In the age of enlightenment, the world is finally ditching age-old beauty norms and is finally making the rules that will create a better, braver future.
Over the course of the past few months, the world has been made to confront many deep-seated and curiously unchallenged notions and standards that have long ruled societies for generations on end. From the prominent and passionate Black Lives Matter to its natural evolution of Black Trans Lives Matter, as well as of the implications of a more insular celebration of pride for the LGBTQIA+ community, we have come face-to-face with social injustices, which consequently forced us to confront and challenge the inequalities that have ruled for so long. Conversely, the collateral of these conversations we have now been having as part of our everyday now include the overarching disparities of race, economies, gender, and even more specific offshoots such as beauty.
In fact, a social media trend that gained worldwide traction functioned more than just a fleeting moment online. Shifting our perspective on how much we have allowed the supremacy of a perceived superior to dictate the way we see the world, including among other things, standards in aesthetics, talent, and skills, the #VogueChallenge opened our eyes to realize that there is much more to what we have been conditioned to accept as the standard or in this more specific case, beautiful. More than the aspiration of coloring an obscenely pale masthead, this digital defiance created a possibility that not only are we all beautiful, as many movements have taken time and struggled to make significant strides, but that now more than ever, demanding change is not enough—we have to make them ourselves.
And all that starts with ourselves, right? While some may think it’s trivial, nothing spells confidence to face the world of inequality and take down the stubborn status quo than physically manifesting that internalized resistance. In the insightful documentary on trans representation in modern media and entertainment, Disclosure, actress and advocate Laverne Cox explained how dressing up and putting on makeup was her armor that helped her go through her transition in the streets and subways of New York city. Whether it’s putting on what you feel is best or painting on a face, even if it is just within the safe premises of your home in quarantine, these actualizations help you brave the new world that is unfolding and unraveling right before our very eyes.
The best part about this paradigm shift is that everyone is finally starting to get it. From major brands deciding to stop selling whitening products to major players including diversity and sustainability among the tenets of their recalibrated mission and vision, the enlightenment is finally happening with resolve, too.
In this exposition, we look at three beauty brands that are making significant efforts in not only helping you look your best, unapologetic self, they are out there, doing what they can to create a better world where we are finally making the rules.
For rule breaker, image-maker, and risk taker, Nars, X marks the spot—literally.
If you thought that an orgasm cannot get any better, well, think again, because the pulsating with passion brand has goes deeper into pleasure principle with the release of the all-new Orgasm X Collection. Turning desire into reality, the sassier sister of the already cult-favorite staple in beauty uncovers a new glow, featuring a provocative pink so deeply flattering; it’s enough to make you blush. “Orgasm X is like orgasm, but with more attitude,” reveals founder and creative director, Francois Nars of the indispensable and stimulating selection.
Already an authority in a rosy flush on the supple points of the face, the Nars Orgasm X experience begins with blush, naturally. Apart from its iconic signature, it takes on an even more tantalizing, thrilling, and tantric appeal with the Cheek Palette, a trio of blush and highlighting shades (Orgasm Blush, Orgasm X Blush, and Orgasm Highlighting Powder) that hit all the sultry spots for that dewy, dimensional glow. Buildable, blendable, and indispensable, the intensity rises to the eyes, with two quads inspired by the bestselling Orgasm (Golden Shimmer, Light Pink Champagne, Shimmering Light Cocoa, and Matter Coral) and the new Orgasm X (Pink Rust Shimmer, Sparkling Amber, Dusty Rose Matte, and Black with Red Shimmer). There is no such thing as too much, so indulge in the decadence of matter, sparkle, and shine, because the universally flattering Orgasm Eyeshadow Palette (Full Moon, Maximum Pleasure, Danger Girl, Wild On, Pattaya, and Seduced) gets a mini update, this time sensibly re-imagined in a convenient travel size. And to top all things off in sheer ecstasy, a sensorial texture in indulgent color comes in the Oil-Infused Lip Tint, a limited edition shade that helps create a plump, puckered lips to seal the seduction deal to toe-curling euphoria.
Meanwhile, the bold beauty brand is also offering a travel-ready set of Orgasm Blush, Orgasm Afterglow Lip Balm, and Orgasm Oil-Infused Lip Tint in the Ultimate Orgasm Set. Who doesn’t want that full service, right? Available in select branches following top-notch safety protocols and measures in Metro Manila, Nars can be easily added to your cart online through rustans.com.
Now, who’s up for a good time?
