All Articles Tagged "CoverGirl"
Why I Dig Janelle Monáe And The Impact She Is Having On The Music Industry As A Non-Conforming Woman Of Color
It’s 2013, and with some Grammy nods under her belt, a chart-topping song w/the band Fun., a contract with CoverGirl, and a slamming new single, “Q.U.E.E.N,” Janelle Monáe is a glow in the middle of a music industry dim with pre-packaged clones.
I was especially grateful for the new single after seeing much of 2013’s first quarter music attention go to self-indulgent tunes. “Q.U.E.E.N” an electrifying women’s empowerment anthem, asks the tough questions about women’s rights and our ability to simply be who we are – no questions asked. The beat is sick. Monáe’s rap is beyond dope. And the video reintroduces her with a new edge but the same black and white baseline of authenticity. With humility that is severely lacking and heartfelt commitment to honoring those who paved the way, Monáe almost seems too good to be true.
I was immediately taken with Janelle Monáe back in 2009 when I watched her perform her thought-provoking single, “Sincerely, Jane” on NPR. Her black and white ‘uniform’ as she calls it stood out amidst an entertainment industry that begs skin and stilettos to move units and grow fame. Her lyrics weren’t the same old narcissistic drivel we were used to. No, there was depth to this young lady and I dug it.
I thought: How is she doing this? How is her star consistently rising without a racy video? Without suggestive lyrics? Without being romantically linked to another star?
Simply put: Her gift makes room for her. Watching her rise on the music scene, you can’t help but to respect her even if you don’t necessarily vibe with her genre of music. Looking at the body of work, the poise, the performance, the image, the lyrics – you see someone who decided a long time ago not to yield to the ‘packaging’ of the industry. Instead, Monáe decided to fold her heritage and eclectic style into her music. With musical talent in spades to boot, she’s done a great job of branding herself.
At the most visible layer, we see a young woman who isn’t conforming to standards of how a female artist should behave or be ‘packaged’ in order to be a star. But the story beneath her black and white attire and thought-provoking lyrics is steeped in a background that many of us know firsthand.
Accepting her award at the 2012 Black Girls Rock! Celebration, Monáe recounted her days as a maid when she took her first steps toward becoming a music artist. She also held a spotlight on her mother, stepfather and biological father for their pride in their working-class roles as janitors, garbage men and mailmen in the poorest county in Kansas City, Kansas. Understanding, accepting and appreciating the legacy of pride in what most consider menial occupations, Monáe was compelled to do the unconventional for a music sensation – wear a uniform. And it absolutely makes sense. It’s honest and compelling in a way that invites us to remember our own heritage. No matter where she goes, who she meets, how long she performs, what awards she is given – she can look at herself, look inward, and be reminded of who she is at her core and the values she learned from a working-class background.
Another thing to love about Janelle Monáe is that she is the definition of a beautiful woman of color. She has reminded us of what it actually means to be beautiful. Having become the newest addition to a long list of gorgeous CoverGirls, Monae’s face is hard to look away from. How revelatory is that? It’s not her curves we’re staring at. We’re breathless at her beautiful face and her warm personality. We’re focused on her lyrics and how deeply we can identify with them. We’re thrilled by the exhilarating performance she gives whenever she graces a stage. We notice and are enthralled with Janelle Monáe because of who she is, not her cup size or how racy her videos are. She is beautiful because she chooses not to be packaged for male gratification. There is nothing about her that is suggestive or lewd in an attempt to sell records. She’s simply open, honest, creative and ripe with multiple layers of talent.
A true musical role model our babies can emulate like this little Q.U.E.E.N:
And then, this one:
And this one:
Peace to Janelle Monáe for being a colorful example of ALL the possibilities.
La Truly seeks to encourage thought, discussion and change among young women through her writing. Follow her on Twitter: @AshleyLaTruly and AboutMe www.about.me/latruly.
Photos courtesy of via iheartthreadbared.wordpress.com, Pinterest and via ecobeautybytes.com.
Since Ellen DeGeneres did such an awesome job naming Talia Castellano, a 13-year-old aspiring make-up artist who is battling cancer, an honorary CoverGirl this past September, it was a no-brainer to task her with finding the next lucky gal.
