Tom Ford Beauty | Product Review

Written by NZINGHA for TheGlamSquadFiles

I love makeup classics. Makeup classics are products that have an elegant feel and look. Brands like CHANEL, YSL, Dior, Giorgio Armani, Estée Lauder/LANCOME, Kevyn Aucoin are what I consider to be classics. You know exactly what you’re going to get with that brand elegance and beautiful smooth clear skin and flawless makeup. And let’s talk about packaging that is sleek and clean yet edgy.  Tom Ford Beauty is now added to my list of classics.

I’ve always admired Tom and his personal journey in this fashion and entertainment industry. And he surely gave the GUCCI brand new life and a new audience with his design collections. And now I consider his cosmetic line to join the ranks of “The Classics”. Tom Ford Beauty like Kevyn Aucoin Beaute are this generations classic elegant brands. Tom Ford is millennial dark, sexy and a bit daring. I think the brand defines what will be millennial classic. You know how a woman has to grow into looking just right wearing a pearl necklace, that’s what this brand feels like. The skin is light and luminous and no real sharp lines yet clean and simple. Much like his clothing line.


illuminating Highlighter Pen $52

Can I tell you how much I LOVE THIS HIGHLIGHTING PEN!!!! I have never seen such a beautiful highlight with any brand so far. The highlighter comes in a clicker pen and is very similar to YSL’s Touché Eclat (which hands down is my favorite concealer next to NARS)…the colors I received were Citrine and Lavender Voile. Citrine is a yellow gold  and Lavender Voile is a pinky lavender color both have a beautiful high shimmer. The product is lightweight in formula but has extreme long wear. Packaging is smart with this product in my opinion because you are able to directly apply to the skin with no mess and fuss. Most liquid highlighters come in a bottle with a pvc stick inside to apply the product. This skips that whole process and gives you what you want directly. 

*This product definitely goes into my permanent Pro Makeup Kit for my clients!

Ultimate Shine Lip Gloss $46


Ultra Shine Lip Gloss comes in 10 colors from nude to a deep violet. This product has lovely colors and a medium glossy shine. The applicator is in a brush format whch I love so much more than a doefoot sponge applicator (I tend to dislike those kind of applicators because it tends to hold bacteria more and is stingy with product application). I chose to try out two colors that I deemed neutral Peach Absolute and Naked both colors are lovely BUT the drawback for me is the gummy sticky feel of the product. I will say the colors do have longer wear but truly I would use these over a regular lipstick as a highlight color. I personally didn’t like the feel of the product and would probably only use it for print more than video not because of the look but because of the feel.

Shade Illuminate $80


Shade and Illuminate comes in 2 colors and is in a cream format. The cream is lightweight and can best be applied with a brush or fingers for best blending. These are a contour and highlight duo. When I first saw this I have to say I was unimpressed but after application i found I really liked it!!! I think this product is best when you’re using a liquid foundation and want a light dewy look to the skin. It simply makes the skin glow and gives a great contour.

*This product goes into the permanent Pro Makeup Kit for my clients.

Skin Illuminating Powder Duo $80

The Skin Illuminting Powder Duo makes all other brands of highlighter BOW DOWN!!!!!!!!!!! UNREAL GLOW is all I can say or should I say SLAY!!! I’ve tried a few others and I have to say Ton Ford SLAYS!! YESSSSS!!!! This one quickly goes into my Pro Makeup Kit for all ETERNITY!! Yes don’t ever discontinue this product okay?

Both colors are highly pigmented and yes fits any skin tone and color. My only complaint is ….well…I have none! Just go out and get yours today but, be sure to leave some for me!!!

*This product definitely goes into the permanent Pro Makeup Kit for my clients (and me too).

Men’s Grooming with Tom Ford

Can I tell you how excited I was to get these Men’s Grooming products?! You’d think I’d be more excited about the products for women (which I was) but to know that men can now groom themselves at optimum levels is exciting to me!

With great grooming brands like BEVEL and Tom Ford the world is a much better groomed place!! So okay, I only have 3 items but boy have been impressed! I have the Hydrating Lip Balm, the Beard Oil (my absolute fave in this gifting in the original Neroli Portofino scent) and Bronzing Gel.

So far this mini collection can do just the trick alone. The Beard Oil is AMAZING! What shine on the facial hair and it’s more manageable because it’s softens the hair especially when you’re “training” your beard. And let’s face it it smells incredible!! I hate looking at these guys with these beards and wondering of it smells good?!

