I just started a Fan Page for Spoiled Pretty on Facebook, and it’s pretty awesome. I especially enjoy how easy it is to chat with readers. Why don’t you join us? All the cool kids are doing it.
Does skin color give clues to health? That’s what two UK researchers are saying. They have “found” that skin color affects how healthy and attractive they appear, and that diet may be crucial to achieving the most desirable complexion. The study will be published in the December issue of Springer’s International Journal of Primatology.
“Most previous work on faces has focused on the shape of the face or the texture of the skin, but one of the most variable characteristics of the face is skin color,” said Dr. Ian Stephen from the University of Bristol.
Though the researchers’ findings sound interesting, I’m not sure how much stock I can put in their experiment – given its narrow scope. All 54 participants were Caucasian, and the faces they were asked to manipulate and rate were all Caucasian too.
To read more about this so-called study, click here.
NEW YORK – Mattel has launched a new line of black Barbie dolls with fuller lips, a wider nose and more pronounced cheek bones , a far cry from Christie, Barbie’s black friend who debuted in the 1960s and was essentially a white doll painted brown.
The “So In Style” line, which hit mass retailers last month, features BFFs Grace, Kara and Trichelle, each with her own style and interests and a little sister she mentors: Courtney, Janessa and Kianna. The dolls reflect varying skin tones , light brown, chocolate, and caramel , and Trichelle and Kianna have curlier hair.
Barbie designer Stacey McBride-Irby, who is black and has a 6-year-old daughter, said she wanted to create a line of dolls for young black girls that looked like them and were inspirational and career-minded. For example, Kara is interested in math and music.
“I want them to see themselves within these dolls, and let them know that black is beautiful,” she said.
Many black women are praising Mattel for its efforts , Black Barbie hit the shelves in 1980 with white features shared by many of the dolls following her.
But some say the long straight hair does not address the beauty issues that many black girls struggle with. In the black community, long, straight hair is often considered more beautiful than short kinky hair.
Chris Rock highlights the issue in his “Good Hair” documentary, which opens in select cities on Friday and shows black women straightening their tight curls with harsh chemicals and purchasing thousand-dollar hair weaves.
“Why are we always pushing this standard of long hair on our girls?” asked Gail Parrish, 60, a playwright in Alexandria, Va., and a mother of four grown children. “Why couldn’t one of the dolls have a little short afro, or shorter braids or something?”
McBride-Irby said she originally designed all the dolls with long hair. Combing her Barbie’s long hair when she was a girl was the “highlight of my play experience,” she said. She was advised to create some dolls with curlier hair, so she did.
There is a So In Style hairstyling set so girls can curl, straighten and style their dolls’ hair over and over. (It costs $24.99, more than a pair of dolls at $19.99.)
That is troubling to Sheri Parks, an associate professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland in College Park, because it actively involves girls in the process of straightening hair. She worries that it reinforces the message that there is something wrong with natural hair.
“Black mothers who want their girls to love their natural hair have an uphill battle and these dolls could make it harder,” Parks said in an e-mail.
Aside from the hair, some black women are concerned about the dolls’ thin frames. Barbie, which celebrated her 50th birthday in March, has for years come under fire for promoting an unrealistic body image, with her long legs, tiny waist and large breasts.
While white girls also deal with body-image issues, Kumea Shorter-Gooden, co-author of “Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America,” believes Barbie has a more negative impact on black girls. They are already struggling with messages that “black skin isn’t pretty and our hair is too kinky and short,” she said.
Despite those complaints, Mattel seems to have gotten several things right.
Andrea Slaughter, 38, a mom of two in Newnan, Ga., said she likes how the designer highlighted values that are critical in the black community, such as education and mentoring.
Sheila Adams Gardner, 41, a mother of three in Arlington, Va., praised the varying skin tones. She said when her daughter was 4, she became very self-conscious about being lighter than everyone else in her family.
“She has always had African-American dolls, but rarely dolls with skin like her own,” she said. “Often the lighter dolls were Hispanic or Indian. It was very heartwarming to look at a series of African-American Barbies and hear my daughter, now ll, exclaim, ‘She looks like me!’”
Even Shorter-Gooden acknowledged the facial features “look like real black people.”
Mattel doesn’t release sales figures. But Michelle Chidoni of Mattel said the dolls are resonating with girls of all colors and ages.
The line will be expanding next year with Rocawear clothing, new dolls Chandra and her little sister Zahara, and Darren, who will have a little brother he mentors.
In today’s issue of WWD, Kim Kardashian opens up about her new perfume:
By her own admission, Kim Kardashian’s debut fragrance has been a long time coming.
“When I was little, my sister Kourtney and I tried to make our own perfume by picking flowers and putting them in the blender, because that’s how we thought fragrances were made,” Kardashian said with a laugh during a phone interview Tuesday. “Our parents thought we were crazy — and it smelled totally gross!”
Chris Lighty, a founding partner in Lighthouse Beauty, said, “Kim has created her own brand, which has really be able to extend off-screen and out of the reality show arena it started in. She’s not a one-horse show.”