After launching a nation wide search and receiving nearly 20,000 applicants the Emmy Award-winning talk show host, who is also a CoverGirl herself, announced the winner during a live taping of her show on Thursday.
So without further ado, the new CoverGirl is…Alexis Harris!
Read why Alexis won on BlackVoices.com.
Why we’re saluting her:
Queen Latifah is truly a jack of all trades and master of many. First introduced to her as a rapper, Queen has gone on to wow us with her acting ability, smooth jazz voice, television productions, and beauty as a Cover Girl and model.
It should come as no surprise that Queen Latifah, born Dana Owens, has come to be such a symbol of empowerment and inspiration for Black women. On her third studio album, Black Reign, she gave us the ladies anthem U.N.I.T.Y , letting everyone know women should be called and treated as nothing less than that. And from there, she went on to star in one of the ‘90s – and our personal favorite – sitcoms, Living Single, and had a long string of film roles on the big and small screen from Set It Off, Bringing Down the House, Hairspray, and Chicago to Steel Magnolias and Life Support, the captivating movie loosely based on the true story of Ana Wallace, an HIV-positive woman.
In every role, whether in the studio recording The Dana Owens Album, or behind the camera producing shows like Single Ladies, or being on film in Just Wright, the Queen’s undeniable beauty shines through. That’s why companies like CoverGirl have brought her on as a spokesmodel to represent their products, and have even given the 42-year-old her own line os cosmetics, appropriately titled, “The Queen Collection.”
Now that the Queen is ready for her next act, trying her hand as a talk show host once again, we have nothing but high hopes for her future in the entertainment industry. And for her resilience in the face of family tragedy and speculation over her sexual orientation, as well as the grace and business savvy she exemplifies at all times, we salute Queen Latifah.
Click here to meet all of our salutes.
Anybody who knows me, knows I friggin’ love Ellen DeGeneres! From the moment I saw her rap all the lyrics to Salt-N-Pepa’s “Shoop” duringone of her stand-up performances, I knew we were kindred spirits. Over the years, with the success of her talk show and the way she helps people, I’ve grown more and more fond of Ellen. She just seems like a real genuine person. And don’t even get me started on Queen Latifah. From her role as Khadijah on “Living Single,” to her films and her overall seemingly down-to-earth persona make her seem like the chick you just want to be friends with. So imagine my excitement when I saw this picture of the two homegirls in my head at this CoverGirl event. Though they don’t seem to be getting along right at this very second, (Ellen is just a bit thirsty), it’s good to see them laughing it up.
What do you think is going on in this pic? Caption the thoughts of Ellen, Queen La, or poor Taylor Swift on the left.
Ever walked into Target looking to get one essential thing, say, some soap, some toothpaste you’ve run out of, or some snacks, only to get to the register with a cart full of Christmas presents? For yourself? Yeah, Target has everything you need, and that might not be a good thing for a sista’s wallet. But if you do find yourself wandering through the store dropping a bit of everything in your cart, you HAVE to try out these nine products we’re going crazy over ’round these parts.
Cutest Spokeswoman Ever: 13-Year-Old YouTube Makeup Blogger And Cancer Patient Is Latest Face Of CoverGirl
I’m sure the announcement of Janelle Monae as a new face of CoverGirl probably blew your mind, but this new announcement is sure to give you a nasty (as in good) Kool-Aid smile on top of a blown mind!
YouTube makeup blogger, Talia Joy Castellano, is known for her pretty fierce tutorials online. But on top of that, she’s also known for her story of living as a young lady who has cancer (two forms, MDS and nueroblastoma), which she’s been doing since she was seven. When she was seven, Castellano was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, and now that she is 13, she recently found out that she has pre-leukemia. While most would probably let something like this get them down, Castellano has been extraordinarily positive, sharing her love of makeup with people online to keep her spirits up, which she says helps her feel beautiful on the inside and out. And people love her tutorials just as much as she loves giving them, because her YouTube channel has nearly 250,000 subscribers, and a massive 19 million views and counting. Her growing viewership and inspiring story even got the little lady with the doll-like eyes a spot on “Ellen” in September, where the host, a CoverGirl spokeswoman, crowned Castellano as an honorary CoverGirl. If that wasn’t enough, she also showered her with not only a chic makeup table, but also a whopping $20,000 from the company. And just like that, here we are today with Castellano’s image being released officially by the company (if you saw the episode of “Ellen” it was part of her honorary CoverGirl presents).
