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Color-Conscious Makeup Comes to Trump SoHo Spa

By Andrea Swalec | August 8, 2011 7:27am
Makeup artist Khuraira has worked for Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier and the show
Makeup artist Khuraira has worked for Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier and the show "The Bachelorette."
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MANHATTAN — Nigerian-born makeup artist Khuraira Musa knows she chose the right career when she's stopped on the street and asked about her technique.

"Black and Latino women come up to me and see my skin all evened out and ask, 'How did you get that?'"

Khuraira — who goes by just her first name — tells the women her skin looks flawless thanks to her eponymous makeup line, which opened its first Manhattan outpost at The Spa at Trump SoHo last week.

The 43-year-old Pomona, NY resident's mission is to match makeup and skin tone, no matter what the customer's ethnicity, she said.

"With Khuraira makeup line, I want every woman who walks to our counter to get the right shade for her, whether she's white, black, Latina or Asian," she said. "I have colors from Claudia Schiffer to [Sudanese model] Alek Wek."

The Spa at Trump SoHo began carrying Khuraira makeup on Aug. 3, 2011, an employee said.
The Spa at Trump SoHo began carrying Khuraira makeup on Aug. 3, 2011, an employee said.
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In particular, Khuraira said that even high-end makeup brands can look dull and chalky on women with dark skin if they wear the wrong colors. 

"With MAC, Bobbi Brown, Mary Kay — sometimes the colors aren't right. And women don't choose colors that are right for them. It drives me crazy," she said. 

Senior Khuraira makeup artist Hadizah Musa, Khuraira’s daughter, said the shop's new 246 Spring St. outpost will be more convenient for many of their customers than their first store in  Tenafly, NJ.

"Brides from Manhattan come to us in New Jersey. This is an opportunity for them to go to her right in Manhattan, where they live," the daughter said.

Khuraira will train the spa's current makeup artists in her methods and work there personally once a month and by appointment, she said. And she will bring to The Spa at Trump SoHo something they have never offered before — airbrush makeup, assistant spa director William Myers said.

Airbrush makeup, which is sprayed onto the skin and can last up to 12 hours, is often used for special events, Khuraira said.

"[Airbrush makeup] takes expertise," Khuraira said. "If you don't know how to do it, it can be heavy and cakey. Done well, it makes you flawless and gives you a nice, natural glow."

The service ranges from $100 for the face and up to $300 for more of the body.

Khuraira grew up a world away from Trump's luxury hotel. After her mother died during childbirth in Jos, Nigeria, she lived in an orphanage. Her aunt adopted her, and she moved to the Los Angeles area in 1992 to study business at college.

She worked retail jobs in college to stay afloat.

"I walked into a department store and saw the cosmetic counter and fell in love," she said.

Khuraira worked her way up as a makeup artist, eventually working for the TV show "The Bachelorette" and with noted makeup artists Trish McEvoy and Laura Mercier.  In 2008, she launched her own line.

Khuraira’s next project is another store in another major city — Abuja, Nigeria. That store will carry the same products she sells in the U.S. and will be modeled after her New Jersey shop, she said.