Taking the Mystery Out of Makeup


According to fashion professional Nicole A. Carter, style is not necessarily fashion. It’s about expressing who you are through the way you dress, groom and adorn yourself. Individual style and creativity earn respect-that is what fashion is all about. Nicole has dressed, styled and produced fashion and art events for celebrities, designers and many other clients. Nicole imparts the wisdom of her Granny Annie Pearl, the most stylish woman she knows, on BLACdetroit.com twice a month. Granny Annie Pearl’s most important advice is: “Respect the public.” By this she means take pride in the way you look and present the best you, always. Would you want to be remembered the way you look in the public eye? Everyone has fans whether or not you know it. Be your own celebrity, respect the public.

was able to catch up with one of my favorite Detroit makeup professionals, Shalonda A. I asked her for some basic beauty advice and she has shared super simple tips any woman can use.

What’s your favorite thing about metro Detroiters' style?

The individuality. I love Detroiters’ style.

How did you get started in fashion?

I would say my grandmother. She was always dressed so beautiful with such class! She would let me play in all her jewelry and her hats. I always wanted to look like her.

Who are your clients?

My clients range from your everyday woman wanting to look beautiful, all the way to celebrities needing makeup for a performance or appearance.


What’s your philosophy about makeup for the everyday woman?

Keep it simple but polished. Have the brows done. They frame your face. And don’t do them yourself if you don’t know how. Seek a professional.

What the thing you’re most known for? What sets you apart?

I hear from others that my brows set me apart. You can always tell my work by looking at the brows.

What’s the one industry tool you can't live with out?

Brow gel.

Name some inexpensive beauty product lines that you like designed specifically for women of color.

OK, I have to say I love Black Opal foundations and setting powders. Oh, did I say I LOVE them!? They give such great coverage and the color range is the best. I like Iman, Sleek MakeUP (based in the U.K.) and Black Radiance.

For women who don’t have a lot of time in the morning, but want to make sure they have a professional, polished look for work, what quick beauty routine do you suggest?

  1. I would suggest using a moisturizer with SPF.
  2. Tinted moisturizer or foundation concealer if more coverage is needed, and set with powder.
  3. Bronzer-now this can be used on the cheeks and eyes and can be done in minutes!
  4. Brow gel is a must. It keeps your brows in place and makes you look polished.
  5. Gloss or lipstick.
  6. Finish with mascara and don’t be shy with it. Mascara makes a woman look flirty without even trying. If you would like to use eyeliner, use a gold or bronze for day, and go to a black if you are having a night on the town.

What colors are hot for lips, eyes and nails as summer winds down and we head into fall?

For me, no matter what season, I love a natural color lip. It is soft, subtle and can enhance a woman’s beauty in seconds. The colors can range from muted pinks and peaches to rose. As fall comes around, you will see the vamp come out-rust, plums, reds are all good colors to try out this season.

Now with nails I have seen some really beautiful colors that make me want to run right through August to September: mossy greens, beautiful browns, burnt oranges, burgundies, taupes to die for. Essie and OPI have the best colors for me.

Eyes-you will see neutrals running rampant. They must complement that vampy lip so you can ease down on the color. You can add some liquid or gel eyeliner to sex it up and it could even be a great fall color such as dark green or dark purple.

Sometimes we have a friend or loved one who overdoes it with makeup. What do you advise saying to such a person?

Well, you have some that will not change no matter what you do. But try taking them to an expert or your local makeup counter for a makeover-your treat. This way, you can show them how a beautiful, subtle look can really make a difference.

How do you know if you are using too much makeup or the wrong colors for your skin tone?

Colors should enhance your appearance. There are so many books out there that tell us what fits our complexion. Essence, Sam Fine and Iman all have coffee table books that guide women of color in the right direction.

What’s your own daily makeup routine?

I make sure my brows are done set with my brow gel, mascara and lip gloss! I have three children-I will be lucky to get that much done.

Which beauty item do you always have?

Only lip gloss.

How can readers find out more about you and get in touch with you?

My blog www.shalondaa.blogspot.com, www.shalondaa.com or www.facebook.com/shalonda.a.1.

For further fashion and style advice, please contact me at Nicole.Carter625@gmail.com or follow me at Twitter.com/FashionAsArtPro.

Fashionably yours,
Nicole A. Carter

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