Halle Berry Is Quite Possibly The Most Rapped About Woman In America

2011 FiFi Awards - Backstage

The gorgeous, ageless, actress Halle Berry has been busy making the rounds this month to promote her new movie The Call, in which she tries to help a young girl in danger while donning a very questionable wig. During her media blitz, I happened to catch a segment on omg! Insider where the co-anchor, Kevin Frazier, presented Halle with an interesting observation: Her name comes up a lot in rap lyrics.

Blame it on her stunning looks, but Kevin said that over the last 20 years, Halle has been mentioned in more rap songs than any other actress—and he had some great examples:

“The Macs and Dons” by Notorious B.I.G.: “I like long hair or them Halle Berry cuts.”

“Work It” by Missy Elliot: “Don’t I look like a Halle Berry poster?”

“Money Trees” by Kendrick Lamar featuring Jay Rock: “It go Halle Berry or hallelujah.”

Plus, I found a few other songs that name-check Halle via Rap Genius:

“Me & You” by Outkast: “Passes gettin’ thrown like Hail Marys and they’re looking like Halle Berries.”

“The New Workout Plan” by Kanye West: “Henny makes girls look like Halle Berry to me.”

“Higher” by J. Cole “My life is a movie, would you be my co-star like Halle Berry?”

And that’s just a sampling of what’s out there.  Halle Berry is 46-years-old and she still inspires men who are nearly half her age to give her shout-outs in their songs. I can see her being like Helen Mirren someday, with gray hair, a few wrinkles and still turning heads. Ain’t nothing wrong with that!

Photo: Jemal Countess/Getty Images

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The One Thing I Just Don’t Get About Adele

Adele usually sticks with the same look everywhere she goes (thick, fake lashes, big hair, red lipstick), but her makeup always looks incredible. And last night at the Oscars was, quite possibly, THE BEST she’s ever looked (see above for proof). My brain fails to understand why the woman still does not have a beauty contract. Even Carly Rae Jepsen has one, for crying out loud!

No, Adele doesn’t need a cosmetics company to validate her fabulousness, but she is just as worthy as the other stars who’ve scored deals in the past year. And, I think if a brand scooped her up, it would send a positive message to all women: You don’t have to be rail thin to be considered a beauty icon. The only other voluptuous celeb I can think of with a makeup endorsement is Queen Latifah, and she was signed to Cover Girl in 2001.

As for who should court Adele, I picture her partnering with a sophisticated, high-end brand— Burberry would be the obvious choice. On the other hand, I could also see her going the edgier route and joining Rihanna over at MAC. Only time will tell, but I have a feeling we won’t have to wait long before a big announcement is made. These companies might be slow, but they’re not stupid.

Which makeup company do you think Adele should sign with? Think she’ll land a hair or fragrance contract, too? 

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What’s The Last Magazine You Bought Because Of The Cover?

When you’re facing a sea of glossies with the same old celebrities on the cover, pictured next to lines you’ve seen a gazillion times before (like “37 Ways To Get Amazing Abs!”), it’s hard to get inspired to plunk down $4 bucks for a mag. But there’s one new cover that did motivate me to reach into my wallet. Its…

…the December issue of Essence featuring Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas. I was obsessed, I mean OBSESSED, with her during the London games. How adorable does she look here? That smile! It’s like I can feel her happiness beaming at me through the cover. You got, me Gabby, you got me.

I have a shelf in my apartment where I display mags that I think are really special. You know, historical stuff like Michelle Obama on the cover of Vogue. Guess I better make a little room for Miss All-Around Champion and her million-dollar grin.

Have you been moved to buy any magazines lately? Don’t leave me in suspense!

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Q&A: Supermodel Iman On How The Beauty Business Gets It Wrong

When legendary model Iman launched her eponymous cosmetics line in 1994, she never dreamed that eighteen years later, dark-skinned women would still be struggling to find makeup shades to match their skin tones (hello, where are all of the brown BB Creams?). But that’s just one of the things that’s bugging her about the state of the beauty industry today.

Why did you create Iman Cosmetics?
For years I could not find products for myself for photo shoots or for the runway. So I was always mixing and matching at home. I knew what I was looking for and that there was a need—whenever I traveled, the first question women asked me was ‘Where do you buy your foundation?,’ so I started Iman Cosmetics.

