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Beauty Supply

How Lipstick Became a Powerful Tool of Self Discovery for Sasha Velour

Sasha Velour is the winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race season nine, founder of Velour: The Drag Magazine, and creator of “Nightgowns,” a riveting drag theater show (which ELLE.com got an inside look at in the video above). Here, the artist and entertainer writes about falling in love with makeup for the first time.

I was never introduced to lipstick; if anything, it was concealed from me. “Boys don’t need lipstick,” my mother said with the intention of being factual. She was afraid I wanted to draw on the walls. What I really wanted was for my lips. To. Pop.

My mother hated lipstick. She wore it once a year, a thin smiling line for temple on the high holy days. She had about five tubes, the same shade from different companies: A glossy raspberry nude that was as close to “no makeup” as possible. All of them were kept in a tiny paisley zipped bag in the top drawer of the antique dresser she shared with my dad, balled up next to the pantyhose and hair ties.

Instagram/@sashavelour

I know this for certain because I would sneak in and open the drawer every time she left the house. One by one, I’d open up each tube, as if one could have become a bolder shade over night. I’d fashion a turban from a towel, a cloak from a blanket, throw on my mom’s snow boots (the only chunky heel in the house), and paint the house down (aka wear mom-colored lipstick and my grandma’s dilation sunglasses). I didn’t know who Norma Desmond was, but I would have loved her.

My salvation was Halloween, and a full-coverage red foundation designed for clowns that my mom purchased for my first-ever Dracula costume. I didn’t know it, but I had found the ultimate way around the lipstick ban: VAMPIRES! Vampires had red lips—even the boys.

Young Sasha Velour dressed up as Dracula for Halloween.
Instagram/@sashavelour

Instagram/@sashavelour

I told the kids at school I was a vampire for real. I had all the facts to back it up: I was Eastern-European, had very pale skin, black hair, and was awake most of the night…that’s why I needed some gorgeous red lips to match. This same logic would later lead me to identify with Morticia Addams, Charlie McCarthy Ventriloquist dolls, and Queen Amidala.

Life really is too short to be spent in hiding.

I decided to do drag when I was 23, right after my mom got diagnosed with cancer. Instead of covering up my femininity as I had for many years, I asked myself what it would be like to embrace it. It’s a cliché, but life really is too short to be spent in hiding. I drove myself to the nearest mall and bought a black jumpsuit and patent platform pumps, a red turban, and Revlon fire-red lip gloss. I never got comfortable with tube lipstick (too many raspberry-tinted disappointments), but that afternoon, finally, a glistening wand of perfumed gloss gave me the perfect red pout I had always dreamed of. I’ve never once looked back.

Today my lips are drawn on with two shades of razor sharp lip pencil, a layer of burgundy liquid lipstick and some of that fire-red gloss, then covered with loose red glitter fixed with setting spray. After 31 years, I’m proud to say that my lips truly pop.

This content was originally published here.

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Beauty Supply

Here’s Our Top Picks Of Beauty Products From The Myntra End Of Reason Sale

If there is one thing we are thankful for this year (apart from good health of course), it’s the ease with which we are able to get our hands on our shopping list. Online shopping has come as a boon for us in these grim times with its convenience and of course, its medicinal properties, as a great mood uplifter in this difficult year, don’t you think? And in the midst of this, when Myntra decides to put up the End of Reason Sale, you know you have another (apart from a million others) reason to hoard on beauty products.

Fun fact, I have found most of my influencer approved looks that make my Instagram feed look gorgeous too. Here are my top picks from the ultimate fashion destination that houses top-notch beauty and personal care brands!

Philips Hairdryer and Hair Straightening Kit

Whether you’re a pro at styling your hair or a rookie who is still using the hair styling tools as basics, you need to have these two things in your life. This lightweight set will not only be a perfect tool for you when you’re travelling but will also be a great addition to your already gorgeous dressing table. Style your hair whenever you want without worrying about damaging them, with this hairdryer and hair straightening kit that is available at a jaw-dropping price!

Bvlgari Women Aqva Divina Body Mist

Now, who doesn’t want to smell good all the time? It not only gives you the confidence you need but also keeps body odour at bay. And when you get them on 41 per cent off, you know you have to add them to the cart right away!

GlamGlow Set Of Bubblesheet Oxygenating Mask & Supermud Mask

I love to unwind after a long day by pampering myself with a face mask. The supermud mask will help you cleanse your face and will get rid of all the pigmentation while the bubblesheet oxygenating mask will give your skin the moisture it needs. 

Clinique Transparency Neutral Blended Face Powder and Brush

We’re all always on the lookout for foundations and face powders that don’t wear off after some time. This product is my personal favourite and does not wear off for hours. It is a steal deal as this product comes with a brush that helps to make the application smooth. 

Smashbox Set of 4 Always On Liquid Lipstick

“I have enough lipsticks” – said no woman ever! If you are a lipstick hoarder just like me then this deal will be your favourite from the lot. A set of four lipsticks for the price of two is a dream come true for many. Add this to your cart STAT!

Mamaearth Intense Moisturization CoCo Body Lotion 

With winters at its peak these days, we all need a moisturizer that can stay all day long. This body lotion from Mamaearth will not only keep your skin feeling soft and supple all day long but also feeling fresh. Its non-sticky formula makes it a perfect addition to everyone’s makeup station!

This content was originally published here.

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Beauty Supply

Taraji P. Henson Just Added Four New Products To Her Haircare Line

Taraji P. Henson Just Added Four New Products To Her Haircare Line By Blake Newby ·February 2, 2021February 2, 2021

Taraji P. Henson comes by her knowledge and love of hair honestly. “My mother was really good with hair,” she tells ESSENCE. “She used to braid my hair, she used to cut it, that’s how I grew up.”

But once the actress moved to Los Angeles to kickstart her acting career, her hair health took a hit, and the constant pressures to wear her hair in straight weaves compromised her natural texture.

“So I just cut it off,” she says. “I wanted all of my head to have the same curl pattern. I didn’t want the roots to be curly, and fried and straight at the end. Plus, that was around the time that the lace front wig was made available to everybody, and became affordable. So I was able to put my hair away and not have to worry.”

It was while Henson’s hair was tucked away that she began to realize the importance of scalp health.

“What happens when your hair is healthy? It grows,” she says. “There’s no magical serum that will grow your hair overnight. Instead, the education is in taking care of your scalp.”

So when conceptualizing TPH By Taraji, her now one-year-old haircare brand, there was one thing at the front of mind: scalp health. Launching with an initial 17 products, the line is now expanding with four more SKUs continuing to focus on hydration and now, styling.

The new Intense Moisture + Care product line, available at Target, both in stores and online, as well as on the TPH By Taraji website includes: Mask On, a moisturizing conditioning mask, Curls 4 Days, an intense moisture rich curl creme, Twist & Set, a moisture-rich twisting cream, and Keep Shining. a lightweight dry oil mist, ranging from $13 to $18.

“I used to hear women say, ‘Girl my hair is in a weave, I don’t have to anything to it,’” Henson says. “But that’s not true. You have to do even more work to take care of your hair while it’s in the install, and that’s why I’ll continue to grow and expand TPH By Taraji. It’s filling the voids.”

The post Taraji P. Henson Just Added Four New Products To Her Haircare Line appeared first on Essence.

This content was originally published here.