The True Story of the Goth Girlfriend

By Olivia Mastrosimone
Photography by Jill Kligler
Modeled by Olivia Mastrosimone and Avery Kelly

This article has been adapted for the web from our Flux Issue.

If you’ve been on the Internet during the last year, you’ve probably noticed people starting to look more and more like that one goth girl that was the laughing stock of every early 2000s teen movie. Kylie Jenner’s newest makeup line was described as “goth mom chic,” and if either Hadid sister wears something black, there’s a Daily Mail story on Snapchat the next day about how the models are turning to the dark side. Maybe the most prevalent example right now is the duly named, and somewhat unsettling, “goth gf” meme that arrived when Tesla CEO Elon Musk brought pop artist Grimes to the Met Gala. As we enter the last few months of 2018, the term seems unavoidable. So, what does goth really mean, and why is it still important?

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The word “goth” didn’t always just mean Instagram models wearing black lipstick and e-boys on Twitter begging to date them. Goth subculture originated in the seedy runoff of post-punk Great Britain. As punk gradually “sold out” and faded into the mainstream, goth began growing as a musical style and a culture. The end of the 70s brought the birth of goth fashion and beauty, which is where we start seeing the dark eyeshadow, thick eyeliner and red lips that we still associate with gothic beauty today.

London during the 1980s was a breeding ground for all things subversive. Siouxsie Sioux, of Siouxsie and the Banshees, was a gothic pioneer in many respects. No stranger to the underground, Sioux, along with future Banshees member Steven Severin, was a member of the Bromley Contingent, an infamous group of Sex Pistols fans that followed the iconic punk group all over the UK. While she began her career as a groupie, she evolved into a post-punk powerhouse and a style icon, garnering a large musical and stylistic following and eventually mainstream success. Her angular makeup, wild hair and inflammatory fashion provided the template for goth’s safety-pin Victorian style, and the band ’s unconventional sound and dark discord inspired new wave and goth bands for generations.

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Maybe the most influential goth makeup look that came out of the early scene is Siouxsie’s iconic eye. Her jet-black, geometric brows and graphic eyeshadow are a staple of gothic makeup, and definitely not for the faint of heart (or eyeliner). It represents everything goth makeup is: exaggerated and confrontational. In the mid-1980s, when the Banshees and fellow darkly inclined acts like Joy Division and Bauhaus were sporting their teased fringes and ghoulish makeup, mainstream society was neon-clad and freshly permed. The early men and women of the goth scene not only turned heads but also challenged the very idea of beauty with their appearance. This attitude is at the core of goth’s culture and style: we don’t want to fit in, and we’re not even going to try.

As the subculture’s formative bands and figures exploded into the mainstream or fizzled into obscurity, goth’s reaches expanded and its identity became increasingly fragmented. The 1990s and 2000s saw the rise of countless groups that, if not identifying as goth explicitly, were decidedly goth in their attitude and attire. Bands like Nine Inch Nails and Ministry would set the scene for the angst-ridden and goth-inspired acts of the 90s. In our modern context, these bands’ early styles of all-black outfits and moody eye makeup isn’t all that provocative—but just remember that in 1992, when Ministry was dying their hair and releasing their controversial but decisive single “Jesus Built My Hotrod,” the Zubaz-wearing masses were listening to “Tears in Heaven” by Eric Clapton, number six on Billboard’s Top 100 chart that year. As the 90s progressed, goth grew in popularity and continued to subvert culture with its musical style, fashion and beauty.

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Goth’s time in the mainstream peaked with the pop-punk and emo music of the early 2000s and the subsequent birth of “mall goth” culture—A.K.A., the golden age of thin, drawn on eyebrows, kohl eyeliner, and black lipstick. Popular artists like Avril Lavigne and Evanescence cultivated a following of teenage fans, known in the community as “baby bats” who gathered at their local mall’s Hot Topic in their best pre-gothdom attire. This is not to say that these young “mall goths” weren’t as authentic or cool as the goths of the 80s and 90s. If anything, their fashion was just as iconic and makeup just as eccentric as that of the earlier figures. Whether it was 15-year-old punks in middle-America with swooping side bangs wearing black, chain-laden cargo pants and a Slipknot t-shirt, or the 20-somethings of London with their teased mullets and fishnet sleeves, it’s bizarre, it’s confusing, and it’s definitely goth.

