Sam Fine is one of the most sought after makeup artists in the business. With a host of clients like Tyra Banks and Iman, he’s become known as the go-to guy for beautifully enhancing a woman’s natural features. He has the ability to blend, contour and highlight with the precision of a surgeon’s hand. In our most recent BET Beauty Lounge, Fine took us through his inspiration for some of Mo’Nique’s best looks during this past award season, and now he has tips to helping you achieve a nude, natural glow. It takes more than you think.
Many women of color either wear foundation or powder, but not both. Is it important to combine the two?
Sam Fine: I think that a lot of women of color always think, ‘If I wear foundation or powder, I’ll look like pancake face or it will look heavy.’ A lot of women don’t realize that powder and foundation unify their tones. If you don’t have on foundation and powder, the bronzer doesn’t go on as even and as beautifully. What bronzer does is bring back that glow in a more controlled way.
Should you apply blush or bronzer first?
Sam Fine: Once you apply bronzer on the cheek, anything you apply afterward is going to look more subtle. If you use bronzer, apply it first, then use blush. It will make you look more like “you,” as opposed to it looking like blush color. Some bronzers have more shimmer than others. But you only want shimmer in certain areas. Use a more shimmery bronzer on the center of the face, like at the crest of the forehead, or on the tip of the nose. It brings a subtle shine and helps the skin not to look flat.
You mentioned using multiple bronzers at one time. What do you use them for, specifically?
Sam Fine: If I use one bronzer to highlight, I also use a darker bronzer, one to two shades darker, to contour. It helps to bring dimension back to the skin. One of my favorite bronzers is the CoverGirl Queen collection bronzers. It’s not so glittery, so it’s wearable. It looks luminescent without you even trying.
Can I bleach my own brows at home?
Sam Fine: You can do your own brows at home. It’s so easy. I would leave it on for a minute or two. It’s not hair color, it’s facial bleach, so it’s meant for very fine facial hair, arm hair or moustaches. If you want a lighter brow like Tyra Banks, I normally lighten her brows to make them look more honey-colored. It softens the face.
What can you use on your body to give it a lovely glow from the neck down, especially if your neck and shoulders are revealed? For instance, Mo’Nique at the Golden Globes.
Sam Fine: When you apply coverage to the face and your dress reveals your shoulders or the neck, you have to address that as well. I wanted her body to look as glowing and as beautiful in color as her face did. MAC has a face and body lotion, which we used for coverage. After that, I take a bronzer with a really full powder brush and just dust along the shoulders and the chest.
Do you prefer a pencil or powder for eye brows?
Sam Fine: Pencil is great for me because usually you have to extend the tail and fill in a few gaps. I love a beautiful brow, and when you fill it in, it should still look effortless. It shouldn’t look drawn on. Get a pencil that’s complimentary and make feathery strokes so that it mimics hair.
What are some other key elements to getting a flawless look?
Sam Fine: One of the key elements to getting a natural look is to trade in some of your black pencils and dark colors, and make them one shade lighter. You’re not losing any definition, but gaining a more quiet definition.
How do you seamlessly blend a hairline to match the skin without creating a noticeable line?
Sam Fine: When my clients’ hair is slicked back, you never see a separation between their skin tone and their hair. The secret is that I use a dark bronzer. I bring it into the hairline and sometimes I use a dark eye shadow. I want it to meld together. Consumers can just take a dark bronzer around the temples. It helps your forehead to look a bit warmer.
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BET Beauty Lounge with Celebrity Makeup Artist AJ Crimson