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The Jefa Behind The Beauty Blender Empire Had To Watch People Rip Off Her Approach To Make Up Before Starting A Business

Beauty Blenders. If you check your makeup bag right now, you probably have one in there. The same thing goes for your favorite beauty bloggers. They are more than likely using this product in their videos right now. There’s a reason for this. This tool was the one that revolutionized the beauty game and it was created by a Latina entrepreneur.

The original Beauty Blender was created by makeup artist Rea Ann Silva, a Latina with more than 20 years in the makeup and beauty game. She channeled her expertise to create a product that is now used by makeup artists, beauty bloggers, celebrities and average consumers around the world. 

Her invention has inspired numerous copycats and earned even more awards for its innovation and creativity.  

While the Beauty Blender has sold multi-millions since it was first dreamed up back in 2007, a lot went into first creating the tool.

Twitter / @thisisinsider

As a makeup artist, Silva started her career on the set of music videos for Tupac, Dr Dre, Brandi and Eve. Soon, Silva moved up to movies — doing makeup for films like “Set It Off” and “Friday.” It was on these sets that she learned to work with different skin tones and textures. The Mexican-American became especially good at working with darker skin, something that most makeup artists at the time were not specializing in. 

It was this expertise that led her to a role as makeup artist for the UPN series “Girlfriends.” Working with the actresses on the series was challenging because of how television had evolved. TV was now being shot in High-Definition, a format that showed every detail of the actors’ faces — especially the ones they wanted to hide the most. 

 “On ‘Girlfriends’ I had a unique challenge,” Silva explained to INSIDER, “Suddenly, in HD, you were able to see every pore. You were able to see every bump. You saw everything on the skin as opposed to film where you blast a lot of light and you wear 5,000 pounds of makeup.” 

Airbrushing the actresses with makeup was the best option the crew had to combat this HD issue. However, it wasn’t viable when it came to productivity and practicality. 

“It was a very challenging thing to do,” says Silva, “because you have to pull your actors off the set. Pretty soon it’s a whole production wrangling thing. I would airbrush everyone in the morning, but by the end of the day, the makeup looked heavy.”

There had to be a better option and Silva was determined to find it. 

In order to solve this issue and still get flawless coverage, Silva drew from her background with special effects.  

Twitter / @Jezebel

In the course of her makeup career, the Latina had taken a special effects makeup class to enhance her technique. During one of these classes, the instructor explained that cutting sponges can be done in order to give the right shape for the exact job. This was the moment that Silva was struck with inspiration. 

“I was totally enraptured and I thought, oh my God, this could be it,” she explained to ALLURE.

After experimenting with different shapes and materials, Silva settled on the one that we recognize as the classic Beauty Blender shape. Impressively the formula hasn’t changed since. The special hydrophilic sponge is designed to absorb water. Back in 2007, this was an unusual trait for makeup sponges. The understanding at that time was that this would waste product; soaking it up into a porous sponge. So, sponges were designed to repel water instead. 

However, Silva discovered that if the sponge was wet before applying makeup, water would fill those pores and product would apply smooth. She began by cutting the edges off of traditional triangle sponges to get a more rounded tool. This shape offered beautiful coverage for Silva. Originally created to apply liquid concealer, the makeup artist found that it worked wonders with powder as well. Additionally, it can be used to touch up makeup throughout the day. 

These newly created sponges would be tested first hand by the lead actresses of “Girlfriends” but the true proof of their success came from somewhere else. 

Twitter / @SharSaysSo

Silva and the other members of the “Girlfriends” makeup team had to make new blenders every day. Part of the demand came from their actual use on set but it also originated with frequent theft of the blenders. 

“It was like they sprouted legs and walked away off of the set and I realized people were stealing them,” Silva explained to INSIDER. “When I realized people were stealing them, I was like, I have an opportunity here.”

Seeing the demand, Silva came up with a business plan. From here, she developed the sponge for commercial sales, branding it the Beauty Blender and manufacturing it in the lovely pink shade that has now become so recognizable. Since the sponge went to market back in 2009, the Beauty Blender has sold 50 million units worldwide. 

The Beauty Blender has really has become a cultural icon beloved by those who use it. 

