"I like the gold. It's a bit more fashion forward"
Finding makeup that suits warm skin tones is a challenge for many Asian women.
Most will know that certain colours don’t look so great with certain complexions.
As a result, they can have a harder time finding the right makeup products.
Fashion Fair has the answer. The luxury makeup brand offers products that attempt to meet the needs of ‘women of colour’.
Newly rebranded for the UK market, the company offers a range of makeup products from perfect finish foundations, to concealers and press powders. They also have an eye and cheeks palette and a wide range of lipsticks.
To test how well these products work on Asian skin, the DESIblitz team tried out some of the Fashion Fair products for themselves.
Scroll down to watch our full video review below!
For the Face: Foundations and Concealers
Fashion Fair offers five different foundation product types to cover your base. They range from light to medium, to full coverage. Each product offers a wide range of colours making it easy to choose the right match for your skin tone.
Fast Finish Foundation Stick
The long and sleek stick contains a creamy foundation that runs smoothly on to your face. Being oil-free, the light formula blends perfectly into your skin and gives a natural look. It gently covers minor marks and balances uneven skin tone.
The range offers 19 separate colour tints, from ‘Cashew’ to ‘Perfect Pure Brown’. Suitable for dark skin tones, those with slightly fairer skin can opt for the colours which have pink undertones as it blends seamlessly.
We particularly like how the foundation stick, when used, feels very creamy and smooth on your skin, giving it a luxurious feel.
It also offers a semi-matte finish and can also be used as a concealer.
There are seven different types of concealers with different shades available in sticks and in a small round casing.
The Perfect Finish Concealer has a unique package containing a trio of shades that can be blended for customised coverage. Their non-drying formula leaves skin with a smooth, matte finish.
An added benefit is that it is fragrance-free and does not break out. It stays on your face and really seems to keep the shine away.
Illuminating: All four colours that the ‘Illuminating Powders’ come in are very pretty. They include ‘Air’, ‘Sun’, ‘Metal’ and ‘Earth’ and they all appear to be finely milled. This should give ladies a very subtle effect.
‘Sun’ has a yellow/gold tone that goes on subtly when applied with a powder brush.
The powder packaging does not come with sponges. This means that the fine powder can break and shatter very easily so be careful while carrying the product in your bag.
Pressed: This pressed powder contains a special skin conditioner which minimises and softens the appearance of fine lines without leaving the skin dry. Although they offer 22 colours, you have to be careful with the undertone.
If you have a yellow undertone, avoid using a powder that has a red tint in it. We recommend ‘Sugar’. It is a colourless powder that can be worn over makeup or on bare skin.
As Alima notes: “It works well on top of a foundation.”
This powder also controls oiliness very well and it comes with a mirror, which advocates its portability.
For the Eyes: Mascara and Eyeliner
Fashion Fair has a range of products in their eye collection. They offer mascara, liners, an eyeshadow palette, eyebrow brush and pencil.
Mascara: Their ‘Bold Lash Mascara’ creates volume and length. Although it might give you a false lash effect by applying several coats, the application could be smoother.
Despite this, Arub says: “It does its job, it’s pretty good as a mascara.”
“We have really dark hair so we have really dark eyelashes, a lot of mascaras are quite brown or they’re not as dark for us, but this one is. It’s really good.”
The mascara comes with an old-fashioned brush shape which can really influence your final look. To define your lashes, use a lash curler or lash brush.
Eyeliner: The Liquid Eyeliner is soft to touch yet firm in its application. It also offers smoother application when it comes to creating a winged effect.
It would be great to see the brand extend its range to incorporate new eyeliner products such as gel liners. Gel liners are on trend right now as they effortlessly create that winged eye look.
Nevertheless, the liquid eyeliner works well to give a crisp and edgy look to your eyes.
Eye pencil: Their crayon eye pencil is smooth to apply and is available in three different colours. ‘Midnight’ gives a black ashy look. It comes with a smudge tip to blur the colour creating a soft, smoky look. It also allows you to have precise control, creating a dramatic effect.
Daljinder and Harleen both enjoy the way that the eyeliner pencil incorporates a smudger. This helps to blend the colours seamlessly. Harleen admits she “would definitely” get the eyeliner for herself.