Castellano has come a very long way, and even though she has declined the opportunity to get a bone marrow transplant to aid in her pre-leukemia diagnosis and says there aren’t too many other options available for her, she just wants to forgo the pain and live her days on this earth as peaceful and happy as possible. She’s inspired a great deal of people, plus, she’s too cool and cute for school, right? Check out a video of her doing up her eyes and you’ll be surprised how great this little girl is with a brush and a video camera. What can you learn about makeup from a 13-year-old? Watch and learn:
“I’m strong. I’m beautiful. I am a Covergirl” Soulful R&B singer Janelle Monae took to Twitter earlier today to announce a coveted endorsement deal she just signed with CoverGirl cosmetics.
The 26-year-old songtress told Vogue Magazine that the opportunity holds personal significance:
“Growing up and trying to find myself as a woman and experimenting with makeup, I’d go buy magazines,” she says. “I’d see Tyra Banks [in the CoverGirl ads] and I’d think, Wow, she’s beautiful. It never looked like she had on too much makeup. There was just something clean and classic about her face.”
Clean and classic are exactly the words someone would use to describe Janelle’s look. A natural beauty, some would say her style is androgynous, but really she took a gentleman’s look (tuxedo, Oxfords, bowties) and made it feminine. Often sporting black and white, and a high pompadour, Janelle comes off eclectic yet subdued.
About her clothes and makeup, Janelle says:
“I take a minimalist approach to my wardrobe and I do the same with my makeup. I don’t look at [it] as a mask. I don’t overdo it. A bold [shade] of red or pink—something that pops—brings the whole look together.”
She reportedly does her own makeup for her performances, but Vogue says she has been experimenting with CoverGirl’s Lash Blast mascara.
“I keep my eyes pretty simple but I like to make [my lashes] a little darker and thicker.”
Makeup artist and CoverGirl global creative design director Pat McGrath worked on Janelle’s first print campaign two months ago and gave the singer tips to keep her lipstick on instead of swiping it off on the microphone during performances.
”She told me to do the whole lip liner thing first so that it stains my mouth and makes the color last. Thank you, Pat!”
On the opportunity overall, Janelle says she looks forward to inspiring young women.
“I believe in the idea of every woman finding their own beauty superpowers. I want to help redefine what it means to be a strong woman in the music and fashion worlds.”
In 1992, CoverGirl became the first cosmetic company to sign a black model to an exclusive contract. Ten years later, Janelle joins a exclusive list of black celebrities that have represented CoverGirl. This list includes Lana Ogilvie, Tyra Banks, Brandy, Queen Latifah, Rihanna, Paula Patton and America’s Next Top Model Winners: Krista White, Saleisha Stowers, Teyona Anderson and Eva Marcille.
Congratulations Janelle Monae!
What do you think of Janelle’s new endorsement deal?
Follow Alissa on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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Lipstick has always been a staple for women as a coming of age badge to be worn proud and pretty. When you apply lipstick to your luscious lips you can immediately feel the transformation from laid back to luxurious.
There are so many different colors and textures to choose from, so here are my picks for your best pecks!
by Caletha Crawford
Open a magazine or simply turn on the TV and the ads for cosmetics are unavoidable. That’s not anything new. Advertising has always been a war paint battleground. What has changed are the faces showcasing these products. Where these promotions used to be filled with Caucasians, today they’re just as likely to feature African-Americans, Hispanics or Asians. Though it’s unclear how much of this shift has to do with a changing standard of beauty in the U.S., one thing is apparent: the cosmetics industry has recognized women of color as a growth opportunity.
