Make-up and I have had a very interesting relationship over the course of my 26 years of life. I wouldn’t say we started off too strong given a.) I didn’t know what I was doing, b.) my beauty trendsetters consisted of The Olsen Twins, Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson…need I say more? c.) My mother is much lighter than me and didn’t wear too much make-up, but when she did it was pink blush and a red lip. I don’t advocate for wearing make-up at an early age; however, I was a cheerleader and we were required to wear uniformed make-up, so it crossed my path at many points of adolescence.
We started off with glitter, crème eyeshadows, pink blush and now have transitioned to bold lips, highlighted cheeks and blended tones. Looking back there are many times I cringe at failed make-up experiments that did not look good on me. I remember concluding early on the classic “red lip,” was not made for my skin tone. There was even a period of time I stopped wearing make-up all together because it was frustrating trying to find foundation, bronzer, cover-up, and lipsticks that looked good on my skin tone. For an amateur like myself, make-up in general can be wildly overwhelming, there is just so much product that is for 1,000 different things. If you asked me up until maybe these past three-four years what beauty brands were available for people of color, I’d think Covergirl, Olay, Avon, Neutrogena and L’Oreal. This was few and far between because the availability of options was very limited for anything past maybe a golden skin color.
Worlds of Color
Now with the rise of diversity and inclusion in beauty products you have MAC, ColourPoP, Nars, Urban Decay, and Iman Cosmetics. Social media and the rise of vloggers and beauty swatches also highlight what goes best with your skin tone before you even think of purchasing. I don’t even need to stand in front of an illuminated case at Wal-Mart or Target trying to match bottles to my skin. It’s truly amazing. My launch back into the make-up world started with Karrueche Tran’s collaboration with ColourPoP, and now I’m actively paying attention to beauty brands, marketing, and seeing what companies reflect products that are made for me. I feel confident wearing make-up and think it’s great the beauty industry is working to include and advocate for diverse models in make-up, skin, and hair. Younger generations have Zendaya, Selena Gomez, and Demi Lovato to use as their beauty trendsetters and it’s great to see the leaps and bounds diversity is making in all facets of business.
Is there still more work to do? Of course. I love ColourPop, but they received a lot of scrutiny recently for negative make-up labels associated with darker skin products, or Kylie Jenner who claims to have uncovered the secret for a “perfect nude for darker skin tones.” However, the attention and action by consumers to these beauty blunders have been swift. With major companies like MAC having collaborations by Taraji P. Henson and the late Selena Quintanilla, we’re seeing progressive change towards incorporating high profile figures to showcase beauty reflective of all races and cultures.
—Desiree is Texan Lady living in the windy, sometimes temperamental city of Chicago where she is getting her MFA in Creative Writing.
She has publications with The Rivard Report, NSIDE Publications, Study Breaks Magazine and Unite 4: Good. Her approach to writing whether fiction or non-fiction is to keep it as eclectic and diverse as her interest so she is ambitious in wanting to have her writing cross all platforms. She seeks to continue to improve in her skill set as an author, writer, and storyteller while educating others on being bi-racial and interracial relationships. As she continues finishing her MFA she looks forward to the new opportunities that lie ahead and embracing whatever life throws her way. She is currently a contributing writer for Swirl Nation Blog, EliteDaily.Com, an Editorial Fellow with The Tempest, and created the new “Your Hair Story Series,” with Mixed Chicks Hair Products.
Join us for the largest gathering of multiracial and mixed-race families and people in June 2017 for the 4th Annual Mixed Remixed Festival.