Voices: Why Compromise?
I recently launched Rebecca Allen, which is an initial offering of a timeless patent leather pump for women of color. I offer five “nude” shades. It’s foundation for your feet. I used to work in finance and this elusive nude pump, usually some beige offering, never achieved the same seamless finish on my legs. It seemed absurd to me that no one in the marketplace was speaking to non-white women and offering this wardrobe staple for our closets.
As I’ve started getting the word out on the brand I’ve heard from so many women who have been on the hunt. One said that she had started looking into how to dye a pair of shoes to make her nude. Another woman told me that years ago she had found a pump that was “close enough,” but then had to track it down in her size across the country. It shouldn’t be this hard.
I’m committed to telling the stories of powerhouse women of color. How we get dressed is an extension of our identities and I don’t want any woman, particularly a woman of color, to feel like she has to compromise.
My approach to skincare is fairly simple, although I am guilty of always thinking there is something out there that will change my life that I have yet to try. I have been dealing with a serious bout of acne as of late and started using True Botanicals Clear series. It consists of their Hydrating Cleanser, a Repair Serum and their Pure Radiance Oil. For a mask I use Bentonite Clay mixed with raw apple cider vinegar. This is supposed to draw out impurities. For hydrating masks, I have a bunch of Master Lab K-Beauty sheet masks that my husband brought back from a work trip to South Korea. He’s a big fan, too. Whenever I’m looking to try something new I check out Follain.com. It’s an all-natural apothecary that curates US-based brands.
I believe that the key to staying fresh off a flight is drinking lots of water! I also usually bring some rose water to spritz on my face as needed.
I do not wear a ton of makeup, but I have a simple, three-minute application that I never have to think about. I use RMS Un Cover-up for under eye concealer and RMS Un Powder to set it. Then I apply By Terry Cellularose Brightening CC Serum (smells lovely) to the high points on my face. I’m always trying to get that glow! I use Jane Iredale lash conditioner and mascara, fill in my brows a little with Ecobrow and apply a little RMS Lip2cheek for blush. If I’m heading out for a big night I may turn it up with a smokey eye, a little bronzer, and Dope Taupe or Pretty in Pink from Mented!
I am a big exfoliator. I love the Dermalogica Ultimate Buffing Cloth because it rinses clean very easily. I also believe in a good wash cloth scrub down. I tried dry brushing, but it just isn’t as satisfying. I like to use coconut oil on my body, but in the winter I usually need something stronger because I get very dry and am prone to eczema patches.
I only use natural deodorant, and like to switch them up. Follain.com carries a bunch and will tell you that if you are ready to make one natural switch in your beauty routine, deodorant is the most impactful place to start. I like Schmidt’s Rose & Vanilla Stick. I also use Kiss My Face, which is stocked pretty widely.
I am Drybar enthusiast, but for washing and styling at home I have Form Beauty products. I also love the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray for dry shampoo and Byredo’s Gypsy Water Hair Perfume. I get my hair cut by Mahogany Grace at the John Barrett Salon on top of Bergdorf’s in the city. We have been together for just about 15 years. She was the one who took me from relaxer to natural in my early 20s. We just did a big chop! It was amazing. Then went back to relaxer in my late 20s and now we are growing out the relaxer again, but just trimming as it grows. No big chop chop this time.