 Here I have one of my actors who I’ve given a good grooming before he went out on set. Wow what a difference right?! His skin is healthy and clear looking and just check out his beard! No more dry chaffed lips either. I used all 3 products to achieve this look on him and he still looks natural.

The Bronzing Gel gave the right amount of warmth to the skin without looking strangely orange. Just warm and approachable. The gel is lightweight and mildly clean fresh scent. The Hydrating Lip Balm is transparent, light, not gummy or sticky and glossy. And most of all it doesn’t smell like camphor! It works immediately to hydrate so in winter months or extreme heat the guys will hold up fine on set.

The Documentary

The Makeup Show Holiday Pop-Up Shop : Review

 Written by NZINGHA for TheGlamSquadFiles


 So every year for the last 4 years now I have always been in attendance at all of the Holiday Pop Up Shops that The Makeup show has presented. I guess you would say I’m a loyalist to the beauty industry. But this year was a bit different for me with this Pop Up Shop. 

I’ve matured as a shopper (meaning I’m less of an impulse shopper and more of a focused and neccessity shopper with purpose and direction) I am a more seasoned shopper and a Pro MUA (not the novice or MU enthusiast). when I make a purchase guaranteed I will be using it for work on some show the next day!
So  okay I went with a plan as I usually do  to most of these shows  so I’m not aimlessly walking around dazed by all I see then winding up getting items I eally dont want or need. then they have the nerve to give you a free drink ticket (I didn’t endulge, only causes more brainless shopping!!! LOLOL!!!). So I remained sober! And was even more super sober when I finally added up my purchases at the end of the evening.

I went in with a specific budget and proudly didn’t go over it at the show. However I did reserve two big ticket items that most definintely were on my list but not in the budget at that time (but I wound up getting those items later for a special show price still being honored by the vendor).

The Official Makeup Show For Spring 2016

MAY 1-2, 2016

Sunday, May 1, 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Monday, May 2, 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Dates for The Makeup Show NYC have been set. Mark your calendars for May 1-2, 2016. Register to Get Updates to be notified as exhibitors and presenters are announced and when tickets go on sale.


The information below is from our The Makeup Show NYC 2015.

AJ Crimson Beauty Limelight by Alcone

Alcone Company Lit Cosmetics

Amika Hair Care London Brush Company

Armour Beauty MAC Cosmetics

Ashunta Sheriff Magnolia Makeup

Auraline Beauty Inc Make-Up Designory

Beauty Addicts MAKE UP FOR EVER

Beautylish MAKE UP FOR EVER Academy

Beauty So Clean Mario Badescu

Bdellium Tools Mehron

Besame Cosmetics MG Hair and Makeup

Billion Dollar Brows Michael Marcus

BlackUp Model in a Bottle

Blinc Inc Model Launcher

Breakups To Makeup MustaeV

Bodyography Naked Cosmetics

Cinema Secrets Nars Cosmetics

CLEANSE by Lauren Napier Nigels Beauty Emporium

Cosmix Inc. Nurturing Force

Crown Brush NYX Cosmetics

Dante Disposables Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics

Dermalogica Parian Spirit

Elementwo Pinnacle Cosmetics

Ellis Faas Pür Minerals

Embryolisse USA Ricky’s NYC

EVE PEARL Beauty Brands Rouge Bunny Rouge

Eye Kandy Cosmetics Senna Cosmetics

Face Atelier Sephora

Flutter Lashes Smashbox Cosmetics

Frends Beauty Supply Static Nails

Glamcor Stila Cosmetics

Gleam by Melanie Mills Surratt Beauty

Graftobian Makeup Company T3 Micro

Grande Lash MD Temptu PRO

Gripless Beauty The Knot

Hakuhodo Usa The Makeup Light

I Make You Beautiful The Powder Group

Inglot Cosmetics Tweezerman

Kat Von D Beauty Veil Cosmetics

Kett Cosmetics Velour Lashes

Kevyn Aucoin Violet Voss

Kimiko Beauty Vincent Longo

Kiss USA Yaby Cosmetics

Lady Moss Youngblood Mineral Cosmetics

Lashes In A Box Z Palette


*Artist Spotlight | Kevyn Aucoin…a friend


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.

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)


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.


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.”

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.

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 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 👏👏👏👏

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.

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.”

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!