Kelly Rowland Wants You To Embrace Your Individuality
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 17: Kelly Rowland attends Beautycon™ Los Angeles 2023 at The Reef on September 17, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Beautycon™)

Kelly Rowland no longer cares about outside opinions. After dedicating 26 years to an industry closely associated with beauty, Rowland has discovered that her own perspective matters most. Fittingly, on Sunday at Beautycon, Rowland discussed self-acceptance with President and CEO of Essence Ventures, Caroline Wanga

Wanga opened the conversation by asking how Rowland reconciled with not always seeing herself reflected in mainstream beauty. To this she revealed that she is “still in the midst of” resolving this. “I think that we constantly are,” she added. 

Then, the conversation shifted to the topic of hair. Rowland revealed her hair journey was fortunately positive. While growing up in Tina Knowles’ beauty salon in Houston, Rowland discovered early on that her hair was a means to explore herself.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 17: (L-R) Caroline Wanga and Kelly Rowland pose onstage during Beautycon™ Los Angeles 2023 at The Reef on September 17, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Arnold Turner/Getty Images for Beautycon™)

Rowland and Wanga later reflected on how being darker skinned black girls led to hesitancy around trying out certain lipstick shades. Rowland talked about how she’s evolved from this, thanks to the help of makeup artists who encouraged her to try bright colors. She then transitioned into reminding the audience to embrace their uniqueness. She used the analogy that we’re all part of a beautiful garden—each of us a special flower that makes it complete.

Rowland concluded the conversation with an affirmation that left the audience in awe. “I don’t have to compare myself to anybody because I am one of one,” she said. “It is important to not shrink for anybody. Be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Show up for yourself first, not the world.” 

Fall is almost here. As the leaves change colors, so should your hair. The fall season introduces a palette of hair dye to help you cuddle with the warmth and beauty of this time of year. From spicy ginger to honey brown, let the weather guide you into a new hairstyle to start the season.


Spice your hair up! The red-toned hair color has been popularized in the past year for the warm, spicy tone. An intense, ultra vibrant color, stay warm with red hot hair this season.

The rich, coppery tones can complement various skin tones and add a touch of vibrancy to your appearance.

Wine Red

Go red, just like the Merlot in your wine glass. The medium-toned Crimson hair color is a classic, intoxicating tone. 

Wine red pairs well with any skin complexion, with a light, velvet appearance if you prefer to stay more natural-looking. 


Just like cranberry, baby. Dye your hair burgundy just like your fingers after a bag of cherries. The deep reddish-brown is a rich blend of mature tones. Burgundy hair is a luxurious and deep red-purple shade for the most elegant appearance this fall. 

Honey Brown

Honey brown, not blonde. A sun kissed brown is, in a way, a memory of the hot sun warming up your hair. The light-toned natural brown has a yellow undertone, unlike popular red. If you like colder weather, go for the cool, honey color to stand out.


You don’t have to dye all of your hair. Lighten your hair with highlights to add contrast to your natural color. From luminous blonde to hazelnut brown, touch up your hair with brightness and dimension if you can’t decide on just one tone. 

Maui Moisture has serviced countless hair enthusiasts with the heart and soul of Maui in mind since their inception in 1987. The products–shampoos, conditioners and stylers included– are vegan, eco-friendly and filled with ingredients that can be found on tropical islands such as coconut and aloe. Now, they’re honoring their namesake in a whole new way. After the catastrophic wildfires in Lahaina, Hawai’i, the brand is giving back to locals who have been affected by the tragedy, which marked the U.S.’ deadliest wildfire in more than a century. 

While many people took to social media to document the devastation and encourage donation efforts, Maui Moisture stepped forward with a pledge. The brand announced, on Instagram with a heartfelt message, their donation of $250,00 to Direct Relief, a non-profit organization helping the community recover. 

“We’re absolutely heartbroken by the devastation the wildfires have caused to the families and communities on Maui,” the post stated. “We’re committed to supporting the island’s recovery.” In addition to their donation and their work with Direct Relief, they announced, “we’re working with Feeding America and Maui Food Bank, and our retail partners to mobilize the donation of personal care products and over-the-counter medicines.” 

But, this isn’t the brand’s first stint in giving back to their community. Maui Moisture makes it a point to educate consumers about mental health and well-being as well. Earlier this year, for example, the company made headlines after awarding $100,000 to PsychoHairapy, a skills-based training course founded by Dr. Afiya Mbilshaka. 

“We know that texturism, microaggressions, and discrimination have a deep and negative impact on how our consumer sees herself– affecting her confidence and overall mental health,” says Sheena Henry, Earned Media Manager for Maui Moisture. “We understand the deep connection between hair and mental health,” especially for Black women and girls. 