Twitter / @originalspin

What started as a bit of problem-solving has turned into a multi-million dollar endeavor. Since the inception of the Beauty Blender, Silva’s company Rea.deeming Beauty Inc, has branched out. She now offers her own line of makeup, setting sprays, different types of blenders and cleaners. No doubt more innovation is in store for this little sponge in the near future.

The story of Rea Ann Silva and her invention is one of ingenuity and creativity. Is there any wonder that such a nifty little invention came from a Latina? As always, seeing a boss entrepreneur who is solution oriented in her passion inspires us to pursue our own dreams.  

 
 
 

These Clips Shine A Light On Shade From The Pussycat Dolls’ Past

Entertainment

These Clips Shine A Light On Shade From The Pussycat Dolls’ Past

A&M

It’s hard to imagine the 2000s without the Pussycat Dolls. Not only were their hit singles “Dontcha,” “Buttons,” and “Stickwitu”—all from their 2005 debut album PCD—bangers all over the world, but the group quickly became something of a small empire, touching everything from reality TV to commercial merchandise. They topped the charts worldwide, earned several award nominations (including a Grammy nod), and are ranked as one of the best-selling girl groups of all time. And although they experienced a great amount of success over a relatively short time (they eventually broke up in 2010), the Pussycat Dolls were marred by some serious internal drama that made even their best years a little less sparkly.

The main reason for their conflict was the excessive attention paid to lead vocalist Nicole Scherzinger.

Of the five Pussycat Dolls, there were two vocalists: Scherzinger and Melody Thornton. Scherzinger has admitted to singing 95% of the vocals during the Dolls’ heyday, even going to so far as to say that the other members of the group didn’t hear the tracks until they were finished. While Thornton did contribute to background vocals as a Doll, she never had a chance to sing lead. Years of frustration over this inequity ended up culminating in a pretty uncomfortable moment performing the bop “Dontcha”:

As you can see, Thornton clearly went off-script in this performance, taking advantage of the opportunity to finally step into the spotlight. There’s no doubt that the girl can sing, but Scherzinger was not impressed. The shade, though!

Credit: Twitter

And this wasn’t the only time Thornton’s off-the-cuff solos made things awkward. Take this example from the 2006 American Music Awards (skip to 2:50 for her surprise ad-lib appearance onstage):

Earlier this year, Thornton told the UK’s Daily Mirror that she secretly went to therapy for low self-esteem during her time with the Dolls, and that it took many years for her to overcome her negative experiences with the group.

Credit: Pinterest

“I lost so much confidence and felt really worthless. Because it was pointed out, over and over again, that I was the weakest link in the group,” said Thornton. ”I had never felt insecure until I joined the Pussycat Dolls.”

Over the years, other Dolls have also complained about the overemphasis on Scherzinger. As a contestant on season 12 of I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Ashley Roberts said, “Even in the group, I wasn’t allowed to talk. We were told to be quiet—only Nicole was allowed to talk. We would occasionally pitch in.” Roberts confirmed that nothing in the group was split evenly, adding, “Why do you think the band broke up?”

But after almost a decade apart, and in spite of all the tea that’s been spilled, the Pussycat Dolls are back, baby!

Well, more or less. On Saturday’s episode of the UK’s X Factor: Celebrity, the newly reunited Pussycat Dolls performed a medley of their most popular songs, offering a sneak peek into an upcoming UK reunion tour. Whether surprising or not, several people served some serious criticism of the performance, conceding that while the choreography was stellar, there still seems to be too much of a focus on Scherzinger. Perhaps that’s because Thornton, as the Dolls’ only other vocalist, will not be joining them for the tour.

No, it’s not because Thornton has held a decade-long grudge against Scherzinger—in fact, neither Thornton nor any of the other girls have ever been angry at Scherzinger for the disequilibrium of the group. Instead, Thornton took issue with the label, Interscope Records, and the way the group was managed. Still, she insists that she has no bad feelings toward Scherzinger or Robin Antin, who founded the group back in 1995 when it began as a burlesque troupe.

“People would assume that I was so mad at Nicole because she sang and I didn’t. Well, no. That was her dream and it was coming true for her. I just wanted it for myself too,” said Thornton. “I wanted the best for everyone. I’m a phenomenal vocalist, you just never heard it. But it wasn’t Nicole’s fault.”

