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Editor-in-Chief has 235 articles published.

Business Spotlight: Foxie Bombs Cosmetics

in Business Spotlight by

Foxie Bomb Cosmetics include a vegan and handcrafted beauty line that produces bath bombs, soaps, and other products for body, skin, and hair care.

They Couldn’t Find Beauty Tutorials for Dark Skin So They Made Their Own

in Health & Beauty by

By Sandra E. Garcia

Women are not born knowing how to do a flawless cat eye or a shadowy, smoky eye, so they often turn to makeup tutorials on YouTube. A search for “smoky eye” pulls up endless videos showing how to perfectly blend eye shadows to achieve the look.

Simple.

But what if you had dark skin and most of the videos showed lighter-skinned women applying hues that would make you look as if you had a black eye? What if you couldn’t relate to these women, because you couldn’t see yourself in them?

The answer to that is also simple: You make your own YouTube channel.

That is what Jackie Aina, 31, Monica Veloz, 26, and Nyma Tang, 27, did. The three women collectively have nearly four million YouTube subscribers, with Ms. Aina alone having over two million.

The women, all self-taught, turn on their cameras at home, and show us how to put on foundation, apply lashes and highlight our cheekbones, step by step. They teach us what tools to use and which hair products work.

“I think everyone looks for someone that looks like them,” Ms. Tang said. “I was definitely looking for that, especially on YouTube, and it was hard to find tutorials on products for women with deeper skin.”

The beauty bloggers provide darker-skinned women with something they may not have a tutorial for: the confidence to wear bold colors, to stand up to haters, and, more important, to choose how they present themselves.

They try different makeup brands to show that they do work on dark skin or, of course, that they don’t. They teach women not to be afraid of color, like red lipstick, bright yellow eye shadow or holographic highlights.

Their videos and social media posts are finding an audience of Black women who are ready to spend money on beauty products, studies show, but have few choices to pick from.

“Most beauty launches never worked for me,” Ms. Tang said.

“A lot of times they don’t want to take the time to make the product,” Ms. Veloz said, adding that beauty companies often treat women with darker skin as “an afterthought.”

New Sandra Bland Documentary Calls On World to ‘Say Her Name’

in Black Lives Matter/Mental Health/Racism by

The feature-length documentary follows Bland’s family as they try to answer the questions surrounding her 2015 death in police custody.

Last night (December 3) marked the debut of “Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland” on HBO. The feature-length documentary follows Bland’s sister Shante Needham, mother Geneva Reed-Veal and other family members and legal representatives over the course of two years as they challenged Texas authorities’ official ruling of “self-inflicted asphyxiation” in the 28 year old’s 2015 death in a Waller County, Texas, jail.

“Say Her Name” uses Bland’s own words to illustrate who she was before former state trooper Brian Encinia violently detained her for not signaling a lane change. The documentary incorporates audio and video from close to 30 “Sandra Speaks” video blogs, which she published to address racism and structural inequality. Essence notes that the film also uncovers several previously unknown details about the case, including forged log sheets and the absence of Bland’s DNA or fingerprints on the noose that authorities say she used to commit suicide.

Watch a trailer for “Say Her Name” below; subscribers can stream the film in full via HBO.

Black Entrepreneur Invents Hair Styling Tool For Women With Natural Hair

in Business Spotlight/Entrepreneurs/Fashion/Health & Beauty/Jewelry by

Nationwide — Michelle Johnson (Amtu) is the CEO & Founder of Amtu Hair Art & Tools, a product design company which specializes in hair accessories and styling tools. Their latest and most exciting product, is the Hair Weight, which is their most recent patented styling tool invention for natural hair.

The Hair Weight is an accessory and styling tool all-in-one utilized as a natural way to stretch the curl out and prevent hair shrinkage while styling and preparing your hair. It can be worn as an accessory clipped onto a section of the hair throughout the day and allows for a heat-free and chemical-free option to safely stretch your hair and elongate the curl to its natural length. There are a number of reasons as to as why the Hair Weight is such a great product for the natural hair community, among them is that it’s a great on-the-go traveler’s hairstyling tool for natural hair women. A natural hair carefree dream.

Michelle Johnson (Amtu) founded the company, Amtu Hair Art & Tools, after taking on the natural hair lifestyle herself. She quickly realized there needed to be more accessories and tools available for natural hair women, and there just weren’t enough options. She lived in South Asia briefly and remained in touch with many of her colleagues there, whom she invited to work with her in the design process of her current hair accessories and styling tool collection. She believes the integration of culture and blending that with design and innovation is one of their great characteristics as a product design company.

Michelle comments, “I believe the way we work well as a team is also an aspect of our success, respecting the expertise and crafts of our colleagues, and allowing that to flow.”

For more details, visit www.amtuhairtools.com

 

 

PRESS CONTACT:
Michelle Johnson
amaptoyou1@gmail.com
323-594-7487

New Black History Trivia Book Features 2,000 Questions and Answers About African American Heritage

in Entertainment/Press Release by

Nationwide — The Ultimate Black History Trivia Book by Curtis Claytor has two thousand multiple choice questions and answers in four categories: History; Music; Sports; Television, Arts & Literature! Most of us learn in school about Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, and George Washington Carver. But who was the woman who refused to sit in the Jim Crow section of a train in 1883 or the name of the Black man who invented the gas mask and the three-signal stoplight? Not only will one learn about inventors and the heroes of the black struggle; one will learn about the horrific racial violence that is seldom mentioned in history books.

