What Happened to Fashion Fair Cosmetics?

While reading a fabulous write up about the Fashion Fair cosmetic line, I began to wonder,

“What the hell happened to Fashion Fair?

Fashion Fair Cosmetics was founded in 1973 and is owned by the Johnson Publishing Company.  This line of cosmetics was specifically geared towards African-American women.  Throughout the 70’s and 80’s, it was considered a crime for a Beautiful Brown Girl not to own a lipstick, blush, or eye shadow color from the cosmetic collection.

Thinking back, I didn’t know one Beautiful Brown Girl in my family who did not own at least three pieces.

At this point, I decided to do a little research.

While browsing Macys.com, I took a look at the reviews for the Fashion Fair Lipsticks that were listed for $15 a piece.

Out of the 17 reviews, 15 reviewers rated Fashion Fair lipstick a 5 out of 5 Stars!  So, obviously Fashion Fair has a good product however, all the reviews were written by Females, ages 50 to 60…sccrrrrrr….

Obviously there is a generational gap.

Not to write off the makeup line as my grandmother’s line, I decided to check out Fashion Fair’s website.

Let me say, this company has some great stuff!

The 2011 Holiday Collection called, “The Siren Call” is smoking hot this season!

According to the website, “The Siren Calls” contains, “forbidden reds and cool sultry greys that makes this limited collection the must have for the holiday season.”  The grey nail polish called Allusion (as seen on the model above) is pretty hot and is under $10.

While cruising the site, I purchased the Gentle Cleansing Gel!  Its a cleanser that is packed with Aloe and is recommended for combination and sensitive skin. It is oil and fragrance free.

As a strategic business move, I am thinking that Fashion Fair may want to team up with Carol’s Daughter or another 100% natural, African-American based company to give them the competitive edge in an already packed market place.

However, it must be noted that we are more than willing to purchase MAC, Bobbi Brown, Mary Kay, and anything out of Sephora, products that are not developed by and or even for African – American skin, so lets give Fashion Fair a fair shake and not write off this line as our mother’s makeup!.

So Beautiful Brown Girls, will you give Fashion Fair a chance?

Live Positive!


Joveline 

75 comments

  1. Nicole

    I am guilty of owning fashion fair lipstick back in the day; and I am equally guilty of being a die hard mac fan (which you know Jovi…LOL). I do know that I parted ways with fashion fair b/c they did not have a foundation that worked with my skin color or my chemical make up. It used to cause havoc on my skin. I actually went to prescriptives and had my make up special mixed to match my skin tone. But unfortunately they went out of business, so I am back to mac for foundation and concealer. If they have a color or product (aside from foundation, concealer or powder) that I find interesting or like, I’d give them another chance. I love beauty and enhancing my features, so I am always down to try it!

    • Vertis Madison

      Hey I must say ,I once was addicted to Fashion Fair products . For about 15 years I purchased everything they merchandised, until that sad time of dicountued flavors. Then I would another flavoe that matched only to have it become a discontinued color also. Thus ending my makeup waring era. I don’t ware make up these days, because nothing was as satisying as Fashion Fair. I really do miss that beauty and confidence that FF brought me. The Belks in my city stopped carrying Fashion Fair and replaced it with products that did not blend well with my skin tone.

  2. KK

    I sure will, there was a point that I only saw Fashion Fair around the house growing up and still have recently. Fashion Fair-here I come!

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Ms. JDP

    I am in my mid-40s and have worn Fashion Fair foundation since the 10th grade, I love it and won’t consider anything else. My friends tease me that it’s old fashion, but I don’t care :) I wear MAC everything else, but wouldn’t dare change my foundation. The only thing I wish they’d change is the packaging and the case often breaks into two parts way before I’m finished with the makeup.

    I say try it :)

    • Joveline
      Author

      Ms. JDP,

      I hear ya! Fashion Fair’s foundation and skin care line seems well made, I can see why you have worn it for so long.

      I just purchased their cleansing gel, moisterizer, and I am going to try the lipstick.

      Joveline Pettus

  4. FLM

    Fashion Fair has stood the test of time and It’s funny you mentioned Carol’s Daughter in this comparison. It’s an untruth that all of Carol’s Daughters products are 100% natural…they’re not…they’re naturally Inspired…meaning they have some natural ingredients, they just have great products and a good marketing team. Now the interesting part…did your readers know that Fashion Fairs new President is the former President of Carol’s Daughter? And that they hired Celebrity Make Up Artist Sam Fine to help rejuvenate the line?
    Expect some interesting changes :-) I think they’re down but not out.

  5. MrsB

    Interesting to come across your article today. I was brought up on Fashion Fair. My mom has worn it since before I was born, so my first experience w/makeup was Fashion Fair. Needless to say, I naturally went to the Fashion Fair counter when I was old enough to begin buying my own makeup, and now at 39yrs old, I am still a die-hard Fashion Fair Beautiful Brown Girl. I left the product line for a while as my skin went through some major changes in texture, tone, and became more oily. I had no idea what was going on so I left Fashion Fair, thinking the souffle foundation was the culprit. For about 4yrs, I tried drugstore various brands, Cover Girl, Lancome, Black Opal, Maybelline and even Avon. Bad move. Not only could I never get the color quite right, but my skin went from bad to worse, from oily to oily and bumpy. I went back to Fashion Fair just last week and purchased the cream to powder foundation in Espresso. So far, I am loving it. The coverage is awesome and the color is perfect! I guess in the end, I will always be a Fashion Fair baby!

