Of course, all that money doesn’t go straight into an influencer’s pocket. YouTube keeps 45% of ad revenue garnered through AdSense, which enables Google to run ads on videos and pays creators based on view count. At the end of the day, the creator only walks away with 55% of the total revenue they’ve generated from their content. YouTube also has the power to stop ads from running on videos if they believe the content violates their ad policy, which, as it turns out, is pretty often.
Creators who want to keep more of what they make are turning to other platforms that take a smaller percentage of their earnings and allow creators to have more freedom to discuss topics that aren’t so “advertiser-friendly,” without the risk of being demonetized and losing their source of income. Enter: OnlyFans, the subscription-based social media platform known for revolutionizing the sex worker industry. But the platform is quickly shifting, becoming the next destination for beauty content as well.
Founded in 2016, OnlyFans might be most well-known as a platform for sex workers to sell their NSFW content, but it was created with influencers and entrepreneurs in mind to allow for the monetization of many unique talents. At its core, it’s a subscription-based platform, similar to Patreon, where users pay a monthly fee to access a creator’s content, whether that’s explicit images and videos, fitness videos, music lessons, makeup tutorials, and more. But unlike Patreon, which has multi-levels of subscriptions (you get more if you pay more), OnlyFans is donation/subscription-based. It doesn’t place any restrictions on content, and the platform only takes 20% of a creator’s earnings.
Although we haven’t seen any major players in the beauty influencer game join the platform, a representative from OnlyFans says that smaller influencers have found great success on the platform.
“Creators on OnlyFans often have smaller, more engaged followings in comparison to platforms like Instagram and YouTube,” OnlyFans tells Very Good Light. “Because of this, beauty creators have more opportunities to connect with their fans directly, allowing them to share personalized beauty advice, expert tips, and product and service recommendations directly with their fans.”
OnlyFans reported an influx of beauty influencers and professionals joining the platform in recent months in the wake of COVID-19. With many salons still closed or operating at decreased capacity, beauty professionals are struggling to get their income back to pre-pandemic levels.
“As the beauty industry adapts to new social distancing measures with public spaces reopening, there is great opportunity for beauty industry professionals to continue to utilize OnlyFans for at-home service tutorials as well as personalized expert tips on product applications where individuals may have previously relied on a makeup counter,” says a representative from OnlyFans.
One such influencer, Hadiyah Daché, AKA The Fairy Glow Mother, is an esthetician based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s one of many beauty industry professionals exploring creating content on OnlyFans, with the goal of recording educational videos showcasing full body waxing and sugaring services. This type of content, although not sexual in nature, would prominently feature genitalia, and as such, would violate YouTube’s terms of service. Not only does OnlyFans not censor a creator’s content, but the platform itself is extremely secure, making it a safe space for the models who can have their private waxing sessions filmed without the fear that the content will be stolen and redistributed.
“The content I have planned is a mix of tutorials for other estheticians and voyeuristic/ASMR content for intimate services like Brazilian waxing/sugaring,” Hadiyah says to Very Good Light.
She plans to use OnlyFans to market her services and hopefully get new clients to come into her studio. The subscription model on OnlyFans is a new form of advertising that we haven’t seen in the beauty industry, and has the potential to turn “fans” into loyal customers. It also allows creators to make money immediately, whereas other platforms require a large following before any brand or advertiser is willing to pay you to create content.
“OnlyFans as a marketing tool kind of flips things for me,” Hadiyah says. “I’m used to paying to market, not getting paid. So that was new.”
For Hadiyah, OnlyFans is a chance to educate new and existing clients on her services—and have a little fun with social media. “I plan to show waxing, sugaring, Vulvacials, and maybe some troll content titled ‘Hot Ebony Facial,’ but it’s really just a relaxing ASMR video of me giving a facial to a client.”
The beauty industry is always shifting and changing. Nowadays, being a Youtuber isn’t enough. From product lines to podcasts, influencers are constantly discovering new ways to generate income. The current economic crisis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting every industry, including the beauty industry.
Subscription-based platforms like OnlyFans give creators more control, more creative freedom, and better profit margins than YouTube. Beauty consumers value authenticity, and the success of beauty creators on OnlyFans proves that people are willing to pay for it. It has the potential to be the future of beauty content, where creators can interact directly with their fans. Some beauty influencers have follower counts in the millions, and OnlyFans has the ability to turn some of those followers into paying superfans. It’s another level of exclusivity: think of it like a meet-and-greet at a concert. OnlyFans is another way for beauty creators to get ~real~ with their fans—and they don’t even have to take their clothes (or makeup) off.
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It’s no surprise that Pride looks very different this year.
Pride parades across all major cities were either postponed, canceled, or moved to a digital platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pride has always been about fostering connection and community between LGBTQ+ members and allies, and so many of those celebrations occur at in-person events like marches, drag shows, and concerts. This year, pride will be celebrated at home instead of in the streets, but the message is the same: celebrating the progress made towards equality and justice for all.
While it’s disappointing to miss out on these important events that are oftentimes the only places people feel safe and comfortable enough to accept and acknowledge who they really are, it’s important to remember that the power of Pride isn’t confined to an event or a month. Even though we can’t show up in droves to support our LGBTQIA+ brothers and sisters at pride parades, there are plenty of other ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community from the comfort of your couch.
