Monday, February 27, 2017

Black Beauty Influencers & Social Media

Since it's black history month, I feel like it's important to shine a light on the portion of the industry that doesn't get a lot of love. This is the POC influencers. There are so many amazing artists that get no attention due to the fact that their race is different. They're shunned from the community in a host of different ways.

The FIRST way being through brand recognition. Brands will post looks done by people using their products. If you scroll down some brands pages, you see very little people of color. And when you do, they have fairer skin. This brings about some questions for thought. Do these brands not post people of a more diverse crowd because they feel they lack skill? Or is it that they won't get as many views and likes if there are a host of different looking people on their pages?

the SECOND thing is credit. Some of these artists are incredible. Their work is unreal, but they get no attention. Once we see a recreation of said look by a non-POC, then it blows up and becomes this iconic look... but it's been iconic. It's been amazing. There are very little within the community that are getting the credit they deserve. When people think of black youtubers/vloggers/bloggers, the same few are talked about. This doesn't mean that they don't deserve the attention, it means that there should be more! When one of my favorites, Jackie Aina, hit a million subscribers on Youtube, I was so happy and excited for her because she's amazing and deserves it. She then posted a tutorial following that and spoke on how there aren't a lot of others reaching that milestone that look like her. That being having darker skin. 

This stood out to me a lot because it's true. A lot of people don't pay attention to it though. It's unfortunate because there's so much talent being missed out on simply because no one is looking because the people don't fit a certain standard of looks. 

THIRDLY, there’s a big emphasis on upholding a certain standard. Having an image set for the brand is important for them, but it shouldn’t be to the point where artists are being ignored for not doing the same look or being a non-POC. How many smokey eye and nude lip tutorials do we really need? They’re great, I mean who doesn’t love a good smokey eye? Kim K slays my life whenever she wears it… but there are artists capable of so much more. Avant garde looks can be what inspires new artists. I know I’ve seen so many cool looks that are amazingly different and they inspired me to try to step out of my comfort zone and be a bit more creative.

FOURTH, having the same type of people on the social channels having their platform promoted makes those interested in getting involved have a harder time. The industry can be considered to be sold up, so it’s a lot harder for newer artists to get involved.

Social Media is a key part of influencing and things involved with the beauty industry. If there’s no way that an influencer is being promoted or pushed in the lime light, there’s a smaller chance that they’ll be able to reach as much of an audience as the non-POC who are promoted much easier. This is not to take away from the non-POC who are doing their thing. There are so many who are extremely talented, of which are some of my favorites. The purpose of this post is to shine a light on the part of the industry that has to work twice as hard to get just a bit of the recognition.

All images come from Google Images!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


Lately, black girl magic has been shining through in a great way. In a way that just makes me so proud to be black. Last year, some of our favorite influencers collaborated with some big brands to give us products that were extremely lit. I wasn't able to get my hands on all of them, but for the ones I did.. it was lit. In honor of black history month, I thought it'd be cool to just show you all some of the cool collabs that occurred and some that are on the way!

                                                                                     Jackie Aina
2016 was amazing to Muva Aina and 2017 is going to be just as good if not better! She had so many good product collabs and more just keep coming.
- Aso Dara Choker and matching headwrap combo.
- Artist Couture "La Bronze" Highlighter
- ELF J.Glow clay palette

As for the brown girls and women of color, MakeupShayla put onnnnnnnn!

- Maybelline Big Shot Colossal Mascara (face of)
- Tarte x MakeupShayla Contour Palette
- Flutter Lashes "Shayla"

Beauty Bakerie

While this isn't a single person, the brand has a new collab with Gabby Douglas coming out and idk about you, but I'm super excited! BB already has some of the best liquid lipsticks in the game. Now they're working with the 3-time olympic gold champion to create magic! The set will be available in early March and will include 5 "lip-whips" for $80 (actual retail value $100).

Mac is always under the spotlight for something. We've seen a lot of collabs coming from them as
well. This is involving from people such as Taraji P. Henson, Mariah Carey, Tinashe, Dej Loaf, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj and Lion Babe.

Working with two of my favorite makeup artists, Colourpop had two successful collabs when working with Ellarie and ItsMyRayeRaye. With Ellarie, there is a lip liner and a lippie stick. Irsmyrayeraye's line was limited edition so there isn't any of her products currently available, but when they were there? Oh man.. She had a lippie stick and matching pencil named "Rayezor" and a liquid matte lipstick called "StingRAYE", which is my favorite for the record.

Although not a makeup artist, Colourpop also had an amazing collection with Karreuche. She had more of a full collection with shadows, liquid lipsticks, lip liners, etc.

What were some of your favorite collaborations of last year? Any that you're looking forward to in this year? Do you think brands should make these WOC collabs limited edition or permanent parts of the collection? 

