M•A•C Cosmetics Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set | Review

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

You’re probably thinking the same thing I was thinking when M•A•C introduced this new Waterproof Brow Set…NOT ANOTHER EYEBROW ANYTHING!!!

I felt like we have totally been over obsessed with eyebrows this past couple of seasons and I really don’t understand it. One brand specializes in brow products, then Instagrammers go nuts with scouring for bigger bolder even more colorful brows! What’s next on this new brow frontier?

Well, I answered my own question…not water resistant but waterproof brow set! Not a brow gel but a set (setting the natural brow hairs in place). Well, with all the work most Pro MUA’s do can find them in some unlikely situations.

EXAMPLES:
1) Having to spray liquids on a makeup and not have any streaks of makeup flowing down

2) With men the focal points on men with facial hair are brows, sideburns,mustaches and beards (especially these days with men actually growing out long styled beards).

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You know sometimes with character makeup you may have to completely change the appearance of a person and; surprisingly changing someone’s brows can really make a person look different!

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After testing out these colors I’ve got to say I’m really LOVING THIS PRODUCT!!! All the colors are matte except for one that has a slight shimmer to it Toasted Blonde. My personal favorite is Red Chestnut. I like it for a slightly bleached brow look without actually bleaching my brows!

Where was this product in the 90’s when all of us top MUA’s were on Blonde Ambition Brow watch, buying cases of Jolene Cream Bleach?!?? No slight to Jolene, which is still the #1 selling facial hair bleaching cream!

I also love the smaller brush head. This brush helps you really navigate combing through the hair and getting each strand covered!

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Okay now lets look at the available colors. There are 6 colors all together.

1)Emphatically Blonde
(light ash taupe color)

2) Toasted Blonde
(golden slightly shimmery)

3) Red Chestnut
(red brown)

4) Gentle Brunette (not pictured)

5) Bold Brunette
(chocolate brown)

6) Brown Ebony
(chocolate black)

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Alright people as much as I love this brow set it does have it’s areas that need improvement. Well it’s not completely waterproof more like water-resistant and I think they should add 1 or 2 more colors like silver and a shimmery snow white (for actors playing older characters).

Overall do I love it? Emphatically…YES!!!

M•A•C’s Pro Longwear Waterproof Brow Set sells for $17.00

http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/149/30804/Products/Eyes/Brow/Pro-Longwear-Waterproof-Brow-Set/index.tmpl

M•A•C Cosmetics Prep + Prime Highlighter | Review

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

Where do I begin this post?…Mmmm maybe I could start with the fact that highlight is like the biggest deal now in makeup application. It’s become truly the highlight of the whole application process.

We now live in a makeup world where under eye brightening is a focus in makeup styling and, dare I say it but it appears to me that this is the “Millennial’s ” offering to an eras makeup styling.

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So to be sure one gets the maximum effect in highlighting in my estimation is a two step process. Best scenario a highlighter pen and a wisp of some glorious shimmery pressed pot, mineral or baked powder.

Here’s my review for M•A•C’s Prep + Prime Highlighter. Now lets be perfectly clear several companies now have highlighter pens that are also designed to act as a highlighter.

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Here I have 3 colors, (waiting on the 4th color, Radiant Rose) I have

Light Boost
Bright Forecast
Peach Lustre

The highlighter comes in this convenient click pen dispenser. I like how you can control the liquid product within the confines of the pen and brush with a cap top to prevent leaking spills. Only one drawback to all products that have this style of packaging is that you have to twist and click a couple of rounds before the product comes gushing out!

Once the product is out it’s perfect! Love the fact that you get so much product in this small slender pen. Please note that it’s 3.6 ml or 0.12 ounces which I think is quite ample for just a highlighter. And trust me on this one, a little goes a long way!

Another note, you’ve gotta work quickly when applying this product because it tries quickly and sets in place for extended wear!! You can use it over or under your foundation. I wouldn’t attempt to build this product up too much because its kinda opaque and may not look good with another layer added ontop.

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My favorite of the 3 is Bright Forecast for sure! Okay now, all three have a shimmer to them and are quite lovely but the Bright Forecast to me has the most noticeable shimmer of the 3 and I simply adore this one. It’s like a pink/golden color, it’s a keeper! Only drawback in this color is it’s the in between color which means it may be too dark for lighter complexions and too light for darker complexions.

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I also feel like these pens colors can be versitile for use as a blusher or blush transition color. You can always add more shimmer with a shimmery powder as I’d previously suggested.

This product seems to be water resistant as well. When I last used it, it stayed on for about 10 hours without retouching and was best removed by an oil based makeup remover. Overall I do like this product again for several reasons. This one will also become a staple in my Pro Kit!

