Beauty Basics on a Budget Seminar

Posted by Brandalyn

The 1st ever Beauty Basics on a Budget was held this past fall in Detroit, Michigan. It was a huge success! Please check back as I will be hosting more Beauty Basis on a Budget seminars in New York, Detroit, and Chicago for 2012! This is such a great opportunity for women to bring their basic makeup collection and learn tips and tricks with what you have. Can't wait to roll out plans for 2012!

Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics New Brushes: Obsessed!

Posted by Brandalyn

If you are looking for good brushes, check out the brushes at Obsessive Compulsive Cosmetics!

New at 'B Stands for Beauty' -

Posted by Brandalyn

New to 'B Stands for Beauty' is The B Word!! The B Word is a weekly commentary from me about. . . whatever comes to mind. It will be related to my life and this journey to be successful in my career!
I hope to hear from you!

My Best Friend...A Lawyer!

Posted by Brandalyn

Shout out to my best friend, Delilah P. Strickland! She just completed Law School! I will be getting my friend back in just a few weeks once she takes the bar exam!

Her only request was that I be there to do her makeup and lashes. Go figure :-)

Brandalyn Featured on

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Photo: Genevieve Santos

I conducted an interview with Sam Fine, Makeup Artist to Iman, Monique, Queen Latifah (just to name a few), over a year ago and it was never published... (so disappointed). Have no fear! I was able to retrieve it and wanted everyone to read it.

This is not just an interview about makeup or how to work with celebrities. This conversation changed my life and I know it will have a great influence on your life!

Sam was just appointed as Creative Director of Fashion Fair Cosmetics and just like it states in the interview, 2011 is the year for many great things!

Sit back, enjoy, and please share!

Brandalyn: You’ve been pretty busy with promoting your new DVD, which is amazing by the way. I am dying to know when the next video is going to come out?

Sam: I was talking to management today and was saying I need a minute to regroup. I think it is so important for us to take a little down time to digest what the audience has to say. This is in no way to say I’m not going to do another DVD. I have had several appearances. I’m about to go to Dallas and just came back from Jamaica and Trinidad doing appearances to promote the DVD. I’m taking time to digest what people are saying and what they want from me. I think it is always wise to refuel and to be able to come back fresh. I’m excited about doing another project. As opposed to feeling put upon just having to do something else.

Brandalyn: So is your next project going to be another DVD or book?

Sam: I’m actually going to be doing everything.

Brandalyn: (GASP because of excitement!!)

Sam: As I approach my 20th year in beauty I’m thinking and it is in discussion for me to do another book, DVD as well as a cosmetic line. I’m looking forward to retiring. 2011 will bring a lot of this to fruition. I let the universe bring things to me and I try to see where it goes and try to flow with it. I am a freelancer and you know how it is. I don’t know what my next week, next month, or year is going to look like. I try to fill in the gaps with these projects.

Brandalyn: You are looking to forward to celebrating 20 years as a makeup artist. What are some of the greatest lessons you have learned in your earlier days of success?

Sam: My best friend Joseph Hampton is 55 years old and he taught me makeup. I think when you have a great mentor they really help you to pace yourself. I think his age in comparison to mine entering at a young age has helped me to understand to have a certain level of patience. Patience as it pertains to things coming to you whether that be clients you want, assignments you want to work on, books, or a cosmetics line. These are all things that have come to me at different times. I have had plenty of cosmetic contracts that have not worked out. I don’t push for anything to make it anything happen. I try to respond to everything in a way that I don’t make it happen but I have to respond to it. When I say that I mean I’m allowing the universe to bring things to me; to let me know if this is what I should be doing.

Everything has its time. If you lose a client, that means there is one who is waiting in the wings to work with you. There is always something around the corner. As a freelancer you learn that you don’t know when you’re going to work or how you are going to work, who you going to work with. Everyday is a surprise to me and patience gets me through each day.

Brandalyn: I know the Sam Fine signature! I can flip through a magazine or on the red carpet and know that Sam Fine did the makeup. Explain your approach to makeup and what I call the Sam Fine signature.

Sam: It is so personal. A lot of the time you don’t even know you’re doing it. It is your perspective that comes out everyday when you work. When people look at my work and say there is a signature to it, that’s just my perspective on beauty. I like to look back at my work and see Classic Beauty. When I work with Iman, Vanessa Williams, Tyra Banks, or Monique I want to look back at my work and feel that it was just as beautiful as I remember it. I don’t want it be look like ‘oh, that was so hot’ during that time. I want to look back and say WOW! I was really painting. I love that lash! My basics don’t change much. When you’re doing clients for Good Morning America, a commercial for Weight Watchers with Jennifer Hudson, a music video with Vanessa Williams, or television segment with Iman these have to be beautiful standard looks that translate time and market. When I say market I mean I don’t people in New York just to get it, but I also want my people in Missouri, Alabama, Mississippi, and Chicago to be able to look at my work and still feel it is beautiful. My signature is something hopefully all people can appreciate so if that means you know me by my brows, lashes, attention to detail, skin, perfecting the canvas or nude lip that’s perfectly sculpted and glossed then so be it. These are all apart of the way that I view my sisters and the way that I want to be remembered in my legacy as a makeup artist.