If you're looking for black owned brands to support as well, be sure to check out my post on black owned businesses and the one on black owned makeup companies. You can find the links to those here and here

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Everyday Makeup Routine

Everyday Makeup Routine

While I don't wear makeup every single day, I still have a routine for those days I want to disguise these horrendous, yet designer bags under my eyes. Like everyone, I have days where I get up for class or work and want to do something extra in terms of my appearance or at least look like I care. With this, I have developed my favorite products that I reach for on an everyday basis to create a flawless, yet natural look appropriate for the office or school and doesn't take me a long time to do.

(Combination of Maybelline Baby Skin - $6.99 & Too Faced Hangover RX - $15/$32)

The Baby Skin primer is more gel like in terms of consistency and I place it on the spots I get the most oily. This is on and under my nose and under my eyes. The Too Faced Hangover RX is hydrating. My skin can get super dry in some spots, like around my mouth and around the perimeter of my face. This is where I place it for the most part. Unless I wake up and look like a prune. Then, it goes all over.

(Anastasia Beverly Hills Foundation Stick - $25)
Shade range is amazing. It glides on so smooth and blends really easily. For people who have more dryer skin, I don't feel like you'll like it that much due to the fact that it's more matte. It isn't absolutely horrible and once you get used to it, it's amazing.

(Too Faced Born this Way - $23)

This concealer is one of many that I use and of them all, it's my favorite one. It isn't too thick so that it's hard to blend out. It isn't too runny to wear it smears everything. It has a good amount of coverage and looks really good on my skin. Blending with this concealer is a dream too. Even when I use it on a stick foundation, it's still really good.

(NYX Contour Kit - $24.99 & L.A. Girl Pro Concealer - $2.99)

Whenever I work with my contour and use a cream product, I was taught from many tutorials that you're supposed to set it with a powder. To prevent it from going anywhere and looking muddy and gross. With a more natural face, I'll do a little contour. If I don't I'll look like an egg. I use the L.A Girl first because it's one of the darkest concealers I've found that actually shows up as contour on my dark skin. I use the second to darkest shade in the contour kit to set it afterwards.

Face Powder
(Coty Airspun - $7.99 & Loreal True Match - $8.99)
I use the Airspun to lightly press under my eyes and contour. Not a lot and I'm not baking since it is a natural kind of beat. Just ever so lightly and dusted away. I use the True Match powder as an all-over face powder. It's the only powder I've found that matches my skin perfectly. So it's what I use on my entire face so I'm not looking like I'm 3 different colors.

Facial Spray
(Mario Badescu Rose Water - $4)

To prevent my skin from looking powdery, I like to spray some rosewater to add some of the hydration back to my skin. When I spray more than a few pumps, it also makes my makeup dewy looking which I personally prefer over matte.

(Wet n' Wild MegaGlow Highlighter - $4.99 & ELF Baked Highlighter - $3)

This is one of my favorite highlighters for an everyday look. Since I'm dark skin, a lot of high lighters can go from looking like a glow to like glitter really quick. These two mixed together looks so good on me and gives me a really good glow. When I mix them, or just apply one over the other, the shades are really brown girl friendly and apply so smooth.

ELF Blush Palette - $6

I'm not a huge favor of blush to be completely honest. I use it every once in a while to add a bit of color since I'm not doing any eyeshadow or anything like that, but not a lot. I like the colors in this palette because I mix them together and boom. Perfect color for my skin. Also, doubles as eyeshadow quad (save the coin sis.)

NYC Liquid Liner - $2.99

This liner is the blackest, most matte liner I've ever used. I love it so much. It's the best and I use it for everyday looks and the most dramatic looks. Honestly, it's just my favorite liner and yeah.. that's it to be honest.

Eylure No. 117 Lashes - $4.99

When I want an everyday look, I still want some nice natural lashes. These are my favorite for adding some length and volume, but not being too glam or dramatic. They also hold up really good all day. If I put this lash on, I know I don't have to worry about the corners lifting or anything. They're comfortable and really conform to the shape of your eye.

NYX Slim Lip Pencil - $3.49
NYX Soft Matte Lip Creme - $5.99
- opt.- Jouer Lip Topper - $16

These 3 products make the perfect nude lip for me. Keyword, for ME. I have dark skin, so it's always a struggle for me to find good nudes that don't look white. Everyone's nude lip is different, but when I do mine it always turns out good. It's good for an everyday look and compliments my skin so well. Even when I don't have a full face of makeup on, it's still my go to. I add the lip topper from Jouer when I want a glossier lip.

Setting Spray
Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray - $15

For an everyday look where I know I'll be in and out of buildings and it'll be on majority of the day, I like to use the UD spray for longevity. Just to lock everything into place and keep everything together.

What are your favorite go-to products? How long does it take you to apply your makeup for a quick and easy beat?

Monday, February 13, 2017

Black Owned Businesses

This is my first post that is going to be towards fashion, art and lifestyle stuff. I was wondering for a long time what way to incorporate fashion into my makeup blogging. I want this to be a blog everybody can get into in one way or another. With this, I decided to include some smaller businesses that are owned by black people! People who inspire me and who are on their grind.

