Picks and Pans Review: Sheryl Lee Ralph's Beauty Basics

updated 07/27/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/27/1987 AT 01:00 AM EDT

If you take this video's advice "for the contemporary black woman," first you'll go broke, then you'll be so busy applying cosmetics you'll never have time to make any more money. Ralph, the singer-actress who starred on Broadway in Dreamgirls and now does TV guest spots on such shows as L.A. Law, says you need three eye shadows and an eyelash curler, plus mascara and eyebrow pencil. Then there are the three things needed for cheeks: highlighter, blush and contour. And this is just for daytime. There's also moisturizer, foundation, powder, lip pencil, lipstick and gloss—everything you'll need to achieve Ralph's "natural" look. Then, too, she says patronizingly, you need a big powder brush, a blush brush, a contour brush, a lip brush, an eyebrow brush, cotton swabs and a pencil sharpener. It would take eight hours or so to get all this stuff on your face. In addition, while Ralph begins this 30-minute video raving about the diversity of tones in black skin, she talks only about light, medium and dark shades, never considering the yellow, olive and red undertones. Perhaps the ultimate advice Ralph doles out concerns how to "slim down your nose." Where was Ms. Ralph when people started discovering that black and all that went with it—noses included—was beautiful? (Maybe Michael Jackson, who got his proboscis trimmed to Caucasian standards, inspired her.) Such useful advice as Ralph provides on cleansing, toning skin and makeup application can be found at most department-store cosmetics counters. Ralph can act and dance and sing. Why not leave this kind of gratuitous enterprise to the Vanna Whites of the world, who can't do anything else? (Lorimar, $19.95)

From Our Partners