The Cats Out The Makeup Bag!

As a professional makeup artist, skincare line owner, and product junkie, in general, I must say I laugh at my industry's open secret. What is that secret you ask? Well since no one's giving up Victoria's Secret I guess I'll share ours. There is little to no difference between high in department store makeup and drug store makeup. The biggest difference is often the price. As far as quality goes it's generally the same formula recycled and repackaged.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. Maybe that's why it's still not often discussed. No one wants to be the messenger that gets shot. Or it could be that the payoff is great enough to keep mouths shut. Let's take “beauty bloggers” or “YouTubers” for example. Many, but not all beauty bloggers take a substantial pay off by big beauty brands to promote their products. You know the ones that act like this particular foundation can cure diabetes or something like that. Honest opinions are very discouraged by these brands thus leaving the bloggers fanbase with an objective view of these products.

Beauty bloggers or Youtubbers are there to sell you products and services NOT to teach you how to apply your makeup. First of all, many of them are not even a makeup artist to begin with. They are makeup enthusiasts similar to most of their subscribers. To their credit, they have a magical way of making their viewers feel connected to them. This is why so many people trust their commentary.

Some beauty bloggers started to challenge the status quo. They would do this high/low tutorial. They would use high end department store makeon  1 half of their face. The other half of their face would be done by inexpensive drug store makeup. The viewers would have to guess which is which at the end of the video. Needless to say, there was no difference in any of these examples.

There's a simple explaination to how you're being ripped off. Basically, there are a few major brands that own a ton of other popular brands, both high and low end. For example, Estee Lauder is a mother company that owns Bobbi Brown, Tom Ford, Clinique, Smashbox. Mac, and a host of others. Max Factor is another mother company that owns a slew of other brands. They easily take their formulas, repackage, rebrand, reprice, and pass it off to the consumer as an original.

Most consumers are unaware of this bait and switch. All they know is that they feel more luxurious when they spend a luxurious coin. The packaging makes you feel regal. Plus the bragging rights don't feel too bad either. At the end of the day, the way the makeup looks on your face is not about how much you spend. It's all about the application. If you don't know how to apply $6 makeup from Elf you're definitely not going to have better luck with $60 makeup by Tom Ford. The moral of the story is you have the right to spend however you please on whatever you want. Just know there are better options than you’ve been lead to believe

GUCCI Boycott is a Joke!

Recently a few high-end fashion brands have been accused of using images of “blackface” in their latest collections. Gucci and Prada were the ones trending but weren’t the only guilty parties. From there a few celebrities that typically glorify them in their music take to social media to call for a so-called boycott from black consumers. Oh but not just any boycott my friends! Ha, laughable A 3-month boycott to be exact. I couldn’t help but be amused at first. Then after it settled into my spirit a bit, I began to feel disappointment in my (black) community. My issue… What happened to our priorities as a community?

That’s when I conceded that this Gucci "boycott" thing has got me all in my feelings. Like why is it such a surprise about how some of these major fashion labels look down on the "urban community anyway"? The same community that upholds them to this outrageously high esteem. The same community that they gladly accept billions in revenue from each year, get shouted out in songs by, but neglect to put back into that same urban community.

I don't understand the fascination with these brands anyway! Especially when you have so many dope local, black indie designers creating original clothing from their heart. Listen, you have a better chance of catching a black indie designer giving back to the urban community before you catch Gucci, Louis, or Prada giving back to the black community that worships them.

Now I'm not saying support a black-owned business simply cuz they're black. No! They have to have quality products and services and do good business! And anyone who knows me knows that I'm not racist, and not saying to boycott all non-black businesses. That is far from my point.

What I am saying is to consider being more conscious of supporting something that doesn't support anything you represent. Besides what's wrong with being an individual and wearing a dope designer that is unsung? Create a trend instead of following a trend. Again I am not shocked by Gucci's sentiments. They're just bold enough, to be honest about how they've felt all along.

On a positive note, I think we can use this as a teachable moment. Still, it can only be a teaching moment if we’re brutally honest with ourselves about our misplaced loyalty to these brands. Our need to have validation from our white counterparts. Finally, our need to one-up each other by showing off what we can afford. Next, become open to doing something different, such as such redirecting our loyalty and influence. Last, become willing to risk being different instead of wearing every brand everyone else has to wear to feel validated. The ugly truth is that these major brands are mostly made in China by the same manufacturers as Ali Express or Fashionova. So why not buy from a boutique designer that has pieces that are either equal or greater in quality as these high-end brands?