All Articles Tagged "African American beauty"
From Hello Beautiful
As early as we learn our colors and how to spell our name, we’re taught moral principles that will hopefully shape us into good, responsible and thoughtful people. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “If you see something, say something,” “Sharing is caring,” and the list of clichés goes on and on.
Another one in particular that I remember hearing often is, “Beauty comes from the inside.” My mother would emphasize this every time I misbehaved, scaring me into thinking that my bad attitude and intentional pestering of my big sister would somehow make me look like Wicked Witch of the West.
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com.
Tags:African American beauty
Summer weather presents a lot of challenges when it comes to keeping your makeup looking beautiful all day long. Melting foundation, disappearing eye shadow and running mascara are just some of the most common issues experienced. But the right products and a few adjustments to your routine can help you avoid these problems.
Here’s a look:
MEET Vera Moore: Vera Moore, the President and CEO of Vera Moore Cosmetics, is a former actress who has portrayed “Linda” on Another World for 12 years. Her cosmetic credits include working on Hollywood movie and television sets for The Antwone Fisher Story (starring Denzel Washington), The Bill Cosby Show, The Guru and Saturday Night Live. This dynamic beauty expert offers a comprehensive line of cosmetic and skincare products for the professional and retail market. With more than 30 years of experience in the theatre, television and beauty industry, and the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, Vera now celebrates the launch of Vera Moore Cosmetics in the new upscale environment of the Duane Reade stores and, nationally, in select Walgreens LOOK boutique locations.
MN: Earlier in your career you portrayed the character “Linda” on the soap opera, Another World. You also acted on Search for Tomorrow and As The World Turns. What inspired you to go from acting and television to starting your own cosmetics company?
VM: There was a void in the market for quality makeup for Black women at that time. This was in the 1970’s. I didn’t want to wear what the masses were offering, because it was red, oily and rubbed off on your clothes. Also, the colors offered for the beautiful women of a darker hue turned gray and ashy on their skin. Makeup at that time didn’t allow the true color of women with beautiful dark skin to shine through. Add to this the fact that on Another World I portrayed “Linda Metcalf” a nurse from Bay City General. I had a big problem. Not only were the makeup colors not right, I didn’t want to get the colors on my white uniform or anything else I touched. As I sought a way to meet this challenge, I became inspired to go into the cosmetics business.
MN: Businesses cannot succeed without capital. What resources did you use to finance your business and how much did you initially invest in Vera Moore Cosmetics?
VM: In 1979, when I started Vera Moore Cosmetics, I received a loan for $70,000 that was backed up by the Small Business Administration (SBA). I had to repay the loan within seven years. My husband and I had to personally guarantee the loan by putting our house up for collateral. This was a herculean challenge, a huge risk. Not many people are going to mortgage their home for a business not knowing the end results. However when you are passionate, determined and laser focused, that’s what you do. We let go of the trunk of the tree and got out on a limb where the fruit is. There are no guarantees, no paycheck every Friday when you own your own business. It’s risk and reward.
MN: What was the biggest challenge you faced as a business owner? How did you overcome this challenge?
VM: The biggest challenge I faced involved capital and expansion. As you grow your business, expenses grow right along with you. Every entrepreneur knows that it’s imperative to keep the mentality of lean and mean but inevitably you must hire more employees to meet business demands. However you learn how to work smarter vs. harder as you become a seasoned business owner. As a bit of advice, have a business plan and a marketing plan to use as road maps as to how you are going to get through your daily hurdles and your projects. Proper planning also allows you to know in advance how you are going to achieve your short and long term goals. When you put your plans down on paper and see it in writing, the challenges are not as frightening. The tasks of operating and managing a business are still daunting, but, with plans, you know which priorities to focus on first. For example, would you go on a trip without a plan, without knowing where you’re going, what you’re going to wear, where you’re going to stay, the expense of the trip, etc.? As you can see it takes a plan to succeed.
MN: When did you realize that you had a viable business and what did you do to celebrate this milestone?
