Style Observer


Sunday, April 05, 2020

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For years data has shown that when facing an economic crisis, consumers shy away from large purchases but still treat themselves to smaller luxury products like lipstick. This is referenced as the “lipstick effect” and can be traced back to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Once we got word that the historical trend was again on the rise — amidst the coronavirus pandemic — we commissioned make-up artist Nicole Blake to see what the hype was about. And it turns out, as women self-isolate, sans make-up, the need for a scaled-down but polished look is on the rise. After all, who wants to show up for a Zoom call anything but fabulous? The latest beauty craze? Bare, moisturised skin with a pop of colour on the lip! Yes, you heard us correctly: women are still reaching for their trusty lippies and many have even gone shopping for new shades to fight the quarantine blues. Don't believe us? Check out the results of Blake's most recent poll.

The Findings: almost as many women are willing to purchase lipstick during this time as those who are not willing to buy.

A survey of 60 women from Jamaica, USA (New York; Texas; Washington, DC) and Canada collectively shows that 27/60 (45%) said YES while 33/60 (55%) said NO. It is interesting to note that these women from three different countries absolutely love MAC Cosmetics' lippies!

SO2 gave the last word to Rock-blooded Romero Jennings, director, Makeup Artistry, Integrated Communications and Content at MAC Cosmetics “Lipstick is an easy way to be included in the latest trends. It has the power to change your mood and even update your wardrobe with one swipe. Many celebrities wore it when it first launched, and continue to wear it today.

Ruby Woo is the ultimate iconic matte red at MAC Cosmetics and a colour that everyone loves. This bright red lipstick is highly pigmented, long-wearing and looks incredible against every skin tone. Being born in Jamaica I can understand the attraction and almost healing powers of bright-electric colour. This festive lipstick is vibrant and a feel-good treat especially in difficult times.

My colleagues and the artistry community are sending virtual kisses (some wearing Ruby Woo!) to the health-care workers, first responders, etc., to show their support on social media”.



A durag on the cover of Vogue! Quel horreur! Who would have thunk it? Perfectly executed, however, by style daredevil Rihanna. The May issue of British Vogue, aptly titled “Rebel! Rihanna Rewrites The Rules”, finds the Barbadian business mogul delving deep with writer Afua Hirsch. The beauty shares bits about the release of her highly anticipated album, her make-up brand Fenty Beauty, lingerie line Savage x Fenty, living in London for the past three years, and her plans for children. The historic cover shoot was lensed by celebrated photographer Steven Klein. The star rocks Burberry by Ricardo Tisci and a custom durag by leading British milliner Steven Jones.

Photographer: Steven Klein

Styled by: British Vogue Editor-In-Chief Edward Enninful

Hair: Yusef Hair NYC and Naphiis Beautiful Hair

Make-up: Isamaya Ffrench using Fenty Beauty

Nails: Maria Salandra of RedHotNails

With thanks to Jill Demling


Over in Italy, Jamaican-born, Milan-based fashion blogger Tamu McPherson is giving us style inspo as she speeds through quarantine which she refers to as the #PrettyLockdown. Most recently, the All The Pretty Birds curator gave her over-200,000 Instagram followers pointers on how to get the most bang for the buck with a pair of khaki Miu Miu paperbag-waist cotton-drill shorts styled five ways for those fun outings during the upcoming summer days (fingers crossed).


Did you catch Canadian-Jamaican model Winnie Harlow on the latest episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians ( KUWTK)? Harlow joined Kim Kardashian,

La La Anthony, Jonathan Cheban, Simon Huck and Torontonian basketball star, Tristan Thompson (who has Jamaican roots) for dinner and was immediately prompted to teach the clan patois.

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