CULTURE

Your favorite Celebrity is Lying to You: Kim Kardashian’s SKKN and Celebrity Brands Fatigue

Don’t Trust Celebrity Brands. Try These Brands Instead

Another day, another dollar — but only if you “get your ass up and work.” At least, that’s the world according to reality star and business mogul, Kim Kardashian. The entrepreneur is once again under fire for her newest venture, SKKN.

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I finally went to a hairdresser that specializes in curly hair and I have to tell you, it's the best thing I ever did. My cut was spectacular, and I'm finally not frustrated by my curls - but styling has been a little tricky.

My mane definitely needs product, but it CANNOT handle a daily blowdry.

Would my stylist have the answer? I called up the salon to talk to her, and she told me she'd heard great things about Hairstory's Hair Balm, which is recommended for air drying.

I was surprised to hear that there was a product specifically for letting your hair air dry. Still, I looked it up; it's a leave-in conditioner that works to tame frizz, shape curls and add moisture, without getting that crunchy dry effect.

There was free shipping on my first order, a money-back guarantee, and the product is made from all natural ingredients, so even though I'd never even heard of this brand before… it seemed like their products were high-quality.

They were also super transparent about their ingredients, which is kind of Hairstory's thing; everything is listed, even if it's only in trace amounts that aren't required by law to be included on a label (yikes!). If you hover over an ingredient, they give you a full explanation on why they use it! Pretty cool.

Even with my limited knowledge of hair products, I could scan and see that this was packed with proteins, hydrating oils, and essential oils for fragrance instead of other weird stuff.

I figured I'd give it a try - they're most known for their shampoo-free cleanser, New Wash, which intrigued me, so I'd try that next if this worked out.

My package arrived pretty swiftly and I liked the crisp blue and white bottle. I double checked the instructions online for how much to use, and read that one full pump was right for long, thick hair (me!).

After a shower, I worked a pump full of Hair Balm into my hand and ran it through my hair, scrunching as I went. It smelled nice, at least, and not like chemicals.

I went to go watch a 2 hour movie, and didn't check on my hair until after...

Oh my goodness. There was a Noticeable Difference. First off, no frizz whatsoever - every hair was wound in a thick curl. I hadn't seen my hair silhouetted like that since I came out of the salon! My hair was soft too; it was like body lotion for my hair.

I walked around my apartment, checking it out in every mirror, and noticed as time went by, it still didn't lose volume or frizz up. It was a long-lasting effect.

Not to be dramatic, but this is life-changing for curly hair. If you subscribe for a new shipment every 6, 8, or 10 weeks, you'll get 5% off!

It apparently works for other hair types, too, so if you're looking for a hair-healthy styling product you can air dry with, I can't imagine anything better.

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Culture Feature

Black Actors Share Stories of Being Ignored by Stylists

While Hollywood and fashion brands are quick to congratulate themselves for casting people of color, inclusive representation requires diversity behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras.

Professional makeup artists can imitate peeling radiation burns in American Horror Story: Apocalypse, make Margot Robbie look like a 53-year-old Queen Elizabeth I, or, even more criminally, transform Christian Bale into Dick Cheney.

But at fashion shoots and film studios, hair stylists and makeup artists are usually there to enhance models' and actors' natural features. While Hollywood and fashion brands are quick to loudly congratulate themselves for casting people of color, inclusive representation requires diversity behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras.

Sadly, that is not the norm. This week, model Olivia Anakwe voiced a common complaint that industry hair stylists aren't trained to style black hair. Anakwe ended Paris Fashion Week by posting a condemning message to Instagram about her exclusion from the fashion show's styling. In hopes to "spread awareness," she urged, "No matter how small your team is, make sure you have one person that is competent at doing afro texture hair care OR just hire a black hairstylist! Black hairstylists are required to know how to do everyone's hair, why does the same not apply to others?"

