All Articles Tagged "Beauty"
If you’re anything like most women today, you are looking for an easy way to maintain your tresses. Typically, hair extensions are the easiest way to protect your hair, but how many hair extension companies offer the versatility us women truly yearn for? We are usually limited in the styling that can be done with our extensions and even the textures that they offer. Enter Ericka Rochelle, founder of Valley Girl Hair Collection. Ericka started Valley Girl Hair Collection with hopes of filling the void of quality hair in her hometown of Southfield, Michigan and has since provided women nationwide with quality, luxury hair extensions that can’t be found elsewhere. Ericka spoke with MadameNoire about Valley Girl Hair Collection (VGHC) and their rapid success in the industry through their unique texture blends and versatile styling abilities.
MadameNoire: What inspired you to start VGHC?
Ericka Rochelle: Originally, I didn’t know anything about hair when I first came into this. I did start with a business partner who did hair for 16 years. She was supposed to be more of the brains behind the hair, but then we broke up, so I went off on my own. Initially, I started because I’m a business woman I see an opportunity in making money in the hair world. This is a billion dollar business so I was like, “I want a piece of this pie.” I knew that I have very strong selling skills, I have great customer service skills and with a strong business mind I knew that I could do this. Through researching manufactures, trying hair for over a year, we found the perfect manufacture that fit us the best, that will work with us through everything and that’s how it came about.
MadameNoire: Who is the VG woman?
Ericka Rochelle: It’s every woman. I think when we first came out it started to sound like we weregoing toward that suburban girl, that valley girl, that California girl, but now it’s everybody. So whether you come from the east side or the west side, or you’re coming from Detroit or you stay in the suburbs of Michigan, everybody can wear Valley Girl. The name makes people very excited. They want to be a Valley Girl. They want to be what everybody thinks is this California surfboard girl or something like that. One of my customer’s favorite line to say when leaving the store is “Now I’m a Valley Girl.”
MadameNoire: In what ways is VGHC improving the application method of hair extensions?
Ericka Rochelle: We are the inventors of the back closure piece, which is a patent-pending piece. We invented that piece because we wanted to think outside of the box. I do not want to stay in the realm of whatever my manufacturer offers that’s all that I can sell. I tell them what I want. I’m a person who, if I have a sew-in, and I want to put a ponytail in my head then that’s just what I want to do; but every time you get a sew-in and you put it up in a ponytail, you’ll see tracks on the side and you have to maneuver around this ponytail to get it right because if not it’s going to look tacky. So the invention of the back closure piece came from that. We wanted to invent a piece that you could just take a brush and you could comb the hair straight up as if it was your own hair and it was that seamless ponytail.
We’re always thinking about the next wave of hair. I invent five different curls every single year. I bring out five new curls that I actually invent myself. Right now we have a curl out called Barbie Wave. The Barbie Wave curl is a curl that is a curl and a crinkle together. Putting those two beautiful textures together it made this wave and it looks amazing and it’s selling like crazy right now. I don’t even have the stock for it, it selling so crazy.
MadameNoire: How does VGHC improve/accommodate its consumer’s lifestyle?
Ericka Rochelle: I sell twelve different types of hair, so that’s one thing that’s good because most hair companies that are out right now they may sell one, or two, or three; I sell twelve. That in itself will accommodate. One thing I definitely think that Valley Girl Hair offers is a variety of hair, whether it be the region where the hair comes from or that I have eight different curls right here in my showroom in Detroit.
In Detroit, everybody either sells body wave, straight, deep wave, and maybe a loose wave, but I have eight different curls that you can pick from when you walk into my door. That accommodates everybody too because now you have a lot of choices. If you’re that workout lady and you sweat a lot and you’re like “I want this certain type of curl,” I probably have that certain type of curl right in the store. It doesn’t have to be ordered or anything. It’s right there for you.
MadameNoire: You recently made a deal with Wal-Mart, what can we expect from that?
