IT Cosmetics CEO champions diversity in beauty industry

If at first you don’t succeed, try again — especially when you have a mission that’s as important as promoting diversity in the beauty industry.

And that’s exactly what Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder and CEO of the wildly popular IT Cosmetics did after she was told by a prospective investor that shoppers wouldn’t purchase her makeup because of her appearance.

Recounting the tale at the Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) Achiever Awards, Fox News said Lima explained how her company almost didn’t come to fruition: “I’m just not sure women will buy makeup from someone who looks like you, you know, with your body and your weight,” he said after hearing the pitch. But for Lima, his words weren’t the end; they were only the beginning of her pursuit to prove her naysayers wrong.

“I felt something deep down inside,” she said, according to Yahoo Lifestyle. “And it said, ‘No. You are wrong.'”

From there, Yahoo says the former news anchor, who was inspired to create IT Cosmetics because of her experience dealing with rosacea and hyperpigmentation, began pushing forward by marketing her products in ways that privileged diversity and inclusivity. Eventually, Fox News said Lima landed her big break when she appeared on QVC. “In her products launch on QVC, which sold out,” they report, “she chose models that went against the grain – a 73-year-old woman and an African American model with acne,” sticking true to her mission of representation.

But even after achieving success, Yahoo says Lima concluded her speech by saying she is not yet finished in attempting to create change in the beauty industry.

“She reminded that roomful of beauty executives — ‘the people who singlehandedly decide the images billions of women see around the world’ — to ask themselves: ‘How will these images impact your mothers, and your sisters, and how will they impact your daughters?'”

Oh, and as for that investor, Fox News says that after IT Cosmetics was acquired by L’Oreal for $1.2 billion, she heard from him again. His message?

“Congratulations. I was wrong.”

And that is how you succeed when others think you can’t.

 

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Turner transforms negative perceptions into body-positive pride

When model Sophie Turner saw behind-the-scenes photos of herself from a photoshoot, the first thing she noticed was her cellulite.

“I felt disgusting,” she told People magazine. But the 22-year-old decided that her cellulite — something she had since age 12 — would no longer hold such power in her life.

“It’s something I’ve grown up with, so I thought, why should I be ashamed of it when over 90 percent of women have it?” she explained to People. “Why shouldn’t we embrace it?”

And embrace it she did. According to People, Turner decided to post the photo on Instagram in an attempt to help other women see the beauty in their own bodies. And after receiving almost 16,000 likes on the photo, it seems like she accomplished her mission.

“It’s so amazing knowing I’ve helped other women, and it makes me so happy having women who support me and want to love themselves more,” she said. “I think it’s important to love yourself.”

Amen to that, Sophie.

Nicole’s Favorites: Digital Must-Reads

Sometimes, speaking up or putting yourself out there can be extremely difficult. It can take all the confidence and bravery you can muster to finally speak your mind, stand up for yourself or go out on a limb in pursuit of your dreams. But, when you have models of those who have gone before us — those who have busted down doors or pointed out double standards — it can make it a little bit easier for the rest of us who are trying to find our way.

This week, I’ve chosen two pieces that I think are very important to read, albeit for different reasons. One teaches us to speak up in the midst of the most difficult or trying circumstances, while the other offers insight on the roadblocks women may face when striving for success. Both, however, will leave you feeling stronger and inspired. Here are my two favorite online reads for this week:

Gretchen Carlson: What Speaking Up Against Sexual Harassment Did for Me—and Why I Encourage Other Women to Do the Same 

(Trigger warning) The former Fox News host reveals details the sexual assaults she faced as a Miss America candidate and later sexual harassment she faced working her way up the media industry. Her experiences — and the countless others she heard from women with similar stories — then inspired her to write Be FierceStop Harassment and Take Back Your Power, due out on Oct. 17. Read her essay on InStyle here.

Jewel Eliese: How to Get Published: Be Male?

Writer Jewel Eliese breaks down the barriers to success in the world of publishing, which she concludes may be a function of gender, as males — and even females writing under male pseudonyms — have an easier time getting manuscript requests and even published. However, Eliese argues that we, as a society, can change things if we remove gender and its adjoining stereotypes from the equation and focus on the quality of the storytelling, not the name signed at the bottom of a query letter. Read her full article here.

