Sam Fine Interview | The Basics of Beauty | Style

Sam Fine Interview | The Basics of Beauty | Style

Published June 24, 2009

When it comes to creating the perfect face, author and celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine is a master.  He’s glammed up some of Black America’s most bold and beautiful, including model-turned-mogul Tyra Banks, acclaimed actress Vanessa Williams and the timeless supermodel, Iman.  In 1999, he penned the bestselling book, “Fine Beauty,” as a guide for the masses.  A decade later, Fine is demonstrating his trademark techniques in the upcoming DVD, “The Basics of Beauty.” 

What are some of the beauty mistakes women make when applying makeup?

Sam Fine: I have three sisters and my mom at home, three of which don’t wear makeup.  I think that’s the biggest mistake, not diving into it. It all washes off in the end.

What kind of tips do you have for women on your upcoming DVD, "The Basics of Beauty?"

SF: All the intricate parts that go into making a woman beautiful.  If you’re wondering how to craft a perfect brow or thinking about trying to find a neutral lipstick or bronzer--- things that are so simple to us in the industry become baffling to women of color when they go into the mall or when they go into the drug store, so hopefully they will understand how easy this can be.

What kind of look should a woman be going for when applying makeup?

SF: Makeup is like a personality.  I work with Patti LaBelle as well as Vanessa Williams and Iman, and all of them want something different.  I can't ever say what look you should go for. It’s up to you, but I always start out with foundation and powder, which a lot of women of color are scared of because we haven’t had such great luck in the past.

What are the 5 essentials every woman must have in her purse?

SF: Foundation and powder are at the top of the list. Foundation helps to unify all those varied tones and I always feel like with a perfect canvas everything else is complimentary. Bronzer is yet another fun product to use. You can apply it in the outer perimeter near the hair line and the cheeks and it just brings a warm glow to the skin. And of course, lip liner and lip gloss.  That’s something so many women wouldn’t be caught without; those really are the basics. But, if I could say six, I would add mascara, because it naturally enhances the eyes.

Does good makeup always have to be expensive?

SF: Good makeup is not always expensive. If people knew how many times I shop at the drug store… you really have a number of brands that speak to women of color in such a beautiful, rich range of colors and wonderful pigments.

Any other beauty tips that women of color need to know?

SF: Women of color just need to learn how to play a little bit more. We’re so into our hair, so into dressing, you have to finish that whole look with makeup.



Written by Imani A. Dawson, Interview by Sharon Carpenter


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