MAC Cosmetics in Soho, NYC had the perfect formula for success this past Thursday: a fashionable cutting-edge performing artist + their cutting-edge cosmetics = one hell of an event as part of Fashion Week’s first-ever “Fashion’s Night Out”! Billed as a Global Celebration of Fashion, “Fashion’s Night Out” kicked off Fashion Week 2009 last Thursday to stimulate the fashion economy through a range of coordinating evening events involving key figures throughout the entertainment and fashion industries around the world. And what hot event was happening at MAC? A Janelle Monae meet and greet! Even better, I interviewed her about a bar of soap, MAC eyelashes, and an eyebrow brush – just a few of her beauty must-haves.
This R&B & Afro punk-inspired, Grammy-nominated singer has made the fashion world stand up and take notice as she dons tailor-made black & white tuxedo suits everywhere she goes (with the appropriately affixed bow-tie), saddleback shoes and her oh-so-high pompadour hairdo. I, however, was drawn to her for another reason: her face. Janelle’s approach to makeup is similar to her dress-code – simple, purposeful and not fussy. As she arrived at the MAC Soho store for her scheduled appearance, I couldn’t help but notice how her beauty not only resonates in print, it’s even more powerful in person. This petite, talented beauty of about five feet tall is the real thing! Her eyes pop, her skin glistens (“maintained with just a bar of soap and good blessings,” Janelle says) and her smile is inviting. A porcelain doll come to life. She has teeth so perfect they seem unreal with lips adorned with just the right amount of gloss to affect that pout of hers.
So, I felt inspired to share my tips on how you can achieve Janelle’s fresh-faced look:
Tip 1: Widen your eyes. Look more refreshed by doing away with the white eyeliner of yester year (which can appear too chalky and harsh), and replace it with a nude one. Try Stila’s Kajal Eyeliner in Topaz ($18). Just trace the liner between your lower lash and inside the rim of your eye, and stop just shy of your tear duct.
Tip 2: Be dramatic. Janelle loves her #35 lashes from MAC ($15). But if you lack the patience or the skill for faux lashes, then plump and lengthen your lashes with Colossal Mascara by Maybelline ($6.99) to achieve a similar affect.
Tip 3: Moisturize and maintain your natural locks with Janelle’s favorite hair product – Cantu Shea Butter’s Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream. For daily styling, apply a generous amount of product from the root to the tip of your hair and gently comb through evenly. For maximum results, use as a leave-in treatment by applying it to your hair after shampooing and placing a plastic cap on your head overnight.
Tip 4: Never neglect your lips. As you all know, I’m a gloss addict and it appears as though Janelle loves lipgloss as much as I do. C.O. Bigelow’s Ultra Mentha Lip Shine #1122 ($7.50) provides a sheer hint of color, freshens your breath, and highlights your pout. I’m on the fence about this one because the formula isn’t as thick as I like my glosses, but my sister loves it so much, she carries two of these in her purse at ALL times!. But for those of you who aren’t into insects sticking to your lips because the gloss is sometimes so thick, then, this by far is a great choice.
Tip 5: Stay young forever by using Boots No. 7 Mineral Perfection Blush in Soft Pink ($7.49) to create a youthful and fresh-faced appearance. Start by looking in the mirror and smiling to locate the “apple” of your cheek. Next, sweep the blush brush in an upwards motion starting from the “apple” towards your hairline with a gentle hand and blend.
Hue Knew It? I did.