YSL Touché Eclat Anything!!!!! | Product Review

Written by NZINGHA for TheGlamSquadFiles

  
I really don’t know where to begin this review. Uhhh okay, so  let’s start with a question. I think this is a great way to lay down the tracks for this post. 

Sooooo, let’s say you’re a Professional Makeup Artist. And you’ve been in the entertainment and beauty business for close to 30yrs.You’ve used every brand of makeup (unknown brands to designer brands) in your makeup kit for your clients in every medium from print to film. So, what kind of makeup do you wear personally? I mean do you even wear makeup?

Answer: Well, I have to say there are days that I wear makeup and days where I just simply don’t give a rip!! But when I do wear makeup you can be rest assured I hold no punches on the beat!!! Hahahaaa!!! I have to say I have a few staples that are in my personal makeup kit and one brand I totally stand by is YSL!!! Tried and true. I know exactly what I’m gonna get with this brand and its perfection!! And honestly for me it all started with the Touché EClat Pen. Can I tell you how that pen has always given my work life on set! And yes, I then started using it for myself as well.

  

 
Honestly in the early days of YSL they really did not have my color foundation available at the time but I would wear the mascara and the lipsticks (which I loved). For me like most women the packaging is a classic and this brand is definitely a classic upscale brand that exudes style and taste. Now when I say classic I mean more mature women but how would that classic translate to millennials? Well trust me it has translated well!!!! The brand has gotten some new chemists or something and definitely have awesome package designers and product developers.

  

  

Oh and YES THEY HAVE MY COLOR NOW!!! Thanks YSL my classic beauty brand on full display.  
http://www.yslbeautyus.com

e.l.f Haul/Product Review

Written by NZINGHA for TheGlamSquadFiles™

  
I love useful beauty products!! I love products that simply work and especially love affordable products that work!!! Now with that said in walks e.l.f Cosmetics. A brand that I had long penned as my go to “recession brand”. Why do I pen the brand this way? 

The e.l.f brand came about during the roughest time in the midst of Americas millennial recession and still did surprisingly well. Why are they doing so well, well enough to open two new NY Boutiques? I’m no financial or marketing anaylist but I believe it’s because the brand simply delivers and its strategy seems simple…they are everywhere, even in the most unlikely stores and shops. e.l.f just delivers the goods to the general public! No fluff no puff or dancing eyelashes in a sleek commercial found on every network on your TV.

  
I first remembered being introduced to elf in a Target store and couldn’t believe I could get 120 eyeshadows that actually go on well for $10!!! I thought…”This is crazy! What am I doing actually buying this stuff? I mean will it really work?” The answer is an unequivocal YES!!

Well, some years and several purchases in between I actually finally made my way down to the Financial District in NY (Fulton Street & Nassau) to actually check out their boutique and boy was I pleasantly surprised!

It was a sleek moder well stocked clean boutique. With items I’d seen before and others I’d never seen before. e.l.f is truly magical and unbelievably affordable. So here’s my actual haul and review.

   

elf SLAYS in the portable lotion department!! NOBODY DOES IT LIKE elf!!! They’re Lotion Wipes are a staple found in my kit…why? Because 

  1. No messy leaking and spilling out of product all over my kit!!
  2. Hygienically sound for multiple talent on set. Each person can have their own and easily toss away when they’re done.
  3. Environmentally friendly.
  4. Smells good and leaves the skin hydrated, moisturized and soft.

And yes I bought several dozens of each scent for the new TV show I’m currently working on. LOVE THESE!!!

I am also a big fan of their Makeup Remover Wipes, the Exfoliating Makeup Remover Wipes and the Eye Makeup Remover Wipes! All are genius for when I’m on set and need to do quick non-negotiable clean ups while on set!! As you well know you can get caught out there on set and have NO TIME to do quick changes but are always expected to do them with little correcting time on the clock WELL…these babies are my answer to that and my talents skin is NEVER IRRITATED by these products.


    

I can’t believe how awesome these portable palm sized kits are so good at delivering color deposit and a variety of colors that I can actually use. I use this kit for my day playing BG Actors. And most of all I just pop them in my kit without taking up all this room!!!

