Face Value

I found out today (via Twitter of course!) that the product line created by iconic American makeup artist Kevyn Aucoin (who passed away 10 years ago), has been launched in the UK for the first time and is now available at the mecca of premium beauty that is Space NK. This was heartening news because I have had a deep admiration for Aucoin and his handiwork – which is nothing short of spectacular – for a number of years, after purchasing his bestselling book, Face Forward.   Even at first glance, the cover demonstrates Aucoin’s approach to beauty as he morphs a black and white woman into one incredible portrait.  I was awed by his sheer talent; there is no denying that this man has a gift.  His ability to transform was simply breathtaking and page after page of the book pays homage to the artisan that he was. From the onset of his career he has been a champion of beauty for all women, all ages, all races and at the age of 32, Aucoin launched a revolutionary line of makeup whilst he was the Creative Director at Revlon.  It was 1993.   The New Nakeds (later renamed The Nakeds) was a groundbreaking line that was a strong counterpoint to cosmetics available at the time.   The editor of Allure magazine says of the line: “It may not seem like it now, but it was a powerful moment. Before, there were makeup lines for white women and others for black women. But he worked to design makeup for all skin tones. The idea was to empower a woman by revealing her natural beauty, and not to cover her up with layers of product.” Kevyn went on to create his own line in 2001. He worked with many leading black female celebrities including Tina Turner, Janet Jackson, Grace Jones, Naomi Campbell, Mary J Blige and the late Whitney Houston

Kevyn and Janet Jackson. Photograph by Jean-Baptiste Mondino. Published in Vogue,January 1996.

Here are some images of his creations.

Kevyn Aucoin 1962 – 2002

Tina Turner as Cleopatra (Face Forward, 2000)

Naomi Campbell for Allure magazine (1991)

Aucoin gives Janet Jackson a golden glow for the cover of 5th album, Janet, shot by Patrick Demarchelier (1993).

Janet and Michael Jackson. Scream video. 1995.

Whitney Houston in Bazaar. Kevyn Aucoin was a genius, way ahead of his time both in terms of his makeup techniques for black women, and for pioneering nude makeup - this shot is from 1989. Shot by Bob Frame.

Jenny from the block - all fresh faced for launch of debut album

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I think you had BECCA!

Hi Guys!!

Just 6 days until Christmas!! How are you tackling the mission that is the big ‘Christmas Shop’ ?

Well, if you are looking for inspiration, I would highly recommend a gift from the Australian make up brand BECCA!

The lovely ladies at the BECCA London office invited me to an exclusive industry event last week, which was hosted at the newly renovated boutique, located on Pelham Street in the heart of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea!

As I had mentioned in a previous blog post, I had learned about the BECCA brand when it was sold in Space NK – but this was the first time that I visited the stand alone boutique.

The interior is a blend of the sumptuous textures of descendant chocolate velvet and sparkling mirrored panelling and lighting which creates a  chic interior that is both welcoming and luxurious.

The All New BECCA Flagship Boutique (image: becca.com)

If you have to buy a present for a cosmetic obsessed friend or family member – you really can not go wrong with a choice from BECCA, as the brand has a range suitable for ALL skin tones, plus many other services that I for one would be extremely happy to find under my tree.

Game, Set,  MATCH

Stick Foundation - Almond

It was so much fun to further explore the product range.  The foundation range is fabulous – as a black woman,  I know that finding a shade that suits not only my complexion, but works well with my skin type (which is slightly on the oily side – a common feature of dark skin) can often prove to be a challenge.  I did find my match – the Stick Foundation (£30) in Almond.  It literally disappeared upon application…perfection!  I also really liked the Shimmering Skin Perfector (£33) in Topaz – fantastic for creating a dewy finish – perfect for the party season!  The water-based moisturiser has a SPF of 20+ and light-diffusing particles of shimmer that creates instant radiance and vitality.

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Shimmering Skin Perfector - Topaz

Make – Up MaestroBECCA is loved by the professional MUA – and you too can gain the skills to enhance your beauty by attending the Introduction to Make-Up Application 2  day course at the BECCA Make-Up Academy.   Perfect for the fashion aware, professionals who need to maintain a polished appearance at all times, or the busy mother who wants to enhance her personal makeup routine. Taught by a BECCA International Makeup Artist, the course focuses on skincare, makeup preparation and brush use.  During the course, attendees will also receive an exclusive 30% discount on all product purchases!!

Introduction to Make-Up Application – £480

I really enjoyed the event and will be definaitly following the brand in the New year – not only did it celebrate it’s 10th birthday this year, it was also featured as the runner up in the inaugural category for the ‘Best New Product for Darker Skin’ in the 2011 Grazia Beauty Awards – as voted for by…US!

Who’s going to argue with that?

Winning ways for BECCA