Brandalyn: I must say that you are one of the most genuine and down to earth celebrities. I really appreciate you. Every time I hear you speak it brings me chills because it is so touching. Being relatable is so important and I can see that in your makeup style and it shows in your personality as well. Your response to the question is so amazing and so true to what I have grown to learn and know about you. You mentioned Iman and Jennifer Hudson and you have such a long list of high profile clients, who is next on the list to receive the Sam Fine touch? Who have you yet to work with? Who are you dying to work with?

Sam: I think less about the next client and more about my career. When you have almost 20 years under your belt and clients like Naomi Campbell, Patti Labelle, Monique, Vanessa Williams, Destiny’s Child, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Tyra Banks, Iman, Aretha Franklin, Eartha Kitt, Gladys Knight, etc. honestly, I look forward to the rest of my career and bringing more of what I do to the masses. I think that will bring my career full circle. I started behind the cosmetic counter and I look forward to ending up their again with my name on the product this time. I have to say I don’t think about the clients anymore. It is not important to me because I can’t control who may begin to use another artist. I allow the universe to continue giving me opportunities as it has in the past. I think its great to have goals. My goals have now changed. I am 40 years old as of last year and with 20 years in this industry I have been to the mountain and back. I look forward to doing something different and challenging myself in a new way.

I can’t say that means a new client or new music video. There will always be a new and different celebrity, Oscar winner, Grammy winner, Emmy winner. What makes it different for me is being able to challenge myself in different ways. Perhaps going into product development, marketing; looking at a cosmetic line and really having fun relating to the consumer in which my artistry has affected.

Brandalyn: That’s great. I started in makeup when I was 19 very close to when you started and I can’t even imagine where I am going to be 20 years in the industry. You have done so much within these 20 years and with your interest in Product Development, I can’t help but to remember you creating the Black Opal Cream Stick Foundation. Of course it is still a staple in artists’ kits but what other drug store products can you recommend to women?

Sam: Let me put it out there that everyone wants to know what I use. It is not the product its how you use it. That why I didn’t mention products on my DVD because I want people to think and try like artists do. Of course it will give you a leg up to know I use Queen Collection Bronzers, Liquid Makeup, Crème to Powder Foundation. I use a ton of Iman Cosmetic products and swear by L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara. If you follow me on twitter @SamFineBeauty or Facebook: Sam Fine Beauty. I am very true to the brands I represent. I am very honest about using drugstore brands as I am about using Department Store brands. I love NARS eye shadows and CARGO blush. It is not secret. All you have to do is follow me. If I had to make a list of what cosmetics I use, I think every brand has something to offer. There are things I am still discovering. I go shopping and will pick up 4-5 glosses, powders, or bronzers. I try it and find that it might become one of my favorites. That is how I found CARGO blush. I discovered YSL powders from another artists’ recommendation. You have to be open and learn how to experiment. Have a vision for your beauty in mind so you can go to any store or online and translate that to your makeup kit.

Brandalyn: It is really important you talk about the approach and thought process to makeup. Once people start following you on twitter or FB and get the information on what you use they can then go pick up the DVD to how it really works and to use what they have. That’s what is nice about the instructional DVD! It is short and sweet but it breaks things down and encourages women to embrace makeup. I think it is important as a makeup that we are not only here to put makeup on people but to be genuine to encourage women to try new things.

Sam: Thank you! Thank you so much! Most important thing to me about being a celebrated artist is that giving something to the people who celebrate you. We need more good information and education. Everyone thinks that Halle Berry’s foundation is the one to have because she is beautiful and has great skin, but what about the women who does have some acne scaring? What about the woman who has a little discoloration or the woman who thinking about cost and doesn’t want to spend $40-50 on a foundation? I’ve always felt that it was my responsibility as a celebrated artist to make sure to give the information and product knowledge. You talk about being encouraging and inspiring. Those are the words that make me feel most proud. That’s why I do a DVD to let people know it is not as hard as it seems to participate in this wonderful finishing called makeup. You have to realize that so many of us don’t have makeup role models. We’ve only have had makeup role models in the past 10-15 years that have become a bit more relatable. We are just learning about our mothers who didn’t have makeup that was offered to them or weren’t using makeup as much. We have so many more options which also makes it very confusing. When I hear that I am empowering and inspiring it means a lot because that is what the DVD was created to do.

