Fashion Fair is 40 years old. A huge milestone in anyone’s book. The brand Fashion Fair got it’ name from the Ebony Fashion Fair. A trailblazing event where Eunice Johnson, co-founder of the Johnson publishing company which product Ebony Magazine. Ms Johnson brought European fashions to American black women from 1958 to 2009. The models who were all women of colour would mix and blend their make up and the women who attended the shows always asked them where they could get hold of the make up. Eh Voila the Fashion Fair brand was born along with a legacy of elegantly dressed and stylish women despite the racism and sexism that they faced. Fast forward forty years and Fashion Fair is a brand stocked all over the world and a brand stepping into a new era as many of us do when we hit forty.
I had the opportunity to have a look at the fortieth birthday celebrations up close when I was invited to the revamped Debenhams Oxford Street, part of a national wide physical revamp of Fashion Fair. The birthday has also bee marked by the launch of some new products and a collaboration with Celebrity Make Up Artist Sam Fine. There is also a short film from award winning film maker Ava Du Vernay, which was inspired by the Fashion Fair lipstick ‘Say Yes’, have a look Ava’s amazing work including Say Yes here.
There will be some more Fashion Fair reviews including give away coming up over the next couple of weeks, but this post is focussing on the 1990s Sensuous Collection*.
I love a make up box set – great as a gift, for you or for the make up addict in your life. The imagery of the 1990s collection is gorgeous and take me right back to my early 20’s (what happened in the 1990s stays in the 1990s!). The packaging is gorgeous, you feel like you are getting a real treat when you open up the silver box and see a lipstick, lipgloss, blusher and a nail varnish. A complimentary set of colours that you can wear all together or separately.
Sensuous Pink Nail Lacquer
As you can see from the picture, the brush is bent. This is not an issue that would have arisen from how the product was stored, it comes from further up in the supplier chain. Despite the dodgy brush, it is possible to do the whole nail in three stripes because the brush is quite wide but does not splay uncontrollably. The colour is a bright blue based pink cream colour so it definitely needs two coats, depending on how thick the application is, possibly three coats. I love it but be warned, it will garner attention. It is quite a soft formulation – by that I mean that even when it is dry, you can still put a dent in the colour so it definitely needs a top coat to protect it.
Sensuous Pink Lip Teaser
I am not a huge lip gloss girl but I do wear it. I generally go for opaque, non-shiny or glittery so this is a little out of my comfort zone. I should also say that I much prefer a doe foot applicator to a brush. That said, the brush is not terrible. The bristles are quite long and stiff enough to hold the product and coat the lips but not so stiff that they hurt the lip or splay uncontrollably so you can create a defined look with the brush. Over the lipstick in the kit, it creates a very very glossy and bright colour. On its own the slightly blue iridescence is only on the lips if applied very thickly. This could easily be an apply and go colour. If you are going to use the blush colour as an eye colour, I would forego the lipstick and just wear a thin layer of the gloss. Despite the shimmer and sparkle product it is very smooth on the lips, the shimmer is very fine – not at all gritty on the lips and definitely not gloopy. I find that it lasts about two hours on the lips before I need a touch up.
Sensuous Pink Lipstick
I love the colour. I love a statement lip and a bright pink comes second to purple. However, the formulation, as is typical with mattes, is one that needs to applied carefully. One swipe will not give an even layer of colour. The colour needs a bit of support to make it look it’s best – a lip liner is definitely a good idea, not only to lengthen the wear of the product but also to slightly change the tone which is a little too bright even for me. Adding the lip teaser over the top makes it super glossy, a great way to replicate the look on the box.
Plum Rich Blusher
I love this colour. It is a great blush colour as it provide definition, so if you want to get fancy with your blusher / contouring brush, this product will work well. It is a burgundy but does not register as too red on the skin. I am not averse to a red blush, but this has a brown tone which means that the intensity can be built up on the skin. It is very soft texture on the skin, very highly pigmented and no shimmer. A great every day colour and a great colour to wear with a statement lip because it will not fight with the bright pink. Also lovely on the eyes. Not only as a main lid colour but a brilliant transition colour and with champagne shades can be used in the outer v. Surprisingly the blusher is my favourite part of the kit.
Fashion Fair is brand which targets women of colour but I have to say that the colour cosmetics are, and always have been highly pigmented – on a par with Urban Decay and NARS, so if you have not
If you want to see some of the looks I have created with this kit, head over to my Instagram page @patentpurplelife