All Articles Tagged "Beauty"

I’m 30 And Already Using Anti-Aging Skin Products

January 25th, 2016 - By Brande Victorian
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A funny thing happened to me during Christmas break: I looked in the mirror and realized I was starting to look…tired. I’ve been tired for years but, in my humble opinion, never really wore the burden of early mornings, late nights, and not drinking enough water on my face. But when I actually started looking at myself, I quickly realized, oh no honey, we’re going to have to do something about this.

Another funny thing happened a couple of days after I had my anti-aging come to Jesus moment, when I came into the office to pick up some goodies that were delivered during my vacation, I had a surprise package from Olay. When I opened the box and found three products from the brand’s Regenerist line I was immediately faced with a dilemma: Honor the promise I made to my mother when she told me, “Next time you get some of those anti-aging products again, send me some” or honor the dull skin and ever-darkening circles under my eyes and realize I actually am the consumer Olay is talking to with their #BeAgeless campaign and keep the products for myself. I chose the latter. Sorry mom but the universe provided!

I’ve always sort of been ahead of the curve when it came to my skincare regimen. I was using acne cleansers and face washes before my pre-teen skin ever had its first breakout and face masks used to be a weekly regimen right up through college. But then I realized I didn’t have the time or money for those seemingly non-essential indulgences and scaled back on my routine some, but lo and behold the gift of lifeless skin presented itself over the holidays and I had to admit it was time to put a little more effort into my beauty routine after crossing the threshold of 30.

Thankfully, “regenerist” is a much cooler term than anti-aging so I was able to get out of my #ImTooYoungForThis feelings fairly quickly and since I’d already become quite acquainted with the wonders of luminous powder, it didn’t take much for me to embrace Olay’s Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser, Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream, and Luminous Brightening & Protecting Lotion. See how just the use of the word luminous over and over makes you feel like you’re about to glow?

Now I won’t lie and say I’m walking around shining bright like a diamond Rihanna style right now, but I am being proactive about the aging process — which I really don’t want to think about again until I’m 40 — and applying a little tender love and care on the outside also makes me more cognizant of the things I need to be doing on the inside, like drinking enough water, getting enough sleep, and eating more fruits and vegetables. So basically, ain’t no shame in my anti-aging skincare game.

What age did you start using anti-aging products for your face?

The Best Hair And Skin Products For Traveling

January 20th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Traveling allows you to be carefree; however, your hair and skin may reap the repercussions after your vacation if you don’t stick to your wellness regimes while you’re away. Fear not, we’ve put together a list of our top picks for the best hair and skin products to travel with so you’ll be on point even when you’re away from home.



Ultra Sheen #Shine Polisher, #Slayed Styling Lotion, #Sleek Anti-Reversion and #Laid Control Gel

Ultra Sheen recently relaunched their hair care line and conveniently released these products in miniature sizes perfect for your carry-on so you can travel and still rock a roller set on the go!

Black Can Crack: Esthetician Seven Brown On Raising The Bar For Clinical Skincare

January 7th, 2016 - By MommyNoire Editor
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matermea harlemskin

Whether you prefer being au naturale or beat to the gods, it’s important to start with a nice, clean slate when you’re giving face. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and one of the first things people see when they look at you.

No one knows this more than Seven Brown. The celebrated esthetician has made helping people have great skin her life’s work through her company Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic (2119 Frederick Douglas Boulevard) in New York City.

Brown’s love affair with all things beauty began at a young age. She credits her grandmother Elena—whose dresser was regularly decorated with irresistible perfumes and powders—as her inspiration.

“I would sneak in her room and use [her perfumes] all the time, even though my cousins tried to stop me,” Brown recalls.
The single mother of four (and grandmother of one!) has risen above her personal challenges to become an internationally renowned esthetician, skin care educator, and a force to be reckoned with in the skincare game.

After receiving her esthetician licenses, Brown made a name for herself at the prestigious Atelier Esthétique Institute of Esthetics in New York, where she became the lead educator. During her tenure, Brown managed the school’s postgraduate curriculum, and helped launch the first esthetic school in the Philippines.

In 2011, Brown stepped out on her own to open the Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic, a full-service clinic offering skin treatments, laser hair removal, and waxing for men and women in New York City.

While the treatments leave her clients looking and feeling great, Brown believes that the secret to having great skin has as much to do with what you put in your body as the cleansers and creams you put on it. Any secrets clients try to hide in their consultations—like smoking and drinking—will be revealed once Brown takes a closer look at their skin.

