Kenig + Alcone…Beauty Curators…a beauty ingenues heaven


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.


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

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!

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?”

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.



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.

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

The Wonders of Vaseline Review

20140403-024312.jpgWritten by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc


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.
Mr Chesebrough obviously knew early on about marketing and eventually becoming a brand! Check out these ads over the years

Obviously from its really early days

This ad looks like it may have come in the 30’s-40’s

This display looks like its from the 40’s or 50’s



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.


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.


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!


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!



20140403-142734.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


MAC Cosmetics Product Review

Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc20140401-232851.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.


•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.

•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.


•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!


• 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,