That "Black Is Beautiful" has already been recognized by the cosmetics industry in a burgeoning billion dollar-a-year business. Yet black women, besides needing different cosmetics geared to their skin tones, also have special beauty problems, which until recently, weren't targeted by beauty advisers.
Susan Taylor, Essence magazine fashion and beauty editor, over lunch at the Washington Hilton yesterday, says all that is changing as more black women enter professional fields and have the leisure and money to enchange their looks. Taylor along with Alfred Forney, creative director for Fashion Fair cosmetics, was in town for a beauty workshop at Woodward and Lothrop.
"Black sking is very delicate," explained Taylor, "After a black woman gets a pimple, there may be a dark spot that is hard to get rid of. It fades slowly and can stay for as long as two or three years."
Taylor said that this was the result of black women having hyper-pigmentation which causes sking discolorations when the skin is traumatized either by a blemish or a blow. That overall delicacy also often rules out such cosmetic surgery as dermabrasion, facial sanding frequently used to remove the scars of acne eyelid correction or reconstruction of the nose for black women because said Taylor, "women of color sometimes have what is called a keloid factor a sweiling of tissues that causes thick scars."
On the plus side for black women, their primentation, or the degree of melanin in black skin, makes the external againg process slower because the melanin affords more protection fron the sun while tanning.
Taylor, however, is more interested in "showing black women how to see the beauty in themselves. Everyone can't be a size nine and shouldn't be. The way we look is nature's way of manifesting its beauty."
Taylor went on to talk about the fragility of black women's hair and announced that the natural, though not Afro, look is the new fashion in black women's hairstyles.
"The natural state of black women's hair is healthy but here on this alien shore, we've been going against the natural and trying to force it into styles that were set up as the ideal," she laughed. "Black hair was meant to be designed into different patterns, like cornrows. The new hairstyles are more natural, less relaxed, or only relaxed a little."
Taylor said that during the hour-and-a-half beuty workshop, she shows slides that give "black women a positive image of themselves. They highlight the Queen of Sheba and Cleoparta and African women who were the first and to adorn themselves and oil their.
After the slide presentation, Fornay and several make-up artists do a live demonstration on five or six women, followed by a question-and -answer session. This is the fourth city of Taylor and Fornay's 10-city Workshop schedule.