You went off on a bunch of beauty execs at the WWD Summit—what was that about?
I was the last guest speaker that evening and I was asked to talk about my business and my wishes and dreams. There were a few things that were very important for me to impart to the CEOs and the mass retailers who were there because many of them carry my products. I wanted to make it clear that I am frustrated. Mass market has this weird mentality about separating what is called ‘general market’ and makeup for women of color. The ‘women of color’ products are grouped together toward the end of the aisle. And then if [the mass retailer] has, let’s say, 1000 beauty doors, only 200 are allocated for women of color. How do you determine a store to be where a woman of color shops? If she’s coming to shop at your pharmacy and you put makeup for her in those stores, she will also buy it. When we buy fashion, no one says, ‘That’s the section for women of color.’ Who came up with this idea? When I wanted to do a liquid foundation, the retailers told me that black women don’t buy liquid foundation—they said they had problems with every brand that tried. I told them I’m not every brand. Within two months of launching my liquid foundation, it became the number one product in my line. But still, women can’t find it.

So, you have products that women are clamoring for, but the powers that be are holding you back from delivering them?
Exactly. There’s a rush to go to Asia for growth, but for us, growth exists right here at home. I consistently have women saying they can’t find my products in stores where they live. And I’ve been told by retailers that black women don’t shop online. They said, ‘We can’t put your whole line on the website.’ I said, ‘Just test it.’ It became the #2 brand on Walgreens.com—they were clueless. So while all these companies rush to Asia, we’re trying to grow right here at home. But there’s a glass ceiling. That mindset is belittling the customer and not servicing her. That’s a major frustration.

How would you like to see products displayed in drugstores?
Stop putting products for women with skin of color at the end of the aisle. Mix it all together. And understand what the customer is looking for. What are the products she’s talking about? Get those products in your store. I hear all these women on Twitter, Facebook, and our website talking about how they love Dr. Miracles hair care. So why isn’t it in more doors?

How do you stay connected to your own customers?
We have Twitter, Facebook and we give samples on our website. There is not a question that is not answered online. We answer everything that comes through.

When you started your line, did you think you would have more competition in 2012 than there actually is?
I thought there would be more lines out there, definitely. I thought at least a makeup artist line. You remember a couple of years ago—I call everything a couple of years ago—there was a resurgence of makeup artists lines. But the days when you can have a small company are gone. Nowadays if you ask for money, they don’t ask how many doors you are in but they ask how many Twitter followers you have. If you don’t have 300,000 followers…That’s the new world. I don’t know why people think that would translate into money. Because that means everyone who has a Twitter following can start a business. Suppose half of your Twitter followers are men who just want to look how you look. They’re not buying anything. They’re not the shoppers. I don’t need a fan. What I need is a customer. I need somebody I can service. I don’t need a man to look at my pictures. The collecting of friends and fans—what is that gonna do? There’s a difference between somebody who wants to play the fame game and somebody who wants to be a business person. I’m a business person. I don’t play the fame game. I’ve been playing myself for so long that it doesn’t matter to me. In whatever I do now, ultimately, I will not be remembered as a model. My legacy will be that I created Iman Cosmetics. I want that to be as strong as it could ever be.

Are women of color, particularly those with dark skin tones, less ignored by the beauty industry today, or is it the same as it was ten years ago?
I think fashion magazines have made strides. They feature more [models with] dark skin in magazines than they have ever before, but when it comes to the beauty industry, it’s definitely less. The darkest foundation shades on the general market don’t cut it. My mother, my two sisters, my daughter, and me, we’re all different shades. That’s the difference between what I do and what big companies do. My line has 16 to 18 shades created specifically for these women. 75% of my business is in foundation. No other company, including Estée Lauder, MAC and Bobbi Brown, can tell you that. That means that I have a loyal customer. When a woman likes a foundation color, she will buy it again. Those trendy makeup colors—you can find them for 99-cents. But foundation is a totally different ball game. Yes, I’m very surprised that there aren’t more companies catering to women of color, but I think smaller companies who would like to, feel like they can’t play with the big boys. They’re not invited to the sandbox. But entrepreneurs should not be discouraged. You’re not gonna be MAC overnight—longevity takes resilience and it takes keeping your eye on the ball.

