Before the social justice uprising that has taken place this year, could you name three Black-owned beauty brands off the top of your head? With little accessibility to brands that represent a range of darker skin tones and different hair textures, Black people are often left with limited options to achieve their desired looks. If we have learned anything this year, it is that representation matters. It should go without saying that Black consumers deserve to be acknowledged in the beauty industry. In honor of National Black Business month, we’re turning our attention to three Black women CEOs who have taken the step to catering to Black women’s needs and are making space for more melanin in the beauty industry.
Wilma Mae of DRK Beauty
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Perfectionism is exhausting! It can manifest itself in the way you view yourself, your work, or your ability to achieve your goals. There is far more joy found in embracing what you have and going for it anyway. Tap the link in bio to read @cherylchiew’s latest piece on unlearning perfectionism and how it taught her to see herself as good enough. We hope you are inspired to do the same. What are you letting go off as we move into a new month? Let us know below! #ThisIsDRKBeauty ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Photo @laurenloncar ⠀⠀⠀ #Model @faithjaggernauth ⠀ #Makeup @deannamelluso ⠀⠀⠀ #Hair @mark.alan.hair ⠀⠀⠀⠀ #Stylist @tarzinichols⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #flawsandall #acceptance #innerbeauty #truebeauty #positivity #affirmations #perfectionism #strongwomen
“DRK Beauty is a digital community that supports and empowers women of color in all their diversity. Through curated content, programming, and community initiatives, DRK Beauty aims to truly empower those who identify as women of color and fix the flawed relationships between brands and women of color.
DRK Beauty Healing is one of our first community initiatives in response to COVID-19 and the BLM movement. When we first launched DRK Beauty Healing on May 15th of this year—before George Floyd’s murder—we had only conceived the idea two weeks earlier as a response to the impending mental health fallout from COVID-19. Having never worked in the therapeutic space, our first step was to speak to therapists. We had back-to-back Zoom calls five days a week for the first month. We also spoke to mental health associations such as Mental Health America to learn more about the space and researched other initiatives in our community. We effectively educated ourselves as quickly as we could.
What we discovered is that there are precious few clinicians of color in the U.S. (Black/African psychologists make up only 5% of the total in the U.S.) and the free initiatives that are out there required prospective clients to fill out online forms and share their data and then wait to be approved to receive the free therapy. This added yet another barrier to entry, not to speak of the cultural stigma of therapy in the Black community. In addition, when you are depressed, traumatized, and/or paralyzed with anxiety, you don’t have the mental bandwidth to fill out forms and wait for an answer. You need the help now! We felt that the need was urgent and we wanted to make the process as seamless as possible. Also, we wanted to make sure that we didn’t breach any privacy rules. So my developers built an online directory and within two weeks we launched with a few hundred hours of therapy donated by clinicians we had spoken to. We asked them to share with their clinicians as well. So they continued to donate hours and within a month of launch, we had 1,000 hours of free therapy to give away. We’ve now raised over 2,000 hours of free therapy and we are now one of the leading platforms for free therapy for women of color in America, covering 27 states with approximately 100 clinicians.”
Brittney Ogike of BeautyBeez
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@vickyunfiltered did not come to play with us!😍 She is rocking @sensationnel_hair Rule Breaker Lace Wig sold both in-store @beautybeezstore and online BEAUTYBEEZ.com 🥰 • • • • • • • • • #melaninmagic #kinkycurlyhair #4ahair #sensationnelhair #melaninpoppin #4chair #teamsensationnel #naturalhair #sensationnel #protectivestyles #bsshair #3chair #lacefrontwig #blackgirlmagic #naturalhairjourney #naturalhairdaily #naturalhaircommunity #rulebreaker #bighair #kinkycurly #blackhair #curlyhair #naturalista #melanin
“BEAUTYBEEZ was created to fill a gap in the retail industry. What many people outside of the African-American community do not realize is that ethnic hair care and beauty products are traditionally sold in small local retailers called beauty supply stores. Every Black woman has memories—both fond and unpleasant—of going to the local beauty supply store with our mothers and shopping for those nostalgic “Black girl hair” products. It was a space specifically for us! The larger retailers didn’t (and still don’t) carry these items. Due to various laws and regulations over the past several decades, ownership in ethnic beauty largely transferred to the Korean-American community. Traditionally, they own the stores, the products, the hair manufacturing, and the distribution. And, unfortunately, people of color are oftentimes discriminated against in all areas—most notably in the beauty supply stores. We are followed, harassed, and left to fend for ourselves.
BEAUTYBEEZ is a modern beauty retailer prioritizing beauty for women of color. I founded the brand after my own dissatisfaction shopping for beauty. As an entrepreneur creating success in a field where I’m the minority, I’ve had to be resilient, resourceful, and stand out. There were several challenges that came my way, and I faced them head on. I took the time to equip myself with the knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in an industry that capitalizes off of me. I used my experience as a consumer and infused it in all aspects of BEAUTYBEEZ—from the products and services we offer to the customer experience. My identity and experiences as a Black consumer have single-handedly been the most effective attribute I’ve brought to the business and enabled me to thrive in an industry that is dominated by people who do not look like me.
BEAUTYBEEZ provides an inclusive beauty experience where women of color can shop, explore, and play in a world full of beauty. The brand was created because nothing like it exists and we wanted to be a complete departure from the typical beauty supply. Our mission is to celebrate Black beauty in every way possible—a curated collection of hair care, skin care, and beauty products; selling inclusive beauty brands; promoting minority owned brands; hiring diversity in our team members; tailored services for our unique needs; and most importantly, the creation of a community reflective of our brand’s values and ideals. We’ve been able to successfully create this space because we possess a passion for and knowledge of our consumers and their needs—an approach many of our predecessors have neglected.”
