When Vanessa Williams, Iman, Halle Berry, Brandy, Beyonce, Veronica Webb, and Tyra Banks have you on speed dial, you know you're good. Such is the case with makeup artist Sam Fine, who's worked with these (among other) celebrities. The Chicago native began his career by working at a cosmetics counter, then worked his way up to be one of the most sought-after makeup artists.

He also maintains his own blog, which provides shade-specific, step-by-step tutorials. In between appearances for MAC, I talked with him about a few makeup tips for women of every color.

On his makeup philosophy:
"Makeup is about personality. I'm not a big rule-maker. If you want to wear red lipstick morning, noon and evening, why not?"

On the most flattering hues for women of color:
"There are a few shades that I don't use as much with women of color, like pink shades. Pink is not in the undertones of women of color, so I use bronzer instead. For me, it's all about the basics: Orange, coral, and golden shades look beautiful. But pinks are tricky, as are really pale colors."

For Sam Fine's tips on choosing color cosmetics and foundation,


His foundation-shopping tips:
"Be savvy; shop around. Nowadays, you have lines like Bobbi Brown and MAC that have more than two or three shades. These lines may not be dedicated to women of color, but they have some wonderful options. You have to go from line to line. It's really trial and error. Don't think it terms of, 'This one line is my everything.' You'll have to pick and choose from different lines. Women of color are always going to have to do more work to find the right foundation color for their skin tones."

On finding the most flattering color cosmetics:
"For women of color, there's already color in the skin, so you need more pigment. Nars, Iman, and Fashion Fair are some lines that have truer colors. What you see in the tube is going to be the same on skin. You have to be careful in your color choice — that's true not just for women of color, but for all women. There's nothing you can't do, but you have to switch up the shade, not the color, to make it complement your complexion. For instance, the right blue for Vanessa Williams might be a different shade than the one that looks right on Patti LaBelle."