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As a beauty editor, very rarely do I get my hands on beauty samples that actually match or complement my deep skin tone. Either the foundation range is limited to just one dark hue that’ll possibly work, or the highlighters look too ashy against my complexion. Because of this, I tend to go to press events for new launches with low expectations to avoid being let down by yet another beige-y brand.
So when I received an exclusive invite to get a sneak peek of Christie Brinkley‘s makeup line, I prayed that I could at least find a lipstick to fall in love with. I did, but I also developed a deeper respect for Brinkley, whose vision included creating a “beauty collection for all women to enhance their natural beauty.”
Before the clinking of champagne glasses to celebrate the launch of Christie Brinkley Authentic Beauty, I met privately with the supermodel. As soon as I entered the room, she exclaimed with glee to finally see what her makeup looked like on a “woman of color” like myself. In that moment, I felt like I wasn’t an afterthought and that she genuinely wanted my feedback.
Brinkley told me that she initially looked to daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook for straight-up advice about whether she made had her mark in venturing into color cosmetics. However, the diverse range of women who follow, like, and comment on Brinkley’s Instagram account helped her understand that “inclusivity should be felt throughout the whole process, not just in the palettes.” And it wasn’t just about skin tone, but also providing products that a mature demographic could rely on without worrying about powders settling into smile lines or crow’s feet.
The collection itself is comprised of what the 64-year-old refers to as her “tried-and-true basics.” This includes brow pencils, blush, concealer, mascara, and bronzer. While the current four-shade foundation offering initially drew a side-eye from me, I was shocked to see that the Medium Warm didn’t leave behind an unsightly gray cast. It blended smoothly and accentuated the center of my face, which tends to be lighter. Granted, Brinkley admits there’s room for improvement, and she’s actually working to broaden the shade range. But don’t allow yourself to be misled by the product names or photos of swatches. With the right application and placement, you can achieve that dewy, I-woke-up-like-this look.
Another gem from the line is the Prime Time Day to Night Nudes Eyeshadow Palette. Brinkley swears by the neutral brown tones. I personally appreciate this multipurpose product because it’s small enough to fit inside my tiny makeup bag yet still provides a range of uses — like creating a sultry, smoky eye, filling in my brows, and highlighting the high planes of my face.
Where I personally feel like Brinkley nailed it is in the lipstick category. The Lip Beautifully Moisture-Rich Lipstick comes in just three colors: Bliss, Charm, and Stunner. Not everyone wants to swipe on 34 lipsticks just to find a great nude, pink, and red. She takes the guesswork right out! Naturally, I gravitated towards Stunner, and was taken aback when Brinkley revealed to me that she was wearing the same shade. The highly moisturizing, full-coverage lipstick looked totally different on our skin tones, but was equally stunning (no pun intended) — not to mention the fact that it flawlessly passed my eating and drinking test.
What a time to be alive when more beauty brands are developing and expanding color cosmetics to cater to the unique needs of black women. Brinkley has obviously taken note and carved her own path where women from all walks of life can confidently purchase and wear makeup from her line.
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