpg


Speaking of fashion, when I first saw the film “The Devil Wears Prada” I had a range of emotions. I went from level 1 angry to level 3 angrier! Why? Well, because I’m a firm believer in people wearing what they want to wear within reason at work.Then I thought to myself “Now it’s the truth! If you were an oil rigger you would not show up to work in LaBoutin’s, if you were a doctor you wouldn’t show up in a policeman’s uniform. Snap out of it!! It’s not personal, it’s business. And you are your business, you are your brand.”

So ask yourself viZionaire…”What am I selling?” Are you selling clothing, the products found in your makeup kit or are you selling your skill and expertise as a Makeup Artist? What are you selling…be clear about that and that will help you establish who you and your skill as an Artist.

20140403-175421.jpg
I wished I could come to work in this outfit however what would my level of comfort be? I’ve done it but modified my footwear. And how would I be perceived by the client? Taken seriously or a one shot deal, never to be hired again. Choosing your wardrobe is strategic and you must use wisdom on so many levels. You definitely want to leave an impression on the client yet save your personal fashion statement for your personal down time.

EXAMPLE: While working on set one day a fellow Artist came to set with an arm full of jangling bracelets. They were beautiful gold bangles, simply stunning. However while we were shooting we had to stop several times due to the fact that the sound man (who was recording live sound) could not only hear the actors doing their lines but hear those bangles just jingling!! They eventually got a word spoken to them and ultimately wound up removing them. CAUSING DISTRACTIONS AND DISTURBANCES ON SET IS HIGHLY FROWNED ON.

20140403-175322.jpg
The point here is, ….you dress the part and appropriately for your position in your career. If you work in the fashion, beauty and entertainment industry you dress fashionably, smartly comfortable and polished. My thoughts on “The Devil Wears Prada” I will discuss in an upcoming post.

EXAMPLE : I remember when I was working on the set of Spider-Man 3 for three straight months I would see the director of the film Sam Ramy and be amazed. Why? Because he wore a suit and shirt everyday! We worked long hours 12-16 hours in a day some days and he was always well groomed. It was rare to see but it reminded me of the splendour and dignity of Old Hollywood. Back then directors wore suits and Makeup Artists (back then it was all male Makeup Artists) wore suits or lab coats. This was how the studios crew came to work.

Makeup artist Jack Pierce and Conrad Veidt on the set of THE MAN WHO LAUGHS (1928).

20140404-031107.jpg
Jack Pierce in the makeup room with Boris Karloff 1935. Jack is wearing a lab coat.

20140404-032307.jpg
http://www.cherrybombed.com/2012/10/boris-karloff-becoming-frankenstein/

20140403-180810.jpg
In closing viZionaire all I’m saying to you is this. This business should not be and is not for everyone. You set the tone for how you and your work will be perceived. You set the tone for how the thought of a “Pro Makeup Artist” is perceived. So, lets strive to be excellent and restore dignity, and respectability to the title of “Makeup Artist”.

Why Do Most Makeup Artists Wear Black? (Part 1)

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

20140403-174907.jpgI’ve been asked this question on several occasions about why Makeup Arists always wear black. My response is not just about wearing black but about what we wear and how we present ourselves in general. You may not be the top fashionista but at least be presentable and groomed. You may not have the money now to build your wardrobe but in time you will and then you build your wardrobe piece by piece.

With that said here’s my answer to the question.

A: The real reason why Makeup Artists (and work crews) originally started wearing black was because in the live theater world backstage the crew wore black so they could still keep working backstage and not be seen by the audience while working.Crew would blend into the background with the black curtains and walls and usually everything backstage is black.
~NZINGHA

Just a few of My personal suggestions.

20140403-190408.jpg
1) Personal hygiene
…lets just say we work extremely close to people in their faces and in tight places most times

2) Keep a clean kit
…most people think that this is not important to what you wear on set BUT a clean kit is part of your wardrobe! It speaks volumes about how you are personally, how you keep yourself and the health, care and hygiene of the products you use and how you will ultimately care for your clients.