So, not only can you expect quality products from the brand, but you can also continue to rely on Maui Moisture to prioritize uplifting people at every turn. After all, what’s most important to them, as Henry says, is for “those in underserved communities to have the best resources for both their hair and their mental wellbeing.”

Nail art has long been a significant form of expression in Black and Brown communities. Whether short, long, coffin-shaped, or almond-shaped, it serves as a powerful canvas through which many highlight the beauty of their culture – one fingernail at a time.

From the world of sports to the music industry, dynamic manicures have consistently made a mark. Florence Griffith Joyner’s iconic nails are as unforgettable as her world records, and ‘extendo’ nails have been proudly flaunted by numerous female emcees, further solidifying their place in cultural expression. 

Now, let’s delve into the unique and vibrant realm of Chicano nail culture.

With over 10 million views on the ‘chicano culture nails’ hashtag on TikTok, users show off their designs and have created a robust digital space, fostering a sense of community and solidarity, by offering thousands of tutorials showing off the intricate and precise process, long inspired by the rich history they originate from. 

Deeply rooted in history for many Mexican-Americans, nail art extends past simple colors. Including several cultural motifs like sugar skulls (calaveras), commonly seen throughout imagery to honour the past on Día de los Muertos (Day of the dead), the Virgin of Guadalupe, photo decals to celebrate the late Tejano star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and Aztec motifs, their nails tell an important story which honors the past and celebrates the future.

Flexing their wide range of talent, nail artists employ various techniques such as air-brushing, 3D nail art, elaborate rhinestones, and hand-painting to truly elevate the nail experience.

Clearly setting many trends, the influence of Chicano culture on nail art has always been prevalent throughout popular culture and has been used as a vehicle to highlight political issues, albeit some designs may be viewed as controversial, nail artists get detailed as possible to communicate a message or appreciation. 

Never hesitant to make bold and vibrant statements, numerous nail artists and patrons who frequent salons, adorning their nails with Chicano nail art, emphasize the significance of femininity and empowerment.

To many, going to the nail salon has been viewed as a rite of passage, for nail enthusiasts seeking Chicano nail art, it’s a way to honor their heritage.

The bob. An infamous haircut defined by a blunt cut on above shoulder-length hair, the razor-sharp bob is a rather boss lady hairstyle some may be too intimidated to try. Not because they’re scared of cutting their hair short, but because the shake-worthy bob has a personality of its own.

A bob is not just a haircut, but a persona. Depicted in cinema as a haircut for strong, emotionless women — like Annalise Keating in How To Get Away With Murder — the bob is an anti-hero, an attitude, and a force to be reckoned with. It takes a certain personality to really rock a bob (and do it right), which is why we weren’t surprised when the “It Girl” Megan Thee Stallion posted herself in a middle-part bob on Instagram. 

With over 2 million likes on the post, Thee Stallion’s blunt cut bob had the bumped ends little girls was terrified of growing up. In addition to the ends, her bone-straight hair and a middle part personify a straight-forward woman of strength, power, and hardness, who really doesn’t have time to play. 

The bob is an attitude every It Girl possesses. From music to entertainment, and even the women in our family, the blunt cut is a hairstyle for a woman with no fear. Although a bob has intrinsic characteristics, just like every It Girl, a bob is not limited to a single type of personality. 

We saw the hairstyle on Coco Jones at the VMAs pink carpet last night. The opposite of Megan Thee Stallion, Coco’s bob had flipped ends, not bumped, which instilled an attitude of priss and sass to the short cut. 

Although similar in the ultra-straight style, the slight outwards bend complemented a side-part, not a middle part, which can personify someone who could take you down and you wouldn’t even see it coming. 

Every It Girl has the personality to really kill it in a bob — Nicki Minaj has been for years — but that doesn’t mean everyone would want to. Especially considering the power of the bad girl haircut fell into the wrong hands, often given a bad rep as a “Karen” cut for aggressive, violent white women. 

But as our favorite celebrities — Megan Thee Stallion, Coco Jones, Nicki Minaj — reclaim the bob, could the blunt cut be the new It Girl style?

It’s difficult to talk about beauty without mentioning Korean skincare products. Commonly referred to as “K-beauty,” these products have been trending in the US for a while now. So, what’s all the fuss about?

K-beauty focuses on using high-quality, natural ingredients that contribute to overall skin health– not just a specific concern. Remember the glass skin trend? The whole point was to have skin so healthy, hydrated, and supple that it looked like glass. And what product was everyone using? Peach and Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum– a K-beauty product.

