The venue was exclusive. The ambiance was elegant. Even as I entered the room, I knew this would be an event to remember. Handsomely dressed hosts and hostesses flitted around the room with platters of hors d’oeuvres. A bar in the corner was covered in glasses of champagne, ready for the taking. A Fine Day Of Beauty — thrown by Viola Nicholson, artist and creator of Brushes By Viola — was nothing short of spectacular. Judging by the emotions in the room, it was also the fulfillment of a dream.

Amongst the Chicago makeup artist crowd there was a family reunion vibe. Aspiring artists mingled with pros. Oprah’s legendary artist Reggie Wells was on hand, sharing wit and wisdom from the audience throughout Sam’s presentation. One of Sam’s former coworkers from back in the days of being an artist at Lord and Taylor in WaterTower Place was on hand to show her former coworker some love. At the end of the event I saw the wonderful artist from Fashion Fair Cosmetics who helped me get my perfect foundation match.

If I were to write out a play by play of what I learned and experienced at A Fine Day Of Beauty, it’d be a ridiculously long post. So instead I’ll share the top five tips I got from observing Sam’s presentation.

1. Makeup is a personality. This is one of Sam’s mantras, and it holds as true for us at home doing our own makeup, as it does for an artist set to transform one of the world’s most famous faces. “You never tell someone what they should do to make themselves feel beautiful. That’d be like me telling Iman – a smoky eye isn’t good today. Oh no, a smoky eye is good EVERY day!”

2. Makeup is an illusion. Foundation isn’t to mask bad skin, it’s to even your skintone. You can’t use foundation to cover up facial hair, acne prone skin, or big pores. But you CAN use foundation and powder and bronzer to minimize the appearance of those things. Sam Fine is a fan of cream foundations. You should use powder in the T Zone — and the powder should match your skin color. Find a color that lives on your complexion. Sam goes a little lighter under the eye, and he warns that you gotta make sure to transition – take the time to layer and blend the foundation into your jawline. Powder can make or break anything. Powder is your friend, it holds things in place. And Sam loves Iman’s pressed powder!

3. Bronzer is a booster – choose a shade that’s one shade darker than your skintone. It adds warmth and richness. From watching Sam’s presentation, I learned to use bronzer on the outer perimeter of my face. A touch along my hairline on my forehead, and blended into and alongside the outskirts of the blush on my cheeks. It gives my face a truly luscious glow without making me look overly made up. Sam Fine recommends Cover Girl’s Queen Collection bronzer. I’ve been LOVING Bobbi Brown’s bronzer, myself!

4. Have a better relationship with your makeup, and take the time to learn what your products will do. Seriously, when Sam said this it was like a lightbulb went on over my head. How many times have you bought a product, tried it a few times, and decided it wasn’t for you? This simple Sam Fine tip made me go into my makeup archives and start rediscovering old shades of eye shadow and lipstick I had cast aside for the new hotness. Just taking the time to do a pre-event test of a look before trying to execute it in public for the first time, makes a world of difference. And by experimenting, you can learn the makeup techniques that suit you best. Nobody can really teach you how to line your own waterline, make the perfect cat’s eye or put on fake lashes – it’s up to you to take the time to learn the tricks you want to perfect.

5. Control Your Shimmer! Sam Fine prefers not to use mineral powders because they tend to be shimmery. Particular on older skin, this kind of finish can be less than forgiving. He is very specific where he wants to be matte, and where he wants to be shimmery, and mineral powder makes that more difficult. This advice also is helpful for older women who are interested in eyeshadows of various textures. “The thing you want to stay away from, is shimmer. When you’re older, use it strategically.”

You can learn SO much more from the DVD Fine: The Basics of Beauty.

But let me tell y’all, WHAT an amazing event. I got to meet Sam, Reggie Wells, Viola Nicholson, and some amazing movers and shakers in Chicago. I heard rumors of a fall event that will be equally fantastic – and of course I’ll keep you posted on those details as I get them!

Thanks so much to Sam Fine and Viola Nicholson for EVERYTHING!

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Dee Dee says:
May 25, 2010, 2:26 pm
Hey Patrice! Great post & great event of course. I just got mine up yesterday on TSP. I have the pic of you, Reggie and I as well if you wanna grab it. :)
pets says:
May 26, 2010, 9:38 am
Lovely post and you glow!
Dasheen Magazine says:
May 26, 2010, 12:26 pm
I like tips 1 and 3. Love Queen's bronzer. I had brought the one that matched my skin and kinda had to learn the hard way that bronzer should be a shade darker. I love these kinds of posts. Especially for women of color, I think its important to understand our skin on a very personal level and have an evolving skincare/makeup philosophy.
BlackBetty says:
May 26, 2010, 1:34 pm
I'm so clueless when it comes to picking out makeup. I just have to tell myself it's fun, if it sucks, I can wash it off. I do, however, need to learn how to pick out colors for products like bronzer and powder. Great tips. Thanks Bella.
France says:
May 29, 2010, 11:14 pm
I like to read about makeup tips a lot
Tebonin says:
May 30, 2010, 4:36 am
wow, look at that, very creative and inspiring, I wish I could design something like that
Purple says:
May 31, 2010, 11:36 am
Thanks for the tips. I never knew that bronzer should be darker.Duh!
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