3) Wear comfortable shoes and clothing
…being comfortable is key here because you will find yourself in some situations where you will be working exceedingly long hours or varied weather conditions. Also a word to the wise as a caution… Never be too flashy with you dressing i.e. your designer wear and jewelry collection (save it for your personal down time). I once heard my client fire the wardrobe stylist because she felt like she was attempting to out dress her, look better than her (yes it’s they’re insecurity but I can cost you your job). Stay well groomed yet dress smartly.

4) Wearable workable nail length
…simple clean manicured nails for the men and clean groomed mid length nails for the ladies.

5) Know what time it is
…in other words get info about what,where, whom, time, location and weather conditions are going to be. This will put you ahead of the game so you don’t look or be prone to act the fool.

LETS HEAR FROM OTHER MAKEUP ARTISTS…

20140409-031053.jpg
A few more answers from other Makeup Artists about what they wear to work and why. All great answers…check it out.

A: A call sheet (the document supplied by your agency prior to a shoot, which contains all the details about the job you have been booked for) very rarely mentions clothing, but there are exceptions. On occasion for instance, it might say “dress warm” if the shoot is going to be outside on location. Once on a trip to Barbados, I remember we were instructed not to wear army camouflage clothing, and another time when we shot a campaign at a working men’s club in central London, the guys in the creative team were told they had to wear long trousers. At fashion shows when you are working for a brand, you might be given a team T-shirt. At the ones I’ve done for MAC, for example, I was supplied with a MAC Pro tee and it was requested that I wear it along with their signature shade (black). Beyond this, it’s really up to you. ~Private

A: Luckily, when I’m working everyone’s eyes are on the model, not on me. Most of my work wardrobe is black. I typically prefer pants or jeans and like flat shoes for the sake of comfort and practicality. Skinny black jeans teamed with a plain sheer T-shirt or crisp white bat-wing shirt and a pair of black sneakers is my usual uniform. If the conditions are cool, I will throw a jumper on and add a coat with leather lapels to the mix. Sometimes I will wear a cute little black dress paired with tights and pixie boots, and depending on my mood and the weather, I may pop a cashmere chunky-knit cardigan on top. Once I’m dressed, it’s all about getting my makeup kit in the car and getting to the job on time.
~ miss_supra

A: Black simple clothes (T-shirt, pants, skirt & tights, etc)

Closed in black flats, some sets and workplaces require closed toed shoes for health and safety reasons. Avoid dangly bracelets, earrings, necklaces etc.

The idea is to look chic & stylish yet be comfortable because you’ll be on your feet all day long. Try to avoid trends that are too out there as your outfit will detract from your work.

Same goes with your makeup, hair and personal grooming. Simple elegant makeup and well groomed hair that is styled well for medium to short length or tied/pinned back if long will enhance your image as a professional makeup artist. ~Private

A: I’m not trying to look cute on set, not trying to impress anyone with my outfit. My makeup and hair are always done professionally. I figure the scrubs help me blend into the background when I am not needed, I don’t disappear on set when I am doing touch-ups, and no one forgets who the makeup artist is on crew. ~ Samantha Reeder

A: When I went to my makeup training schools, they always advise us to wear black. They say it’s the signature “makeup artist attire.” The same thing was followed when I was in L’Oreal. I did retail training for the beauty advisers of Shu Uemura and the rule was to have all our makeup artists wear black. Well it only makes sense — black looks professional, it almost never looks unpolished and it any dirt hardly looks obvious on it. ~Dior

THIS COMES FROM AN UNDISCLOSED MAC COSMETICS EMPLOYEE.

20140403-175821.jpg
Wow!!! Who knew? And Yes, after reading the ryder, I strongly agree with MAC’s policy, with the exception of Artists who are working freelance and not for MAC but on location sets. Most freelance Artists are not sales people on freelance fashion, music, misc. projects or Union film, TV and Broadway projects.

MAC is a “brand” and has irrefutable standards and that I applaud. In addition the same grooming standard should apply to all makeup professionals. If you are a Pro Freelance Makeup Artist you should consider yourself a “brand” too. It’s simply wise business on the behalf of a freelancer.

“Here’s word for word in my paperwork”
~ Unknown

*All M.A.C Staff are required to wear 100% professional black.

*A white shirt may be worn with a buttoned-up jacket or cardigan/sweater.

*Black clothing must be clean, not fade, pulling or torn (cotton is not recommended due to fading).

