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Tuesday, 5 June 2012

blacklUp Makeup Launch

If you were listening to the beauty buzz, you would have heard about the launch of blacklUp Makeup. An upscale French Make-up Artist line created with women of colour in mind. Now usually once it's French and I can't pronounce it has to be good. The name Black Up Makeup was easy enough to pronounce but before now not easy enough to get. I knew for some time it was available in a boutique on the West Coast but was not sufficiently motivated to purchase it.

In steps Cave Shepherd and after much hype, bells and whistles they launch the line in Bridgetown last Thursday, May 31st  and I was able to go. A number of beauty-lovers and members of the fashion and beauty community were invited to the launch to get our hands dirty and of course to drink wine. 

I’ve been to launches before which were more informal and to my dismay had much less wine. So this one I liked.
I was able to meet and mix and mingle with fellow artists as well as some of my clients who had come out just to see what was up.  
 Shanelle from IhrtMakeup and Heidi of Moden Makeup

  Well known MUA Troy Forde
Members of Colour Coded

Rodney Powers trying literally to kill Kamilah of Ihrt Makeup 'wid laugh'

The legendary Adzil Stuart posing with Shanelle while Dee Blackett looks on.

Natasha Fields-Gittens

Model Eleazar

Now anybody can whip up a batch of foundation slap a big price tag on it and call it a luxury line so I was really interested in reading what the line was all about.  I was provided with a press kit, which details the line's origins and specific focus.
Here's what I like, so far...
It's black, it's sleek looking and the cream to powder compact is easy to carry.
The line has a special focus on matifying and let me tell you, I wage war on oil on a daily basis. Nutrients are nice but I want to like matte and polished as long as possible.
It comes in a wide range of shades and I had no problem finding mine.
Shades are warm without appearing too red on the skin and the formulation dries down quickly. 

This is by no means a review as I have just purchased three items and will be wearing them regularly and giving you a more detailed review later but so far, so good.

I had a chance to speak with Area Sales Representative Tina Hamilton and Marketing Manager Kay Richards and expressed how excited I was to be there but also how thrilled I was in their choice of Makeup Artist.

 Carolanne Nurse
Joanna Jones hard at work

Way, way, way, back in the day when I thought I could apply all shadows with a q-tip, I met Carolanne Nurse. At that time she worked with Clinique. I remember looking at her skin and thinking OMG! It was flawless so whatever she was selling I was buying. She then moved to MAC Cosmetics and she took her flawless face, pleasant attitude and great service there. I was pleased to see that Black Up had hired such a gem. In the days before I owned more makeup that any same person can actually wear, she helped me with my purchases and I am sure that should you venture down she will make you feel as comfortable as she did me. Makeup doesn’t just walk off a shelf. Especially in Barbados where everyone just wants to look “natural”. Personnel are important are Black Up has made a good choice in Make-up Artists Carolanne Nurse and Joanna Jones.

French MUA Clothilde Lambadarios has been doing makeup for 6 years. The International Black Up Makeup artist travels all over representing the brand  and was here in Barbados for the launch.She gave me a free makeover and I was able to have my colour selected while discussing the brand.

I had a blast and I even got some goodies in my press kit. A deep red lipstick, a full size pearl powder shadow,  sample sizes of the Matifying base, (which I later bought) and a Coup D’Eclat (which sounds fancy so you know I bought it!) I also bought the cream to powder foundation, which I will review soon. When you have a chance have a look at the new option on the market blacklUp Makeup!

Monday, 4 June 2012

From Drab to Fab: The Smoke Eye Edition

Smokey eyes have been around forever but recently the term has become quite popular. Every time someone speaks of an eye look you will hear "Wait a minute. Is that a smokey eye?" I was still a bit surprised to have to hold two smokey eye workshops and have people ask for more. In case you missed it, here was the flyer.

In the workshop I started from the basics. Giving everyone information that would help them to become informed shoppers. I remember when I started buying makeup, I found what I thought was the greatest invention...a makeup eraser! Please stop laughing! I seriously thought it would help me. It did. It helped me to realize I spent too much money on stuff that didn't work and I wanted persons to leave my class feeling confident enough to make intelligent purchases. 

The ladies were stuffed with treats from Gracie's Bakery which included smokey N2N Brownies and Purple Smokey eye cupcakes.

Regina was our model for the evening. You may recognise her from our N2N luxury ad.