    • Kesha Smith

      MrsB the souffle’ is actually formulated for oil skin types as well s the creme to powder & the stick foundations. For outbreaks & texture issue I would recommend trying the skincare line. The blemish control cleansing foam is great. Especially when used in conjunction with the oil control, pore minimizing toner & oil free moisturizer. There is a 3 piece travel size kit that is $28 that will last long enought to see if it is working for your skin. I personally use it.

  6. Carmel

    To all my Boston Fashion Fair fans, I’m the manager in the Macys store downtown. We have great new foundation colors and compacts. Come see us for a great holiday look that’ll take u into the new year as well…

  7. Kesha Smith

    Love the article! I am actually an artist for Fashion Fair & its great to see such positive feedback. I’m also happy to announce the packaging has changed, they have expanded the foundation colors, they have teamed with awesome artist such as Sam Fine & Derrick Ruteledge and are creating fabulous NEW looks! The skincare line is fabulous & I highly recommend it. For Nicole, try the stick foundation, hypo allergenic & I have had excellent success matching former Presciptives clientel, as the colors are extensive! Happy Fashion Fair shopping ladies!

  8. I’m in my early 50′s and I still wear my Fashion Fair foundation, it’s the only thing I buy from them now because… well there’s Mac with all their vibrant colors. But with the FF foundations, their colors match my skin perfectly so why change a good thing!

  9. Well, I admit I’m a sucker for Mac cosmetics!
    But when my make up artist who I trust and adore mentioned picking up fashion fair foundation from here recent trip to London and she was raving about how fantastic and amazing it is!
    Being from the middle east with a caramel skin, I had to try it so on my last trip to London I got foundation, creme to powder compact , concealer and loose powder and it was splendid !
    Everyone commented how they thought my make up changed, it covers everything evenly without looking overly made up !
    So three months after on my trip to the states I stocked up quite alot to last me a year , now I can’t wait to go back to the states to get me some more !
    Seriously Fashion Fair cosmetics would be a hit at middle east if only it manages to expand soon enough, pretty please !

  10. Dinah

    I thought Fashion Fair no longer had nail polish, nice to see they have it again. Ladies, if you want FF products at a great price, try eBay. If you go to Macy’s or another department store, they will charge you an arm and a leg. I have always loved the fragrance in the lipsticks, but I don’t think I have ever tried the foundations because they were a bit pricey. I currently use Kiss cosmetics for foundation, but I will check out FF foundation and see if they’re an even better blend!

  11. angellove24

    Fashion Fair was always so orangy. Even though it was developed for AA skin, not all AAs can wear it. I was never able to wear it. I was a Flori Roberts Fan, but they went out of business, that is when i switched to mac. I now use Bobbi Brown foundation because it looks most natural on dark skin.

    • Scarter

      They have produced about nine new shades that come in yellow & neutral undertones. I suggest you go to a counter and get Perfect Matched! You might be pleasantly surprised!

    • Nicholle

      To angellove24. Flori Roberts is still in business. The company only sells their products online. Go to http://www.floriroberts.com. As for MAC, Bobbi Brown and all of those other lines out there not geared toward AA women, I will never again buy MAC or Bobbi Brown. The Studiofix in NW45 looks ashy on me and Bobbi Brown is way too yellow on my skin. Fashion Fair makeup is the only thing that looks good on my skin and I get alot of compliments when I wear FF. When I wore MAC or Bobbi Brown, I never received compliments. FF was formulated specifically for black skin. The line has undergone a makeover thanks to celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine. The Siren collection is exquisite and the FF website looks very professional and classy. With Sam Fine’s help, I think FF will do exceptionally well at attracting younger women. I’m 37, and I could not see myself wearing the garish MAC line that is intended for young girls. Fashion Fair must be doing something right, they have been around since 1973 and still going strong.

      • lyn

        hi Nicole .. thanks for your info. bought FF (copper) foundation today and hope to continue. used to do Mac NW45 but don’t find it’s all that good.

  12. Teresa

    I am in my early 40s and I love FF. I have tried MAC and I always come back to FF. FF gives you full coverage and I ALWAYS get compliments when I wear FF. I love the new oil free cream to powder foundation. The compact is stylish & modern, and the new colors are less red. I am loving that FF is revamping its prodcuts. I would hate to see another African American business fail. When we buy FF we keep our community employed. Remember they were the first to even want to come up with a product for us. So why not support?