*Materials with Lycra of some stretch are ideal (more durable and color fast).

*Translucent or sheer clothing must be tasteful and worn over/under solid black clothing.

*Clothes must be tastefully fashionable and appropriately fit.

*No brand logos permitted.

*Pinstripes and stitching detail need to be minimal.

*Scarves must be black, but ties may have some color.

*A M.A.C pin, chain must always be worn.

*Jewelery and accessories such as belts must be black fashionable and appropriate.

*Shoes must be professional , black and not scuffed. Tennis shoes, flip flops, “nursing shoes” or slippers are not permitted.

*Hosiery is optional, but if worn must be black or neutral. Socks also be black.

*Athletic wear such as fleece, or yoga pants and “hoodies” are not permitted.

*M.A.C theme/even shirts such as Viva Glam should only be worn on theme days as a group and not individually.

*Hair accessories and black hats may be worn at the counter so long as it does not obscure or shadow the face.

*Baseball caps are not permitted.
Hair must be neat, clean, well groomed, styled and should reflect the current trends in the industry.

*There is no restriction with hair color.

*A full well executed make-up must be worn to work at the start of shift. (For example, foundation 3 eye shadows, mascara, blush, three lip products are required (lipstick, liner, lip gloss).

*Employees may be required to wear applicable “look” associated with a new product launch. The requirement of wearing such look shall be determined by “your market” for the product(s) being launched and the current industry trends, and may be changed at discretion of M.A.C at any time.

*Personal hygiene needs to be regularly monitored bt the individual. Nails should be manicured and toes should have a pedicure when open toes are worn. M.A.C nail polish must be worn.

*Deodorant or other personal alternative to odor prevention must be qorn at all times.

*It is preferable for fragrance to be worn. If worn, the fragrance must be a M.A.C fragrance.

*Fresh breath is mandatory. If you smoke, please be sure to wash and sanitize your hands prior to returning to te counter and serving customers. Breath mints are required ater smoking.

*Absolutely no gum – small mints are acceptable.

*Cell phones, pagers etc. should be turned off and kept with personal belongings and are not permitted to work on the counter or in your brush belts. Emergency calls can be accepted at the counter.

M.A.C is admired for respecting and embracing individuality. However, it is important to remember that while at work you are expected to look, act and service our customers in the most professional manner possible.

e.l.f Cosmetics Review

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

Has anyone tried e.l.f Cosmetics? You find them frequently at Target, Harmon Beauty, Salley Beauty, and now they have their own store downtown Manhattan!!

20140402-002632.jpg
When I look for products I don’t just look at their packaging but how I can best use it and sometimes price point.

Well, these are some of my faves from e.l.f Cosmetics (EYES ,LIPS, FACE) and you will see these items in my Pro Makeup Kit.

20140402-002620.jpg
Top: Moisturizing Cleanser Wipes $3.00

Bottom Left: Body Shimmer Stick $3.00

Bottom Right: Brush Cleaner Shampoo $3.00

Why do I LOVE these products?
1) the Moisturizing Wipes are the gentlest I’ve found for makeup removal and dare I say the quickest breakdown and conditioning of skin.

2) the Body Shimmer Stick reminds me a lot of Michael Kors body stick without his signature scent. The stick is compact and light with blend able coverage.

3) the Brush Cleaning Shampoo is some of the quickest and effective brush cleaner I’ve used yet (and believe I’ve used many). It’s rich and concentrated so expect it to last a long while, instantly breaks down any residual makeup left in the brush, it’s got a neutral scent and leaves the brushes squeaky clean and shiny.

20140402-002605.jpgOk, here’s another fave of mine from e.l.f Cosmetics are the Shimmer Sheets! Just rub it on and throw away the sheet when you’re done! No messy applications or glitter all over the place…and I think they’re maybe like $2!

Nuff said…
Curl On, Paint On viZionaire!
NZINGHA
Memoirs from the VIP Makeup Kit

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.

Joey Mills (70’s-80’s) Superstar Makeup Artist #1

20140407-024711.jpg

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

20140407-025202.jpg

Before there was a Way Bandy, Kevyn Aucoin, Pat McGrath, Bobby Brown, Francois Nars, Sam Fine or any others (including myself) there was JOEY MILLS!!

