About therealtpayne

Music and movie loving Makeup Artist, Wife, Bonus Mom, Guide, Mentor, Muse

Work Hard for What You Want

I have been so busy over the summer that I am just catching up to myself! In order to get ahead in the makeup industry, one must continue to educate themselves on new technology, products, and techniques.  Even highly trained MUAs who’ve worked in the industry for many years must study current trends in order to maintain success. I’m learning new things as I continue to educate myself by taking coursework that will ultimately help me become an even better artist.

Hard work pays off, and I will be in beast mode for the next few months, so there will be some weeks that I can’t update this blog as often. If you’ve been following for a while (or even if you’re new to my musings), I appreciate your support and hope to share some really fantastic pictures and videos of all that I will learn in the upcoming months! In the meantime, I’ll be posting some sneak peeks over at My Instagram page!

Until next time,



Misunderstood Natural Hair Salon

My tired tresses were in need of some TLC so I made my way over to Misunderstood Natural Hair to get my locs back to looking lovely. Owner and loctician Ansah Ofei makes the salon inviting and ensures that clients get quality services.

Check out the salon that specializes in natural hair care and promotes the use of natural products that are especially good for African-American hair.

Protect Yo’self

No, this isn’t a post about safe sex, although I’d hope that in today’s times, people ARE practicing safe sex. This post is about protecting your SKIN, especially your face. I am a Black woman, dark-skinned, so I might not be first in line for skin cancer, but even though “melanin gives you super powers”, (shout out to FBFC for creating t-shirts with that slogan), sunscreen is a MUST!

Right now, I have some Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Stick-SPF 70 in my purse. I use it every day.  I reapply it every two hours. I want to be healthy. You should be doing this too. Protect yourself by protecting your skin. Even if you don’t plan to be outdoors for long, protect your skin. Use a sunscreen of your choice, and honestly, I don’t care which brand you use, but use something.   Cancer doesn’t discriminate.

Until next time,


Sondra Strong Art

Change Inc


“As an artist, I pursue images that reflect a simplistic and diverse view of African-American culture through personal experiences, imagination, and stories shared by friends and loved ones”.-Sondra Strong

Sondra Strong is an  Instructional Math Facilitator in the Little Rock School District with a love for art that represents the African American culture. Ms. Strong’s love for art came at an early age when her father introduced her to oil painting.  She began to take art classes throughout junior high and high school.  Her love for art grew as she entered various competitions and programs in high school. 

Ms. Strong also earned the distinction in high school of attending Arkansas Governor’s School in the field of visual arts. Her goal in life was to pursue a degree in art, but the tables turned and she received a degree in Math Education.  During a visit to Chicago in 2003, she rediscovered her…

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Pay For Quality

Buying what you can afford makes the most sense, but if you are constantly running out of products because they are cheaply made, or you have to do too many steps to achieve the look you want, then it’s time to invest in more higher quality cosmetics. The money that you spend on highly pigmented, velvety-textured eye palettes that last for hours (even if you don’t use a primer) is worth dropping some money. Here’s a message for aspiring makeup artists: When you buy quality makeup, you don’t have to use as much, and you don’t have to use every filter known to mankind when you post pictures of your work. Check out the pictures of some of my Viseart palettes. I did NOT use filters to make these colors “pop”. 

I love saturated colors that are easy to blend and that work for ALL skin tones, hence my love for my Viseart palettes. I purchased my latest set at The Makeup Show in Chicago, but you can certainly order/purchase a limited amount of shades from Sephora and the more extensive amount of shades and products from MuseBeauty.pro. These palettes aren’t cheap but are worth the splurge. Even without an eye primer, the colors are true and show up well on my dark skin. They are easy to blend too, which saves time. I don’t know about you, but my time is precious, and so is my money. I buy the best that I can for the results that I want.

Until next time,


So You Call Yourself a Makeup Artist?

If you love makeup, and you aspire to make a career out of cosmetics,  you need to educate yourself. No one makes it big in this industry without putting in the work, and that includes investing in classes to enhance your skills, and to help expand your network.

The type of curriculum you choose will depend on a number of factors including: location, types of courses offered, cost, and duration of the program. I’ve already mentioned (in a previous post) that I am choosing Make Up First School of Makeup Artistry to learn more about things I haven’t mastered yet (i.e. theatrical/special effects/clinical), as it meets my criteria (it is one of the schools that stands out in the industry). If you are in either the New York City or Los Angeles areas, you can certainly check out other top schools like Cinema Makeup School, Make-Up Designory, and CHICSTUDIOS. Some cosmetic brands like Make Up For Ever and MAC offer coursework designed to teach and impart knowledge, as well as workshops and other educational events. If you can’t enroll in the schools and programs mentioned above, check with your local area schools, but do your research first. Find out how many graduates are working artists. Talk to students in the program, meet instructors,  and find out what you are getting for your money. The school must be able to teach you how to do makeup on women of color, those with skin disorders, as well as best business practices.

Nowadays, anyone with a camera on their mobile device, a few brushes, sponges, and cheap makeup palettes can jump on YouTube or Instagram and do “tutorials” about makeup application. There are some legitimate MUAs who use social media to show techniques, but many so-called MUAs on social media are not properly educated on techniques, sanitation, and skin-care.

If these folks can only do makeup on themselves, charge $20 for a makeover, use questionable products (or cheaply made cosmetics), and make all of their clients look the same, then they are not makeup artists.  Aside from “practice, practice, practice”, the best thing an aspiring artist can do is invest in an education.

Until next time,


NYX Professional Makeup

Recently, I visited an NYX Professional Makeup store and was pleasantly surprised.  have to admit, I’d only used this brand once, years ago, for a standard eye liner when I needed one in a pinch. The eyeliner worked well enough, and although I saw the brand frequently in various mass market stores, I was never moved to purchase much beyond another eyeliner. This changed after visiting the freestanding store, which contained way more products that I’d imagined.

Most makeup brands that we find in drug stores and mass market stores (i.e. Target, Walmart) don’t carry many options in terms of colors. We usually see the same 10 shades of lipsticks, foundation formulas, and eyeshadows. The NYX store offered so much more. In fact, there were so many products that I eventually walked away with cosmetic puffs, a few Liquid Suede Cream Lipsticks, and some Lip Pencils (and truthfully, I already own a LOT of makeup). I loved the selection of colors for the Liquid Suede Cream Lipstick and narrowed them down to Kitten Heels (rich red), Run the World (vibrant violet-pink), Tea & Cookies (soft pink), and Sandstorm (nude). What’s a lip without a liner? I picked up a few to try (Club Hopper, Amethyst, and Vintage). The verdict: I liked the vibrancy of the Liquid Suede Cream. There was nothing wimpy about the colors and I appreciated the high pigmentation. Although the formula felt a little sticky during application, it did try to a matte, and my lipstick lasted all day with only one touch up (due to eating and drinking twice). The lip pencil colors were vibrant and the texture was creamy but I like a firmer pencil.

For the money, both products were worth keeping, and when I get a chance to visit an NYX store again, I’m going to branch out and test drive the eyeshadows, foundations, and powders. I can already see that I’d need to limit myself to a few items, because it was super easy to spend money in that store! NXY knows how to market well!

Until next time,