    • nisha

      I have a very dry skin and I have always loved the texture of the FF Creme Souffle pot. However, they never had my colour which is slightly lighter than the Tan Bronze which I finally bought. But wearing it at home, it looked too tanned and having a look at their colour range, I noticed there isn’t any lighter shade available, so i mix it with Kryolan camouflage, which is a very good concealer that is even used for the theatre and the world renowned Royal Opera House in London. It blends in perfectly and I would always buy FF, it has a natural glow and looks so flawless. Previously I used Mac, Urban Decay creme to powder, Estee Lauder and Dior Airflash Make Up and nothing lasted as long as FF. Spot on!! I hope they will extend the colour range for Asian skins, too as the Soufflee range is absolutely spot on and I would even say the best on the market.

  13. Kristin Patrick

    I absolutely love Fashion Fair makeup. As I have told my friends that the line is actually better than MAC I never have to blend 2 colors to find my foundation shade. Thanks to the internet I can order my favorite products and not have to leave my house. In my hometown which is small so many people are disappointed because Macy’s removed the line from Battle Creek, MI so women have to drive over an hour to get to a store who has it available.

  14. Jewel

    I like Fashion Fair products. My mother has always used FF and I happen to have some FF blush in my collection right now. I am also a fan of Sephora and like the variety that they have in their store. What I think would benefit FF is if they came out with a palette. That’s how I get hooked on some of the brands in Sephora. The cosmetic companies come out with new palettes every year, which gives you a nice sample to play with. Also, there’s something that has been bugging me about FF of late and that’s the cut back in the amount of product you get. My mother still has some old FF products in her make-up bag, and when I look at the size of the blushes of yesteryear compared to the blush I now own, my blush is half the size. Literally half the size, but the price didn’t go down.

  15. Leslie

    I have been wearing Fashion Fair Cosmetics for about 30 years!! That’s all I wear! It’s quality is impeccable for my skin tone and there’s no comparison for me. And yes I am over 40, but the quality is there and that’s whats most important. But I have noticed a lacking of Fashion Fair customers for years…and no there are not a lot of young ladies using FF either. Some of them that compliment me have never heard of the line!?
    I have also noticed that there aren’t that many AA women working the FF counters any more either. And according to the caucasian women from the other lines that will often ring me up, FF customers have dropped off so significantly, that Macy’s and Dillard’s had to cut their hours. So if you had a FF question, sometimes they were recommending either come back when an AA would be working or call the cosmetic line!!
    I can also remember as late as last year, there was a rumor that FF was going out of business! Sales were down and it was getting so hard to find almost every shade in every product!! For about 3 years straight, St. Louis was suffering for products…SERIOUSLY!!! I finally did call the information line and asked them was the rumor true and if not, where are the products?? My sisters and I would have to wait for about a month for a product to come in, or we were told the stores had started a phone list, and you had to fill out the card with your product request and they would call you when the product comes in!
    I have talked to and listened to my young co workers as they are discussing their choices for cosmetics,….most are using MAC products and some are brave enough to use OTC lines. They say as far as they know, these products are “just as good as FF.” I don’t offer my opinion because I can tell by their conversation, they were never FF customers in the first place. But I do feel that FF will need to jump on the “younger” image marketing strategies if they expect to draw these younger women in as customers. Their concern is quick, convenient, and trendy!! But FF is about quality and reputation, in which the young knows nothing about.

    • nisha

      The demand is there, it lacks on marketing and product management. I have waited over a year to get my honey pot and still didnt get it. All I could get was the Tan Bronze which is too dark for my light asian skin but I will never go for anything else as this was the best product I have ever tried and I am 29. I now mix it with a lighter camouflage creme from Kryolan to get the right shade but all in all, the foundation range will be hugely successful in the middle east and south East Asia would they extend it to slightly lighter shades. I have absolutely no doubt about it and it takes me long to feel impressed with a product and this product has made me feel impressed within few hours of wearing it.

      • Daralynn

        I love FF and wore it until I thought the co. had gone out of business. It lacks marketing for sure. I have worn it since 1984. My favorite lip color is chocolate raspberry! I still wear it today. I get teased about it, but if women can still wear a classic red, I certainly can wear chocolate ( like fuchsia) raspberry. My challenge is finding someone to purchase the product, because the counter is always abandoned.

  16. Joveline Pettus

    I can’t recall who recommended looking at ebay for FF products, I am looking at it now.

    Hopefully, this article/blog will create a new frenzy for FF products!!!

    Joveline Pettus

  17. Louise C. Kidd

    Fashion Fair is fabulous! I fell in love with the products, the image and what FFC stood for … perhaps you remember … Black is Beautiful and For Us By Us!! These were not the company’s slogans, however, most women felt that way. A black man of Mr Johnson’s status took time, money and energy to create such a line along with the Ebony Fashion show . That was awesome. I was 19 living in Chicago and you could not reach the counter right away because it was that busy! Sisters everywhere … Pride was in the air.

    Now we give all that money to everyone else. Its a crying shame! Think about this … you see us as customers, right and sales Representatives, do you see BLACK WOMEN IN CORPORATE with the minority of these cosmetics company’s??? NO YOU DO NOT!

    Don’t you think that’s a problem? Yes, there may be a few sisters working on the top floor … not many! Do the research and what about the models making big bucks. Just not enough considering the amount of money we make for them in the beauty business. I’m just saying! And we are unemployed. WE need to be more conscience … I’m just saying. Fashion Fair is my brand and will always be my brand.

