The BEAUTY IRL newsletter covers beauty at the intersection of politics and pop culture through breaking news, trends, and personal experiences.

Who is Darian and what’s the goal of this newsletter?

Photography by Natasha Campos

Growing up, my mom was a beautician. I watched her style all sorts of hair textures in our home’s basement, which she turned into a small hair salon. She’d frequently head to the professional beauty supply and bring me along. I’d browse the aisles by myself as she talked to the store clerk, and build my case for a new hair grease or shower cap.

From relaxers to transitioning to my natural curls, to trims gone wrong, to the most epic blonde hair, to braids, and other protective styles, there is one thing I know for sure: Beauty is one of the few things left you have to show up for. Sure, there are apps that will give you a very real idea of how an eyeshadow will look on your complexion, but nothing can compare to the sensation of applying lipstick or using a new conditioner. In today’s world, that holds a lot of power.

After college (Emerson ‘13), I started working in newsrooms as a curation editor (a.k.a. a fancy word for a social media + mobile editor) for places like BuzzFeed News, Yahoo News, NBC News, Vox.com and teenVogue. I’ve always had a knack for asking questions and telling stories. I wanted, I needed, to know the truth about everything. Everything.

In 2017, I decided I wanted to get more involved in the beauty industry. I noticed pretty quickly that publications typically work hand in hand with brands to create content, such as product reviews and stories with favorable PR angles.

Beauty is a global, multi-billion dollar industry. It should be relentlessly monitored and reported on with the same fairness and passion as politics, tech, and health. I realized I could help fill this void by applying my skills as a journalist to the beauty industry and showing everyday folks why they should care, and what’s at stake. This is how the BEAUTY IRL newsletter was birthed.

— Darian Symoné Harvin | IG | TW

In this newsletter…

…you’ll finish reading and feel satisfied; like you’ve learned something new and valuable about the complicated world of beauty. Personal fears and triumphs as I try to navigate myself. Information you’ll want to share with a friend or a partner over dinner.

  • Original reporting on topics in beauty at the intersection of politics and pop culture. Take, for example, this post on beauty brands in response to Black life and police brutality.

  • Weekly and monthly beauty news roundups, depending on her subscription status.

  • The inside of my brain on: trends I am noticing and industry news that raises my eyebrows.

  • Whenever I am able, BTS of my reporting and published stories. Think notes scribbles, photos, quotes.

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some of my work

How Coronavirus Has Affected The Black Hair Business [Refinery29]

The Real Queen Of Wellness: Tracee Ellis Ross [New York Times]

These Black College Students Are Using An Age Old Tradition To Pay For School [Refinery29]

Jackie Aina Wants To Hold The Beauty Industry Accountable [buzzfeed news]

Megan Thee Stallion Prepares For ‘Hot Girl Summer’ With A Pageant [New York Times]

Nails Tips From ‘Claws’ [New York Times]

What Is Hyperpigmentation And How Do You Get Rid Of Dark Spots? An Explainer. [Teen Vogue]

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