Why 2012 Is Such A Good Year To Be A Female Athlete (Hint: It Has To Do With Nail Polish)

When I look back on the 2012 London Olympics, I’ll remember it as the year it officially became OK for all female athletes—not just gymnasts—to flaunt their femininity while going for the gold. I mean, how much fun was it watching the women run and swim their hearts out while sporting manicures that could rival the models’ at Fashion Week? The games proved that beauty and sports do mix, and track and field star Aimee Mullins (who also happens to be a double amputee, an actress and a L’Oréal Paris spokesperson) talked about the two topics brilliantly in a People StyleWatch article that I’ve decided is the best thing I’ve read all week.

37-year-old multi-hyphenate Aimee Mullins.

Aimee earned a spot on the U.S. Paralympics team in 1996 when elaborate nail art or sparkly headbands on the field would have raised eyebrows. That’s why she has mad appreciation for the beauty moments that defined the London events. “I look at when Sanya [Richards-Ross] won gold and Dee Dee [Trotter] won bronze. Dee Dee had appliqué crystals on her face, Sanya had this awesome hair whipping down. I think about Flo-Jo; as a little girl, she was just the most captivating, mesmerizing thing to watch. There’s something about a personal expression of beauty that’s really related to being powerful,” Aimee told People StyleWatch.

As we know from the long and drawn out Gabby Douglas hair debate and The New York Times’ brutal takedown of Lolo Jones, there is a downside to the public’s growing interest in the way female sports stars look. But there is one positive trade-off: The ladies  have more freedom to be themselves while they’re competing, makeup, nail polish, weaves and all. As Aimee puts it: “A decade ago, if you were a girly-girl athlete, you weren’t taken as seriously. But I think now, it’s liberating for all of us to realize that we can define for ourselves what beauty means — and what powerful looks and feels like.”

Yep, it’s an exciting time to be a sporty chick. Do you agree?

P.S. The London 2012 Paralympic Games started on Wednesday and go until September 9th. You can find more info here.


8 Kick-Ass Hair And Makeup Looks From Afro-Punk (These Girls Are AWESOME)

You wanna know where all the cool kids were hanging out last weekend? Afro-Punk, that’s where. The eighth annual multicultural music festival happened in my ‘hood this past Saturday and Sunday so I had no excuse not to go. I don’t know what I enjoyed more: the bands or the people-watching. Check out some of the bold beauty statements I spotted.

Love this diva’s hot pink lipstick and adorable side buns. And get a load of her eyebrows–they’re full and fabulous.

Braids were everywhere at the park, but this girl wins the award for Longest Braids Ever. I’m gonna steal her little scarf-around-the-head idea. Too cute.

Another great braided style worn with a casual tee and a beautifully bare face.


Pair winged-out eyeliner with edgy hair and what do you get?  Retro-punk.


Unexpectedly pretty: Matchy-matchy makeup and earrings.

I’m a fan of any woman with the confidence to rock black lipstick. Homegirl is killing it!

This look screams “1990s house party” and I love it.

The headband is super-girly, but the sunglasses and fuchsia lipstick add a dose of attitude. Nice!

So there you have it. And that’s just a tiny sample of the insanely stylish peeps roaming around the Afro-Punk festival. Which of these looks do you heart the most? Did you go to Afro-Punk?

All photos by Ibra Ake for Beautycism.com


Pretty In Print: The Fantastically Tousled Hair Seen All Over The J. Crew Catalogues

We all have our weird beauty obsessions (don’t we?) and mine is messy hair. I wrote about it a lot—maybe a little too much—earlier this summer when I was substitute blogging for Glamour.com. I can’t help it! Undone styles really speak to me. That’s why when a new J. Crew catalogue shows up in my mailbox, I fixate on the models’ hair. It’s usually roughed up, just the way I like it. Here are four looks from the last two style guides that I’m really into.

1. In the August issue: Bedhead with a classic sweater and statement necklace.

2. Also from August: Teased, playful strands with a girly dress.

3. Spotted in the September issue: A windblown style with bold glasses.

4. More messy hair from September: Disheveled updos and sweet party dresses.

Cool, right? There’s something rebellious about pairing a roughed up hairstyle with polished clothing that I love. And I’ll admit, I’m also drawn to disheveled ‘dos because they validate my lazy hair tendencies a little bit. No shame in my game!

