All Articles Tagged "Beauty"

14 Things Every Woman Who’s The Real MVP Has In Her Bag

June 20th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

When you carry a huge purse, every significant other you’ve ever had has wondered what’s in your big bag. The short answer? Everything. A tampon in an emergency? You’ve got it. A snack when he gets grumpy? On it. A change of shoes when you’ve been walking too long? You don’t really leave the house without them.

Your purse may weigh 20 lbs and is the size of a small suitcase, but everything you need is always on hand. You’re the person that everyone comes to when they need something in a pinch. And now that he knows that your purse is here to save the day, he tries to store his essentials right next to yours.

These are the things we keep in our big bag to keep us prepared for every situation. What’s in yours?

The Cultural Politics Of Being “Just Black”

June 20th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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I’m walking through a busy train station and a man stops me to tell me that he thinks I’m beautiful. Now, I’m not one of those women who doesn’t know how to take a compliment, so I smiled and said “Thank you.” But before I can continue walking he asks me, “what are you?” I’m a bit confused by this question so I look at him as if to say what do you mean? He responds, “are you mixed with something?” Tired of these types of questions, I said, as I always do, “I’m just Black.”

If I had a buck for every time a man asked me “What are you?,” as if I’m some foreign creature, after giving me a compliment, I’d probably be able to pay off my student loans –and believe me, that’s a lot of money. But every single time a man — mainly a Black man pays me a compliment on my hair, my skin, my eyes, or my figure — it’s immediately followed by “what are you?” My response is always “I’m just Black.” They never believe me for some reason so they start throwing out nationalities as if my answer of being “just Black” is going to change. “You Jamaican?” “No.” “You Haitian?” “No.” “You African?” “No…I’m just Black.” It’s as if I have to be something other than just Black in order for their compliments to be validated. Why can’t all the things that make me beautiful be okay on a just Black woman? What does “just Black” look like anyway for it to be unbelievable that I am? It’s bad enough that Black women have to put up with European beauty standards as is, but why do I get a disappointed “oh” when men finally accept that, like I said, I’m just Black.

Perplexed by this constant line of questioning, I finally brought up the topic with a male friend who was just as confused as I was — at least at first — about these questions because his idea of “just Black” is the same as mine. I’m not mixed with anything, nor am I a first generation of any other cultural background; therefore, I identify as “Black.” But when I shared the multiple scenarios of being asked “what are you,” my guy friend eventually had an “ah ha” moment of sorts. He realized what I meant by being “just Black” was based on race and physical features whereas the men posing these questions were likely asking about my cultural background for an entirely different reason.

According to him, as a West Indian man, there is a stereotype or a stigma attached to women who are just Black. For whatever reason, he claimed that most men of other cultural backgrounds usually prefer to date within their culture because there is a negative view when it comes to the upbringing and mannerisms of “just Black” women. He painted the picture of a “just Black” woman as an LL Cool J type of ghetto ’round the way girl: loud, unappealing, and difficult. I was a bit bewildered, but I can’t say I was quite surprised. African American women have been at the bottom of the totem pole for as long as we’ve existed, despite all of our accomplishments. Instead of the questions of my background stemming from exoticism, my friend suggested the real reason I get this inquiry so often is simply because I look approachable (unlike most Black women).

This brought me to my next question: What does I look “approachable unlike most Black women” mean? What do most Black women look like and how do you make a clear distinction of someone’s nationality just by looking at them? I wondered, how am I supposed to look?

Though I didn’t come to any conclusion regarding any of those questions, I did decide as a unit, as people of color, as the essence of Blackness, we have to do better. We have to do better in-house and change the way we view each other across the diaspora. There’s no one way to be “just Black” and it’s a problem when someone is assumed to be “other than” simply because their behavior doesn’t fit the expectations of what that Blackness is, be it rooted in American, African, or Caribbean tradition. 

Oribe Haircare Expands Brand Into Makeup, Skincare & More

June 19th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

After building its brand to a luxury, trusted haircare professional for over 30 years, Oribe is expanding into six different beauty categories including makeup, skincare, body care, nails, tools and accessories. In a recent interview with WWD, President and co-founder of Oribe Hair Care, Daniel Kaner, shared that the idea of the line transforming into a “full-fledged” beauty line was always a mission.

“We saw ourselves [eventually] as a very upscale-looking pro shop,” said Kaner. “Our brand voice [now] is familiar with certain consumers. A lot of people who are addicted to hair-care products or beauty, they know [what] Oribe is. It makes sense [and] feels right to slowly move into the categories we originally thought about. It feels like we’d be well-received at this point.”

In July, consumers will be able to cop 18 new products ranging from makeup to skin care to nails to body via and Birchbox. WWD also revealed that body category will feature two products: a replenishing body wash and a crème, both scented with Oribe’s signature scent, Côte d’Azur. For skincare junkies, there will also be a debut of five products like a super glam, gold-infused face hydrating and brightening mask, three lip shades, three nail lacquers, a collection of hot and dry styling tools, and hair luxury accessories.