VM: We realized that we had a viable business when the phones started ringing. New customers were calling based on referrals. People were talking about Vera Moore Cosmetics. We did out of town trade shows to get new customers and to get the word out. People knew our brand. Our marketing strategies paid off and soon customers wanted to know how they could get the products in the future. These marketing events blossomed into another avenue of distribution, mail order. Also, and I will never forget. . . . A wonderful thing happened to me. I was at an event. I went into the bathroom and a lady took out a compact and it was a Vera Moore compact. Seeing the compact brought a feeling of exhilaration, created a Wow! moment, letting me know that all the years of hard work were worthwhile. I celebrated by thanking God for the faith to persevere, for allowing me to stay the course and not give up. I also reinvested back into my business by purchasing technology which allowed me to work more efficiently and effectively.
by Tracey Brown
From Hollywood starlets of yesteryear, to today’s pop culture idols of the runway and red carpet, red lipstick is eponymous with style, fashion and beauty. Red lipstick spells allure, glamour, sophistication and oozes sex appeal. A makeup must-have that is simultaneously a trend and yet a classic, red is on the lips of women of all ages and skin tones.
Hollywood sisters sporting a red pout Taraji Hensen , Kerry Washington, Zoe Saldana, Rosario Dawson and Tracee Ellis Ross instantly up their glam quotient with just a swipe of red lipstick. Catwalk queens Chanel Iman, Jourdan Dunn and Joan Smalls worked the Gucci runway with glossed-up red lips for Fall 2011.
Songstress Sade’s signature red lips are now on-trend for new millennium vocalists Jill Scott, Keri Hilson, Janelle Monae and Estelle. Each woman rocks the red lips with ease, yet each is wearing a different formula and shade that works for them.
When red lips are done right—meticulous application, seamless blending of lip liner and lip color in a flattering hue for your skin tone and undertone—you’ve got glam gold. Whether you have champagne and caviar cash or beer budget bucks, there is a red lipstick for you.
Red lipstick options span the color wheel—vampy vermillion, classic crimson, sassy scarlet, banging burgundy—so let your lips speak volumes with the perfect red. Many black women are left in a quandary about which red is best, and some still think their lips are a little on the “voluptuous” side to wear red lipstick. Don’t believe the “less-is-more hype”!
First, before we get into product recommendations, let’s start off with the steps to a perfect red pout:
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Almost 100 years ago, Madam CJ Walker became America’s first self-made female millionaire of any race by creating hair products specifically for black people. This brilliant entrepreneur took advantage of the beauty industry’s decision to ignore black consumers by instead serving them well. An economic visionary, Walker also created a beauty school that fed a job market for the black women selling her products. Madam CJ Walker’s acumen in the field of beauty was an overall boon to African-Americans.
In the ‘50s Abram Minis, founder of Carson, Inc., made a grip formulating ubiquitous household products like Dark & Lovely. Black entrepreneurs Edward and Bettiann Gardner founded SoftSheen in the ‘60s, the firm responsible for the infamously greasy Care Free Curl. The early ‘70s saw the birth of Fashion Fair cosmetics, launched by the owners of Johnson Publishing to help black women find make-up that matched their skin. Black businesses have been central to the development of products African-American women need to look good.
But recent moves by mainstream brands make the original need to have our own beauty companies questionable. Revlon and similar entities now shell out millions for spokeswomen like Halle Berry hoping to attract our audience. Mainstream brands like CoverGirl are partnering with stars like Queen Latifah to design lines that target consumers of color. Pantene has created highly popular shampoos and conditioners for relaxed and natural hair.
Black customers may want to support our beauty businesses to reverse years of economic inequality and keep money in the community. Yet, this is an increasingly difficult task, because beauty giants are snapping up black-owned companies, even as they manufacture products for people of African descent.
(Amsterdam News) — Midway into a conversation with Michaela Angela Davis, she suggests a slight case of self-deprecation and cracks a warm smile as she comes to grips with her impact on young women. ”It’s not until moments like this when you kind of pause, look at what you’re doing, and go, ‘Oh, I really might mean something to somebody.’ I just still feel like I’m so frivolous,” she says, laughing. Contrary to the matter, Davis is far from frivolous. The self-described “image activist,” who has worked as a stylist, editor and cultural critic, has made it her mission for the past several decades to promote self-esteem for Black women. Davis has successfully balanced creativity and feminism to encourage conversation. In fact, her new novel that’s in the works, “The Revolution of Happiness: A Book and Digital Conversation Project,” is a culmination of “honest and innovative cross-generational conversations with revolutionary-thinking Black women about disturbing the pain that has burdened or molested our natural exquisite selves.”
