Black women should wear makeup that flatters their features a majority of the time. Black women should also maintain a great skincare regimen that has demonstrated excellent results within the first month of continuous application. Black women should take the time to find and recreate hair styles that flatter their facial features. In many ways, I am preaching to the choir in this post. I have encountered many
excuses reasons given by black women for not wearing makeup, and not daring to spend a little more on a quality skincare line formulated for their needs. Styling of our hair can take many forms. However, I have witnessed both natural and relaxed women who clearly are not willing to put effort in finding the right style to fit their face rather than the latest "trendy" styles. Some of which, come off as harsh when balanced against the woman's complexion and features. In response to the reasons I hear for not making a real effort, I can only continue to advocate that every single black woman is different in her own way. Black women are not a monolith in any sense of the word. However, I do believe collective image of a group can help or hinder you as an individual who is categorized within that group. Doing the above mentioned things don't hinder most women who are living in the Western world. So...by deliberately opting out of these practices, I feel confident in concluding, it further hinders the ascension of Black Women's collective image.
If you are in any way conflicted by what i have just said, I encourage you to read the blog: "The Sojourner's Passport" and pay special attention to the "Beauty as a Weapon" category. Beauty as a Weapon
Beauty as a weapon in the figurative sense is where I would like to focus. While reading the blog, Black & Femme, I had the pleasure of watching this video. The young woman in the film decided to test the claims of a study on how women who wear makeup and dress femininely are received by men, compared to women who do not wear makeup and dress with little care for how clothes fit their body. The results are quite telling.
As an example I am going to use Kelly Rowland to show a comparison of how certain colors complement or do nothing at all for brown skin. The first images are of Kelly wearing darker somber colors:
As always, her makeup and hair look beautiful. The silhouette of the longer grey dress is very flattering to her shape. However, take a look at images of Kelly when wearing a bright pearl necklace while still wearing black:
A little better than opting to go without a necklace like the first set of images. The pearl necklace brings the focus directly to Kelly's face and create a pleasant contrast. The same strategy of bringing attention to the face can be attempted through scarfs of pretty pastel and jewel toned colors. Now, look at images of Kelly wearing colors that flatter her skin color:
With the addition of a complimentary color, Kelly's skin color comes alive! Also, it is important to note the shades of yellow, orange, pink, white, and red that work with her brown skin. For instance, certain shades of purple may not flatter her as well as other shades. See the example below:
I would say the 2nd purple dress flatters Kelly more than the deep wine colored dress. Both dresses are pretty, but the coloring of the fabric closest to the face can make her stand out or get lost in the background. What are some of the steps you take as young bw determined to live well, to enhance your unique beauty?