Have you noticed the carefree hair in the J. Crew style guides? Are you a fan?


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Beauty Lessons: 10 Interesting Things We Learned This Week

Thanks to this week’s batch of beauty news, we now know the following:

1. Julia Roberts’s beauty secrets involve kissing. (Zee News)

2. Gabby Douglas thinks all the talk about her hair is crazy and stupid. (Seattle PI)

3. Hoarding lipstick does not lead to happiness. (Jezebel)

4. Pink is now a CoverGirl (CNN).

5. Kaley Cuoco has had acne issues. (The Celebrity Cafe)

6. Women in Japan are paying cosmetic dentists for “snaggleteeth.” (New York Daily News)

7. Naomi Campbell might have alopecia. (ABC News)

8. If you want fuller eyebrows, there’s a transplant for that. (New York Times)

9. Nail polish sales are up 70% (Fashionista) which explains how OPI can afford to hire Mariah Carey as a spokesperson. (Fashion Etc)

10. L’Oréal is making more money than Oprah and God combined. (Huffington Post)

Have a great weekend!

Let’s Give Props To The Original Queen Of Olympic Nail Art: Florence Griffith-Joyner

The designs! The colors! The flags! Thanks to P&G and their pop-up nail salon at the Olympic Village, some of the medal ceremonies at the games are like one big ad for nail art—and I love it. But we can’t talk about sports and manicures without mentioning track and field star Florence Griffith-Joyner. She was clocking record-setting times while rocking bold polish long before anyone ever dreamed that celebrity nail trendspotting—or even mainstream nail art—would become so huge. The woman deserves credit for being well ahead of her time.

Flo-Jo, who won three gold medals and one silver medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, was as famous for her flashy style as she was for being the fastest woman in the world. I’ve been thinking about her as I’ve been oohing and ahhing over all of the awesome Olympic-themed nails I’ve seen online and during the NBC broadcasts. Like when I watched Sanya Richards-Ross win the women’s 200 meter semifinals on Monday night. This great moment after Sanya’s race, when her hands were on full display, kind of reminded me of Flo:

If Flo-Jo were alive today, I wonder what she would think of the ubiquitous patriotic manis at the London Olympics. I’m guessing she would give them two lacquered thumbs up.

P.S.: Is it just me, or is nail polish now sold EVERYWHERE?

Gabby Douglas: The OTHER Beauty Feature That’s Scoring Her Tons Of Buzz

So now that Gabby Douglas herself has told the world to stop all the “stupid, crazy” talk about her hair, let’s move on to a different topic. There’s something else about Gabby’s looks that gets a lot of attention. It’s one of the main things (besides her historic Olympic performance and inspiring backstory, of course) that’s helping her rack up millions in endorsements. Any guesses?

I’m referring to Gabby’s smile. It’s pretty dazzling. Like, light-up-the-whole-Olympic-stadium dazzling. I love Gabby’s megawatt grin, and I’ve noticed that in articles about her future money-making potential, it keeps coming up.

From Advertising Age:

No matter what she eventually earns, there is no denying her star power today. Along with her charming smile, Ms. Douglas has a certain every-teen quality that makes her an immediate hit.

From Essence:

It’s her amazing smile and girl-next-door appeal that has instantly made her America’s Sweetheart and a model spokeswoman for any brand – cosmetics, shoes, sports drinks.

From CNNMoney:

“She’s the new darling of America,” said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising and author of Sports Marketer’s Scouting Report. ”She has the look, the great smile, and seems like someone who could be a compelling pitch woman of products to teens and pre-teens.”

From Bleacher Report:

Corn Flakes is a great start for the 16-year-old. Her bubbly personality, warm smile and care-free attitude are things that almost every company looks for when promoting their products.

From Forbes:

She has a golden smile, and thus would be a great face for a corporate campaign.

From ABC News:

“That infectious smile and the joy — when you are trying to market a product, that’s what you want,” Miller said.

 So take that, hair haters! I’m sure Gabby will be laughing all the way to the bank.

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