Celeb Makeup Artist Sam Fine Shares His Fave Products And Makeup Tips For Women … And Men!

Yesterday, I met celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine, who counts Jennifer Hudson as one of his clients. Sam took us around the new Duane Reade Beauty Look section, showed us his must-have beauty buys, and revealed some of his makeup tips for women–and even men. Yes, men can wear makeup without looking like a drag queen. Sam says he’s not about trends. “Makeup is a personality, and isn’t about rules and regulations,” he explains. Where other well-known makeup artists (ahem, Carmindy) proclaim stringent rules for women, Sam disagrees completely. “Makeup is about personality, and isn’t about rules and regulations,” he says. “What if she’s just a bright red woman?”

Some of Sam’s favorite tips and products:

  • Lipstick: Sam swears by Covergirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor. He worked on Brandy’s commercial for this product back in the day and the color didn’t fade or transfer to the apple the singer repeatedly had to bite.
  • Bronzer: Bronzer is best on the cheeks when you’re wearing a red lip. One of his favorites is Iman Bronzing Powder in “Afterglow” because it bronzes and adds a hint of color.
  • Foundation: Before you even put on your red pout or bronzer, you need to prep your face. Sam is a big fan of Covergirl, especially the Queen Collection (inspired by Queen Latifah). He says the the Queen Collection offers great color and finish–and you won’t find a drugstore cosmetic line that offers colors as deep as the Queen Collection.
  • Powder: Many women are big fans of cream-to-powder foundations, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t use powder at all, says Sam. Apply a little powder to the T-zone to keep the shine away. Sam likes the Iman Luxury Pressed Powder. Here’s a tip for women who prefer to wear powder without foundation: Moisturize the skin, tissue off the excess moisturizer, then apply a pressed powder. The moisturizer gives the powder something to adhere to, so it doesn’t wear off.
  • Mascara: He’s not a big fan of Maybelline’s pink and green one, even though it’s America’s No. 1 mascara. Instead, he goes for Covergirl LashBlast Fusion because it lengthens and adds volume at once. Remember, though, to replace your mascara after three months regardless of how often you use it.
  • Acne-concealing: Common sense would suggest that if you want to cover up a pimple without making it obvious that you’d use a light coverage product. Wrong! Sam says a heavy concealer, like a cream concealer (Black Opal makes some fantastic ones), will cover a pimple best. But use the product sparingly and fan or blend it out around the pimple too. A dab of foundation can also be used to cover a pimple.

And what about makeup for guys? Sam says there are a few products the average man should have in his arsenal. All men should use primer to give the skin a matte finish, especially bald men who are prone to shiny pates. Many companies, like Miracle Skin Transformer, offer colorless options. A pressed powder in a shade complementary to the skin color will eliminate any shine on the go.

One tip for men that surprised me: Mascara can be used to cover gray beard or mustache hairs. Sam says the best one to use is one that is on its last legs, i.e., someone has used it for almost three months. If he must use a new mascara, then wipe it with a tissue first. Then, apply lightly to graying areas.

Sam stresses that there aren’t any makeup mistakes. And that’s something we all can remember as we experiment with our usual beauty routines.