Friday, August 31, 2007

Not Nekkid, Nude

Ms. New Beauty loves the summer. She is actually quite comfortable in the heat but after three months of 90% plus humidity, she is so ready for fall. And this fall is one that's really got her excited. First, this is the first fall ever where MNB has no need for the words "Back to School." She's done with school and has no need to think about registrations, textbooks, school supplies or any of that stuff. But more importantly, she's really excited for the new season of fashion and beauty looks. This season is all about a return to glamour and even better, effort. No more of the "I just rolled out of bed looking like this and really don't want the world to know that I care about what I'm wearing." This fall, being pulled together is a good thing. Gone are the days of pairing your tailored blazers with your worn in jeans so that the world won't think you tried. Nope. Ms. New Beauty is putting those tailored blazers with sexy pencil skirts and reveling in the unabashed glamour of fall. She's slipping into her perfectly fitting wide leg pants and pairing them with her perfectly fitting blouses.

Of course, MNB is also embracing the more done makeup looks. She'll definitely be doing the red lip with black eyeliner and continuing in her love affair with smokey eyes, but expanding beyond the basic black into a range of shades. Ms. New Beauty also knows how important it is to temper some of these bolder makeup looks. The smoky eyes will take center stage while her lips play second fiddle in the nude. The red lips will stand in the spotlight while her eyelids remain their natural color. But, taking a backseat doesn't mean that MNB will just skip the makeup and leave parts of her face completely naked. Instead, they'll be tastefully nude and she's so elated that she found the perfect line of makeup that creates nude color looks that even women of color can enjoy.

Vasanti Lipstick in Jordan

I've always loved the look of the nude lip. Unfortunately, nude lips can be hard for a brown skin girl to achieve. Many colors labeled nude show up so chalky and ashy on darker skin tones that they really end up making you look like an enbalming room extra from Six Feet Under. The only other option is to wade through the vast amount of brown lipsticks which are often gold-flecked and just ruin the flat look necessary for a true nude lip. Enter Vasanti.

Vasanti Cosmetics is like the perfect tree rustling breeze on a fall day. Desperately needed yet a refreshing surprise at the same time. Created by three South Asian women in Toronto, Vasanti was developed to address the needs of women of color from all backgrounds. Their tagline, which I am just in LOVE with, is "I Love My Colour." The perfect antidote to so many cosmetics companies that teach us just the opposite of that with their whitening products that are quite popular around the world. Mama New Beauty is actually the one who put me on to this line. She didn't want me to tell you all that she recommended it to me but I'm doing it anyway. My mom is fabulous, still looks 10 years younger than she is and is absolutely the one who turned me into a product junkie at 6 years old.

Vasanti specializes in colors that will look fabulous on women whose complexions are more yellow-based. And, my favorite part, and I always have a favorite part, is the names they give their shades. All of the products are named after cities and countries around the world native to people of color - like Kenya, Tunisia, Brunei, and India. The perfect nude lipstick for fall is Vasanti's Jordan. Jordan is the perfect warm beigey brown that will look good on just about everyone. It's a pretty brown for fairer women and the perfect nude for darker ones. The look is subtle yet done, the perfect match for any kind of bold eye look.

$15, available at and select Ulta locations

Khartoum Eyeshadow

Khartoum is a pretty golden brown with just a hint of bronze in it. It's a subtle brown shade to wear on your eyes when you have something bold, like red, going on your lips. It finishes the look and tells the world that you really do care enough to do your whole face, but know better than to have too much going on at once. For my medium brown skin, this shade blends in perfectly and is barely there but just there enough.

The best part of this shadow is the sleek compact it comes in. A small, purse portable silver compact with a perfect little mirror built right in the top. And, I appreciate that they didn't stick those q-tip like sponge applicators anywhere near this divine eyeshadow. Honestly, companies have to know that anyone paying good money for eyeshadow isn't going to slap it on with that imprecise and silly little q-tip applicator. I'm not saying any names, but there are plenty of beauty firms that missed that memo.

$15, available at and select Ulta locations.

Remember to go nude (not naked!) with some of the bolder looks for fall, and always "Love you colour," just don't forget that Ms. New Beauty told you!


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