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Tracee Ellis Ross Looks Back On Her Best Beauty Moments From Over the Years

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Welcome to Legends Only, a look back at the best beauty moments from our favorite celebrity legends.


When Tracee Ellis Ross launched her haircare brand Pattern Beauty, her dream was simple: “It was also so difficult for me to find products that worked for my hair type growing up, and I wanted to close that gap.” Ross’s now two years and more than 20 products and tools deep into the haircare industry—and is taking the Pattern global through Sephora today. “I’m proud to play a role in this major moment with Sephora as they continue to collaborate with Black-owned businesses and take the necessary steps towards creating a more inclusive beauty industry,” Ross told me over the phone. (Pattern is also launching a new product, the Styling Custard, on September 13th to celebrate.)

Next, we chatted about what makes a “Tracee Face” aka iconic beauty looks with her hallmark style: bouncy curls, dramatically lined eyes, and a bold lip. “My philosophy when it comes to beauty and red carpet dressing has not changed since the start of my career,” Ellis says. “The only thing that’s changed is I have more help.”

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1

BET Comedy Awards, 2005

“I didn’t use a makeup artist for red carpets at this time, but I did have somebody do my hair. I didn’t quite understand my hair at the time, so I was not courageous with allowing my hair to just be—instead, we supported my curls with an iron. But this is a typical Tracee look, a large hoop earring, a lot of browns, nudes, and earth tones on my face, and the NARS highlighter in Ibiza” [editor’s note: this product is sadly discontinued.]

2

Golden Globe Awards 2018

“This was for Time’s Up, so we were all wearing black on the red carpet, but I wanted to also be true to myself. This Marc Jacobs look was pants under a dress and came with a turban, and I was obsessed because it felt like an ode to my ancestry. This is a very ‘Tracee’ face, which is eye-covered in khol and a bold red lip. I have been wearing the same red lipstick since high school—it’s M.A.C Ruby Woo.”

3

Pattern Beauty Launch 2019

“This was not an ideal hair moment. It’s one of those times that it looked amazing in the mirror, but I look at it now and say ‘I don’t know if that’s the best version of me.’ I did my own hair and makeup for the event, and I’m wearing a bold pink lip, which I love. This is my natural hair. Araxi Lindsey is the only person I’ll let cut my hair, she was our lead hairstylist on Blackish. I have taught her how to trim my hair because there’s a specific way I like my hair trimmed and cut, which is: I like my hair in its natural curl pattern, dry, brushed out. So naturally dry, brushed out or combed out, and cut like a topiary. I have about five different curl patterns in my hair, so you literally have them follow the way each curl dries, not the way it looks when you pull on it.”

4

On the set of Blackish 2020

“I’ve always loved dressing up and get to do it quite a bit on the set of Blackish. I dressed up as two iconic women in this episode—Beyoncé and Cher in the same episode, which was so amazing. The hair and makeup department and wardrobe team on Blackish are incredible. My closet has always been my happy place—I have a lot of characters that come out of that. I would love to do Lucille Ball next.”

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Fashion

Chromat Gave Me Permission to Celebrate Myself

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new york, new york   september 12 models walk the runway during the chromat x tourmaline springsummer 2022 runway show at new york fashion week on september 12, 2021 in new york city photo by sean zannigetty images for chromat


We’re by the ocean, but it’s not just any beach. It’s Jacob Riis Park, where queer people flock to get away from city noise and flaunt our bodies, curves, bulges, rolls, scars… everything that makes us beautiful.

“It’s the place where I’ve seen more Chromat in the wild than any place on earth,” says Becca McCharen-Tran, designer of the brand.

Bodies of water have always been a source of power for us. In New York City, those who aren’t at the beach often hang at the piers along the Hudson River. Water is a source of life.

As a model for this collection, I am walking alongside people of different sizes, ancestries, and abilities. We are living embodiments of our lineage carried forward. In these times, colonization has severed us from our past selves, where many of us were spiritual leaders, historians, shamans, mediums—we were respected for the knowledge we brought to our people.

The runway procession at Chromat.

Sean ZanniGetty Images

This collection, titled “Collective Opulence Celebrating Kindred,” demands that the world witness us. We are beautiful and unchanged. We are beautiful in all the ways we seek to transform, too.

“As trans and gender nonconforming, non-binary, intersex people, we deserve to feel pleasure and feel sexy, like hot and delicious, as huge meals and little snacks,” says artist and filmmaker Tourmaline, who collaborated with McCharen-Tran on the spring/summer 2022 collection.

Runway shows have begun to diverge from thin, white, and tall because of the many years activists spent trying to shift entrenched cultural norms. Plus-size models are only sprinkled into runway shows, even though the majority of American women are plus-size in the eyes of the fashion industry. Chromat has consistently showcased the full scope of humanity, in all of our abilities, genders, and body types.

“When we used to ask our friends to model, it was so shocking. Now it’s the bare minimum with brands,” says McCharen-Tran. “With this collection, it’s also a jump forward in how trans bodies can be envisioned.”

new york, new york   september 12 a model walks the runway during the chromat x tourmaline springsummer 2022 runway show at new york fashion week on september 12, 2021 in new york city photo by shannon finneygetty images for chromat

Xoài Pham.

Shannon FinneyGetty Images

“Chromat has consistently showcased the full scope of humanity, in all of our abilities, genders, and body types.”