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Mainstream goth beauty today seems to has lost some this endearing aggressiveness. Like the best subcultures, it eventually crept its way into popular culture over the years and, while a vibrant underground goth culture remains today, the public’s idea of goth has become skewed. After the pop-punk and emo explosion of the early 2000s, goth’s unique aesthetic and attitude were swallowed up by designers and makeup artists and spat out as $50 Kat Von D eyeshadow palettes and bad memes. Yes, DailyMail is reporting that Kendall Jenner wearing blue eyeshadow and baby buns is goth, and there are people all over the internet saying they want to date Sam Manson from Danny Phantom, but that doesn’t mean the culture is a lost cause. The flawed “goth gf” trend can learn something from its predecessors of the 80s, 90s and 2000s. Reintroducing some of the delightful strangeness of goth’s past styles into a modern beauty context will help break down some of the walls put up around the goth identity. Making statements with your makeup and appearance is empowering and unimpeachably goth. If we’ve learned anything from Siouxsie Sioux or Avril Lavigne, a goth girlfriend isn’t someone that fits into a mold, but someone who breaks it.

The Colorism Ingrained in Me

By Naiem Yusuf
Photography by Aditi Lohe
Modeled by Stefanie Im, Elisa Kodama, Mahema Singh and Seema Korumilli

This article has been adapted for the web from our Flux Issue.

Growing up in Southeast Asia, I never truly knew what beauty was. All my life, I have been bombarded by ads of brown-skinned women whitening their faces to conform to European beauty standards. And I feel like no one has paid it any mind.

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Skin bleaching, or skin lightening, happens all over the world—it is an epidemic deeply rooted in colorism. The sole purpose of skin lightening is to appear fairer in order to fit the socially constructed standard of beauty. It is a practice that is prevalent in South and Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, although there isn’t much media coverage or global scrutiny about it.

We all understand the concept of skin lightening, the act of using any kind of substance or treatment to physically lighten one’s skin tone. Yet, we don’t understand what drives its practice in Asia and how it differs from skin lightening in the West, although their origins are intertwined and connected.

Historically, light skin has brought up the same connotations. During the Victorian era, the age of powders and paint, European women followed in the footsteps of the Romans by painting their faces with lead. Lead paint provided temporary benefits of looking white, but prolonged use caused skin discoloration, hair loss and rotted teeth. In the 19th century, American women were willing to consume arsenic complexion wafers, a practice Queen Elizabeth was known to partake in. These wafers were literally toxic, but they got rid of freckles, pimples, and other facial impurities in the process. These women would essentially poison themselves out of a commitment to communicating purity and superiority in a time where the concept of race was being solidified.

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In East Asia, white skin was seen as something that could only be attained by wealth. In the past, wealthier women could afford to stay indoors, avoiding more manual work and any way of getting a tan. In Southeast Asia, this gets a little more complicated. Our complex was built on the standards of the East, but really only solidified after we were colonized. We were made to feel inferior to the white skin that invaded us and forced to embody their beauty standards and ideas. Southeast Asians didn’t aspire to be white for superficial or cosmetic reasons, we aspired to attain the privilege that comes with being white.

Today, whiteness has become a symbol of beauty. Its practice and reach has grown to be even more insidious where products are marketed to lighten skin in ways that only seem benign and innocent. Commercialization plays to our need to be flawless by promoting whitening products’ effectiveness against acne, scarring and large pores. In many advertisements, the “after” picture presents a model not only with lighter skin, but with healthier, flawless looking skin. This not only further associates lighter skin with beauty, but it also equates dark skin with blemished, unhealthy and unwanted complexions.

We’ve evolved from poison to FDA-approved chemicals such as niacinamide, kojic acid and melanin inhibitors. While these do lighten skin, they have adverse effects like mild burning, itchiness and redness as it causes skin to thin and grow more sensitive to UV rays.

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I grew up believing that it was wrong for me to be dark, and that I had to have lighter skin to be of value to society. I spent most of my teenage years using various whitening soaps and lotions in hopes of getting lighter. I grew accustomed to cleansing my face twice daily with Kojie San’s Kojic Acid soap and Eskinol’s Papaya Smooth White toner, prepping my skin with Cosrx’s Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence Review and moisturizing with the 3CE White Milk Cream. To my disappointment, none of this worked the way it was marketed to, the way I’d hoped it would, and I was left with the unhealthiest skin I’ve ever had. Instead of getting lighter, I’d just aggravated my acne and confused my already sensitive complexion. I was flaky and ashy and I looked sick. It’s safe to say I was devastated, but more importantly, I wondered: was I not meant for beauty?