What do you hope the beauty industry will be like in 10 years?
I hope a new generation of young girls do not see this invisible color line that exists now. I hope they will be able to get something that is suitable for them from any store they walk into. My line isn’t just for black women, it’s for women with skin of color. When we say black, it doesn’t just mean African-Americans, it means Africans, Asians, Maylaysians, Puerto Ricans, Latinas …I’m interested in a new language for beauty about a skin tone, rather than ethnic background. I still struggle with that, but I have to pick my battles. But the battle I’m concentrating on now is getting cosmetics to women of color. If there’s a store with makeup, it should be in there. Nobody says there are too many products for Cauasian women. But with us, they say, ‘Don’t you think there are enough products out there for women of color?’

 And that, my friends, is exactly why I never get tired of talking to Iman. You gotta love a supermodel who speaks her mind. What are your gripes about the beauty biz? Do tell!

Photo: Courtesy of Iman
Up Close & Beautiful: A Glimpse At Kilo Kish’s Beauty Stash

“I wouldn’t really consider myself a rapper. I was half-kidding when I started,” says Kish.
Photo: Ibra Ake

If you haven’t heard the smooth, impossible-not-to love voice of Florida-bred, Brooklyn-based musician Kilo Kish, I suggest you immediately download her debut EP, Homeschool—and prepare to get hooked. 22-year-old Kish, whose real name is Lakisha Robinson, delivers her rhymes in a unique way that Time describes as “bouncy, sweet and spoken-word like.” Both her stage presence and sound are 100 percent consistent with her beauty routine: low-key yet effective. Here are the products she relies on to get get gorgeous.

For a pretty pout: “I’m a big fan of Burt’s Bees lip balm. I also like YSL lipsticks because they don’t make your lips feel super-dry.”

Her daily hair routine:“I wash with shampoo maybe once a week if that, but I detangle and condition my hair in the shower every morning. I think Pantene has one of the best conditioners for detangling. After I’m done, while my hair is still wet, I use either Kérastase Crème Oléo Curl or Kinky Curly conditioner and I put regular olive oil on my ends to keep them soft.”

What makes her skin look great: “I use Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Toner and Ultra Facial Lotion on my face every day.”

Her secret brow-tamer: “I always use clear mascara to keep my eyebrows from going everywhere.

Credits: Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm Tube ($3), Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Pur Couture Pure Color Lipstick SPF 15 in Noir Lacque ($32), Kérastase Crème Oléo Curl ($42), Pantene  Pro-V Curly Hair Series Moisture Renewal Conditioner ($4.19), Kiehl’s Cucumber Herbal Alcohol-Free Toner ($11), Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Oil-Free Lotion ($26), Maybelline Great Lash Clear Mascara ($6.40).  
 

Do you use any of these products? Which one would you steal from Kilo Kish’s stash?

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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.

 

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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It’s Official: Super-Dark Lipstick Is Now A Big Trend (No, Really. It Happened Overnight!)

Remember the girl with the cool black lipstick that I blogged about a few day ago? Well, she was on to something because dark lips were all over the red carpet at the Met Ball last night.

It’s crazy how many stars stepped out with dark, dark lips. It’s almost like every makeup artist ran of out red or something. The colors ranged from a deep wine shade on Lana Del Rey and Jessica Alba, to Kate Bosworth’s and Camilla Belle’s almost black lip color.

Kate wore NARS Pure Matte Lipstick in Vogal, a pretty daring move for someone with her light hair and complexion. But it worked! I wonder what made so many makeup pros decided to give their celebs such a vampy lip look in the middle of spring. I don’t know, but I’m onboard. Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go rifle through my makeup stash to see if I can find a dark shade to rock this week. Has this sudden trend convinced you, too?

 

 

 

 

Do You Mix Your Makeup To Get The Perfect Shade? (Thandie Newton Does!)

I just got around to reading the May issue of People StyleWatch (I usually wait until I have time to devour it all in one sitting) and I saw an interesting beauty tip from Thandie Newton. It seems she has trouble finding a good foundation color for her skin tone, too.

Thandie told People StyleWatch: “I tap turmeric grains into my tinted moisturizer, foundation and bronzer to match the yellow undertones in my skin.”

How’s that for creativity? I usually mix my makeup with other beauty products—I would have never thought to add a spice to adjust the color. In addition to being genius, her tip reminds me that it’s not just brown-skinned women who have trouble finding makeup that matches. People with very yellow undertones or super-fair skin struggle a lot as well. And even if you have face makeup that works for you, sometimes it’s nice to combine it with other things just to get a different texture. Like adding liquid bronzer to foundation for a glow or blending foundation with moisturizer to make it more sheer.

How do you remix your makeup? Do you do it for fun or out of necessity? Share your best tips in the comments section. 

 

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