Yesterday I attended my first makeup party, hosted by our very own Calandra Branch. About a dozen women gathered in a Brooklyn church to share our own makeup fears and frustrations and get tips on how to overcome them.
Calandra got things going by reaffirming what most of us believed but needed to hear every now and again: Black women are beautiful. No matter what shade, skin type or shape of eyes, we are gorgeous creatures who can wear pretty much any color of the makeup rainbow. Amid many ‘Amens’ and ‘uh-huhs’, Calandra gave a beauty mini-sermon (maybe it was the church setting) about loving yourself in and out of makeup. She concluded that if anyone in the room didn’t love herself, she needed to work on that first before working on what shades to mix on her face.
After the preachin’ ended the demonstration began. Calandra started with a quick primer about brushes then, with help from one of her good friends, showed a simple daytime eye look with neutrals and a pop of color–check the original full face video on her You Tube site. During the demonstration an insightful elder of the room stated “She was beautiful before the makeup”, causing a little pause in the room. She clarified that she didn’t mean it in a harsh way and that she doesn’t believe in makeup. However after Calandra was done even she was impressed at the “natural plus more” look.
Next up was yours truly as the model with a demo of the MAC Smoked Ruby eye with a black L’Oreal HIP base. My daily eye go-to is a neutral of peaches and browns so the smoked ruby was certainly a departure. Fairly dramatic and good for a night out…I’ll likely try that one one my own. A third demonstration was on a woman who expressed frustration of not knowing use eyeshadow on her hooded eyes. Calandra was the miracle-worker, showing her that a gold color on the base of her lids, plus some neutrals in the crease and above gave her just that pop she needed. The gold base made her eyes look bigger and definitely made the woman’s day.
The party ended with goodie bags for for a few lucky raffle winners that included brush sets and compact mirrors. All left with beauty kits with water (hydration), tea (relaxation), hand sanitizer (clean hands before you touch your face!), lotion and Hershey Kisses to leave with love. I think a good time was had by all and quite a few walked out with new techniques and fun shades to try. I left with some new ideas for my Avon 12-shade eye palette and the MAC Smoked Ruby on my ‘to-buy’ list…plus new-found admiration for my cousin’s love of sharing beauty with everyone.