Soften Up

Products:

– MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid, Studio Fix Powder
Smashbox Photo Finish Smooth & Blur Primer
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, Clear Brow Gel
Bobbi Brown Bronzer
Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Sensual
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Champagne Pop
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fenty Glow

(Disclaimer: I do have Ashley’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

7 Black-Owned Beauty Brands to Shop at Sephora

Sephora became the first brand to join the 15 Percent Pledge. The initiative, created by Brother Vellies designer Aurora James, asks major retailers to pledge at least 15% of their shelf space to black-owned businesses. “So many of your businesses are built on Black spending power. So many of your stores are set up in Black communities. So many of your sponsored posts are seen on Black feeds. This is the least you can do for us. We represent 15% of the population and we need to represent 15% of your shelf space,” James wrote in the post that launched the pledge.

“We recognize how important it is to represent Black businesses and communities, and we must do better. So, we’re starting now,” Sephora wrote in an Instagram post, announcing their participation. This is hopefully only the beginning of real change to come within Sephora, and other major brands like it.

If you’re looking for what brands to support even before the 15% pledge kicks into full gear, here are 7 Black-owned beauty brands you can shop on Sephora to continue to support the Black community.

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

Rihanna was inspired to create Fenty Beauty after years of experimenting with the best-of-the-best in beauty—and still seeing a void in the industry for products that performed across all skin types and tones. She launched a makeup line “so that people everywhere would be included,” focusing on a wide range of traditionally hard-to-match skin tones, creating formulas that work for all skin types, and pinpointing universal shades.

Shop at Sephora

Pat McGrath Labs

“This is the golden age of makeup. PAT McGRATH LABS is my Golden Revolution. The entire planet is just as cosmetics obsessed as I’ve always been. Makeup is a movement. Makeup is mesmerizing. Makeup is major. Mantra-esque, three words have repeated over and over in my mind ever since I was young. Obsession. Inspiration. Addiction. Those words became my guiding principles, my manifesto as I brought this brand to life . I wanted to capture, in a quartet of exquisite palettes, 50 legendary lipsticks, a divine dozen eyeliners and five fetish-worthy lip pencils, The Power of Transformation, The Power of Beauty;  The Power of Makeup.” – Pat McGrath, CEO & Founder of PAT McGRATH LABS

Shop at Sephora

Briogeo Hair Care

After an early-twenties move to New York City forced Nancy to trade out her homemade essentials for the store-bought variety, she quickly realized that the natural hair care on the market simply did not live up to its performance claims. Armed with a tiny East Village studio apartment, her grandmother’s coveted beauty recipes and a rockstar natural chemist team, Nancy Twine founded Briogeo Hair Care.

Shop at Sephora

Adwoa Beauty

“Adwoa beauty is a modern, non toxic, gender neutral beauty brand catering to multi-cultural hair textures. buying hair products is a choice, not a command. we empathize with your experience in using tons of products that failed to deliver the results. we’ve created a highly effective collection of products with ingredients that are concentrated, working with nature and science to bring you immediate results. we are committed to being transparent with our ingredients.”

Shop at Sephora

GOLDE

“Our products are daily essentials for inner and outer radiance, because beauty and balance start from within. Golde was founded by Trinity Mouzon in 2016 with the vision of making self-care more inclusive, engaging, and fun. Our products are infused with single-origin turmeric, a potent super-herb recognized for its beautifying, healing, and mood-boosting properties.”

Shop at Sephora

KNC Beauty

“Whether it’s with an eye mask, a lip mask, or a lip scrub, we’re all about keeping you naturally cute and effortlessly fresh. We think you’re dope just the way you are, but we’re here to give you that little bit of extra. Chill with us for 15-20 minutes, and we’ll put stars in your eyes and kisses on your lips.”

Shop at Sephora

Shani Darden Skin Care

Considered the secret behind Hollywood’s most flawless faces, expert esthetician Shani Darden sets herself apart with her results-oriented approach to skin care. Her passion for simple, yet effective solutions has earned her clients’ trust and respect in a town where beauty, health, and wellness standards are high.

Shop at Sephora

VOGUE article

Relax

Photo taken by Alana Marie Burrows.

Products used:

– MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid, Studio Fix Powder, Bronze Bronzer, Peaches Blush, DoubleGleam Extra Dimension Skinfinish Highlighter
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, Modern Renaissance eyeshadow palette
– Make Up For Ever Nude Beige Aqua Lip Waterproof Lipliner Pencil, Pearly Sweet Beige Artist Plexi-Gloss.

Pink Outside the Box

Products used in this vibrant look:

– MAC Cosmetics Studio Fix Fluid, Mineralize Skinfinish Natural Powder, Bronze Bronzing Powder, Melba Blush, Hyper Real Glow Highlighting Palette in Flash + Awe
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz & Clear Brow Gel
– pink eyeshadows taken from Laura Lee Los Angeles Party Animal palette, Morphe x James Charles palette, NYX Ultimate Brights palette
– NYX Cosmetics Nude Suede Shoes lipliner, Creme Brûlée Butter Gloss, Dewy Finish Setting Spray.

