WBEZ | makeup http://www.wbez.org/tags/makeup Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The truth about pretty http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-09/truth-about-pretty-108638 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP%20Photo%3AJohn%20Minchillo.jpg" title="A model has her makeup applied at New York Fashion Week. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">The beginning of September also marks a new dawn of high fashion trends: another year of being told what&#39;s hot and what&#39;s not. New York Fashion Week is in <a href="http://www.mbfashionweek.com" target="_blank">full swing</a>, and the iconic Vogue &quot;September Issue&quot; with covergirl Jennifer Lawrence is on stands now.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Lawrence may be the most refreshingly <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/kmallikarjuna/the-best-jennifer-lawrence-quotes-of-2012" target="_blank">real</a>&nbsp;movie star to come along in recent years, but she&#39;s also astoundingly pretty&mdash;and pretty sells magazines.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">This topic has been on my mind a lot lately, as I recently read a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emily-armstrong/pretty-is-a-set-of-skills_b_3791169.html">great piece</a>&nbsp;by <em>Bitchtopia</em>&#39;s Emily Armstrong defining pretty as &quot;a set of skills.&quot; But honestly, pretty is even more than the manipulation of makeup, angles and lighting. Pretty is a lie that the beauty industry has sold us; a promise that no matter how much concealer we buy or miracle products we put in our hair, we will never be good enough. We will always need<i>&nbsp;</i>more.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">In 2003, the beauty industry raked in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.economist.com/node/1795852" target="_blank">$160 billion</a> worldwide. By 2012, that number had climbed to <a href="http://www.fashinvest.com/world-spends-billions-beautiful-big-beauty-industry/" target="_blank">$426 billion</a>. For even more perspective on the rabid consumerism of all things beauty, consider this: MAC sells one lipstick and one eyeshadow every <a href="http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/revenue-financial.Sephora_USA_Inc.f72e7fa0aee05f4a.html" target="_blank">two seconds</a>, while Sephora alone collects over <a href="http://www.hoovers.com/company-information/cs/revenue-financial.Sephora_USA_Inc.f72e7fa0aee05f4a.html" target="_blank">$636 million</a> in revenue each year.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Countless women claim that they wear makeup purely for themselves; and for many people, this may very well be true. But how often do we wear makeup to impress others, or cover up our supposed flaws? How much time do we spend concealing or tweaking our natural features in order to more closely resemble the models in magazines, or convince the men who say &quot;You look so much prettier without makeup&quot; that our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eatliver.com/i.php?n=8013" target="_blank">&quot;no makeup&quot; makeup</a>&nbsp;look&nbsp;is real?&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The media bombards us with images of beautiful, sun-kissed celebrities every single day, and we long for what they have: Emma Stone&#39;s eyes, Taylor Swift&#39;s nose, Blake Lively&#39;s hair. Addictions form, whether online at Urban Decay or under a plastic surgeon&#39;s knife. The need to be &quot;pretty&quot; becomes insatiable.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Plus, in a&nbsp;world where the vast majority of runway models are <a href="http://jezebel.com/354782/fashion-week-runways-were-almost-a-total-whitewash" target="_blank">white</a>, the lines of otherness are carved even deeper. The ideals of beauty become overwhelming; and for 95 percent of Americans, literally<a href="http://www.ted.com/talks/cameron_russell_looks_aren_t_everything_believe_me_i_m_a_model.html" target="_blank"> impossible</a>.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But if we have solved one problem (like clearing up our skin or straightening those rebellious curls), the beauty industry will come at us with even more reasons to feel incomplete. Your eyebrows need that perfect arch; you would really look better with <em>this</em> bronzer, <em>these&nbsp;</em>perfectly face-framing sunglasses. The list goes on and on.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I can acknowledge my privilege as a tall, thin, young white woman. I am aware that I fit a certain mold. And yet, I can always find &quot;problem&quot; areas that I need to &quot;fix:&quot; fingernails, teeth, cheekbones, eyelashes. To quote the mirror scene from <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhCzRr9EwBk" target="_blank">Mean Girls</a>,&nbsp;&quot;I used to think there was just fat and skinny, but apparently there&#39;s a lot of things that can be wrong with your body.&quot;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">How is beauty defined? Some say <a href="http://thevelvetrocket.com/2008/03/19/the-pretty-project-what-makes-someone-attractive/" target="_blank">symmetry</a>, others point to delicate features or clean lines. But in my opinion, true beauty is what emanates from the inside out: kindness, intelligence, generosity, joy.