However, one disadvantage is that the other colours in the range appear to be a bit light, which means that you would need to apply the product two or three times. This also means that users will have to keep reapplying throughout the day.
Eye & Cheek Palette: You can create endless, brilliant looks with Fashion Fair’s versatile 26 colour eye and blush palette.
This impressive assortment can be applied dry for soft, casual looks or with a wet brush to increase colour intensity. The aluminium casing gives it shiny metallic look and it is safe to carry anywhere you go.
For the Lips: Sticks and Gloss
Lipsticks: The creamy and moisturising lipsticks go on smoothly and are long-lasting. They offer a wide range of colours from light ‘Lace Cream’ to bright ‘Radian Red’ through to dark ‘African Violet’. So, you can choose the colour that will compliment your skin tone best.
Trying on the ‘Radian Red’, Alima says: “I like it. It’s not too dark. It’s not sticky.”
The application is smooth, and you can control the bold colours based on how many layers you apply. As Daljinder finds, “It goes on quite sheer at first”, so you can build up the colour to suit your own preference.
The lipsticks are delightfully fragrant, whilst also being matte but still hydrating. Specially formulated to defy drying, the vitamin E-infused lipstick simultaneously conditions and delivers luxe colour.
Harleen is particularly pleased with the moisturising quality of the lipstick. She notes: “It’s got beeswax in it […] some lipsticks dry your lips out, this doesn’t.”
Lip Teaser: Fashion Fair lip teaser really does its job. It can feel quite thick whilst applying, but also feels very light on your lips. It stays for longer and keeps your lips from feeling dehydrated. The range offers a variety of colours.
The ‘Canary Diamond’ feels very glittery but once applied it’s the complete opposite. The product is shimmery but light and can be worn on both casual and party occasions.
Daljinder especially likes the glitter in the lip teaser: “I like the gold. It’s a bit more fashion forward.”
Fashion Fair has also introduced their new range of Holiday Lipstick Boxes. The box contains a lip teaser and two lipsticks within different sets of colours. This is a great buy as three products are available for almost half the price and the colour combinations are worth trying.
Who is Fashion Fair?
A trusted luxury lifestyle brand that targets women of colour, Fashion Fair was pioneered by the late Eunice W. Johnson.
She got the inspiration when she noticed models at the Ebony Fashion Fair Show mixing foundations to create the right blend to match their hues. Initially, she tried to convince existing cosmetics companies by urging them to create a broader line for different skin tones. However, she was met with resistance.
She and her late husband John H. Johnson, publisher of Ebony and Jet magazine, tested a formula out of the mixtures that models created in a private lab. After a successful experiment of applying these products on models in the show, the Johnsons produced ‘The Capsule Collection’, a mail-order package in 1969.
It received a huge response and clearly identified the demand for an ethnic cosmetic line. Fashion Fair was officially launched in 1973 and got its name from the fashion show that inspired it.
Due to its wide range, it was marketed in high-end stores. It continued expanding by producing different skin and hair care products to meet the needs of dark skin women.
Since then, the popular brand has worked with celebs such as Diahann Carroll, Leontyne Price, Judy Pace, Aretha Franklin and Natalie Cole.
Our Final Verdict
Watch our full video review of Fashion Fair’s makeup here:
Advertised as ‘the makeup for women of colour’, Fashion Fair offers a range of products to suit a range of medium to dark skin tones.
Whilst the packaging is appealing to our testers, who told us it looked “nice”, “simple”, and “classy”, it seems that some of the products could do with updating. By incorporating some of the newer features that can be found in mainstream cosmetic makeup collections.
Furthermore, some of the products can feel quite pricey compared to high-street alternatives.
However, the brand still carries its own form of uniqueness by offering bold colours and only targeting specific customers. Harleen summaries the general feeling of the testing session:
“This whole company is good because you can tailor it to you and how much makeup you want to wear.”
Overall, the makeup line offers an alternative for South Asian women who are keen to find something that suits them.
Fashion Fair products are mostly available in Debenhams stores and Boots. You can also find their products online here.