For a long while, I didn’t understand the complexities that came with being a person of color without a genuine connection to my own culture. I lacked the opportunities to interact with a group of people with diverse values and perspectives and was stuck with romanticized ideologies perpetuated by local media that sought to belittle me.

I don’t hate myself for being brown anymore. I’ve accepted it as part of my being, something I’ve learned to love and something I’ve fought the uphill battle of trying to escape from. Unlearning beauty ideas that have been part of your country’s history is extremely difficult, but I no longer feel defeated when I look at myself in the mirror.

Rest in Peace: Urban Decay has Retired Its Best-Selling Eyeshadow Palette

By Taylor Colton

Photos courtesy of Urban Decay

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Makeup lovers, grab your tissues. Waterproof mascara will be required. On August 23, 2018, Urban Decay announced it will be discontinuing its iconic Naked palette.

As a young teen in 2010, I purchased Naked, the one palette that ruled them all, as my first eyeshadow palette. Naked was the ultimate neutral palette, with its perfectly curated array of go-to shades; it was a staple in almost every collection. My love for and knowledge of simple eye looks started with and grew from this palette. The OG included unique lid and crease shades that revolutionized neutral eyeshadow forever. The 12 shadows were a blend of finishes, from matte to shimmer; the combinations were endless. Tutorials on creating perfect looks using the Urban Decay palette flooded YouTube and were discussed on every large influencer’s channel. I had the palette, my friends had the palette, our parents had the palette; it was everywhere.

Since learning about Urban Decay’s decision to discontinuation the palette, I’ve been wondering: why would a brand remove its most iconic palette from its collection and the market? Urban Decay has sold 20 million original Naked palettes, accounting for $1 billion in sales. Urban Decay founding partner Wende Zomnir explains that saying goodbye to the palette is “extremely bittersweet”, but feels it was a big moment in their history. “It’s a little painful to leave your past behind, but it’s also essential to always evolve,” he said in a statement provided to Insider. Fans will be waiting with bated breath to see what the brand launches to replace the OG icon.

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Though the death was sudden, the company has given customers a silver lining to losing the irreplaceable palette. On their website, Urban Decay has cut the price of the palette in half, from $54 to $27.

The death of the palette has been commemorated across the internet and by Urban Decay itself. The company released a video in which Nicole Richie, Kandee Johnson, Christen Dominique, and other big beauty influencers paid their respects at a funeral for the palette. Other influencers have taken to social media to express their sadness over the palette’s discontinuation.

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Just like the beauty community, I feel as though this is the end of an era. Although I don’t use the product as much as I used to, I still need time to mourn the revolutionary palette that changed the beauty industry.

To the Naked Palette: you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten.




Glowing on the Go: How to Stay on Top of Skincare while Traveling

By Jessica Varner

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Travel brings out the worst in everyone’s skin. Airports are teeming with germs and bacteria, and airplane air leaves our skin dehydrated and more susceptible to breakouts. Keeping up with skincare is difficult in general — finding a routine that works, sticking with it, adjusting as our skin changes and so on. I’m sure you know how it goes. To find out what really works I watched Youtube videos and read up on blogs, searching for inspiration. After picking up some face masks, travel-size face wash, and assembling my necessary skincare products I felt ready for my trip to Dallas, Texas, and hoped that my skin was too.

Since I had an early flight, I starting preparing the night before. Using a collagen peel-off face mask that suited my current skin condition (which was a little dry but somehow STILL breaking out), I felt like I had a decent base. The next morning, I washed my face using a Neutrogena daily scrub — nothing too harsh that would open my pores and invite the airport germs in — and was on my way to the airport. A few blogs and youtubers had suggested doing a face mask on the plane to keep fresh, but I opted to wait until I got to my hotel because masking on the go sounded like a sticky situation.

When I got off the plane, my skin was feeling more oily and, as everyone feels after a flight, dirty. It was time to put my skincare plan to the test.

At the hotel, I washed my face with the daily scrub again, and immediately put on a detoxifying face mask. Feeling clean once again, I put on my usual amount of makeup and carried on with my day. After an active day walking around in the ninety degree heat of Dallas and attending a Taylor Swift concert, I was ready to take off my makeup and hoped my skin was going to survive the change in climate. At this point I knew I needed something stronger than my daily scrub, so I dug out the travel-size exfoliant I had purchased the day before. Having never used this product before I was a little nervous. The bottle claims it “deeply exfoliates and removes impurities for glowing skin,” and sure enough, it really did. I felt refreshed and my skin quite possibly looked better than when I left Boston.