Oh and let me be clear about something else while we’re here…YES I use elf makeup brushes! I think they’re awesome! Here are the ones I picked up in my haul and yes I got doubles of each!!! The Giant Kabuki is great for all over body powder and shimmer powders, the flat contour feels like butter on the skin and applies and blends incredibly. The glitter applicator is genius and so is the shadow sheild!!

  

Well here I come to the end of my haul. Just as I was up at the register I happened to see this lil number…Lip Tint. Another one is love. Just a hint of color, not too much but just a slight blush of color. It almost has the effect of a mood lipstick but much lighter and transparent. It also leaves the lips soft and smooth.

 

Overall my jaunt to elf on Fulton Street was a fun experience and a great haul! You can never have enough products in you Pro Kit and with elf you get great brand items minus the financial guilt!

Curl On, Paint On ViZionaire,

NZINGHA 

STROBING Makeup? What is “Strobing”?

Written by NZINGHA for TheGlamSquadFiles™

As I’ve been researching on the internet I’ve found this new term floating around “STROBING”. I’m like what the blaze is that about?!? These kids making up names for this we’d already tagged for years!!

It made me chuckle a bit to think how everything in life really does go in cycles. Contouring is a cycle revisited in every generation and it seems so again with STROBING! Ok I’d done this look on several occasions with my Musical Celebrity Clients all throughout the 90’s only we never called it strobing.

My Makeup look for Mary J Blige for Interview Magazine shot by David La Chappelle. Here she is strobing with NARS BODY GLO and Johnson’s Baby Oil Gel.

 

The look for me took me back in different eras 20’s, 30’s, 40’s and 70’s Disco. One of my fave sites to see some vintage looks is http://www.queensofvintage.com you will see nothing is really new, it’s just revisited by an era that comes behind it. It’s rediscovered and in some cases redesigned but never re-invented!!

Here’s Ms. Marilyn Monroe clearly 50’s style strobing

  I mean just look at these Legends looking glorious and just that hint of sheen and highlight in the right spots. Meanwhile the natural contours of their faces were strong to begin with.

All Strobing is is a play on light, highlighting and a little sheen or even a high gloss for extra drama! It’s not to be confused with a dewy look. A dewy look is lightweight and pretry much consistent all over the face. Strobing is focused either in a mild way or in a dramatic way (that’s when I break out the oils, not just creams or shimmering powders) it’s really making use of the light source on your subject and reflecting that light. 

 

My latest Strobing makeup work with the lovely Model Olivia. See how the light hits her face in strategic places?

 

This is Rapper Charli Baltimore in a shot we did for Honey Magazine again a play on light and liquid to create this strobe look.

 

  Now I’m going to share with you how my creative mind worked at that time (and trust me it saved me many a day when I had countless models on set to do full face and body makeup). Believe it or not I would use a can of Isoplus Oil Sheen Spray!! 

Yes I used a hair sheen spray, yes it worked and yes it looked good!!! No streaks just an even stream of sheen in all the right places and the formula was thick enough to stay in place yet thin enough to coat and spray and no harm was ever done to anyone’s skin!! 

My personal technique for “Strobing” is equal parts foundation to liminzer (MAC Strobe Cream, Gorgio Armani Luminzer, or a loose shimmering powder and all other makeup are also creams) I like to use my fingers on the skin to warm it up and move the product better. Then I go in and stipple brush in circular motions to blend. And then I’d  finish off with a mist of sheen spray (well now I use Caudalie as my sheen spray).  

I strobe on the body as well. I would use the same technique with the body and a larger brush (no sponges!). My fave body strobing options today are 

  1. Caudalie (The spray bottle and scent make this one #1 choice for numerous purposes)
  2. NARS Body Glo
  3. Body Shop Honey Bronze   

My Makeup for Lil’ Kim in this video is “Strobing 101: For Dummies ” music video style. Check the pause at counter 3:44-3:45 you will see STROBING at its best!!

“Soul Sista” Written & Sung by Bilal, Directed by Nzingha Stewart , Makeup Consultant by NZINGHA . Here we are STROBING to the 11th power!!!

Right now this is my “Go-To” on set STROBING body oil by Caudalie’…WHY? Smells great, sprays (that’s the deal breaker for me) and they’ve got mini’s (also a deal breaker for me, remember I bought the mini Isoplus’ because they were mini and spray!) for my On-Set bag! 