The Retell Closet - created by Lindsay Alyssa (Detroit, MI), this brand is popping ok? I know the genius behind the brand personally and has witnessed her growth. The products get better and better every time she creates something new. From intimates, to the "my husband is filthy rich" robes, there's something for everyone in every size.

Sunny Studios, Lash Land & Bonjour Bundles - all created by Paris Heelton (Chicago, IL). These brands are all affordable and she often
has deals. The products are sold with the customer in mind most definitely. If you're going to buy sunglasses (men and women), chokers, lashes and bundles -- why not get them from the same place? It'll make your life easier and you'll be popping.

Legendary Rootz -  (Phoenix, AZ) a black owned business whose shirts will leave you in awe. They
have some really cool sayings that really pertain to black people. They have positivity and are spreading that with their shirts. They have everything from bomber jackets and crop tops to short and long sleeved tee's.

Cased Up - (Orlando, FL) this company is black owned and sells phone cases. They're the ones that are super animated and cute. Everyone can find something they like on their site. The best part is that they aren't like Amazon so it's super hard
to get in contact with them. They interact with their customers through their social handles and sell good quality products.

Korrine Sky Intimates - started by girl boss Korrine Sky, this brand is all about embracing the inner sexy. This company sells the hottest lingerie, swim attire and pajama sets. These outfits are sure to
have you feeling confident and sexy because they have things to fit everyone.

Baditude the Label - All things for the girl boss we all aspire to be. There are chokers and makeup
hats that are perfect for any girly girl. Started by a Fashion graduate named Kristen, this brand is her baby and represents her style and what she ultimately wants to do one day which is have her own fashion line. I started following this brand on Twitter a few months ago and I fell in love. I want to rep this brand so much! Everything is handmade and made with love.

               Pronto Clothing - (Detroit, MI) I know this designer personally as well and I'm so proud to say I've witnessed their growth. This brand is so positive and stands for so many good things. When I got my hands on my first shirt from there I was hooked. I even have saved it for black history month so show off my black excellence.

Jayla Originals - (Lansing, MI) This is another artist that I know very well. She blew up this year with her talent and I couldn't be more proud. She creates handmade pictures that look amazing. They're extremely detailed and look unreal. I let her draw my grandma's Christmas gift and I beat all my cousins. There's nothing I've seen that Jayla can't draw. She's amazing and only getting better.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Beauty Influencers & Social Media

When people think of social media and beauty, typically YouTube videos are what comes to
mind. What people fail to realize is that there is an entire audience that come in terms of social media and beauty influencers that expand far beyond YouTube videos. In fact, YouTube videos just recently got popular for things like brand exposure and influencers. You see influencers pop up with thousands of followers, or even a millions and really wonder what the basis of what they do is. 

Blogging, Vlogging, Tweeting, Posting, etc. is all lucrative in one way or another. Influencers use sites like Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Snapchat to get in touch with people and post on things that may or may not be sponsored. Often times you'll see these influencers receiving free products and saying in their videos that they were sponsored to use or give their opinion on. 

The means for giving this information comes through their outlets and is dependent on their personal audience. For some beauty influencers, their biggest audience comes from Instagram. With this, they focus on making videos under a minute that can be posted on Instagram instead of YouTube which is a bigger platform hosting videos up to hours of content. This is where you'll see the makeup and skin care tutorials that are sped up and aren't as detailed. 

A large part of beauty influencing is creating things that you’re “known” for. This includes partnerships and other influencers who you connect with, things you post that are specific to your niche, and/or keeping up with trends that are going on in the industry. This can be done really correctly and can improve social media handles tremendously. it also can be done extremely wrong and end up tearing down the branding one attempted to have. They’ll still have a brand nevertheless; it just won’t be one that’s positive.

There are many beauty influencers who have pretty good work, but are always involved in an abundance of “Twitter Beef.” In other words, they’re always arguing or into it on their professional platforms. This makes companies look at them in a certain light because they don’t want someone
who is combative and argumentative representing their products and brand. It could possibly give off a bad rep for them which is what they definitely don’t want.

The issue is that a lot of these social media influencers are relatively young. There’s no need for separate pages so they, like myself, post new posts and things on their twitter and then proceed to tweet about other things as well. The younger generation of influencers appeal more to younger viewers due to their sense of being relatable. 

When people find a connection to others through makeup or a specific product, that trust is built up and is what ultimately brings followers and loyal viewers who genuinely want to view content. 

What creates the issue is when people clearly are only making posts and tuned into the conversation to create buzz surrounding themselves. Similarly, to when influencers love EVERY product they’re sent. It makes viewers view them as someone who sold out to the industry. Building up that trust with viewers is just as important as the post itself and the relationships with the companies. Without this trust, the influencers won’t be as successful as they could be because as with PR  and communications, the relationships built and how they’re built is what determine the level of success that is reached.

All photos came from Google Images