At the risk of not sounding like a true Trini, I have a confession to make. I haven’t been home for Carnival in a decade. TEN YEARS! What can I tell you? College, then the workplace, then financial constrictions always seem to conspire against me. I must admit, I feel very left out and more than a little depressed when I visit sites like Trinidad Carnival Diary, which is all about the fun of Trini mas.

Even though I haven’t been home for the highly anticipated annual event in ages, that doesn’t mean I don’t love Carnival. I always have. Ask mama bella — as a little one I couldn’t miss Viey la Cou (an annual celebration of traditional carnival), and I used to even collect the abandoned masks and standards left by masqueraders in the street after the parade of people passed on Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

I’ve always loved the pageantry and spectacle of mas. And just because I won’t be there this year doesn’t mean I am not looking out for you bellas who will! I wanted to do a post all about Carnival makeup, because it is an art form in itself. Creating a lasting, stunning look that will survive buckets of sweat and the relentless Caribbean sun isn’t easy. So I reached out to one of Trinidad’s leading makeup artists, the talented and beautiful Sandra Hordatt, with questions about creating that perfect Carnival day look. (this is her brand-new MySpace page, but you’ll learn a lot more about her from this profile in the Trinidad Express).

Sandra made her name in modeling, make up. and mas. She is an artist and a costume designer for Island People Mas. For this year’s Animal Instincts band, she’s designed two sections (scroll down to see them) — the hot to death Dragon Lizard, and the resplendent Kingfisher Bird. (Sandra’s costumes range in price from $433 to $1916 USD. And they’re all sold out).

To give you an idea of the kind of looks Sandra comes up with, check out Trinidad’s 2006 Miss Universe delegate Kenisha Thom in the beautiful butterfly costume Sandra designed for her to wear at the pageant. Besides designing amazing Carnival costumes, Sandra’s got a reputation as one of THE premiere makeup artists in Trinidad right now. Her strong suit is covering blemishes and creating a flawless canvas without a heavily plastered on look. I caught up with her for all of fifteen minutes, as she raced from making up a client to her designing duties at the mas camp, to put the finishing touches before the impending Carnival madness.

Afrobella How many faces do you do on average for Carnival Monday and Tuesday? Or are you out yourself, playing mas in a costume you designed?

Sandra Hordatt — I try not to work on Carnival, I like to be out on the road to see the costumes. I don’t take any bookings. I just do makeup for myself and my friends on Monday and Tuesday.

Afrobella I think the biggest concern for Carnival is getting your makeup to stay on. You glue on all these face jewels and glitter and then you’re jumping and waving in the blazing hot sun for hours. How do you make your look last through the sweat and the heat?

Sandra — I say focus on your eyes. Obviously you’ll be sweating a lot, so your foundation will probably melt. Make sure you wear sun block, and just do a really dramatic eye and it should last all day. So your first layer should definitely be sun block, then use a good cream to powder foundation. Set that with a loose powder. Then go out with your compact for touch-ups, those oil absorbing sheets, and a nice lip gloss. Good to go.

Afrobella What’s your favorite brand of makeup and why? Do you use any local stuff, like Sacha?

Sandra — I just love MAC. I love their bronzers and shadows. And I also love L’Oreal HIP, their eyeshadows are vibrant and intense. And I do use Sacha, I like their blushes and they have a great fix it spray.

Afrobella Is there any one look you’re really loving for this Carnival season, or does your inspiration come strictly from the costume the person is wearing? What’s the hottest makeup trend in Trinidad these days?

Sandra — Each costume inspires a different look in terms of color and theme. But I know, me personally — for Carnival Monday and Tuesday, I love glitter on the eyes. MAC and NYX have some fantastic glitter liners that are really easy to use.

At this point, we go off on a tangent because Sandra hasn’t ever heard of Urban Decay! Urban Decay’s glitter liners are practically made for Carnival. And so is their eyeshadow primer potion. So I gush about them for a while. Then back to the interview.

Afrobella Do you do airbrush makeup? I realize that’s become increasingly popular in Trinidad, among women who want to cover scars and stretch marks. What are your thoughts on that?

Sandra –I do airbrush makeup… I think it’s excellent for covering up scars. But on older skin it can be very… turkey-like. With the airbrushing you have to pull the skin taut. I don’t know if you can visualize what I’m talking about. Half the time you’d be better off with a good cream to powder foundation and a sponge.

Afrobella For the ladies who can’t afford to get their makeup done professionally, what’s the best advice you’ve got to give?

Sandra — You definitely don’t need to hire a professional to go out and look beautiful on Carnival day. I would say look through a magazine to find a look you like, go for something dramatic in terms of eye makeup. And then practice your look beforehand so you can figure out your technique. Don’t wait until Carnival Monday morning to try something new. Find a look you like and figure it out first.

For even more Carnival makeup tips, of course Trinidad Carnival Diary should be your first port of call. Enjoy the celebration and stay safe, bellas!

