Entertainment

Two Trans Latinas In New York Are Starting A Beauty Co-Op To Help Trans Women Build Their Businesses

Four years ago, Lesly Herrera Castillo and Joselyn Mendoza both had a vision to create a worker-owned makeup and hair salon for the trans Latino community in Jackson Heights, New York. It was ambitious and for them, it was necessary. For years, the duo faced racial and gender discrimination from employers. Their own community, Jackson Heights, was also becoming a problem as the area became the site of multiple anti-trans hate crimes in recent years. So they came together with a plan to open Mirror Beauty Cooperative in 2015.

The beauty shop would create numerous jobs for the local trans community but more importantly assist undocumented individuals who were denied opportunities due to their legal status. So Castillo and Mendoza made the important decision to register the business as a cooperative cooperation (co-op). This was done so the salon would basically be “worker-run” and there would be no need for things like social security numbers, an obstacle many undocumented workers face when applying to jobs. Instead, the salon will use individual taxpayer identification numbers (ITINs).

“The significance of the cooperative for me is that it’s an opportunity to create more jobs and make a space that’s free of discrimination,” Mendoza told the HuffPost. “As trans women, we don’t often have access to a healthy economy, and this allows us to change that and obtain other services like health care.”

While their idea started four years ago, the duo hasn’t yet obtained a physical space to open up the salon. But they hope with enough support this vision can become a reality. 

Credit: @equalityfed / Twitter

While both Castillo and Mendoza haven’t opened up a physical salon space, they are both continuing to work in other salons as they continue to save and plan for the Mirror Beauty Cooperative. This past May they began to reach out to more people to help fund their goal through a GoFundMe Campaign. The results of the campaign fund have been less than 1 percent of their $150,000 goal. The duo has also faced other socioeconomic setbacks like lack of traditional education and the economic instability due to their immigrant background. 

“Latina trans women always have multiple obstacles in the way,” Mendoza said. “I think if a collective of white trans women were to start a project like this, their incubation process would be faster than ours because of their historical access to privilege.” 

But Herrera notes that the white trans community is still an ally to them even though they are on different economic levels. “We can always depend on the white trans community” to offer support “because they know they’re on a better [economic] level.”

For the trans, gender-queer and nonbinary community, job discrimination has been a reoccurring issue. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 16 percent of gender-queer and nonbinary respondents who had held jobs reported having been fired for their gender identity or expression. But for trans women and trans people of color, they were the most likely to have gone through this. 

While the salon is still in progress, Castillo and Mendoza have become a presence in their own neighborhood uplifting and bringing attention to the trans Latino community. 

As of now, the duo has a secret backup plan in case they don’t meet their fundraising goals by the end of the year. They hope that the campaign does one thing though, create and share their broader call for building community with people. 

That has already started to take place as Castillo, Hernandez and their new partner, Jonahi Rosa have all become presences in Jackson Heights advocating for the trans community. The trio even participated in the Queens Pride Parade as co-grand marshals. This has also included various charity events for local LGTBQ+ youth. 

They all feel that the salon has the potential to bring people together and spread awareness about issues that affect their lives every day. From the start, the trio has always wanted to not only create a space for the trans community but give them an opportunity. 

“We want to work, [and] we want to give agency to our community,” Rosa said. “It’s a perfect opportunity for our community to come together and make something for our future.”

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Emotional, Heartwarming And Downright Funny: Here Are The Best Wedding Photos Of 2019 According To Fearless Photography

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Emotional, Heartwarming And Downright Funny: Here Are The Best Wedding Photos Of 2019 According To Fearless Photography

Every two months the Fearless Awards recognize the best wedding photos in the world. The winning images are selected by a panel of expert curators from Fearless Photographers, a digital platform that connects couples with wedding photographers. The pictures have been making the rounds on the internet as the year draws closer to an end. We read that around 2 photos from every 100 are selected, and these ones we rounded up are emotional, heartwarming and downright funny. Which do you like best?

Lucha Libre Style

Kathruyn Krueger

Nothing like including the things you love on such a special day. This groom made sure that his love of Lucha Libre was known, and gave all of the members of his entourage, their own Luchador mask. Gotta love the originality.

