Christina Brown is a digital strategist, social media maven, blogger and founder of LoveBrownSugar. She's also made history as the first black woman to be featured in a Dove commercial. We caught up with this beauty to discuss her beauty secrets, success and 2018 colors.
Interview conducted by Nia Shumake.
The Lip Bar emerged as the solution to women of color’s limited options in the beauty industry and since that moment, we strive to challenge the beauty standard. As a woman of color, what’s it been like finding your voice in the beauty industry and feeling comfortable in your own skin?
It really has been a journey finding my space in this industry . It has been about being confident and finding that confidence through communicating with other women who are just like me. One of the things I love about what The Lip Bar stands for is being unique and not feeling like we have to fit into what society thinks we need to be. As a blogger who has tried to make sure my path is unique and that I stood out, that's doing things that feel good to me and are true to who I am and not doing what everybody else is doing. So the values I have as a beauty blogger definitely apply w/ what The Lip Bar stands for.
You started in 2009, and recently celebrated LoveBrownSugar's 9th Anniversary! Congratulations! What are some of your major successes and failures?
Being able to quit my full time job, and work on this fulltime [LoveBrownSugar], monetize and do what I love while being able to support myself and my family. I would also say, the creation of different brands under my original brand. It's not easy for people to launch other microbrands when they start one that people know them for. I've been able to start Baby Brown Sugar and a digital empowerment platform called Brown Girls Love [Melissa's been apart of the events I've hosted as well] A huge success, in my mind, is being able to launch different businesses underneath this one. The most recent and biggest one [success] was landing a commercial. I never thought in a million years, I would be on national tv and that happened.
So I don't consider, any part of my journey a failure, I am very big on making sure I take every lesson I learned as just that a learned lesson and something that grows me and challenges me to do better the next time around.
When did you first start wearing lipstick? How has wearing lipstick changed your life?
It's funny I didn't grow up wearing makeup. I wasn't one of those teenage girls who wore makeup or battered my parents to let me wear make up as soon as I turned 14. My mom wasn't huge on makeup and was sort of into natural beauty, I take after her in. Even now, I don't get fussy with makeup but I always wear a bold lip. If I don't do anything else I could have on a tinted moisturizer, , a little bit of mascara, and a bold lip and I am good. It started when I was working in the editorial industry. As a magazine editor, you get sent tons of samples and I started getting alot of makeup and beauty products, at Honey magazine and from there I would try stuff out and started to like it on. I would notice certain colors made me feel a a certain way.
Lip color helps set the tone for me, like now I have my outfit for Black Panther and I've already picked out my color, Prima Donna. Different colors give you a different feel for your day, when I want to feel confident a put on a red lip, when I want to feel royal [untouchable] I put on a purple lip and when I want to feel fun, pretty and whimsical, I put on a pink lip. I love that beauty can do that, it can make you go from sad to slightly happier.
Your instagram is filled with you rocking bold lip colors. What’s your lipstick lifestyle like? Do you have an everyday lipstick routine or lip care regimen?
I really like wearing matte lipsticks because they stay on all day and most of the time, matte lipsticks to me, give the boldest punches of color. Because of that, I have to constantly moisturize, do some kind of lip scrub once a week to get excess dry skin off. I carry lipbalm/vaseline around [whichever is handy] - I make sure the skin on my lips is taken care of because wearing matte lipstick can be drying and damaging. Every once in a while, I use lipliner to make the color stand out more or get some variation.
How has lipstick guided romance for you? Let’s say you’ve got a hot date, what’s your go to lip situation? (Matte/Gloss, Nude/Red)
I try to keep it simple, a nude or if I do do a red, a matte. so it doesn't get everywhere when I'm eating or on someone that I'm kissing.
Do you have any beauty rituals that you look forward to passing down to your daughter?
One thing is making sure she ties her hair up at night. So she wears a bonnet every single night to sleep to protect her curls. We go to the nail salon together I'll allow her to get mini manicures and pedicures, just something we do together on the weekends to get mommy and me time.
What lipstick colors do you recommend women wear in 2018?
I say wear whatever makes you happy, everyone is different, every one has a different look they're going for. If you're a professional woman, you want to invest in really good nudes, so you can take your look to the next level without being over the top for work. If you're more of a creative you want to make sure you have something that allows you to express yourself. Every woman, especially women of color, should have a complimentary red. Sometimes the media tries to tell us that we can't wear red lipstick and that's not true. We look amazing in all different shades but especially in red. Get a great red that works well with your skin tone.
I’ve seen you rocking a gorgeous red lip on your Instagram page lately, is there any story behind that?
I have a few favorites, one of which is Bawse Lady, I partnered with Melissa when I had this really cool collective [ An online shop to celebrate and encourage beauty brands of color] and I had Bawse Lady and Maneater and when I tell you I could not keep stock of Bawse Lady, people were literally emailing me down like " When are you getting Bawse Lady?" She's created something amazing with that red , because it looks good on so many skin tones. [Christina has three favorite red lipsticks two orange reds and our blue red, Bawse Lady]but for all of last year, I wore Bawse Lady.
Currently OBSESSED with Man Eater & Bawse Lady liquid mattes from @thelipbar. So fierce & so me! People often ask me how I choose my style faves, as someone who reviews hundreds of products. Simple - if it makes me look good AND feel good? I'm sold. These colors make me feel so confident 💃🏾Working on a new project this fall featuring my favorites from some brown boss babes I love, including @melissarbutler & The Lip Bar. Stay tuned 💕💕 #beauty #lbsbeauty #shoplovebrownsugar #blackowned #mattelipstick
We’re launching in Target on February 18th and sent you exclusives,
unimpressed and baddie! Which is your favorite?
Unimpressed, because it's a matte.
This interview has been edited and condensed.