True Finish Refining Mineral Foundation
True Finish Refining Mineral Foundation from Fashion Fair Cosmetics may attract a new consumer to the storied beauty brand. (Photos: Fashion Fair Cosmetics)

Fifty-five-year old Patrice Weiss and her mother once used Fashion Fair Cosmetics faithfully. “It was in the ‘80s,” Weiss remembers. “I used the moisturizer, the foundations,” she reminisced.

But in the ‘90s, Weiss stopped wearing the brand’s foundation, because she started to feel it was too heavy. “I found an old picture of myself holding [my youngest daughter],” Weiss explained to theGrio over the phone from her Jacksonville, Florida home. “You could see my face was light, and my neck was dark.”

Today, Weiss prefers Borghese Cosmetics, which she says she’s been using for the past 20 years.  “It doesn’t look like I have make-up on,” she explains. “It’s just great.”

This mother-daughter pair was among the millions of black women who supported Fashion Fair for years, because it was the only line that catered to African-American women. Fashion Fair Cosmetics was created for the black woman who aspired to the in-your-face glamour of the ‘70s and ‘80s — but women no longer want to wear a mask of foundation complete with slashes of blush and flamboyant lips.

The ‘90s ushered in the “natural look,” and ladies of the new millennium prefer beauty products made of natural ingredients that are free of fragrances, parabens, and other harsh chemicals.

With Fashion Fair True Finish Refining Mineral Foundation, a new foundation formula from Fashion Fair, the beauty company hopes to get customers like Weiss back — while attracting her daughter’s generation. Acknowledging that the trend pendulum has swung in the opposite direction since Fashion Fair opened its first makeup counter in 1973, press materials stress that True Finish foundation has a lightweight formula, natural mineral ingredients, and anti-oxidant properties.

“Your skin shouldn’t feel as if it’s suffocating,” Clarisa Wilson, president of Fashion Fair Cosmetics, noted to theGrio about the nature of optimal coverage. She described True Finish as “being in harmony with the skin, not covering it up.”

Further reinforcing the brand’s commitment to a more natural beauty aesthetic, Fashion Fair opted not to use a celebrity spokesmodel to front the True Finish launch campaign.  Wilson told us via phone from her Chicago office that the choice to cast unknown beauty Amanda Nassali Kiggundu instead shows, “The time is right for us to elevate black women, whether you’re famous or not.”