Jamila Powell, Owner & Founder, Maggie Rose Salon
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“When I first entered the beauty industry, I didn’t really have a clear understanding of all of the nuances and disparity that existed. I am a salon owner and do not do hair. I was primarily interested in the salon being a second stream of income. I started the salon geared towards extension work, and then transitioned into curly textured hair. As the business grew, so did my desire to become more known in the industry and be recognized as a salon of curl experts. That is when I discovered that salons and stylists of color are put in a box and not given the opportunity to shine on an international platform. Even more surprising, most salons that are recognized for specializing in curls are not Black-owned.
I initially tried to reach out to many of the well-known industry publications, but the feedback was pretty much non-existent. Typically, a handful of stylists of color are chosen to be representatives in the hair world, but new talent is not sought-after. I decided with the access we have to the internet and social media, I would create a lane for myself. I have created a global following for Maggie Rose, along with an educational platform called Texture University, and am in the process of launching a hair system for curls called Naturally Drenched. It has been a journey, but I have realized it is better to create your own platform versus depending on others.”
Images: Cottonbro / Pexels; thisisdrkbeauty, beautybeezstore, maggierosesalon / Instagram
Every day during my daily social media scroll, I pass by influencers, friends, and just general Instagram users who are now self-proclaimed skin care experts. You know, the friend who watched six TikToks and now believes she knows more about your own skin than you. We are living in a strange time where 15-year-olds dancing on an app are as influential as the Kardashians, and if you ask me, that signals the end of society—but that’s not really why we are here.
I have seen every skin care tip and trick in the book shared across these platforms, and while some tips are amazing, some are not so great. I know, hard to imagine that social media can be misleading! But, on a serious note, don’t believe everything you see (especially on the internet). Since I’m actually upfront about the fact that I’m not an expert, you don’t need to just take my word for it: I spoke to Candace Marino, aka the LA Facialist and Kourtney Kardashian’s trusted medical aesthetician. I asked her to break down the negatives of self-care at home, and which shiny new tools and tricks you may want to avoid.
“There are brands out there that want to cash in on professional services, making them ‘easy and convenient’ for at home use, but let’s be honest, they do not compare,” explains Marino. “Medical device companies spend thousands of dollars on research and development and clinical trials to ensure professionals can safely and effectively treat people with lasers, and microneedling, etc.”
If you’re currently worshipping your $150 at-home microdermabrasion tool, prepare to be heartbroken. So what products should you not bother with? We’re here to break it down for you.
Let’s start basic and broad, because these are the tools that most of us have fallen victim to. Any massage tool, roller, gua sha, or sculptor with a triple-digit price tag is a ripoff. If something is real stone, it has the same impact whether it costs $10 or $100, and that is where the trouble comes in. “These prices are NOT worth the investment. I’ve seen these gorgeous facial rollers at Bergdorf Goodman for $290, I have to roll my eyes,” Marino explains. Because, as mentioned before, these expensive rollers are the same thing as an inexpensive tool. Or you can even forego the tool entirely: “Save that money for a treatment that will actually do something for you,” Marino advises, “and massage your face with your hands.”
Her reason for passing on these products? “Half of you are going to see an ad, get jazzed about it, buy it, do it for one week and then lose it in your sea of beauty products,” she says. Okay, I feel attacked but also seen. I don’t want to say this rattled me, but I will admit that I’ve definitely considered splurging on a “good” gua sha or face sculptor. That being said, as long as the stone is real, it’s safe. And if you want to skip altogether, your hands are always free.
I am proud to say that while I’ve seen these all over the ‘gram, I have not been tempted to purchase. After all, I live in a Manhattan apartment, aka my windowless bathroom doubles as a steam room. “Are you really going to waste $50-200 on a facial steamer when steam is FREE? Boil a pot of water, throw a towel over your head and voilà,” Marino says, validating my thoughts. “Or simply jump in a shower. Plus, I don’t think people should be regularly streaming, it’s actually more harmful than good when done too much or too regularly. This is definitely not an essential piece of beauty equipment. Save. Your. Money.”
What is a dermaroller, you may ask? Well for starters, if you’re asking, you can mark yourself safe from these. But, if you search the internet, you’ll see that a dermaroller is a spikey little torture device used to poke holes in your face. JK—sort of. “These are NOT the same as professional microneedling,” Marino is quick to say. “I see people digging into their faces with these. First of all, you should not be puncturing yourself with anything that isn’t sterile. You’re opening up your skin to infection, and also potentially damage.”
Marino emphasizes, “I’m not an advocate of home dermarolling. Of course people are going to still do it, but I hope they have a professional to guide them. I’ve seen more harm done from these than good.” If you are going to use one, she advises, “make sure the depth is less than .5mm. Anything larger than that is just tearing the skin, and you should be leaving anything that punctures the skin to a trained professional.” I for one would never purchase one of these, simply because I don’t trust myself doing such a risky procedure. But, I do have many friends who own these, and furthermore rave about them. So for this one I’d say, (derma)roll at your own risk.
“This is a great way to break capillaries, damage your skin and cause bruising,” explains Marino, urging people, “Please don’t buy into the hype. It’s a $260 investment that will literally damage your skin. I’ve had customers debate me on this, saying ‘diamond glow and hydrafacial and microderm all use suction, how is this any different?'” The first is rather obvious: these are professional devices used by trained professionals who have the knowledge and skillset to properly treat skin issues. I hate to be the bearer of bad news here, but someone’s gotta do it: watching hours of YouTube does NOT make you a professional.
The second, less common-sense reason is that blackheads are waxy plugs in the skin (ew), so the approach with this device might be wrong from the start. “A vacuum isn’t the answer, it’s going to have to be awful strong to magically pull a true blackhead from the skin. What you do get is bruising, sensitivity, and broken blood vessels,” Marino explains.