A Mariachi Wedding

Gera Gallardo

Here’s the clear example of how a traditional wedding does not have to be conventional. This couple stuck to their roots and decided to give the event a very Mexican dress code with these Mariachi outfits —brb, just gonna look for a groom real quick so I can dress him up as a charro.

An emotional moment

Alberto Parejo

There can’t be a wedding without tears —of joy that is. This photo is so heartwarming it has tears welling up in my eyes.

Making the most of a destination wedding

Alex Beckett

I mean, if you have a place like Santorini as the backdrop for your wedding, no picture can really be a bad one. But tAlex Beckett, the photographer of this gem, used a beautiful play of light and shadow to create the magnified-effect of the married couple against a classic Greek house; dreamy.

Another epic destination wedding shot

Ana Maria Dumbrava

Again, if the wedding is being held at an amazing geographical location, the pictures are just going to be pure gold. This one here, with the happy couple, playfully sliding down the dunes is absolute goals —but also, there’s got to be a lot of sand in those clothes.

Confetti Madness

Joe Scrivens

Everything about this photo gives us chills. The energy, the colors, the vibrancy; it’s like we can feel the love through our screen. Can you?

An unconventional couple

Fiona Walsh

Some people have dessert tables at their weddings, others have board games, some offer boat rides or wild cocktails. Not this couple, they had a whole fair ride at their wedding. And the shot of them both riding at full speed is really a beauty.

A chill wedding by the lake

Juan Carballo Castro

More often than not, brides have the fame of being crazy, controlling, perfectionist maniacs. Not this one. Her entourage had already removed their gowns and jumped into the lake. We can only suspect that she’s about to do the same —and the mood of peace and fun that this photo is transmitting, really is making us question our fictitious wedding plans.

Female love

jake hannah

Ok so I’m crying now. Have you ever seen a photo that captures the essence of female love, companionship, empowerment and sorority more beautifully than this one by Jake Hannah? Okay, maybe you have, but this one is truly moving.

Otherworldly wedding vibes

David Hofman

This photo was actually taken in Brazil, but because of the visual effect, you could swear it was somewhere icy like Iceland or Canada. The couple seem to be walking on water, bathed in sunlight, and if that’t not an ideal metaphor for a happy marriage, then we don’t know what is.

Daddy’s Girl

Lucas Bezila

Crying again. Few things beat a deep father-daughter moment. Crazy to think that this man was about to give this woman, who once was his very own little girl, away. I’m weeping.

Post-wedding swim

Lanny Mann

Another laid back couple. Look at all that joy. A beautiful sunset, a happy moment, all smiles and warmth —we can almost feel the tropical weather just looking at it.

A mother’s love

Casian Podar

This is the visual definition of ‘tears of joy’. This abuelita holds on to her little girl; happily squeezing her, excited because finally, on this nieta’s case, she’ll never have to ask “¿Y el novio?” again.

Celebrate your culture

Jacki Bruniquel

We loved to see other cultures represented in the list of top wedding photos of the year. Not all brides wear white, some wear every color in the rainbow and this bright photo is really lighting up our day.

The couple’s best friend

Marius Dragan

Doggo parents will understand. One cannot simply get married and leave their best friend behind —and this good boy is clearly not ready to let go.

A very NYC wedding

Sascha Reinkin

This one is for the diehard New Yorkers. The ones that love their city so much, they couldn’t picture joining their lives to another, in a city that’s not their own. Absolutely love.

2019 Was The Year Of TikTok, So Here Are The Year’s Best Beauty Videos According To The App Itself

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2019 Was The Year Of TikTok, So Here Are The Year’s Best Beauty Videos According To The App Itself

illumin_arty

2019 was definitely the year of TikTok. The short-format video platform released it’s own TikTok 100, a list featuring the most popular viral posts and creators in 2019. The ranking is influenced by likes, views, shares and trends. “The TikTok Top 100 videos celebrate the ingenuity of this diverse community and all of the incredible content that made TikTok such a special place this year,” wrote Vanessa Pappas, general manager at TikTok U.S., in announcing the list in a blog post Monday. 