    They are great products for any woman at any age, especially, for the price point … not to mention they were developed with Black Woman in mind. No other company thought twice about Black women skin or how they look! It was Mr and Mrs John H Johnson who cared.

    God Bless there souls!

  18. Corrina Bailey

    I love FF. It is so strange to me that black women always say that FF is ‘old fashioned’ or for their grandmothers. WTH? Let’s not forget that FF was introduced in the early 1970′s because Eunice Johnson was having a problem finding true-to-black hues for her models. Yet Chanel, Elizabeth Arden, and other white brands have been around longer than that and I don’t hear black women saying those brands are old fashioned, outdated, etc. I wonder why?

    Anyway, I try to get everything from FF. Lipstick, loose powder, eyeshadow and there beauty creams and cleansers. Mane, that stuff is da bomb! I have to get stuff like mascara and nail polish from drugstores, but that’s it. I have been using FF’s oil free cleanser, oil free toner and vantex for six months now, and my skin has never been smoother or clearer! It’s like you would never know I suffered from teenage acne. I would recommend FF to any Sistah of any age.

    To dispel any myths, FF is for any black woman of any age. The next time you hear another sister put down FF remind her that the top white brands have never catered to us and prolly never will, therefore instead of putting down another black institution she should do some research to see how FF has benefitted the black community. Also when she starts talking smack about how Mac and Clinque lipstick are two dollars cheaper, just say, “what is two dollars more?” “Are our businesses not worth two dollars more?” If she says no, then your friendgirl obviously has some deep seated prejudice-agaisnt-her-own issues, lol.

  19. Nicholle

    One more thing, for those of you who did not know this fact. Estee Lauder herself was friends with John Johnson of FF and Ebony. She asked him to give her the formula to his foundations and powders and she told him to name his price. Of course, like a smart, black businessman, he said NO! After that, they had a falling out, true story. Why are black women giving their dollars to these companies who don’t even have the black woman in mind? And they never use black women as models,so you know it’s not for us. They think they are doing something just because they throw in a few “dark” shades. It’s not for us or by us. Thank God for John and Eunice Johnson for looking out for black women, when these “other” companies ignored(and still ignoring) us!

  20. Leenie

    I just recently purchased their cream concealer and it was dry and they didn’t have a good match for my complexion so I won’t be buying that anymore …I do wear their lipsticks and eye shadows and love them.

  21. lisa

    I understand the problem with the idea that make up companies geared their products toward Caucasian women as have the movie industry and practically every other main stream entity that exists. However, I use makeup from all the “white lines” because they are high quality and for the most part have good colors. Years ago, I went to a Neiman Marcus event where Bobbi Brown artists were doing makeup. My artist was African American by the way, and all the foundation colors with Bobbi Brown are suitable for AA skin tones.
    I love red lipsticks but have yet to find a good one. Why can’t one cosmetic company make a good red? I saw the Siren line with FF but I am leery because they all turn out too light, bright, purple or vampy. Problems I have with FF or Iman is that so many of their shades are so glittery, frosty, disco-ish and bronzy. I for one, don’t want to look like I’m being styled for some fashion shoot or Hollywood glam party. I like clean skin with REAL colors. I like true and rich pigment so I just have to use a dab. I don’t wear foundation and I don’t “play” up my eyes. I like my skin to show, with a touch of matte deep rich color in brown or red on my lips. Is that too much to ask for??? Not every black woman wants to wear big hair, trendy, flashy clothes (which is what the makeup reminds me of) and super high heels! Yuck! I guess it’s just not my style. I am also very picky about quality in all my products.
    Heck, maybe I should find a cosmetic chemist and develop my own red lipstick line!

  22. gail neal

    they are always out of stock at the store and now macys does not sell fashion fair on line. Fashion fair may want to step up the professonalism but I have never left them. I have been looking for hours to purchase their foundation. Oh yes the website is not working. When they were on base it was the only counter that looked like no one ever stocked it.

    • Ladybug Diva

      Hello! Macy’s DOES SELL FF online and has been doing so since at least 2006 when I went back to the line and started ordering it. I’ve gone to Macy’s maybe about three times in the past eight years to buy FF, and unless it was the Herald Square store in Manhattan, other stores had virtually nothing in stock. I am in my late fifties and I was one of the first Black American women to buy FF when it came out in 1973. It was a major hit because there was no other company marketed to us sold in a MAJOR department store. By-the-way did you know that FF is not only sold in Dillard’s, but Lord & Taylor too! Yes, that’s right and all three stores sell it ONLINE!!! I am THE makeup DIVA if you want to know someone who has been buying makeup for over 40 years. I have purchased Chanel, Lancôme, Dior, Nars, MAC, Guerlain, Giorgio Armani, Flori Roberts, Iman, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Prescriptives, Bobbi Brown, Dolce & Gabbana, Stila, Bare Minerals–did I leave anything out? Ha, ha! This was in an attempt to find the PERFECT foundation for my skin. Believe it or not ladies Fashion Fair takes the prize! When you see the range of colors FF offers you are 99.9% sure of getting your correct or very close to shade. The compact makeup and there are two formulas I’ve tried both with excellent results, is the best. I also have the soufflé, stick and mineral foundations, but the color range is better in the compacts. I get compliments on my skin EVERYDAY I go out. I have had black, Asian, Latina and white women come up to me in the street, stores, doctor’s offices, subway–you name it and tell me I have gorgeous skin–not that my makeup looks nice. That’s a big difference especially when you’re 58 yrs. old!! My skin looks smooth, poreless, soft, supple, even-toned, radiant, dewy and natural because of FF foundation. I have three colors that I use. One for the winter, one for summer and one to contour. I do use other skin care products by FF to keep my skin looking the best possible, but most of all I use a sunscreen of SPF 50+ religiously 365 days a year. PLEASE go and give FF a try–you can’t lose. You can always return it, and if we support this company we may get more out of its hopeful expansion!