Had we had Caudalie’ in the 90’s I would’ve bought them by wholesale case as I prefer to have bulk of my fave Go-To products. That’s the other thing. When you’ve been at it for years you develop a signature Pro MUA style, presentation and you become set about the products that will become long term staples in your Kit.

Right now this is mt “Go-To” on set body oil…WHY? Smells great, sprays and they’ve got mini’s for my set bag!

 
Jackie Aina : Strobing

Wayne Goss: Strobing

Tina Young: Strobing

black|Up! Cosmetics | Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Here are the eyeliners (liquid gold and orchid colored gel pencil eyeliner) and concealer

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

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

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

PRICE | $25.50

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

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

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

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

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

Here is the Creme Poudre’ (NFC03)

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

Rich Moisturising Lipsticks

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

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

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black|Up! Video Reviews

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Marc Jacobs Beauty | Review

Marc Jacobs Beauty |Review
Written by NZINGHA for ZFACEINC,nyc

Can I just tell you how much I’m loving the Marc Jacobs Beauty Collection!!! I was on a photo shoot yesterday and used the Marc Gele Foundation, conncealer and Gloss in both Heart Shaped and Over Protected. LOVED IT!!!

I love the overall packaging of the line. It’s pretty visually definable much like his clothing collection. The oval frosted bottles kinda remind me of Halston back in the 80’s…post disco chic!

My only 2 qualms (and this first one is major) about the line is the foundation color range…it excludes darker complexions! Are we still doing that exclusion thing really? It’s 2014 get with the program and consult some people of color about developing more colors. The second qualm I have is the names on the products are just too damned long!!! Like can we abbreviate some of those names?! C’mon already!!!

20140909-140318.jpgMarvelous Mousse Foundation

Price $55.00

I was shooting Kandace Springs (singer, songwriter, musician) for a beauty & hair book this past weekend. And I thought it would be great to introduce her to the brand as well. And yes, Kandace loved Marc’s line too!! I used the color “34 Beige Medium” (perfect on the spot!) I mixed the foundation with a little coconut oil for a really light dewy look.

TECHNIQUE: I mix a bit of the oil into the foundation on my mixing palette then used the BeautyBlender® to sponge it on.

Yes the coconut oil gives the foundation a light dew. If you want more of a slick dewy look baby oil gel will give a pure wet look.

20140909-142426.jpgGenius Gel Foundation
Price $48.00

Here’s Lady Kandace Springs and I after the shoot for celebrity photographer Hosea Johnson’s upcoming coffee table book

20140909-144651.jpgMy favourite concealers right now are ones that give good coverage yet feel light and are liquid yet dry to a beautiful creaseless finish. Here Marc has a concealer that has a similar feel to me as the Marvelous Mousse Foundation which are incredibly light feeling and can be sheer but give a good buildup if you want more coverage.

20140909-140348.jpgRe(Marc)able Full Cover Concealer
Price $32.00

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Remedy Concealer Pen
Price $39.00

A model came in the salon on Saturday and was getting her hair done, I asked her to come in my chair because I wanted to try the concealer (because her eyes were puffy as if she’d been crying).

I used the “After Curfew #7”. In all actually wound up using it as her overall foundation!!!! The color was beautiful, perfect for her complexion.
Yes ladies I used the concealer as a foundation!!!

Later on that afternoon this is what happened; I also, had one in the fridge and then used it (yes chilled) on one woman’s eyes and trust me it’s anti puffiness! Why is it anti-puffiness, because of that metal tip applicator! That applicator tip is genius!!

I love the overall constriction of the Remedy Concealer Pen. Love the metal applicator tip, the clicker base, and the mini window (to see how much of the product you have left)…smart packaging! My most favourite color in the Remedy is the baby pink “Bright Idea”…great highlighter color and great for women who have those pesky blue veins under their eyes and for darker complexions that have gray/blue darkness.

20140909-140441.jpgLust For Laquer Lip Vinyl-Sheer
Price $28.00

The Vinyl Sheer Lip Glosses are great long wearing and no running glosses. The colors I chose are obviously sheer with a slight natural tint. My favourites are Clear and Heart Shaped.

Okay my final analysis of the Marc Jacobs Beauty Collection is…I love it accept for that one element that needs immediate alterations deeper tones in the foundations.

Paint On viZionaire,
NZINGHA

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