If you have a drawer full of beauty products that have never seen the light of day, read on! Melissa Hibbert, founder of SHEEQ Cosmetics, gives valuable information to SingleandLivingFab.com readers about finding the perfect make up and skin care products to help you put your best face forward!

S&LF: What was the inspiration behind SHEEQ Cosmetics?

SC: The inspiration behind SHEEQ Cosmetics was to celebrate the beauty of women of color.  I believe women of color are still under-served in conversation and imagery of beauty and I wanted to provide a brand and products that would celebrate her and serve her needs luxuriously.  I wanted to bring a line to the marketplace that encourages women to be bold, powerful, confident and exquisite through beauty.

S&LF: What sets SHEEQ apart from other brands that try to cater to the same customer base?

SC: SHEEQ, which stands for She’s Exquisite, is truly authentic in its mission – to celebrate the beauty of women of color. Along with providing quality products, we are also conscious of her health – our products are hypo-allergenic, fragrance-free and paraben-free – and our lip products are all enriched with vitamin E. SHEEQ has a soul and it’s rooted in the fact that as a black woman and the founder, I am intrinsically linked to my customer and her needs. I am her and she is me.

S&LF: What are your most popular products?

SC: Our most popular products to date is our bold lip colors like Malinda, Glamour Puss, Ruby Ruby, Diva and Fire Engine.  In addition, our foundations have been a huge hit because we have been able to provide shades that are a perfect match to the skin tone of brown women. We have successfully converted hundreds of women from “other known brands” to SHEEQ and women are loving it.  The other items that are hugely popular are our Tinted Camera Ready Primer, our Trio Concealers and our Hydrating Mango Face Cream.

S&LF: What is your favorite SHEEQ product?

SC: I love all of my products, but if I were to choose my favorite SHEEQ product, it would be any shade of our lip glosses because they are so highly pigmented, bold and rich in color.  I just love being able to put on my lip gloss, add some mascara and head out the door!

S&LF: Skin care is very important to you. How does SHEEQ cater to various skin types?

SC: Yes, skin care is very important to me – by taking care of your skin, it enables you to wear less makeup, meaning, you don’t have to pile on a lot of different products to manage your respective skin issue. I am proud that our line is botanically based and caters to all skin types, with products that are gentle and effective – made with ingredients like, Japanese Green Tea, Chamomile, Mango Cream, Grape Seed Extract, Sweet Almond Oil, Vitamin E and Aloe Vera.  We believe skin care should be nurturing to the skin – easy to use, smell delicious and feel incredible.

S&LF: A lot of your products have an emphasis on containing all-natural extracts and gentle ingredients. Why is this important, particularly when it comes to women of color?

SC: Although basic skin care needs are the same for everyone, there are some issues that women of color are more likely to experience. For example, we may be more prone to skin issues like keloidal (raised) scarring, pronounced hyper-pigmentation and are also likely to have darker under eye circles as we age.  By providing products that are all-natural and gentle, our goal is to help our customer to be effective with their daily skin care regimen utilizing the healthiest ingredients possible.

S&LF: What would you say is the biggest mistake African American women make when it comes to shopping for cosmetics?

SC: One of the biggest mistakes African American women make when shopping for cosmetics is not being knowledgeable about what products and colors work best for them and also, not knowing how to apply the product once purchased.  To their credit, they rely on the so-called “experts” at the makeup counters to guide them through the cosmetics choices, but unfortunately, I have heard one too many stories of makeup counter disasters.  These experiences at the makeup counters are often traumatic enough to cause women to not wear makeup and particularly certain colors.  I have literally counseled women back to confidence in their beauty because someone at a counter put a darker or lighter shade of foundation, or the wrong red lip or a rainbow of eyeshadow on their face. My advice is, if someone is selling you product that doesn’t look good, don’t buy it. You have a voice. They are concerned about the sale. You should be focused on how you look and feel because ultimately that is all that matters.

S&LF: What tips would you give for foundation matching with your products?

SC: Because we are an e-commerce store, foundation matching is often done via consultation on-line or via Skype.  I have been able to properly match countless women effectively by understanding their tone and the history of products and shades they have used in the past. It’s quite an accurate and effective process.  In addition, I do many trade shows and events so I always encourage women of come out and get matched up with their perfect shade.

S&LF: SHEEQ was designed specifically for women of color, but can all women enjoy your products?

SC: SHEEQ Cosmetics is for women of color. We emphasize that, but certainly other products in our line can be utilized by all women like our lipstick, lip glosses, lashes and eyeshadow palettes.  All women deserve quality products that deliver. We feel that women of color enjoy that option with SHEEQ.

S&LF: Can you talk about some of the new products you will be launching in March for SHEEQ’s one-year anniversary?

SC: For our one-year anniversary, we will launch a beautiful collection of lip colors just in time for spring, in addition to new skincare and face products.  We are excited about what’s to come. It’s been quite an amazing year so far!

Melissa Hibbert is a professional makeup artist, beauty expert and educator. Find her products at www.SHEEQCosmetics.com and stay connected with her on social media at:

Instagram: melissahibbert