For the rest of my trip I used my daily scrub, moisturizer, and exfoliator when I felt each was necessary. In my daily routine I use my daily scrub, moisturizer, retinol, and a glow serum but only brought the essentials for my trip. I generally use exfoliator when my skin feels extra oily, and I use a sheet mask depending on how my skin is feeling as masks can vary in which areas they help. When I felt a little extra dried out from the Dallas heat I used one of the hydrating sheet masks I brought. Before my flight home, I went easy on my skin. The end result: my skin was not noticeably better than when I left, but it was definitely not worse.

My biggest tip for travel skincare is to be aware of everything. If you are prepared with the essentials, and actively think about what is affecting your skin throughout your trip you can stay ahead of potential breakouts. Bringing travel-sized products and sheet masks made packing easy as my products did not take up too much precious luggage space, nor was I worried about having to throw away expensive skincare products while going through security. I brought with me: Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Daily Scrub (with white tea and vitamin e), Glossier Rich Priming Moisturizer, St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub, and a few sheet masks from Sephora and Target that focused on moisturizing, detoxifying pores, and reducing redness. If you’re worried about remembering to think about your skin while traveling, set a reminder in your phone, or try to keep to the timing of your regular routine.

I’m definitely not a skincare expert (I’m actually pretty new to the whole face masks and serum thing) and I was able to keep up with my skin and not feel super gross while traveling across the country. It’s totally possible to keep your skin glowing wherever in the world you are!

Shades of Color in the Beauty Industry

By Melissa Wells
Photographed by Christina Philippides

This article has been adapted for the web from our Outsider Issue.

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America has a long history of catering to a very specific type of person—white, just as the beauty industry is guilty of catering to a very specific shade—fair. Since conception, colorism has been a deep-seated issue that continues to plague the beauty industry. In 2018, people of color are speaking out against colorism and racism within this industry with voices that can now be heard.

Prior to the launch of the highly anticipated Tarte Shape Tape Foundation, PopSugar and Tarte Cosmetics posted photos of the fifteen shades from both hydrating and matte foundations that were set to release. The shades were swatched on a person of color (who, ironically, didn’t even have a shade that matched her skin tone): eleven fair-to-light, two medium-to-tan, and two fairly deep. A social media storm ensued.

According to PopSugar’s “exclusive” with a Tarte representative, Tarte planned on dropping ten more foundation shades... seasonally. As stated in the story, it “...makes sense because your complexion tends to be paler in the Winter and darker in the Summer months.” They might as well have admitted to the colorism that drove this launch—and frankly their company, as reflected through their whitewashed social media and advertising.

The consensus from the beauty community was that Tarte’s statement regarding a later release date for the full range of colors implied weighted importance for light-skinned customers, making darker skin tones wait. But people of color aren’t going to wait for Tarte to come up with a more thoughtful excuse for its neglectful shade range. In her article criticizing Tarte’s defense, Revelist writer Marquaysa Battle wrote, “The brand has already shown which customers it cares about—and it’s not those of us with dark skin.”

From Jackie Aina and Shayla Mitchell to Nyma Tang and Alissa Ashley, black beauty Youtubers, vloggers and influencers alike spoke out about the broader issue that this release brought to the forefront. The common buzzword: afterthought. The uproar fueled by this launch revealed what the beauty industry fails to comprehend: the powerful impact that inclusivity has on society as a whole. In her article, “Un-Palette-Able: Colorism in the Makeup Industry”, Arianna Lewis wrote, “It sickens me that society views dark women of color in a way that suggests that not only are they not beautiful, but they are not even worth acknowledging.”

Shayla Mitchell, known as MakeupShayla on her social media platforms, was one of many popular Black American beauty gurus who posted a scathing critique of the limited shade range. Addressing Tarte directly, five words she stressed would become a trending Twitter hashtag: #MySkinIsNotSeasonal.

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Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty line did not “usher in a new era of inclusivity” like W Magazine would like you to believe. Instead, it allowed this generation to recognize lack of inclusivity as not only prevalent, but highlighted brands that continue to disregard communities of color in their target audience. This deliberate choice to neglect other shades is about race. An industry that “doesn’t see color” enables a system of oppression in denying those colors exist. As Nigerian-American beauty Youtuber Jackie Aina emphasized in her video, “I Don’t See Color - A Makeup Tutorial”, “I am someone who’s sick and tired of seeing people who look like me get stepped on constantly. And I’m not just talking about black women, I’m talking about Latin women, I’m talking about Asian women, I’m talking about Native women… for literally anyone who is told, ‘I don’t see you.’”

