Posted in The Look

Island Girl Beauty

It’s Black History Month. Really, we shouldn’t need a month to appreciate African-American culture and beauty. The long Canadian winter has me fantasizing about Tahitian colour palettes, Island vibes. They were all materialized courtesy of the cool vibes of my model, Avril.

Model, Avril at
Hairstyling by Cristal Han at Fleur Tzigane Hair Salon

When I saw a polaroid of Avril with her beautiful curls, I just had to shoot her. I didn’t know what or how… My modus operandi is that I usually get excited by my model’s beauty and then reverse engineer a look or a shoot based on their beauty or features. My original idea was to put her in a evening dress, but that plan fell through. My favorite Hair collaborator–the one I turn to when I know I can’t do the hair, is Cristal. This woman has hair-styling in her blood. She brushed through Avril’s curls  to make them big and frothy for this hair story.

Sometimes things happen for a reason… I think an evening dress would be too “waspy”. So I decided to turn to my own closet, and found all these flowered gems that were waiting for spring/summer to bloom. I love flower prints. And instead of putting lots of coloured makeup on Avril, I decided to pile on texture and colour in the clothes. The mix was hot: volume and texture overload. I really tried to stay true to Island style, showcasing her Haitian roots, while Avril just oozed cool for the camera.

On a side note, as I was pouring over my fashion and beauty image archive, I couldn’t find any African Americans rocking big kinky hair. But there was a lot of white girls in big-textured hair. It’s time to break the mold and showcase more African girls with their original hair texture.

Avril’s skin was suffering the winter blues and needed some bronzing. I used a Combination of M.A.C. Cosmetics Pro Concealer Palettes and Le Maquillage Professionel Palettes to build a sun-kissed and tanned look. 


We also did some natural looks (just with no lip)

Making-up-the-magic-Island-Girl Making-up-the-magic-Island-Girl