A few weeks ago, I came across Lauren Napier, the beauty maven and owner of La Rose makeup cleansing wipes, mentioning her lack of seeing very editorial, simplified beauty looks on women of color. It was a feeling I’d been having for years and voicing behind closed doors to my girls. Why was it that we usually only saw one trending way of how Black girls do their makeup? Well, really, all girls. Especially on YouTube.
There are other outlets where white women can find nuanced versions of themselves when it comes to beauty. Whether led by the variety of brands that white women still have more options to choose from, or celebs and social influencers that are given the limelight. Black and brown women don’t have the same amount of options, nor outlets, offering a plethora of representation. For my entire career, I really haven’t seen this, and it bothered me.
The lack of diversity could be because of the current cultural trend landscape, from both a multicultural and general market perspective. All of us have been overly exposed, in the last few years, to the intense contour of the face, exuberant lash extensions and baked and beat to the gods finished faces. This isn’t a knock to those trends; they’re fun and full of glamour.
However, this becomes an issue when that’s the primary representation for women, particularly Black women when it comes to beauty. I don’t always want to do a full lash, heavy contour, and a boldly blended eye topped off with a strong highlight. I love that look, at times. But if that’s the only way Black girls can see themselves when it comes to beauty, it creates an expectation, especially to women and girls on social, on how they should show up and present themselves to the world.
Now, if that’s how we want to show up some days, that’s our choice. The goal is to diversify the ways in which Black and brown women are told they can approach makeup, and for us to see more nuanced versions of ourselves in beauty.
That’s essentially why I launched Brown Girl, Everyday Glam, my new how-to series where I share some of my favorite simplified, everyday looks that are also sultry, sexy and sometimes bold.
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