Brandalyn: You mentioned that you worked at a makeup counter when you first moved to New York. I started working at makeup counter when I was in college and I did a complete detour as to what I initially thought I was going to be doing with my life. What would you be doing if you were not a makeup artist? I get that question all the time.

Sam: When you enter an industry such as freelance you have to believe in yourself because you just don’t know what tomorrow may bring. When you learn to believe in yourself you empower yourself to do a number of things. I’ve become a writer. I have learned how to write better and convey my thought through this industry. I’ve learned so much about marketing, budgets, and how it relates to product and marketing campaigns. I guess I would still be in this business probably in marketing because I find it very interesting how products reach people and how they become loyal to certain brands. I find it very interesting how women buy and what they think about different brands. Psychology is very interesting which is a huge part of marketing. If anything, I think this industry has helped me to see how many more jobs exist that I did not know existed. I could have easily been apart of it had I known about them when I was in high school. That’s why I talk and do seminars, books, DVDS because I really want to expose more kids to the fact that we (makeup artists) are doing great things and make money too. This is a career. This is not a hobby. You get people that want to do a “little makeup.” What is a little makeup, because this is a career for me. I am sure if I were in school I would have had Doctorate in Makeup Artistry by now. When I talk to people about doing makeup I feel like this is something I want you to understand is a career like anything else. There is no clear route to it. We don’t go to school and come out working with Revlon, Covergirl, and celebrity clients.

Brandalyn: It’s a journey to get to that point.

Sam: There is a journey to every career. When you look at doctors and lawyers that are highly sought out and highly specialized, it’s the same thing. I don’t think people understand the arts because its so subjective. I feel so empowered having come in contact with tour managers, bus manager, entertainment lawyers, marketing professionals. So many opportunities lie ahead of me. I don’t plan on changing careers but I want to incorporate so much of what I’ve learned. I’ve watched models go back to school. I would love to go back to Art school, which is why I came to NYC. I would love to take up art history and start sketching again. I am leaving it open. I don’t get that question much, but I will tell you that the industry and exposure has helped me to see a number of things I could’ve been great at had I pursued them.

Brandalyn: It s great to hear you talk about these things. Society doesn’t understand the arts and creative professions like they do doctors, lawyers, or some other collegiate based career. I know there are some college programs out there involving makeup, but getting the exposure, experience, taking everything in is part of the educational process of being an artist. One more question I want to wrap up with what really matters to you! At the end of the day, what really matters to Sam Fine, the person, Sam Fine the artist?

Sam: At the end of the day I have to go home happy – happy with myself; knowing that I gave my best to whatever it was I did. I hate to bring up the age thing again, but 40 is really middle age. You think about life expectancy being 80-90 year old. I used to stress out about so much like oh my God I could have done better. I still think about it, but now able to let it go; in a way where I can say I did my best and I’m going to move on to the next thing. My best always changes and that’s the one thing to remember. What is most important to me is my happiness. I’ve seen people in this business who drives themselves crazy. They are trying to stay on top, whatever that means, trying to get the next hot client, or just trying to achieve something. It is important to move forward in your career but there is a part of this journey that you have to allow it flow and I’m looking forward to the next chapter.

Jane Fonda wrote a book and she talks about her life in chapters and moving towards her final act or final chapter. I think about being happy more and stressing less about things that really are at the end of the day are not as important as my happiness. We work hard for success and material things but they really don’t bring you joy and happiness. It can bring you temporary joy, but joy and happiness lives within. I know it sounds hokey, but it is true. It’s a certain peace you have within yourself that you can say I’m enough! I am not just saying that. Reaching the age of 40 and 20 years in this business has helped me to feel that deeply - that I am enough! If I never work with whomever, you can fill in the blank, I still have lived a life that I am happy with. I am not waiting for something to be happy or waiting for something to happen. I am living in the present.

I hope you enjoyed this conversation with Sam Fine. View his work at! I would love to hear your thoughts about this interview below.

Brandalyn Fulton is a Makeup, Wig & Hair Artist residing in New York City. Her work can be found at

9 Response to "Life Changing Conversation with Celebrity Makeup Artist, Sam Fine"

  1. I'm a huge Sam Fine fan. I met him when he came to Houston last October. Thank you so much for posting this. I agree. He is definitely down to earth and very personable. I can't wait to see what he has in store for Fashion Fair. He will be a valuable asset to the company. :-)


  2. You could not have said it better! Totally agree! Fashion Fair will no longer be a product "our moms or grandmothers" wear!


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