Tyler Pharr

Perfectly timed for support of the growth “clean girl aesthetic,” Hailey Beiber’s beauty reign with the launch of Rhode Skin has brought a glazedIndustries takeover She is an industry star with a sparkling personality “glazed donut”Fashion is all about manicures. “glazed brownie”It’s been just a few days since the Fall debut of lipstick. A closer look at these dessert rebrands reveals nothing more than branding-brushed versions of Black women’s beauty signatures. To viral tutorialsYou cannot escape it Met Gala pressMakeup is a favorite hobby of beauty enthusiasts. “aesthetic”All Things glazedBlack women refer to these beauty looks as “ritual”. 

At this point we have to keep it 100: Beiber’s “glazed donut nails”These aren’t new. They aren’t new, but they don’t seem to be! “brownie” lip? Let’s be real.

These trends have been repeatedly praised by beauty media, including Beiber. What is the reason? The aunties in Black and Brown neighborhoods have been rocking these looks for literal decades, but like always beauty in the lens of people of color isn’t deemed desirable or “trendy”  until a white woman wears it. Gabi Thorne, Allure News editorIt’s the best. “Just because something is new to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t been used, seen, or done before. It just means you don’t know about it.” 

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We’re tired. 

These trends are hot MarketingInstructions for thousands, step by step tutorialsOPI nails company’s #haileybeibernails videos have been liked by close to half a billion people. As DIY nail techs paint their fingertips in OPI’s “Funny Bunny”, all that most of us recognize is the legendary 1990’s nail color:Cotton Candy

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Sation’s Cotton Candy Nails

Miss Professional Nail Company, 1984 founded Sation Nail Polish. “Cotton Candy”The birth of nail polish. It was an alternative to bright, vibrant colors. Monogrammed with fine line art and bejeweled in rhinestone charms, Cotton Candy polish was the foundation for a fire nail set, and once it hit American nail salons— our aunties’ full sets were never the same. 

Love nails? rap queen Lil’ KimTrack and Field Olympian Florence “FloJo”Griffith JoynerCoko the famed sailor. SWV Girl Group, Sations Cotton Candy is deservedly iconic, but Black women’s impact in its popularization has been left out of its history books. 

Since centuries, Europe has been the dominant beauty industry in nail care. The nail industry today is open to more aesthetics, but there are still negative stereotypes regarding nail enhancements. Author and Women’s Studies scholar, Miliann Kang, wrote in her book, The Managed Hand: Race, Gender, and the Body in Beauty Services Work, “French manicures and pastel colors signal white, middle-class, heteronormative beauty. Long, sculptured, airbrushed nails, on the other hand, are markers of Blackness,… and marginalized femininity.” 

With racism still fueling the ways we see Black women’s contributions to the nail space, we continue to pioneer. Diversifying the industry, creating our own narratives, and honoring our history through nail art, Black women are rarely revered— blurring our beauty legacy altogether. 

It “brownie glazed lips”Trend doesn’t have to be an exception. 

Glazed Brownie Lips

Black women used dark lipliner as a staple beauty product, much like the products of the early 2000s. To say it’s making a comeback would be incredibly remiss. It is a glamorized beauty, but the necessity of brown lipstick was what gave rise to it. 

We have today brands like Fenty Beauty holding us down, but prior to the 1980’s Black women didn’t have that luxury. Black and brown women had a limited number of options back then. Fashion FairSee for products that have nude colors to suit darker skin. For those who couldn’t get their hands on Fashion Fair, a drugstore eyebrow pencil or eyeliner did the trick. For decades, we’ve recognized this innovation as a staple, but it began as Black and brown women’s gateway into the industry that overlooked her.

This combination of lips was very popular in the 90s. Naomi Campbell adopted the look, as did her neighbor. This look is now a huge viral hit. “brownie delight”Are you making any progress? Beauty TikTokWe ignore the long-standing history of its origins. Black and brown women don’t feel happy, and it is rightfully so. Jr. Beauty Writers is a niche that caters to white women. The Cut MagazineAsia Ware, an Asian-Brown woman believes that women should be able to take back the narratives and power of beauty. 

Excuse the social media connotations: What’s the problem? The lack of education and awareness about why the brownie lip exists. “Up until 2017, when Rihanna launched Fenty, we were an afterthought,”Asia: “It took a Black woman to make products for Black women for the industry to realize, Oh, they exist too!’” With the expansion of beauty brand foundation shades, we are witnessing an abundance of Black talent being hired in the industry, further solidifying Black women’s legacy in the beauty industry. “There are more Black women in these positions: more Black makeup artists and more Black hair stylists being hired backstage– we’re no longer just an afterthought, but we still have a long way to go.”

If you don’t have credit, it will be more difficult to get ahead. Creator of TikTok Anti-racism teacher Dr. Victoria Alexander said it best in her viral video.

Black Beauty: The Legacy

Our uncles, aunties and other friends are beauty innovators. These look were invented by black and brown women long before dessert co-opt. It is being rebranded to be unrecognizable by mainstream standards. Cotton candy nail polish and the dark liner trademark remain a testament to women of color’s innovation in the beauty industry. We are still standing firm despite American rejection. OurThe conversation is the best way to find beauty. 

Weiß Beauty TikTok It’s important to identify who should be heard. Women of color and women from other races are worthy to be recognized for their contribution in this industry’s revolution. Our beauty is our model and we will never be forgotten. 

About Tyler PharrTyler Pharr, currently studying for her Master of Art in Fashion Studies at Parsons School of Design. As a journalist, she hopes to inspire conversations. Charlotte-born and Brooklyn-based,  Tyler is a true multi-hyphenate: spreading her time between freelance writing, styling, and decoding her Gemini zodiac. 

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