Soon, various black actors took to Twitter to corroborate the oversight, which speaks more to the media's history of erasing people of color than sheer vanity. Malcolm Barrett (Timeless) posted, "Most Black actors get their hair cut or styled outside of set, often at their own expense because Hollywood hairstylists are one size fit[s] all and that 'all' does not include Black hair. This has been my experience for the last 20 years in the business & it hasn't changed at all."

Yvette Nicole Brown (Community) added that makeup artists almost unanimously overlook dark skin tones. She shared her personal experience of having to bring her own products in order to receive the same treatment non-ethnic actors receive. "Most black actresses come to a new set w/ their hair done (me) or bring their wigs & clip-ins w/them," she posted. "It's either that or take a chance that you will look crazy on screen. Many of us also bring our own foundation. One too many times seeing no shade that matches you will learn ya!"

The Twitter thread quickly gained attention from both men and women who'd been dismissed by stylists who didn't know how to work with non-white faces. From Gabrielle Union to Gabourey Sidibe, black actors created the conversation simply to create awareness. As Brown posted: "Those of us responding to this feed are sharing our unique experiences #ActingWhileBlack. No one is dying. We have all adapted. Life goes on. ❤️ I just always think it's important to pull back the curtain so you guys know what the real is. This mess is the real!"


Sadly, this behind-the-scenes exclusion extends to all non-white actors. Half-Chinese, half-white actress Chloe Bennet (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) has spoken out against makeup artists who have tried to "open" her almond-shaped eyes. She told Us Weekly, "I really like accentuating my Asian features and the almond eye shape that I have. For a long time, a lot of makeup artists would try to open my eyes really wide and I felt like I didn't look like myself and like it changed the shape of my face,"

Likewise, Olivia Munn noted the same problem in an interview with Byrdie: "I'm Chinese and white, and I actually have more of a Chinese bone structure but more white features, and little things completely transform my face. Like putting shimmer in the corner of my eyes can make me look cross-eyed. There are some people who can wear any makeup style, and they will look beautiful. But for me, I can see drastic changes. Like when I work with other makeup artists, sometimes they'll do the same thing to me that they've done to a lot of white girls, and it doesn't work. They don't understand that rimming my eye in black will just make it smaller."

Best Hair Style

To repeat Yvette Nicole Brown, no one's dying from not being styled by a professional makeup artist. However, the oversight underlines continuing inequality between white and non-white performers in media. A production casting people of color is nothing more than a hollow gesture if their representation on screen is not given equal consideration.


Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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I'm an Asian Woman on Tinder: An Analysis of My Inbox

To the World Wide Web on Its 30th Birthday: Your Dad Hates You

Post-Ironic Media: How We Memed A President Into Office

While you were mourning the loss of Gina Linetti and wondering why Rent: Live wasn't live, here's the TV news you may have missed:

Bad Girls

LA's Finest, the series-spinoff of the Bad Boys films, has gotten an official premiere date and teaser trailer. The hour-long drama is the first foray into original programming from cable company Spectrum, and will premiere on May 13, 2019. The series stars Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba as Syd and Nancy (oh, clever), respectively, LAPD detectives with "complex" histories.

"L.A.'s Finest" - Premiere Date Announcement - May 13 on Spectrum Originals youtu.be


They Awaken

In other, film-turned-series-spinoff getting the trailer and premiere treatment news: FX released an early look at writer Jemaine Clement and director Taika Waititi's What We Do in the Shadows, which will premiere on March 27, 2019. The series mirrors the mockumentary style of its predecessor, this time offering a glimpse at the lives of three vampire roommates in New York City. Check out the trailer to learn what an "energy vampire" is.

What We Do in the Shadows | Season 1: Official Trailer [HD] | FX youtu.be

Helen Sloan / HBO

Winter's Still Coming

HBO released a new slate of stills from the upcoming final season of Game of Thrones, and your friends here at Popdust basically predicted everything that will happen.

