Sam Fine Collection for Fashion Fair Cosmetics Swatches and First Thoughts

Lipsticks from the Sam Fine Fashion Fair Collection

We just knew (ok, we hoped and prayed!) that when the news broke that celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine would be joining Fashion Fair as its Creative Makeup Director, that a line of cosmetics created by the beauty guru would soon follow.

Lucky for us, that day has finally arrived! Given Sam Fine’s status as the authority on brown girl beauty (see my posts here and here) and Fashion’s Fair iconic legacy of creating beauty products for women of color, a collaboration was a no-brainer. Of all the changes, updates and product releases of Fashion Fair’s recent overhaul, this collection was the most highly anticipated! I recently made my way to a Fashion Fair counter to check out the collection. Let’s take a look!

Swatches of lipsticks from the Sam Fine Fashion Fair Collection

These gorgeous Sam Fine Supreme Color Lipsticks, $22 each. As you can see from the photo, each shade is equally rich and pigmented and has a lovely sheen. This collection of lipsticks is so perfectly and thoughtfully edited, there isn’t a shade here that isn’t wearable. On the left from top to bottom are Champagne Toast, African Violet, Whispering Rose and Deep Suede. On the right from top to bottom are Cognac, Pink Parfait, Dynasty Red and Moroccan Spice. Love, love, love! With these eight shades you have the perfect red, brights, nudes, pinks and vampy shades for every brown girl. You can’t go wrong with any of these!

Can we pause for a moment so I can share with you the foolery of my experience at Macy’s? Ok, thanks. So, a sales associate from a different counter had to come over to help me and it was like pulling teeth, y’all. The sales lady first told me to just look at the lipsticks through the plexiglass case and tell her which ones I wanted to buy. *blank stare* On what planet does a person buy cosmetics in a department store without getting to try it on first? Upon my  insistence she found some testers behind the counter. In her campaign to be as extra as possible, she would only bring out one shade at a time and I had to give it back before I could see another. *sigh*

When I asked if she could disinfect one of the shades so I could try it on, she whipped out a Q-tip, swiped it across the lipstick and handed me that dusty little stick like I was really supposed to do something with it. I inquired if that was how customers tested lipsticks at her counter, to which she responded “No”. Of course not. I decided then and there to purchase my items elsewhere. I mean, have you ever heard of such? Ok, rant over. Back to the beauty!

Sam Fine Supreme Lip Gloss in Canary Diamond

In the above photo is a swatch of the Sam Fine Supreme Lip Gloss in Canary Diamond, $20. It’s a pretty, sheer gloss with a fine golden shimmer. You could easily wear it alone, but I think it would make a great layering shade over any of the lipsticks for added shine and dimension.

Sam Fine Eyeshadow Quads in Amalfi Coast (right) and Tunisian Nights (right)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to try either of the Sam Fine Supreme Eyeshadow Quads, $38, thanks to the Tester Police. Which was particularly disappointing since I was looking forward to getting my hands on Amalfi Coast. As you can (sort of) see in the photo, Amalfi Coast contains warm, earth tone shades while Tunisian Nights contains cooler, jewel toned shades. For now, you’ll have to do as I did and admire these quads through the plexiglass case, lol.

Of the items I was able to try, I fell instantly in love. I have zero sense of moderation, so naturally I wanted to take them all home, lol. What I loved most was how thoughtfully created the collection was. There were no random, one-off shades to be found. Mr. Fine’s collection is an entire color wardrobe, with the essential shades you’d need to create any beauty look. Congrats Sam on such a beautiful collection! The collection is officially on my birthday wish list, so friends and family, take note! LOL!

You can purchase the Sam Fine Fashion Fair Collection now on Be sure to follow Sam on Twitter @SamFineBeauty where he regularly drops beauty gems and behind the scenes peeks into his glamorous work. Have you seen or tried any of the items in the Sam Fine Fashion Fair collection? If so, please share in the comments!

  • Mepissa

    Please know the next time you are treated like that, go straight

    to office and request a manager.
    Believe me, these stores listen to consumers.
    Thanks for the review !

  • nicthommi

    Seriously, they have everything else out on display but they lock up the stuff for the black women? You definitely should still call the manager no matter where you end up buying your products. And you are pretty nice not to say which Macy’s it was, b/c you have every right to do that.

    Stores have been understaffing the black products for years…Sam Fine’s work deserves more than that, esp. if you live in an area with a lot of brown women. I just can’t with stores that act that way.