The makeup industry’s failure to validate people of color is unacceptable. Beauty encompasses men and women of all different ethnicities and undertones. The beauty community isn’t fifty shades of vanilla, but a gradient from paper pale to dark as night. It is this outrage—of people of all colors—that holds the power to bring about change.

In 2018, the industry suffers from not catering to everyone. James Charles, a beauty Internet personality, touched on this in his own review. “Women of color equate for 80% of all money going into the beauty industry. But for some reason, they are still overlooked. The lack of inclusion is a lose-lose situation...” Using their privilege, the white audience that are targeted by companies like Tarte can help send a message by refusing to buy their products until their shade range is inclusive. The beauty industry benefits from acknowledging that money can be made from communities not made up of the limited fifteen shades Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation reflects.

Tarte released an apology via Instagram story following the controversy. It was important for them to say “for those who feel alienated in our community, we want to personally apologize.” The carefully worded apology hit all the right notes but didn’t address the entire problem. Moreover, it was played on a platform designed to disappear after 24 hours, as if their stance against the colorism and exclusionary practices in makeup that they engage in was just as temporary. Beauty brands must work on communicating sincerity, displaying inclusivity all around and just getting inclusion right the first time. Apologies promise resolution, but actions speak louder than words.

It was Shonda Rhimes who said, “You can waste your lives drawing lines or you can live your life crossing them.” The beauty industry has crossed the gender line and tentatively started to cross the line of color. Why? Because everyone, no matter their color or gender, should be able to enjoy beauty. People of color are just as entitled to try beauty products as the limited few who fit into a beauty brand like Tarte’s shade range. It is because it’s not just about makeup, it’s that people of color are underrepresented in many other brands, companies and industries. It is because this is much more than a complexion issue, it is a heart issue, and now is the time for the world to stop seeing people as less important merely for having darker skin. The black beauty community matters. Black beauty matters.

If the reaction to Tarte’s Shape Tape Foundation has demonstrated anything, it is that people of color have had enough in 2018. In the words of beauty Youtuber Alissa Ashley, “we’re going to hold you accountable.”

I Love My Hair

By Sade Adewunmi
Photographed by Hanna Cormier

This article has been adapted for the web from our Outsider Issue.

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When I walk into a room, my hair catches everyone’s attention. The vibrant hue and unfamiliar texture bring all eyes on me, as many wonder who I am and how I got my hair to do something this extraordinary. Before I even open my mouth, my hair speaks for me. My hair tells you that I am bold and brazen. My hair exclaims that I am the adventurous type, the creative kind and a bit different than everyone else. My hair is my statement piece, and it is the perfect reflection of who I am.

Red symbolizes both power and seduction. The way in which power can seduce, and how seduction can lead to power, is harmonious— my ruby red hair best allows me to harness that energy every day. As I step into the world as an African American woman, my red locs best represent who I want to project. Dying my hair was the change I needed; when asked if I will ever go back to my natural hair color, I always answer, “No.” I could never imagine returning to such a boring look. I feel freer with this color; compared to my typical brown hair, this color marks a change in how I see myself. Rather than working to fit into someone else’s lines, I embrace the carefree girl that I aim to be. The color of my hair speaks to my personality and my essence.

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When I was younger, my father’s girlfriend of the time put extensions in my hair, and when my mother saw me she was furious. She didn’t want me to grow up believing that I needed to change my hair to be, and feel, beautiful. She never wanted me to straighten, press or put fake hair in my own; she wanted me to embrace the beauty of my natural hair without needing things that didn’t belong to my heritage. In eighth grade, I decided to permanently stick with my locs, and ever since, my hair has been introduced to new hairstyles that I could not do with my naturally curly hair. My locs have given me the confidence that I exude today; my hair has influenced so much of my personal style, and although my hair can be seen as outlandish, I have grown to stop caring what people think and how they may view me. This confidence has been infused within my everyday life, and if my hair has taught me nothing else, it is that I must do what I wish with my life, and throw away the preconceived notions that people may have about me.

