In May, Banks announced her decision to go by the name “BanX” during her latest Sports Illustrated cover story. The new moniker signifies her rebirth in the modeling scene after exiting in 2005 and “X-ing out cookie-cutter beauty,” the star told SI.
Alicia Keys continues to speak her truth, sticking to her word that her days of feeling forced to wear make-up due to cultural pressures are long gone.
Most recently, the Grammy-award winning singer stopped by The Today Show and not too long after they all got to talking, co-host Tamron Hall was next to support the movement to rock a natural face by wiping off her make-up while on national television.
Keys has been experiencing backlash recently for her decision to attend this year’s VMAs without make-up, with her supporting husband Swizz Beatz taking to social media to defend his wife’s choices.
With her movement continuing to gain momentum, along with Hall, co-hosts Billy Bush and Al Roker also joined in on the fun, with all agreeing to wipe their faces clean while broadcasting across the U.S. Keys also gushed at Hall’s fresh face, complimenting the co-host exclaiming, “You’re so beautiful, look at you!”
During the on-air conversation, Keys reminded everyone that her choices have nothing to do with her hating make-up, nor does she have anything against those who choose to wear make-up. For Keys, she no longer wants to feel forced to wear make-up and it’s as simple as that.
In the essay she penned earlier this summer explaining her decision to walk away from her make-up brushes, the singer wrote, “I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
To check out some footage of Keys’ recent appearance on The Today Show, click here.
Lupita Nyong’o is stunning — and her new ad for Lancôme proves this yet again. The beauty brand’s first ad featuring their newest spokesperson released this week, and Nyong’o looks radiant with her glowing, chocolate-colored complexion.
The Oscar-winning actress became endorsed by the beauty brand in April — and her first ad highlights Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra 24H foundation, a smooth blemish-free product which is “available in 28 shades for all skintones.”
The foundation is being touted as one of the brand’s more diverse products, which provides “endless perfection” for women of almost every complexion.
And with the current Vogue magazine cover girl promoting their product, Lancôme seems to be sending a message of appreciation for diversity and consumers of color.
Halle Berry, Gabrielle Union, Kelly Rowland, and Kerry Washington are featured in the 2013 People magazine ‘Most Beautiful’ issue. (Photos: Getty Images)
People magazine released details on its annual “Most Beautiful” issue, which featured Beyonce on the cover last year. This year, the ever-esteemed title goes to actress and mother of two, Gwyneth Paltrow.
The issue also features such beauties as Kerry Washington, Kelly Rowland, Halle Berry and Gabrielle Union. Halle, Kerry and Kelly win the distinction of being on the list of the 10 most beautiful people in the world according to People magazine, in the eighth, second and seventh spot respectively. It’s Kelly Rowland’s first time appearing in the issue, and Halle Berry once napped the top spot with a cover.
Women of color – particularly black women – are bombarded with mixed-messages about our hair. A divide between natural and relaxed coifs have recently emerged. Natural and relaxed women use different beauticians, peruse different websites, and adhere to different hair regimens. Madame You, a new social networking site for women of color to “connect with hair gurus and each other” aims to bridge the divide by providing a platform for all women to tackle hair issues and bond over hair successes.
Madame You spoke with Clutch about the inspiration for the social network and offered advice to aspiring entrepreneurs.
Q: What inspired the creation of a social networking site for black women’s hair?
A: MadameYou.com is powered by Techturized; a hair technology company that was birthed from a combination of frustrations with inadequate hair care solutions on the web. All of the co-founders have experienced issues that most women face! These issues vary from inability to find and purchase the right products for their hair type, to not knowing how to find a stylist in their area that caters to her hair type. Although some of this information is currently available on line, we wanted to have a space where women can find everything they need in one place. We are using our backgrounds in computer science and chemical engineering to revolutionize the way women interact with their hair!
Q: How did you bring the idea from concept through fruition?
A: By really understanding our consumer’s pains we were able to create a product that our consumers truly needed. We have interacted with thousands of women at hair shows and meetups across the country and the common denominator of all our interactions was wanting styles and products that worked for their unique hair properties. Now our concept has evolved into a real solution for Black women, which is MadameYou.com. Madame You is the only social network for hair and beauty that combines science and technology to provide recommendations for women to make better hair decisions.
In 2005, Devin Robinson was threatened with a golf club by a store owner while shopping in the owner’s beauty supply store. Out of anger, two months later Robinson had his own store. Eighteen months later he had two additional locations.
Another Black-owned beauty supply store opens. In this $15 billion industry, 96 percent of the revenues come out of Black pockets, but only 3 percent of the stores are owned by Blacks.
In 2007, he self-published “Taking it Back: How to Become a Successful Beauty Supply Store Owner” and launched Taking it Back University to train others how to be successful in beauty supply ownership too. In 2008 he was featured in Ebony magazine and appeared in the documentary, “Black Hair.” In 2009 Devin Robinson led a national boycott against non-Black-owned beauty supply stores. Since then, he has rebranded Taking it Back University into Beauty Supply Institute.
Beauty Supply Institute staffs 11 people working in two divisions: Training Operations and Field Operations. The company is in its sixth year of business, in its fourth year of two annual conferences and recently partnered with Herzing University to offer a nine-month beauty supply ownership program. The company also has online courses, materials, on-site consulting and full store opening services.
By the end of 2012, the revenues of stores Beauty Supply Institute is responsible for opening topped $10 million. When asked about this accomplishment, Robinson said: “Putting these revenues back into the hands of Blacks and in urban communities is severely important to me. For the past six years when aspiring entrepreneurs ask how to open a beauty supply store or how to become a beauty supply store owner, I wanted us to have every single answer for them. I am very pleased with my team. In this industry, we have more answers now than any question a client can ask us. I view the problems in this industry as an economic hate crime against Blacks, thus making entrepreneurship the 21st century civil rights issue.”
Singers Jill Scott (L) and Maxwell arrive at the 41st NAACP Image awards held at The Shrine Auditorium on February 26, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for NAACP)
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Essence Music Festival is dropping the music — from its name, that is.
The festival held in New Orleans every July 4th weekend for the past 18 years has rebranded itself The Essence Festival. Organizers say the change is designed to showcase the event as more than a music festival.
Still, music will remain a focus for the 19th annual festival, which is July 4-7.
The lineup includes more than 30 acts — a number of them Essence veterans. On the roster are Jill Scott, Maxwell, New Edition, Charlie Wilson, Keyshia Cole, LL Cool J and Brandy.
As in past years, concerts will be held at the Superdome while empowerment seminars on health, beauty, careers, education and relationships are held at a nearby convention center.
To say the least, black hair seems to have remained one of the most debated topics this year amongst women of color. It has remained a topic of cultural anguish, with tales of tampered coils and unruly strands ruling online forums and video blogs. The essence of black hair has rarely been adored simply for its beauty and uniqueness. One Black woman, however, is seeking to bend the conversation by doing just that through her artwork.
“With all due respect, I am personally tired of the natural hair conversation in regards to one having to defend the choice to go natural, encouraging someone to go natural, or speaking to it from a place of political debate.”
Fall is here. And so is New York Fashion Week. Sometimes lacking in the fashion spotlight are the African Americans who have been pioneers in this industry. So while you pack away the sun dresses and replace them with scarves and sweater, take a look at some of the most influential African Americans in the fashion world.
Here’s 10 to get you started:
Andre’ Leon Talley: Former American Editor-at-large for Vogue
Robin Givhan: A former Washington Post fashion editor who now writes for The Daily Beast, Robin Givhan is the first journalist to win a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in fashion