  23. Maria

    I love Fashion Fair!! I happened to be going to Westfield shopping with my girls on my trip to London and came cross the makeup shop and there is a lovely black woman who working there asking me if i want to try out perfect finish crème makeup (Tan Glo)…I’m glad I did! I didn’t think twice and think why not since it’s free and I LOVE the way I look (I’m brown skinned girl btw) and I bought it immediately! Its bit expensive though but I LOVE IT! <3

  24. joyce

    i went in to dillards in west palm beach florida to buy brown blaze glo i was told that there had been some changes with fashion fair and there had been they went up on the price and they took the sponge away why so much greed well anyway after i realize what fashion fair had done i returned the product you would think that since fashion fair is the only makeup that works for all women of color they would not have gone up on the price or not take away the sponge that came with the makeup i will now look for something else to use i have used fashion since i was 24yrs old and i am now 61yrs old it not that i can’t afford the price its just that a line has to be drawn somewhere and i draw mine here you don’t have to be greedy to succeed and then you wonder why we go to your white counterparts.

  25. Joveline

    Has anyone had any good luck with the products. I love the Oil-Free Moisturizer and lipstick!! They are a hit with me!

    • i browsing through the internet to see if anyone could help me find my shade in ff.because most people selling make up don’t really know much i good you do your own research.i use Mary Kay but know i want to give ff a try am bronze 600 in Mary Kay,i want to know the my shade in ff cream to powder,please help thanks.

    • Corrina Bailey

      Yes, Yes!

      I have oil free cleanser and toner and too many lipstick shades to list. My favorite is toasted bronze.

  26. Adriane Bevel

    I’ve used fashion fair since i was in my twenties. Have seen alot of changes with ff over the years. My biggest complaint is that you find a product you like, and is a big seller and than ff will no longer make it or sell it. I’m talking about the cashmere brown lipstick 8132. My favorite and the only thing i wear. Well not anymore because they don’t sell it. BOMBER…. Fashion Fair you are here for the women of color find out what WE WANT…. We don’t want to go to the next cosmetic counter….

    • Joyce

      I love the Oil-Free Mositurizer also! I have been using FF for years!!! The only problem I have is that the stores are almost always out of the Brown Blaze Oil Free Mositurizer foundation!!!! FF you have to do better as far as stocking your products are concerned! Please!!!!!

    • gloriacarter

      I have used fashion fair since my teens. I had a favorite pink lip stick called just cool, now you do not sell it anymore,what a disappointment.I have also purchased brown lip sticks that left white specks on my lip wen I used it.I should have returned because it is very expensive , but since I did not have a receipt I did not want to go through the trouble.We do not want to go to the other cosmetic counter.Please Work With Us,We love your products,

  27. Marsha Seals

    This is the truth…I am 56 years old. I have been using FF sence I was around 22. Went to Macy to get some brought 2 with out putting it on. Got home and the lady told me that the name has been change from honey glo to honey. Man what happen??? The make up was wow no good! I had to take it back, I promose it did not work for me, what ever you did is not good for me.If it’s not broke why fix it? After all those years I went to MAC, brought there make up, concealer,blush, and there primer. A friend of mines also went to MAC…what did you all do to this make up???

  28. dundada

    While I do agree with some of the commenters on this post about black consumers spending with Fashion Fair a company founded by blacks and who always provided cosmetics for black skin tones, but a business is still a business, and not a charity.

    If Fashion Fair wants to thrive and not just be barely surviving or rememebered, then they have to do all of what it takes to get to that position and maintain it. Can it really be lucrative to only provide the products that are mostly popular with your mature to very mature women just because they are your still-loyal customer base? Didn’t Fashion Fair think about when and if that customer base literally dies out, and didn’t they think about those ladies’ kids and grandkids?

    That’s all a bit strange! LOL Even credit card companies (sadly) know that you have to target the younger people as well.

    Didn’t they ever think about getting back in the lab to try to keep up with newer and improved formulations of their items? They wouldn’t be the first or the only cosmetic company to do that!

