Makeup Artists of Kent State celebrate Black History Month

Olivia Williams

In honor of Black History Month, Makeup Artists (MUA) of Kent State hosted an event in Bowman Hall introducing members and attendees to black-owned makeup supplies.

“This is an issue that definitely needs talked about more, not just in makeup. Black-owned businesses don’t get as much exposure as they need and because of this people do not know about their businesses, products and services,” Dominique Gordon, vice president of MUA of Kent State, said.

According to Gordon, the Feb.23 event was controversial. Students argued the issue of exclusion when talking specifically about black-owned makeup brands.

The group’s purpose behind holding the event was to highlight and discuss the lack of diversity in beauty stores, specifically in black-owned cosmetic lines.

“Because black-owned makeup is hard to find in stores, we had to do a lot of online shopping in preparation for this week’s meeting. We had to order the product, but we were unsure of what the colors would look like and how they would look on people of different skin tones since we weren’t able to see them in person first,” Gordon said.

During the meeting, Gordon presented a power point with statistics about black-owned businesses and a list of beauty lines that are black-owned. In addition to the power point, people in attendance participated in an online trivia game with a chance to win free beauty products.

Among the beauty prizewinners was Neariah Ross, a freshman business management major.

“I’ve been wanting to come to these meetings for weeks and finally came because the topic of black owned makeup brands sparked my interest. I have a YouTube channel, and I plan to do a review on the product that I won at tonight’s meeting,” Ross said.

In addition to prize giveaways, MUA of Kent State also brought in guest speaker Marisa Meeks. Meeks is an African-American, freshman fashion merchandise major who recently started her own business.

“Marisa’s Minks” is a mink lash company that Meeks started in January 2017. Meeks talked about her business’s start up and her lashes.

“As a black women I already have to work three times harder for my business,” Meeks said. “With black owned businesses, people don’t really trust the brand right away and automatically think that if it is by a black woman that it is only for black women.”

“I like to see everyone do well, and I think a lot of the time black owned businesses don’t support each other as much as they should,” Meeks said.

She said her goal for her lash line was to mix luxury and price to appeal to a college student’s price range, using the term “balling on a budget.”

Olivia Williams is the African-American student life reporter, contact her at [email protected].