Again, if you’re like “wtf is an extractor”, do a little internet search and you’ll likely recognize these sneaky little tools. The good news is, these aren’t dangerous when used properly. The bad news is, your favorite influencer is probs using it incorrectly, and therefore you likely are too. “I see people digging into the skin…that’s not what they’re intended for,” Marino says. “You should be gliding the extractor gently, not pressing, which causes injury and may lead to scarring.” Yes, scarring. So be careful!
I also asked Marino to help debunk some myths floating around TikTok and the internet in general.
I recently saw a video that basically tried to *end* jade rollers, saying that jade stone holds in dirt and particles (gross). The video also mentioned rose quartz was the safe way to go, so I asked Marino what the truth is.
“The healing power of stones and crystals have been used for centuries—their ability to cool the skin, yet warm up once worked with makes them great tools to use at home and in the treatment room,” Marino says, confirming that jade is OK to use, when real. “When discussing the powers of rollers, I always say, don’t look for a miracle. This isn’t going to change your life or your face. Is it a good self-care practice? Yes, you’re doing no harm, you’re encouraging circulation and you’ll definitely look more plump, alive, awake. Go for it, just be realistic with your expectations.” *sigh* When rolling my face, am I expecting to come out of it looking like Bella Hadid? You bet I am. I guess I’ll have to live on with chubby cheeks for another day.
I also asked about the ever-popular ingredient debate. Are clean beauty ingredients really better? Are essential oils all safe for your skin? Are there any ingredients you should actively avoid? I, for one, have a skin care cabinet that could last me a lifetime, and I wanted to be educated by someone other than the internet.
“I don’t chat ingredients,” Marino says. “What’s important is formulation. People want to talk ingredients like they’re chemists. They question simple things like an alcohol, an ester or an oil and automatically assume a product is bad… you can’t base a product on one ingredient alone.” To this I say, stick to your dermatologist’s advice. Different ingredients work for different people, and Marino can’t exactly diagnose all of our skin needs simultaneously.
So now that we’ve addressed the bad and the ugly, don’t be afraid to rid of your favorite tools. Trust me, a few dollars wasted today is better than permanently damaging your skin. On the bright side, I can keep my $12 jade roller and put that rumor to rest. On the even brighter side, I am now one step closer to being the first (naturally) blonde Kardashian. An all around win if you ask me!
Stay safe out there kids, and be good to your skin.
Images: Mariya_nova / Shutterstock.com; Candace Marino, Instagram; Bergdorfgoodman.com; Dermstore.com; Beautybio.com; rodanandfields.com
In a world where beauty bloggers act like they have a medical degree and influencers promote facial cleansing brushes on their Insta stories, basically anyone can call themselves a skin care expert. While it’s great that we can learn everything we need to know about toners and exfoliators from just a quick Google search, it also means that a lot of us have based our skin care routine on information that might not be accurate. Don’t panic and throw out all of your favorite beauty products just yet, though! Take a look at these busted skin care myths to get all of the facts on how to achieve the glowing skin you’ve always dreamed of.
Myth #1: Anti-Aging Products Are Only For People With Wrinkles
You might think that anti-aging products are for “older” people who have wrinkled skin. What many of those people will tell you is that they’ve had no luck getting their skin to look baby-smooth again like it once did. The truth is, once your skin has wrinkles, there’s no magic cream that can take them away permanently. The most effective way to be wrinkle-free is to start taking preventative measures when you’re young (in your 20s and 30s). That means using moisturizer and sunscreen or another SPF face lotion every day to prevent the development of dark spots and/or other signs of premature aging.
Myth #2: You Only Need Sunscreen If You’re Going To Be In Direct Sunlight
This brings us to our next point: it seems that the only time most of us remember to put on sunscreen is when we are going to the beach, or doing some kind of outdoor activity in the sunny summer months. While it is incredibly important that you use sun protection regularly when you plan to go out in direct sunlight, it’s equally as important to wear sunscreen on a daily basis, regardless of how sunny or cloudy it may seem. Especially when it comes to preserving and protecting your complexion, a daily broad-spectrum SPF is essential. Whether you realize it or not, even the smallest amount of sun exposure—whether that be through a window, sitting outside, or even through cloud cover—puts your skin at risk for negative effects from sun exposure. We know that getting a sunburn is very bad for your skin, but the sun can also penetrate the layers of your skin and cause damage deeper down, potentially leading to skin cancer, the most common cancer in the United States.
Myth #3: A Set Skin Care Routine Will Work For Everyone
You may be thinking, “everyone with perfect skin is following the same skin care routine, and I need to use exactly what they use if I want to have great skin too.” Yeah, that just isn’t the case. Each person has unique skin needs based on their skin type. A person with oily skin will need to use different products to cater to their needs as opposed to someone with dry skin. The same goes for people with mature skin, or sensitive skin, and so on. Just because one product worked amazingly for one person, doesn’t mean it will have the same effects for you. Take the time to research your skin type, or visit a dermatologist to find out what your skin type is, and the best way to care for it. The good news is there are so many products available that you’re bound to find the right ones for you.
Myth #4: Once Your Skin Reaches Maturity You’ll No Longer Break Out
You’d think that once you make it past your teens, you’ll never have to deal with acne again. Sorry, but we have some bad news. As it turns out, acne doesn’t seem to magically remove itself from your existence once you turn 20. Actually, your skin doesn’t fully mature until you’re about 30 to 35 years old, and even once you’ve reached that age range, you may still find yourself dealing with those pesky zits. But why? The most probable cause of your adult acne is your hormones. Your hormones change a lot over the course of your life, but factors like birth control, menopause, and even just your menstrual cycle can cause your hormones to fluctuate and create acne on your skin. Ughhh, we can’t have any nice things.
Myth #5: A Skin Care Routine Is Only For Your Face
Finally, you’ve perfected your skin care routine and your complexion looks the best it ever has. While achieving that sought-after facial glow does qualify for a well-deserved pat on the back, you may be forgetting about the big picture: the rest of the skin on your body!