&nbsp;If only these attributes were as easy to come by in our Instagram-obsessed culture, or as marketable as the promise of &quot;pretty.&quot;&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Then again, perhaps the rarity of such virtues is what makes the people who posses them so beautiful in the first place. Societal constructs fall away in the presence of what beauty ads boast but <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/why-people-hate-doves-real-beauty-ad-2013-4" target="_blank">rarely deliver</a>, and what money can never buy. When a person radiates happiness from the tips of their fingers (and who cares if they&#39;re manicured or not?), &quot;pretty&quot; can&#39;t even compare.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">But for now, I&#39;m just happy that when I enter &quot;pretty&quot; into the search bar on YouTube, this is the second video that appears:</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="300" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/M6wJl37N9C0" width="500"></iframe></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><em>Leah Pickett is a pop culture writer and co-host of WBEZ&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wbezs-changing-channels/id669715774?mt=2">Changing Channels,</a>&nbsp;a podcast about the future of television. Follow Leah on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Tumblr</a>.</em></div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 10 Sep 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-09/truth-about-pretty-108638 I want to put my face on http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-07/i-want-put-my-face-108095 <p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/3444864653_79fe03492c_z.jpg" title="(Flickr/Yasmin Falahat)" /></span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>I grew up inside of the beauty stores that littered Madison Avenue in Oak Park. I have definitive memories of beauty and childhood: the first time my mother used a hot comb on my hair, my strange and strong desire to cut off my long thick locks (and the moment in which I actually did it), the first burn of a first relaxer. But none stick out so clearly in my mind as the beauty supply store, probably because, unlike those earlier experiences, going to the store was a ritual itself. This was not a one-time moment of trauma or fear; this was a homecoming every few weeks.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">According to <a href="http://www.wwd.com/beauty-industry-news/marketing-trends/essence-panel-explores-beauty-purchasing-2139829" target="_blank">Essence&rsquo;s 2009 Smart Beauty research study</a>, black women spend $7.5 billion annually on beauty products, while paying 80 percent more on cosmetics and twice as much on skin care products than the general market. Reading this was affirmation of something I&rsquo;ve always known: we </span><em>want</em>. We want to play and protect and hide and and comfort ourselves in the same way that a &quot;new face&quot; can for others.</p><p dir="ltr">In high school, a dance teammate asked, &ldquo;Can black people even wear eyeshadow? Does it even show up on your skin?&quot; And so, although <em>I</em> want and we as black women want, what remains is a blissful, perhaps even deliberate ignorance to those desires. They can&#39;t possibly want, they think. And if they do, does it ever even matter?</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">Earlier this year, my mother, sister, aunt, family friend, and I attended a beauty &ldquo;trunk show&rdquo; event hosted by Nordstrom. My mother had grown to love these shows. Everything was exciting, from the waiting in line to the runway presentations, to the free samples at the end.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">&ldquo;Honey, sit down. I&rsquo;ll take care of you,&rdquo; a representative from Smashbox told me as we lingered near their display. I was interested in trying their CC (color correcting) cream, the latest advancement on their BB cream. As a woman with years of acne, hyper pigmentation, and the most sensitive of skin, BB creams emerged as my chance to create a face that was clear and smooth and average. Average escaped me most of my life.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">&ldquo;I&rsquo;m going to get this,&rdquo; I later told her after she applied her products.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">&ldquo;Me too!&rdquo; my mother said.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">&ldquo;And me as well!&rdquo; my aunt chimed in.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">&ldquo;Will this work for me?&rdquo; my mother whispered to me before handing over her purchase. She wondered not because it was something new or she was not a professional. She wondered because we are shades considerably different. My mother has light skin with freckles. My father&rsquo;s skin is much darker. My sister and I ended squarely in the middle.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">Smashbox had one shade for darker-skinned women. This is their fault and yet not. In many ways, they are just competing at the same plateau as their fellow beauty brands. I was reminded of reading teen magazines as a child.</span></p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><strong><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">SKIN CARE FOR PALE SKIN, FOR LIGHT SKIN, FOR OLIVE-TONED SKIN, FOR DARK SKIN.