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Makeup artists rarely have foundation for this black model. In 2015, there's no excuse.

From the pages of ELLE Magazine to CNN and Paris Fashion Week, supermodel Nykhor's face has been everywhere. But too often when she shows up on set, not everyone's ready for her.

Makeup artists rarely have foundation for this black model. In 2015, there's no excuse.

One look at Nykhor and it's easy to see why she's a supermodel.

By mainstream industry standards, she more than fits the gorgeous supermodel bill. Statuesque? Check! Incredible smoldering eyes? Check! Perfect smile and the most envy-inducing flawless skin you've ever seen? I've run out of checks, take all my checks!

A photo posted by nykhor (@nykhor) on

I want that face and that dress please and thank you.


For Nykhor, booking the gigs isn't the hard part. It's dealing with the makeup artists when she gets there.

Nykhor isn't some naive ingénue. This girl has been around and has worked with everyone. One scroll through her Instagram and you'll see photos from top magazines with some of the best designers and photographers in the world. But when she sits in the makeup chair, everything changes. The reason? Nykhor is black. And not just black. She's a deep sea-blue black, leaving too many makeup artists fumbling.

That's a whole lotta variety but not a whole lotta diversity... Image via Thinkstock.

After being asked to bring her own foundation to one too many shoots, Nykhor posted this stern message for the fashion industry on her Instagram:

Dear white people in the fashion world! Please don't take this the wrong way but it's time you people get your shit right when it comes to our complexion! Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don't have to do anything but show up wtf! Don't try to make me feel bad because I am blue black its 2015 go to Mac, Bobbi Brown, Makeup forever, Iman cosmetic, black opal, even Lancôme and Clinique carried them plus so much more. there's so much options our there for dark skin tones today. A good makeup artist would come prepare and do there research before coming to work because often time you know what to expect especially at a show! Stop apologizing it's insulting and disrespectful to me and my race it doesn't help, seriously! Make an effort at least! That goes for NYC, London, Milan, Paris and Cape Town plus everywhere else that have issues with black skin tones. Just because you only book a few of us doesn't mean you have the right to make us look ratchet. I'm tired of complaining about not getting book as a black model and I'm definitely super tired of apologizing for my blackness!!!! Fashion is art, art is never racist it should be inclusive of all not only white people, shit we started fashion in Africa and you modernize and copy it! Why can't we be part of fashion fully and equally?
A photo posted by nykhor (@nykhor) on


"Why do I have to bring my own makeup to a professional show when all the other white girls don't have to do anything but show up wtf! Don't try to make me feel bad because I am blue black. It's 2015."
— Nykhor Nyakueinyang

Whew! Nykhor is PISSED! But can you blame her? A "professional" makeup artist needs to be prepared to work with all different types of models, not just ones that look like them. It's no secret that the fashion industry isn't always forward-thinking when it comes to diversity, whether it be body types or skin colors. And although Nykhor is a high fashion model, regular brown ladies like myself have faced the foundation struggle too.

Years ago, it was almost impossible to find makeup darker than deep tan. So an average makeup artist not having the right colors could maybe be forgiven. These days? There's no excuse.

If you really want to dive into the world of diverse makeup, look no further than one of fashion's biggest and most iconic black models: Iman. Iman's career started in 1976, in the pages of Vogue. After years of being asked to bring her own makeup to set, Iman launched her own makeup brand in 1994.

Source. Image by David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons.

And while Iman Cosmetics is often referred to as a black beauty brand, its wide range of colors has made it a go-to brand for Asian and Hispanic women too. Best of all, you don't have to shell out the big bucks to get in on this shade range goodness. Iman Cosmetics are carried in lots of drugstores alongside Maybelline, Revlon, and CoverGirl. Many mainstream lines have gotten the message too, expanding their lines to include more diverse shades. There's also brands like Shea Moisture, Black Opal, and Milani that focus on women of color.

Point being: A lot has changed since 1976. When it comes to today's makeup artist, there's no excuse for not having a fully stocked and colorful kit.

The makeup industry's come a long way. Now it's time for makeup artists to catch up.

Nykhor's Instagram appeal to the fashion industry isn't just about her. It's a call for everyone to wake up. It's important for our magazines and runways to reflect that beauty comes in all shades. And Nykhor gets that progress won't be made unless we demand it. Fashion still has a long way to go when it comes to showcasing a wide variety of models, but it's nice to see someone like Nykhor standing up for herself and for black girls just like me.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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The difference between a politician and a public servant may be a matter of semantics, but when it comes to getting legislation passed that actually helps people, the contrast is stark.

Texas Representative James Talarico is on a mission to get his constituents the life-saving medicine they need. The 31-year-old lawmaker has just introduced legislation that would cap the price of insulin—a medicine people with type 1 diabetes need to live, which has become unaffordable for many—at $50 a month.

The mission is personal for Talarico, as he nearly died three years ago when he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

He shared his story on Twitter:

"In May 2018, I was a healthy 28-year-old running for the Texas House. I decided to walk the entire length of my district and hold town halls along the way. I hike Big Bend every year, so I wasn't concerned about a 25 mile walk...

But halfway through the walk, I began feeling nauseous and fatigued. Before the town hall in Hutto, I vomited in the bathroom."

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less