Netflix's hit satirical comedy Dear White People chronicles a group of black college students at a predominately white school. Through realistic scenarios and a dash of humor, the show touches on cultural and societal racial issues that people of color fall subject to, especially when they are the only ones in the room. Ashley Blaine Featherson, an actress on the show, collaborated with black-owned beauty brand The Lip Bar to continue spreading this incredibly important message of diversity through an empowering campaign.
The Lip Bar is a vegan, cruelty-free brand aimed at challenging linear beauty norms and pushing for inclusivity. The Lip Bar offers healthy ingredients and showstopping shades that work on all skin tones at a price that's accessible to everyone. Featherson's messaging in this campaign represents The Lip Bar at its core: a brand that is shaking up the beauty industry's not-so-inclusive past to do better.
"Upon interviewing Ashley, she was asked what her thoughts were on beauty brands recently 'becoming inclusive,'" The Lip Bar said in a statement. "She explained that she thought it was simply because they had to, due to the racial climate in society. This hit home for The Lip Bar, as we can't help but notice the same thing. As a company founded on the principle of inclusion, it is important for us to make sure our customers and community feel embraced and empowered by all we do. From the products we make, to the imagery we display, The Lip Bar has celebrated diversity from its inception. We don't do it for the trend, we don't do it to ride the wave. We are the wave. We've been doing this and see it as our duty to continue challenging the beauty standard and reminding the world that it is the 'why' of our company."
Featherson's message to the beauty industry: "We know the difference between diversity and tokenism."
And: "We're more than a trend."
Most importantly, she shares the same sentiments of many women of color: "I'm finally seeing myself in the media."
Shows like Dear White People being aired on a mainstream platform like Netflix creates a space for an ongoing conversation of representation. It's amazing to see an extension of this representation being so beautifully shown in a beauty brand that stands for inclusivity. I've had the honor of sitting on the same panel as its founder, Melissa Butler, and am beyond inspired by her mission to provide women of color with incredible products made of high-grade, healthy ingredients for a fraction of the price.
"My goal is to always tell the stories of everyday women," Butler told Byrdie. "And women who stand for more than what meets the eye. Obviously, Ashley is a beautiful woman, but she's also talented, smart, honest, and isn't afraid to speak about anything from her frustrations to her faith. I love that. I love that she's relatable."
Featherson is equally ecstatic to be a part of this campaign. "The Lip Bar is a fabulous and much-needed beauty brand created by a beautiful black woman from Detroit," she told Byrdie. "In many ways, she is me and I am her. I wanted to collaborate with The Lip Bar because supporting black women is important to me. The brand is impeccable and the women behind the scenes are forces of nature."
A few months ago, Target began selling The Lip Bar online and in stores. Bravo to this major step in the right direction toward accessibility for black-owned beauty brands. Ahead are some of my favorite shades from the new Slayin All Summer 18 collection. Isn't this name gold? Agreed.
This fiery orange-red shade is flying off the shelves.
Or if you want your lipstick to do all the talking, try this vibrant purple color.
This bright pink lip gloss is called Party Girl for a reason.
This creamy purple shade has a major color payoff that'll feel comfortable for hours.
This soft pink gloss is one of those universal shades that looks good on everyone.
Try this neon orange hue with red undertones if you aren't afraid of color.
This deep purple hue is my all-time favorite The Lip Bar shade. Every time I take a photo wearing it, it draws tons of compliments.
Next up: Along with The Lip Bar, read up on the 150 products Target added for medium to dark skin tones.