Why These Twin Eritrean Political Refugees Made Sure To Own 100% of Their Beauty Brand

In the Los Angeles loft headquarters of 2.4.1 Cosmetics, gray walls give way to a calming and warm ambiance, with flowers and flickering candles framing the space. The founders’ own quote, “Don’t let the eyeliner fool you” sits on a wall. It’s a nod to one of their first products: a rich black eyeliner named “Wing It,” that caters to cat eye lovers.

The company’s aura is a reflection of its leaders, twin sister Eritrean political refugees Feven and Helena Yohannes. The two are on a quest to instill confidence, kindness, and integrity in women with their beauty brand, as they say, “one eyeliner at a time.”

2.4.1 Cosmetics is a clean and classic collection of cruelty-free, paraben-free, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic, and fragrance-free lipsticks and lip glosses, eyeshadows, and liquid and gel eyeliners, each with a name that has special meaning.

“We were really intentional about naming the products,” Feven

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Dove’s New Pride Campaign Is a Master Class in LGBTQ+ Representation

Pride celebrations over the past month have looked different this year because of the coronavirus pandemic and the nationwide protests against police brutality. In place of the corporate sponsored parades and parties that have become standard over the past few decades, the monthlong celebration of the LGBTQ+ community has gone back to its roots: Stonewall.

This year’s marches, however, have been particularly focused on achieving justice for Black trans people, who are some of the most vulnerable in the community and have largely been left out of mainstream media coverage of police violence. 

Beauty giant Dove has captured this moment in its new Pride campaign, titled Nothing More Beautiful. The film spotlights six activists in the BIPOC LGBTQ+ community—Raquel Willis, Stoyan Francis, Stella Martin, Courtney McKinney, Bamby Salcedo, and Marvin “Mimi” Shelton—who have worked their entire life pushing for change.  

Not only does it

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This is How Beauty Products Have Helped These Trans Women Express Their True Selves

Love In Color is a weekly series that celebrates Pride Month by showcasing the beauty of self-expression through makeup and fashion. We’re highlighting style’s importance to the LGBTQ community, from the outfits that made queer youth feel seen for the first time to the stories of drag queens who use makeup to express their identities. 

Beauty products can have a lot of power: A swipe of lipstick can help you feel ready to take on a big meeting, applying a sheet mask after a long day can feel like the ultimate form of self-care, and a spritz of perfume can make you feel confident before a first date. For those who love beauty products, whether that means rocking a glam look to the gym or splurging on a luxury moisturizer, the power these products have is not only acknowledged but embraced. Beauty products can serve as a medium for

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How I’m Using Beauty to Get Through the Pandemic

It can be difficult to convey how important appearance can be as a queer person. There’s nothing wrong with vanity, especially when a good manicure, makeup, fillers, or the right haircut helps you feel like who you truly are. Aesthetic can go a long way for anyone when it comes to signaling your identity and honoring who you are, including queer people.

As a high-femme bisexual woman, while staying at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ve been missing all the people who help me keep up my beauty routine. I miss my nail salon, the plastic surgeon who does my injectables, and my hairdresser. However, I have found my own ways to express myself through beauty, and I’m not alone. In fact, a lot of other queer folks use their beauty and personal care routines to express — and explore — their identities.

“In terms of self-expression, I

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