Ericka Rochelle: Wal-Mart has gotten into hair. What caught their eye was that I was definitely thinking outside of the box. I wear frontals myself and every time I would wear the 30 second glue, if I went swimming or was on vacation, my frontal was definitely coming up. I wanted to create glue that I could go swimming in and it won’t come up. Wal-Mart picked it up because they want to make Wal-Mart a one-stop shop. They actually want to make a beauty supply within Wal-Mart. I can go to Wal-Mart, I can go shopping, grocery shopping, get my beauty supplies; I can go get my hair. That’s their goal. So, I think putting it in Wal-Mart was making it reachable to every single client. No matter where you are.
MadameNoire: What sets VGHC apart from other hair vendors?
Ericka Rochelle: Being innovative and thinking outside of the box is what’s going to keep Valley Girl going because like I said, I don’t stick with the norm, I’m always thinking outside of the box. Where they’re just selling the same old body waves, I’m thinking of the new wave of hair. Another thing that I think that everybody knows about Valley Girl is that I invest in a lot of education to educate stylists. I think of different closures, seminar classes that I can have for stylists. Giving back is something that a lot of companies don’t do. I have so many different relationships with stylists this year, where I know a lot of companies here don’t have a lot of relationships with different stylists.
Our showroom alone is a little bit different. A hair showroom, that’s not really heard of. A lot of people are trying to do storefronts and things like that. I made my showroom look more like an LA buying/fashion showroom. Just thinking outside of the box is what’s going to keep us going. Don’t stay inside the realm.
Joan Smalls’ daring purple lip at last year’s Met Gala sparked a social media frenzy that inspired ladies across the globe to take to Instagram with selfies showing off their violet pouts.
“I was like, ‘This is so cool. People are really reacting to it in a very positive way,’” she told Vogue.
The overwhelming reception of her bold lip planted an idea in the Puerto Rican model’s mind to pursue a lipstick partnership in the future. Smalls has since inked a deal with Estée Lauder for a matte lipstick collection.
“I’m very hands-on when I’m involved with something,” she said of the collaboration.
The line, which features 12 vibrant shades, includes Neon Azalea (pink), Commanding (black cherry), as well as two shades of purple: Extrovert and Shameless Violet, which resembles the shade she wore to the 2014 Met Gala.
Besides its zesty color swatch, it appears that texture is also an important selling point for the collection, which has become a permanent addition to the Estée Lauder lip color family.
“[It] feels creamy rather than dry and flaky,” Smalls said.
As for those who feel limited when it comes to lipstick shades, the 27-year-old had this to say:
“You shouldn’t have certain rules or restrictions. It’s like painting: You have to have fun with it!”
Meet Corey Huggins, the founder of the recently launched platform love, Aunt Bonnie — the first luxury global beauty media platform providing beauty trend content along with tools and technology for multicultural women and the beauty industry.
A NYU Stern School of Business graduate, Huggins’ beauty background is steep, having worked at major powerhouses such as L’Oreal, Black Opal, and Glossybox. What interests us about the love, Aunt Bonnie experience is that it’s seeking to define and tell the “untold story of the multicultural market.” What does that mean exactly? Well we chatted with Huggins about his inspiration for the platform, challenges many Brown beauty startups face, and how he thinks love, Aunt Bonnie will be the leader in a new era of beauty marketing.
MadameNoire (MN): What inspired you to launch love, Aunt Bonnie?
Corey Huggins (CH): I’ve worked in beauty for most of my professional career. I recognized that there was a gap between what the general market brands were doing and educating about our beauty and what was missing. I decided to fill that gap with a site, platform, media company that fills the void of Black and Brown women from an educational and practical perspective.
I had an Aunt, her name was Bonnie. She taught me everything I know about beauty. She was love and knowledge personified. Therefore, I created love, Aunt Bonnie so you could walk in her high heels and get the information you need about the beauty that you love so you can know your beauty. That’s the passion behind the brand.
MN: What were some the biggest challenges you faced as you built the platform?