And yes, Joey was one of the first noted African American Male Makeup Artists in his time. There were probably other African American Makeup Artists that we may not know of but he is on record as one of THE FIRST noted.

Remember in the history of Makeup Artists they were all noteably film Makeup Artists and Caucasian males i.e. Max Factor, Ben Nye, William Tuttle amongst others. In addition, Mills was the first African American Makeup Artist and Makeup Artist in genral Black or white to have the most magazine covers…ever!

Over 1600 magazines to be exact! He was also the Key Makeup Artist for the 70’s film “The Eyes of Laura Mars”. Joey set the look for Calvin Klein fashions as well as the well known Calvin Klien Jeans ads and commercials with none other than Brooke Sheilds. Joey has worked with Legends Diana Ross, Rachel Welch, Melba More , Pauline Poritzcova and many more.

20140407-025425.jpg

20140407-025526.jpg

20140407-025539.jpg
Mills’ makeup mastery has donned the covers of Vogue, Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, etc. and some of the most iconic ad campaigns ever.

In addition he has headed up runway shows for Calvin Klein, Valentino, Versace, Bill Blass and Oscar de la Renta, makeup design for Broadway shows and TV.

20140407-025602.jpg
Joey is also the author of New Classic Beauty: A Step-by-Step Guide to Naturally Glamorous Make-Up. Mills’ style of makeup was lush colourful and well blended also having a groomed brow but left natural in its appearance different from the brow styling of Way Bandy which included extreme arching and “bleaching” and a heavier contouring makeup style (Kevyn Aucoin patterned his style of makeup after Bandy)

20140407-025619.jpg
CALVIN KLEIN JEANS AD’s

20140407-025819.jpg

20140407-030027.jpg

20140407-030041.jpg
CALVIN KLEIN COMMERCIALS

20140407-030107.jpg
EYE OF LAURA MARS (trailer)

Here in this short clip of the film you will see a young Joey doing what he first best applying makeup, and he obviously is cast as himself in the film not only is he featured once but twice!

Music, Interviews & Photos from the 1970’s film “Eyes of Laura Mars”

20140407-030734.jpgStill going strong and lively where his contemporaries have long since passed away…Joey still remains as a LIVING LEGEND all I can say is…”Joey Mills is BAAADD!”

20140407-030939.jpgM.A.C. Cosmetics honors Legendary Makeup Artists Pablo Manzoni, Joey Mills and Mary Greenwell.

20140407-031145.jpg

CHECK OUT THIS INTERVIEW WITH MILLS IN BLACK ENTERPRISE 1977
http://books.google.com/books?id=iAJYrOAJGNUC&pg=PA31&lpg=PA31&dq=joey+mills+makeup+artist&source=bl&ots=7Qm8qLDYvT&sig=t4LjLZKw4Xy6JdGfy-3anjXh6xE&hl=en&ei=mj6wTrmZBMfY0QHagoyyAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CH4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=joey%20mills%20makeup%20artist&f=false

20140407-052354.jpg
The famous Joey Mills and I. We first met about 2 months before this photo was taken (April 2012) at IMATS (where he was giving his demonstration)and guess what?! He remembered me!!!

I love Joey and look our glasses are the same color! I just had to rub on him with all that knowledge and wisdom in the room, I was over the moon !

Joey and I at the MAC Pro demo (June 2012) of legendary Makeup Artist Peter Robb King (Rocky Horror Picture Show Makeup Designer).

20140407-052408.jpg

Just browZING…

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc20140402-024950.jpg

MAX FACTOR at work applying makeup

The precision in shaping the Brow really is in the steady hand of the Artist and with great tools. Like a Doctor has instruments of accuracy, precision and design so does the Makeup Artist!

Every Makeup Artist of note will tell you about the original Max Factor Fineline Retractable Pen with great veneration and praises. The package contained the original pen and a case if mini colored leads. The lead refills you’d have to purchase separately after buying the pen. Most will say “Why did they discontinue it!! I hate when they do that!!”

I recall my Mum having loads of these in her makeup kit (cause she was the original Brow Queen). I don’t know the actual year they were first created (I’d like to say the 50’s because back then makeup packaging was always gold bling).

