Once upon a time, I went on a work trip to Detroit and it was…an adventure.
First of all, I ended up going during the annual auto show. Now, I’m from North Dakota. When you say “auto show,” I think of a bunch of old white dudes with their classic cars parked in some big convention center, kicking the tires and talking about how to make America great again. I kind of forgot that Detroit is where they make, like, ALL OF THE CARS so an auto show there is probably a bigger deal. I was there for 4 weeks, and while there is a hotel basically next door to our Detroit site, it’s also half a block from the convention center where the auto show happens so I wasn’t able to get a room there when I booked. I was at a place called the Detroit Regency.
Sounds great, right? In my head, I confused it with Hyatt Regency so I figured it must be a great place. Plus, it was $350 a night (auto show, remember?), so how could it be bad? Well, one of my Uber drivers informed me that I was staying in “hooker heaven” while another refused to even go in the parking lot, dropping me off at the gas station across the road – like 6 lanes of road, by the way – so that he would be on surveillance camera the whole time. It was a rocky start.
But once I was able to get into the site hotel and got to explore a little bit of the area, I really had a great time. There was a restaurant a couple of blocks away called Townhouse that had this really amazing dessert called Cake! Cake! Cake! If you love a traditional, old school buttercream, this is nothing but heaven! It’s so good! I was in Detroit over my birthday and ordered one, and it came out with an enormous sparkler in it. That thing went on for way too long. It was a little embarrassing because I was out by myself for my birthday so everyone got to watch me sitting at a table by myself with a flaming cake, waiting at least two minutes for it to stop shooting sparks so that I could eat it.
A couple of work friends took me out to a strip club called Gold Coast. One of the dancers came up and said, “I’m not gay or nothing but I’ll take money from anyone!” and then shook his junk in my face. I’m not sure if that line ever works for him, but he didn’t get any of my money. Most of my dollars went to the ginger who came and sat at my table and told me about his grad school program in neuropsychology (I’m still not entirely convinced that’s a real science) before letting me know that if I wanted some coke I could probably find it in the bathroom of the bar next door. We didn’t check to see if that rumor was true, but I did enjoy watching the confusion and horror on my lesbian friends face during the whole experience.
I still have a soft spot in my heart for Detroit. I would love to get back for another round of the Cake! Cake! Cake! and it was in a beauty supply store there that I discovered that my beloved Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask is actually part of a much larger line of scrubs, masks, and other products. I never got to experience the people mover, even though there was a stop right inside of our building. And if you want to have a drunk night out and look at beautiful men in their underwear, the Gold Coast is definitely a solid option. Plus there was this amazing little Thai place a block or so away from Townhouse that had amazing yellow curry. I would love to visit Detroit again and see more of what the city has to offer.
Until I can make my return trip, I can always enjoy a walk down memory lane with a palette from a black-owned makeup brand that I recently discovered: Face FX by Phoebe Scott. I found this brand through a YouTube channel called Makeup By Torrence who is from Detroit, and the palette looked gorgeous, so I snapped it up! I also picked up three shades of their liquid lipstick to try out as well.
The palette has 15 shades, mostly warm tones but with some fun cool pops as well. There are only 3 shimmer shades in the palette. Normally I prefer a more shimmer heavy palette, but lately I’ve been enjoying building a look with matte shades and then dipping into my single shadow collection to add some sparkle, so this is a great palette for that. For the lipsticks, I selected a deep shade, a light shade, and a bright medium shade to get a sense of the range of shades.
The lipsticks were swatched over bare skin and the shadows were swatched over the Ardell In Her Prime eye primer. The top photo is under my studio lighting with a finger swatch on the left and a brush swatch on the right (for the shadows) with no flash and the bottom photo is under the same lighting with a flash.
L to R: What Up Doe, Belle Isie, Faygo Orange, Mexican Town, Church
What Up Doe is a bright golden yellow shimmer, very sunshine and bright without being too gold. Belle Isie is a bright yellow matte, nice body to it, but like a lot of yellow shades it would do best with a white or yellow shadow base underneath to help the color really pop. The two orange mattes in this row look almost identical in the pan, but they swatch out quite a bit different. Faygo Orange is a bright electric orange, while Mexican Town is a bit deeper, not as bright, and slightly more red-toned. Chruch is a deep merlot red matte, much more vibrant and rich on the skin than it appears in the pan.
L to R: West Side, Spirit, Strong, Hustle, East Side
West Side is a bright tan matte, a little sheer when applied lightly but you can get good coverage with some building. Spirit is a bright gold metallic shimmer. Strong is a medium deep brown matte, maybe a bit of a reddish tone to it (very subtle). Hustle is a bright silver metallic. East Side is a medium to light cocoa brown.
L to R: The Big 3, On The Lodge Wit It, Vernors, Motown, Black Bottom
The Big 3 is a gorgeous bright shamrock green. This has great pigmentation with a brush, but can be sheered out a bit with a lighter application (you can see that on the lower edge of the finger swatch). On The Lodge Wit It is a slightly olive-leaning tan. Vernors is a dark, very cool-toned forest green. Motown is a bright electric blue matte. This one needed a little building to get to full opacity, but the color is really beautiful. Black Bottom is a nice black matte, very pigmented and rich.
I’m really impressed with these shadows! These mattes are a slightly drier formula, and sometimes shades with that sort of formulation can look a little bit more muted in the pan than they actually apply. I was very pleased when I saw the colors explode across my skin, and the application is very easy. Most of these have the ability to be applied more sheer and blended out for a wash of color, or it’s not hard to do a thicker application and get full color without much effort. As I said before, I prefer more shimmers in a palette, but when the mattes are this good I’m not going to complain too much!
L to R: Say Less, Point Blank, Dipped In Darling
Say Less is a bright purple shade, and is the most sheer of the group. It has a lot of pigment, but has a sheer application, like a blotted lip kind of look. If you want more opacity with this, I would recommend using a coordinating lip liner to line and fill in most of the lips, and then add this on top for color and longevity. Point Black is in the middle, a good deal of pigment but with some sheerness. It’s a peach pink that looks more pink when applied than it looks in the tube. It’s a pretty shade and I think this would make an amazing ombre with Dipped In Darling. Speaking of, Dipped In Darling is a bright coral pink, very yellow-toned and practically glowing! You get the most opacity out of the gate with this shade, and I have been living for these more coral pink shades lately. It’s perfect from spring!
I’m a huge liquid lisptick fan and I’ve tried a lot of different brands and formulas. Is this my favorite? Not really, but it’s pretty solid. Since it’s got some sheerness to it, this is a great option for people who want the longevity of a liquid lip but they still want some comfort and flexibility, and still want a bit of their natural texture to show through. This formula didn’t get dry or crunchy while I was wearing it, and it was very comfortable.
I’m always excited to find new black-owned and minority-owned makeup brands, and there are more products from Face FX that I definitely have my eye on! This palette is a fun foray into Detroit and it brought back some fun memories of a rather hectic work trip. That’s what makeup should do – it should be fun, it should make us happy, and it should fill us with excitement and inspiration for our creative endeavors. And this Motor City brand is bursting with inspiration – I can’t wait to see where they take us next!
(Look for Face FX to be featured in my March Review Roundup, and I’ll link my two videos about Black-Owned Makeup Brands That Aren’t Fenty or Pat McGrath below in case you want to discover even more great brands! XOXO – Miss Jaye)