UNDERSTANDING BLACK BEAUTY
ETHNICITY: CARIBBEAN CANADIAN
As a black Canadian woman, obviously identifying as black, self-esteem, or self-confidence, has always been something that we always struggle with, because of the representation, because of the image that we're being given. Sometimes, the stigmatization of black women. We've always had to kind of prove our worth, we've always had to prove our beauty, and go above and beyond. Right?
That's why hair and makeup are very important to us. This is where you're able to be creative. This is where you're able to enhance the beauty that's there, even if you don't need to. When we have misrepresentations in the beauty industry, or with hair. For example, Shea moisture, which was such a big brand, having that partnership with dove. Look at how Dove just misrepresented black people. It's kind of like, "Wow." Us as black folk, we really don't have that good representation, or that good image that's being given to us. We always have to work ten times as hard in everything else, especially like our own self-confidence, our own self-esteem, really looking at ourselves and being like, "Yeah, I'm worth it." Just as a person. Hair and makeup are going to be things that are important to me, because I guess I like to change my look, I like to be up with the trend. It's also the type of thing, where this is what allows me to be beautiful as well. Not that I don't love who I am naturally, but using makeup as a way to enhance that.
MAKEUP HORrOR STORIES
I had my prom and I went to MAC, and they did my makeup. Now, in a sense, it looked nice, but I just felt like the makeup that was put on, it was just too much. She did this smokey eye, and then she put this really, really bright beige. I was kind of like, "Uh, this is a bit too bright."
I know, for example, in general with the evolution of makeup, when black people would come on, red carpet, they'd be looking like they put baby powder on their face. It would be looking ashy. It was like from where we've come, so far, in the makeup industry, there's always going to be that representation, because, unfortunately, it's always that oppression that we have. There's always going to be that oppression, which I would always fight to cease. I would always help in that promotion, to stop oppression.In terms of makeup, because it's so important to myself, and my inner beauty, and all of that. To see the fact that there wasn't even accommodation for black people, during those times, back in the 60s, or the 70s. Makeup was just for Caucasian, non-black women.
SELF ESTEEM & LEARNING TO LOVE YOURSELF
The beauty industry is very cold, and harsh, because for me, in my case, someone might look at me and say, "Oh my gosh, you're so skinny, or whatever. I'm jealous of you." I'm here like, "Yeah, but I'm too skinny. I want to gain weight." Sometimes, I feel like that, because on one stance you have people like, "Oh, you're too skinny, you need to eat." Or, "You're too skinny, I wanna look just like you." You're kind of in this place where you're like, "Look. I just want to love myself, and just be comfortable with who I am."
When you're always seeing, one day or in one hour, you'll look at this one beautiful person and they're curvy. They have a nice hourglass shape. They get x amount of views, x amount of likes. You would look in the other hour, and you see someone who looks like me, or has my type of petite size, and they get how many likes. You're like, "Okay." It's just the essence of beauty, it fluctuates, because society never really tells us to love ourselves, as ourselves. It's always, "Okay. This is how we want you to love yourself."
Obviously, on top of being black, we are never, ever, called to love ourselves, as ourselves. We've always been called to either change our hair, you have young black girls are going to school, and they have to go home because of their hair. You have people who are wearing braids, and they're fired from their jobs, or they have to quit because of their hair. I don't think that's fair, to me. Whereas, if there's a non-black woman who comes in, they have braids, "Oh, it's no problem. It's so exotic. It's this phenomenon, but then a black person does it, and it's like, "Oh my gosh." It's so looked down upon.
It's taxing on your self-esteem, even your mental health too, because then you're looking at yourself, "Am I not beautiful? Can I not love myself for who I am?" Also, in terms of attraction, obviously, being very realistic, with men sometimes, men will be like, "Well we don't like you to wear makeup." But then when you don't wear makeup, it's like they don't they'll like the girl that has so much makeup on. It's always this paradox, where you just never really know, "Okay. What's actually beautiful?" The image of beauty, and just what's considered beautiful, is so toxic to me, because it just has us there it doesn't allow us to love ourselves.
My relationship with my hair, oh wow. We love each other, but it's more like she's ... I'm gonna personify my hair. She's beautiful. It's just that because of time, and life, when I've been in a place where I'm like, "Okay, I need something on the go." If it's easy to just braid her up, and hide her, or preserve her under a wig, or something, then I'ma do that. I chose to do braids this time around, just to at least allow her to kind of breathe. I find that I'll start really, really well with my hair. I'll have this regimen, I have this routine, I have everything. Then, I just completely go off. I need to really work on my relationship with my hair. Not only that, but being very consistent. Of course,I like to go to the store and get different oils. My favourite oils are castor oil. I like coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil. I think the top three would be: my castor oil, coconut oil, and olive oil. Hands down, those three will do wonders, I believe. They're very nurturing to my scalp, and my hair.
Some days I feel like, "Oh, I wish my hair could look this way. I wish my hair could cooperate." Your hair will just do what it wants to do. Can't really control it. That's what's so beautiful about it. Right? It's gonna, of course, you have to take care of it, but it is what it is. That's the same thing with my skin, it is what it is. It's not something that, yes, because of science, I can alter, you know.
BLACK OWNED BEAUTY
I like a brand that is representative of me. I can get a shade there, and I feel comfortable in the shade. I'm happy when I get to go into department stores and get someone who is like myself, who knows what I would need.
I have the Kat Von D Lock-It Foundation, in a deep 78 neutral. I like it because it's full coverage so you don't need a lot. Of course, Kat Von D's a tattoo artist, she's not black, but she gets the work done.
Since I have the two foundations, the Kat Von D is the one that has yellow undertones, because it works for the more outer areas of my skin. I also have this other brand that you can get at Shoppers Drug Mart, called Vasanti. It's also a foundation and concealer in one. What's really cool about this one is it's oil-free. I don't have to worry about having to put setting powder. I still put it on anyways, because my skin can just produce oil, to fry an egg! This one has the red undertones. That's the one that I more so use for my t-zone, especially my nose, and just around my eyelids.Those are the two that I use. In terms of my concealer, this is where I will come up with my L.A. Girl Pro Concealer. I literally have the three different types for contouring and highlighting. Maybelline Lots of Lashes. I like to use that, and for the more prestigious brands. Basically just any mascara for myself, I like volume and length. That's why Maybelline is my favourite product.
I like matter lipstick in general, because then I don't have to worry about it smudging, and all that. I have this lipstick from Bolded by Dara artistry. She's actually Mississauga based, Latina, makeup artist, she launched this line. Her lipsticks are so pigmented. This is called Conceita, it's a green.
I like my eyes. I've always been complimented first, and then of course my lips.
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