(Disclaimer: I do have Chanel’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Be a Doll!

Model: Melissa Sue Green 

Products:
– MAKE UP FOR EVER Ultra HD foundation, cream concealer palette, powder eyeshadows, Smoky Lash mascara, Artist Rouge lipstick in Passion Red, Mist and Fix setting spray
– M·A·C Cosmetics Studio Fix powders to set and bronze, Tan pigment
– NYX Professional Makeup contour palette, Strobe Of Genius highlighter palette.

(Disclaimer: I do have Melissa’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Wayne Goss – the Beauty Star Selling Out Product in Five Minutes

Welcome to Artist Spotlight #16 series on my blog.

Wayne Goss is not your typical YouTube star. He has amassed over a million subscribers on his beauty channel, and has the consumer influence to match: His first collection of brushes on Beautylish sold out in five minutes. But he stands out among other beauty vloggers for several reasons — the first of which is that he’s a guy. A guy who can quickly and confidently demonstrate Kardashian contouring tricks on his own face. He eschews the cutesy, neighborly tone used by most beauty vloggers in favor of a methodical, straight-to-the-point delivery.

Goss spoke to the Cut about how being a guy is advantageous in the YouTube beauty world, how he got started, and why he doesn’t wear makeup himself.

How did you get started in the business?

It was something I’ve been interested in since I was a young boy. I always liked looking at magazines and seeing the pretty faces. When I was 20, I started suffering from acne. That experience reminded me of my love for makeup and how I could use it to fix my skin.

I am self-taught. Fifteen years ago, I picked up some books by Way Bandy and Kevyn Aucoin and read them to practice. I went to London and studied makeup artistry. Then, I discovered YouTube. I found that there were so many kinds of people on it, but there didn’t seem to be any teaching and instructions on how to make the process simpler. I feel like my videos fill a gap in the market. I keep them short and clearly explain what I’m doing. My point of view is that you don’t have to have a degree in art to be able to explain it.

How do you think you became successful on YouTube?

It was so gradual. You don’t really notice it creeping up on you. I remember hitting 20,000 subscribers and thinking, Oh my god, that’s a lot of people. And then it started to increase very rapidly after my first year, especially after I did videos on concealer and blusher. But I don’t really know. It’s still a mystery to me. I imagine it is a combination of people doing searches in Google, seeing a video, and liking it. The social media aspect certainly helps.

Do you think that being a man in the field is advantageous?

Absolutely. I’m pretty much the only male in my age group doing it. I think people appreciate that I’m not going to be talking for an hour about something I could do in a few minutes. I’m very matter-of-fact. I’m not very handsy nor flamboyant. Even if I’m demonstrating something on myself, it’s not about making myself a pretty princess. It’s about the technique and explaining it very succinctly. In real life, I don’t even wear any makeup. It’s not my cup of tea.

Since you demonstrate a lot of the tutorials on yourself, I think people probably do think you wear makeup every day. 

I think it does surprise people. I love putting eyeshadow on people. But I’m six feet tall. I’ve got a beard. It doesn’t interest me. I don’t want to be pretty. I’m just a bit scruffy and unkempt, and that’s just sort of my style.

If you don’t wear makeup yourself, why do you demonstrate the tutorials on yourself?  

Well, lately, I have been using models in my video. But sometimes, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is see anyone else. Also, apart from the fact that I’m male, my eye shape is very realistic. Models have good skin, very large eyes, so that makes everything very easy to do. If I apply eye shadow, you get a more realistic impression of what it looks like on my eye, not someone who is genetically blessed.

How did the brush project with Beautylish come together?

I contacted Beautylish because I read their online content a lot. I mentioned that I was pursuing a brush line and they liked the idea, which was to create a really good-quality brush using Japanese craftsmanship techniques. The difference in quality would be understood the minute you opened it.

I knew about the bristles and furls and what to look for. It was difficult finding companies that could deal with all the requests I had. It had to be hair that couldn’t be cut. Nothing could be done by machine. There’s a bluntness to machine-cut hair that cuts your face at harsh angles. Especially as we get older, that can be harsher on the skin. With the right makeup brush, makeup goes exactly where you want it. For women over 40, it’s a great benefit to have a brush that’s not moving the eyelids around.

This project was self-funded, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I learned they sold out in the first five minutes. My philosophy has never changed. I still believe you should buy the best makeup you [can] afford, and if you can only afford one thing, buy one brush. Most people are applying makeup with their fingers. But a brush is an instrument you can use it for several purposes, and blend at the same time. For someone like me, not born with this artistic flair, good brushes enabled me to do makeup well. I really don’t have this innate talent, I struggled all the way and managed to find the right sort of brushes. It was a very selfish project, in a way.