</span></strong></p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">We were left with few options in my childhood.&nbsp;</span>There was one foundation color for black skin in youth theater and it did not match my skin. When at first our faculty sponsors did the make-up, they covered me from limb to limb, leaving no surface bare. &quot;We can&#39;t have you all mismatched,&quot; a woman said.&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">I told my mother, &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t like this, but I don&rsquo;t really know why,&quot; and she just nodded her head.&nbsp;<span>As an adult, little had changed. </span></p><p dir="ltr">On a family trip to Maui two years ago, I went inside of a local Walgreens and stood in the hair care aisle in awe. Lined on the shelves were the products and brands I came to understand as my own, the kind that were made for my hair.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">&ldquo;They have more black hair care products than any Walgreens I&rsquo;ve seen in Chicago,&rdquo; I told my mom. </span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>The comment was made as a moment of humor at first, but quickly grew into a moment of questioning and then a moment of anger. My thoughts began as thoughts of amusement and ended as thoughts of recognition. At home, I thought, your needs are not good enough. At home, I continued, your needs are no one&rsquo;s but your own. </span></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;That&rsquo;s not surprising,&rdquo; my mother responded to me in the car as we prepared to leave the store. Eventually, we are conditioned to not care as much and then to not care at all. This is what it is. I heard it in my mother&rsquo;s voice. This is not surprising.</p><p dir="ltr"><span id="docs-internal-guid-69662932-efe4-4f98-474a-0c3d595a9ffb">There will always be beauty supply stores for as long as there will be black American women. But I do not live mere blocks away from these stores anymore. I live in neighborhoods where a quarter of one shelf dedicated to creams and gels and conditioners for my kinky coils is generous. This is not a plea. This is what it is. It does not make me uncomfortable anymore. Whether that is a good thing is yet to be seen.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><span>As a child I used to find beauty supply stores strange and overwhelming. The truth, I recognize now, is that a lifetime without access to the things I wanted or needed trapped me in a cycle of loathing for something I could not comprehend. These merchants want you to want them.</span></p><p dir="ltr"><em>Britt Julious&nbsp;writes about culture in and outside of Chicago. Follow Britt&#39;s essays for&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">WBEZ&#39;s Tumblr</a>&nbsp;or on Twitter&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/britticisms" target="_blank">@britticisms</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 18 Jul 2013 12:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/britt-julious/2013-07/i-want-put-my-face-108095 List: Ranking, in order of least to most favorite, of Sally Hansen Salon effects nail polish strips I have tried http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-05/list-ranking-order-least-most-favorite-sally-hansen-salon-effects-nail <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/5865539680_6d876bf52d.jpg" style="float: left; height: 350px; width: 350px;" title="(Flickr/AForestFrolic)" /></div><p><a href="http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.alllacqueredup.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/sally-hansen-salon-effects-girl-flower.jpg&amp;imgrefurl=http://www.alllacqueredup.com/2011/01/sally-hansen-salon-effects-nail-polish-strips-review.html&amp;h=548&amp;w=477&amp;sz=240&amp;tbnid=XW8AuajJZVWRSM:&amp;tbnh=90&amp;tbnw=78&amp;zoom=1&amp;docid=1u4jJ_1ukQ-YqM&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=vyi4T_P3OKu_2QXGo7CzCQ&amp;ved=0CIoBEPUBMAA&amp;dur=265">Girl Flower</a> (My boss took at look at those and said &quot;Claire, you&#39;re such a girly girl,&quot; and clearly didn&#39;t mean it as a compliment.)</p><p><a href="http://www.target.com/p/Sally-Hansen-Salon-Effects-Laced-Up/-/A-13332720">Laced Up</a></p><p><a href="http://www.target.com/p/Sally-Hansen-Salon-Effects-Kitty-Kitty/-/A-13332716?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&amp;AFID=Google_PLA_df&amp;LNM=|13332716&amp;CPNG=health%20beauty&amp;ci_sku=13332716&amp;ci_gpa=pla&amp;ci_kw=">Kitty, Kitty</a></p><p><a href="http://www.google.com/url?source=imglanding&amp;ct=img&amp;q=http://resources.shopstyle.com/sim/d6/56/d6565dc8303272632114385647a2fd1a/sally-hansen-drugstorecom-nail-polish-salon-effects-real-nail-polish-strips-lustrous.jpg&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=jCi4T6DCNqGe2QXRvKG4Cg&amp;ved=0CAkQ8wc&amp;usg=AFQjCNGa7ctPJkpHA2qO58PNrjJPIfOFww">Lust-Rous</a></p><p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sally-Hansen-Effects-Limited-Edition/dp/B004Y1OL7Y">Check Please!</a></p><p><a href="http://amandastrickland.wordpress.com/tag/sally-hansen/">Misbehaved</a> (No joke, nothing I have ever worn has elicited more compliments from strangers)</p></p> Tue, 22 May 2012 09:01:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/claire-zulkey/2012-05/list-ranking-order-least-most-favorite-sally-hansen-salon-effects-nail