Do you know about the race riot that resulted in the murder of over 200 blacks and the destruction of more than eleven hundred black businesses and homes? What about the race riot that began when a black youth who ventured into the “white section” of a lake drowned after angry whites pelted him with rocks?

Black trivia enthusiasts will learn the answers to a variety of questions like who scored 101 points in the first half of a high school basketball game, Fred Sanford’s middle initial, and when the freaks come out according to the Whodini song.

In the fascinating and entertaining book, Curtis Claytor invites you to test and increase your knowledge of black history and celebrate the achievements of not only the well known African- Americans but also the lesser known.

Here’s what reviewers are saying:

“The range, organization, solid research, and respect for fun underpinning this book make it a good choice for families, students, libraries, and anyone else who wants to deepen their knowledge base and brush up on African American history. An extensive list of sources includes a bibliography of books, magazines, newspaper articles and websites.” — Clarion Review

“The trivia guru/ African American historian has spent countless hours researching and compiling the 2000 trivia questions that fill this engaging and entertaining book. The Ultimate Black History Trivia Book can provide hours of fun, but also has practical applications: Claytor’s research will settle generations of household disputes and misinformation, and educators can unitize its content to punctuate overlooked or marginalized African American history figures and events. Questions can also be used as quiz material.” — Blue Ink Review

For more details and/or to purchase the book, visit www.ultimateblackhistorytrivia.com

PRESS CONTACT:
Curtis Claytor
theclaytors1@cox.net
(540) 597-0667

Business Spotlight: Coloured Rain Cosmetics

in Business Spotlight/Health & Beauty by

We believe makeup has no boundaries, and our products reflect that. Lets live our best lives in Colour! ????

‘No Natural Hair, No Work’: Liberia’s Finance Minister Bans Employees With ‘Unnatural’ Hair

in Africa/Health & Beauty by

A top management staff backed the action saying that the minister is acting within the confides of the law according to the MFDP employee handbook section 7.4 titled, “Personal Appearance,” line three states: “Unnatural colored hair (Green, Pink etc.) and extreme hairstyles such as spiked hair do not present an appropriate professional experience.”

Best of Baltimore: Saturday Morning Cafe

in Baltimore Black Business City Guide/Business Spotlight/Food & Drinks by

Saturday Morning Cafe, is located in the Heart of Downtown on 111 Water Street walking distance from the Inner Harbor offering outstanding dishes and seasonal delicacies for Breakfast, & Lunch . We are Veteran Owned & Operated and specialize in Southern Scratch Alabama Cooking we use only fresh ingredients and we crack our eggs , cut our potatoes by hand, & make everything with love. Also, Service is very important to us and the Sun is always Shining at SMC, as we greet you at the door with a smile.

Black-owned Jewelry Brand: THIRD CROWN

in Business Spotlight/Fashion/Jewelry by

For Third Crown, New York based co-designers Kristin and Kofi Essel fuse their love of geometric shapes with the details found in their architectural surroundings to create their collection of men’s and women’s jewelry. Their shared desire to delve into the accessories world came early on for the co-creatives. After graduating from Florida State University with a BS in Apparel Design, Kristin interned at David Yurman before stints at Reed Krakoff (on the jewelry team) and then at Eddie Borgo. Kofi, an FIT graduate with a BS in Men’s Design, spent time at various men’s apparel brands.

BLACK BARBER MAKES NEARLY HALF A MILLION CREATING ‘MAN WEAVES’

in Baltimore Black Business City Guide/Business Spotlight/Featured Business/Health & Beauty by

Vice is reporting that a black barber based out of Maryland, is making a lucrative business creating hair weaves for men. Thirty-five-year-old barber Wade Menendez glues natural and synthetic hair to balding men’s scalps and then styles them into their remaining hair. From Vice News:

Menendez began installing hair over four years ago through the help of another stylist. Since then, his barber shop in Glen Burnie, Maryland, The W Hair Loft, has become a haven for balding black men looking for scalp rejuvenation.

Menendez also does more than just work with clients; he hosts a regular class where he’s instructed over 500 hair professionals how to do what he does. The most recent class, in October, drew stylists and barbers from as far away as London.

Hair weaves and extensions, traditionally donned by women, are a big business, especially with black consumers. Market research company Mintel reports that “Nearly six out of 10 black consumers wear a wig, weave or extensions, which enables them to switch up their look.” African Americans spend an estimated $2.54 billion on black haircare in the beauty supply business.

Yet, much of the money spent on hair weaves does not go back into the black community. “When you walk into a beauty supply store in an urban neighborhood or a suburban strip mall most likely you will see a Korean owner,” said hairstylist Alonzo Arnold in an interview with Black Enterprise. Arnold, in addition to being a stylist, is an entrepreneur who creates custom wigs and weaves. He is also one of many black people in the beauty industry calling for more black ownership and economic empowerment.

Lia Dias is another voice. She is the owner of The Girl Cave in Los Angeles, a one-stop shop for all the things hair and clothing. In a market traditionally dominated by Korean ownership, Dias wants to empower black women to be suppliers and distributors as black women make up the largest consumers group in the industry.

Also, men are increasingly becoming consumers of beauty products that were always targeted at women. Black-owned products targeted to men of color including products from Bevel and Scotch Porter are strong men’s grooming sellers. In-Cosmetics reports that millennial-aged men are driving the current “men’s beauty” trend with younger men wearing cosmetics.

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