I constantly deal with my locs being misidentified as dreads, and there is definitely a difference between these two styles. Although dreads and locs start in the same way as twists, locs require maintenance and care to keep the hair healthy and neat; whereas dreads require no management. There is a clean and distinct difference in the management of these two styles. In the seven years I have had my locs, I have stopped trying to correct and educate people on the difference, as it has become too exhausting, and I feel as if people would never truly grasp the difference. My mother, on the other hand, always corrects people when they call her locs dreads.

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Growing up, I only ever saw two other African American women with locs: my mother and my sister. I did not see other African American women with hair like mine, or even similar in rarity, until I came to the East Coast. But even on the East Coast, my hair is still seen as unconventional and untraditional. Nevertheless, my locs allow me to express my heritage and background without words or statements. My locs are a familial statement piece, connecting us to one another as well as to our African American heritage.

I become uneasy when people compliment my hair, wondering if they even know the name of what they are commenting on, or if they only like my hair because they have never seen anything like it before. I do like the attention, but sometimes I feel like an exhibition piece: something for people to point at, stare at and grab at in a way that can make me, and my hair, feel like an object. And yes, my hair may attract an eclectic variety of people, but I can never know whether people are drawn to my hair because of true wonderment, or as a new fascination for them that will soon fade.

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I could not think of changing my hair to fit any desired mold. There are people that have judged me simply based off of my hair, and there have been people that have told me I should take my locs out—but I have always held the same motto: I will not change my hair to fit anyone’s mold. It is in the moment we stop focusing on what others will accept or deem appropriate that we can truly start embracing ourselves and loving our appearance. The color of my hair affects me from the clothes I choose to wear to how I style my outfits. Since the red hue is the most eye-catching part, I try to style my wardrobe in a way that won’t draw attention away from my hair color, but rather accentuate it. I have learned which hairstyles look best with certain outfits, and I have even begun experimenting with accessories in my hair to enhance my already-bold look.

My hair, unlike clothes, is always speaking for me. My red locs are aspirational because they project the person I desire to become, as well as remind me to never settle for ordinary. I exclaim to the world that I will not hinder and confine myself to a stereotypical mold; I will defy these conventional standards and rebuke the notion that I must look like everyone else to be beautiful.

I will continue to project the bold and powerful woman that I am today. I love standing out. I love my hair.

Beauty Beyond the Binary

Written & Photographed by Jill Kliger

This article has been adapted for the web from our Outside Issue.

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People use makeup for an endless list of reasons. Some use it for a confidence boost, to enhance their features or to creatively express themselves. But when have any of these purposes only applied to women? From the ancient Egyptians to European kings, it used to be perfectly acceptable for men to wear makeup. Only in the recent century has makeup been branded as gender-specific. However, in the past decade, huge strides have been made in the beauty industry to include everyone else in the equation.

Nick Bodi, a student from Westford, Massachusetts, has been wearing makeup since his freshman year of high school. He had started caring more about his appearance and wanted to enhance his features with basic products like powder foundation and mascara. For Bodi, makeup is a form of self-expression that has given him both confidence and clarity in his identity. He states, “Makeup has allowed me to become 100%, unapologetically, me. I wouldn't be who I am today without it.”

Granted, his journey of self-discovery through makeup wasn’t without obstacles. “It feels like there are certain groups of people who tend to stray away from me, and other men who wear makeup, potentially due to them being uneducated about us or simply uncomfortable; this is something that can easily be fixed, as we shouldn't be feared for looking different from other boys or because we wear makeup.” Although our society has become increasingly open-minded and accepting in recent years, there is still a stigma surrounding men’s beauty. Fortunately for Nick, he has a strong support group including his family and friends that have fully backed his choice to wear makeup.

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This stigma around men’s beauty is continuing to die out from increased exposure and awareness, and the media is to thank for that. Male celebrities that wear makeup have taken over social media and are completely reinventing traditional beliefs about makeup.This list includes popular Youtuber, Michael Finch, and makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic. These widely successful men have acted not only as a driver of the men’s beauty movement but also role models to men. Nick Bodi sees a lot of professional makeup artists as role models, like Pat McGrath and Kevyn Aucoin. Bodi says he looks up to these men, “as they have always been staples in the fashion and beauty industry. Everything they did was no less than perfect and they built their own empires. I've also recently, in the past few years, started looking to many drag queens for makeup inspiration, like Trixie Mattel, Milk, Naomi Smalls, Miss Fame and Kim Chi, just to name a few.” The once-strict definitions of masculinity and femininity have blurred, and gone are the notions that you have to present yourself in a certain way because of your gender.

