I am by no means a professional makeup artist, nor do I hold myself out to be. But boy do I love to play with a myriad of makeup colors and options. Since I can remember, I’ve always been fascinated with how makeup, even the most minimal amount, can change the way we look, and make us feel better about ourselves.
My mom has always been a minimalist when it comes to makeup. She mostly wears a powder foundation, maybe a little blush and definitely some lipstick. She’s always had the most gorgeous chocolate brown skin and only used small amounts of makeup to simply enhance her natural beauty. A couple of my mom’s 7 sisters however … specifically Linda and Katherine … were my childhood makeup idols. I LOVED watching them get all dolled up on the weekends when they’d go out on the town with each other and their friends. LynnLynn (what I called her as a child) could put any Hollywood starlet … Black or White … to shame with her personal makeup skills and application, as with her wardrobe. She was by far a fashion bombshell in the 1970s and 1980s. It didn’t hurt that she was one of, if not the only, black fashion buyers for Burdines, a Florida department start that eventually was bought by the parent company of Macy’s. LynnLynn wore REAL FUR — mink, fox, etc. — in her 20s and she was FABULOUS! Her makeup was always flawless! It seemed she could apply lashes with her eyes closed … and to my youthful eyes they would be big and bold and beautiful! She was definitely my very own Diana Ross.
My aunt Kathye was just as fabulous. She never left the house without putting on a little bit of makeup, even if she was just running to the gas station. Kathye’s makeup look was always very sexy to me. She loved red lips and wore them well. I would sit on her bed watching her every move as she applied a full face of Fashion Fair … it was the go-to black women’s makeup line in the 1970s and 1980s for sure. Kathye was fascinating to watch because she had this little squint and pout she’d do as she dressed her face. She still does it today and it rubbed off on me because I do the SAME THING as I apply my makeup as well. Kathy seemed very methodical about her application too. Everything had to be just right. I really admired that about her, and still do. She’s rather a perfectionist about EVERYTHING though. LOL! Kathye has always been in the banking industry and she knew what makeup looks worked for her in a professional setting as well. She was a chameleon of sorts because she was very Phylicia Rashad (professional and classy) by day and Pam Grier (sexy and vamp) by night with her flawless makeup looks.
As a kid surrounded by beautiful women who loved and lived fashion from head to toe, I was never allowed to wear makeup until middle school. My mom let me buy some Translucent Bronze face powder from Fashion Fair and the most popular lipstick with young black girls EVERYWHERE in the 1980s …. Fashion Fairs’ Chocolate Raspberry! If you didn’t own a tube of Chocolate Raspberry back then, you didn’t even matter. I even wore that lipstick in my high school senior pictures in 1990. LOL!! Yes, it was EVERYTHING for almost a decade. I put on my powder and lipstick, and occasionally … if I was really feeling myself … I would throw on some black eyeliner and I would walk around like I was ALL THAT!
So as you can see, my total fascination with makeup (like my shopping habits) are hereditary. I hope to improve my skills enough over the next year so much so that I can start offering makeovers to women who just need a little encouragement and support!
I’ve sprinkled some of my own makeup looks throughout this post. I hope you like them. When I’m back in Florida at my Grandmother’s house, I will get some of her old photos of LynnLynn and Kathye to share with you all. They were (and actually still are) some of the most stylish women I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
Thanks for reading!