New York City summers were the inspiration behind FaceDrama Cosmetics’ Summer 2012 Fuego collection, a quintet of richly pigmented, vitamin E-enriched lip glosses. Musing about the collection’s color palette, Detroit-bred cubana Keka Riley, the powerhouse behind the 3-year-old makeup brand, cites everything from eating mango popsicles to rushing to meetings in Manhattan and encountering a bevy of well-dressed women on the street. She likes to think of the collection as a group of friends, “a glam squad,” in which every entity is a powerful force with which to be reckoned. To that end, then, the Fuego collection includes five shades bearing feminine names: Chacha, a deep tangerine; Chula, a fresh and playful coral; Mala, an icy lavender packed with shimmer; Fuego, a bold red; and Ladylike (named by Riley’s 10-year-old daughter Yemaya), a creamy neutral taupe. “The Fuego collection encompasses everything Latinas are,” Riley beams. “Somos fuego, baby!”
As with Riley’s previous collections, this one emphasizes intense pigmentation and is designed to appeal to all women —especially Latinas. In fact, it was the makeup industry’s lack of understanding regarding the multi-faceted nature of the Latina community, particularly the range of skin tones and depths, that inspired Riley to launch her own brand. “I was fed up with being an afterthought,” she says. “What woman doesn’t want to feel beautiful? Every line should have something for everyone.” And having worked as a makeup artist, doing events ranging from hair shows to weddings to proms, Riley wanted to ensure that her products were so saturated with color that they looked just as intense on lips as they did in their packaging. “There’s nothing worse than that big letdown of trying a new gloss and seeing it looks like Vaseline with a dab of food coloring!” she jokes. “Women want the color that’s on the model!”
Riley considers lip glosses to be one of the most universally appealing and accessible makeup offerings on the market, attracting self-professed beauty aficionados and casual makeup users alike. “I know so many women who don’t wear heavy makeup but will rock the heck out of some mascara and gloss,” she says. “Makeup is a fun way to express personal style, and it shouldn’t be intimidating.”
A celebrated journalist, San Miguel holds a B.A. in Literature and Afro-American Studies from Harvard University. She made her foray into the publishing world in 2001, when she joined the editorial team at In Style, where she mainly covered celebrity homes and weddings. Editorial positions at urban lifestyle publications Complex, VIBE, and GIANT magazines followed. Read More...
Over the years, she has penned articles about fashion, music, film, relationships, fitness, beauty, books, and street art for publications like Latina, Women’s Wear Daily, DNR, Essence, Paper, CITY, Trace, Upscale, XXL, Mass Appeal, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post. She co-wrote 2006’s The Nasty Terrible T-Kid 170 (From Here To Fame/powerHouse Books), a memoir about the life and work of Bronx-bred graffiti writer Julius “T-Kid” Cavero, and contributed to the upcoming anthology Hip-Hop: A Cultural Odyssey (Atria Books).
Since launching Sicka Than Average in 2008, local and national TV stations have invited San Miguel to appear as an on-air guest, among them Telemundo and NYC TV. She was a key speaker at Repechage’s 2009 Congress For Salon And Spa Professionals, where she shared her insights on how spa owners can navigate the changing media landscape. She has also been featured as a style and beauty expert in like Latina, 944, and VIBE.
Flechada shows the world the amazing things Latin America can do.