One of the most important things you can do to support Pride initiatives is to vote with your dollar and support beauty brands and products that are donating a portion of their proceeds to LGBTQ+ charities in honor of Pride month. Below, we’ve rounded up a list of products that you can feel good about impulse-buying.
This limited-edition Pride 2020 collection includes a 10-pan eyeshadow palette, a 6-piece eye and face brush set, a holographic lip gloss, and their best-selling setting spray in a limited-edition super sweet scent. 100% of the net proceeds from this collection (a minimum of $50,000) will be donated to GLSEN, an organization designed to create a safe and supportive school environment for K-12 students.
The award-winning makeup removing pad got a new look in honor of Pride. Face Halo released a limited-edition three-pack called Love is Love featuring a satin rainbow trim. 5% of the net proceeds from this set will be donated to The Trevor Project, a non-profit organization focused on suicide prevention for LGBTQ+ youth.
Dry shampoo lovers know that Batiste is the real deal. They’re releasing a limited-edition version of their dry shampoo in super cute rainbow packing and have pledged a $38,000 donation to LGBT Foundation, one of the largest charitable organizations for the LGTBQ+ community in the UK.
NOTO is a gender-fluid natural beauty brand dedicated to creating high performing skincare products with clean ingredients. The Agender Oil is considered their “giveback product,” which means that a percentage of profits go towards a rotating list of organizations year-round, including Planned Parenthood, LGBT Youth Center, Woman’s Center DTLA and more. This month, 100 percent of each direct sale of the Agender oil will go towards The Okra Project, a nonprofit committed to aiding the Black trans community by bringing home-cooked, healing, culture-specific meals and resources to the individuals that need it most.
Marc Jacobs has always been a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, and this year Marc Jacobs Beauty has pledged a $10,000 donation to two charitable organizations: SAGE, the world’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ+ older adults, and Le Refuge, a French organization dedicated to preventing the isolation and suicide of LGBTQ+ youth by providing shelter and support. The beauty brand launched Enamored with (Pride) hydrating lip glosses in five new shades and rainbow packaging to celebrate Pride 2020. Pick them up individually for $29 each, or $116 for the set.
The New York-founded apothecary-inspired skincare brand is known for its legendary Ultra Facial Cream and Midnight Recovery Concentrate, but it’s equally known for its philanthropic endeavors. They’ve been walking the NYC Pride Parade for the last 17 years, and this year, the brand announced a partnership with The Trevor Project, which includes a $100,000 donation and digital and social campaigns to raise awareness for issues facing LGBTQ youth. Support their initiative and The Trevor Project by purchasing any of your favorite Kiehl’s products this month. I recommend the Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado and Daily Reviving Face Oil.
Vegan beauty brand Youth to the People is launching a Pride Kit, which includes their best-selling cleanser, mask, and exfoliating cream. YTTP is donating 100% of the proceeds (with a maximum donation of $75,000) to GLSEN, an organization working to create safe and inclusive schools for LGBTQ+ students.
The sustainable bath and body care brand launched a super cute rainbow Love is Rad pin to spread the message and power of Pride, but Bathing Culture isn’t limiting their Pride donations/celebrations to a month. They’ll be donating $5 for every pin sold through the rest of the year. Proceeds will go towards a local Transgender Employment Program through the SF LGBT Center.
Sigma Beauty launched a limited-edition version of their bestselling F80 Kabuki makeup brush, with 50 percent the proceeds benefitting the It Gets Better Project, which focuses on fostering hope, strength, and confidence in LGBTQ+ youth. The brush is $25 and is made with synthetic bristles and Sigma’s patented waterproofing technology. It’s the PERFECT foundation brush, and the holographic colors will surely add some spice to your makeup bag.
NYX Cosmetics is famous for its colorful products and drugstore prices. The brand launched three new products for Pride: the Ultimate Shadow palette, Vivid Brights liner, and Shout Loud lipstick. The drugstore-favorite beauty brand made a $30,000 donation to the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center, which provides resources for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the areas of health, social services, housing, and leadership and advocacy. In addition to their generous donation, they also announced a yearlong partnership with the nonprofit, which includes product donations for the Center’s members and the voluntary time and expertise of their makeup artists.
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Beauty brands are struggling to find the balance between sustainability and design.
When thinking about your last delivery from your favorite skincare or cosmetics brand, how many things did you need to unwrap before you made it to your product? We all love cute and chic packaging but scary to think about all of the excess. Even with so much research that says how plastic is destroying our planet brands aren’t always ready to invest the time and money into 100% recyclable packaging. This, especially if they think it will hurt their chances of profit or aesthetics.
A 2019 Zero Waste report noted more than 120 billion units of packaging are produced globally by the cosmetics industry each year. Unfortunately, not much of that is recyclable. The good news is beauty brands to major conglomerates like Unilever have announced that by 2025 they will halve their use of virgin plastics and commit to using post-consumer recycled plastic or, ‘PCR.’ This would make Unilever the first major global company to commit to an absolute reduction in plastics across all of its brands. Hopefully, many other companies follow suit.
In lieu of Earth Day, here’s everything you need to know about beauty, sustainability and the future.
Post-consumer recycled plastic or PCR is plastic that has already been recycled before and ultimately repurposed. So by recycling your beauty products, cans, oat milk bottles, and cardboard boxes, you’re contributing to the revolving amount of PCR that brands have to use and distribute.