What do you think of the story that came out a few weeks ago that said YouTube stars like Michelle Phan were making millions?

I obviously know of Michelle, although I’ve never spoken to her. I would say that’s an exaggeration in terms of figures. But again, I don’t know anything about her. I started about a year and half after her. At that time, the partner programs for YouTube weren’t available.

The bulk of us who started doing YouTube did it for the love of doing it. Those of us that did it for the right reasons are still around for the right reasons. There has been an influx of people thinking, I shoud make a fortune here. 95 percent of them don’t make it any way. And those that do certainly aren’t making six-figure salaries. It would be nice to start with a thousand. The bulk of people earning good wages from it now were around when there was no money.

The partner programs now, I believe, make it more difficult. Everyone wants a slice of the pie. I think this pie is really wonderful and big. You hear these glamourized stories, but the reality is very different. We still have full-time jobs. We work hard. And YouTube is a full-time job, because you have all these components, like filming and editing. I imagine that 90 percent of us do that ourselves without the help of anyone else.

I’m still a makeup artist. I still do jobs. I always will do that. I’m in a wonderful position of doing a job that I love. It’s a great thing. YouTube is the icing on it. It’s lovely to be able to connect with people on it I would never otherwise be able to meet.

Check out Wayne Goss’s makeup line at Beautylish

Check out Wayne Goss’s Instagram

FORBES article
QUORA article
theCUT article

Music Video Glam

Did this smokey number on the talented Julia Nicholson (stage name Lia Cole), an Edmonton artist.

Products:
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Medium Brown Brow Wiz
– Morphe Brushes 35O Eyeshadow Palette
– Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer
– Milani Luminoso blush
– BECCA Cosmetics Moonstone highlighter
– NYX Professional Makeup Fortune Cookie lip gloss.

(Disclaimer: I do have Julia’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

My Favourite Brow Gels At All Price Points

Set those babies for all-day wear; some recommendations are clear gels, some are tinted.

Essence Lash & Brow Gel Mascara ($2.99) & Make Me Brow Eyebrow Gel Mascara ($3.99)

E.L.F. Cosmetics Clear Brow & Lash Mascara ($2) & Wow Brow Gel ($4.97)

Rimmel Wonder’Full Brow Mascara $5.97

Almay Brow Styler Brow Mascara $6.99

NYX Cosmetics Tinted Brow Mascara ($7.50) & Control Freak Eyebrow Gel ($8)

Covergirl Easy Breezy Brow Shape & Define Eyebrow Mascara ($8.99) & Easy Breezy Volumizing Brow Gel ($9.49)

Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara ($6.99) & Tattoo Studio Eyebrow Gel ($12.99)

Maybelline Fast Sculpting Brow Gel $7.99

L’Oreal Brow Stylist Boost & Set Brow Mascara $10.99

Glossier Boy Brow $20

Make Up For Ever Brow Gel $20

Urban Decay Brow Finish Gel $21

MILK MAKEUP Kush Fiber Brow Gel $26

MAC Cosmetics Clear Brow Set ($22) & Eyebrows Big Boost Fibre Gel ($28)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel ($24) & Clear Brow Gel ($29.50)

Hourglass Arch Brow Volumizing Fiber Gel $28

Benefit Cosmetics 24-HR Brow Setter Shaping & Setting Gel ($32) & Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($32)

with Envy

Sultry, green party glam on gorgeous Alena!

Products:
– Dior Backstage primer, Diorshow mascara
– Chanel Les Beiges foundation
– NARS Radiant Creamy concealer
– KVD Vegan Beauty loose setting powder
– Make Up For Ever sculpting powder, Mist & Fix setting spray
– Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer
– Milani Luminoso baked blush
– NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink liquid eyeliner, Wonder contour stick, Powder Contour Palette, Strobe of Genius highlighter palette, Suede nude lipliner
– Revolution the Emily Edit eyeshadow palette
– MAC Cosmetics Soft Ocre paintpot, Honeylove matte lipstick, Smoulder Eye Kohl eyeliner
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow pomade in Soft Brown
– Ardell Wispies lashes.

(Disclaimer: I do have Alena’s consent to post her images on designated websites including Facebook, Instagram, WordPress, and use in my digital portfolio.)

Freckles & Oranges

Products:
– ColourPop Orange You Glad? eyeshadow palette
– NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink eyeliner, Strobe of Genius highlighting palette, Nude Suede Shoes slide on glide on lipliner, Creme Brulee butter gloss
– Anastasia Beverly Hills Soft Brown Brow Wiz & Clear Brow Gel
– MAC Cosmetics Studio Waterweight foundation & Studio Fix 24-H concealer
– Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer
– Milani Luminoso blush.