The first thing I needed to cover was how to cover-up any blemishes. Of course I can only explain with huge gestures and crazy faces so you will see some of those below.

I believe Shonelle as laughing at one of my gestures. If you look closely you will see everyone clutching their free gift. A prize so magnificent people have been calling for more. The amazing Blender Sponge.

There were many questions and I answered all of them and tried to give some of my real life experiences. You know what I mean, the first smokey eye I ever did where I ended up looking like Fester from the Adams family.

I was able to use makeup in this class that is actually available in Barbados. For the average shopper when a makeup artist starts to rattle off names not only are they left bewildered, they are always frustrated when none of the items can be sourced here. Here, I am using a Sleek Palette in Au Naturel available at Essential Trends.

 Listening intently.
This young lady who came all the way from England and attended the workshop (Sounds like she came just for my workshop doesn't it ) asked so many questions and made off with so many prizes she had to be escorted back to her car by security. In every workshop we give out a range of items. This time we had over 60 items ranging from eyeshadow to mascaras to Magnifique Remy Hair. 

Two kinds if smokey eye and smokey eye techniques were demonstrated on Regina. One deep and dark and another with purple and pink.
 Things can get a little messy.

Once again with a flair for the dramatic I am describing my love for these La Femme Blushes. Available from one of the sponsors of the class Exotica Makeup in Sheraton.
There were many prizes in this class from makeovers to cash vouchers to discounts on hair and makeup. The most coveted prize though was the full smokey eye makeover and photo-shoot with BCreative photography who took the head shots for the class flyer. Cheriece was the lucky winner.
I mean who wouldn't want to have their makeup done and look this fab.

 At the end of the class there were many Thank You's and requests for more. I believe I was waving telling everyone goodbye.
I encourage everyone to give the smokey eye a try and message me with questions and pics of their progress. My inbox is now full of pictures of ladies heading out in their smokey eye. A great feeling. 

Special thanks to sponsors
Magnifique Hair
Exotica Makeup
BCreative Photography
Photos by Chaka Welch 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

30 & Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Following my 30, Flirty and Fabulous shoot, I wanted to make 30 look good. 30 is not the start of the downward spiral into staying and home, putting your hair in rollers while sipping tea in your flowered "duster" but just another chapter where we get wiser about life without letting go of the vitality of our 20's.

Meet my gal-pal Danielle. At 30 she is well on her way to achieving her goal of becoming the 'go-to' Attorney-at-Law in Barbados for advice on International Trade and Development issues. A graduate of the University of the West Indies Cave Hill and Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad, Danielle holds a Bachelors Degree in Law, the Legal Education Certificate and a Master of Science in International Trade Policy.

Much like the other 30 year olds I know she ain't no old girl. Between traveling, shopping , socializing and our regular Cafe Sol and beach limes Danielle is always on the move. 

Professionally Danielle is on her way to the top. A Senior Associate at the largest law firm in Barbados Clarke Gittens Farmer, she divides her days between work, gym, her work as Programme Action Officer of Soroptimist International of Barbados and of course, relaxation time with friends and family.

I wanted to give Danielle one of her signature looks. Whenever I do her makeup she requests a smokey eye and why not. It is classic, no fuss and can go from flirty to professional.  Too often we rush out of the house without makeup, doing just enough to get through the day. Let me say it now CLEAR LIPGLOSS IS NOT ENOUGH. You aren't a teenager liming at Accra.  Get out some colour girl!

Yes I know its an office but I don't mean you should stripe yellow or pink shadow across your lids to match your blouse. For the office stick to neutral tones. Not only will it hide any mistakes you made while applying your shadow at the stoplights, but your face will say " I took time to look professional and I am ready for work". Even if your  shoes are off under the table and you forgot lunch at home.

To create this look  I used:
Black Opal foundation in Beautiful Bronze
Blush: Nars TAj Mahal and Sleek Blush in Aruba

Matte Black Shadow by Inglot
Sleek Au Naturel Palette
Mac liner in Smoulder
Loreal Voluminous Mascara

Mac Lipliner in Currant
Berry coloured lipstick 

Now this woman means business!!
Photographer : Himal Reece

I know that list looks daunting but don't try it all at once and not on a Monday morning if you have to drive through Warrens. Take it a little at a time. Before you know it you too will look like an N2N Professional.