On Valentine’s Day 2016, Nuria Talori cosmetics held an official photo-shoot at Hair Unique Chicago, a salon located at 8100 S. Stony Island. The date seems incredibly apropos given the beautiful energy when anyone entered the room; jubilant greetings, jokes and stories being shared between old and new friends, a visit from Michael, Safia’s sweetheart, bearing heart-shaped doughnuts assuring that everyone was feeling the love. And rightfully so. It is abundantly clear that Safia, the brand’s founder, has a great passion for her work, and her positive energy was spread throughout the shoot.
Models (Left to Right): Onicia Muller-Torres, Amena Shari White, Erica Williams, Ami Waldenberger, Megan Clark, Starlyn Stratton.
All Photography by: Safia Jalila @safiajalia
Models (Left to Right): Tiffany Curtis, Starlyn Stratton, Natasha Zikova
Hair and Makeup: Nuria Talori Glam Squad - Roshann Whitfield, Kenyatta Butcher, Soroya Smith, Michelle Carter, Safia Jalila and Elle Yoko (Not Shown)
Most of the professionals and models identified themselves as friends of Safia, an actress, photographer, and entrepreneur in her own right. Thanks to her show business career she has some high-powered contacts; professional model Erica Williams posed, as well as child actress Tiffany J Curtis. When asked about how they felt about the makeup, the general consensus is a highly positive one; Nuria Talori Cosmetics offer high-quality makeup for a wider range of skin tones than you would find at your average Sephora. The models, with skin tones ranging from porcelain to deep cocoa were all sporting beautifully matched foundation and vibrantly colored shadows and lip colors. “I feel like I’m working with Bobbi Brown or NARS, but with better color payoff.” said makeup artist of 10 years Soroya. “The colors are very rich, blendable, and true to tone.”
“It feels like I’m wearing nothing at all!” said Megan, a self-identified makeup neophyte. She had been there since 7am, the photo-shoot’s start, which started promptly on time. “That’s rare.” noted Onicia, another model. “These things never usually start on time.”
Like Safia, who was present the entire time, most of these models and artists voice the same issues with the makeup industry; many brands have limited availability when it comes to deeper skin tones, often offering options that are too red, or too orange; options that leave a white cast, and options that simply aren’t rich enough. Safia, who also models and is a rich, cocoa complexion talked candidly about her experience with this problem, “I was just so tired of sitting on sets and the artist not being able to match a foundation to me. It was frustrating.” Fed up, Safia pooled her resources, did her research, and launched her brand, which so far has been greatly received by the makeup community. Requests for colors and orders can be heard across the salon as one by one the models were pleased with their transformations. The energy is so high that it almost feels like a friendly auction.
The most notable thing about this photo-shoot, however, is not how gorgeous the makeup is, even though that is true. It’s the fact that Safia, a very busy woman, was hands on and present, cooing over blushes and foundations along with her staff, laughing at all of the jokes, and making sure everyone was comfortable and happy. Her gratefulness was apparent, from her constant wide smile to her thankfulness for the participation of each person. You could hear her exclaiming, “you look beautiful!” several times throughout the shoot, or asking if anyone needed anything, or making sure everyone had all of their instructions. She seems incredibly respectful of her team, a very un-CEO-like thing to do these days. Her attitude is almost as rare as a line that compares to hers.
Nuria Talori cosmetics can be purchased on nuriatalori.com. Pictures from the photo-shoot will be available on February 20, on nuriatalori.com.