Two Jersey Beauties Band Together to "Face Flawless Skin"
Each year mainstream media brands distribute awards, hold conferences, and create listicles to introduce and celebrate the trendiest and most effective skin care products on the market, but often the media fails to include the questions and concerns of women of color when creating content and offering recognition.
This weekend bloggers Christine Carr and Felicia Walker, who have consistently used their respective platforms to attempt to change that, held their Face Flawless Skin Clinic to give women of color an opportunity to ask questions, address concerns, and share knowledge.
Carr and Walker gathered over 120 of their supporters at New York City’s Redbury Hotel to offer them what the mainstream conversation surrounding the beauty industry had not.
They each believe that “women of color are starved for fact based, curated skin care information that is customized for them” and intended to “empower women to take charge of their own skincare regimen and develop a routine with products that are ideal for their skin type and skincare concerns” throughout the course of the day.
Another goal was to make sure that the women in the room would no longer feel intimidated or insecure when seeking assistance with more complicated skin issues. “We want to ensure that when women of color show up to their skincare professionals, they know the right questions to ask. Too often women are lured into what’s trending only to discover it is not for them or that the professional they’ve chosen has little to no experience working with skin of color.”
While the goals of the event were aligned with the fact that skin care is about health and not just beauty it was anything but somber.
Before being led through a beautiful pair of cherry wood doors, attendees arrived to find a light and airy reception area featuring snacks like prosciutto, and orange garnished olives and an oversized custom floral heart and ring light perfect for snapping selfies.
The reception area lead out to the hotel’s perfectly clandestine yet perfectly chic terrace.
Speakers at the completely sold out event included renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Rosetta Garries, Educator, Makeup Artist and Photographer, Danessa Myricks, Mario Badescu’s Director of Marketing and PR, Nicole Darmanin and Principal Scientist for P&G’s Olay Skin Care Dr. Frauke Neuser.
Olay has long been a leader in the skincare industry providing affordable solutions that address a variety of concerns for years.
Each of the attendees received two full-size packages of their daily facials (a godsend for anyone who has ever had to face waterproof mascara after a night out), and a jar of their luminous whip facial moisturizer. The moisturizer contains SPF 25 sun protection.
The women clammored over the attention of Dr. Frauke asking practical questions about the need for reapplication. One self proclaimed “gym rat” asked about how to remain committed to skin care routine while working out on a regular basis. Another asked about how to apply sun protection and avoid wrecking her makeup.
She patiently answered questions explaining what the FDA recommendations were actually based on instead of just citing ambiguous statistics.
Carr talked about her own experiences with tanning stating that “my lips always tan first” and reminded everyone that “lip balm with SPF is important.” Walker admonished the crowd for believing that melanin was all they needed to enjoy fun in the sun saying that “our black does crack it just takes a little longer.”
While Myricks, demonstrated her skills on a fresh faced model she spoke warmly of the industry’s migration away from the muted matte looks of years past.
“When you introduce a highlighter to the higher points of your face it just rises it can’t help it” she said advising the women in attendance that they should be “focusing on luminosity always, radiance always.”
Both Walker and Carr looked luminous without the help of makeup artists or stylists.
Each woman opted to apply her own makeup using products from Myricks and sport off the rack outfits they chose from sponsor Bloomingdale's Short Hills personally reflecting how the techniques and options presented could be easily accessible to everyone in attendance.
Carr’s perwinkle nails matched her asymmetrical skirt.
Each attendee from the hosts’ home state of New Jersey received a special Clarins offer of $25 off a Clarins $50 or $80 Facial at Bloomingdale’s Short Hills.
The beauty of the event was that it was about information and not indoctrination. Everyone was encouraged to get the information they needed and apply it to their own unique definition of beauty. While some beauty events can be uncomfortable for those who aren’t sporting a full face featuring the finest foundation and rarest of mink eyelash strips this was a completely low pressure environment. It wasn’t about advocating for being heavily made up and it wasn’t about advocating for going barefaced. It was about taking what Walker referred to as a “skin forward” approach to beauty, whatever beauty means to you.
Darmanin pointed out the irony in a society that primarily “focuses on hair and nails” when “skin is alive.”
Mario Badescu has long been praised for its commitment to all over skin health. The gift bag for the event featured their wheat germ infused vitamin E body lotion.
Dr. Rosetta Garries took over the room with her frank candor. Her one-liners had the entire room laughing. She told the room that there were three avenues from which to consider skin care methods “ I ain’t got no money. I got some money, and I got a lot of money.” After everyone stopped laughing she offered fitting suggestions for working within each of these scenarios.
She made it clear that lack of financial resources was not a suitable excuse for neglecting your body’s largest organ. “If you don’t have any money you go to your kitchen shelf you can get yourself some cornstarch, eggs, lemon.”
She answered questions about more invasive beauty procedures and explained that options like fillers and botox were no longer just “for white women.”
While the hosts raffled off a botox certificate to attendees who correctly answered trivia questions they made it clear that guests who weren’t interested didn’t have to try out the procedure but the winner was thrilled nodding feverishly. “Oh I’m interested. I’m very interested.”
Later on Dr. Garries gave women personal assessments giving them patient advice and making them feel comfortable by pinching the apples of their cheeks.
She even let challenged everyone to guess how old she was and shocked them by revealing that she was actually in her early seventies!
She spoke about the differences between the resources available today and those that were available when she was starting out as a resident thanks to women like Walker and Carr telling the younger women in the room “You guys are so lucky! We didn’t have anyone to talk to us.”
Mario Badescu, Pooka Pure and Simple, and Danessa Myricks Beauty vended on site providing guests with serious discounts up to 50% on products including vitamin-c serums, rosewater sprays, body butters, natural perfumes, and cream highlighters.
The Pooka Pure and Simple corner smelled amazing!
Women hesitated before their purchases pacing while contemplating which of the rich fragrances to invest in while owner Dawn Fitch offered everyone who passed by whiffs of scents like Vanilla and Sugar, and Island Mimosa.
The favorite by far was the Citrus Basil but each and every one of the products completely sold out!
Towards the end of the event Walker surprised her cohost with a crepe cake publicly thanking her for rising to the occasion during what she said was a challenging week for her. The two embraced and beamed at one another as they pulled apart.
Carr showed her commitment to making sure the event was a success in a number of ways including heading solo to the floral district on foot at 8am, so that that she could design and assemble all of the floral arrangements by hand before the guests arrived.
The vibrant peonies and lush greens she picked were a huge hit.
The event didn’t just impart useful information it also fostered some connections. The owners of Pooka and We Are Onyx exchanged business cards and made plans to continue communicating about their beauty goals and attendees swapped information about their favorite products and techniques while waiting to snap selfies and snacking on savory cheeses.
After a season of unexpectedly gloomy weather everyone was eager to dress appropriately for the warm summer day.
This young lady wore a colorful skirt from Gabrielle Union’s collection for New York and Company.
While this guest wore an adorable white ruffled dress that was way more fun in the sun than here comes the bride.
When the event was over everyone left with bags and boxes from of goodies from the sponsors in their arms and information from the speakers in their heads.
To get more information on how to keep your face flawless check out FaceFlawlessSkin.com.