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Q&A With Sam Fine, Creative Makeup Director For Fashion Fair Cosmetics

Big Makeup News For Women of Color!

We're excited to present this story from Allure:

When it comes to making women of color look amazing, makeup artist Sam Fine is pretty much king. In addition to glamming up top celebrities like Iman, Jennifer Hudson, Vanessa Williams, and Tyra Banks, he’s also known for his genius tips and tricks (check them out firsthand on his DVD, Fine: The Basics of Beauty). Now, he’s teaming up with Fashion Fair as the makeup brand’s new Creative Makeup Director. We talked with him about his new gig. See what Sam had to say when you keep reading.

For those who aren’t familiar with Fashion Fair, can you tell us a little more about it?
Most women of color are spoken to in the drugstore, but this brand is luxury. Fashion Fair has been around 38 years and it’s a prestige brand that has never really changed its mission—it’s always been there for women of color. It’s a staple for me—my mom used it!—so to team up with them is really like coming home.

Tell us about your collaboration with Fashion Fair.
I’ll be looking at color and shade ranges for the company, and also developing a color-based collection that will come out in the spring. Fashion Fair already has a ton of great core products—I’ll be injecting newness and fashion and more makeup-artist-driven products into the line.

You have so many loyal Twitter followers. What’s the biggest makeup question you get from them?
The questions I constantly get are, ‘What foundation can I buy?’ What concealer can I buy?’ I always tell women to think about it before you go to the store. It’s like grocery shopping—you don’t go grocery shopping hungry. Think about whether you want something long-lasting. Do you want something with more coverage? Less coverage? Thinking about it beforehand helps you make a better choice—and it helps the advisor in the store to guide you.

Many women with dark complexions tell us that they shy away from powder because it can leave a gray cast. Is it ok to skip it?
Powder is to foundation as topcoat is to nail polish. It’s a setting agent. You can build as much coverage as you want, but you have to set it. It might take trial and error, but you can find the right one. The best powders for dark skin are usually in the brands that target women of color. Fashion Fair makes a great loose powder—RuPaul is a fan of it.

Have brands gotten better at all over the years at addressing women of color?
It’s still a struggle. You have brands that have never spoken to this woman. I think some of the brands just don’t know how to have the conversation. Because it’s more than just making darker shades—you have to reach out. Many brands try, but their attempts fall short. They launch the colors, but then get rid of them later because they say they didn’t sell—but really, they didn’t sell because of a lack of outreach. With Fashion Fair, I love that I’ll have the ability to train people behind the counter, as well. We’ll make sure we’re really talking to this customer.

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