Hair Got Chopped

Perhaps in response to seeing all of the changes Fox had to make to the already-earnest lyrics from Rent: Live, NBC has decided to forgo its previously-scheduled May musical event, Hair Live! Was it too difficult to find a way to eschew the full-frontal nudity, illicit drug use, and a song called "Sodomy?" According to a statement from NBC released to TVLine, which notes that the network is shifting its focus to "broad-based, family musicals," yes. Yes it was.


schitt's creek CBC

And, Finally, Meet Fun Ted

As Schitt's Creek continues its run as the most endearing series that's also bitingly hilarious, it ups its game with the introduction of Fun Ted, who is released when Alexis convinces Ted to let loose in last night's episode "Housewarming."

CBC


Rebecca Linde is a writer and cultural critic in NYC. She tweets about pop culture and television @rklinde.


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FILM & TV

SATURDAY FILM SCHOOL | '2 Dope Queens' is the Royal Ceremony We've Been Waiting For

Jessica Williams & Phoebe Robinson move their popular podcast to HBO!

'2 Dope Queens'

This is the only royal ceremony I care about.

2 Dope Queens is officially LIFE. Haven't heard of it? Not subscribed to HBO? Never listen to podcasts? Let me fill you in. 2 Dope Queens is a two-year-old podcast on WNYC (filmed live at Union Hall in Brooklyn) hosted by Jessica Williams (The Daily Show, The Incredible Jessica James) and Broad City's Phoebe Robinson, and it's now on HBO as a series of four hour-long specials. As a podcast, 2 Dope Queens tackles race, sex, hair, and pop culture with confidence and sharp commentary and, as a comedy, it showcases Robinson and Williams as a dynamic duo. Their friendship offers an intimate look at Black womanhood and their humor envelops you, like an adult slumber party where everyone is welcome to the popcorn and wine.

If Broad City is TV's playground for weed and dildo jokes, 2 Dope Queens is the backstage pass to that playground, the VIP section where you get to see what creative license looks like when women are running the show: The jokes are just as raunchy, the approach just as carefree, and the material is saturated in racial and social awareness. Williams and Robinson lightheartedly describe the Black experience, how they perceive their bodies in pop culture, and how the world values their bodies in social spaces. The effect is as familiar as it is enlightening. Relatability is simply the antidote to some of the more taxing topics Robinson and Williams curate in each episode: "New York," "Hot Peen," "Hair," and "Blerds"—titles that aptly describe the juicy subjects the girls unpack.

Their move to HBO signals, 1) they're big time baby! and, 2) they have more freedom and audience interaction on stage. Filmed at the King Theatre in Brooklyn, the HBO special is even more inclusive, even more high-spirited—the audience enhances that liveliness as Robinson and Williams connect with members on and off stage like a community improv or variety show. It's one of those shows where you wish you too were in the audience screaming, "Yas Queen Yas!" There are guest appearances, of course, from other HBO connections like Sarah Jessica Parker and Jon Stewart; Tig Notaro, a brilliant comedian in her own right, directs all four specials.

The stand-up acts are equally enjoyable—Aparna Nancherlan and lesser known names like Rhea Butcher and Michelle Buteau perform hilarious, memorable sets. And if you've ever wondered what's it's like to live in a cramped, studio apartment in NYC, the Brooklyn-ish stage is a charming and vicarious Airbnb stay.

If you're new to Robinson and Williams, HBO's 2 Dope Queens will serve more than a snack, maybe more of a tapas experience à la Clinton Hill's hipster elite. You'll get your fair share of laughs, but more importantly, you'll look at the world with a new perspective. These two queens just wanna chat, kick it, really get to know you. Hopefully, HBO gives them a longer reign, about a full season's worth of majesty, please and thank you.

2 Dope Queens is finally streaming on all HBO platforms. Check it out!

Giphy

POP⚡ DUST Score: ⚡⚡⚡⚡⚡


Shaun Harris is a poet, freelance writer, and editor published in avant-garde, feminist journals. Lover of warm-toned makeup palettes, psych-rock, and Hilton Als. Her work has allowed her to copyedit and curate content for various poetry organizations in the NYC area.



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