In the same vein, whether you’re patting product into your skin or formulating, K-beauty practices tend to lean into gentleness. Each of these gentle practices show a reverence for skin and its health that is a refreshing departure from the heavy exfoliation in the US. Fortunately for everyone, as long as cosmetics remain a significant export in Korea, we get to enjoy the benefits of K-beauty innovation.

Before you shop Korean skincare, take the advice my esthetician Chanel of Chanel Esthetics gave me: “No skincare is one size fits all because everyone’s skin is different. Approach Korean skincare the same way you’d approach any skincare– don’t expect your skin to magically change overnight. Find the right ingredients to address your skin’s specific concerns and be consistent.” Enjoy the hype of K-beauty, but don’t forget that not every product is for every skin type.

Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotic Sunscreen

The key to fading dark spots is wearing SPF every single day and reapplying throughout the day. This Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun SPF uses rice extract and grain fermented extracts rich in vitamins B, C, and E, minerals, and amino acids to soothe and moisturize. The product feels like a lightweight moisturizer, and there is no white cast.

CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

A holy grail product for many, CosRX’s Snail Mucin Power Essence uses low stimulation-filtered snail mucin to fade dark spots, improve texture, and hydrate the skin. I’ve recommended this product more times than I can count and have used it for years.

CosRX AC Collection Acne Patch

CosRX’s hydrocolloid patches are practically invisible on the face, absorbs discharge, and maintains humidity to help prevent further breakouts. 

The best part about this collection is that the patches come in different oblong shapes and sizes to cover more area. They’re perfect for if you tend to break out in clusters.

Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream

Peach & Lily’s Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream looks like thick green pudding, but doesn’t suffocate the skin.Matcha, the peptide complex, adenosine, and cape lilac help fight premature aging, environmental stressors, texture, and hyperpigmentation.

Touch in SOL No Poreblem Priming Water

The No Poreblem Priming Water is like a big drink of hydration for your skin. Featuring Bulgarian damask rose oil and rose water help lock in moisture and add a radiance to the skin.

Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer with Ceramides and Peptides

Another holy grail in the skincare community, Laneige Cream Skin is a milky toner loaded with ceramides and peptides to hydrate and prep the skin. Gently pat this into your skin in layers to get a radiant glow and long-lasting hydration.

Beauty of Joseon Glow Deep Serum: Rice + Alpha arbutin

Using rice bran water and alpha arbutin, Beauty of Joseon’s Glow Deep Serum helps remedy hyperpigmentation and texture issues. 

Rice bran water, an amino acid, helps keep the skin hydrated. Alpha Arbutin 2% inhibits tyrosinase activity, limiting melanin production.

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Veil Mist

Peach & Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum is already popular, but I have to advocate for the Skin Veil Mist. Mists are great as refreshers during the day, and this mist will give you that freshly-done-skincare glow. 

Cucumber water keeps your skin hydrated and refreshed, Peach extract helps with radiance, Reishi Mushroom fights inflammation, and Lotus Extract fights environmental stressors and brightens your skin!

If you’ve felt the joy of earning your bronzed glowing skin after a good, long day in the sun, then you’ve felt the pain of realizing that glow is fading into your paler winter shade as the weather cools down. If you’re ready to leave that pain behind and be your most glowy self year-round, you need to add summer tan lotions to your body care routine.

Do Sunless Tanning Products Work on Black People?

A common myth associated with summer tan lotions is that they don’t work on darker skin tones, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Summer tan lotions work by temporarily staining your skin. 

Most commonly, you’ll see dihydroxyacetone (DHA), “a 3-carbon sugar that interacts with the protein-rich stratum corneum to produce melanoidins,” as the active ingredient in sunless tanning products. Other brands have found different ways, like using natural pigments, to create the desired result – darker, richer skin tones without extended exposure to harmful UV rays.

Not all sunless tanning products are built the same, and you may find some with ingredients that increase the amount of UV rays you absorb to help speed up the tanning process. Make sure you wear UV protection all the time, especially when using products that increase your risk of exposure to harmful UV rays.

Shop Summer Tan Lotion

Maui Babe Browning Lotion – $24.00

Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion is a “tanning accelerant” meant to help you achieve glowy summer skin faster in the sun. The lotion uses a “secret family recipe” combined with other natural Hawaiian ingredients like light mineral oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Kona coffee plant extract, and more.

The brand recommends limiting sun exposure to one hour the first time you apply the product. You should also apply sunscreen before applying Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion. If you live in an area that is fairly sunny year-round, this is a great option!

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – $10.49

Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is perfect if you’re looking for a low-upkeep way of maintaining your summer glow. This gradual summer tanning lotion uses DHA as its active ingredient and takes about a week of daily use to develop, making it great for folks who want to approach tanning lotions more conservatively. Just use it daily in the place of your all-over moisturizer. 