    Cosmetics, as an industry, has a bit of a tie to and is quite comparable to the fashion industry. You have to come up with new things at least some of the time, just like a designer always has to forecast the newer clothes that they plan to create. It’s not like you’re making Volvos where you may adopt an ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ attitude, it’s makeup! Adding a bit of flash and revamping things may be exactly what you need. Look around, all the other companies have to do that too.

    I’m sure that a cosmetics company doesn’t need to demolish their whole classic and faithful lines of items just to keep up with the times and newer formulations either, they should just add to bit. And I’m sure there’d need to be little sacrificing. But maybe the world of makeup is a lot harder to work in than I know of. I dunno…But look at Bobbi Brown who started out as a ‘queen of neutral’ with makeup that blended into the skintones more, and even she had to move with the times and update with a handful of brightly colored items because hey it’s business. You gotta sink or swim. Once your forgotten it’s like death!

    I see the point of some commenters saying ‘How can FF be considered old fashioned when they’re younger than Estee Lauder, Max Factor, and Revlon etc.?’ but those companies don’t LOOK old and past it because they make sure that they keep up with the times and appeal to newer customer bases and they don’t want to miss out on the possibilities in the future.

    Meanwhile Fashion Fair dragged their heels into the late 20th century regarding their old gaudy packaging, and strangely for company marketed to black women, their foundation colors received such mixed up-and-down reviews as some ladies love them but others complained about a fake looking red cast to their foundations on their faces.

    I remember an FF counter in JCPenney in Florida sitting in there with, shame of all shames, DUST growing on top of all their displays! This was back when they had that loud pink toy store packaging. Iman was just starting up came to that JCPenney and they looked far more welcoming let’s say!

    They dragged their heels about getting Sam Fine on board as well, who came out with his ‘Fine Beauty’ book almost 15 years ago now and he always championed FF’s products. Was FF waiting for Sam Fine to drop dead before approaching him?

    Fashion Fair doesn’t need to revamp or have an overhaul ‘just because they’re a black company’. Gucci was in dire straits in the 80s, when the Gucci family wanted give up on the brand and they had a lot of controversies going on at the time, but most of all people didn’t want Gucci back then. Cue in new management who then went on to hire Tom Ford, and the rest is history.

    I read an interview in a magazine once about Karl Lagerfeld, and he said that he was approached to take over Chanel from the late 70s when his friends were telling him ‘Forget Chanel. They’re dead. They’re gone. Go to another compnay. Or start your own line Karl’. But Karl said no that he always loved and admired Chanel as a brand and their style, so he stuck with them and is still with them. And the rest is history.

    I read that Revlon in the ’00s were having dreadfully low sales because they weren’t grabbing the customers like they managed to do back in the 50s through the 90s, so they also had to revamp and add new products to their lines.

    In business, you gotta be a mover and a shaker otherwise somebody else will take all of that money! I remember the lovely, retro and vintage-looking ads (now) of FF in Ebony back in the 80s, and when I looked through my Mom’s many saved-up Ebony mags from the 70s and they’re just gorgeous and adorable. Very glam! But FF still needs to be forward looking, and watching the other cosmetic companies and make the same moves they’re making or make even better moves. Hopefully it won’t be too late in the game for them.

  29. Corrina Bailey

    I think FF is being forward looking by using “it” girls such as Chante Moore and that new Ethiopian model. But if black women just want to be negative… then ok.

    • dundada

      Huh? There’s nothing positive to say if you running a business, and expecting to compete against other businesses but you’re deciding to let everything stagnate for years and years without seeing where your business can improve!

      • Corrina Bailey

        Well, when you have black women who discount FF as a “real” line but would rather scramble to MAC and Estee Lauder that claim they cater to all ethnicities (really this only includes white and Asian women), then its a wonder FF still exists.

        They weren’t stagnate. . . lots of black women stopped buying their products. They need patronize in order to compete as you say.

        • dundada

          When you hear that a line of of makeup that was made for black women originally has only recently alleviated the problem of some of their foundation colors from turning tangerine or very red instead of staying brown, then that line of makeup has stagnated instead of making progress.

          When a makeup line’s website provides a customer service email address and you send an email to it simply asking about new lipstick colors and new collections in the future and you wait for a month and then even send the same email out to their email address a second time and you still don’t get a reply, then that line of makeup is stagnating and not making progress.

          Do they really desire money at all? Astarte Cosmetics answered my emails without taking forever

        • dundada

          You barely hear about Astarte or Flori Roberts makeup these days and even Flori Roberts has a line on their website where you can ask questions of live operators or get somwone at Flori Roberts to email you back ablut makeup questions.

          Sam Fine is a great choice but he probably has his work cut out for him at Fashion Fair because they took their sweet time getting him on board. I have to thank Sam for fixing Fashion Fair’s oompa loompa foundation color problem. Their foundation stick in Butterscltch looks terrific & doesn’t seem to transfer!

          • phoebeprunelle

            You make great points Dundada,but i don’t know about Flori Roberts–when i visited her site, her makeup looked like the same ones as Iman?? The shades had the same names.