“I have the reputation of being a skin detective,” she admits, “but honestly it’s just from paying attention to the details your skin is telling me.”
We spoke with Brown about how she turned her one-room practice into a successful business, and the special things women of color need to know about caring for this important organ.

Education is a big part of what you do. How did you get involved in training and why is it so important to you?  

Growing up, education was a very important thing. It was seen as a way to succeed and overcome obstacles. A dear friend and colleague, Tracey Beyer, pushed me to step out of my comfort zone and [teach]. I couldn’t believe how much fun it was, how much just came naturally.
Why I specialize in educating is pure passion and a personal belief that without specific education, you run the risk of being average. Also, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your client. Who wants cookie-cutter service? Who wants a person who only knows an average amount about what they’re performing on you? The service we perform can have a dramatic impact, if you do the right thing. It’s deeply personal and often attached to self-esteem, so it’s your responsibility to take it very seriously. Education is the key to growth.

Where did you get the idea for Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic? 

My life was in an uproar [at the time]. I had a job offer that had just fallen through. I was travelling back and forth to Virginia, because my daughter was having a really hard time with childbirth. I needed something that would allow me to take care of her, my youngest child [who was living] in New York, and bring home money at the same time.
I started out two days a week inside a yoga studio, sharing a room with the massage therapist and a person who did Reiki healing. We walked furniture out of my house and down the street every single week and back to my house on Friday evenings. Eventually, the room became mine and we just kept growing and growing and growing.


Seven Brown

Were there any obstacles to getting your idea off the ground? 

Finances. I started without proper capital, structure, and organization. I didn’t go in with an idea or vision of this happening.
The business took on a life of its own, so I found myself always responding to situations instead of planning for them. The most surprising obstacle was not knowing how or refusing to ask for help. I didn’t trust that people would be there for me. Wow, I learned a lot.

What makes Harlem Skin & Laser Clinic Different from other salons or spas? 

There are two things that make us different. The first is personal service. Living in [Harlem] for so long, I know a lot of people, and we’re on a first-name basis. Those we don’t know, we make the effort to get to know.
Secondly, we don’t cut corners. We have never compromised the type of wax, the length of service, or how we [provide service] based on how much you pay. The bottom line is, sales go up and down, but the service is forever.

Read the full article here.

mater mea is a website that celebrates women of color at the intersection of career and family. Visit for more great articles on work-life balance from a Black woman’s perspective.

15 Times Serena Williams Proved Strong Is Beautiful In 2015

December 21st, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Serena Willilams’s haters may not understand that strong is beautiful, but Sports Illustrated’s 2015 Sportsperson of the Year keeps proving it. From the red carpet to the court, check out how Serena Williams redefined tired beauty standards in 2015.

15 Foods That Make Cellulite Worse

December 18th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Cellulite is the worst. It’s time to cast a strong side-eye at these foods that can make it worse.

From Fixing Glasses To Shoes: 15 Ways Your Hair Dryer Can Save The Day

December 3rd, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

From volumizing your lashes to breaking in your favorite shoes, you just might be amazed at the things your hair dryer can do.

Is This Why We Have Split Ends? Ways You’ve Been Showering Wrong

November 18th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Could your shower routine be responsible for your split ends, breakouts, and winter ash? Eliminate these bad shower habits from your routine and change your beauty regimen for good!

Beauty Brand Under Fire For Using Paris Attacks To Push Nail Polish Line

November 18th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Beauty Brand Under Fire For Using Paris Attacks To Sell Nail Polish


A Brooklyn-based beauty brand came under fire earlier this week for using the tragic attacks in Paris to drive up nail polish sales. According to the New York Post, members of the press received an email blast from Duri Cosmetics yesterday that suggests “beauty mavens” purchase red, white and blue polish from their nail care line so that they “can unite and wave hands (and toes) in unity.” The email went on to propose that wearing the line’s “Baton Rouge Blue” “I Do” (solid white) and “Parisian Tango” (red) polish is an “effortless way to pay respects and show support.”

Of course, many were not impressed by the PR stunt, especially since none of the proceeds were going towards victims or their families.

“Unfortunately, they [Duri Cosmetics] had trouble getting a donation program with it,” said a spokesperson for the brand, which is represented by Manhattan PR firm C.I. Visions.

According to Refinery29, Carol A. Ientile, President of C.I. Visions, drafted and sent the email without showing it to her client. She has since apologized for the misstep.

“In retrospect, I could have been a better human being and seen that this could have been making light of the situation,” Ientile said.