CH: What I’m proposed to do is so new and revolutionary, a lot of people don’t see it and can’t visualize it. We’re a cross between the authority, education, and information of a New York Times. We have the beauty and aesthetic of Vogue Magazine, only it’s done with Black and Brown shades. The big challenge is painting the vision and picture that people can put into their own points of reference.
MN: How did your team overcome those challenges?
CH: We give it to [our audience] in a language that they understand. We have partnered with some of the biggest tastemakers, influencers, and entities, in Black and Brown beauty. We tell a different story based on that influencer.
For example, our first major moment was “Press Play For Sexy.” That was a beauty meets sexy moment. Everything around that was a sexy adaptation of beauty. We had “Hot Hair,” “Kissable Lips,” “Seductive Eyes.” We partnered with iHeartRadio as our influencer. Everyone knows radio and the sexy side of music. We showed everything from Ciara to Janet Jackson to Rihanna to Beyonce. We told the beauty story of those entities.
MN: There are alot of Black and Brown beauty startups out there, many of which are founded by women. Do you think you being a man changes anything?
CH: It gives me a competitive edge. At the end of the day, women want to feel beautiful. My perspective is unique and different because I am looking on the outside in. I’m giving you a different voice as opposed to the same woman to woman. I’m offering something fresh.
One example is from our Tones of Beauty show. We got so many brands that applied to that show that were just haircare brands. I wanted to tell a complete story of the woman. I knew that there were other parts of her beauty that needed to be manifested. Had I gone with what most boxes (that are just hair-focused) do, I would have gotten one note. By me looking on the outside, I was able to curate a moment with Black and Brown woman in her full beauty as opposed to what the trend is.
MN: Why do you a lot of Brown beauty startups fail?
CH: For subscription boxes, that has to do with the depth of brand contacts. The better the contacts, the better the brands in the box, the better the box will be and the more consumers you will attract. If you don’t have the right contacts to prospect for brands, you are dead on arrival. If you don’t have the skill set to contextualize those brands and tell branded stories above and beyond the standard fare, you are dead on arrival. It’s one things to fill a box. It’s another to sell and move that box.
For general market brands, there is a lack of authenticity. For so many years, multicultural beauty was ignored. It wasn’t only until there was a rise in other ethnicities that they even began to attach a dedicated strategy to multiculturalism. Those strategies have been inauthentic and don’t speak with a voice of credibility. There have been a lot of missteps in the marketing, product development, and “voice” given to those brands.
We have a lot of great ideas but we struggle with how to scale, build, and execute. We also have issues with financing, resources for marketing, advertising space, how to get the product out there, new product development (in terms of formulation), and R&D in terms of claims.
Those brands that were founded by people of color have done well when they ride a trend. They have been able to reach scale quickly. For a cosmetics or skincare company, it’s still a struggle. It is a number’s game.
MN: How is love, Aunt Bonnie different from other platforms that exist in the Brown beauty space?
CH: Our structure is different. We are a beauty media company. As a whole, we read like a magazine, function like a boutique, and showcase like an art gallery. We’re a beauty media platform that allows you to use all types of media. We’re the conduit that connects the multicultural consumer with brands.
We have multiple data points. One is our highly regarded, limited edition Bonnie Box. The Bonnie box is not a subscription model box and trades on scarcity, luxury, and being in demand. We partner with the leading beauty and lifestyle tastemakers.
We have Bonnie Media. I have proprietary relationships with some of the leading publications in Black beauty such as FASHIZBLACK and TXTURE Magazine. We have monthly columns and campaigns we run every month with them.
We have Bonnie Data which is our own market research firm. If a brand wants to know information, they can tap our database and survey them.
We have Bonnie Consults. I have proprietary relationships and contracts with brands like Carol’s Daughter, Clique by Roble, Design Essentials and ORS Haircare.
We’re going to be launching the Bonnie Show. Through my partnership with Cosmoprof, we have launched Tones of Beauty. It is the first global luxury showcase highlighting Black and Brown beauty. We’ll be launching a new radical sampling program that is an evolution to the box and will shake up how brands disseminate samples and get their products in the hands of consumers.We also launched our own branded proprietary products called Bonnie Beauty.