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Recognizing that pride is not just a one-time, weekend-only, month-long cause to pay attention to, local and proudly LGBTQIA+ owned beauty brand, Téviant is committing its efforts in the name of the community with its #FreeToBeMe campaign. “Celebrating, supporting, and embracing equality has always been at the core of TÉVIANT. With everything that’s happening in the world right now, we want to make sure that no one feels alone and unaccepted,” expresses Téviant CEO and sought after makeup artist, Albert Kurniawan. “Pride has been one of our most colorful festivities to celebrate and fight for inclusivity in diversity, love, and just being oneself. Even in the time of COVID-19, we won’t let pride be cancelled. TÉVIANT is bringing the festivities online through our #FreeToBeMe campaign.”
In recognition of dignity, equality, and inclusivity, Téviant is encouraging everyone to express themselves in this campaign online where the can show their true colors featuring the diverse line and products of the brand, which is concurrently having a sale as well. From June 25 to July 3, reveal your fiercest and most fabulous self for a chance to win a specially curated pride kit from Téviant.
But it doesn’t stop there for the brand, because recognizing the efforts of pioneers who blazed for us to enjoy the liberties we enjoy today, Albert Kurniawan personally delivered donations to the Home for The Golden Gays, a shelter for the displaced elderly LGBTQIA+ lolas in Manila. More than that, Téviant is pledging P100 from every product sold on its #FreeToBeMe sale from June 25 to July 5, which will then be donated to lesser fortunate communities.
In an age where brands are haphazardly and hastily splashing on the rainbow spectrum in solidarity and spirit of pride, it is efforts like these that make us even more proud to be part of this colorful, resilient, and most importantly, beautiful community. Because what? Pride is forever.
Remember when blk Cosmetics dared to defy the beauty norms and go beyond age, labels, and even gender? In what was described as their bravest offering yet, the Universal collection also proved to be one of their bestselling and critically acclaimed one, lauding the brand that constantly espouses the enduring mantra of uncomplicated beauty. This year, it is set to brave the system once again as it ups the ante with Universal 2.0, a bolder take on the beloved selection that is designed to be exceptionally hardworking, extremely versatile, and easy-to-use. Right off the bat, there is visibly more products to choose from this time around, promising innovative formulas, inventive packaging, and universally flattering shades for an all-inclusive, nay, allclusive experience that is anything but complicated.
Crafted for anyone and everyone, blk’s Universal 2.0, the only goal here is to be your best and most beautiful self, minus craziness of our times, of course. In the collection, which looks like another smash on their hands, you can ease on the selection starting with the Universal Airy Matte Tint, an airy, pigmented, and longwearing breakthrough formula that is light to the touch without sacrificing color payoff. The wispy cream can easily be layered or diffused on the lips in gorgeous matte shades such as Bare Nude, Nutmeg, Clay, Terracotta, Brick, and Maple. Another interesting addition to the set, the Universal Lip Switch Matte Lippie is a switch and swatch type of tube contraption where you can rotate a range of tones, Cappuccino, Espresso, Brown Sugar, Macchiato, Caramel, Latte, and Mocha Toffee, in a pop-and-go refills for whatever mood you feel like vibing on any given day. Speaking of breakthroughs, the Universal Illuminating Skin Tin Sun Shield SPF 30 gets a literal glow up with the infusion of gentle illuminators for that fresh, flawless, featherweight coverage with a swipe of subtle radiance. Take your pick from Vanilla Glow, Butterscotch Glow, Almond Glow, and Chestnut Glow, and reap the benefits of the sun sans the harsh effects.
Within the barrier-breaking set, there is also the Universal Brow Mascara (Taupe, Natural Brown), a lightweight, non-sticky and brow-boosting formulation that gives you an arched, don’t-mess-with-me-definition that never clumps and is budge-proof. Other standout additions include the Universal Multitasking Color Stick (Priming + Mattifying) a stick of perfection that smoothens and blurs the imperfections, making the rest of the products lay well on the canvas of skin, the Universal Multitasking Color Stick (Mimosa and Margarita) that boasts of multiple benefits in one swipe. Forget about the rules they said, because this all-in-one product can function as blush, lip color, eye shadow, and guess what, even highlighter and contour. Finally, a gasp-inducing punctuation to the collection is the Universal Translucent Loose Powder, an object of sheer beauty, working as an invisible veil to set makeup flawless all while keeping it fresh for hours on end. Finely milled as if it was second skin, the modern matte powder provides up to medium coverage for that touch of aspirational flawlessness.
Available on their official website and on Lazada, blk Universal 2.0 proves once again that the old is definitely out, and we are all in with the new. The age of allclusive beauty has dawned upon us, and boy could it not have come at a better time.