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This Feminist Beauty Brand Is Rewriting History

Makeup
Photo courtesy of Fempower Beauty

Starting with how it went down in the Garden of Eden

Lately, the biggest trend in the beauty industry has been to sell things by promoting messages of empowerment and self-love and celebrate things such as inclusivity and diversity. It's a far cry from the industry's former messaging of exclusivity, but what if it went further? What if it worked to take back a history where women have been oppressed, silenced, and shamed?

That's where Alexis Androulakis, a seasoned makeup artist and product developer, and Christina Basias, a former high school English teacher, are coming in to implement true change. The two—who are partners in business and in life—have recently launched their beauty brainchild, Fempower Beauty, a brand that not only aims to sell beauty products but also to advocate and to educate customers.

Just how is it doing that? By rewriting and retelling well-known cultural narratives through a matriarchal lens. The two dreamed up this idea on Basias' couch after the 2017 Women's March. "The conception was simple in our minds—a brand that gave back," says Androulakis. "But Fempower Beauty grew deep roots very fast when we realized that, for centuries, men had been the only people telling the stories of beauty. Why wasn't there a women's perspective?"

For the brand's debut collection, the Genesis Collection, it begins with a familiar creation story: Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. "In an industry that historically tells consumers what to think, we want to make people feel," says Basias. "We want to provoke the deep how and why questions you may have never thought to ask. For us, the only way to do this was to start at the beginning of the most popular creation story of humanity."

Photo courtesy of Fempower Beauty

The Genesis Collection consists of four shades of Virtumatte Lipstick, a buttery soft matte lipstick. Each shade represents one of four characters from the story: Eve, Adam, Lilith, and the Serpent. All four have had their patriarchal stories reinterpreted—and, soon, will have a coinciding campaign in which real-life people tell their own corresponding stories.

So, while Eve has long been portrayed as being at fault for humanity's fall from paradise—all because she wanted to educate herself from the Tree of Knowledge—through a matriarchal lens, she is seen as a symbol of advocacy, standing up for herself, and shining bright—which is why her shade is a vibrant fuchsia. "Our Eve lipstick is symbolic for being misunderstood," says Androulakis. "Putting on the bright fuchsia is a way of saying you're the embodiment of advocacy. As such, we have told a real-life story as a trans woman who has been misunderstood, and is advocating for education every chance she gets." And, Fempower isn't just focusing on the female characters. Adam, rather than seen as a victim of the duplicitous Eve, now represents self-consciousness and doubt and stands as a symbol of gender equality, in a neutral, rosy-mauve.

The brand is doing much more than just working to empower women to take control of our collective creation myths—Fempower Beauty gives back to women in a more tangible way, too. Currently, customers can choose to give lipsticks to femme refugees through the organization Dignity Not Despair, an initiative that works to get beauty products to refugees who frequently request things like lipstick and moisturizer as a means of being able to maintain their physical autonomy.

Though only newly launched, the brand plans to expand on these initiatives as it grows, evolving with the Fempower Beauty community. "We'd love to throw fundraisers and partner with other organizations in unique ways," says Basias. It also plans to give back a portion of proceeds to various organizations. "We envision including our community on the decision since they were the ones that helped build out the platform for catalyzing such change in the first place."

Another way Fempower Beauty is showing how forward-thinking it is: Its products are also clean, vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free. The brand uses coconut oil to keep things hydrating and naturally sweet; the beeswax used to protect from the elements is ethically beaker-brewed, making sure no bees are harmed along the way; while other natural and clean waxes make for a hydrating and malleable and never drying matte lipstick.

Androulakis and Basias also hope to drop new capsule collections every six months, focusing on both stories of the past and the present. "We honor the past through the matriarchal lens, and then heroize the future and a moment that showcases how far we've truly come," says Androulakis. "It's like the best interactive history lesson you will ever have, through the lens of beauty." For the next lesson in matriarchal history, Fempower Beauty will be heading over to Ancient Egypt, so stay tuned.

Take a closer look at the Genesis Collection, below, and check out the new narratives behind each character, here.

Photo courtesy of Fempower Beauty

Fempower Beauty, Virtumatte Lipstick in 'Eve,' $32, available at Fempower Beauty.

Photo courtesy of Fempower Beauty

Fempower Beauty, Virtumatte Lipstick in 'Serpent,' $32, available at Fempower Beauty.

Photo courtesy of Fempower Beauty

Fempower Beauty, Virtumatte Lipstick in 'Lilith,' $32, available at Fempower Beauty.

Photo courtesy of Fempower Beauty

Fempower Beauty, Virtumatte Lipstick in 'Adam,' $32, available at Fempower Beauty.

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Photos by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

This photo proves that they are the chillest onscreen family

Sophie Turner just posted a photo of herself, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead Wright—aka the Stark siblings—to her Instagram, showing just what the three used to get up to when the Game of Thrones cameras weren't rolling.

The photo shows Wright looking quite pleased with himself while sitting on a makeshift throne, wearing no pants. As he should be, seeing as (spoiler) his character, Bran, won the Iron Throne this weekend. Williams, meanwhile, is looking way too cool to be involved in the shenanigans, wearing a pair of black sunglasses and staring absently off-camera. As for Turner, she's looking away from her onscreen brother, too, nervously smoking a Juul.

"The pack survived," Turner captioned the photo.