MN: What’s your plan to establish love, Aunt Bonnie as a Brown beauty authority?
CH: We are going to give all sides of the story. We’re going to give enough information such that the woman can make her own informed decision based upon her beauty needs, wishes and desires. You can think of us in terms of consumer reports. We are going to take the brand, consumer, trends, historical story and roll it up with all the other facets to tell the complete story so that a woman can know her beauty. We rally around that tagline.
MN: Will it be hard for love, Aunt Bonnie to reach success?
CH: I don’t think it will be hard because of how I’m going about it, I am a marketer. I was classically trained. This is not a blog. This is a beauty agency. We are as institutionalized and culturalized as any agency – only ours happens to be Black and Brown beauty. We have the best writers, partners, influencers, brands, and pictures. No one is doing what we are doing.
We are telling the story that already exists. We are already international, global, and chic. A woman who may not see her self or cannot afford some of the brands….we inspire for her to aspire. Where she is today does not mean where she will be tomorrow. We will give her enough information that she will make her own choice and know her beauty.
Eyeliner. Either you’re a pro and can wing your liner evenly in a moving vehicle, or you’re working with a shaky hand and end up looking like an angry panda bear. Some people are pretty talented when it comes to applying such makeup while others? Not so much. Either way, if you’re tired of the simple, overdone black line, try these creative eyeliner looks around your pretty brown eyes.
The summer season calls for makeup to be bold, yet most of us fail to try new things because of a fear that we’ll end up looking like Bozo the Clown. In order for you to step outside your beauty comfort zone and stun everyone with a new look, our friends at StyleBlazer have created a step-by-step video to help you don a more natural look when it comes to eyelashes, without looking like Mr. Snuffleupagus.
In the video, StyleBlazer assistant editor Nikki Brown and a celebrity stylist teach readers how to apply strip and individual lashes. Viewers will learn how to blend in their natural eyelashes with the faux lashes and figure out what’s the best glue to use for long-lasting lashes.
After a long day of balancing family and work, most moms seek refuge in their bathrooms to enjoy a sense of “me time.” Retreating to your bathroom to collect your thoughts can feel like your very own personal luxury spa. To completely enjoy your experience, it’s best to be fully equipped with the proper tools needed to make that slice of alone time as enjoyable as possible. With so many different products for women to indulge in, there’s an equal amount of instruments that can help us along on our journey to staying refreshed and recharged! Here are a list of 7 gadgets and electronics every mom should have in her bathroom.
Is There Such A Thing As Being Too Pretty For Your Job? How Looks Affect Advancement In The Workplace
When searching for a job or looking to get a promotion from your current position, one would think experience, talent, drive or a certain skill set would be the determining factor in landing that dream job or obtaining that corner office. But have you ever considered what other factors may come into play when hiring managers are looking to fill coveted roles or promote a current employee? Sure, attitude and “likability” are also characteristics that are desirable when considering candidates, but what about personal appearance and attractiveness? Seems superficial, yes, but according to research how you look may be the main factor in determining whether or not you beat out someone else for that special gig you’ve been pining over.
It’s no secret that attractive people tend to get hired more often than their less attractive competition. But for women, how they look is a bigger deal when discussing advance ability and hiring when compared to their male counterparts. Skinny women, or those who are in shape, tend to get the call back, while it is reported that overweight women are often overlooked. According to a study conducted by NYU sociologist Dalton Conley and NYU graduate student Rebecca Glauber, a woman’s weight gain results in a decrease in both her income level and job prestige, while their male counterparts remain unaffected. While I never considered myself obese, after I lost 30 pounds in my office version of The Biggest Loser, I did notice that my coworkers and supervisors looked at me differently–and not just because my waistline was smaller. It was as if they had more respect for me; and if I could show that type of dedication to my health, then surely I could show that same dedication and hard work on the job. At least that was the perception anyway.