Of course, for a luxe brand, the price points for the aforementioned products will be high, retailing from $32 for a nail polish to $348 for a hair dryer. We might not dish out crazy coins for a hair dryer, but proven skincare sounds like it may be worth it.

Things You Didn’t Know You Could Fix With Nail Polish

June 16th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

From spare tampons to lotion, every purse has a few must-have items that you’d hate to be caught out of the house without. For instance, something to moisturize your lips with, a piece of gum to freshen your breath, or a charger to keep your phone from playing dead. Basic things, but all too necessary to have. But is nail polish on that list? It should be. Emergency nail polish can do much more than seal a chipped nail.

Did you know that nail polish can save a damaged windshield and keep your skin from breaking out? It can even save your favorite jeans once they’re really worn in. In fact, when it comes to quick fixes, there are few problems a little bottle can’t handle.

So if you love to keep the solutions to life’s hiccups in your purse, here are several reasons to keep a bottle in the bottom of your bag.

MDMFlow, A Nude For Brown Girls Created By A Brown Girl

June 16th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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Nasty Gal

We don’t have to rehash the frustration many of us feel when we set out to purchase items (from makeup and nail polish to shoes and underwear) in so-called nude colors and realize in the fashion world nude is really a synonym for a peach flesh tone — just know somebody has your back. And that somebody is Florence Adepoju.

Adepoju is the creator of the lipstick line MDMFlow (Madame + a shortened version of her first name), which, according to NY mag, she created in a shed outside of her parent’s home in Essex in the UK. And while the collection contains lipsticks in a variety of colors for all ladies, Adepoju told the mag she specifically created the shade above, New Nude, for women of color.

The 25 year old’s labor of love wasn’t in vain. Not only does Adepoju sell her liquid matte and semi-matte lipsticks on her own website, Nasty Gal also carries the line exclusively online. And at $20 a pop, you can grab one of each and not go (totally) broke.

While New Nude may look a little on the light side in the image above, both NY Mag and Nasty Gal confirm the shade is more coffee-colored than it appears in promo pics which sounds like the perfect compliment for brown skin. If you’re still on the hunt for a new nude, give this one a whirl.


How To Protect Your Hair From Summer Sun Damage

June 9th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

One of the best things about summer is the opportunity to get outside and enjoy the sun. Rooftop pool parties, lunches on the patio, dancing around at festivals, and tropical vacations give us all a much-needed opportunity to soak up some rays.

When you are in the sun, it’s important to stay protected. And your hair needs just as much protection as your skin, or it could suffer from summer sun damage and end up dry and brittle.

But how do you know that you’re getting a little too much sun to the point that it could hurt your hair? The signs of sun damage are easy to spot — if you know what to look for. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. We’ve collected several surprising signs here. Plus, we’re presenting you with all the ways you can protect yourself while you’re enjoying the outdoors (without having to wear a hat).

Are You Sleeping Over? Essential Items For Waking Up Beautiful In The Morning

June 2nd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Spending the night with the new guy in your life is always a blast. But sometimes a new man can mean new anxieties about how you look in the morning — especially after rolling around in the hay.

Luckily, your options aren’t limited to just waking up with eye boogers or sneaking to get up early for a quick beat. Keep these products around and you will be able to wake up beautiful in the morning. I’m talking fresh and fabulous.

It will be nice not to wake up in a panic, and not to mention that waking up with a plan thanks to having the right products on hand means less time spent getting ready for brunch in the morning.

Do you have a beauty regimen for before you go to bed that helps you wake up gorgeous in the morning? Share your tips with us in the comment section so we can add them to our beauty routines.

“I’m Not Covering Up Anymore”: Alicia Keys Explains Why She’s Currently Team #NoMakeup

June 1st, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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Look at you, look at you, look what you made me do ;-)🔥🌃 #incommon #video #linkinbio

A photo posted by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys) on May 22, 2016 at 4:01pm PDT

Are you a makeup lover who doesn’t leave the house without at least some foundation, mascara, and lipstick? Do you spend your spare time clearing out your bank account at MAC or, like a friend of mine, taking classes at Sephora?

Or maybe you are someone who enjoys a good beat face but doesn’t relish in the time and work it takes to make it happen. You love some lashes and getting your makeup done, but the process is one you take on only a few times a week.

Or are you someone who doesn’t like makeup? Someone who only wears it sometimes because people tell you that you should for certain occasions. Someone tired of being told that to look beautiful, or to just show your face in public, you need to be gussied up because “You never know who you will meet!” If you could, you would opt for a bare face at all times and let your skin breathe.

Alicia Keys falls in the latter category. The Grammy winner has, as of late, decided to take a break from wearing makeup. It’s not 100 percent clear whether this will be a temporary thing, something she only does when she’s not on the red carpet, or if she’s fully done with all things concealer, mascara and beauty-blender related. But in a very revealing piece for the Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner site Lennyentitled “Alicia Keys: Time To Uncover,” Keys penned a letter about why she is team #nomakeup as she works on her newest album. It all started when she realized she was writing a lot of songs about masks, the ones we wear metaphorically.