While these pieces certainly point out the many trappings that can go along with gender, they should serve as a source of inspiration, letting us all know that change is possible if we have the courage to pursue it.

XO,

Nicole

Model highlights hair-raising disparities in fashion industry

Fashion should be an industry that is representative and inclusive of all, but when it doesn’t even support the models that bolster its business, there is obviously some room for improvement.

This became apparent when Londone Myers, a model for big-name labels like Dior, Chloé and Louis Vuitton “posted a time-lapse video on Instagram that documents her being ignored by hairstylists” when she showed up to model for New York Fashion Week’s Spring 2018 shows, according to PopSugar.

In her video, PopSugar says Myers is seen sitting patiently while wearing headphones as   white models were busy being primped and readied for the runway. Even though Myers told Teen Vogue that she normally styles her hair herself prior to shows (and on this day, she did not prep beforehand), she captioned her video with a plea to stylists to be more inclusive in their work.

“I don’t need special treatment from anyone,” she wrote, according to PopSugar. “What I need is for hairstylists to learn how to do black hair. I’m so tired of people avoiding doing my hair at shows. How dare you try to send me down the runway with a linty busted afro.”

Other black models, she said, only had their hair styled because they spoke French, reports PopSugar, thus helping them get the attention they needed; but when Myers finally flagged a stylist, she said “that due to the discrimination, the hairstylist left her and the other black women looking ‘unpolished.'” As a result of Myers’ experience, other models have shared similar experiences, says PopSugar, with many of them offering that they, too, have had to style their own hair prior to shows.

But just as fashion should be for all, so also should hair styling that allows models in the industry to feel as beautiful and confident as possible — no matter their hair type, skin color or circumstance.

 

Apple unveils new gender-neutral emojis

Whenever Apple makes an announcement, you can be pretty sure that it is going to be game changing, and its latest move is no exception.

According to InStyle, the tech giant recently announced that they will offer a host of new emojis to their already-expansive collection, including some new gender-neutral characters. The additions, which CNN says comes along with the iOS 11 update, includes “more expressive smiley faces, gender-neutral options, mythical creatures, clothing, food and animals,” while also adding more skin tones and country flags to their roster.

Additionally, InStyle reports that the update also includes new “empowered female emojis,” which take the form of “a female rock climber and a woman breastfeeding.”

With these changes to Apple’s emoji repertoire, hopefully there will come increased representation in the future.

 

Kay Customz displays diversity in kids’ toys

Children everywhere can now see themselves represented in their dolls, thanks to Kay Customz.

According to Hello Giggles, the custom-product company has designed a line of collectible  and customizable vitiligo dolls, putting the superficial skin disorder on the map and advocating for inclusivity with each doll’s unique appearance. Created by store owner Kay Black, Hello Giggles says Black hand paints the dolls to ensure that they match the skin of those who order the dolls.

Continuing her latent mission of equal representation, TODAY reports that Black tries to be inclusive to all people.

“My goal is to go beyond the average assembly line-looking doll, to make relatable and realistic works,” she told TODAY Style. “I find new and used dolls at different thrift stores and yard sales and use them as a canvas. I’ve created ones with red hair and freckles and others with albinism.”

Through her work, Black says she sees firsthand just how important it is to have everyone represented and accurately portrayed.

“People are literally in tears when they get their dolls,” she told People magazine. “I want to create dolls everyone can relate to.”

 

 

Bumble creator takes on professional networking with Bumble Bizz

Networking and working your way up with corporate ladder is getting a little easier, thanks to a new venture by Bumble.

According to Vogue, Bumble creator Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble Bizz, a “new sector of the app that borrows the perks of online dating—like geo-targeted matches and left and right swipes—and drops them into the career sphere,” something that came about after users of the original Bumble started utilizing the app to find jobs and network with others in their desired industries.

And in keeping with the true spirit of Bumble, Herd told Vogue that Bumble Bizz will allow women to hold the decision-making power.

“Networking is extremely masculine,” she said. “It’s a vulnerable thing to admit to, but even I experience feeling super insecure around certain masculine meetings. So, we put women in control. Women will make the first move on Bumble Bizz as well.”

Beyond allowing women to decide what networking opportunities they’d like to pursue or dismiss, Herd explained to Vogue that the interface removes common barriers to networking and finding (as well as securing) the perfect job. From time constraints faced by working women to personal details — like age — Bumble Bizz allows all women to have a fair shot at advancing their careers.