Recycle, Reuse, but Refuse to do it
As we mentioned, if we don’t take steps to recycle we can’t change the future of packaging. Our bathrooms and skincare collections are filled with products waiting to be recycled. But, more than have us actually put those bottles and jars in the right bins. Johnson & Johnson once reported nearly 60 percent of people rarely recycle or have never recycled their bathroom products. The conglomerate also once reported that 20% of Americans didn’t recycle because they didn’t have a recycling bin in their bathrooms.
Clean your recyclables!
You can’t just throw it and think you’re doing good. Recycling beauty products actually takes a lot of energy on your part. Because not everything is 100% recyclable, you’ll have to take your products apart. Certain face cleansers and shampoos often have the bottle and then an additional pump. In most cases, recycling the bottle is no problem but the pump can be a little confusing since it’s made of mixed materials, its small, and oddly shaped (more on recycling difficult items below). You’ll also need to clean your bottles and remove your labels. While you don’t need to stress yourself out by washing every last drop, spending a good two minutes washing out your bottles and jars will go a long way. If you just toss your recyclables without washing them, there’s a pretty good chance they won’t be able to be sorted when it comes time to be.
Terracycle is a company that hopes to eliminate the idea of waste. Remember those pumps to your shampoo and face cleansers? This is where TerraCycle comes in. Some things are harder to recycle than others but, TerraCycle won’t take no for an answer. Their goal is to recycle anything and everything and teach you how at the same time. You can drop off anything that is difficult to recycle at a TerraCycle collection site, or mail it to them!
Have a product you’re unsure about? Head to terracycle.com and type in what you have via their search bar. They’ll tell you everything you need to know and what collection program(s) can take your recyclable goods.
Bottom line: You have the power to change the industry standards.
Recycling saves energy, space in landfills, and ultimately helps our earth. The most important thing though is the more we recycle, the more opportunities companies will have to create packaging out of PCR plastics and other materials. The future of packaging within the beauty industry is in our hands.
If you have questions about collections within your state or are wondering how to recycle a certain item, visit Terracycle.com. Many beauty brands like Acure, Burt’s Bees, and Paula’s Choice have their very own programs and incentives!
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And by situation, we mean your head to your toe. The inconvenience of the lack of representation in beauty and skincare products is an issue that isn’t new. With the lack of beauty products for Black people – especially men – there’s a lot of opportunity for newness in this space. Already, brands like Bevel, to Ceylon, Scotch Porter, are proving just how vital and successful black-owned brands can be.
When it comes to indie brands, there are many emerging companies that are one their way to becoming household names. Whether you want to spice up your medicine cabinet with new skincare or need a new lip color for the spring, we rallied up 5 black-owned companies you can support.
From body butter to hair perfumes, Jade & Fox Co. is a handmade skincare company that uses natural products to promote your skin and body’s health.
Jade & Fox Co is more than just a skincare company though, the founder, Ashley Johnson also has a blog. There, the founder shares DIY projects and also in-depth pieces on her products sharing the benefits, and what type of skin each product is catered to.
A hair and skin brand created for men by men. Like many beauty companies, Calvin Quallis began experimenting with making products in his kitchen after seeing the need for men’s grooming and wellness products as a barber. The result: an entire line of grooming products for men with coiled or kinky hair. Enter: Scotch Porter, a line that provides products for men’s hair, from on their head to on their chin. But it doesn’t stop and end there. Scotch Porter’s created products like journals, candles etc. and even have a journal section on the website in order to expand on self-care.
Bonus: Check out the REWARD$ tab on their website for free money to use on their products!
Nola Skincare states that their world of beauty circles around three things: Vegan Ingredients, Real people who handcraft their products, and their customers. Created by founder Jane Ormon, the brand was created after being frustrated by the lack of skincare products geared towards people with melanin. Not only is are the products eco-friendly but cruelty-free as well.
The founder stands behind the brand so boldly, that she says your skin care change in as little as two weeks! Sign us up.
Urban Skin RX offers scientifically researched skincare products for all skin tones and colors.
Founder Rachel Roff, a licensed medical aesthetician and certified laster technician, put her passion to help others feel and look great to launch Urban Skin RX. Along with co-founder and medical director, David Henderson – who also works at a hospital in Charlotte – the two set out to clear clogged pores, for melanin-rich skin. The entire line includes peels, scrubs, and hydrating serums to achieve your best skin, ever!
The Lip Bar was founded by Melissa Butler, previously a financial analyst on Wall Street and previous Shark Tank contestant. The Lip Bar is far more than just a lipstick company – it’s Melissa Butler’s testimony. If you haven’t seen the backstory behind the company, you have to watch it here.
After being shut down on national television, Butler took that moment and used it to her advantage…now, years later, you can find her in hundred of Target stores. The Lip Bar has expanded from just lipsticks to now offering eyeshadow, from liquid to powder, these vibrant palettes compliment the lipsticks and vice versa.
If you’re like me, you’ve been pacing back and forth in your bedroom for the past few weeks unsure of what the world will look like.