Though the slate of Black, Latino, Asian and Indian spokesmodels is long now—Rihanna for Cover Girl, Halle Berry for Revlon, Eva Longoria Parker and Aishwarya Rai for L’Oreal and Jessica White for Maybelline, to name a few—it’s important to note that the first African-American model wasn’t signed to a major brand until 1992 when Cover Girl tapped Lana Ogilvie. This means that all but the youngest of today’s adult women came of age without seeing themselves reflected in cosmetics ads or offerings.
Before these companies can capitalize on this market, many beauty brands will need to kiss and make up with communities that often felt marginalized by the industry. After all, as a recent study by market research firm Mintel revealed, black women don’t believe the majority of beauty advertisers are speaking to them. Further, only 35 percent of these women feel they are positively reflected in the media in general.
Strength In Numbers
While consumers might be hesitant to embrace this new inclusive normal, today women of color often take center stage in the marketing and R&D initiatives for many entrepreneurial brands as well as cosmetics conglomerates. According to Bob Wallner, national sales manager for Milani Cosmetics, this shift occurred for one very good reason. “As a result of the 2000 census, all of the major retailers selling cosmetics in this country focused on the browning of America,” he said. “All of them initiated a search for brands to answer that constituency—not just African-Americans but also Hispanics.”
And taking a look at the numbers, it’s easy to see what sparked merchants’ interest. According to the Census, both the African-American and Hispanic populations had a higher growth rate than the overall U.S. population from 1990 to 2000. While the U.S. expanded by 13 percent during that time, African-Americans grew by 15.6 percent to 34.7 million. And the number of Hispanics in this country jumped 61 percent to 35.2 million.
Taken as a whole, these statistics add up to big potential for brands that can address these demographics. While accurate numbers are difficult to come by for cosmetics specifically, market research publisher Packaged Facts has reported that ethnic haircare, makeup and skincare products combined constituted a $3 billion business in 2009.
These numbers are sure to skyrocket as we move toward a point—some say as early as 2042—when minorities are the majority in this country.
“Times have changed dramatically and there are many more options available for women of color than in the past,” stated Sandra Hutson, brand director for Black Opal. “The industry is finally starting to recognize that women of color really do need products that are developed especially for their them.”
Whether they’re going about it with overt messaging and products like Cover Girls’ Queen Collection, which is fronted by Queen Latifah, or through broader marketing campaigns like that of L’Oreal USA’s HIP line, which simply offers colors with higher pigmentation which work better on darker skin, it is clear marketers are taking this consumer group into account when developing new products.
Blurring the Lines
Offering the right product is only part of the solution. How companies choose to reach out to these groups will be critical to their growth. As the 2000 Census also showcased by allowing respondents to identify themselves as more than one race, our society is a melting pot. In response, Don Montuori, publisher of Packaged Facts, said many beauty companies have already started to shy away from targeting any one group. “In 2010, there is a strong trend to position beauty products multi-culturally. That is, not only to the three principal minorities consisting of Hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians, but also to Arabs, Native Americans, South Asians, and others,” he said. “A strength of using the term ‘multicultural’ is that products carrying the label can be marketed to everybody, including Caucasians.”
Flori Roberts, which launched in 1966 as the first African-American cosmetics line to sell in department stores, has since become sensitive to marketing to a wider spectrum. “Our audience is broader in that we have moved over to other ethnicities,” said Sharon Boone, president of Flori Roberts’ parent company Color Me Beautiful. “Depending on their skin tone, Latinos and Indians still have to look to brands like us to find shades that are a perfect match. Once you start going yellow, golden or olive [mainstream] brands still have a bit of old school thought mixed in when it comes to addressing skin color.”
Many of you madames out there don’t go a day without lipstick or some type of cosmetic product on your lips. Having luscious, seductive lips is a natural — almost expected — practice in our society. Little does anyone remember that as early as the 1770s, some countries passed laws condemning lipstick. According to the British Parliament in the 1770s, “women found guilty of seducing men into matrimony by a cosmetic means could be tried for witchcraft!”
Well, doggone. Aren’t we lucky to be in the 21st century? To celebrate our freedom to be fly and kissable, not to mention seductive, here are some lipstick color tips for you, thanks to makeup stylist Samantha Smarte.