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This societal shift sparked by the media has led to significant changes in the beauty industry. Makeup brands and retailers such as Sephora are now providing cosmetics catered to men. Magazines have sections educating their readers about men’s beauty by suggesting products and creating tutorials. Even men’s magazines have jumped on the movement, encouraging their male readers that makeup is for men, too. Major makeup brands like L’Oreal and Maybelline are including male models in their advertisements; Covergirl made history by appointing the infamous Youtuber, James Charles as the first male spokesperson for their brand.

It’s 2018, and the idea that it’s only socially acceptable for women to wear makeup has antiquated. The media and beauty industry has seemed to welcome men with open arms, and it shouldn’t be long until the rest of the world does too. Nick’s advice to any men considering makeup is to “find a good foundation and work from there. You'll see great results in 1—how you look and 2—how you feel about yourself. You never know where it could take you.”

The Empowerment of Hair

Written by Brittany Clottey
Photographed by Rachel Berkowitz

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Hair has always been an important part of my life. In fact, as a woman, my hair has been important in defining my style. Often times, if my hair wasn’t done, neither was my look; if my hair didn’t match my outfit, I had to change. Even in my culture, hair is heavily emphasized. Being a part of both the African and African-American experience, hair contributed to my stance in black womanhood. In all regions across Africa, hair is symbolic for defining your tribe. This trickled into the culture of the U.S. as well, as hair for African-American men and women are a defining factor in expressing and empowering our black ancestry. Although the hair itself is important, perhaps the most important part of the experience is the process.

The long process of intricate styles and perfection that black people exhibit when doing hair works as a great community builder. The process within itself builds friendships and conversations, connecting the black community and strengthening our relationships. As a child, this heightened experience and relationship that I developed over hair allowed me to engage in these rituals of community building, and intricate styles, obsessively. These styles, which were sometimes too tight and too heavy, contributed to the stress affecting my strands. Not only that, but the pressures of the European beauty standard of straight hair provoked both me and many black women to engage in chemical processes to “relax” or straighten our hair, making it more manageable and easier to take care of. It took awhile for me to figure out what my hair was becoming, and I was glad to know that I wasn't alone. Following the trend of the Natural Hair Movement, which empowers women to embrace their natural textures as well as find safe ways to do these intricate cornrows and braids, I decided to chop all of my hair off... well, more like three times.

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The first time a took a break from these braids and weaves and decided to cut my hair, I’m not going to lie, I felt pretty naked and cold. I didn’t have anything to shape the outline of my face, and the silhouette of my facial features existed as it was, nothing more, nothing less. People tend to forget that hair plays a huge role in defining our facial features. That’s why people ask questions like “Would bangs suit me?”, or “Should I try going short? Do you think it’ll compliment my round features?” Hair plays a big role in our looks, and are often one of the first things people notice when they see you. Changing your hair can give others a chance to see more or less of your features.

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When I shaved my head, this became the second time I “big chopped” (a term used in the black natural hair community for cutting off large amounts of you hair for regrowth). I was excited for this new journey. When I saw my face for the first time without hair, I was startled. My whole life I lived behind my hair. I allowed my hair to define my face, rather than my features existing on its own. Growing up with unique features, I felt like the best thing I could do was hide be behind my hair and allow that to make me feel beautiful. Once it was all gone, however, I didn't have anything to hide behind.

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This was the turning point for me. Seeing my face exist for what is was taught me a lot about how my face was structured. Looking into the mirror everyday, I saw something different every time. I discovered and analyzed my facial features that I didn't even know were explainable. I fell in love with my jawline, which I used to hate and try to hide, and I grew a loving relationship with my cheeks as well. Cutting my hair felt like removing a mask. I could no longer hide because nothing was there to protect my true identity. I was forced to study my body on a deeper level, and I am forever grateful.

As my hair started to grow back, cutting my hair became an addiction. I cut it once more, because I fell in love with my face. I didn't care about the standards of beauty placed before me, I felt free, and I was forced to be. I didn’t realize how versatile you can be with short hair, all while accentuating the natural beauty in what you already have. From this experience, I advise everyone to shave their head at least once in their life. This revolutionary statement forces you to fall in love with yourself, because nothing is there to conceal you.


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5 Go-To Beauty Products for your Daily Spring Look

Written by Dipshika Chawla
Photographed by Anushka Sagar


Spring is just round the corner and warm weather is definitely what we are all eagerly looking forward to. Here’s a little about how I would go about my daily look this Spring, after snoozing my alarm at least four times (maybe ten) leaving with me little to no time to get ready.