It’s been helpful for me to think in terms of what I can control—my health, my productivity, but perhaps most importantly, my skincare. Spring has started to sprinkle in through our collective windows, and the time for some well-needed cleaning is upon us. This weekend, I began with my beauty products – tossing expired items, opening others – and it’s kept my mind busy and my cabinets looking a bit more tidy. Below, are some tips I have for some best organizing hacks. The act of organizing has in turn, helped declutter my own mind and it’s helped lots with my own mental well-being. Hope it helps you, too.
Gather up all your beauty-related belongings and spread them out so you can see the scope of what you’re working with. For a beauty hoarder, this may mean you’re being exposed. But that’s okay! It’s good to take out everything you have and put it in front of you.
This helps for a multitude of reasons. For one, if you’ve been committed to a specific routine for a while, seeing everything you own can help inspire you to finally try a product that’s been sitting in the back rows of your cabinet. It can also push you to replace items you just don’t use. You can note this for the future and know that it’s not worth buying again. Instead, you can research and find better alternatives. A good site for discovering newness is Mira Beauty. The site is user-based and is organized by product category.
Finally, I like to group all products based on function to see what I have in excess or what I may be running low on. Now is a perfect time to get going on your spring skincare reset – and quarantining is a perfect excuse to do so.
Does this spark…joy?
Here comes the tough part. Like Marie Kondo before me, it’s time to ask ourselves which products are sparking *JOY* and which are simply filling the void. It’s important to do this for a few reasons. It sounds silly, but especially in trying times like these, but skincare isSELFcare, so take the time to really treat yourself with products you look forward to using. This doesn’t have to stop and end with how efficacious it is. You can use it simply because of the sensorial experiences: how it makes you feel, how it smells, or simply that it’s nice and comforting.
If you’re using products that don’t excite you, don’t use them! Another important reason to take inventory of your routine is that products have a shelf life and, if they’ve been sitting around for a while, they may not be as effective as they once were. Most products have an expiration date on them. Check the little jar icon (towards the bottom of most products) and it will tell you how many months the product is good for once opened. If not, check out Check Cosmetics here, and input each product.
Note that humidity does products no good and can lead to quicker product degradation. If you think you’ve had the product opened for longer than the expiration date, it’s not the end of the world, but the product is likely not going to be as effective. Better to toss it than treat your skin with skincare leftovers.
(Photo by Alex Levy/ Very Good Light)
How to organize – simplified
Now that you’ve thought about what products really get you excited to wash that beautiful face of yours, it’s time to figure out where to put everything to make it as easy as possible to use. This will be different for everyone, but look at what is necessary to keep in the bathroom and what can be kept elsewhere. Obviously, put products in places that make sense, that are easily accessible depending on when you use them.
If you use a cleanser in the shower, keep it in there. If you always find yourself slapping on a face mask before a bath, keep it in your bathroom cabinet. If you like applying a body lotion before bed, tuck it on your bedside table for easy access. Generally, the more you can keep products in cool, dark, dry places, the better they are for the product’s integrity. However, if you’re consistent in using that face oil after a bath, you’ll use it all before it degrades from any environmental exposure. Just don’t leave it there for two years and expect it to work the same.
Hopefully you’re able to de-clutter your beauty routine a bit—finding what works, organizing it to fit your habits—and now you’ve got some products to get rid of. You could throw them in the trash, but it’s 2020 and Mother Earth does not deserve that ignorance. Although beauty products are notoriously hard to dispose of, as they’re usually made of mixed materials which cannot be traditionally recycled, there are ways to properly dispose of products without clogging nature’s arteries.
Organizations like Terracycle are out there to make recycling as efficient as possible, so gather your beauty products to recycle, find your local Terracycle drop-off (check online for specific locations), or check them out directly to see how to get them your junk. I like to keep a bag underneath my sink and throw empty, expired, or unloved products in as I come across them. Once it’s filled to the brim, I’ll take it to my local drop-off and may just reward myself with some more skincare. So long, fare thee well, goodbye!
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For those who don’t know what a concealer is, it’s literally what it sounds like: it conceals. Whether it’s dark undereyes, discoloration or pimples, it really does hide it away.
The reality is, like anything, it’s always good to ease into it — especially when a little can go along way. When approaching acne coverage specifically, the rule-of-thumb is to opt for something noncomedogenic (won’t clog pores) and oil-free (won’t overwhelm your potentially already-oily skin).
The next step is identifying your coverage needs. If you’re dealing with scarring, you might better fit with a lighter liquid concealer, otherwise fresh blemishes will need something a bit thicker. You can layer a thinner product by tapping it into the offending spot — a brush or sponge will make it the most even — and building it out, but remember, shade-match is always key.
Now let’s dive into the best for every need, below.
Neutrogena Skinclearing Blemish Concealer:
Pros: If you can’t quite bring yourself to get behind makeup-wearing, let yourself off the hook with a “tinted” spot-solution instead. This Neutrogena formula offers all the benefits of a targeted acne treatment, with the added plus of coverage. It’s noncomedogenic, so you won’t be clogging up your skin any further, fragrance-free, and serves up a low dose of Salicylic Acid to stop your spots in their tracks.
Cons: The shade-range is limited, but this cheap and cheerful problem is an excellent buildable basic if you do want apply an additional concealer for extra coverage.