And Kardashian is also proving herself to be a very involved creator. “I wanted something rich and creamy and sexy, but still youthful,” said Kardashian. “I met with Claude [Dir, a master perfumer at Givaudan] and had an in-depth meeting about what I liked and didn’t like, and he and his team came up with seven samples based on that.”
Then the fun really began: “I liked the base notes on one, the heart notes on another — we started mixing it up,” said Kardashian, who loves tuberose and gardenia notes; both made it into her scent. “I wanted to make sure I liked it in every single stage. It’s really cool to know that’s what is in this bottle is exactly how I want to smell.”
The final juice has crisp top notes, a heart of jasmine, tuberose and gardenia, and a drydown of tonka bean, jacaranda wood and sandalwood. The initial collection comprises four eaux de parfum stockkeeping units: 1 oz. for $32, 1.7 oz. for $45, 3.4 oz. for $65 and a 0.33-oz. rollerball for $16.
The fragrance will have a three-month exclusive with Sephora, and will roll out to department store doors “around Mother’s Day,” said Lighty.“
Kim Kardashian’s first fragrance is a beautiful floral that is both bold and sultry,” said Allison Slater, vice president of retail marketing for Sephora, noting that Kardashian will do in-store appearances to promote the scent. “It is the perfect accessory for everyday wear with a sophisticated edge to compliment an evening out too. Florals are one of our most popular and highly sought-after fragrance families. Many of our top-performing collections have a distinctive floral note and this, combined with Kim’s wide appeal, will undoubtedly be popular with our clients.”
The scent’s bottle, designed by Scott Oshry and Sean Brosmith of Maesa, is translucent black with a pearlized pink neck and a pink aluminum KK logo, which appears on the bottle and is engraved into the neck. Kardashian made her final bottle decision in a novel way: she polled her 2.5 million followers on Twitter. “I posted pictures of a hot-pink version and a pale-pink version and asked my fans to weigh in on which was better. The overwhelming favorite was the pale-pink cap — everyone said it looked more sophisticated. I really wanted to know what my fans preferred. They’ll be the ones buying it! We will continue to interact with fans this way on this project.” Added Lighty: “We will do location visits with Twitter — visits that will only be announced via Twitter to engage Kim’s true followers to come and meet her and maybe get a bottle of the scent,” he said, noting that Lighthouse Beauty is employing a similar strategy with Power by 50 Cent, which bowed in September.
While executives declined to discuss sales projections, industry sources estimated the eponymous scent could do as much as $50 million at retail in its first year on counter.
A multiplatform advertising and promotional campaign is planned, which will include Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and print advertising. Print ads will break in February fashion, beauty and lifestyle magazines, and the bulk of the online campaign will be begin at launch. “Kim is one of the most Googled women in America,” said Lighty. “When people are looking for pictures or gossip on Kim, we have to make sure we are there with the message. If it’s a male looking for a picture, we’ll try to get him to buy the fragrance for his significant other. If it’s a woman looking for gossip, we will be there too.”
Now that she’s done with her first fragrance, Kardashian is proceeding full speed ahead. She’s completed a second fragrance which could bow in 2011, and has aspirations of doing a color cosmetics line. She’s also begun filming the fourth season of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” (the scent will be the subject of a story line). She continues to run Dash, a multiboutique enterprise, with her sisters, serves as chief stylist for Shoedazzle.com and has put her stamp on a series of fitness DVDs.
The Food and Drug Administration recently issued a warning to Allergan Inc., stating that the website for Latisse (a prescription eyelash lengthener) is misleading because it omits and minimizes risks associated with the product.
In a letter dated September 10, the FDA warns that latisse.com misbrands Latisse – in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act – because it does not clearly convey the consequences that may result from use of the drug, which include:
Hair growth outside the treatment area
Potential for contamination and infections
Absorption by soft contact lenses
To read the letter in its entirety, click here.
The brand plans to continue to sell online for United States shipping at prescriptives.com to help service consumers for replenishment of key products, while inventory lasts. Prescriptives products are currently sold in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia.
“We believe that the difficult decision relating to Prescriptives will allow us to redirect our resources to key strategic imperatives where we see the highest growth potential,” said Fabrizio Freda, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Estée Lauder Companies.
For Prescriptives consumer support, toll free numbers have been set up in North America (1.877.819.2968, English, Spanish and French speaking), the United Kingdom (0800 088 4168) and the Republic of Ireland (1800 936 080).
CoverGirl just announced that actress Dania Ramirez is the newest face of the iconic cosmetic brand. Dania is best known for her role as ‘Maya Herrera’ on NBC’s popular hit series Heroes.
“Being a CoverGirl is about recognizing internal and external beauty, regardless of age or background. As a role model, I hope to inspire women to be confident enough to achieve everything they want to achieve,” says Dania Ramirez.
CoverGirl print and television advertisements featuring Dania will launch in January 2010. Dania joins Ellen DeGeneres, Drew Barrymore, Queen Latifah and Rihanna as the newest face of the brand.