This photo just goes to prove that the Stark siblings are the chillest onscreen family. (It also proves, yet again, that Turner's social media is an absolute delight.)

We're actually a little sad that this footage didn't make it into the final season, considering how many modern-day objects have been spotted in the show's last few episodes.

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Photo via @mileycyrus on Twitter

Meet Ashley

Miley Cyrus shared the trailer for her forthcoming Black Mirror episode, and it's basically Hannah Montana set in a dystopian future. Cyrus is a pink wig-wearing pop star named Ashley who is rolling out an in-home virtual assistant, named Ashley Too, that looks like her and shares her voice. But, as is the case with every Black Mirror episode, this technology is not as cute and fun as it's advertised to be.

In the trailer, we get the idea that Ashley is all about wanting fans to "believe" in themselves—but underneath that pink wig, maybe she doesn't feel that same self-love. After Ashley Too introduces herself to fan and new owner Rachel, promising to be her friend, we get a look at Ashley's darker side. She's depressed and tired of the pop star life. A record label executive says to several people in the room, "She doesn't understand how fragile all this is." As they consider upping her dose of medication, Ashley's life is on a downward slope. "It's getting so hard to keep doing this," she voices over glimpses of a police car chase, performances, and breakdowns backstage.

But back to the technology: Does Ashley's breakdown also mean the breakdown of Ashley Too? Looks like it. We see Rachel's virtual assistant screaming, "Get that cable out of my ass! Holy shit! Pull it out," breathing a sigh of relief as soon as they pull it out. A title card then reveals the episode name, "Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too."

Watch the full trailer and get a full view of Cyrus' cyborg-esque pop star look, below. Black Mirror returns to Netflix on June 5.


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Photo by Paras Griffin / Stringer / Getty Images.

Several actresses allegedly had "issues" with him

Lena Waithe's Showtime series, The Chi, just lost one of its main characters. Jason Mitchell, who was also set to appear in the Netflix film Desperados, has been dropped from both projects following multiple allegations of misconduct. He has also been dropped by his agent and manager.

Hollywood Reporter heard from a source "with knowledge" of The Chi, who says that Tiffany Boone, the actress who plays Mitchell's girlfriend on the show, is just one of several actresses who had "issues" with him. She eventually told producers at Fox21 that she could no longer work with him after filing several sexual harassment complaints. Apparently, her fiancé, Dear White People co-star Marque Richardson, would join her on set when she would shoot with Mitchell.

While news of Mitchell's alleged misconduct is just now beginning to surface, it looks like the ball started rolling on the fallout weeks ago. He was dropped from Desperados and replaced by Lamorne Morris before filming began. A source from the production team said that the producers received "specific information" that they reviewed and acted on quickly. Similarly, a source familiar with Mitchell's former agent, UTA, said the decision to drop him a few weeks ago was very quick following the allegations.

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Prior to the college admissions scandal, she said she doesn't "care about school"

Apparently, Olivia Jade wants to go back to school despite all those YouTube videos that suggested otherwise. Back in March, it was revealed that her mom, Fuller House actress Lori Loughlin, and dad, Mossimo Giannulli, had scammed Jade's way into the University of Southern California. Now, Loughlin faces jail time, and Jade lost out on plenty of lucrative ad partnerships.

According to Us Weekly, "Olivia Jade wants to go back to USC," per a source. "She didn't get officially kicked out and she is begging the school to let her back in." Another source though ousted Jade's real motivation to the publication. "She knows they won't let her in, so she's hoping this info gets out," they shared. "She wants to come out looking like she's changed, learned life lessons and is growing as a person, so she for sure wants people to think she is interested in her education."

Jade previously shared in a YouTube video she's in college for the "experience of like game days, partying" rather than the education. She also said, "I don't know how much of school I'm going to attend... I don't really care about school, as you guys all know." Though these statements were made prior to the scandal coming to light, her brand partnerships didn't come into question until her parents were indicted.

Right now, despite previous reports that Jade and her sister would both be dropping out of USC, Jade's enrollment has been placed on hold—meaning she cannot register for classes, or even withdraw from the school—until her parents' court case comes to a close. Then, the school will make its own decision as to how Jade will be affected. I think, either way, she should have to pay off a few of her classmates' loans for all the BS she pulled.

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Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

He'd previously said he wanted to punch Jackson's 'Leaving Neverland' accusers in the face

Aaron Carter has been one of Michael Jackson's fiercest celebrity advocates in the aftermath of the Leaving Neverland documentary in which two men, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, alleged that Jackson sexually abused them when they were children. In a new clip from People, however, he seems to walk back his defense.

People reveals that Carter will be joining the upcoming season of reality TV show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars Family Edition with his mother. It's noted that he will be revealing more thoughts regarding Jackson following the documentary and the sneak peek specifically sees him alluding to a negative experience with the singer.

Carter, who has previously said that Jackson was never inappropriate toward him, says that Jackson "was a really good guy," though he does note that this is only true "as far as I know." "He never did anything that was inappropriate," he continues before stopping himself, as though remembering something. "Except for one time. There was one thing that he did that was a little bit inappropriate."

Carter does not provide any more detail after this statement. He has previously said that he would stay at Jackson's Neverland estate and sleep in the same bed as the much older star when he was 15 years old, though he hasn't seemed to understand then just how creepy that is. He also said earlier this year, in a clip from TMZ, that he would be telling a story of something that happened between them in an upcoming book about his life.

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