20140402-022625.jpg

20140402-022426.jpg

Well as modernists we all are looking for the next smart, precise, compact new thing. Today in this era the “Fineline” has taken on a whole new dimension in a marker pen almost like an extremely pointed …dare I say it Sharpe!!

BROW PENS

20140402-022345.jpg

20140402-022355.jpg
This is the closest this generation is going to come to the OG (Old Glams) Fineline Pen! They’re really not bad…in fact I like them a lot however, there is and was nothing like the Max Factor Pens…sadly…nuff said!

This post is not just about the brow pencil but, brows in general and brow products to give you smartly groomed brows. How do you get that polished brow?

Here are my weapons of choice:
*BE ADVISED THIS IS MY PERSONAL TECHNIQUE*
1) A great canvas (skin)
2) Healthy brow hairs (moist and firm hairs, not dry and brittle hairs. See my previous post on mascara)
3) Brow scissors & Brow Shapers
4) A good pencil, pen or powder
5) A good brow wax (to start training the hairs in place)
6) A good brow gel (to style and finish the brow and in some cases to lighten or darken as a highlight)
7) Jolen Creme Bleach (*optional, if you’d like to tint your brows)

20140404-010317.jpg
Everyone achieves the perfect brow their own way. What counts ultimately is that you get there!

20140404-015209.jpg

BROW WAX
Brow Wax to lay unruly brows down and just train them to line up.

20140402-022404.jpgBROW PENCILS
Hands down my current brow pencil of choice is by MAC. But I tell you if Max Factor ever bought Fineline back again Id be considered a defector easily! Sorry I just jave to tell the truth. However of all the brow pencils Ive worked with after Fineline MAC is the only one that I’ve found that gives me that look and feel. BRAVO MAC!!! A word to the wise MAC…dont ever get crazy and decide to change up the formula’s consistency or discontinue the pens, okay?!

20140404-012033.jpg

20140404-015416.jpg

BROW GELS
Brow Gel Clear and Tinted are my favorite final step to perfect brows. I use them to “stylize” a brow at times meaning, I use different colors to create highlights in the brow much like you would the hair on your head. Why do that, you may ask?

I do it to sometimes lighten up an extremely dark brow to create the illusion of softness. Or I may want to thicken a brow with a slightly darker gel. It all depends on the style of brow you are looking to create.

20140402-022415.jpg
PS if you find any of those OG’s (Old Glams) please send them over!!!

OK, ladies and gentlemen, there are some looks that are simply UNACCEPTABLE! LET’S GO THERE…I’M GOING TO NEED YOU TO STOP DOING THIS!!!!

20140403-193209.jpgAND THAT😔

20140403-193437.jpgOH AND THIS….PLEASE HAVE MERCY🙏🙏🙏

20140403-193608.jpgNOW HERE ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF GOOD BROW GROOMING

When you have your brows well groomed it makes all the difference to your appearance and even outlook. You simply feel better. Here are a few of my brow clients before and after’s. These ladies are some serious power brokers in business and they know what it takes to be taken seriously and look good doing it!

20140403-194545.jpg

20140403-194638.jpg

20140403-194654.jpg

20140404-014306.jpg

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

The Skinny on Phat Lashes

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

20140329-170432.jpg
Finding your mascara
There’s always talk about mascaras…but two things I find most important in finding, purchasing and using a “good masacara”.

1) A good formula*
You want a good formula, one that gives the richest color deposit (shouldn’t be dull in color), long lasting (wears all day without flaking), eyelash conditioning (gel mascaras or silkening mascaras) and in some cases ones that are truly waterpfroof.

2) It’s always about a good brush*
A good brush begins with knowing how your lashes grow (the texture, length and how often you shed). If you don’t know your own lash you are liable to pick the wrong mascara expecting amazing results.

The bristles on the brush varies from brand to brand. You want to find the right brush for your lash type (short, medium, long, super curly, sparse, full, too straight, curl under…etc…I’ve seen them all).

20140402-200710.jpgAlso there are no rules when it comes to getting what you personally want from a mascara. The real question for you is..”What do you want the mascara to do for your eyelashes?” Have you just ever stopped before you shopped and asked yourself that question before making that $30 purchase?

