Hailey Bieber’s ‘Brownie Glazed Lip’ Hack Has Women Of Colour Asking ‘For Real?’

Brownie Glazed Lip

Hailey Bieber needs to make her Pinterest board public. The model/socialite is among the select few white social media influencers who keep courting controversy online for her style or beauty choices. Hailey is stunning and her love for skincare is well-established. Her foray into the beauty industry is a natural progression anyone would have seen coming. And while Rhode’s opened up to good reviews from the community, Hailey herself made conjured up some negative publicity for herself. Known for sharing her beauty and makeup routines with her followers on TikTok, the new ‘Brownie Glazed Lip’ hack/technique did not encourage accolades from the community.

The criticism comes from the fact that the “hack” essentially belongs to women of colour, predominantly Black and Brown, who have been using the technique to create their perfect shade of a nude lippie for years. Mainly because the “nude” lippies rarely suited our skin tone. And unlike other problematic makeup trends, this one doesn’t seem to have a reduced shelf life. In fact, it has opened up space for a larger conversation – white women getting inspired by POC and claim techniques for themselves. While Hailey did not claim the hack for herself in her video, the ripple effect it created inadvertently made her the owner. Since the hack blew up, Hailey hasn’t made any amends or credited her original inspiration. And that’s where it gets really problematic…

The Problem With Hailey’s ‘Brownie Glazed Lip’

 

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The hack in itself is quite ingenious. You use a brown lip liner or brown pencil, one that’s closest to your natural skin tone, and blend inwards in a gradient. Then, you take a gloss and top it up to give it a rich, juicy finish. It is crucial to keep the lip line popping so that your natural lip shape is accentuated and shaped without exaggeration. Originally, the hack belongs to Black and Brown women who had to make do with darker lip liners to create their ideal nudes, as the beauty industry from the 90s did not offer flattering and inclusive nude shades. The lip look, especially on Mexican and African American women, has been labelled as ‘ghetto’. But suddenly, when a prominent white celebrity with a huge social media presence does it, it’s classy and sophisticated. The double standard of the whole thing is cringe!

TikTok’s Shady History Of Discrediting Trends

 

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TikTok is notorious for falsely crediting creators for kickstarting a trend. It started with the original choreographies that were conceptualised by African-American dancers, but popularised by the likes of Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae, the biggest stars on the platform. It’s true that it’s tricky to trace the roots of a certain trend, but if you are the bigger creator, you should know better to credit the right sources. Social media creators, mainly white, have also struggled to separate cultural appreciation with appropriation. Trends like ‘Fox Eye‘ and ‘Douyin Makeup’ are dangerously close to recreating Asian features on European faces, and it is surprising that this has to be called out in the first place.

Hailey’s PR Needs A Talking To

While Hailey’s current controversy is still brewing, she seems to have recovered from the last one without too much damage. The ‘Clean Girl Aesthetic’, popularised by her, has been called out for being ‘just a desi woman’! Yes, the slick-back hair, clean skin, middle parting and minimal accessories is how Indian women have been dressing for years. But you do not see anyone making fun of Hailey for using a hair oil excessively, while young Indian girls often get bullied for it. It’s the same as Kim Kardashian sporting blonde box-braids; on her they’re high fashion, but on black women, they’re a legitimate reason to be kicked out of a workplace. Are we being too complacent to white women’s whimsies?

- Director at ELLE

Director at ELLE

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