Books & Dvds

Fine The Basics of Beauty

"Remember make up isn’t about changing your features its about enhancing them, so get in love with yourself long before you apply a stitch of make up, that's the real basics of beauty." Sam Fine

My copy is autographed cos I'm cool like that :P
We finally get a chance to watch Sam do his magic. In this video he takes on 3 makeovers on  “ordinary” women, step by step up close and in detail.
He starts with an introduction to the tools of the trade, explaining their features, functions and maintenance. Did you know he washes his brushes with dishwasher liquid? Yup, so save money on all them brush cleaners!
He also lets on in on some of his tips and tricks like "tissuing" off excess moisture after applying moisturizer and again after foundation and how to take a look from every day to extra glam.
Sam Fine's work is just short of a magic. In this DVD he (unlike your typical magician) reveals his secrets. Its an up close step by step demonstration of the creation of his looks.
"If you are one of the many women of colour looking for long over due information and instruction… this video is for you." Sam Fine

Book Review: Fine Beauty by Sam Fine

Beauty basics and beyond for African American women...

Sam Fine is an amazing artist and a role model of mine. Known for his work on women of color, you have seen his work on Iman, Destiney's Child, Monique, Tyra Banks and more recently Jennifer Hudson. I can spot his work anywhere. His classic look is clean and subtle; the King of contouring he enhances natural beauty without splashing color all over the place (like some of us *guilty face*).
The Fine Author: Mr Sam Fine

In this 157 page book he discusses the basics of make up including tools, eyeliner, mascara,contouring and highlighting (of course :-) He also answers some FAQ about make up for women of color.

The book also contains makeovers on 6 models including his mother and RuPaul.
Sam Fine's Mom
In the book you'll find shots from music video's (in black and white) he worked on including Brandy's "I want to get down", Deborah Cox's "Who do you love"and his work on other celebrities including Iman, Tyra Banks, Patti Labelle and Naomi Campbell.
The book ends with a note on his background, how he started his career and brief notes on some of  his friends in the beauty/fashion industry.
The classic Sam Fine Look; amazing!

This is one of the first beauty books I ever bought. Mr Fine is a huge inspiration of mine, his looks are transforming, super glamorous and subtle all at the same time. If he wrote another one I would buy it in a heart beat!
That said this book is not a complete beauty manual. The makeovers are not backed with step by step instructions on how they were created, you'll find that in his dvd (to be reviewed next). This might disappoint some, but if you are a brown girl or interested in makeup for brown girls  otherwise known as women of color, this book will probably answer some questions you have.
This is an old book (2001) its no longer in print, I got mine last year from ebay.

Danessa Myricks: Mastering The Art of Effective Contouring

I picked up a bunch of DVDs from Danessa Myricks at the NY Make up show. Among them was her contouring DVD.
In this DVD she breaks it down, starting with an introduction to the basics, what to use and of course step by step "how to" demonstrations.

The DVD includes make overs on three models and several before and after pictures.
If you want to learn how to contour, this DVD is definitely for you. I already knew the basics before I saw it but I still learnt a lot watching Danessa do her thing. Good addition to any beginner/pros library.
For more information and orders check out her website:

Apart from makeup school a great way to learn about make up techniques and products is from books. There are lots of makeup/beauty books out there some of course are better than others, in my library you will find reviews of books and DVDs I have read/watched and what I think of them.

All of these books are readily available and if you are looking for a bargain try used books from Amazon or eBay.

About Face by Scott Barnes (2010).

Scott is a genius. He is one of those amazing makeup artists that can take an everyday woman and transform her into a red carpet worthy diva!

The 238 page book is filled with pictures and right from the cover it stands out from many others (that’s one of the reasons I bought it)

Scot Barnes (best known as JLo’s makeup artists) takes on several makeovers and gives step by step details on how to achieve each look.

 The makeovers include women  of diverse ages, races and works of life; from a school teacher to an activist, reality TV star to top model, every single one of them looks absolutely breathtaking after her make over. Its actually hard to recognize some of them after wards. He also covers some basics like skin care and tools.

I got this book in the 2010 London IMATS show from the makeup artist magazine stand for about £18 so you can get yours from them or if you are looking for a bargain try ebay or Amazon, whatever you do… Buy this book! Whether you'r a pro or beginner you will definitely learn something from it.
Here are some of my favorite makeovers from the book!


Oona ( she kinda looks like Jlo)



And my personal favorite…Sonia