Another study found that women who wear makeup were considered more competent than women who wore little or no makeup; and while that seems like a trivial reason to hire or promote someone, subliminal cues like judging how a woman looks has a bigger impact on decision-making than most tend to admit or even realize. Even if a hiring manager feels he or she is choosing someone based on ability, how a person looks–particularly a woman–may have a subconscious baring on if they favor one candidate over another.
However, if you are “overly” attractive, how you look could backfire on you as well. Studies have also shown that if a woman is considered “too beautiful,” she may also be considered incompetent because the perception is that she’s gotten far because of her looks, and not because of her intelligence or expertise in her field. My last boss was a brilliant woman who always got to work before everyone else and was the last to leave. Her Type-A personality drove me nuts sometimes, but she was about her business. Not to mention, she was also drop dead gorgeous. Even still, she never accepted a compliment well unless it had to do with her work performance. She always mentored me to be the smartest one in the room and to go above and beyond every single day. You’d think someone with her drive would be running the show, but she was passed over time and time again for a promotion by her female bosses, while other less qualified and less beautiful women got the job. It wasn’t until her boss was replaced by a man that she was finally promoted to Senior Vice President. One could speculate as to why she was passed over so many times, but it is my opinion that her female bosses were threatened by her looks and her intelligence and refused to advance her.
In order to be taken more seriously or as not to appear inexperienced by their peers, supervisors or clients, some women try to downplay their good looks or youthful appearance. Just as my own personal story exhibits, if a hiring manager is a woman, jealousy may play a part in if she decides to hire a woman she deems “more beautiful” than she is, flexing her authority to keep another woman from moving up– a form of discrimination not as easily identifiable. And if the woman is seen as “sexy,” she might not get hired because one wouldn’t her to become a “distraction” to her male colleagues. So while being considered beautiful and smart would usually be viewed as a good thing, a woman’s beauty can also be a double-edged sword.
Seemingly, being attractive is a bonus when it comes to advancing in the workplace, just as long as you’re not “too beautiful.” While most of us can’t help what we look like, we can do things to make ourselves more attractive in our professions without appearing incompetent or threatening. It’s a matter of balance and knowing your industry and work environment, while branding yourself correctly and strategically so that you not only look good, but look the part as well. There is a way to be attractive, yet professional, beautiful, yet capable. That means no sexy, provocative or tight clothing. No excessive makeup and making sure all of your social media, if public, is representative of an educated, powerful and professional woman. That means no sexy selfies on your LinkedIn profile. Many of these things should go without saying, but you’d be surprised.
At the end of the day, what we all should be doing is dressing for the job we want, and presenting ourselves in a positive manner. You may not be able to change your face or your weight overnight, but you don’t have to be “America’s Next Top Model” to get that job or promotion either. By dressing appropriately, making sure your hair is done, makeup is applied naturally (if you decide to wear it), and truly putting effort into your appearance, all of your other qualities like your intelligence, winning personality and work ethic will have a chance to shine through. Don’t be afraid to be the total package, now go get that job!
I’ve never been really good at the whole makeup thing. While I have bought and received quite a few beauty products, I do my best work with simple mascara, some eyeliner, or a vivid eyeshadow if I’m feeling daring. But if you get your beauty inspiration from the talented vloggers on YouTube, then you know there are people out here who really do this. They can not only make themselves, and others, look great, but they can also get really creative. Pulling off looks you and I wouldn’t even have considered or dared to try.
Enter the gifted makeup artists who are taking part in professional beauty brand NYX Cosmetics’ The FACE Awards. This is the makeup line’s fourth year doing the competition, which seeks out the Beauty Vlogger of the Year. They also celebrate the many online makeup artists who share their expertise with fans and followers on YouTube. Those same fans and followers, as well as others, like you, vote to decide who gets to move on.