Pros: If you haven’t already heard of this one, its discovery might just prove life-changing. This product will not only heals everything from cysts to hormonal blemishes but provides particularly pigmented coverage so you can literally see imperfections disappear. It’s also available in seven shades, which is rarer for a multi-purpose concealer. Ulta recruited the help of plastic surgeons to develop its formula, and frankly we are thankful.
Cons: You’re paying a little more for this one at $32 dollars, but considering this one ticks every box it’s probably worth it.
Pros: Give a warm welcome back to Salicylic Acid. Clinique’s offering is green-tinted to help combat redness (this will work particularly well on scarring. The concealer prevents acne by unclogging pores and boasts a “matte-finish,” all of which is bound to impress your dermatologist.
Cons: You’re going to run into shade limitation again with this one (it’s available only three shades), but in a similar vein to the Neutrogena’s Skinclearing concealer, this is the type of product that starts you off with a strong base.
Almay Clear Complexion Concealer With Salicylic Acid
Pros: Almay takes acne-clearing concealer to the next level by adding its key ingredient in the title: Salicylic Acid. Coming in at under $7 dollars from your local Target, this is a cost-effective spot treatment that also keeps your skin looking smooth. Despite the low price, Almay didn’t skimp on the good stuff: this little number is non-comedogenic and dermatologist-tested with aloe and camomile to make sure your skin stays in great shape.
Cons: Again, you’re looking at three shades from this one, which is likely why you’re spending so little. Also, while this is very good at preventing breakouts, reviews indicate may not be as effective when it comes to existing blemishes — we’d recommend pairing with another one of these babies.
Bare Minerals Blemish Rescue Skin-Clearing Spot Concealer
Pros: Hello full coverage! This creamy concealer will smooth over any ailments while working to prevent future acne. Hydrating? Yes. Instant results? Absolutely, says 97 percent of users. With a full 10-shade range — a commitment BareMinerals adheres to with most of their products — you can match your skin tone and where it out-and-about without any additional help.
Throughout the beauty and entertainment industry, the narrative surrounding black men has lacked a key component: black men and self-love.
Thankfully, with the rise of social media and the evolution of technology, we continue to witness the black and brown communities challenge these inaccurate narratives. And with that, black men are using their voices and platforms to speak for themselves and showcase what it means to practice self-love.
Social media movements like #BlackBoyJoy or #WeAreGolden both highlight two important topics when it comes to black men: Challenging a narrative in society that has been created by white patriarchal culture and the lack of representation in the entertainment industry still today. These hashtags have brought awareness and shined a light on humanization that Hollywood has historically stripped black men of.
While there has been some progress, culture continues to miss the mark when it comes to representing black men in all their glory.
One aspect comes from media. According to IndieWire, out of the top 100 films of 2019, only 34% of the films had leads or co-leads that were of color. When it came to filming directors that same year, 80% of them were white men. The numbers don’t lie. Those in power seem to all look a certain way. It’s also stems from a system that forces black men to still play by a certain set of rules.
Historically, during the Jim Crow era, white men installed “rules” to strip black men of their masculinity because of their fear of “black power.” In turn, this bred stereotypes around black men, which still exists in Hollywood since. This consistent history of degradation black men in America has had real emotional and psychological repercussions.
“Social media movements help challenge a narrative in society that has been created by white patriarchal culture and the lack of representation in the entertainment industry still today.”
But black men are apprehensive to seek help. According to the American Psychological Association, 86% of therapists in America are white. Black therapists make up only 4%, the lowest amount of representation. It matters who you speak with as it’s often difficult to be vulnerable when the expert you’re speaking to cannot even fathom your own experience.
Society continues to miss the mark when it comes to representing black men in all their magnificence but the narrative is changing. Very Good Light had the honor to speak with fiveBlack men to ask them how they came into their own, despite their circumstance.
While some can recall self-care practices being instilled in them as a young child with the help of strong role models, others said that self-care evolved over time. From celebrity stylist to CEO’s in this project of a diverse pool we hope their words can shine a light on a narrative that is often overlooked when it comes to them.
At the young age of 14, I found out what I was passionate about skincare. I received my first skincare set from Anthony-a skincare line for men and it was then that I knew I wanted to get serious about finding what worked for me and making sure that my skin stayed balanced. Every time I would get paid or received money from my grandparents, I would end up in the skincare aisle.
After graduating high school, I just knew I couldn’t let society choose my path on how I should look, or act, or even talk because they aren’t me, I’m me. By living in a box that society tries to put you in, you begin to realize that you can’t evolve into your higher being. With this in mind, I decided to follow my passion for skincare and pursuing a career as an Esthetician. 8 years later, you can find me across Sephora campaign ads all across the United States.
As my career kicked off, and my place in the beauty world became more and more prevalent something was missing. Some days, I wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and in order to show myself self-love, I speak daily affirmations while doing my skincare routine, through this, I find that I am taking care of my skin and my mental health simultaneously.
“I’m here for a purpose and there is a reason why I’m still here telling my story and I am grateful for each day.”
I began using my Instagram account to not only focus on skincare but on daily affirmations too.
I felt the need to share how I start my days off because I am all about uplifting and empowering others to be their best self and do what makes them radiate positivity. It is also a great way of getting people up and motivated and showing them self-care is everything, so why not show the world?
All in all, self-care is simply what you make of it, it’s what gives you peace of mind. Beauty is a big part of my identity and it fuels me to help others feel more confident, fearless and more powerful about themselves as well.
