The Actor Ed Harris spent countless hours watching footage of Jackson Pollock’s unique painting style so he could accurately portray his methods in the bio pic. Lucky for us that footage exists, but for the majority of the great masters we are left only to ponder things like how Vermeer achieved that ethereal glow. When makeup artists have the chance to watch a true master of our time, we jump at the chance. Do we want to watch Sam Fine spend an hour putting on foundation? Yes. Yes we do.
Sam Fine is about working with different mediums and textures and colors to create dimension in the skin. He is not about the latest eyeshadow craze or allegiance to specific brands. He is about teaching you to address the needs of each aspect of the face and using product and tools in a strategic way. Take powder for example. He may add it to the eyes for the simple reason of adding some “grab” (make other colors layered over it adhere to the skin better) or he may press a loose powder over a creamy product to set it but the powder color is intentionally lighter than the skin to help build on the lightness of the area he is creating. He is about teaching you how to achieve this on ANY face. I have to confess I’ve seen a lot of famous artists do demonstrations but this was downright fascinating!
Sam kept the crowd of makeup artists dazzled with his make-it-work tales, like last year when he used clear antiperspirant on Mo’Nique’s face for a long, sweat-free red carpet day at an awards show. We even collectively gasped when he used pure black grease paint from the Make Up For Ever Flash Color Palette (a staple in every artists’ kit) on the model’s skin. When you need a brown that is darker than what you have in your kit, you mix in some black.
Look at the model’s forehead in the “after” picture. See how the left side and the hairline is dark and the center is light? See how the center of her face is lighter than the outer part? That’s the dimension we’re talking about. Everything else is just icing on the cake.
Sam is as charming and funny and generous in person as he is on twitter (@SamFineBeauty). And he’s got his fierce model pose down! When giving away a copy of his now out of print book to the person who traveled the furthest, he was visibly moved to learn that someone had come all the way from Africa to see him. AFRICA!
I’m sure she’d agree with the me…it was worth the trip. Thank you Sam! If you’re interested in learning from Sam yourself, he breaks it all down in an easy to understand way on his DVD Fine: The Basics of Beauty.