The initial pool of people who submitted videos to get in the competition started at 3,000 and eventually was narrowed down, somehow, to the top 30. After multiple voting phases where contestants were asked to transform themselves into timeless beauties and then ghouls (“Paranormal Activity”), the competition is now down to 11 people. They have made themselves up as mermaids and mermans for this third voting phase and put together well-edited, creative videos that are tutorials on how you can get their innovative look. Voting for this third stage of the competition ends tonight at 11:59 P.T.
Whoever is voted to go through to the final phase of the competition, the final six, will be flown to Los Angeles to battle for the grand prize: $25,000. The winner will also get $1,000 worth of NYX cosmetics, and an industry consultation with a corporate sponsor. Score!
But winning the grand prize won’t be easy. Contestants will have to create a look that will be judged by an expert panel and scored.
I just had to get in on this, even though, as previously mentioned, my skills with brushes aren’t that amazing. But with the help of deputy editor Brande Victorian, whose makeup is always on fleek, we tried a few different looks using some of the exact same makeup the contestants were given for the competition. We didn’t have the time or the skills to try a ghoul and mermaid look. But we did a little somethin’ somethin’ with their amazing and colorful products (seriously, pink mascara?!), which you can see below.
If you had to vote for me, hopefully, you would give me high scores! But it’s okay if you wouldn’t. Besides, you should save your votes for the top 11 contestants in The FACE Awards competition. Again, voting for their looks ends at 11:59 P.T. tonight. Get on it and support your favorites! We will too. And continue playing with this makeup, of course.
If you’re interested in trying out any of these awesome products, they’re available at Target and Ulta. And, of course, on the NYX Cosmetics website.
In a world where everyday it seems things can’t get worse for us as a people sometimes you just wanted to feel supported, uplifted, and celebrated as beautiful. Proctor and Gamble’s My Black is Beautiful initiative is offering a way to make that happen with an #AllTogetherBeautiful social challenge encouraging Black women to publicly acknowledge other Black women in their circles who are all together beautiful, and have them do the same so the love just keeps on going.
So often we think of beauty as a purely physical thing, but the #AllTogetherBeautiful campaign is about redefining the standard of beauty “as a standard that defines beauty by integrity, strength, character and spirit, as well as values positive actions, and celebrates those who are reaffirm this standard everyday.” That sentiment filled the room at the Imagine a Future celebration dinner here in New York City in mid-June and flowed through all of Proctor & Gamble’s events at Essence Festival Fourth of July weekend. Through you and the fabulous women in your circle the positivity can continue to live on via social media by joining in the challenge yourself. All you have to do is follow these three steps:
1. Record a video that celebrates a woman whom you believe is “All Together Beautiful”
2. Share this video across your social media pages using the hashtags #MBIB & #AllTogetherBeautiful
3. Challenge another woman by tagging them on social media to do the same for someone else
For more info, visit www.myblackisbeautiful.com and check out some of the highlights of the #AllTogetherBeautiful festivities to date below.
Famed choreographer Laurieann Gibson teaches us the Move with Confidence dance at EssenceFest. For the full step-by-step instructions, check out this video here.
India Arie discusses the biggest influence on how she sees herself in the #AllTogetherBeautiful Social Newsroom During EssenceFest with Jessica Andrews.
LeToya Luckett spills her beauty secrets in the #AllTogetherBeautiful Social Newsroom During EssenceFest with Ty Alexander of GorgeousinGrey.com.
Laurieann Gibson offers advice on moving with confidence throughout life with Christen Rochon of DivasandDorks.com.
Each week, we love to feature new products from both burgeoning and booming beauty brands. From natural shampoos to innovative facial wipes, we receive and try out a wide range of unique products, many that we end up falling in love with. Here is a few of our favorite products for summer, and the reasons you should try them out for yourself.
There are quite a few popular edge-control pomades out right now, and everyone has a personal favorite. But what makes Motions’ new Shine Enhancing Pomade worth your time and money? According to news writer Jazmine Rogers, it lays your edges down without flaking or caking up like most balms. It’s also not greasy. And the great bonus perk is that it smells fantastic!