Fumi Desalu-Vold is a Nigerian and Gambian fashionista who, after winning a competition in 1990, became the first super model of West Africa. As well as having success in New York as a model, Fumi has lived the life of a Hollywood actress, apearing in TV shows like Ugly Betty, Entourage and Sex and the City, and worked alongside Eddie Murphy in hit film, Norbit.
Today, Fumi works as a fashion show presenter at ACM, London and as makeup artist to stars and celebrities.
We are honoured to have Fumi take our SPICE Q&A – read on to find out what she’d change about the beauty industry, why she wants to be a butterfly plus her top makeup tips…
SPICE: What does Beauty mean to you?
Fumi: Everybody in the world has their own ideal of beauty, but for me it’s inner beauty that counts. To see a woman that is confident and loves her features and who she is, is extremely attractive. She might not be the best looking in the room, but her confidence and inner beauty makes her the only one that stands out in that room. It’s very important to know who you are and love yourself completely.
What is your day-to-day beauty routine?
I absolutely cannot leave the house without my Sleek cosmetics BB cream. It’s amazingly light and keeps my face looking fresh all day long.
(I) fill in my brows and add a wand of mascara, add some blush and a neutral lip-gloss. After that, I’m good to go. But of course, if I have a special event, photo-shoot or (I’m) filming for my fashion segment at the studio, I definitely glam it up a whole lot more.
Do you have a signature look?
Yes, I always contour my face and highlight my cheekbones.
What would be you must-have beauty product?
I have two that I just cannot live without, even if I was on a deserted island: Lip balm – I love to keep my lips moist – (and) my MAC blotting pressed powder. I have very oily skin which is good, because I’m ageing very gracefully but there is nothing fabulous about walking around with a shiny face.
If we were to open your makeup bag, what other brands and products would we find?
Oh darling, there are all kinds of goodies in there. I love, love, love makeup and I’m given a lot of products from cosmetics companies to try out. A good and budget friendly brand is Sleek cosmetics, which I’m very fond of. ***Find out Fumi’s top 10 beauty products here.
What are your beauty dos and dont’s?
First of all beauty comes from within. In order for me to have flawless and blemish-free skin, I make sure to always drink lots of water, I don’t smoke, drink alcohol or soft drinks. I also try to eat very healthy which includes fruits and vegetables. Once you have clear healthy skin, your makeup will glow.
You should never define your features, but enhance your features, so understanding your face is very important. There is no reason for anybody to use a BLACK pencil for the eye brows – it’s much too harsh. A dark brown shade will soften the face and really bring out the beauty of your brows instead of making them look heavy.
Always use an eye primer before you apply your eye shadow because whatever colour you use, it will POP more and last longer, without creasing.
Also, invest in a good set of brushes for application and wash them often. And above all, have fun with make-up.
Whose makeup do you always admire?
I truly admire Iman’s make-up. She’s always glamorous and classy. I also adore makeup artist Sam Fine. I learned from him on how to perfect the shape of my brows. Rihanna!!!! She’s edgy and funky and unafraid to try bold colours or looks. Kim Kardashian is another glamour puss who always looks flawless on the red carpet. And Naomi Campbell never strays too far from her look, but always keeps it fresh with some glitter and natural false lashes.
If you had to give just one beauty tip/piece of advice, what would it be?
If I had ONE piece of beauty advice to give, it would be to always wash your make-up off before you go to bed.
What is your beauty fantasy?
I would love to transform myself into a beautiful butterfly for my two nieces. They love butterflies.
If you could, what would you like to change in the beauty industry?
I would absolutely like to see more products and brands out there for women of colour with DARKER skin tones. The likes of model, Alek Wek finds it extremely difficult to find shades for her skin tone. Many companies that make products for women of colour still don’t make colours for very dark complexions. It saddens me to see women bleach their skin to look lighter (and) I think if there was much more of a variety in cosmetics, then darker skinned women will not feel so left out and turn to bleaching their skin. Of course this isn’t the only reason women bleach their skin, but I do feel it doesn’t help that they don’t have as many beauty products to choose from as lighter skinned women do.
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