You can’t forget to invest just as much time and energy into the skin on your body as you do for your face. Though your routine won’t be the same—our body skin is much thicker, which is why you wouldn’t use the same products on your face that you would on your body (and vice versa). TG, because facial products are expensive.
When it comes to skin care on your body, keep it simple. Wash your skin well with a soap or shower gel to remove the daily dirt, sweat, and other sh*t that collect on your skin. Next, exfoliate your clean skin. Whether you use a dry brush or a scrub to exfoliate while in the shower, it’s important to remove dead skin cells from your body to reveal the healthy skin underneath. Finally, moisturize. Once you’ve finished cleansing and exfoliating your skin, finishing off with a moisturizer is arguably one of the most important steps, as moisturizing serves to replenish your skin barrier, helping to improve its overall tone and texture.
Myth #6: A Skin Care Routine Is Only Effective If You Use A Multitude Of Targeted Products
With the thousands of skin care products available on the market, you may think that your routine will need to consist of 10 products minimum. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that complicated (or expensive). If you want to create a perfectly effective skin care regimen, keep it limited to these three steps: cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize. Cleaning your skin of makeup and dirt, exfoliating off the dead skin cells built up on your face, and moisturizing the new and healthy skin underneath is the simplest way to care for your skin on a daily basis and maintain a clean, clear, and healthy complexion.
However, if you have any unique skin concerns—like acne, for example—you may want to consider incorporating a specialized treatment product into your skin care regimen, as this will work to effectively target and address these areas. An acne cream containing tretinoin, for instance, is great for increasing skin cell renewal, which helps to prevent acne from the inside-out. On the other hand, if you’re concerned about dryness or wrinkles, applying a serum for overnight recovery can help penetrate the skin at a deeper level for better results.
At the most basic level, keep your skin care routine short and simple, and only incorporate more targeted treatments if and when necessary. Make sure to apply these treatments only to the particular areas of your skin that need some additional TLC.
Myth #7: “A Little Dab Will Do Ya”
Most skin care products will say to only apply a pea-sized amount of the product to your face, and this is true when using a product like an eye cream, where a little can go a long way. In reality, however, the suggested amount of product for proper use with most skin care products isn’t enough to give complete results for your skin. If you’re going to cleanse, exfoliate, or moisturize, don’t be afraid to apply a little bit extra. The lighter products like a cleanser or moisturizer can’t really hurt your skin, so if you want to get your complexion extra clean and smooth, you can add a little more than the bottle suggests.
If you do choose to use more of a product than suggested, keep your skin type in mind. For instance, those with dry skin shouldn’t over-cleanse, as their skin will dry out easily, and for those with oily skin, there’s no need to go overboard on the moisturizer or facial oils.
For products like a serum, a chemical exfoliator, or a targeted treatment, you’ll want to stick to the directions on the label, as these products are stronger and can cause damage to your skin if not used improperly or too frequently.
Images: Retha Ferguson / Pexels
If you, too, have been doing your best to help flatten the curve, you haven’t left your home in what feels like years. Back when life didn’t seem like the plot of Contagion, I thought spending a little more time in my French-country-meets-bohemian apartment sounded like it could be nice. However, after a week of being locked in what I now realize is a tiny box coated in about a thousand layers of paint that keep the doors from closing all the way, I am les mis, to say the least.
And I’m not the only one; my skin is also suffering through this difficult time. Look, even though my complexion should be thanking me for not covering it in 17 different cosmetics everyday, it does not appear to be showing any gratitude. As it just so happens, being deprived of vitamin D and living in an apartment where the heat doesn’t turn off until May isn’t very good for my face. If you have noticed that your skin is feeling more sensitive and drier than usual, you are not alone and you do not have to accept that your skin is f*cked. Over the course of four New York winters, three New York summers in an overly air conditioned office, and several spring breaks on the West Coast, I tried about every skincare product out there, and these are my favorite moisturizing and/or soothing ones that combat the elements of an apartment.
Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream, $22
Like I said, I’ve experimented with a myriad of products, but I always come back to this one. I have been using it for about eight years and am just as obsessed now as I was when I got it as a little baby college freshman. What I love most about it is the consistency: it goes on kind of thick, but it doesn’t just sit on your skin and rub off the second you touch your face. It takes about 10 minutes to absorb on a normal day, but on the days that I am chilling inside, it absorbs almost instantly. It’s also very reasonably priced, which is great because I’m using way more now than usual.
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment, $24
(If you haven’t noticed, I love Kiehl’s.) The skin around your eyes is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your face, which is why it’s usually the first place where you’ll find signs of aging. *sigh* A lot of people who try this cream hate it because it goes on like cream cheese (very tick and heavy), but those people didn’t bother learning how to use it! This does, indeed, go on very thick, but after you work it into your skin, you can actually feel it breaking down to a very watery consistency, at which point, you use your ring finger to dab it into the skin.
I wear this at night because even though it does absorb, it leaves your skin a little shiny and not in a cute way. Its hero ingredient is avocado oil, which is super moisturizing and can help keep that sensitive area around your eyes from getting too dry and angry.
Lush Mask Of Magnaminty, $14.95
If there is a brand I may love more than Kiehl’s, it’s Lush. I really appreciate that literally every ingredient in their products is natural and pronounceable. This was actually the first product I ever tried from Lush and since then, I have spent many, many dollars in this headache-inducing store.
Anyway, if your skin is dry, moisturizing is key, but so is exfoliating. Even if you can’t see it, which is probably for the best, your dry skin flakes and forms a layer of dead skin on your face (gross) and blocks your other products’ ability to do what they’re supposed to do. This Lush mask smells like a Thin Mint, which, for a while, was its main selling point for me. It’s also made with honey (super moisturizing), mint (soothing) and ground aduki beans (exfoliating). Unlike a chemical exfoliator, the ground aduki beans exfoliate your skin when you wash the mask off. I usually wet my hands and just kind of move the mask, which doesn’t dry on your skin, around my face and I can feel the beans exfoliating. I am always left feeling super clean and rejuvenated.