M•A•C Prep + Prime Highlighter is sold for $26.00.
http://www.maccosmetics.com/product/shaded/153/15746/Products/Eyes/Primer/Prep-Prime-Highlighter/index.tmpl

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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The Incredible Artwork of Jason Mercier

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

“Jason Mecier, a San Francisco-based artist creates portraits of celebs using everything from bits of discarded jewellery to empty deodorant cans and bubble-gum wrappers. He has spent 15 years carefully collecting rubbish and using it for his masterful modern artwork. Artist Jason Mecier says that many celebrities have bought the work they inspired. Each one of his creations takes at least 50 hours of his time.”

~ James Pond CEO & Founder of Pondly.com
http://www.pondly.com/

http://www.jasonmecier.com/

My first introduction to the work of Jason Mercier was in 1997 with his work featured in the now defunct Suede Magazine. Suede was a hip trendy African American Women’s magazine to which I’d loaned some of my Makeup services to and had hopes of joining their staff as Beauty Contributor or even Editor at that time.

I’d gone up to the office and saw this future spread they were about to do that was all about celebrity makeup, so I thought. Well these ladies have all been in my makeup chair at some point so I thought they’d request me to do makeup for the shoot. the roster of ladies were Rosario Dawson, Missy Elliot, Ashanti and Mariah Carey.

Well, I never got a call for this amazing shoot! Why? Because it never happened!! I was in shock,… well I thought to myself, at least 2 of the ladies were on promo tours and one was working on a film with Will Smith. So I figured thats why the photo shoot was deaded.

When I finally saw the layout it was indeed the 4 ladies and there was makeup but, it was their portraits done in collage style with makeup products as the paint for their portraits!!!

GENIUS!!!

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I was rendered speechless and utterly and completely amazed at this new brand of “Makeup Artist”. No way could I even compete with this work…in fact no Makeup Artist that were my peers could!! This was another skill set none of us had reached it truly was ART!

I began to follow Jason’s work and I have to say each and every piece I’m floored by. I AM A FAN.period.com…Lololol! Just look at these pieces in Jelly Beans

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These in licorice

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The Comedians

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Musicians and their VICES…

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The Game Changers…

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No Better Drag Than These Dolls…

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Actresses and their VICES…

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Anyone who argues that this is not Art is a cerebral jerk!! Art is objective, subjective to its viewer. As for the celebrity aspect of the artwork makes it even more interesting that the portrait actually has their personal items in it.

It’s what I’d say is the “new” Pop Art. Pop Art is short for popular art. What’s popular to this generation. Warhol was Pop Art for his generation…his art was reflective of the culture and colors of his era…it’s was psychedelic, psychotropic and bright, multiples.

So what is one mans garbage is another mans treasure!

Here’s more from my FAVORITE Artist…check it out.

I just smiled when I saw George Lopez’ reaction to his portrait.
http://youtu.be/EuLmUd9C_jk

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TARTE Cosmetics Review

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TARTE Cosmetics review…
Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

It all started for me when I used my FAVORITE product from Tarte called “The Little Blot Book”. This was my go to item while working live on set. It gave me the finish of an HD powder long before HD powders were popular.

Yes, it was a bit light and, you did have to add a bit of color to it but, boy it kept my Actors dry and smooth especially the ones you know will perspire and that the makeup will move.

I always highly recommended it to other Artists to make this well worthwhile purchase just to have it in their Pro Kits. I recall going through at least 3 books while working on Spider-Man 3

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Recently while at work one of my lovely clients walked in bearing gifts from Tarte!! I was in shock and felt as if I’d gotten an Oscar or something. It was just the thought and presentation that warmed my heart.

Honestly I’d totally given up on Tarte after they pulled my Blot Book off the shelves but this surprise gifting has had me take a second look at the overall brand and the inner workings of the actual products. Can I say “My how things have changed! For the better! Better?”

The bearer of my gifts placed all of the products in Tartes signature purple shopping bag and then had this beautiful nylon fuschia cosmetic bag to go with all the products.

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The first items amongst a host of items were these stunning makeup brushes…no matter how many brushes you may have you always can use more!! Each brush is different and has different purposes. And for me dual sided brushes are always winners,especially when I’m on set and want to cut down on carrying my whole brush roll (hate that!). I’m all about being compact, smart , organised and efficient.

The bamboo wood handles on these brushes lend a superb aesthetic and uniqueness that is now apparently becoming Tarte’s signature look. For a while it seemed to me that Tarte didn’t have its own unique voice amongst the sea of beauty brands…what made it special or even a “go-to” brand.

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After spotting and pulling out my brushes I was overwhelmed by a sea of products in this awesome packaging. They’d redesigned the packaging!! Wow! I’m truly impressed!

All women like products that look good on the shelf and so Tarte is winning on looks but the true test for me as Pro working Makeup Artist is the actual product. For a real working Artist packaging is nice but it don’t pay the rent, the product and its ability to work does.

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So, lets take a look at what’s happening with the 3 things I look for in a product:
1) Color Payoff
2) Pigmentation
3) Longwear

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Usefulness and smart packaging…yes!

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All in one Foundations and BB Primer’s great idea huh?