This tanning lotion also uses a combination of collagen, elastin, and polymers to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.

Tanologist Daily Glow Hydrating Gradual Glow Moisturizer – $13.99

Tanologist Hydrating Gradual Glow Moisturizer takes a very skincare-first approach to summer tanning lotions. Formulated with DHA, hyaluronic acid, beta-glucan, sweet almond oil, and squalane, this product creates a buildable, natural-looking glow.

Similar to the Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer, Tanologist’s dermatologist tested and approved moisturizer is a gradual tanning product. Use the lotion daily until you reach your desired glow. The longer you use it, the richer your tan becomes.

Banana Boat Summer Color Sun Tanning Lotion – $10.00

Banana Boat’s Summer Color Sun Tanning Lotion is the most subtle option on this list and is great for those who want just a hint of glow. 

Use this summer tanning lotion if you want a foolproof way to shake the pale winter look without as much risk of going deeper than you intended.

Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam – $24.00

The Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam, while not a summer tanning lotion exactly, is perfect in a pinch. The active tanning agent is DHA, and the foam smells like coconut! 

Apply the foam with an application mitt, and you can shower any residue off after just one hour. If you want a deeper, longer-lasting tan, leave the product on for up to 6 hours.

L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion – $10.99

The L’oreal Paris Sublime Bronze summer tanning lotion gives you the best of instant and gradual tanning products. 

The actual tanning lotion is tinted with a shimmer to provide an instant glow, while DHA and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derivatives gradually deepen your skin’s tone.

SunBum Natural Browning Lotion – $18.49

Similar to Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion, SunBum’s Natural Browning Lotion accelerates the sun’s natural effects and gets you to your glowy summer shade faster. With this product, apply SPF at least 10 minutes before the browning lotion for adequate protection. Formulated with coconut oil, aloe, Kona coffee extract, Argan Oil, Kukui nut oil, and more, SunBum’s browning lotion is a popular and effective sunless summer tanning lotion!1

As Beautycon returns with its new vision and mission, it aims to empower individuals, redefine beauty standards, and create a more inclusive and equitable beauty landscape for all.

Following a two-year hiatus, Beautycon, the global platform for influential beauty, fashion, and lifestyle, makes a noteworthy return with a fresh vision and mission aimed at challenging traditional beauty standards. Under the new ownership and management of Essence Ventures, Beautycon’s resurgence signifies a shift in the beauty industry, advocating for individual definitions of beauty.

According to organizers, Beautycon’s revamped mission is to rally “rising beauty rebels” and inspire them to transcend conventional beauty standards. The reimagined Beautycon now operates as both an experiential and content-driven experience, with its first in-person launch at the 2023 Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans.

BeautyCon live at the ESSENCE Festival of Culture

Guided by Essence Ventures, the convention strives to take back the power from brands and corporations, and returning it to the hands of individuals. The platform is dedicated to dismantling unhealthy beauty standards and nurturing a more equitable environment for both creators and entrepreneurs.

Caroline Wanga, President and CEO of Essence Ventures, said in a release, “For far too long, the beauty industrial complex has defined an unattainable and synthetic standard for what beauty is that permeates the spirits, bodies, and souls of humanity… As we re-activate Beautycon, we fully intend to not only democratize beauty but to also reverse the sequence of importance by returning the definition back into the hands of individuals.”

Now, following the EFOC, Beautycon is heading to Los Angeles, CA, from September 16-17, with Walmart as its exclusive retail partner. This event will provide a platform for a diverse array of beauty brands, from established industry leaders to emerging innovators. Walmart, renowned for democratizing access to high-quality, affordable beauty products, will curate a unique experience for Beautycon attendees, featuring some of its most beloved beauty brands.

Jill Toscano, Vice President of Media at Walmart, stated, “At Walmart, we aspire to be the most inclusive beauty retailer… By teaming up with Beautycon, we hope to create a celebratory space where everyone feels like they can fully embrace and express their whole self.”

This fall, Beautycon will take its mission global with an unprecedented virtual commerce experience designed to break down barriers and redefine the beauty industry. The event promises numerous avenues for exploring and immersing oneself in a new era of self-expression.

Under its new tagline, “Rally the rising beauty rebels,” Beautycon invites individuals to join a revolutionary path towards an inclusive landscape that celebrates individuality. The brand’s refreshed logo, featuring a heart intentionally designed as a beauty mark, symbolizes its commitment to this vision.

Beauty enthusiasts and “rebels” interested in engaging with this community and staying updated can visit