“Agism is a real thing. Only certain people in their early 20s are getting the job. We want everyone to have equal opportunity and feel empowered to get into the networking world,” she said. “I think it’s great for someone like my mom, who chose to stay at home with their children for 20 years, and now maybe they want to get back into whatever industry they were in before they had kids. We don’t think that it is necessary to let your qualifications be determined by how old you are.”

Even with all of these features, what Herd said it all boils down to is giving women the ease of access to achieving the careers of their dreams.

“We really wanted to build the opportunity to be at the right place at the right time all day, every day, no matter where you are,” she told Vogue. “This is your chance to get your foot in the door all day, every day.”

Urban Decay unveils new lipstick set

Whether Urban Decay makeup products are your guilty pleasure, beauty bag standard or  your first foray into the world of cosmetics, you certainly won’t want to miss their latest release.

According to InStyle, the company recently unveiled their all-new Vault of Vice lipstick set, which comes fully loaded with everything from lipsticks to liquid lipsticks to lip liners.

The 15-piece set includes “four lipsticks in 1993, Blackmail, 714, and Big Bang, four coordinating liquid lipsticks, as well as four lip liners in the same colors to create a totally cohesive look,” says InStyle, and also comes with “Special Effects lip toppers in Fever, Reverb, and Ritual.”

With all of these different products in one set, you can easily mix and match colors to create versatile looks. InStyle says the set is currently available at Macy’s and at Urban Decay for $150.

 

Nicole’s Favorites: High Fashion & Bold Feminism

Sometimes, designers like to make a statement in the styles they create, while others like to literally inscribe a message on their designs.

Take, for instance, these new tees by Dior and Stella McCartney, both of which offer an inspiring message of female empowerment. According to PopSugarDior opened their Spring 2018 show with “a Brenton-striped slogan top that read ‘Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?'” Inspired by a 1971 essay by Linda Nochlin, PopSugar says the top highlight the very themes Nochlin explore in her essay, which dove into the gatekeepers barring women from succeeding in the art world. What’s more is that the tee hold even more significant, as it was designed by Maria Grazia Chiuri — Dior’s first female creative director.

But Chiuri isn’t the only one to take a stand with her T-shirts. Stella McCartney used her design talents to create an exclusive top for Glamour that reads “Women, Power, Love.” The shirt, which Glamour says they co-designed, is featured on all 17 of its editions around the world and benefits the The Girl Project, a charity created by Glamour to help girls around the world earn an education. The shirt, says McCartney, aims to not only empower women to speak up and love themselves as they are, it also serves as a reminder to reclaim what it means to be a “powerful” woman.

“I think when the words powerful and women go hand in hand, certain generations believe it’s not a compliment,” McCartney told Glamour. “But this [belief] was something generated by men to make women feel bad if we have something to say. That’s not the case anymore.”

Now, she explained, women are owning their voices and rejoicing in their power.

“Young women see power as something to be celebrated and to be proud of. I feel powerful when I’m being honest and when I’m not compromising who I am,” she offered. “Also, when I speak for other women who don’t have a voice—that’s when I feel that I’m being the best woman I could be.”

I love that these fierce women are using their talents to assert the voices, power and presence of women everywhere. Let’s hope the trend continues!

XO,

Nicole

 

Zendaya shares wisdom with young fans

In between promoting her new movie, The Greatest Showman, Zendaya took some time to  give advice to her youngest fans, and her words are exactly what we needed to hear.

According to Glamour, their November cover model shared in a video her experiences in working her way up through Hollywood as a young woman of color, as well as how her social media presence opened her eyes to the the weight of her own voice.

“As my social platforms grew, I realized that my voice was so much more important than I had originally thought,” she said in the five-minute video. “I think if every young person understood the power of their voice, things would be a lot different.”

When asked whether or not it was easy to follow her dreams, Zendaya explained that it’s never easy; in fact, it is quite the opposite.

“Following your dreams is never easy, really, because it’s gonna take work, and it’s gonna take dedication, and it’s gonna take focus, and it’s gonna take drive, but as long as you really love it and you really want it and you keep that laser focus, then nothing is impossible,” she said. “You got this.”

Thanks, Zendaya. We needed that. Hear more of what she has to say here.