Spring is officially in full swing! We reached out to celebrity makeup artist Billy Gene for the scoop on spring trends and expert tips for everyday makeup. Billie Gene has worked with celebs such as Keke Palmer, Tia Mowery, and Jennifer Hudson just to name a few. We had the chance to chat about spring trends for everyday women like you and me.
1. What are some of your favorite beauty/makeup trends for Spring 2015?
This season is all about pretty powerful pouts, think Kylie Jenner or Kerry Washington! Keeping the palette neutral and putting all the attention to mouth is the primary focus for achieving this look. Try an orangey red or fuchsia on the lips for a daring look. I also love the focus on skin this season. Using just enough foundation for coverage but still being able to see the skin through it. This gives the face a flawless finish with a healthy glow.
2. What are the 3 makeup essentials every woman should have in her purse/makeup bag?
Every woman should always have a lash defining mascara, a neutral lip-gloss, and a coverage building concealer. With these 3 things at minimum you can conquer the world.
3. Most women of color struggle with finding the perfect foundation shade for their skin complexion. What tips do you have for finding the correct color? What are some of your favorite foundations for your clients?
Foundation shopping can be extremely difficult and I didn’t realize this until a few weeks ago when I ventured out into the market to find some fresh new products. Take advice from the beauty expert but also use your own expertise. First you want to determine your skin’s undertone, look at the back of the wrist to determine if you see more golden tones or warmer tones. This will help a great deal when choosing a color. However, don’t be afraid of buying two shades, sometimes by mixing you will create your perfect shade. Also recognize that your face may also be a few different shades as most African-American women have hyperpigmentation, but have no worries just focus on matching the color that is most dominant on the face.
Some my favorite foundations include Nars Sheer Luminous Glow, Bobbi Brown Stick Foundation and Make up Forever HD Foundation.
4. Highlighting and contouring has been become very popular. What tips do you have for everyday women who want to recreate that look?
Try highlighting only 1-2 shades above your skin tone, you want to keep this looking as natural and effortless as possible. Contouring is great skill for slimming the face and adding more dimensions. When applying this look be sure to diffuse out the line so it will look soft and natural.
5.When working with celebrities like Keke Palmer, how do you ensure that the makeup look stays fresh all day long?
For makeup that will stay fresh and last all day it is very important to primp and prime. These first steps are essential to how the make-up will look on the skin and how long it will last. I’m big on eye cream before concealer; this prevents dryness underneath the eye area. If you’re going for a long wear look I strongly suggest the use of a foundation primer, which is great for hiding pores, fine lines and/or texture.
6. We’ve seen KeKe Palmer rocking a very subtle smokey eye and rosy pinks lips lately. What tips do you have for brown skin women who want to wear pink lipstick? What are some of your favorite brands of pink lipstick?
Keke love’s pink lips!!! When choosing your pink lip, remember that your lip liner is your friend and helps with balancing out the pink especially if you have fuller lips. I also suggest using a brown liner very close to skin tone if needed. Some of my favorite brands that carry pink lipsticks include Lancôme Lipstick Love It, Mac Lipgloss Ample Pink, and Nars Lipstick Catfight.
To learn more about makeup artist Billie Gene check him out on Instagram.
The 2014 Emmys Red Carpet was chock full of fashion and beauty hits and misses. And with a fair share of the Emmy nominees this year being for women of color, I was overjoyed to see so many brown faces walking the red carpet. Highlights for me included Kerry Washington post-pregnancy and absolutely stunning, Keke Palmer in her royal blue and basically every single Orange Is The New Black cast member. I LOVE that show.
LoveBrownSugar has the inside scoop from celebrity stylists on how to get some of your favorite red carpet looks with simple products that you can buy yourself! Check it out:
1. Keke Palmer’s Sleek Twisted Ponytail
Celebrity stylist Cynthia Alvarez was responsible for Keke Palmer’s sleek ponytail at the 2014 Emmy Awards. Cynthia says, “…we decided to go with a simple, chic ‘up do’ style to complement the dress. From the front it’s very simply pulled back, but once she turns around, you’ll see the back has interesting detail. A classic style, with a twist…literally.”
4. Part hair into 3 horizontal sections. Starting with the first top section, gather it into a ponytail using a fabric covered hair tie. Then, using fingers, make a hole right above the hair tie. Pull the ponytail down through the hole and retighten the ponytail by splitting the ponytail in two and pulling tightly. Continue this inverted ponytail (topsy tail) for the other sections, pulling hair from the previous pony into the new one.
Keke hit the red carpet glamorous and beautiful as ever, and when she turned around the twist in the back was a pleasant and beautiful surprise!
2. Dasha Polanco’s Goddess Makeup
Celebrity makeup artist Lucky Smyler created this ethereal look for Dascha Polanco using all Shea Moisture makeup. Lucky Smyler says, “Dascha is the true definition of a beautiful feminine and sexy woman. This was the perfect opportunity to let her be ethereal, whimsical and a true goddess.”
How To Get The Look
1. To achieve this luminous and creamy canvas, prep skin with Shea Moisture Spray Toner. Then apply Shea Moisture Primer using a foundation brush. It’s important to massage the primer into the skin and pores so the foundation lays like butter.
5. For the eyes, dust Shea Moisture Cecilia Eyeshadow all over to set the canvas and to add as highlight under the brow bone. Use a mix of Deysi Eyeshadow with Cecila (for a pastel effect) on the lid with a damp shadow brush for pigment intensity. Add Shea Moisture Black Liquid Liner corner to corner with four coats of Shea Moisture Volumizing Mascara, mixed with Lengthening Mascara on the lashes.
Celebrity stylist Jamika Wilson is responsible for making Uzo Aduba aka “Crazy Eyes” on OITNB look flawless on the red carpet. I loved her textured bun – perfect for natural girls! Jamika Wilson told us, “…our look for today was Classic Beauty! Soft, simple pulled back bun with a little volume keeping it soft at the top. Very glamorous & chic!”
How To Get The Look:
1. Shampoo natural hair with Motions Lavish Conditioning Shampoo & Moisture Plus Conditioner. Spray the hair with Motions Nourish Leave-In Conditioner and comb through for even distribution. Add a small amount of Motions Straight Finish Sealer, then blow dry the hair straight.
Tip: “I love this product combination because it really eliminates frizz and smooths the hair. The hair was silky and ready for a classic style.” – Jamika
2. Flat iron entire head with a focus on the top, adding a bump for volume. For added volume, fluff hair with fingers and then pull toward the back into a simple bun. Secure with hair pins, leaving volume at the top.
3. Smooth the sides of the hair and nape of the neck with Motions Shine Enhancing Pomade and Motions Light Hold Working Spritz.
4. Use a blow dryer to seal the hair – a simple trick that holds a style into place.
5. To finish the look, spray the entire head with Motions Hold & Shine.