It all started when I was a little boy, I’ve always been my own worst critic. I’ve never allowed society’s narrative to dictate how I move and what I feel about myself. I think it has everything to do with being raised by a bunch of very strong black women, that were self-aware and super confident.
“I was taught the basics, get up shower, brush your teeth, wash your face and comb and brush my hair.”
Today, I spend a little more time in the mirror, with the belief that men should not have to break the bank to look and feel like a boss. I began to develop products that disrupt the multicultural grooming space, utilizing my collections to promote the importance of health and wellness amongst men globally. So, getting up each morning, and spending time, whether that’s 5 minutes for some or 30 minutes for others, in front of the mirror taking care of your hair, beard, and skin to me is an expression of self-care and wellness. This may sound a bit biased but I religiously use our Restoring Face Wash, Moisture Defend Face Lotion, our Smoothing Hair Balm and SkinMedica’s Essential Defense SPF 35.
Self-care does not stop in the bathroom, as it comes in different forms. I also get a workout in about two times a week along with meditating every morning and I practice gratitude. Before thinking of all the things that I have to do for the day, I think of all the things that I’m grateful for. It always begins with me being grateful for waking up to a new day, followed by whatever else I’m grateful for, like being able to pick up the phone and call my mom, or something very simple, like enjoying a cup of coffee.
Being present forces me to focus less on what I don’t have and find happiness in the simple things that I do have. It keeps me grounded and focused on all the great things that I have going on in my world and much less focused on the long to-do lists and stressful day ahead.
I read something that Oprah Winfrey said a while ago, that has stuck with me. She said, “I got so focused on the difficulty of the climb that I lost sight of being grateful for simply having a mountain to climb”. Perspective is everything.
CJ Mitchel, 26 New York Wardrobe Stylist & Social Media Influencer
In today’s fast-moving world we sometimes tend to forget about putting ourselves first and making sure that we are okay. We make time for our friends and family and leave ourselves last. Self-care to me looks like pure joy and genuine happiness from within. Growing up in the south I was taught about how society labels a black man and the rules or opinions on how a man should act or become.
“I wanted to be the author of my own story. I didn’t like the feeling of needing to live up to someone else’s standards.”
The aha monumental moment came when I began to witness some of my family members take routes in their lives that caused bad consequences. Instantly, the light bulb clicked in my head and that’s when I told myself “That’s not what I want for me, I want better for myself. What good would it be if I follow in their footsteps? I will just get the same results that they did.”
I began to prioritize a self-care routine for myself in college. For me, it was more than hygiene or skincare products it was about making sure that I was centered and in a positive mood before I start my day. With the help of prayer and meditation, I was able to do so. As my mental health progressed, my skin health began to as well. I started using a number of things throughout the year as the season changes like most people. I am currently finding that Cocoa Butter works for my body and facial care. I also swear by a brand called Urban Skin RX. They specialize in products for people who have melanin and I love it.
If I could go back and speak with 16 years old me, I would tell him to seek your own happiness within yourself and not from materialistic things. To always put yourself first, to never seek validation from others and lastly, to keep believing in your dreams and goals no matter how big they are, shoot for the stars.
When I was a teenager, self-care came naturally to me. I love myself and I want to take care of my mind, my body. This doesn’t mean that I’m perfect, or fully assembled as a person – but I’ve been practicing self-care for as long as I could remember, before “self-care” was in the vocabulary. I’ve created habits that turned into my lifestyle like eating clean as much as I possibly can, staying on top of my mental health, and being emotionally aware by being honest with myself.
Self-care to me is when you listen to yourself, what you need to improve or maintain, physically and beyond.
“Self-care is often mistaken as merely skincare or taking a bath but I’ve learned that there is no one answer, it is about self-awareness before anything else.”
You can’t work on what you don’t know and whereas I don’t feel responsible for rewriting what forces outside of myself think of me or my existence because I’m too busy making sure I can be happy with who I am. I use my Instagram Profile the Method Male to represent a growing demographic – men of color and their relationship to self-care, a unique voice that challenges current beauty norms.
Reflecting back, if I could I would encourage my younger self to first discover what self-worth is-then he might be prepared for the life ahead. I would tell him to feel comfortable in his beauty, his skinniness, his uniqueness. I’d also give him this piece of advice: “Most of the bs people will project onto you, will have absolutely nothing to do you. Go out there and be a dreamer.”
Self-care is both a personal process and struggle, for life can be chaotic yet fulfilling at times as a University Professor.
The constant giving of yourself for the uplift of humanity can sometimes leave one feeling burned out and asking, “Who is going to encourage the encourager?”
Nonetheless, my self-care consists of peaceful evenings with Tom Misch’s Geography albumplaying in the background, witty Instagram direct message sessions with my Howard and Tennessee State University friends, empowering phone conversations with my parents or mentor, Dr. Tia Tyree, and most recently, Joseline’s Cabaret on the Zeus Network.
“As an openly gay, Black man, drowning out societal narratives of Black heteronormative masculinity has been pivotal in embracing the richness and texture of my identity.”
I experienced homophobia very early in my childhood, and it made me yearn for opportunities to explore the experiences of Black LGBTQ community members. Sadly, those moments did not arrive, as I struggled silently in the closet until 2014.