Avène Hydrance Intense Rehydrating Serum, $38
After exfoliating, it’s important to soothe your skin, and the best way to do that is with a very gentle serum. Serums are great because they’re the most concentrated of all skincare products, but this one is my favorite because it’s not very aggressive. I don’t entirely understand which ingredients do this, but the second I spread it around my face, it feels cooling and soothing. It’s a really slippery, gel-like serum that goes a long way. I’m obsessed.
Image Skincare Vital C Hydrating Facial Cleanser, $32
Until I tried this two years ago, I was a firm believer in cleansers being kind of a waste. Like, it’s on your face for 30 seconds tops, so how much could it possibly do, right? Then I stole this from my mom and I am so happy I did. First of all, having vitamin C in your skincare routine is essential. Secondly, your cleanser should leave your skin feeling clean (duh) and supple. When you cleanse your face and it feels tight and dry, that means your cleanser is way too harsh. This one has a lotion-like texture, which, in my opinion, is ideal for a cleanser because it’s easy to move around, doesn’t get everywhere, and it’s rich enough do do its job.
ByTerry Baume de Rose Lip Care, $60
I am fully prepared to get verbally murdered in the comments because this price is laughable and almost offensive, but I swear it is worth it. I went on Accutane when I was in high school and this balm was the only product that kept my lips from ripping in half. I know Aquaphor is allegedly amazing, but in my opinion, this is the only thing that works when my lips are dry af. Because it’s so expensive, this is definitely not my everyday product for chapped lips; it’s my go-to when I feel like smiling could be dangerous for my mouth. It has a really buttery texture and does this thing where half of it absorbs and the other half coats and protects your lips. Most importantly, it’s not sticky, so if you shake your head and a strand of hair touches your lips, it wont be there until the day you die.
Image: Unsplash; SpaceNK; Lush; Kieh’s (2); Image Skin Care; Dermstore
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Let’s be real—there’s nothing better than having someone else do your makeup. We can’t all be like A-list celebs and bring glam teams with us wherever we go, but Glamsquad, our fav on-demand beauty app, makes it easy to feel fab whenever you’re in a pinch. Glamsquad has been bringing blowouts, makeup, and mani/pedis to your home, office (definitely Betches HQ), or wherever you are for a minute, but they’re taking their services to the next level with their brand new makeup line.
Glamsquad always knows exactly what you need, so their new collection features four essentials that you won’t want to leave the house without. With a primer, setting & hydrating mist, highlighter, and tinted lip balm, the collection is your perfect solution for when you don’t have time for a Glamsquad appointment, or even eyeliner.
You’ve probably spent hours and hours watching YouTube videos on contouring, and while we’re all for trying the latest beauty trends—from lash extensions to microblading—sometimes it’s necessary to get back to the basics and perfect your everyday beauty routine. It’s great to have fun with your makeup, but no one really has time for a full beatdown every day…or like, ever. Your boyfriend might call you high-maintenance, but your makeup routine doesn’t have to be.
With summer approaching, now is the perfect time to finesse your ‘I woke up like this’ glow. Below, Glamsquad’s Artistic Director, Kelli J Bartlett, gives us the rundown on using Glamsquad’s four essential makeup heroes to get you glowing and out the door in five! See steps below:
1. Start by spraying Glamsquad’s Ah-Mazing Setting and Hydrating Mist all over to prep skin. This mist features coconut and chamomile to hydrate and soothe the skin.
2. Next, using your hands, apply a pea-sized amount of Glamsquad’s Morning Glow Radiant Face Primer all over to moisturize skin. Who has the time for a multi-step prep and priming skin routine? This will do wonders to fake a radiant ‘I slept for 10 hours glow.’
3. Mix in your other favorite essentials: Curl lashes! It’s essential for a quick fake awake appearance when you’re running out the door
4. Use your favorite brow gel to groom brows into place.
5. Conceal redness and dark circles with your go-to brightening concealer. Blend it out!
6. Time for mascara! I only dip my mascara in twice. Once for the first eye, again for the second eye. Use what’s left over for your bottom lashes.
7. Apply Glamsquad’s Enlightened Highlighter in Luminous Rose (to the center of your cheeks, nose and wrapping around your temple. I chose this shade because it has a slightly blush tint, which helps add a rosy hue without having to use a blush and highlighter combo
8. Finally, apply Glamsquad’s Take a Tint Lip Balm in Tint of Rose to give lips a sheer veil of glossy color while also hydrating them for the day!
9. Finish with a final spritz of Glamsquad’s Ah-Mazing Setting and Hydrating Mist to set your makeup, and you’re ready to go!
Images: Glamsquad (2)
Not to brag, but I spend a f*ck ton of money at Sephora. So when twice a year they have their seasonal bonus discount, I’m happier than a Game of Thrones fan on a Sunday night. Like, let’s face it—it’s expensive to be beautiful. Even if you’re not into makeup, keeping up with a five hundred step Korean skin care routine costs enough to make you want to quit your day job and just become a stripper. Sorry mom and dad, but I have to afford this flawless face somehow… Anyway, we all should take advantage of this rare discount on beauty (which will also help keep me off the pole for another month or two until I run out again.) Sephora’s spring bonus offer started on April 26th for Rouge members (yes, of course this is me) and starts May 2nd for VIB and Insiders, ending on May 6th for all parties. So that being said, here are the must-buy items from Sephora that you should be adding to your cart like, rn.
1. LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask ($20)
This product is my holy grail. No joke, I haven’t had chapped lips even ONCE since I started using this a few months ago. I have tried sooo many lip products in an attempt to relieve my chapped lips, and this is the ONLY one that has actually worked. I use this on my lips every night and wake up with luscious soft lips in the morning. Even though it’s a sleeping mask, it also works great as a hydrating gloss for the day. It makes your lips look instantly moisturized and gives them a perfect subtle pink glow.
2. Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self-Tan Drops ($49)
This product has been my secret weapon for over a year now, and I can’t say enough good things about it. In fact, I’ve turned several friends and family members into religious purchasers of the product. First off, Tan-Luxe’s mission is to bring a skin care approach to self-tanning, so you can trust with full certainty that it’s both safe and beneficial for your skin. Additionally, their products are organic, non-toxic, and cruelty-free. And, probs most importantly of all, their products give you that subtle just-got-back-from-vacation glow that we all constantly strive to achieve. These drops are intended to be added to your regular moisturizer, serum, or oil. However, I find the best results when, instead of mixing with my moisturizer, I apply my moisturizer, then wait a few minutes and apply the drops directly on top. It’s an oil, so it goes on super smooth and consistent, and the result is a tanned and flawless face, with imperfections blurred and all. No need to Facetune this selfie, baby!
3. Benefit Cosmetics Gimme Brow+ Volumizing Eyebrow Gel ($24)
If this makeup product were a book, it’d be “How To Do Your Eyebrows For Dummies.” It’s the simplest product to use with maximum results. Yes, like I’m sure many of you are, I too am a devotee of Anastasia Beverly Hills’ brow pencils. However, I’m rarely sitting around with enough time in the morning to spend filling in my mismatched eyebrows hair by hair. By using tiny microfibers to give your brows instant fullness and definition, Benefit’s brow gel takes 30 seconds to apply and looks super natural. This is my day-to-day necessity because like, eyebrows can make or break a person. And, for anyone who’s ever experienced the misfortune of over-tweezing their brows, you know how truthful of a statement that really is.
4. BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter ($38)
This highlighter is a cult-favorite among makeup enthusiasts everywhere, and let me just tell you, it’s for good reason. Like, you know when you see all those makeup artists on Instagram whose clients have the most radiant, dewy glow??? Well, that’s actually achievable sans a glam squad for even us mere peasants with this product. Especially if you get the iconic Champagne Pop shade, which is their best-selling shade of soft gold with a peachy-pink pearl glow.
5. Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel ($88)
Okay, so these peel pads are obvi a bit pricey, which is why I always wait for the twice a year bonus offer to purchase them (or at least, I try to). Because honestly, even without the bonus, these peel pads are still worth it. Dr. Dennis Gross knows his sh*t, and these daily anti-aging peel pads are a true testament to that. Of course, given their price, I definitely do not use them on a daily basis as suggested. Rather, I use them 2-3 times per week and, let’s just say, they have become an ESSENTIAL part of my skin care routine. Like, I can see a noticeable difference in the brightness of my skin when I’ve procrastinated buying a new box and don’t use them for a few weeks. So trust me, take advantage of the spring bonus offer to get a discount on this incredible product while you can.
6. Urban Decay All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray ($32)
I’m pretty sure every girl knows the eighth wonder of the world that is this setting spray, although I had to still put it on this list because it would be a sin not to. This amazing weightless setting spray keeps your makeup intact and fresh for up to 16 hours. And, let’s just say, I’ve had a few benders in my college days that would serve as testament to the effectiveness of the product. Oh, and also, for anyone who’s ever accidentally taken an extra long nap post-day drinking, just to wake up at 10pm as all your friends are about to leave for the bar, this product is a true FOMO preventer because you’ll be pretty much ready to go right after waking up. But that’s just for anyone out there who’s ever experienced that—not myself of course.
7. FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer ($18)
I get it, some of you may consider lip gloss to be juvenile. You’re all about a matte ~lewk~. Well, to each their own, but I’m here for a dewy look. Like, before highlighter was a thing, I was putting baby oil on my cheekbones for a subtle glow, something I learned from the Olsen twins in one of those $10 special edition magazines all about them. (I was a true fan girl, to say the least.) So anyway, back to what I was getting at: I love a subtle nude glossy lip, and this lipgloss is the epitome of that. It’s a universally flattering rosey nude shade that looks great either alone or applied over your lipstick. Not to mention, it’s not sticky and glides on smooth for a perfect flawless finish.
8. Philosophy Renewed Hope In A Jar Refreshing & Refining Moisturizer ($39)
I am a slut when it comes to moisturizers. As someone whose skin is often way more dry than anything else, I’m always on the hunt for a good new moisturizer. And let’s just say, I have about ten different ones in my bathroom currently. However, I put this one on the list because it is one of the few options that is lightweight enough to wear during the day, while still being hydrating and powerful enough to use at night. For example, I’m madly in love with La Mer’s classic Crème de la Mer. However, it’s just way too thick for wear during the day. On the flip side, this Philosophy moisturizer is suitable for both day and night, not to mention also for all skin types. It gives a soft dewy hydrated feel that isn’t too thick or slimy, so you can easily still apply your makeup over it.
9. Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($39)
This is another beauty product with a devoted following, so I’m going to assume this is not the first time you’re hearing about it. But, what I can do is be here to vouch for it. This powder is the perfect final step in your beauty routine to not only make sure your makeup stays on your face, but actually stays in place on your face. It’s lightweight, and blends seamlessly over your makeup for that final no-filter-filtered makeup look. Like, attention Insta thots everywhere, you’ll no longer have to hide behind the dog filter because this product gives your skin that perfect flawless finish.
10. Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 20 Sunscreen ($36)
This BB tinted moisturizer is my daily replacement for foundation when I don’t want a fully snatched face. Like, on a casual Tuesday I’m not trying to have a beat face, ya know? So instead, I use this and it provides just the right amount of coverage to blur all my imperfections without making me look caked. Not to mention, it also has vitamins and sh*t in it, like Amazonian clay (hence the name) and chamomile, to bring your skin amazing benefits while you wear it.
