This second outing, after the success of the first event in 2016, was a major happening for Glamour magazine. The event catered for every aspect of beauty, style and well-being, with talks and demonstrations from international superstars including Hung Vanngo, Sam McKnight and Mary Greenwell as well as rising and leading internet sensations Samantha Maria, the Pixiwoo duo, Carly Rowena and Niomi Smart.
Spread over three floors the event ran over two days and attracted more than 3000 visitors and the atmosphere was upbeat and very lively.
Heading off to the makeup area (as my primary interests are makeup and hair) I found that the leading companies are catering for a wider range of skin tones. Laura Mercier, Nars, Mark Joseph and Estee Edit have all developed extended colour ranges to extend their reach into new demographics and, although on the day I was unable to find something that would work for me, it’s good to see that makeup for women with darker skin tones is becoming more accessible.
I’m sure that some of the exhibitors at the festival were limited by how much product they could physically display and that choices were made to exhibit the most popular. It was unfortunate that I was able to find something from only the Estee Edit range that came close to matching my complexion, but I have to applaud the recognition being given to the fact that women of colour have been somewhat marginalised in past provision of makeup.
Concealers and foundations have, for a long time, lagged behind other beauty products in this respect and there’s an abundance of lip sticks, blushers and eyebrow palettes that are eminently suitable for matching with darker skin and eyes.
Over at the hair counters I enquired at several about their provision for black hair. At the Redken counter I was told that the company does have products for black hair, but as black and blonde hair products were not amongst the most popular both had been excluded for the festival.
On reflection, I suspect that perhaps they didn’t realise I was asking specifically about Afro hair. This seems more likely to be the case as Redken has no women of colour amongst its ‘Muses’ and there are none featured in the online ‘Look Book’.
To me it would be obvious that a black woman asking about products for black hair would be referring to Afro textured hair, but that may be a training and awareness issue. As anyone who knows me is aware, I always advise that a great deal of damage to reputation can be done by someone not trained to consider the person asking the question as much as considering the actual question.
To wrap it up, there is still more work to be done, but it’s gratifying to see the improvements that have been made across the industry to cater for a wider range of skin types and shades. This is what keeps me doing what I do, talking to industry leaders about language and terminology from my own experience and knowledge bank.
The festival was a great place for brands to showcase their products. Presentations and demonstrations were informative and insightful and O.P.I. had eight nail technicians working flat out when I took a look.
A lot of people also loved the Fiat 500 Riva. Such a cute little car.