Amina Mitchell Alexander is a licensed cosmetologist in New York City. She is passionate about helping women look and feel their best through the medium of hair and makeup. Amina believes every woman deserves to feel good about themselves and to own and embrace their individual beauty. I can personally attest to Amina’s talent because she did my makeup for a photoshoot of new headshots for my business.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Amina on my 68th Birthday, January 12th. She has been in the beauty industry for fifteen years and was influenced growing up by her mother and grandmother. Her mother was in the beauty industry, mostly focused on bridal makeup and hair. Amina’s grandmother was feminine and very aware of looks to the point of vanity. Both women always looked nice and well groomed. Amina remembers as a young girl kissing her mother on the lips to transfer her lipstick onto her lips. Due to these influences, from an early age Amina knew what she wanted to do.
Make-up is a part of self-care and we can wear it to impress other people or we can do it for ourselves or a combination of the two. Wearing makeup can help us with our self esteem and sense of our self. Amina’s mantra is – “Beauty, Confidence, Power.” The external feeds the internal and back out to the external. How we present ourself is our first communication to people who do not know us.
Amina works with bridal parties, photo shoots, individual lessons and group sessions. She recently worked with a mother and her two daughters to review their makeup bag and to go over their make up routines. She can teach people how to do a “five minute” routine, soft glam or glam look. Everyone’s needs and comfort with makeup vary.
We talked about the illusion of beauty in magazines and how controlled and manipulated the images are and how we can feel less than when we view them. The fact that models are teenagers makes it quite strange. There have been some strides in this area but we still have a long way to go. Amina’s wish is for her clients to feel beautiful in their skin and to be the best version of themselves that they can be.
I asked Amina to describe the “five minute” face. It consists of foundation to smooth the skin tone, under eye concealer, eye brow defining product, mascara, lipstick and blush. She spoke about the importance of eye brow makeup especially as we get older when we lose eye brow hair. A tip she shared about mascara is to get into the root of the eye lashes and really push them out. I asked her about using mascara on the bottom lashes. Amina recommends a light application if you have larger eyes and none for smaller eyes.
Makeup is an illusion and by our choice of makeup, we can play up or play down specific features. People like to say “I am going to put on my face.” And at night, they take off their face. Neutral colors are considered universal colors – brown, plum, taupe, gold. Dusty rose lipstick is also considered a universal color. We can ask ourselves in any moment – “What do I want to convey?”
Some clients are very specific when they meet with Amina while others leave it up to her. They just want to feel and look their best using makeup as a vehicle. Just the way, we update our hair and fashion, we need to update our makeup as we age, making adjustments to compliment the changes, rather than bemoaning them.
Amina spoke about how importance of a comprehensive skin care routine and that it is never too late to start. The traditional cleanse, tone, moisturize and treat the skin is recommended twice per day. Amina suggested exfoliating your lips with a soft toothbrush or using special lip exfoliators.
Additionally, eating low inflammatory foods, drinking lots of water, little to no sugar and collagen supplements and biotin should be part of an internal routine. There are also devices to help firm and tone the skin, such as NUFACE. At home facials with exfoliators and masks is also a wonderful treat and helps the skin stay healthy.
When the pandemic first hit, I stopped wearing makeup which I am accustomed to wearing every day. After a while I decided to resume wearing it and found that it boosted my mood. I even started wearing lipstick under my mask. Make-up is powerful. It has the ability to transform us on the outside and the inside. I remember my late mother, Diana saying what a difference lipstick made when she put it on. Like Amina, I was fascinated by my mother’s lipstick and once got into trouble for going into her medicine cabinet to try them on.
On a final note, I think applying make-up is a way to honor ourselves and to highlight our favorite features. It is a way we can feel complete, well put together and confident. Thank youAmina for helping women celebrate their individual beauty through the make up that accentuates their features.
To contact Amina:
Link to recommended makeup for women over 50 https://bit.ly/3qezG5H