I have spent years strategizing how to warp my body in a way that creates safety for me. At the beach, especially, where our bodies are on full display, trans women are constantly wracked with danger. What makes it all the more heartbreaking is that my ancestors lived by the Pacific, in central Vietnam. They would greet the day at sunrise to be in the ocean. It was a source of food, play, and solace. The ocean is home. But it was made to be dangerous to me after many centuries of criminalization and targeting of gender-variant people.

What’s remarkable about Chromat’s commitment to showcasing all kinds of bodies is the way it allows us to experience a future we’ve always deserved. For a moment, we are time-traveling together. We are bringing the future to us.

When I nervously slipped on the one-piece, made with a pouch for people who have penises, I thought of all the times I had to hide and pretend that I had a body that wasn’t mine. This time, I was given permission to not only come as I am, but celebrate myself and those who share my experience. I was asked to let myself breathe and take pleasure in just being me, alongside my community.

Hair and makeup was intended to emulate archival photos of Black trans icon Marsha P. Johnson, with heavy blush on her cheeks and flowers throughout her hair.

new york, new york   september 12 models pose with designer becca mccharen tran after the chromat x tourmaline springsummer 2022 runway show at new york fashion week on september 12, 2021 in new york city photo by sean zannigetty images for chromat

Models at Jacob Riis Beach.

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“So much of Marsha’s legacy was around fashion,” says Tourmaline. “Marsha’s actions were in rebellion to the morality of the state, using fashion to control trans bodies, like with the anti-crossdressing laws police enforced to raid Stonewall. Those laws have an aesthetic level of violence.”

The runway show was a ritual in remembrance of the people who led the way for us to be able to be all of who we are.

When we listen to the ocean, we are listening to ourselves. If we listen closely, we can hear the laughs of Marsha P. Johnson, the shouts of Sylvia Rivera in between drags of her cigarette. We can hear the clacking heels of Octavia St. Laurent.

As writer and scholar Alexis Pauline Gumbs teaches us, water holds memories through sound waves that live inside the ebb and flow. All of this history is stored and carried along the Hudson, down to where the river meets the coastline of the Rockaways. And from there, it travels to the oceans that carry our trauma and our lineage. Here we are, unabashed, in each other’s arms, in their name, in their memory.

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Billie Eilish Changed Into a Stunning Red Oscar de la Renta Cape Dress Inside the 2021 Met Gala

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billie eilish at the 2021 met gala in her second dress


Billie Eilish’s nude princess dress just started her night at the Met Gala. While most celebs debuted their second looks at the Met Gala after parties, Eilish changed inside the gala. She switched into a sheer red Oscar de la Renta cape dress.

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billie eilish at the 2021 met gala in her second dress

Kevin Mazur/MG21Getty Images

She wore a third look, a lace top and sleeveless black mini dress, at an after party later.

Eilish spoke to The Guardian at the end of July about the pressure some people feel to always look good and how she views it. “Since I was a kid, my dad and I have always talked about a certain type of person who’s so insecure, or hyperaware and self-conscious, that they never move in a weird way, or make a weird face, because they always want to look good,” she started. “I’ve noticed that, and it makes me so sad. If you’re always standing a certain way, walking in a certain way, and always have your hair just so… It’s such a loss to always try to always look good. It’s such a loss of joy and freedom in your body.”

She added that she is not fully immune to the pressures social media or unaffected by the edited photos posted there. “I see people online, looking like I’ve never looked,” she said. “And immediately I am like, oh my God, how do they look like that? I know the ins and outs of this industry, and what people actually use in photos, and I actually know what looks real can be fake. Yet I still see it and go, oh God, that makes me feel really bad. And I mean, I’m very confident in who I am, and I’m very happy with my life.”

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Why Miley Cyrus Didn’t Attend the 2021 Met Gala

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miley cyrus performs on day 2 of the 2021 bottlerock napa valley music festival


Miley Cyrus’s big return to the Met Gala will have to wait another year. The singer was not at the New York City event this evening. She didn’t reveal her exact whereabouts on her Instagram, but she was last photographed earlier this month, performing in Napa, California. The singer was not in New York City for fashion week last week or the MTV VMAs yesterday either.

Steve JenningsGetty Images

Cyrus last attended the Met Gala in 2019 with her then-husband Liam Hemsworth.

Cyrus opened up to Vogue in June about her fashion and how her style has evolved over the years. “Fashion to me is kind of flipping yourself inside out,” she said. “It’s like wearing your heart, wearing your guts, wearing your values, wearing your identity, wearing your pain, wearing your joy. There’s something kind of childlike [about it]. You’re so fearless when you get yourself dressed when you’re a kid. You don’t think about what someone will think of you or what they’ll judge. It’s just about expression and how you feel that day. There’s a fearlessness. And so when I get dressed, I try to kind of think like my inner child, and be genuine and authentic in whatever I’m wearing.”

The outlet asked her what layers of herself she keeps private. “Well, if I answered this question, then I wouldn’t really be holding it back from the public!” she started. “But I have a very intimate and close relationship with my family. But like all families, we’re also complex, but we embrace the fact that each of us are so different from one another. Me and my siblings, we’re a lot alike, but we also have big differences. And we just accept that and don’t judge each other. And our family makes unconditional love a priority.”

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