But what we want to know is which were the top beauty posts. Was it makeup tutorials? Nail art? Hair? All of the above? Here’s a list of the 10 most popular beauty posts on TikTok this 2019.

Creating the perfect blue glitter acrylic by @youngnailsinc

Young Nails Inc. has established itself as a leading nail extensions TikTok page. With more than 600 thousand followers, Young Nails features their signature SlickPour technique —a new powder enhancement for nails that’s taking over acrylics. Their videos come in slow motion and reverse, and the slow pour is #oddlysatisfying.

Check out more here.

Checkered clown check by @abbyrartistry

Abby Roberts is an Instagram star and beauty promoter who is known for sharing a wide blend of both beauty and special effects makeup. Her Instagram account abbyroberts has more than 1.2 million followers, and on TikTok, she has over 5 million! Specializing in characters from movies as well as detailed Halloween effects, Abby has been affiliated with big makeup brands like Morphe and Colourpop. 

Check it out here.

That contour and highlight, though! by @jamescharles

James Charles’s breakthrough moment came when his high-school-yearbook picture went viral thanks to his very extra use of highlighter and a ring light. Celebrities like Zendaya endorsed it, and, not too long after, CoverGirl signed him as its first-ever male spokesmodel. He appeared on Ellen and even did Katy Perry’s makeup. He collaborated on videos with Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian, so it’s really no wonder that he’s included on this list —the real shocker would be if he hadn’t. 

Check it out here

Six different festival fashion trends by @glitterandlazers

Curvy blogger Anna O’Brien, 33, from Cleveland, Ohio, is best known on social media for her Glitter and Lazers blog and YouTube channel. She is known for posting everything from hauls to DIYS to vlogs on the two social platforms. The Texas native gained a lot of notoriety this year  thanks to the ‘body positive’ movement, and we’re so here for TikTok including a curvy woman in the lineup #representation.

Check it out here.

Multicolor hair highlights by @emilymunyak

https://www.tiktok.com/@emilymunyak/video/6744036123468631301

Lip-sync and comedy video creator popular on TikTok, Emily Munyak has accrued more than 700,000 fans. She first became active on TikTok in her early teens, when the app was known as musical.ly. 

Unicorn-colored braid! by @learnwithlati

https://www.tiktok.com/@learnwithlati/video/6753461535458282757

Want to learn how to style beautiful hairstyles? You have come to the right place! Learn with Lati is known for offering super quick, easy and beautiful hairstyling tutorials —plus Lati always features the most beautifully colored wigs and stunning backdrops. 

Create an eyeshadow look by randomly picking three different colors! by @jamescharles

https://www.tiktok.com/@jamescharles/video/6745190782275210501

Another James Charles video —no surprise there either! This one features a makeup challenge that went viral this year on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. All about picking three eyeshadows at random and then making a look out of it. Charles aced it as usual with a very weird combination of colors. To have those skills…sigh!

Check it out here.

The ultimate glitter mask by @victorialyn

https://www.tiktok.com/@victorialyn/video/6646545467209420037

We all love a peel-off mask, and the only thing better than one, is a glittery peel-off mask. The YouTube personality and makeup artist known for publishing beauty tutorials and vlogs on her Victoria Lyn Beauty channel secured a place in the list with this natural, ‘everyday’ look. Proving that not all viral makeup looks have to be super elaborate and over the top. Victoria Lyn has amassed more than 80,000 subscribers on the platform.

An ’80s-inspired look by @addyurdaddy

https://www.tiktok.com/@addyurdaddy/video/6710781064794606854

With the cute caption: “it’s 1985 and ur getting ready to meet ur friend el and max at the mall” Addy from Emo Horse Girl, appealed to our little ‘Stranger Things’-loving hearts and 80s nostalgia. What’s not to love about this look?

A purple-perfect Barbie inspired look by @victorialyn

https://www.tiktok.com/@victorialyn/video/6722149646975782149

Another one from Victoria Lyn, with another glitter peel-off mask too! She’s known for her ‘easy’, ‘everyday’ makeup looks even if this one looks like you need a little more expertise and artistry than yours truly possesses. But hey, one can dream, and one can also enjoy the glitter, the hair and the glamour; a true Barbie Doll-worthy rendition.