Sam_FineSam Fine may ruffle a few feathers with his brutal honesty, but trust us, he means no harm.

Fashion Bomb Daily landed an exclusive interview with the celebrity makeup artist and Fashion Fair Creative Makeup Director and when they asked the beauty guru the one area where black women need to step their game up he didn’t hold his tongue:

“I think the biggest beauty mistake is really not wearing makeup.”

Let him explain. “I think the biggest beauty mistake is not understanding how to enhance your beauty,” Sam added. “And I think a lot of [women of color] are scared that makeup is going to make [them] look fake, ‘It’s not gonna look like me, they’re not going to have my color.’ I think that they just tend to step away from the category when a brand like Fashion Fair, is releasing a liquid foundation in July to add to the range of colors. Nineteen shades! There will be 17 shades in liquid! And if you look at that, that’s not a range that’s broken up for general market vs. African-Americans. So you really are getting a wealth of coverage options and colors. I think the biggest mistake is not participating in the game at all.”

That’s a good point. With it being so hard to find your perfect shade in an industry catering to white beauty without spending big bucks, most black women do opt to forgo makeup altogether. They also tend to think they’re going to look too made up or overdone and if their mother’s don’t wear makeup, they’re usually slow to dabble into it later down the line.

The good thing is Sam doesn’t believe it takes a face full of makeup to enhance your natural beauty. In fact, he can narrow down just five key things women should have in their makeup bags to put their best face forward, and they’re not overpowering.

“Pressed powder, mascara, and lip gloss, because I think those things aren’t intimidating,” he said. “Once you get past the shade of powder, I think that becomes easy to apply. But if I had to go two steps further, I always start out with some kind of a coverage product. A concealer, or a foundation that you can use as a concealer. Underneath the eyes is the thinnest area of skin, so you really want to make sure that any redness or discoloration can be covered.  Also powder. Powder’s going to set the foundation or the concealer so it can stay on longer. I always say powder is to foundation what topcoat is to nail polish. It really holds it in place and keeps it from rubbing off and settling in fine lines.”

That doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Do you think black women are too hesitant to experiment with makeup?

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  • coco beCAUSE

    I usually don’t give my opinion on web sites but I was compelled to weigh in on this one. I do believe that african american women have a natural beauty. That said I have been a working makeup artist for almost 20 years. Until recently most all of my client base has been caucasian. Now as I work In a different region of the states I service more african americans. I recently read an article stating that black women are considered sexy but not beautiful. This made me think why are black women not considered beautiful? One of my dear caucasian clients asked me this question, “Why are black women so adamant about being natural on their faces but wear such ornate hairstyles “?As a black woman who has worn makeup most of my life I could not answer that. I do now enjoy sharing with black women simple ways to accentuate their beauty. Maybe beauty is suggested by a beautiful face, where as sexy maybe brought about by the sexy clothing worn by many women of all races. In the case of the latter you are putting something on, Maybe a beautiful face works the same way. I like to think of it as refining artfully what we already have. Even the Garden of Eden was to be cultivated. ;)

    • Ravi

      While it may be the lack of make-up, I’m thinking ideas of black women being sexy but not beautiful have much older and insidious origins. I’m sure you are familiar with the Jezebel stereotypes concerning black female sexual deviance. These originated many centuries ago as Europeans ventured out into Africa. Several “evidences,” such as relatively less clothing and body shape, were used to justify their stupidity, but I haven’t heard of them trying to rationalize it with “and they don’t even wear make-up.”

      Western society has defined beauty on it’s terms and that heavily marginalizes everyone deemed other. It is less likely for those that subscribe to such Euro-centric beauty standards to see a black woman as beautiful in general. On the other hand, this society has long been obsessed with the sexuality of black women. This might be why you see black women continue to be over-sexualized, while still largely not considered beautiful. But really, how many non-white women are considered beautiful in Western society? Go to any top 50 most beautiful women list and you will see a bunch of pasty, plain-looking women (with a few tokens thrown in for diversity).

      this is the first one that came up when I googled it. It has 33 white women:

      For those of us with different take on beauty, things are a little different. The most beautiful women I have ever seen are all black women. And not only do they not need make-up, they look better without it. I’ve never seen a white woman that can compare to a beautiful black woman. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    • tia


      You are always a sweetheart, a gentleman, and obviously very smart and thoughtful. I truly appreciate you.

    • Ravi


      Why thank you? I had some amazing parents.

  • I think what the whole makeup fiasco comes down to an individual’s priorities.

    If you think you must wear makeup, I’m sure you have your reasons, and I say all the power to you. Go for it.

    If, on the other hand, you don’t want to wear makeup, you must have your reasons. So don’t wear makeup.

    I really don’t think the subject is worth the lengthy discussion devoted to it above (unless of course you’re trying to sell cosmetic products or services). It is actually as pointless (to me) as arguing over the personal decision on whether to relax one’s hair or not. Live and let live.

  • pkafei

    One moment you are telling black women that we are too fat, the next minute you want us to slather makeup on our faces. I live an active lifestyle inside and outside the gym, and use a bike as my primary means of transportation in Beijing. Foundation and mascara is incapable with my urban biking lifestyle. Makeup would just attract unnecessary dirt and pollution onto my face.

  • J

    What Black women do you know who don’t like makeup? All my friends wear makeup. I see MAC packed with black women and girls every weekend. My mother wore makeup. I was late to makeup because it did intimidate me and I didn’t know how to use it, but my good friend inspired me and then, once I discovered primer and the Covergirl Queen Collection, I became a daily wearer. I don’t wear makeup all the time, but I wear it fairly often.

    I don’t like these articles that posit Black women as somehow totally off from the mainstream — “All women do this or that, except Black women.” Often it’s diet and exercise, now it’s makeup. These perceptions are false and unfair. Some of us won’t leave the house without makeup. Some of us skip it. I don’t think it’s a Black thing to skip makeup, so why position it as such? Yeesh.

    • “What Black women do you know who don’t like makeup?”

      the ones that i hang with…