So disclaimer, everyone’s skin is different, and what works for me may not work for you. However, as a human guinea pig for all things beauty, these are the products that have proved to be stand out stars, at least in my book. And, as someone who has wasted enough money on this sh*t to have just paid off her student loans by now, I’m experienced and somewhat credible in this department. Somewhat.
Images: @BoxedWaterIsBetter / Unsplash; Sephora (10)
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
In my never-ending quest to be my most beautiful self, I am constantly buying new beauty products to try. Trust me, you don’t get to Sephora VIB Rouge status by purchasing an eyeliner just here and there. I’m pretty much guaranteed VIB Rouge membership until I’m 35, that’s how often I’m buying sh*t. And it definitely doesn’t help that I’m so easily influenced by celebrities. Oh, Kim Kardashian uses that? *Adds to cart.* Okay, I’m not that easy…I do my research before I blindly purchase (minus the time I ordered Flat Tummy Tea while in a manic state, which was a total waste of $130). That being said, I wanted to share some of the best products that I’ve tried and loved based solely off of celebrity beauty recommendations. You know, so you don’t actually have to waste your precious money buying whatever beauty item the Kardashians are hawking this week. My credit card has already taken the hit for all of us, so it’s cool.
Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist, $48
Pretty much any product Kim K. has recommended, I’ve bought. Given that the Kardashian-Jenners are like, so rich and have access to everything, they’re only using the best of the best. The Kardashians are iconic for their contour, highlight, and glowy skin. So when I saw that Kim said that she uses this particular spray to achieve her dewy skin, you know I had it in my Sephora cart faster than you could say, “Bible.” And straight-up, I highly recommend it. You can use this product under your makeup, over your makeup, or just as a makeup refresher to spritz on throughout the day. I totally recommend using it all three ways. It’s composed of a bunch of natural anti-aging and hydrating ingredients, aka sh*t to make your skin really glowy. It’s a bit pricey, but if you can afford to add it to your regimen, I can’t recommend it enough.
Crème de la Mer, $175
La Mer is the moisturizer of the elite because it’s expensive af. But it’s expensive because it works, and celebs can’t get enough. I first tried the moisturizer because I saw Chrissy Teigen uses it, and Chrissy Teigen is pretty much goals for everything she does. She not only uses this on her face, but all over her body. I mean, perks of being married to someone with an EGOT—you can afford to do that. For us mere peasants, we’re lucky to be able to afford the trial size option just to use it on our faces. But if you can scrape the pennies together to do so, I definitely recommend purchasing it. This moisturizer is super hydrating, and you don’t need to use a lot because it’s so thick. It actually will last you a while, if you can just force yourself to make the initial investment. Life hack: Go to a high-end department store and visit the La Mer counter and pretend you’re interested in buying the product, but say you want to try a sample first. They’ll make you a little sample size pot of it so that you can try it out before dropping the big bucks. And I mean, if you’re a real broke-ass b*tch, you can just keep going around to all the La Mer counters at your local malls and never even have to buy any! But seriously, save yourself the trouble and buy it. You won’t regret it.
Sephora Perfection Airbrush Foundation, $28
This is probably the most affordable beauty product that I’ve tried based on a celebrity recommendation. Stassi Schroeder swears by this foundation, and for good reason. The name says it all, and this product actually lives up to the hype. It’s a thin foundation that gives a flawless airbrushed finish that doesn’t scream, “I’m wearing foundation!” I recommend spraying it onto a damp beauty blender, rather than directly onto your face. If you try spraying it directly onto your face, then you’ll probs end up getting it in your hair and on your clothes…which is a hard left from your “unattainable no-makeup makeup look.” It sells out fast online, so you may need to try your local Sephora store to see if they have it in stock.
NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, $30
You know how it’s super obvious when someone’s wearing makeup, because they get those crevice lines under their eyes? Yeah, that’s never the look you want. This concealer is light, moisturizing, easy to use, and most importantly, won’t give you those ugly crevice lines that make you look like a cracked claymation figure. This was an OG Kylie Jenner recommendation, before she started making her own concealer. Idk how the Kylie Cosmetics version is, but I can definitely vouch for this one. This concealer is one of my favorites, and I highly recommend it!
Vita Liberata pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tinted Tan Mousse, $54
If you know me, which you don’t, you’d know I’m a self-tanner addict. It is simply a product I cannot live without, and trust me, I’ve tried them all. I decided to give this one a shot when I read online that the impeccably perfect Gigi Hadid uses it, and I fell in love. Of course, it’s pricey and runs out super fast, but it’s a great freaking product. The tan actually lasts, and doesn’t fade all gross and splotchy. Not to mention, it uses “pHenO2 technology” (whatever the f*ck that is) to create a natural-looking tan that doesn’t have that orangey spray tan look. Particularly for the self-tanning novice, this is a good one to try, because it goes on seamlessly and looks super natural. Oh, and the best part? It doesn’t have that nauseating self-tanner smell to it that every other one does. It’s just…amazing.
Look, I know these products aren’t cheap, but did you really expect famous celebs to be using drugstore foundations? Not a chance. That’s not to say that there aren’t great options out there, I’ve just personally never read about a celebrity using one that wasn’t sponsored by said brand. Look, as my mom would say, “beauty is pain.” And by pain, I mean painful AF for my wallet.
Images: @glowrepose / Unsplash; Sephora (4); Ulta
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
January f*cking sucks. And February is honestly worse. It’s dark, it’s cold, and Colton’s Bachelor season is making me concerned about the state of our future. So what better way to brighten up this dreadful time than with some beauty products specially chosen to fit your zodiac sign? I mean, who doesn’t love a little customization, especially when your horoscope is involved?
SKINFOOD Black Sugar Mask Wash Off
Although a spa day probably doesn’t sound like the best use of your precious time, it’s good to put that hard-working mind to rest for a bit, Aries. You’re courageous, so you’re totally into trying new products, but you’re also super impatient and can’t afford to sit and soak all day. SKINFOOD has been creating food-based beauty products since 1957, so you can bet they’ve perfected their method by now. This sugar-based exfoliating mask will have you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed in less than 20 minutes.
