An Evening with Sam Fine

I arrived in New York City at 12:45pm, wide-eyed and optimistic. I had the best time of my life in the city last summer as an intern for the Cosmetic Executive Women, and I was so happy to be back! I went out with my buddy Jay, who took me to lunch in Brooklyn and then site seeing in Harlem. The class was held at The MAC store in Harlem, on 125th street. As I waited outside of the MAC Store, I knew I was in for an amazing experience.


We watch him from outside of the tall glass doors, showing the staff how to re-arrange the chairs for his faithful following to view him. He then scurries in the back, and about 7 minutes later, I'm told to come on in. Sam was classic, poised and proper. I only had about 5 minutes to ask him the 20 questions I prepared, so I went with it.

Scandalous Beauty: Sam, what's the best way to make small eyes look bigger??
Sam Fine: "Really, it's about adding definition. It's about highlighting underneath the eye...it's really about how you frame the eye, how you highlight it...How you arch the brow. It's really about the things that you don't always think about, it's concealer, that's a great brow. Really highlighting the eye space make eyes look wider and whiter".

SB: So, let's gossip. Which celebrities need the least amount of work?
SF:"I don't have any clients who need a little bit of time! So whether I'm working on Beyonce who of course is very gorgeous, or Halle Berry or Vanessa Williams, I put the same amount of time in! I can't say that there is one person, because she is so pretty, that I don't spend in extra time on [her]. " Great honesty Sam!!

SB:What products do people neglect in their makeup bag?
SF: "Foundation. because a lot of women are used to powder. They are using Studio Fix, they are using pressed powders, they are using loose powders. It's the only thing that can conceal, the only thing that can illuminate the skin, the only thing that can really unify the tones that we have. So, especially talking about women of color, foundation is going to unite those colors, then use powder. Then powder will set your skin and alleviate any shine. That to me makes the perfect complexion. And that's what we are not using."

I took a plethora of notes, as one can imagine.
-Sam stipples foundation AND powder on with sponges, not brushes. This way he can control the amount that he is using.
-Uses heavy moisturizer to aid with the foundation
-Assisted Naomi Campbell while still working at the Cosmetics Counter
-Highlights the cheekbone with Nars Taj Mahal Blush, and places Nars Munia on the apple of the cheek
-Sam always uses cream foundations
-Sam used old brushes that he got in a gift with purchase from Prescriptives over 10 years ago!
-He highly suggests having brown eye shadows, and making them look different by changing your brow highlight, brow color, cheek highlight, etc.

Sam is a ferocious blender. When I say he blends, blends, blends, blends, blends...he blends. He used a cadence of colors on his model (Marie Powell, who is absolutely stunning. Head on over to Sam's website, she is front and center on the main index page) including MAC Full Coverage Foundations in NC50, C40, W55, and NW50, plus Cream Color Base in Black to blend foundation into her hairline. He lightly stippled NC40 sheer loose powder under the eye with a sponge, then blended it out with a powder brush. He even used 3 MAC products that we used to swear by (before that discontinued them *growl*) Gold Deposit, Metal Rock (R.I.P.) and Shining Star Mineralized Skin Finishes.

And guess what, I had class the following morning bright and early. So, I had to leave Sam's Diva Session. I was flaming mad, I mean geez, when will I get to experience a class with Mr. Fine again?!? So, I walked to the 2/3 subway with a look of grave anger on my face. Nobody would dare try to rob me that night!!! So, I sat on the subway, then in Penn Station, and then on my train, and even now, wondering what awesome tips I missed. Ms. Giselle told me that he did Marie's eyes using ONLY the 266 and 219 brushes and ONLY using two eyeshadows. Oh My Goodness, what an artist. I was fortunate enough to meet Nichelle of blog 55 Secret Street who also interviewed Sam. See what she has to say!

So, maybe one day in the (near??) future, I'll be able to interview Sam again, this time getting more in depth info for us! Head on over to Sam's website and blog to sign up for updates about his work!