As I type this, bellas I’m in a moving car in the front seat, laptop on my lap, North Carolina zooming past me outside. But I’m bearing glad tidings of fabulous makeup tips, thanks to the gorgeous and wonderful Patrece Williams!

Patrice Williams

We met and clicked right away at the Macy’s Women of Color event, and it’s rare that I meet someone who I can instantly say, someday I’m gonna be like “I met her when.” I say this because I know Patrece is a star on the rise. Someday I want to click on Bravo or the Style Network and watch her dispensing makeup tips on her own show – she’s THAT sweet, warm, funny, and has presence and personality for days. And her attitude was both refreshing and inspirational. “A humble person is a successful person,” she believes, and let me tell you – from interviewing so many people, that is rare to hear, and even rarer to experience. I can’t say enough nice things about her.

Patrece is the makeup artist of choice for Laila Ali, Colin Cowie, and Debbie Turner Bell. And you can see her hard work every morning bright and early — Patrece is holding down the fort on the CBS Early Show, doing makeup for Maggie Rodriguez, Harry Smith, Russ Mitchell and Dave Price along with all of the celebrities and dignitaries who come through the green room before their interviews. And it all began when she moved from Fort Wayne, Indiana to NYC, and worked at the MAC makeup counter.

“I am living my dream,” she declared during her presentation, and I know she inspired many of the aspiring artists and cosmetics employees at Macy’s that day. I managed to put together a little video of highlights from her demonstration. Click below to watch, but be forewarned – I’m the worst videographer ever. What are you in for here? Terrible, terrible camera angles, misguided attempts at zooming in, continuous shaking, not-so-great audio, occasional applause with the camera-in-hand, and cackling laughter from myself and the loud, loud lady right next to me. Oh, and amazing makeup tips!

Mark my words, one day Afrobella will have a video person down to produce some slick content. One day it won’t be up to me and my complete inability to film.

On this day, she admitted she wasn’t feeling well and her mom (who is her rock and her guiding light), had to stay behind to care for a sick relative. And very sadly, that relative has since passed. Please join me in sending positive thoughts and prayers to Patrece and the Williams family.

Despite the personal burdens in her own life, Patrece pulled it together and taught me and the audience so much about makeup, and about grace under pressure. I’m happy to share some of her top makeup tips!


— Patrece uses many different makeup brands, but MAC ranks high as her favorite. “I love MAC’s foundations. I think they’ve done the research and taken the time to really cater for women of color. I worked for them for 5 years, so I can attest they take it seriously.” Patrece loves Studio Fix liquid foundation, which dries to a powder. This probably explains why I look so frickin shiny in my photo next to her! Note to self, tone down the shine before posing for photos with famous people with flawless makeup.

Patrice Williams and Afrobella

— In Patrece’s professional opinion, the best way to put on foundation is to start in the T-zone area. Use a dime size amount, stipple on under your eyes, and on your nose and forehead. Then feather it down and out to make sure the coverage is even and looks natural. Patrece focuses foundation on the center circle of the face. “Foundation should just enhance your skin and give it a glow.”

— Patrece (and most makeup artists in general!) loves and recommends lipliner. But she doesn’t use the pointy part. “Lay the pencil flat and point the tip to the bow of your lip. Use the flat edge to give a smudging effect on your lips, rather than a sharp line. That way you can use lipstick or gloss to blend the color and it lasts all day,” she says. Patrece LOVES a plum colored lipliner on women of color. And she specifically recommended a brand and color of lipgloss – I’ll blog about that soon, promise! She used a lighter color of gloss at the center of the lip to highlight or contour her model’s lips. Note to self, try that at home!

— Patrece loves and highly recommends using powder eyeshadow as eyeliner. “If you have oily skin, liquid or cream eyeliner or eyeshadow is going to crease. With powder eyeshadow, you save money and get two uses out of one product.” She uses and recommends MAC makeup brush #266 for applying eyeliner, or for filling in eyebrows. She used an indigo purple shadow and started applying it right in the lash line. “Eyeshadow looks matte, whereas pencil can look shiny. And you don’t always have to use black or brown shadow as your liner. Sometimes I like to use gold eyeshadow and smudge over it with brown to bring that iridescence out. I also love a plum or indigo shadow,” says Patrece. She used the very tip of the #266 brush to just place the color, not to brush it on the lashline. And she used shadow both on the lid and under the eye!

— DON’T pump air into your mascara! Open it to where you can see just the stem of the wand, then turn it and pull it out. That way the product remains creamy and good to use while it adheres to the brush. Patrece prefers to put on mascara on the bottom lashes first, very lightly. She starts on the outer corner by the ear and moves to the center, using the wand to pull the lashes down as she applies mascara. “What we’re trying to do is create an illusion of thicker, fuller lashes. Push the mascara from the base of the lash, pull all the way down, then push them up,” she says.

— Patrece doesn’t always use an eyelash curler – bellas with long lashes don’t necessarily need one, she says. But she loves strip lashes, and reuses them four or five times a piece, just by removing the glue and reapplying them.

For now I just have to say thank you again to Patrece for the opportunity, and to my amigas at Macy’s. Of course you know normally I link to the people I interview, but Patrece doesn’t even have a website! She hasn’t needed to have one yet – her success has come from word of mouth recommendations. I plan to (and hope to) keep in touch with her, so if you’re in need of makeup advice or have a specific question, I’ll ask her for ya!

More to come from Patrece soon – I’m interviewing her on her drugstore product recommendations next!

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