Beauty news, as a treat!

Recalled masks, Dover Street Market, and braids through the decade.

My latest:

My last piece of 2019 was on braids through the entire decade, and how braids went from being a summer look and a way to transition from relaxed to natural hair, to a style we saw more frequently on red carpets and magazine covers. How did this happen? Well, Beyoncé and Solange played a huge part. But so did Black stylists who experimented with new techniques and created trends via Instagram, and natural hair influencers who were teaching people on YouTube how to do their own protective styles.

I loved writing this piece because I was able to tie it to a specific span of time, versus it being about the entire history of braids. I was able to dissect it and frame it within a decade, which felt awesome. You can read it on teenVogue.

(Now I’m thinking of writing a piece on Black women who work out, and tips they have on maintaining their hair. Thoughts? As a pilates addict, I definitely use braids for this reason. )

PS — I also write a really extensive guide on hyperpigmentation and light therapy for teenVogue.

Yes To grapefruit “unicorn” masks are recalled.

This is kind of old news, but I still have thoughts. Formally, it’s called a Grapefruit Vitamin C Glow-Boosting Unicorn Paper Mask. You may have seen these masks while perusing the beauty section of CVS. I sure have.

It seems BuzzFeed News originally reported on the story. I saw a few IG posts floating around, and I wanted to break down some surprising details I read in articles.

  • The example of irritation from a Yes To customer reported by BuzzFeed News was actually for their charcoal mask and things went down hill from there.

  • This is all really unfortunate because many of complaints are coming from parents who gave the masks to their daughters as a small gift or stocking stuffer, and now have children with irritated, bright red faces.

This mask claims to do a lot all at once, as face mask marketing copy tends to do. For me, that is always a red flag re: effectiveness. "This is formulated with grapefruit as well as lactic acid," Esthiology Educator Kaitlyn Hintergardt told ABC7 KGO in the Bay Area. It’s good combo for achieving brightness. However, Hintergardt notes, “With misuse or introducing it to a skin that might not be a good candidate for the product, definitely can lead to some issues like some consumers are reporting." This is an incident that could have happened to another brand, but doesn’t excuse Yes To.

My take on face masks: They are most helpful in adding extra moisture and plumpness to the skin. Any claims to brightness, lifting and getting rid of wrinkles are temporary. Any claims in reference to firming could possibly be achieved through consistent use. Good luck!

Dover Street Market’s curated beauty section > Sephora

First of all, 🤤. Earlier this week, I stopped by Dover Street Market in downtown LA with my friend/writer/author Danyel Smith. We always find an excuse to explore — and I often forget Dover Street Market is here in this city. Their beauty section had everything from expensive body oils to Vaseline and I have to admit: I kind of stan a seemingly democratic take on beauty in a beautiful, small space. Their products sat on 4 or 5 white steels shelves in an open square. There was a small table in the middle to test textures and smells. Truly, the space can only fit 2-3 people and it helps to give this intimate experience around the product you’re trying. I’d rather take a curated selection of beauty products over a trip to Sephora, a place I find myself increasing stressed out about entering. I’ll have to unpack soon how I became this way.



Self portrait, Dover Street Market.