  30. t. brockenbrough

    i have to get my FF from macy’s in springfield, pa., and it is usually some little white lady, with an accent, selling me the product, King of
    Prussia mall, does not even have a FF counter anywhere, there, and women of color flock there, as it is the 2nd largest mall here in pa., USA! FF usually is designated in a small corner out of the way of traffic in the stores, and there is not enough advertisement, not even in our credit card (store card) bills, FF needs to do better, i will still hang in there for FF but i’m getting’ tired, and how about samples to pull you in farther w/purchases? hello!

  31. Alicia Mercer

    I’ve grown frustrated with Fashion Fair. They are almost always out of stock on what I need. Luckily, I have found a supplier on ebay who sells the stick foundation. I can buy it brand new in the box from them for 9.99/stick. My color is tender. I received an order of 10 today so I won’t have to order any for quite awhile.

  32. WOW! I am really very tired of going from store to store to find the Fashion Fair products. I have been using FF for over 20 years. The “Tender” is not in the high end stores anymore. Sure, I can find it online. However; if I’m low or out I need it now. And why do you continue to change. This is the second change for me and to not be able to find the product in my locate stores is not good. There are many lines looking for out business.

  33. So, I am debunking the myth that all the reviews are from the 50-60 generation of women. I am freshly into my 30′s and I have used many lines of makeup as I have also done make up as well through Ulta, Bovanti here in Atlanta, Mary Kay, Avon, etc. Now, I love Bovanti and Flori Roberts’ foundations but they are hard to find. As I was waiting around in Dillards, I decided to stop by the FF counter since I was in needed of new foundation and needed to try something new that would give me some coverage and I needed something for my upcoming wedding. I noticed that my skin color changed a bit and the shade I would have picked up would have been too light. When the consultant at the counter placed this foundation on me, I must say, that everyone noticed how my skin seemed to glow. It’s been a week now. A little of this product goes a very long way as I tended to be a little heavy handed at first. I am loving the coverage, life of color and feel that it is giving me. No ruddy looking skin here, ladies. Even my mom used this line. Instead of looking at this as a line for old women (which is not right), let’s look at this as a generational line for women of color. Afterall, our counterparts have Lancome and Chanel and I know I have seen many older women with this cosmetic line in their bathroom and their daughters use it as well. If it works, why not try it, no matter the age??? I am loving my Tawny creme-to-powder Perfect Finish foundation.

    • lily

      i have worn fashion fair foundation in Africa for many years,my mother, aunts and most femals before me.Upon coming to America i started using other lines in conjunction with FF. to my surprise i went in last mouth to re purchase the foundation i have loved for years “Honey glow shade” to be precise. i could not believe they did away with former shades and they also changed the product names i did buy two different foundation that day alright but boy i have not been happy. The shade they have now looks like Mac shade. yes i do use mac but i don’t want this shade always. please FF bring back Honey glow for people like me.

  34. Janet

    It’s really difficult to find FF in stores and their website is difficult to navigate when looking for a specific product. If you have a favorite item, it’s often not available after of a few months.

  35. dundada

    I have to say that so far I’m so glad seeing how Sam Fine as Creative Director at Fashion Fair has added lovely new color collections of really good quality, the newer reformulated foundation and powder colors and the newer packaging! I’m a Butterscotch in FF although I did buy an FF Souffle Makeup in Tan once.

    The newer Sam Fine-era of lipsticks from the color collections that FF has added since Sam’s been working for them are SO much better than their older line of lipsticks. Sam’s lipsticks from the newer collections are almost matte, unscented, unflavored and are quite long wearing! I like FF’s matte non-shimmery blushes like Warm Sand and Bronze too.

    What I meant to say in an earlier post is what FF was missing before as a company was Relevance with a capital ‘R’. They were no longer relevant to their times and their customers after the 80s and had no modernity so no wonder their fortunes started to dwindle!

    It has nothing to do with FF being a black owned company because this becomes a ‘grayer’ area because cosmetics are more personal and subjective. You have to put them on your face for all to see including you yourself and if your makeup looks ‘off’ in some way or ridiculously un-modern, well one would be less likely to keep on purchasing them. But I’m glad that Sam Fine has done some work on trying to reverse that kind of trend for FF!

    I remember back in the 90s when both Black Opal Cosmetics and Iman Cosmetics were sold for the first time and I remember looking at the colors of all the makeup items for both brands and saw how everything about both of them looked great, had the right foundation colors, the right packaging and were very relevant to those times. From the beginning Black Opal had nice looking foundations and beautifully colored eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks and I bought their lipsticks and I bought Iman’s foundation right away.

    So avoiding FF has nothing to do with them being a black owned company for me anyway because I bought from black owned companies such as Black Opal and Iman because their colors were appealing, relevant, modern and flattering and their packaging was very appealing and modern as well.

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  37. makeup lover

    I used fashion fair back in the late 1980′s and early 1990′s when the lipstick smell like candy. I missed that and wish they would bring that back even for a limited time. I did have issue with the foundation matching my skin tone as I have some red in my face. However I would love to make fashion fair my number one again.

