Raising The Cost Of Confidence, One Bar At A Time

An article in The Wall Street Journal last week reported that makeup bars—boutiques where women pay about $40 to get their faces dolled up by a professional makeup artist—are becoming a trend in big cities like Los Angeles and Atlanta. But it’s not just bridesmaids and homecoming dance attendees that are booking appointments at the shops. Women who want to look good for lower-profile events like business meetings, dates and parties are also getting in on the action. As the WSJ explained, “Women, more than ever, feel the need to be camera-ready at all times, thanks mainly to cellphone cameras.” So I wonder: Has the pressure to look perfect become so intense that an at-home makeup job doesn’t cut it anymore?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe in the power of makeup. Knowing you look your best can ease some of the anxiety that comes along with giving an important presentation or working the room at an intimidating industry event. But I’ve always thought primping for something other than a wedding or major night out could be accomplished simply by applying something extra—black eyeliner or a bright new lipstick, for example, rather than trekking to a beauty studio and paying someone to do it for you. What happened to flipping through a magazine for a new look to try and calling it a day?

What the growing makeup bar trend seems to suggest is that now it takes more—more time, more money and more help—to reach that damn-I-look-good, happy place. Social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr have convinced women that they too are brands—pseudo-celebrities who want to make sure that every photo that hits the internet is in line with their message. Even if it means shelling out a little extra dough for a flawless face.

Like the blow-dry bar junkies the New York Post wrote about recently, I worry that these next-generation makeup counters will create a new group of “addicts;” women who rely a little too much on pros to feel good about themselves in order to function in daily life.

True confidence doesn’t waver from D.I.Y. makeup or a bad hair day. And the best part? It doesn’t cost a dime.

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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

 

Is It Just Me, Or Is Nail Polish Now Sold EVERYWHERE?

I’m starting to wonder if soon we’ll be able to buy nail lacquer at McDonald’s, Starbucks, a bodega or maybe even at a gas station because those might be the only places left that don’t already carry it.

It’s no secret that the nail category has become huge. Like $710 million dollars in sales huge. Which is probably why non-beauty focused retailers are trying to get in on the action by positioning polish as an impulse item in their stores. I feel like I’m seeing it more and more everywhere I go. Here are six places where I’ve spotted it:

 

1. GAP

2. Urban Outfitters

3. Payless

4. American Apparel

5. J. Crew

6. Forever 21

And those are just the stores that I’ve walked into recently–I’m sure there are more displays out there I haven’t seen.  And it’s all proof that nail polish is quietly taking over the world.

Have you ever bought nail polish somewhere other than a drugstore, makeup counter or beauty supply store? Would you consider it?

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And The Award For The City With The Coolest, Sexiest, Most Wonderfully Diverse Fashion Week Of The Season Goes To…Sao Paulo

OK, so why haven’t I ever paid attention to Sao Paulo Fashion Week before? It’s been around since 1996, but it’s been completely off of my radar until now. Apparently, I’ve been missing out big-time.

Seriously, once I started looking at the pics, I could not stop. I got sucked in by striking, African-inspired details, ginormous statement accessories, bright colors and, of course, those models’ bodies–they’re ridic.

As for the beauty statements, they were, well…beautiful. And refreshing. We’re talking big Afro wigs, winged-out-beyond-the-brows liner and models with all different skin tones. From what I’ve seen, this season of Sao Paulo Fashion Week is what all fashion weeks should be: diverse, cultural, artistic and sexy. I really, really, really want to go to there. Here are some of the looks that got me all obsessed:

1. From ivory to dark chocolate, all complexions were represented on the Adriana Degreas catwalk.

2. At the New York and European shows, there’s often a one-weave-fits all attitude backstage. At FH for for Fause Haten, the models got faux ‘fros. Now that’s a cool twist.

3. I love the pairing of two extremes at Andre Lima: crazy-extended eyeliner and massive (and hopefully light!) earrings.

4. This model knew exactly how to work this orate mask at the Lino Villaventura show. Hot!

5. More awesomeness from Adriana Degreas. This is head-to-toe edgy perfection.

6. Um, I would kill for the butt on this model at the Movement show. Seriously, I think offing another person would be a fair trade-off. I’m not kidding. I kid, I kid.

7. Blame it on my African roots, but this headwrap worn at the Neon show is calling (very loudly) to me. So is the model’s grape lipstick. I doubt I could pull off either one in real life, but I can dream, can’t I?

Yep, I can see SPFW becoming a much bigger deal globally in the near future. I know I only showed you a snippet, but what do you think?

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