In one song I wrote, called “When a Girl Can’t Be Herself,” it says,

In the morning from the minute that I wake up / What if I don’t want to put on all that makeup / Who says I must conceal what I’m made of / Maybe all this Maybelline is covering my self-esteem

No disrespect to Maybelline, the word just worked after the maybe. But the truth is … I was really starting to feel like that — that, as I am, I was not good enough for the world to see.

This started manifesting on many levels, and it was not healthy.

Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.

After getting a handle on these thoughts through a newfound appreciation for meditation, Keys had a revelation. She wasn’t going to cover up anymore, both metaphorically and literally. It wasn’t easy at first. Especially when a photographer decided to shoot her as she was, bare and beautiful, for the packaging for her album.

I’d just come from the gym, had a scarf under my baseball cap, and the beautiful photographer Paola (never met a Paola I didn’t like) said, “I have to shoot you right now, like this! The music is raw and real, and these photos have to be too!”

I was shocked. Instantly, I became a bit nervous and slightly uncomfortable. My face was totally raw. I had on a sweatshirt! As far as I was concerned, this was my quick run-to-the-shoot-so-I-can-get-ready look, not the actual photo-shoot look. So I asked her, “Now?! Like right now? I want to be real, but this might be too real!!”

And that was it. She started to shoot me.

It was just a plain white background, me and the photographer intimately relating, me and that baseball hat and scarf and a bunch of invisible magic circulating. And I swear it is the strongest, most empowered, most free, and most honestly beautiful that I have ever felt.

Keys felt driven to embrace the idea of going without–without her insecurities, without the “walls I built over all those years,” and without the heavy makeup so that she could start fully listening to and embracing herself, inside and out. She would love if you could do the same.

“I hope to God it’s a revolution,” Keys wrote. “‘Cause I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”

I love it. And as someone who can relate to the struggle of having adult acne, which Keys has spoken about, and often feeling as though you have to wear makeup so people won’t comment on your skin, I completely respect and appreciate her choice to give all the powders and creams and colors a break. She looks lovely.

Check out Keys’s full Lenny letter and be sure to share your thoughts on her #nomakeup movement.

Who Run The World? These 8 Girls With Curls

May 23rd, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Curls, koils, kinks — whatever you call your tresses, there’s no denying we all feel a little twinge of pride when we see a Black woman claim her time in the spotlight while rocking natural hair. Sure, this may be an everyday occurrence on the street, but in Hollywood and the media our hair textures still take a little getting used to. That’s why we’re so proud of these curly girls doing their thing loud and proud — big hair and all. We guarantee one of these favorites will become your hair muse by the time all is said and done. Be sure to check out a few of these women share their natural hair journey in our new series Curls Run The World launching this week.

Dating Diary of A Single Mom: Keep It Right, Keep It Tight

May 20th, 2016 - By Danielle Elaine
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With all that life has to throw at us, sometimes we inadvertently let ourselves go. Between work, kids, and maintaining relationships, we often forget to add ourselves to our to-do lists. In the hustle and bustle of work, school, and just trying to be epic, I hadn’t realized I was looking as tired as I felt until my boyfriend casually donated his two cents on my looks.

“You know it’s time for a new wig right?” #true story.

Despite being slightly mortified, I couldn’t help but appreciate his honesty, because it really was time for a new wig. While in between hair-dos, I opted for a quick and inexpensive fix, and for that I paid a price. To save you from a similar experience, here are a few tricks you can implement into your schedule to keep your man, and your appearance on fleek! Keep it right, keep it tight!

  1. Treat yoself”: Treat yourself to great investment pieces for your wardrobe. Stretching your bucks on staple, yet transitional items like, blazers, jeans, shoes, and accessories will allow you to look fab in half the time. Choose neutrals that you can work casually and professionally while using bold colored accessories to spice up your look. Patterned clothing is also great because it makes a bold statement and chic look effortlessly. You will also be able to mix new and old items in your closet creating a wide range of looks for any occasion.
  1. Pamper yourself: Be it in the salon, or at home find time in your schedule for a mani & pedi. Lunchtime is the perfect time for a mini escape, and quick foot rub while catching up on E-mails, updating your schedule, and taking a moment to decompress. If you prefer to DIY, grab your favorite ESSIE or OPI nail polish, and finger nail kit while going over homework with the kids. While your mini is working out math problems you can sit still long enough to let your nails dry without feeling like time is being wasted. If you can squeeze in a quick polish before dinner prep, this would be the perfect time to get it done, allowing your toes to dry while you chef it up!
  1. Don’t skimp: Take it from me, when it comes to your hair, go the extra mile. No matter what hurdles you may have to jump, make it a point to set and keep your hair appointment. Be it natural, weave, or wig, find your best go-to look and perfect it! With spring upon us, and summer on the horizon you can’t go wrong with a fiery short cut. Bobs and pixie cuts are perfect for moms on the go due to very low maintenance. If you have an undying affinity for lengthy tresses, you can’t a sleek up do, be it a ponytail or bun you can dash out of the house at a moment’s notice looking polished in either!