  38. Lisa

    I am 30 years young and use FF products. I love their gel cleanser, toner and their moisterizer. One of my favorite lip colors is chocolate rasberry. I own toasted bronze, beautiful brown, chocolate raisen, sepia, toasted bronze, cinamin crush, royal orchid..I have so many…love them! I rather support FF than MAC anyday.

  39. Marinell Mickle-Stagger

    I am 60 plus and have used FF for over 20 years. It is no longer carried in our locate store. I have always used FF’s Perfect Finish Tender Glo Souffle. When that product was changed to Tender; the smoothness and flawlessness was not there anymore. My skin does not have the same look. It is also, very disappointing that the sponge no longer comes with the makeup. I have not been able to find the sponge and have bought several different sponges and they do not work well.

  40. I’ve used FF since I was 21 and have a VERY difficult time finding it in Southern California! Unfortunately its the best match I have found and I have done some SERIOUS searching. I purchase what I can when I can from eBay.
    MAC is NOT the same :(

  41. MsA

    Dudley the hair company also has a cosmetics line very difficult to find in my area their eye shadow is very vibrant the silver in particular was the best I ever owned!

  42. 242Island_Gyal

    Fashion Fair is very popular brand in the Bahamas, for its reasonable prices and they work great for the Bahamian skin.

    psss the more vain guys use their cleansing kits to wash and moisturize their face. I know at least ten. They don’t brag about it but I was amazed of how many guys use it. I quote ‘bet’rr den proactive’

  43. Elizabeth

    I have worn Fashion Fair Cosmetics since 1973. I went to the opening for the cosmetic line at Woodard & Lothrop in Washington, DC. and fell in love with the line. However, the line changes products so much until I cannot find the oil-free liquid makeup I have worn for years and this is depressing. What happened to my Tender Brown A406. When I wear this liquid makeup I get compliments on my skin and now I cannot find it in stores or on line. So, I am disappointed in Fashion Fair, what gives????????

  44. Tamica

    I have fell in love with Fashion Fair. I applied for a seasonal job at Dillard’s thinking I was going to work in another part of the store and the took one look at me and stated he needed a Fashion Fair girl. I color matched me and fell in love. I tell all of my friends that use Mac and Mary Kay to don’t sleep on the Fashion Fair. and for Elizabeth try the new True Finish foundation. It is oil free and a water based product. Use it with a setting powder and you will fall in love.

  45. Ladybug Diva

    Hi again, this is part two of my March 30, 2014 comment. To continue, I have nearly all of the FF lipsticks, ALL of the blushes, ALL of the lip glosses, ALL of the eye shadows, the compact and loose powders in my shade, skin care creams including VANTEX which is fantastic for fading dark marks, and now the brushes. The blush brush is my favorite. It is the softest and most precise brush for applying your cheek color. It picks up the perfect amount and blends the product on perfectly. For those young ladies who say FF is for old ladies or is old fashioned– STOP! What is Chanel, Dior, Estee Lauder, etc. who’ve been around longer? The fact that FF has been around for over 40 yrs, says a lot. I will agree that the company needs to remarket itself and perhaps bring in new blood, but it’s still around and their inventory is quite good–when it’s available. I recently returned Dolce & Gabbana’s $60 cream foundation to Sephora. The color was way off and they did not offer one close to my complexion. However, I still have my FF foundations which I keep coming back to because they work. They do not fade, oxidize, cake up, get oily/greasy looking or break my skin out. My skin looks natural and youthful. I LOVE FF’s other makeup as well. The lipsticks are better than MAC’s. The blushes are natural for our skin tones. The eye shadows are great basic colors, but FF could come up with more variety here. Finally, you can buy the products online instead of running to the store and being disappointed. TRY IT!

  46. dundada

    I’m really glad that Fashion Fair has updated and changed the undertones of their foundations and powders and have expanded their selection of foundation and powder colors and lines and I love the quality if their lipsticks and eyeshadow quads since Sam Fine joined them but I really wish that Fashion Fair would come out with at least one line if foundation that was more transfer resistant as a lot of their foundations really do rub off on clothes and paper really easily!

    When you specialise in making foundation for ladies who are brown then maybe you should consider the possibility of preventing their brown foundations from rubbing off all over the place! I don’t see how a lady can get married wearing white in Fashion Fair foundation. My color in Fashion Fair foundation is Butterscotch and I wear it but I touch white paper at work and I leave brown fingerprints on everything and it really rubs off obviously on white and light clothes. Their Fast Finish foundation stick is less noticeable with transferring than the soufflé makeup and creme to powder foundation but still though!

    Research and development is key within many businesses in many different sectors and if Fashion Fair keeps applying that regularly then they’ll always be fine and most importantly relevant. That’s what Fashion Fair needs to always hold on to and remember: Relevance. Relevance to keep current customers and gain new ones. Relevance through continued research and development is what the far older companies with cosmetic lines such as Estée Lauder, Chanel, Guerlain, Dior, Revlon and YSL always have to continue on with and press on with as well otherwise they too will die out from appearing ‘too old’ and irrelevant. Estée Lauder holds on to old perfumes like Youth Dew and Private Collection among other perfumes and other items but they keep on developing and selling newer items all the time because if they don’t do that they may close their own doors forever one day.

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