I achieved an active voice as a doctoral student at The George Washington University in a Spring 2014 “Genders of Popular Culture” course taught by Dr. Todd Ramlow, an openly gay professor. It was the first time that I witnessed a professor be unabashedly gay in his classroom instruction and encourage my scholarly interests in Black queer studies. I would not be as fearless or as committed to my LGBTQ students if I had not first experienced Dr. Ramlow.
I began to prioritize a self-care routine in 2015. Fresh from graduate school, I was beginning to prepare for my 30s, and I knew that physical fitness and mental health had to become top priorities if I were to birth the career I envisioned. Consequently, I implemented a strict diet of clean eating, a rigorous workout regiment, mandated personal development meditations and readings, and spiritual cleansings of negative acquaintances and energy. In terms of daily practices, I work out twice a day, achieving a minimum of six miles and a thirty-minute; high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session; listen to The New York Times’ The Daily podcast during breakfast, and engage in a daily ten-minute reflection with Yogi tea.
If I could go back in time and speak with little Melvin, I would tell him, “Breathe easy kid! God has a feast for you so big that even at 31, you will still struggle to digest.”
Like many of you who woke up at 1 a.m. PST to watch the band’s latest, “On,” we were shaking while watching Jimin, Jin, V, Suga, J-Hope, RM, and Jungkook showcase their fierce moves. The video is the lead single in the bands’ latest album, Map the Soul: 7, which has already sold over 4.2 million pre-orders around the world (already 2020’s bestselling!!).
While we reflect over how #blessed we are from having BTS in our lives, we’re also amazed that the band’s already been around for seven whole years. And with that, it’s amazing to see how their beauty looks have evolved as well. After all, besides their flawless vocal abilities and hypnotizing dance routines – it’s their skincare and beauty looks that leave everyone speechless.
From their collaborations with Mediheal to VT Cosmetics, to entire reddits about their skincare, it’s easy to understand just how they’re the world’s biggest beauty influencers. With the highly anticipated release of Map of the Soul: 7, we’ve compiled a list of 7 videos that showcase some of their most iconic looks, from their debut in 2013 with “We Are Bulletproof” to 2020’s “On.”
1 We are Bulletproof (2013) – Theme: Loud and Clear
The babyface group debuted with a bang, as they gave us all the bad boy vibes in this video. They accessorized with spiked leather jackets, chains, and even football helmets but BTS did not come to play. Makeup wise served us with a dramatic, dark eyeliner that naturally drags our attention to their puppy eyes and a perm that would even make our halmeonis jealous.
We like to call this, the beginning of the hair dye craze. Providing us with a stark contrast to Bulletproof, we are introduced to the start of their trendy hair colors. From Jin and Jungkook’s maroon hair to RM’s platinum look, their famous hair dying days began. With their harmonious runs, the boys sported a dewy look in uniform that had us ready to grab our books and head to a study sesh.
3 I Need U (2015) Theme: Casual ‘fits meets not so casual vocals
Though on the darker side, I Need U had us thinking we were in a K-Drama. BTS wore makeup that complimented their natural features. From the close up of V’s’ full lips to RM’s irresistible jawline. I Need U focuses on the 7 boys, who give off a Peter Pan Lost-Boy vibe in this video. As, army know this is the beginning of previews, hints, and clues to a career-long mystery and storyline. (Also can we talk about Jimin’s scene in the bathtub? A+ acting skills where’s his Oscar at???)
4 Blood Sweat and Tears (2016) Theme: Sexy Smokey Eye
BTS complemented their fitted, sparkly and velvet blazers with a sexy smokey eye look. While their eyes did all the talking, their lips remained a neutral color which easily complimented the smoky eye look. As we all know Jin also knows as Mr. Worldwide Handsome didn’t dye his hair as often as the other members in the earlier days, so it was a nice surprise to see that dusty blonde hair color. (Which was such a look!)
5 Mic Drop feat Steve Aoki and Desiigner (2017) Voluminous Hair: All about the comma and the crimps
While their first debut was very flashy with gold chains, the boys evolved into a street style fashion in Mic Drop. They complimented their oversized, baggy t-shirts with bucket hats and long bandanas tied around their heads. While V and Suga literally made us pause our words with their comma hair, RM gave us early 2000s vibes with crimped hair can you say, #trendsetter?
We didn’t know if we were in a video game or Alice in Wonderland – BTS version but we were (and still) are all here for it. With their neon-bright lip tint and vivid blue contacts to match the neon-bright backgrounds, we couldn’t help but appreciate this mini-movie. It is also worthy of noting how the background guys in one scene had vibrant red eye makeup that creates a mask look, how trendy and out of the box.
7 Boy with Luv feat Halsey (2019) Theme: Accessorized to the Gods
“Oh my, my my. Oh my my my.” the American artist Halsey leads through the bridge of this song. Oh my is right. This video is fun and exciting but our favorite thing of all: the accessories. As we get a close up of each member in the various scenes, we can’t help but glue our eyes to the accessories they wear. From V’s rose ring to Jungkook’s hoops to RM’s gangster hat, each accessory compliments each member, and creates a drop gorgeous look for every single one of them.
Besides Jimin’s elegant runs and RM’s witty raps, BTS has served us look after a look on a silver platter. New music means new makeup: we can’t wait for all the dazzling eyeshadow and nail art that BTS will show off in 2020.
