Karen Chambers on the Iman Cosmetics Challenge

Karen Chambers on the Iman Cosmetics Challenge

Karen Chambers of Iman Cosmetics

Natasha is beautiful and I have compassion for the personal issues that she spoke about in her notes for this challenge. But, this look was unfortunately my least favorite look in this challenge. Since this is a competition, it’s important to understand that, no matter what, you have to put your best face forward. As a model, if you are not “feeling it”… stop, take a breath, pull it together and concentrate on something positive to get your best shot. Unfortunately, her attention was not there in her expressions or the makeup application. What can be learned from role models like Iman is this: Find the inspiration within to exude confidence, poise and sophistication at all times and remember…Keep your head up, even when the going gets rough.

Jalita did a literal interpretation of the challenge and definitely had the help of a very “eager” makeup artist to achieve her look. The one thing I would suggest is not to take a theme over the top. A heavy makeup application and intense accessories can overwhelm the softer side of a model’s face and features. No matter how dramatic the theme is, don’t let the clothes, makeup or accessories wear YOU.  I had to go back to previous challenges to remember what Jalita’s soft, pretty featured actually looked like.   For the future, don’t forget that your real beauty always needs to shine through.

I liked Carli’s explanation about how she approached this challenge – wanting to create “approachable yet fierce beauty”. That really was the essence of Iman’s inspiration look. What I would suggest is that whenever you get an opportunity to select pictures that will represent you, ONLY choose the very best ones. More is not always better. Each image is so dramatically different, that it looks like they are completely different shoots, different lighting, different makeup application and different accessories. It almost looks like 3-4 different models. But fortunately, there were 2 or 3 very good images which show off Carli’s beautiful skin and hair, styling, creativity, good application of makeup, great eye contact and a connection with the camera. The photos that were shot outdoors were especially beautiful.

ReShonda, for me, did the very best job on this challenge. I was very inspired by the thoughts she expressed in her challenge notes. I think that’s what this competition is all about…overcoming false stereotypes about what is beautiful and being proud and confident enough to own your beauty and let yourself shine. RaShonda has beautiful full features and she knew exactly how to play them up. Her use of the makeup was naturally elegant. She did a gorgeous smoky eye and soft lip, and her skin looks radiant. I like that she used a little bit of the animal print accent in her wardrobe, but she made it her own with whimsical earrings that seem to match her vibrant personality. I also like that she did her own interpretation of Iman’s smooth bang, but worked it with the texture of her own natural hair. The most important thing that stands out to me is her expressive smile and eye contact. She really connected with the camera and looks like she had a lot of fun on this shoot.

Nerfertiti admitted in her challenge notes that she was a novice with makeup, but she did a respectable job in her application. The look was pretty and I like that she let some of her natural hair peek out from the head wrap. Here are some suggestions: Even if you are not good at makeup, learn to master your eyebrows. Nicely shaped and groomed brows always look more pulled together, even with a clean face. I would also suggest working on being more confident in front of the camera, work on body language, eye contact and mastering subtle facial expressions. The last suggestion is, if you can help it, try not to shoot in front of a backdrop that matches your skin tone. You want to stand out and make a statement in your images, not blend into the background.

Kala has a very pretty, great face, great hair and a soft, natural look. She spoke very well about the IMAN product line in her notes. But the smoky eye that she described did not appear in her photographs. For this challenge I would have liked to see her take it a step further and give a little more drama, sophistication and intensity. The look was nice, the hair was gorgeous…but the makeup and styling felt a little casual for this challenge.

Chassity’s image is a classic beauty shot. She has a great even skin tone, beautiful almond eyes, high cheekbones, full lips and symmetrical features. So this is a great look. But my biggest critique is that I didn’t see much connection to the challenge, in terms of interpreting the Iman inspiration look. It doesn’t look like this image was created for this challenge. But Chassity is a very photogenic model with a commercial look that should take her far.

I give Desyray tremendous credit for creating this look herself. It was well executed, good use of color, great application, beautiful smoky eye. The shoot images looked very professional, well styled, good attention to details. For competitions, I would be mindful of over-retouching. It’s important for your natural features to be seen. But with or without that, these were nice images. The only thing I didn’t like in this shoot was the hat. It didn’t go with the theme and it covered up the thing that is an important feature of this competition…beautiful natural hair. With such a pretty face, I wanted to also see beautiful hair, even if it was just a little peek of it. But, apart from that it was nicely done.


Karen Chambers is the Creative Director of IMAN Cosmetics, where she oversees communications, product development and creative services for the internationally recognized cosmetics and skincare line. More about Miss Chambers click here: Karen Chambers

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