  • Mel

    had something similar happen to me. in a sephora i’ve been followed as well since i like carrying a big bag (phone, ipod, wallet/clutch, water bottle, snacks since mall trips are long). i would still report that woman to the manager.

    Who doesn’t even let you swatch eyeshadows? that’s ridiculous.

  • Sam Fine

    I know this wasn’t funny when it was happening, but I did chuckle as I read your entry. I’m so glad you had a good spirit about the situation. FYI: You don’t have to wait to sample the eyeshadow quads; I’ll send them to you this week! I sincerely appreciate your support! Xo

  • jni

    You are awesome, thanks for the tips & the low down on the Jim Crow lady.

  • Dee Dee Russell

    Please send this blog to the head of Macy’s with the time, date, store, etc. PLEASE! We BW cannot continue to tolerate second class behavior by service personel, it’s a bad look . Or, you should post the when and where’s and I’ll do it for you! Trust, i have gotten folks SERVED for doing mess like that. I refuse to play with service personel and over the years have gotten fools fired for coming incorrect!

    And SAM FINE IS THE BUSINESS. He is perfect for Fashion Fair.

  • Amber

    Sam, I’m glad you enjoyed the post! I guess I was too enamored with your products to let that lady have it, LOL. Thank you for your generosity in offering to send the shadow quads. I look forward to sharing them in a plexiglass-free review here on the blog! :)

  • Amber

    Mepissa, you’re very welcome! You are so right about making management aware. In the few situations where I’ve had to get one involved, they were definitely receptive!

  • Amber

    I had to restrain from putting them on blast, lol. In all seriousness, you are absolutely right about how severely understaffed stores keep beauty counters for Black brands. Not only does it not effectively service the customer, but it also cuts their own departmental sales numbers. It’s crazy!

  • Amber

    Hi, Mel! I can TOTALLY relate about the big handbag thing. I carry the world around with me, and sadly I’ve had the same experience in several stores. I’m in Sephora so often the sales people there recognize me, so they give my big bag a pass, lol.

  • Amber

    Hey, jni! You’re welcome :) Thank you for commenting!

  • Amber

    Hey, Dee Dee! You’re absolutely right. That Macy’s is definitely deserving of a good read from me. There was no excuse for her behavior. Sam Fine’s collection is truly gorgeous and I would hate for another woman to have a run-in like I did and be deterred from making a purchase. Thanks for commenting!

  • nicthommi

    Exactly my point. They under staff the counters, people get frustrated and leave b/c you either can’t get helped at all, get people who are extra, or get people who cannot explain the products and give them the respect that they deserve. They they say, see, no one wants it and it disappears. I’m already pretty sure based on where I live, there is on point in putting myself through the torture of going to Macy’s which I consider to be a miserable experience in most cases.

    I am so over the women from some of those other brands acting like it is such a chore to wait on me, or to deal with what they view as inferior products (since they are just for black women, how good could they be).

    But see, their indifference and bad attitudes will result in the products being pulled from the stores, which is why we have to push back on them in every possible way.

    I remember being taken to the Fashion Fair counter for my first compact by my mother, and I’m not really that old. In college in the 90’s, my friends and I would go there looking for our perfect red lipstick. I think there are women in their 30’s that still remember it and will flock back to it. And I think black women deserve to have a marquis brand that meets their needs b/c while things have gotten better, only brands like Fashion Fair have ever had the full range of foundation and powder colors for black women (let’s face it, a really light-skinned black woman might be as LIGHT as a white woman but the undertones and coloring is still different).

    I know that black women feel really conflicted about speaking up b/c of stereotypes, but there is no reason why we shouldn’t call the manager when these things happen, and if me demanding respect is interpreted as anger, then I guess I’m just going to have to be angry.

  • Michelle Evans

    -______- at the tester police, that’s exactly why I don’t shop at Macy’s! I always get terrible customer service there. Love the lippies tho I’ve been waiting on swatches for like am month && now I want them ALL!!

  • Pingback: Beauty-Radar: FASHION FAIR COSMETICS » Magimania - Beauty Blog()

  • FF Beauty Advisor at Macy’s

    I’m so terriby sorry you experienced that at Macy’s. I am a Fashion Fair Beauty Advisor (part time) in NC and I treat my customers like gold. I believe in Fashion Fair now. I never tried it until I was given the opportunity to work at Macy’s after the death of my husband. I treat the Sam Fine collection with much respect. We have a SF setup that includes free testing of the quads and lipstick (I clean my lipstick with spray alcohol and wipe it down and scrape it against a paper towel to get the indentation. So sorry you went through that but each counter should have a SF tester posterboard and setup.