As much as we love a dramatic contour, sometimes your nighttime beat doesn't translate to daytime chic -- especially when all you want is a comfortable, au natural look that showcases your natural shine. After all, with all these conversations happening about body positivity, loving the skin you're in and cute looks for women of all shapes and colors, it's nice when you find that holy grail of a product that matches, protects, mattes and lasts -- though that's admittedly easier said than done. NARS, however, has come up with a solution, and it's their new weightless Velvet Matte Skin Tint with SPF 30 line.
Delivering soft-focus, matte perfection that results in a shine-free, natural-looking finish in a range of 12 global shades (read: no more mixing and matching), it's as close to instant perfection in a bottle as you can get. As such we decided to put it to the test by shooting plus-size model Diana Veras, actress Taylor LaShae and DJ, artist and designer Vashtie Kola in nothing but the new skin tint -- to absolutely luminous results that brought the "being comfortable in your own skin" mantra to life for these ladies.
Were there any particular experiences or people that prompted you to start thinking about embracing yourself and your body as you are?
DV: Well, mostly for me it was my friends. They wanted me to embrace myself because I used to be the hidden one, and I didn't want anyone to look at me. And I've always modeled, but I never really liked when people stared at me in public. I didn't like being out, but my friends really pushed me to experiment with myself, dress how I want to dress and do my makeup how I want to, and be myself completely, which is really cool.
VK: I think that for me it took going to the gym, and being able to feel like 'this is me being the best me that I can be,' you know? I'm definitely not those fit girls on Instagram, who take Soulcycle and pilates all day long, and they look obviously perfect because they don't work for a living. I just know my strengths and my weaknesses, and now I'm able to embrace what it is that I have and what I don't have. That just comes with age, I think.
Taylor LaShae: When I was younger, my mom put me through beauty pageants, so I felt like I had to obtain this certain level of perfect white teeth and perfect hair and curls and all this stuff. But when I hit 6th grade, [this all sort of changed]...My mom's always gone natural. She never wore any makeup and took me to Amsterdam and Paris and showed me what it was like to [embrace your body]. You know, in Europe nude women are everywhere, the billboards and everything, and I got to see these people. I was so shy I grew up in Houston, Texas where everything was so small. But once [I left my little box] and saw more nudity and stuff at such a young age, I was like "Ah!"
Yeah, there's something about embracing the beauty of the human body as it is.
TL: Yeah. I would say junior high was a turning point for me [for this kind of stuff]. I started wondering, "Why am I trying to fit in with these molded beauty pageant girls and models and stuff?".
DV: And it's been cool because you're given the opportunity now to represent those girls that don't see [bodies like theirs usually]. It's so cool to be comfortable in your own skin and be noticed and represent [something new].
Yeah, and this whole line in general is really about giving women of color some much needed options when it comes to natural looks and blendable skin colors. What do you guys think about this sort of diversification? It's pretty overdue.
DV: It needs to happen. It needs to happen because it's not fair that we have 20 shades of pale skin and there are no shades of darker skin. My friends have to struggle and mix foundations. I'm glad that the makeup industry is taking a leap towards diversifying….There aren't two shades of black. There just isn't.
TL: I'll come from a naive perspective where I didn't notice that -- and that's not ok...I couldn't imagine going to a store...and not being able to find my color. I would freak out. That's not fair for anybody else, at all. That's crazy -- why not??
Are there any women that you look up to and admire, in the sense that they've embraced themselves wholeheartedly?
VK: I've always loved Patti Smith, because I think that she's someone who as a powerful woman, who is in music and art and culture, just never changed her style. She was very much no makeup, just pretty masculine, and embraced that, but wasn't less of a woman for it, or less of a beautiful individual. I think that the women who are honest about who they are, whether that's sharing that they're insecure about their flaws, or that it's that they just don't care they have flaws, I think that that's always inspiring.
TL: Baddie Winkle. Baddie Winkle's the fucking bomb. If she could pull off stuff like [what she wears, you can too]. I like the message she is sending out…[she's embracing] not just different body types, but different ages as well.