Monday, September 8, 2008

Beauty Q & A: Clumps of Mascara

We all know the type: those women who always appear flawless. Eyebrows perfectly shaped and arched. Eyelashes perfectly thick and lush (whether because of expert mascara application or via false lashes applied perfectly). Lip gloss poppin'.

Then, there are the rest of us, who are make-up newbies, or who just need a little help. Enter Ms. Brittany Thomas, Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Clumps of Mascara. Brittany created Clumps of Mascara "for brown skinned" ladies who "aren't quite there yet with their make-up skills". We sat down with her recently to ask her more about Clumps, find out some of her favorites in her make-up case, and of course, get some great beauty blog dish.

Brittany Thomas, Founder, Clumps of Mascara

Thank you so much for taking the time to sit with Belle-Noir Magazine. Before we find out more about Clumps of Mascara, we’d love to know more about the woman behind it. Who is Brittany Thomas?
I’m like…everywhere! I have so many loves and adorations for so many things. Reallly….I’m not just a beauty blogger. I also love studying African history, I listen to classical music, wear hippie skirts, sport tattoos and can tell the corniness jokes ever. I am truly a person who enjoys life and tries to soak up as much happiness as I can while being around wonderful people. Brittany is someone who just loves to love and be loved!

What inspired you to start Clumps of Mascara?
In the summer of 2007 I was slowly getting into make-up and just wanted to start an online journal to log my journey. I did not even know that beauty blogging was so big! So Clumps of Mascara is my accidental wonder.

What are some of the challenges of being a beauty blogger? What are some of the rewards?
One of the challenges that comes a long with being a beauty blogger is making sure that your personality shines through your posts. I’ve always wanted my readers to feel as if they are reading words from their sister or best friend. As I press “submit” to every posts, I am just hoping that someone somewhere can relate to me enough to where they will want come and visit COM again. The rewards are innumerable! I love my fellow blogging sisters, the readers who shoot me emails to tell me they love this or I should try “that” and being a part of beauty networks is quite the treat!

If you could give the cosmetics industry a letter grade when it comes to cosmetics for women of Color, what would it be & why?
Brittany: I would say a C+. Which is just a tiiiiny bit above average. The cosmetics industry has come a long way in terms of providing colors for darker skinned tones! With brands like CoverGirl Queen, Black Opal and Iman in drugstores, we can find affordable make-up for decent prices. Even higher-end companies such as Prescriptives, MAC Cosmetics and Clinique offer products for warmer skintones. I say a “C+” because I don’t think these cosmetic companies do a good job at advertising FOR us brown skin beauties. Take a look at Allure magazine. You see very few brown faces. The models for some of these brands very rarely have brown faces which can lead some of us to assume that they do not offer products for us.

Do you have any favorites in terms of cosmetics and shades that flatter deeper ebony skin hues?
I adore all shades! But I know you are looking for specifics so I'll shoot you some of my favorites. Plum lipstick and blushes are darling on ebony skin hues. L'Oreal HIP Jelly Balm in Luscious and Stila's Convertible color in Poppy are lovely plums! Orange blush on the cheeks (think NARS' Taj Mahal) is riveting and I think we can rock the mess out of any red lipstick! Oh…and dark purple eye shadow on the lid is just…*sigh*…beautiful! My favorite deep purple is MAC's Entremauve pigment. Even Clinique's Eggplant cream liner is perfect for those who don't want an extremely bold eye.

If you could give a make-up newbie one tip as she begins her journey with cosmetics, what would it be?
Make mistakes! Seriously, as newbies we often try so hard to seek perfection and that can be frustrating! I have created so many great looks from “mistakes”.

If we looked inside your purse right now, what must have items would be there and why?
Brittany: Definitely not any money. LOL, I’m jivin’. I have a L’Oreal HIP jelly balm, a CoverGirl Wetslicks AmazeMint gloss and Too Faced’s Mirror Mirror lip gloss. I don’t tote much make-up in my purse. A few lippies and a balm and I’m good to go!

Finish this line: “I never leave the house without_____________________.”
Spiriting on a fragrance! Seriously, I love smelling good! I’ve been all over Baby Phat’s Fabulocity this summer.

Where do you hope to see Clumps of Mascara in five years?
Picture this: Clumps of Mascara: the magazine. I would love to see a beauty magazine for the woman of color. In it, we would feature products and articles just for Women of Color. And for everyone! Not only for the 17-year old going to prom but for the 60-year old woman who still wants to wear lipsticks. And for the natural nut who is looking for all natural blushes. And for the broke college student who wants to be pretty on a budget. I would love to feature cosmetic lines by and for women of color, as well.

Of course we can’t let you get away without asking you about mascara. We know you review your favorites every Monday, but which brand is your must-have right now?
Haha, I love the Mascara Mondays series. I look forward to posting it as much as my readers love reading it. My top three mascaras right now are:
Maybelline Curl Power XXL
Imju Fiberwig
Neutrogena Healthy Volume mascara

Brittany Thomas is a beauty editor and publisher for and Residing in Orlando, Florida, she is a recent graduate from the University of South Florida with a degree in Africana Studies. Her newfound passion for beauty blogging (especially for women of color) allows her to combine two of her passions: beauty and writing. Be sure to check out her fabulous site at


Unknown said...

Yay!! I love Clumps of Mascara!! :) I'm really happy that you featured Brittany for us makeup newbies...she's our champ!!! ;)

B said...

Thank you so much for the loooove!!

Belle Cheveux said...

Go B! You know I'm on Clumps of Mascara every other day, right? LOL.