Filed Under:
Tagged With: , ,


Vivrant Thang says:
January 31, 2008, 12:30 am
You are SO on time with this. Today, I literally just decided that in '09, I'll be experiencing my first Carnival. In starting to do research, I just found Saucy Trini's blog today! Talk about irony. Indeed, Sandra is lovely and I'm saving this post for reference next year. I'm already excited about all the beauty I'll see and capture with my trust camera. Perhaps you'll go in '09 too, Bella!
Mrs. Mckinzie says:
January 31, 2008, 6:56 am
I love makeup, but I just have never worn any although I crave to do so.Oneday I am going to go all out ,and just do it up.I love the eye shadows,and the costumes are beautiful.
Miz JJ says:
January 31, 2008, 10:50 am
I usually lurk, but this post got me to comment. I was just in Trinidad for Christmas and it was hard to leave with Carnival being so early this year. Great post. I will definitely forward the link to all the bellas I know playing mas this year.
Lady says:
January 31, 2008, 3:00 pm
Hello, i'm Lady from and i'm looking for partners, and you interested? I'm waithing for you reply at my comments :D Lady,
1969 says:
January 31, 2008, 4:01 pm
Sigh....I will miss it this year too but will be home in November. With the kids, it's too hard to go home for Carnival. As they get older..... This wasa great post Bella. Makes me miss Sweet TnT.
Dahls says:
January 31, 2008, 5:13 pm
Oh no Bella not you too!! Just when I'm starting to deal with not being home for Carnival ( Dominica has carnival too, and my whole family went without me!!), and come to my favorite place for some solace you bring my Tabanca back ( insert dramatic sigh). Still luv this site though.
Dahls says:
January 31, 2008, 5:18 pm
Oh forgot to mention my horror that Sandra Hordatt has never heard of uban Decay. I can only imagine the joy she would feel if she got her hands on some Urban Decay Primer Potion or even some Make Up Forever. Both brands have the perfect colors and products for playing mas.
pets says:
January 31, 2008, 8:04 pm
Sweets great post! I think i may have heard about urban decay and should explain that the rate of exchange US to TT is 6.3 of ours make 1 of yours so buying US brands is quite expensive to the pocket... You could have also asked Sandi about fake lashes as some of these even come in glitter etc...and as to the time that you have to get made up on Carnival days if you are playing mas it's like 3 or 4 am as you have to be at your Band's station very early and the make up artist has so many people to do.....but take it from me it's all worth it when you put on your costume!
AJ says:
February 1, 2008, 1:24 am
I know this is so off topic from the post (but I loved the post), I tried to email my question and it came back, so here it is: I've been natural since March, and I've been using the Garnier Soft Curl Creme, and I love it. However, I can't find it at the store anymore, and I tried to order it on, and it was out of stock (something about a back order). It's been out of stock for at least a month on and Wal-Mart. This all leads me to believe (horror of horrors) that the product is being phased out. Do you have any recommendations of a cheap, similar, product that is available for purchase in a national store? I know about (and used) Miss Jessie's, but my hair has to be sopping wet to put the product in, and I have to wait for it to dry. Even more aggravating, I have to order that gigantic expensive tub and wait for it to come and think about everything else I could by with $30. I'm on a budget! Please help! The box perms are calling me!
Xica Bahia says:
February 1, 2008, 8:52 pm
Hello Bella, I know how you feel on this one. In my neck of the woods, Bahia, Brazil we celebrate carnaval at this time just like the rest of the world. I will not be there this year and miss it so much. Thank you for sharing your memories with us. Xica Bahia
Dee says:
February 1, 2008, 9:51 pm
I'm going to file this away for when I finally play mas one day.
Adrianna says:
February 2, 2008, 7:01 pm
It's Carnaval in Haiti too! I wish I she could do my makeup and my costume. I cant' wait for the festivities.
usha says:
July 25, 2008, 1:17 pm
Hi Sandra, Please let me know if you will be doing makeup for C2K9..thanks
Kimberly says:
March 5, 2009, 3:24 am
I'm a producer looking to rent elaborate, beautiful butterfly costumes for the Beckstrand Cancer Foundation Fundraiser in of Oct'09. Theme is wonderland so the unusual and the unexpected are key. I LOVE the pix of miss Trinidad in the butterfly costume. Any chance of renting or getting that costume or something like it? Sandra, if you are still making costumes, let me know. Or perhaps you know where I can get. Prefer to rent if possible. Your help is truly appreciated. Kimberly DuBois 949-246-6974
silver high heel shoes says:
June 14, 2009, 8:52 am
YAA Adding this to my bookmarks. Thank You
Pat Martin says:
June 15, 2009, 10:44 pm
Sandra, OH MY GOD!!! What a BEAUTIFUL Butterfly costume. I am also a producer in Atlanta Georgia preparing to do my production called "Butterfly" Please tell me if it's possible to purchase or rent the Butterly costume for my show. See my website at Your costume has the Breathtaking effect I'm looking for. My show is scheduled for August 29th 2009. Please help me let the kids have the spectacular kind of show we are known for. Be Blessed Pat (770) 771-3716
Free NX says:
December 19, 2010, 10:36 am
There is great information on this blog. I like how you put things. I've added this blog to my boomarks and will be sure to spread the word to my friends. I did have a problem with how quick this page loaded. Might be a problem to check out.
Kimberly says:
October 7, 2013, 12:32 pm
My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks! says:
September 25, 2014, 3:20 am
If you wish for to take a great deal from this article then you have to apply such strategies to your won weblog.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *