All Articles Tagged "Beauty"
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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.”
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.
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.
Growing up, many Black women learned how to embrace their beauty and figured out the best products for African-American skin with help from Mikki Taylor. For 30 years, Taylor served as Essence magazine’s beauty editor and is currently its editor-at-large. Her brand and career has expanded substantially over the years, and she is everything from a motivational speaker to an author and fashion consultant.
Currently, Taylor is on Odyessy Media’s 15-city “In The Black” tour, which travels across the country helping women sharpen their professional skills and accomplish their goals. To learn more about Mikki Taylor’s ever-evolving career and her work with Odyssey Media, MadameNoire interviewed her about the “In The Black” tour. We also asked her about the fashion industry’s diversity issues and the constant question of whether or not career women can have it all.
MadameNoire: How did you launch your career in journalism?
Mikki Taylor: I joined Essence magazine in 1980 with a background in fashion and beauty. I worked in the beauty and fashion department under the leadership of Susan Taylor. During the ‘80s, it really mattered – and it still does – who I talked to about style. To be able to have the opportunity to have style fellowship with Black women in the pages of Essence magazine was a rare opportunity and one I gladly cherished.
Why did you decide to pursue beauty and fashion?
I grew up in the beauty and fashion industry. My mother was the hairstylist, makeup artist and wardrobe stylist for the American icon, Sarah Vaughn. My mother traveled the world with the singer and she ingrained the importance of style into my siblings and me. She taught us that fashion is the ability to present the world with your point of view through clothing. Watching my mother at work in the industry creating imagery for Sarah Vaughn was fascinating. Equally important, after my mother came home from traveling on the road after 10 years, she opened her own beauty salon. Watching the power of beauty and the style fellowship in the salon really pressed the importance of beauty upon me. It made me realize this was an industry that I wanted to have a say in.
You worked at Essence for over 30 years. Why was it important to stay with the magazine for so long?
Working at Essence was a part of walking in my purpose. You only live once and life is not a dress rehearsal. You have to make the choice to see that what you are doing is important and who you are doing it for. When you are gifted in a certain area, you have to use that gift to help others. I couldn’t think of a better way to help empower the lives of Black women than through beauty. Beauty is our most emotional purchase and style is a form of self-expression for Black women.
Diverse representation is important and lacking in the fashion industry. How should Black women advocate for themselves in the industry?
I think we need to own the conversation for ourselves. We have to find what the experience will be for us instead of relying on others to include us in their fashion experience. One of the things that I love about Odyssey Media’s “In The Black” business tour is industry professionals of color have a say in what is the next trend and help one another develop the professional tools needed to grow. I really don’t think it is necessary to look to anyone else. If a designer or fashion company values the dollars of African-American female consumers, they should listen to what’s on her heart to be able to engage her. Though, in the meantime, Black women aren’t waiting. According to recent statistics, many Black women who are executives are leaving the corporate world to run their own businesses in order to represent the needs of their race and culture.
What can you tell us about Odyssey Media’s “In The Black” business tour?
The “In The Black” 15-city tour was created to motivate and encourage networking opportunities for women who are entrepreneurs or women who are transitioning from one career to the next. It was launched by the media company Odyssey Media, which was founded by CEO and founder Linda Spradley Dunn. Her main focus has been connecting multicultural women around the world for the last 17 years. This tour really speaks to women about everything they need to know to help them begin or enhance their journey by incorporating the necessary tools they need to succeed.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give my younger self is you are given a unique gift, and it’s on you to identify and yield it forward. It is also important to be your most authentic self in every area of your life.
Many think women who work in the media industry can’t have it all. Do you believe this to be true?
I don’t believe in the word “can’t” and I really believe in the word “choice.” It’s about making the choice and owning your life. Furthermore, it’s not about having it all but having what matters. You are the one who determines that. Having what matters is a part of owning your life.
To purchase tickets and register for the “In the Black” Tour, please visit: http://www.odysseymc.com/cpages/in-the-black.
For more information about Odyssey Media, please visit www.Odysseymc.com and also follow us on social media on Twitter (@OdysseyMediaCo), Instagram (@odysseymediaco) and Facebook www.facebook.com/OdysseyMediaCo.
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In the summer of 2004, I was scheduled to take my senior graduation pictures. You know, the high school picture that follows you the rest of your life. This is the picture your friends from college laugh at and your children’s children cherish as an heirloom. Let’s just say the pressure for a good photo op was on.
I come from a family of beauticians who ironically don’t believe in makeup. A bar of soap, some moisturizer, and a tube of lipstick have kept the women in my family beautiful for years. It would be an in-laws inquiry about my photo preparation to change my relationship with makeup forever. Now, 10 years later, my toddler wears lipstick on her eyebrows!
I noticed it once we switched the position of her car seat from rear facing to front view. It’s a challenge to get a family of four, including two babies, ready on time, so I often apply my makeup in the car. Most days, I am not doing a full face, so the passenger side mirror suffices when I apply my eyeliner, brow pencil, mascara and lipstick.
That’s when I saw her, those wide eyes staring me down like a hawk studying its prey. Through the reflection of the mirror, I could see her mesmerized in the back seat by my application process. This didn’t begin here, but this was the moment I knew I had to watch her and makeup. She is 20-months-old now, but when she was about seven-months-old, she could tell the difference between when I had on mascara versus when I did not.
The first time she noticed the mascara, she stared at my face for a really long time. I was confused as to why. Then she took her index finger and began to rub on my eyelashes. That’s when I got it. Up until now, I did not take her passion seriously. But last week, I watched her take my lipstick and my lip pencil out of the makeup drawers in the bathroom. Then she proceeded to dip the lip pencil into the lipstick and rub it all over her face.
First, I’d like to applaud her efforts. I think she thinks she is doing her brows. I’d also like to applaud her color choice, hot pink. Now this lipstick is totally destroyed, but it was for a good cause, her curiosity and imitation of mommy.
But in all seriousness, this raises some questions for me. I did not start wearing makeup until I was 17. My senior pictures found me at the local MAC counter where I bought foundation and mascara for the first time. Prior to this, I had nothing and knew nothing. This is a huge difference from my one-year-old who lives in a house with a personal MAC counter. She knows where the makeup is, and she runs for it any chance she gets. Give her a five minute window where mom and dad are preoccupied with baby sister or taking out the trash, and she morphs into “cover model baby.”
I’ve always dreamed about the day we would pick out makeup together, shop, have girl chat, but not at one-year-old.
I was recently at the nail salon where a mom and daughter duo joined the scene. The little girl was three-years-old and she was getting a pedicure. Now, I don’t recall getting my first pedicure at the salon until about 13 or 14 years of age. But this mom told me her daughter experienced her first mani/pedi for her second birthday – that’s just four months older than my daughter!
I’m all for being beautiful and confident, but what age is really appropriate for all this stuff. On a reflective note, I think about the 1996 JonBenet Ramsey story. This was a child beauty queen found brutally murdered in her basement one morning after being missing for eight hours. The case remains unsolved.
Lots of speculation around JonBenet’s murder involved her parents presenting her to the public as a symbol of beauty and sex too early. She was six and wore full-face makeup and gowns quite often.
I know this comparison may sound extreme, but I have to contrast my young daughter’s love for beauty against the reality of perverts and mentally ill people who prey on the innocent.
I’m definitely not going to start putting makeup on my child anytime soon. I will continue to take cute pictures of her with smeared lipstick across her face, but I wonder, what age is appropriate to let your kids wear makeup?
Clarissa Joan is a spiritual life coach and editor-in-chief of The Clarissa Joan Experience. She resides in Philadelphia, Pa with her Husband, their two girls, and a yorkie named Ace. Clarissa is also an expert in impact investing. She is the Communications Associate at Impact America Fund.
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From banishing dark circles to softening your strands, honey has dozens of wonderful properties that are great for perfecting your natural beauty routine — just in time to close out National Honey Month.