(The Root) — The upcoming documentary Dark Girls explores the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color that are experienced particularly by dark-skinned women, outside of and within African-American culture. While the issue certainly isn’t brand new, this approach appears to be. Colorism traditionally arises in an adversarial fashion: Someone accuses someone else (a director, a magazine editor, perhaps all of Hollywood) of embracing unfair standards of beauty that exclude many black women. (Just today, Osama bin Laden’s former mistress Kola Boof took to Twitter to attack rapper Wale for perpetuating dominant standards of beauty in his music video for “Pretty Girls,” calling him self-loathing.)
(Patch) — Frank Mohadou closed the door to the beauty supply business he was struggling to keep, in the slice of space he obtained from his sister. The still night held no comfort for the African native as he slid behind the wheel of the $250-a-month car he could barely afford. He ignored the thought of going home; knowing soon he would have to find another place to live since the people he was staying with were drifting apart. Instead, he sat; his anxiety and frustration combed into a manageable silence as he contemplated ways to grow his business. Just then, a Korean-American stepped up through his thoughts and across his path to stop at his storefront. They often waited until he was gone to peek inside his store, Mohadou said. He knew he was an outsider. He didn’t speak their language. But he was trying to break into their world – a billion dollar market that primarily services black hair. For almost 50 years, the Korean-American community has dominated the black beauty supply market by opening large stores, buying out smaller black-owned ones and using the faces of black celebrities on their products and black employees in their stores to grow their businesses in the black community.
(The Loop 21) — The website Psychology Today (don’t be fooled by the academic sounding name) decided it would be a good idea to publish an article titled, “Why Are Black Women Rated Less Physically Attractive Than Other Women?” The article goes on to explain why black women, but not black men, are less attractive than all other races. White women of course come out on top. The author cites an Add Health study (but provides no link) that “measures the physical attractiveness of its respondents both objectively and subjectively” and after supplying some results of Add Health’s factor analysis the author cites the results in a row of colorful “graphs” with black women getting the lowest scores and concludes: The only thing I can think of that might potentially explain the lower average level of physical attractiveness among black women is testosterone.
by Selam Aster
You may have seen a victim at some point. A person with an ash-colored coat of film over their face with skin so depleted of a healthy glow that it appears to be starving for nutrients. But a dermotologist wouldn’t help her cause, only self-esteem would. That’s because she’s conditioned herself to look this way, by lathering on skin bleaching cream in hopes that she will be reborn as a lighter-skinned Black woman.
The Associated Press recently looked into why and how more and more people in Jamaica’s slums are using skin bleaching cream to “lighten” their complexions. Skin lightening is nothing new, especially in third world countries in Africa and also in India, which boasts the biggest marketplace for these dangerous creams. According to the AP, “hardcore bleachers use illegal ointments smuggled into the Caribbean country that contain toxins like mercury, a metal that blocks production of melanin, which give skin its color, but can also be toxic.”
Although the Jamaican government has launched campaigns to communicate the dangers of skin lightening, officials don’t know how much of an impact they will have considering that a 2007 campaign called “Don’t Kill the Skin” did nothing to slow the craze.”
While darker people lighten, lighter people tan, also causing damage to their skin. These acts essentially represents the yin and yang of beauty ideals in the world but what does this say about the course of evolution? Does it manifest a race to create one race, which is neither black nor white, but in the middle? From a theoretical perspective, it seems that it does. We are wired to see differences, although many of us don’t want to admit that we pre-judge in this day and age. The biological answer to fostering less prejudice would be to have less obvious differences between us, especially in terms of appearance.
While we lament the self-esteem issues that drive us to change our color or alter our features, it is important to note what these acts imply in the the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t make it any more acceptable but it does help us to better understand the complex nature of identity.