Bonus: Map of the Soul: 7 “On”
The face tats! The silver/blue hair! The luscious pink lips! Jimin’s body rolls. WE. CAN’T. The latest from the group is all about fierceness and we can’t help but stare at these guys and their amazing outfits. But their glowing faces, their paste-colored makeup and hair, is definitely a look that we’ll be dreaming about – forever.
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One word that seems to never leave the side of K-Beauty is “trend.”
Because, let’s face it: like the many beauty routines and products that have come before it, Western beauty reporting tends to view Korean beauty as nothing more than a short-term blip, rather than a cultural movement based on generations of skincare and cosmetic rituals. But a certain Korean dark comedy thriller that’s swept the nation may seem to be (finally) challenging the dialogue.
ICYMI: Parasite was the film on everyone’s lips during the 2020 Academy Awards. Not only did the Korean film deservedly win a grand total of four awards during the night, but Bong Joon Ho’s epic film made cinematic history by being the first non-English film ever to win Best Picture.
“Writing a script is always such a lonely process; we never write to represent our countries,” said Bong via his translator Sharon Choi. “But this is [the] very first Oscar to South Korea,” adding a plea to moviegoers to overcome stigmas that come from reading subtitles.
So, how do multiple Oscar wins relate to beauty in any way? Well, it doesn’t, but the gleam on their eyes and their skin hints to something much bigger. What it really relates to is the bigger picture that shows minority cultures should be treated as more than just a “trend.” Parasite‘s recognition and popularity was a huge win not just for Ho, or just South Korea: it proved that minorities as a whole, regardless if we’re talking skincare or cinematography, can permanently resonate within Western culture for the better.
Standing alongside him for the award was actress Cho Yeo-Jeong, Park So-dam, Lee Sun Gyun, Choi Woo-Shik, and Song Kang-ho, who all glowed onstage. While the cast descended to the stage to give the final moving speech of the night, their faces literally lit up the room. Full of bouncy, dewy, beautiful skin, they proved the power of a 10-step Korean beauty regimen. So, what was the secret beauty product the Parasite cast used to have that prominent radiance that only grew stronger with each win? While most of the cast’s glam team has stayed mum on their beauty secrets (if only someone would spill on Bong’s skincare routine), we can only assume their beauty routine pays homage to their native country with Korean classics:
Yes, double cleansing is important, but toners are the final cleansing defense in K-Beauty skincare routines. But, not all toners are created equal: it’s important to go for one that detoxifies and hydrates that the same time, like the Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner, a fan-favorite.
Essence not only gives pores a soothing, hydrated “ahh” feeling, but they also add an extra boost of hydrating that your just-cleansed skin is begging for. Due to the dewiness of their skin, we’re guessing the Parasite team used the moisturizing power of the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence.
Light, gel-like moisturizer:
But seriously, how did the whole cast get the same luminous glow without looking greasy on stage — especially when accepting the biggest award in film while making history? The answer: (probably) a water-based gel moisturizer. Tony Moly Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Cream was definitely (maybe) on their faces for a oump glow without the greasy residue.
TLC for the under eyes:
No matter how many sleepless nights the cast must have had while filming one of the world’s most jarring movies, they looked pretty rested and ready to take on the night. So, even if Bong celebrated by rightfully partying all night, his under eyes were most likely prepped and ready with a K-Beauty staple: the Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Intensive Eye Cream, a top-rated eye product that can easily tackle dark circles and hyperpigmentation via the powers of licorice water and licorice extract.
Pore-perfecting BB cream:
There are two major anchors to K-Beauty: sun protection, and flawless complexions. So, why not fuse the two together? We can only believe that the Parasite cast reached for the ever-popular Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++ to give their faces the perfect glow they had all night while protecting their pores from the harsh LA sun.
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There’s no doubt Lil Nas X has had the biggest year among all entertainers so far in 2019.
Not only does he hold the record for longest number one record (“Old Town Road” held strong for 19 weeks!), he’s also one of the first LGBTQ+ singers to take home a VMA for Song of the Year. Though it was apparently his first award, ever, he proved that his star power isn’t fading any time soon. On last night’s VMAs red carpet, the 20-year literally sparkled with a metallic silver suit, matching boots, a laced shirt, and a snake earring, to boot. He was giving serious Prince vibes, and nailed it – The Purple One would be proud.
But it was his dewy, delicious complexion – along with his nails painted “Lil Nas X” – that sealed the deal for us. Yes, Lil Nas X is a musical genius, but who knew he was also a beauty boy? And we’ve confirmed he used only the best for his look. Styled by makeup artist Miyako J, he wore head-to-chin Pat McGrath Labs.
Next up, his eyes. To enhance the young artist’s look and make it pop, Miyako J used the Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black and Blk Coffee ($28). Then, she used Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencil in Xtreme Black. The pop of eyeliner gave the singer a sultry look, with a smize that he’s obviously perfected. The waterproof gel formula was a safe choice as it allows for the singer to get on stage, sweat it out, but still stay in place. She topped it off with FetishEYES Mascara ($38) to elongate his lashes without clumps.
And finally, a pop of lip balm to keep his luscious lips completely moisturized. The makeup artist used Lip Fetish Lip Balm in Clear ($40), a formula that is smooth and dewy with an opaline finish.
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