Or have you just splurged because its a designer brand and you had to have it and now you’re angry and want to take it back because its not working for you? Don’t be mad at the brand be angry that you didn’t ask the right question before the purchase!

What the Pro Makeup Artists recommend

20140329-171951.jpg
Every Pro I know will recommend 7 brands that we all know of
1) Great Lash by Maybelline
2) Definicils, Extencils by LANCOME
3) Voluminous by LOREAL
4) Volume Mascara by Kevyn Aucoin
5) Georgio Armani by Armani
6) Cle De Peau by Cle De Peau
7) MAC Volumizer by MAC

20140402-211917.jpg
My personal fave mascaras…
1) Kevyn Aucoin Volume Mascara
2) Loreal Voluminous
3) Benefit They’re Real
4) butter London

*Rule Breaking Tip*
Let’s say you have one brands formula you like better than another but, you like another brands brush better for your personal lash….(here’s the tip)… buy both and simply switch out one brush for another provided the brush will actually fit in another brands bottle!

EYELASH CURLER
I’m going to give you another piece of advice (and this is for free)…invest in a good lash curler!

Why? Because it really does make a difference in how your lashes look and how your mascara will finish your look.

My personal favourite is the “Individual Eyelash Curler” (pictured bottom left). This curler gets into all the places that the big contraption ones don’t get (the inner and outer corners of the lashes)! I’ve found over the years that the contraption one curls the lash into an “L” shape (follow me ok) and the individual one curls the lash into a “C” shape.

You want a “C” shape curl so that the lash has a natural bend that lasts longer than your “L”…get it? Hope so.;)

Oh, and P.S. be careful using the heated lash curler on synthetic false lashes…honey they’ll crumble up like potato chips (you’re forwarned)… Moving on…
20140329-172449.jpg
Healthy Real (your own)Lashes

20140402-221643.jpgOkay so we’ve talked all about the products and tips and tricks now, lets talk real talk.

IT ALL REALLY STARTS WITH YOU!

You can add all the amenities you want to but the truth is it all starts with you, a healthy diet and common sense. Think about it like this. Your eyelashes, eyebrows and the hair on your head are ALL HAIR!

So just like you care for the hair on your head by getting treatments and moisturizers, the same goes for the hair on your face (lashes & brows). Does that make sense? Sure it does. So lets go ahead and get you started on a regime that’s all natural and just simply works…trust me on this!

Now, lets start by getting a plastic mini travel squeeze container (with a flip top). Plastic disposable mascara wands. A bottle of Castor Oil, Almond Oil and Coconut Oil.

To the plastic container you will add a 1/3 of each oil making sure to leave a bit of air in the top so when you’re placing the mascara wand in your tube you won’t have spilling.

Use this oil just like you would your regular mascara, only you are now deep conditioning and treating your lashes with care.

Trust me on this, in a matter of days you will see growth and even prevent lines around the eyes naturally. Why? Because its moisture. I usually do it overnight or during the day running errands with my UV sunglasses on. It’s all about eye care and skincare.

20140403-014817.jpg
Here’s another tip for lashes…Vasaline! Stay tuned for my next blog on this age old product…trust me in 3 days you can see a great difference with Vasaline and a mascara wand or just your fingertips.

20140403-031643.jpg

So, I know this was a long one but well worth it.

Paint On viZionaire, Paint On,
NZINGHA

MAC Cosmetics Product Review

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc20140401-232851.jpg

20140401-233559.jpg
Well, my history with MAC Cosmetics is a long one and definitely one to talk about in having longstanding relationships with your clients.

For those who may not be familiar with my work or new to my artistry. I’ve worked with both Mary J Blige and Lil’ Kim for 13years that had come to an amicable close a bit after the promotion of the VIVA GLAM ads done in early 2000 (no shade, all love and growth). This shoot was done by Photographer and friend David LaChapplelle.

This shoot was the catalyst in my 14 year relationship with MAC. I also worked with MAC while I was working on the Broadway play “WICKED”. Yes, Elphaba is a MAC girl, Lololol! Although I must say her foundation is a bit green! Lololol!