She went on to explain that she was inspired by the outpouring of support by Facebook users who utilized the red-white-and-blue filter, and thought it would be a “cute” way to join in.

“I got inspired by social media, I felt so sad,” she said. “I wanted to see what we can do. I love being supportive and was happy to be part of making a difference.”

And yes, the owners of Duri Cosmetics were mortified by her actions.

“I want to own my mistake,” she said. “They were appalled that their brand was a part of this controversy.”


Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Why Don’t We Support Fashion Fair More?

October 30th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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fashion fair feat

As upset as folks were over recent announcements that two Black health and beauty companies had allegedly “sold out” to more diverse customers, you would think that Fashion Fair cosmetics would be overrun with customers purchasing RBG color palettes to help keep it afloat.

But nope. It is struggling like the rest.

That is according to this article in the Washington Post entitled, “What happened to Fashion Fair?”

In it, journalist Robin Givhan investigates the scarcity of the 42-year-old cosmetic company founded by Johnson Publishing, on beauty and department store shelves.

More specifically, Givhan writes:

Customers who rely on Fashion Fair for exact skin tone matches and perfectly flattering lipsticks have been unable to locate their favorite products — or any products at all. In stores and online, they’re finding color selections so skimpy and stock so depleted there has been little for sales representatives to even sell. Even counter clerks have been asking: What’s going on?

Fashion Fair’s response has been, for many loyalists, deeply unsatisfying.

Thank you for your patience as we rebuild our inventories.”

We acknowledge that stock has been low in previous months; however, the replenishment process [is] underway!”

Are they going out of business?” asks longtime customer Allana Smith.

No,” says Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., which owns the makeup line.

We’re not going out of business.”

But Fashion Fair is in upheaval — and customers have good reason to question its survival.”

According to Givhan, part of that upheaval is the “cultural shifts in the cosmetics market and business challenges specific to a stand-alone brand.” This includes stiff competition from more multinational beauty lines including MAC, Estée Lauder, and L’Oréal as well as Black women ourselves who “no longer want or need a separate counter.”

But as Givhan writes, Desiree Rogers, who is CEO of Fashion Fair, also attributes current circumstances to the company’s own inability to keep up with customer demands, including leaving Fashion Fair cases at department stores un-stocked and barren for upwards of a year.

Currently, the brand is revamping its image and preparing for a relaunch, which includes closing and remodeling some stores, changing its signature packaging from pink to metallic gold and a “fresh” faces advertising campaign. Likewise it has also hired celebrity makeup artist Tia Dantzler as its creative director.

But even with its changes, folks might be slow to embrace the brand again. As Terez Baskin, a part-time beauty business writer who attended a private unveiling of Fashion Fair’s new line of products, told Givhan:

“The colors were great. The pigments were good. But all of that has been done before,” Baskin says. “The leadership team was especially excited about marketing a mascara for the first time. But they didn’t have any samples to test. They didn’t have the full range of foundation colors available either.”

They were excited about all the newness,” Baskin says. “They gave us a bunch of balloons, but nothing to tie them to.”

Personally, I feel that Baskin nailed one of the major challenges to Fashion Fair’s pending relaunch. Basically its failure to grow with its audience as well as to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.

For years, Fashion Fair rested on the fact that it was one of only a few makeup lines that a woman of color could use to find a foundation that perfectly matched her natural complexion. But that was then. And nowadays, most multinational beauty conglomerates are not only targeting Black customers, but they also carry their own “perfect match” foundation lines, which includes press, liquid, mineral, sunblock, vitamin-enhanced and waterproof. Many of these brands also carry “perfect match” bronzers, primers, blushes and full face palettes too.

In order to compete, Fashion Fair will not only have to catch up, but it will have to find a way to reinvent what it had previously cornered the market on, and what others are currently doing better.

And it will also have to find a way to sell these changes to a younger generation of Black glamour girls who might have felt both ignored and disregarded by the brand over the years.

It will certainly be an uphill battle for the Black-owned cosmetic company. And as Fashion Fair struggles at both rebranding and regaining a niche market, which is slowly being siphoned off by the major brands, you can certainly see why other Black-owned beauty businesses have opted to go the “all faces matter” route.

But in the interest of preserving a piece of Black beauty history, which has tried to serve us well over the years (my grandmother was loyal to the brand), I am hoping that Fashion Fair can reclaim its glory.

Damage Control: 15 Things Every Black Woman Should Know About Her Edges

October 29th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Finicky edges can be a nightmare. But you don’t have to fight them for the rest of your life. Take the time to get to know your edges, and you’ll have no trouble giving them life.