Love Beauty and Planet Murumuru Butter Rose Blooming Color Shampoo
You’re super responsible, Taurus, so your beauty products should be too. Love Beauty And Planet has the most luscious and sweet-smelling shampoo. Your practical self can find this shampoo at your local Ulta for under ten dollars. It’s also sulfate-free so it won’t ruin your Keratin-drenched locks or newly colored hair. The best part? It’s infused with a ton of organic sh*t, has not been tested on animals, and comes in a bottle made of 100% recycled plastic. How boho of you, Taurus.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel
While being a social butterfly has its perks, most social events you’ve been attending involve an indulgent amount of alcohol. So let’s give your liver a break and show your dried-out skin some love. Like you, the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel is gentle and affectionate, smoothing out your dehydrated skin. Don’t let your indecisiveness keep you from trying this product. Besides, it’s basically a cult classic at this point, so you really can’t go wrong.
Caudalie Vinopure Skin Perfecting Serum
Since the New Year, you’ve been in go-mode. Whether that be in your career, relationships, or Insta-stalking abilities, you’ve been putting a ton of effort into your passions. With that, though, can come some neglect, specifically of your face. Skipping a few morning face washes? Thought so. This lightweight Caudalie serum has everything you need in one bottle. The salicylic acid base flushes out excess oil, tightens your pores, and activates your skin’s natural glow.
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter
You’re stubborn as hell, Leo, so I can’t convince you of much, but if you want one beauty product in your life right now, it’s Becca’s Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter. With colors to complement every skin tone and type, this highlighter takes any flat-faced makeup look to the next f*cking level. Even if you don’t want to admit it, we all know you’re dramatic AF, so don’t deny your makeup look of the same impact. So try and listen to someone other than yourself for once, Leo—I promise it’ll pay off.
Guerlain Cils D’Enfer Maxi Lash Volume Creating Curl Sculpting Mascara
It’s been a rocky start to the New Year, Virgo, but things are finally turning around for you. Your constant anxiety will probably subside, but if it doesn’t, let’s at least make you look like you’ve got your sh*t together. In my mind, a great mascara can fix practically anything. My go-to is always Guerlain’s Mascara Cils D’Enfer. Getting this mascara in any other color than black is a sin. Their serum is one of the darkest I’ve ever used, which is perfect for your all-black wardrobe, Virgo. It’s reliable and loyal, just like you, so it’s worth the splurge.
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz
You may be the queen of fairness, Libra, but lately you’ve been acting like a bad bitch. And we love it on you. To match your bold new attitude (without straying too far from your comfort zone), try out a classy and defined brow look. The best of the bunch? Anastasia Brow Wiz. With its fine tip and waxy formula, you’ll get an Insta-worthy brow every time. Even when life takes you for a turn, your harmonious personality can come through in the symmetry of your eyebrows—cause life is better with perfect brows.
Big Blue Bath Bomb
It’s cold as ice, and I’m not talking about your heart, Scorpio. In this frigid weather you’ll have to be taking extra good care of yourself, because we all know how f*cking dramatic you get every time you catch a cold. It’s annoying. Instead, take a nice warm bath with a Lush Big Blue Bath Bomb. This lavender and lemon-scented bomb fills your bath with ocean-blue goodness. Light a few candles, grab a book, and in no time you’ll have an Insta-worthy bath (but don’t actually post it please).
Tom Ford Shadow Extreme Eye Shadow
Ever since the start of 2019, you’ve been overly generous with your time, Sagittarius. So it’s okay to be a little selfish as we slip into the icy month of February. While it may seem pricey for an eyeshadow, the Tom Ford Shadow Extreme Eye Shadow has been voted Allure’s best in beauty, so it’s totally worth the extra bucks. Choose from an array of vivacious and flirty colors that only a Sagittarius like yourself could pull off. It’s time to start putting yourself first again, so bring on the bold eyes.
NEOM Organics London Perfect Night’s Sleep Face Oil
It’s been an exhausting past few months for you, Capricorn, and as self-disciplined as you are, you haven’t been the most responsible. Ever since that office holiday party, you’ve gone just a touch too hard (did I say a touch? How about a slap). Ending off the month, it’s time for you to re-find your ~zen~ space. The NEOM Organics London Perfect Night Sleep Face Oil is full of rejuvenating vitamins. It also encourages sleep (IDK how, I’m not a scientist) so you’ll be getting those eight hours in without stress.
Take Me For Pomegranate Lip Whip
Happy birth month, Aquarius! You know what that means? A big-ol’ birthday present for yourself. You’re an independent and unique woman, so buying yourself a gift can be a little tricky. We know you don’t want to go for anything too mainstream. Beauty Bakerie is an adorable indie makeup brand that packages and names all of their products in the theme of food or baking (could it get any cuter?). Get that bold birthday lip look with their Take Me For Pomegranate lip whip. Bonus: it’s vegan, paraben- and cruelty-free, and smudge-proof.
James Charles X Morphe Dare To Create Artistry Pallet
It’s time to get creative with your beauty game. With an artistic mind like yours, Pisces, you have the ability to pull off wild makeup looks that none of us mere mortals could ever dream of doing. This is why you need to get yourself the James Charles x Morphe Dare To Create Artistry Pallet. Your distrusting ways may give you hesitation about this purchase, but thousands of happy customers can’t be wrong. The colors are super pigmented and are perfect for unleashing your wildest side. Even though the palette is currently sold out, you can add yourself to an email list. Besides, you have to work on your patience anyways.
Images: SKINFOOD; Murumuru; Neutrogena; Becca; Caudalie; Guerlain; Anastasia; Lush; Tom Ford; NEOM; Beauty Bakerie; Morphe/Ulta
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.