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Swatches for the BB Primer and Foundcealer

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I have to be honest I’m never a fan of bronzers. I don’t fancy people walking around looking like Oompah Loompahs…can you say scary and hilarious at the same time?! Now the average person is not successful at actually applying bronzers. Lets see about this one from Tarte.

It’s got a bit of shine to it but not too overbearing. Shine is always great for a nighttime look and in my opinion but, a no-no for older women.

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Tarte is known for their longwear blush stains and these Color options are also now a staple in their collection. After trying them they definitely have longwear however the pigments on range are still a bit sketchy. Great for Caucasian women but for women of deeper tones they still need work.

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Shadows

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Eyeliner and Brow Gel

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More…

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Okay, so after trying it all…my overall feeling is ….this brand is still carving it’s niche out. The packaging is awesome. The product itself needs more work.

The clay in the foundation is great for people who have oily skin and large pores. The foundation, BB Primer, the Foundcealer all are rather dry and have a tendency to lack warmth in color leaving the coverage a bit cold and flat. However I would use the line as an overall primer because it does leave the skin smooth and the natural body oils don’t readily push through.

After applying the makeup (which was easy and smooth). The surface of my skin was beautiful and clear. I always allow for time with makeup for it to “marinate” and become one with the skin but,…IT NEVER HAPPENED!

I however after several hours (12 to be exact) still looked smooth (to Tarte’s benefit, and it is truly amazing how long it actually stayed on) yet GRAY (I ultimately cheated later by blotting it down with rosewater and adding a touch more color from another brand.)!! And simply too light for my skintone.

Now if the Foundcealer & BB Primer were a half shade darker and a bit more red, it would be perfect. The BB Primer is great as a tinted moisturizer and is great for those who have good clear skin and are looking to do a “no makeup, makeup look”. If you have darkness under the eyes I would recommend still using a concealer.

I will also say bravo to the loose Smooth Operator powder that comes at the base of the twist off top of the cream concealer. It’s perfect and I wouldn’t change it at all. Though it’s pure white (and may seem scary…like Twilight vampire scary) in the container trust me it’s truly a lightener for dark circles yet transparent (can’t explain it but honey it works at setting that concealer).

The products color range are very safe and non obtrusive. Really you can’t go wrong with their rage of colors if you are someone who is a bit frightened by bright playful colors.

I will give another nod to the retractable black eyeliner that did not move for 12 hours and did not need refreshing AT ALL during those 12 hours…AMAZING!! No running or smudging AT ALL!!! The retractable eyeliner pencil I definitely recommend you purchasing.

The foundations would be great for Caucasian skin tones, yet again, still lack warmth in the undertones so, you might want to mix it with a warmer foundation just for perfect color.

I will say the Foundcealer and the BB 12 hour primer does what it says and stays on for hours and the coverage is good and smooth. Buuuuttt…

Unfortunately the darkest colored foundations (deep) are still not full range and tend to look flat and ashy for women of color. I found I needed to add more Color to my face so, I wound up using another brands finishing pressed powder.

Overall Tarte has mastered packaging! Awesome packaging and great conceptual ideas for the functionality. Yay Tarte!!!👏👏👏👍👍👍

Yet, honestly,…the actual products need work. :|The colors lack Luster and come across as flat and safe.🎨My initial introduction to the product was by way of The Little Blot Book and, even then the powder was a bit patchy and needed revamping and needed a color safer for darker skin tones.

After speaking with a group of African American and Caribbean women the general consensus is…”Ya gotta mix it with something else for sure.”, or “I just gave it away. Who does this work for?”, or just a flat out “Nahhhh!”.

In closing…you can do it Tarte…work it out! I want you guys to win!

Flesh Tone…

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Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

What does “Nude” or “Flesh Tone” mean to women of color in fashion?

I recall sitting at my Grandmum’s feet and hearing her tell me stories of the fashions from her era 1930-1950’s. Those were her years of being a “Fashionista”. She told me how the women styled their hair (usually short or neck length and sometimes a bit longer but rolled up short into chingon’s), nails (mostly red varnish and then eventually pink) and makeup (pretty much nothing a powder if you could find one to match your skin color, red lipstick, mascara and a brow pencil).
Some modern young women could stand to re-evaluate their presentation. Take a peek at this vintage Makeup Tutorial…

I would look at some of her old photographs and the albums she had and even found one or two magazines. The women in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s were so glamourous and feminine looking, even on their down days they were still well groomed.

Ms. Edith (Grandmum) once told me a story while I was shimmying into my “nude” colored nylons (1977) getting ready for church. I was complaining about how ugly the Color of these stockings really were and how it just didn’t look like the natural color of my legs, maybe I should’ve tried just getting coffee (a brown thats darker than my natural medium brown colored legs) or black (you could never be wrong with black sheer nylons on right?)

I noticed she was laughing at me and said “AnnZingha, you think those are ugly eh? (Sucking her teeth) You should’ve seen the ones we had to wear back then. They used to call them Red Fox and boy were they eva RED! They were literally red. This was the only natural toned nylons for black people. Either that Beige or Black sheer. That was it!! Take it or leave it!”

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