More than MAC More than MAC

There’s More to Makeup Than M.A.C.

I once had a rather exhausting conversation with a potential makeup client that went something like this:


Her: Do you use M.A.C.?

Me: Of course! I have several M.A.C. products in my kit, but also use a variety of other brands.

Her: Nah, but I wear M.A.C. You got Studio Fix in that kit?

Me: Yes. But for the purpose of photo shoots, I prefer to use foundations that are formulated especially for use on-camera. Your pictures will turn out great, as these products are made to look amazing when the lights flash.

Her: Oh, no. I only use M.A.C. Nothing else can touch my face.

Me: [insert raised eyebrow here] I see. Have you had bad experiences with other products? if you don't mind my asking, why do you only use their makeup?

Her: I never tried any of that other stuff. M.A.C. is the best.


Oh, ok . . .

The conversation went on for a little while longer, and from it I gathered one simply fact: M.A.C. mania is alive and well! Hearing some women's unwavering obsession with the brand, you would think makeup was born when M.A.C opened its doors. Contrary to popular belief, the brand is but 20 years old in the United States---far younger than most of us! And many would be surprised to know that it's owned by none other than Estée Lauder. I can only imagine the horror on all the young makeup snobs' faces in knowing that their holy grail line was owned by our grandmother's favorite cosmetic company. Ha!

Now trust and believe, I adore M.A.C. as much as the next chick (if not more)! Please believe I keep a mean Lipglass and Mineralize SkinFinish on deck. The allure goes without saying. You walk through the cosmetics department and are automatically drawn to the counter with the bold black/white/wooden decor, booming music, and super-hip employees. You would swear multicolor asymmetrical razor cuts, tattoos, and fly clothes were in their job description. Then you see the products: bright shadows and lip glosses in every hue and finish imaginable, yellow to blues, shimmers to mattes---the works! And the price point? More than your average drug store brand of course, but certainly a steal for a professional-grade line. What's not to love---right? Well, maybe . . .

But what about all the other amazing products on the market---those that also cater to the needs of women of color and have been proven to give us high quality, long-lasting results? Surely M.A.C. isn't the only route to achieving a flawlessly "beat" face. Many other lines have an equally impressive rap sheet: countless years of satisfied customers, use in television and film, features at fashion week shows, etc. With these companies in mind, we'd like for you (just for one moment) to step out of M.A.C madness and consider some other great options. You never know, you just might find your next must-have makeup staple.

Here are 8 Lines You Should Try Out:


For those who prefer a sheer, natural-looking foundation with buildable coverage, Nars' "Sheer Glow" is an excellent choice. It's lightweight, dermatologist tested, non-comedogenic, and fragrance free. And, according to the brand, will actually improve the radiance and texture of the skin with continued use. Their shade offering is great too, but bear in mind that certain colors are best found online.

Makeup Forever:
MUFE's "Face and Body" makeup is another great lightweight liquid foundation. Its waterproof formula is ideal for all skin types, and has a natural satin finish that is said to last long throughout the day. It masks imperfections and fills out fine lines and enlarged pores without giving the appearance of cakey, overdone makeup. And, as a plus, it can also be used on the body for those of us who have discoloration or scars around the neck, chest, and other areas.

Iman Cosmetics is known for providing a full range of products specifically geared towards the needs of women of color. Her "Second to None" stick foundation is a nice cream to powder option that's infused with jojoba and vitamins A, C, and E. The oil-free formula gives good coverage and keeps shine at bay (especially when set with a loose powder), leaving the skin silky and semi-matte.

*Note: Unfortunately, many stores use demographics to determine which product shades they keep stocked. So if you are unable to find your exact foundation match, fret not. Try another location, or even online, where you will likely have a wider range of color options.


Loreal HIP:
Loreal really set themselves apart from fellow drugstore cosmetics brands when they introduced their HIP (High Intensity Pigment) collection. And as the name implies, their products are packed with vibrant color! Each eyeshadow duo is priced at roughly $8, and includes not only two complementary shades, but a mirror and reusable sponge applicator as well. If you're feeling extra funky, try the electric blue "Showy" duo. And for a plum play on the classic smoky eye, try out "Sculpted".

If you favor more neutral colors with just a hint of sheen (as opposed to full-on glittery shimmer), Lorac has you covered! The line features a broad range of colors each season that always includes beautiful browns, nudes, and the occasional pop of blue or purple. The formula is extremely smooth and blendable, which allows for easy application. For everyday wear, try "Serenity"---a gorgeous pink champagne. And for girl's night out, rev things up with "Green Room"---a tempting teal green hue.

If you're a fan of cream shadow formulas, you'll love Shisedo's "Hydro Powder". The creamy, long-wearing colors can be applied with a slightly damp sponge or even fingertips. Wear them sheer, or build up the intensity---either way, they blend easily, last throughout the day, and resist creases or fading.

*Note: When it comes to eyeshadow, primer is your ride-or-die BFF. In order to ensure that you get the most true, vibrant, and long-lasting color, apply a product such as Too Faced Cosmetics's "Eyeshadow insurance" first.


Maybelline has been receiving excellent feedback on their "Color Sensational" lip products. Each shade is packed with pure pigment and gives a crisp, smooth application. They're easily accessible at any local Walmart, Target, Walgreens, etc. And with nearly 60 colors to choose from now, there's something for everyone (but we hear that "Red Revival" is a sure winner!)

If you need a last minute lipcolor and don't wanna spend the big bucks, NYX will hold 'ya down every time. For a couple dollars you're sure to get moisturizing long-lasting wear that has a nice velvety finish. And the shade options are ridiculous! Whether you want a nude pink, metallic gold, or bright orange---there's a NYX lipstick for you.


Nars: You heard what Drake said---"Orgasm blush, lipstick, and concealer." The fact that a rapper would be fully aware of the best-selling blush in stores nationwide proves that NARS hit the nail on the head with their cheek colors! They're all smooth-wearing, highly-pigmented, and easy to apply. A little bit goes a longggg way with shades like the deep rose "Taos" and bright red-orange "Exhibit A".

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.


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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.


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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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