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Four Students Talk Beauty Values, Black Lives Matter

WWD Beauty Inc asked four students their thoughts on quarantine beauty, the Black Lives Matter movement, and how brand values parlay into their spending habits.

As beauty adapts to the social change afoot, four college students across the country talk about their quarantine beauty routines, brand’s increasing transparency toward diversity, and how they are voting with their dollars.

Sarah K.

Senior, University of Florida

Student Council Chegg
Sarah Kendall Photo courtesy of Sarah Kendall.

I’m originally from the Virginia side of the D.C. area, but I wanted to do something different and get away from home. I’m subletting a friend’s room in Gainesville, Fla.

I love makeup and beauty, and I started watching Beauty YouTubers in sixth grade. I still do now.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten more minimalistic. I did a lot more eyeshadow and eyeliner every day in high school. When I was younger, I used to buy a lot more, too. Recently, I’m trying to be more sustainable, so I’m putting toward efforts to not buy as much.

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I think it’s really cool to support small and especially multicultural businesses. For example, there’s Beauty Bakerie; it has a different ingredient in its powder that’s actually a solid point of differentiation. I know Target started stocking this woman-owned brand, and it would be cool to see more small, multicultural beauty products in stores.

Before, there was green-washing, and now there’s diversity-washing. Especially all the companies telling their plans. It’s cool to see their facts, and it would definitely influence me to buy some brands over others, but I’m paying more attention to who’s being silent. 

I hope stores will start to want to inform their customers and maybe even put more displays highlighting smaller or diversely owned brands. 


Anahi A.

Sophomore, Eastern Michigan University

Student Council Chegg
Anahi Amaro Photo courtesy of Anahi Amaro.

I live in a house full of women. My routine varies because I learn a lot from my sisters and my mom, we each have a thing. I do hair, my sister does nails, my other sister does eyelashes.

When I was in school, I used to just wash my face and put on moisturizer. This quarantine has changed self-care for me. I’ve been really taking care of my skin. When the stores opened up, we tried not to go, but we entered small stores. We ended up finding a couple of products that changed the game for us. I have oily-to-dry skin, and I can never find the perfect moisturizer—they are either too sticky or too moisturizing. I found a Pond’s moisturizer, and it’s my favorite.

On social media, when all these celebrities and influencers were being outed for racism, it definitely stopped me from buying their products. Black Lives Matter has opened my eyes to small businesses and Black-owned brands. My sisters have been buying stuff from Black-owned brands, too.


Serena J.

Sophomore, Rutgers University Business School

Chegg Student Council
Serena Jayawardena Photo courtesy of Serena Jayawardena

Online school doesn’t feel that different, but it is different. My friends and I have been socially distancing and hanging out in our own cars, just so we get to go say hello. We play video games together, so that makes it easy.

I’m pretty low-key, but I do have makeup and skin-care routines. On TikTok, I can see people using just a few simple things and their skin is glowing. I try to keep it simple — cleanser, moisturizer, and that’s it. For makeup, I’ll do something for my lips, some eyeliner and mascara. I try not to do too much. Especially now, it’s not like I’m going anywhere.

I didn’t wear makeup that much at school, I’d sweat it all off and be stressed out. Now it’s more laid back. What I’m really looking forward to is Morphe 2 from Charli & Dixie D’Amelio. It’ll be fun to try out new stuff. Now that I don’t have to worry about people seeing me, I can try whatever and not worry about people thinking ‘Oh, my god, she’s so bad at makeup.’

I haven’t been really looking to shop recently, but it’s great to see people giving their platform to Black-owned brands. If you’re going to sell things to a diverse demographic, you should have people who know what they’re talking about, and the only way to do that is a diverse workforce.  I’m not exactly sure which brands to try yet, but when I look for a new foundation to buy, I’m definitely going to be looking for a Black-owned brand.


Rahma A.

Junior, Ohio State University

Student Council chegg
Rahma Abdullahi Photo courtesy of Rahma Abdullahi.

“I’m from Columbus, Ohio. My parents emigrated here from Somalia in 1997. I go to Ohio State University. Midway, we transitioned online. I actually liked it. I could always rewatch recorded classes, especially when studying.

I also talk to my friends on FaceTime. The only other thing I’m doing besides Zoom is organizing with some friends that go to a local high school. We’re trying to get cops out of schools.

I’ve been organizing a lot of protests, and I tell people not to wear makeup. If you get teargassed, it stays on your skin if you have makeup on. I’m definitely using a lot more skin care than makeup. 

But I love makeup, I love skin care, I love all of it. I just got so into it freshman year in high school. Normally, I’d go to Sephora or Ulta or my local beauty store, but I’ve been shopping a lot online. Also, I’ve been doing curbside pickup at Ulta. 

I now have more time to do research on the companies I’m buying from. I’m pushing myself to just buy Black. For example, Bahi Cosmetics [Ed note: now called Ayele &Co.], they’re Black-owned. I also love the Lip Bar. 

I want brands to do more. You have a really big platform, you should use it for good. It’s important for brands to be diverse. I started paying attention because you can talk as much as you want about Black Lives Matter, but if you’re not implementing your ideas into your own company, then I don’t believe you.

Editor’s Note: Student Counsel is a feature that garners consumer feedback. WWD Beauty Inc partners with Chegg, the leading student-first connected learning platform known by 87 percent of college students, to identify our panel, who agreed to share their unfiltered opinion.

For more from, see:

Beauty Forced to Confront Racism

Racism at Retail: Beauty Segment Needs to Revamp, and Fast