20140402-140401.jpgI’ve used MAC on many of the projects I’ve done makeup for and am always excited to try any new offerings they may have in makeup. Now, clearly I use many other brands but, MAC is always putting something new out faster than you can blink and, it can be difficult to keep up with for reviews. But I’d like to share with you some of my latest finds and uses in MAC products.

20140401-231855.jpg

•Marine Bright Formula Softening Lotion & Moisture Creme

Honestly, I’ve never quite really used any of MAC’s Skincare Products (Im a La Mer, Mario Badescu, Shiesedo and Bliss girl) BUT, I have to say I’m LOVING this collection!!

Both the Softening Lotion and the Moisturizing Creme are AWESOME! The Softening Lotion is like a liquid pore refiner and feels like water but leaves the skin feeling clean and taught. The way I used it was with a cotton bud but you can always spray it on (as a finisher) or splash it on with your hands (of course on a clean face).

The Moisture Creme is really invisibly light but has deep penetrating yet light moisture (not oily at all, more like aqua moisture).

It feels like water but yet it’s a creme…I know it’s an oxymoron but its hard to describe how it feels. My skin just drunk it all in and looks like new. My makeup today actually does look different and set really well.

And using it on clients who seem to have large pores it seemed like it just refines the skin and leaves the skin clear smooth and flat on the surface. Which for me is a great starting canvas for makeup.

Ok friends,I really like this one. It’s definitely a keeper for my kit! Moving on to the next item.

20140401-232135.jpg
•MAC Cosmetics | Prep + Prime CC Colour Correcting Compact

1) Illuminate
2) Neutralize
3) Adjust
4) Recharge

These pressed powders are very similar in texture to Studio Fix yet my only complaint is they are a bit chalky in color. The powder is very finely milled which makes it great to put on top of finished makeup making it good for blending.

I find that I use Illuminate, Neutralize and Recharge for concealer powdering under the eyes and for spot highlighting. Adjust I’ve actually used as a blush on lighter complected clients. On darker clients I use it as a “middle” color to blend light concealer powder and blush.

The matching Prep + Prime CC Color Correcting Cremes I see very little difference in color. To me they’re all interchangeable. I’d rather use Smashbox, Makeup For Ever’s HD Color Correctors or Bobbi Brown’s newest CC Correcting Cremes that have a bit more pigmentation and can actually Neutralize and Color Correct!! These offerings are politely,…a bit disappointing. Sorry.

20140401-231943.jpg

•MAC Cosmetics | Pro Lip Palettes

1) Modern Browns
2) Select Plums
3) Editorial Oranges
4) Preferred Pinks
5) Editorial Reds

Ok, telling the truth…I was holding off on these palettes…why?…because I’ve created my own palettes over the years and have some really funky colors (blue, green, black, yellow, glitters, neons etc.)

But I have to say, these are really a MUST in your Pro Kit…there I said it!!! A MUST!

Really some of the chosen colors are pretty. The chosen ones are their most popular selling lip colors in one palette! Awesome! Running the gamut from moist glossy creams to authentic mattes. You start mixing and blending and rule breaking you will have a fabulous lip for print or film.

I also find the packaging great because its flat so it’s easy to carry about and the colors are in categories (like I have my personally made kits) i.e Reds, Pinks, Neutrals, Oranges and Plums…LOVE IT! Bravo MAC, bravo!

3 thumbs up for these dolls!

20140401-232249.jpg

• MAC Dazzleglass “Sugarrimmed”

So they discontinued my FAVORITE Lipglass color “White” so instead I got this little number it’s a very sheer pink with tiny rainbow glitters in it similar to my former Lipglass.

Truthfully Lipglass’ old formula strangely used to make clients lips peel…LITERALLY!!! It was scary but I always managed to hide it on shoots by using a quick buff (with Sara Happ Lip Scrub in Creme Brûlée…LIFESAVER!!) to quickly hit those lips off while onset and start from scratch!

I used Dazzleglass yesterday and it was indeed a hit! I think it may be a keeper and staple in the kit, let’s see what happens today. In fact I used it so lovingly that honestly I’ve literally used up half the tube already!!

Overall these selections from MAC are pretty awesome. And some will definitely become a staple in my kit.

Paint On viZionaire, Paint On…
Best Wishes,
NZINGHA