1. Don’t Forget to Moisturise
Regardless of it being no longer winter, your skin needs that hydration! Perhaps it is time to switch to something lightweight if your winter moisturiser is too much for you. As we want this look to be quick and easy, a tinted moisturiser or anything along the lines of a BB/CC cream or even a little-to-medium coverage foundation (try to use products with SPF to shield you from the long-awaited sunny days) would be the perfect place to start. Remember, less is more! Try to minimize the use of products on your face, as you don’t want your makeup to melt or cake in the heat! A thin layer of tinted moisturiser should be perfect to even out your skin tone.

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2. Blush, Bronze or Glow?
While most people believe blush, bronze and highlight go hand-in-hand, I don’t think you need to wear all three everyday. Pick your favourite for the day and stick to it! By doing so you’re avoiding a full-fledge makeup look and saving time. Personally, I say go with the highlight because nothing compares to a radiant, healthy flush in the sunlight!

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3. Mascara and Eyeliner
After a long night of studying or partying this time of year, mascara is your safest bet to mask the droopy eyes. It magically makes your eyes pop and just a few thin coats should give you the desired bright-eyed look. I wear non-waterproof mascara as I it’s unquestionably easier to remove, however if you plan on staying out all day or indulging in outdoor activities, you might want to switch to a water-resistant mascara for the spring! If you do invest in waterproof mascara, you can bank on it till the end of summer and then switch back to your regular mascara (as mascara expires in 3 months anyway!). Some of us prefer eyeliner and that’s perfect too. Eyeliner can make all the difference and I would say experiment with it. Springtime is probably the most appropriate time of the year to try different colors like teal, grey or anything new. You can even ditch the basic black for a soft brown if you don’t wish to go full color.

4. Lip Tint
This is the time to ditch the darker colours like purple and berry shades from your fall/winter collection. Keep it natural and fresh with shades of pinks, oranges or soft reds. To keep the glowy look going, try using soft mattes, sheer or glossy textures.

5. Setting Spray
This is probably not a priority for most people, but once you begin using setting spray there’s absolutely no going back! It will definitely help lock your makeup in place and make it more durable. For daily use, go for something mild instead of something professional. You can also find something more multipurpose such as Tarte’s 4-in-1 setting mist or a mist from the Pixi collection!

Models: Arushi Sood and Dipshika Chawla

How To: Fierce Brows Without Breaking Your Budget

By Kaela Anderson

We all know that finding the perfect brow product can be a struggle. From finding the right shade for you, to using more than one product to get the look you desire, it gets to be a bit exhausting—not to mention shopping for makeup can really break your budget.

Ranging from $5 to $30, here are some brow products that definitely won’t break your bank.

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For someone who has naturally darker eyebrows, you might not see much of a difference from brows without product, to some, for a more of a natural brow look. Everyone prefers different brow shapes and shades, so how you use the products is up to your preference!

$10 - AVON Makeup Design Palette

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First, I used this amazing AVON Makeup Design Palette, which is priced around $10 on Amazon. I used the Chocolate shade to give a richer, and fuller look to her brows. The catch for this palette is that you need to use some sort of makeup or brow brush in order to apply the product.

$24 - NARS Brow Gel

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Last but not least, for an alternative approach to typical eyebrow products, I decided to show this super affordable, super awesome way to get a natural brow look. After getting into the pits of Youtube, I discovered that a lot of celebs and beauty gurus choose to use mascara for their brows, instead of buying an extra product.

This Maybelline mascara works similarly to the NARS brow product, as it hardens after applying it, to get your brow that lasting shape it so desperately needs. Because it’s a mascara, it doesn’t fill your brows as much as an actual brow product would, but it still does that trick.

After applying the mascara, it can be a little clumpy, so I applied the Anastasia clear brow gel to even everything out. (Keep in mind that depending on the mascara you use, you won’t necessarily come into the “clump” problem, so the extra grow gel isn’t always needed.)

A product that I’m desperately waiting to get my hands on is the Boy Brow by Glossier. For someone like me who’s more into a “natural” makeup look, I’ve been told this product works wonders. Priced at $30, it’s by far the most expensive product listed, so hopefully, it’ll be worth it. For now, these products are sure to help you achieve the brows you desire, whether bold or natural.

Recommended tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s7bTtxzS66U