Both Robin Antin and Ashley Roberts insist that Thornton’s past difficulties with the group are not the reason for her absence from the 2020 reunion tour, which will reunite Roberts and Scherzinger with group members Carmit Bachar, Jessica Sutta, and Kimberly Wyatt.

“She was included in all of this. She’s our sister, and the door is always open, but it just wasn’t the right timing for her right now,” Roberts told the BBC. “We wish her well.”

Forget Hawking and Einstein — This Little Latina Has Their Genius IQs Beat

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Forget Hawking and Einstein — This Little Latina Has Their Genius IQs Beat

@PuenteLibre / Twitter

The Latinidad has been blessed with it’s fair share of geniuses. Carlos Juan Finlay, the Cuban physician who first linked yellow fever to mosquitoes, used his brains to save countless lives in the developing world. For American engineer Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina female astronaut, her genius took her all the way to the stars. Frida Kahlo, one of the most recognizable figures of the 20th century, used her genius with a paintbrush to create art that still resonates with viewers today. However, all of these people were definitely already adults when they were recognized for their gifts. The newest member to join their genius ranks is considerablly much younger.

Though she is just 8 years-old, Adhara Pérez already boasts a genius level I.Q. in the triple digits.

Twitter / @adn40

A native of Mexico City, Adhara has a measured I.Q. of 162. To put this into perspective, two of the worlds most famous geniuses, Albert Einstein and Stephan Hawking, each had an estimated I.Q. of 160. According to the “Yucatan Times,” the gifted Latina has already finished school, having passed elementary at 5 years-old and completing middle and high school by the age of 8. Adhara is now in the process of earning two degrees online, in industrial engineering in mathematics and in systems engineering respectively. She’s hoping to one day become an astronaut and colonize Mars.

Besides sailing through grade school in a quarter of the time it usually takes, the child prodigy has been busy with other projects. She has already written her first book, called “Don’t Give Up,” that tells her story of growing up as a girl genius. She has also appeared on several television talk shows and participated in different academic presentations involving space.

While her I.Q. is being celebrated now, it wasn’t recognized by her teachers and fellow students at first.

Twitter / @NMinutosMx

When Adhara was 3 years-old, she was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a condition that falls on the autism spectrum. One of the defining symptoms of the developmental disorder is difficulties with social interactions and relating to other people. It was around this time that Adhara was experiencing bullying from her classmates. According to the “Yucatan Times” the other students at school called the little genius names like “oddball” and “weirdo.”

Nallely Sanchez, Adhara’s mother, recalled seeing first hand the cruel treatment the other kids inflicted on her daughter.

“I saw that Adhara was playing in a little house and they locked her up. And they started to chant: ‘Oddball, weirdo!’ And then they started hitting the little house,” she told the “Yucatan Times.” “So I said, ‘I don’t want her to suffer.'”

At that tender age, the teasing already proved to have a horrible impact on young Adhara’s mental health.

Twitter / @marisolglzz

According to her interview with the “Yucatan Times,” Sanchez says that her daughter began to experience a “very deep depression” and no longer wanted to go to school. Adhara’s teachers told her mother that the unhappy student began sleeping in class and put no effort or interest into her classwork. This was obviously not for lack of understanding the work.

Sanchez knew that her daughter already had mastery over algebraic knowledge and the periodic table so she was sure that the problem Adhara was having wasn’t an academic one. She decided to seek a therapist for her daughter in hopes of helping her. A psychiatrist they visited recommended that the mother and daughter go to a local education assistance center for further testing. That’s when her genius I.Q. was identified and she began her quick transition through school.

While she was once bullied for being different, her extraordinary genius has gained her notoriety from fans all over the world.

Twitter / @aideefrescas

This year, Adhara was named one of “Forbes” Magazine’s 100 Mujeres Poderosas de México. She shares this honor with some majorly talented and powerful women such as Irene Espinosa (Deputy Governer of the Bank of Mexico), Alejandra Frausto (Secretary of Culture) and Yalitza Aparicio (the breakout star of “Roma.”)

Twitter has been sure to shower the little genius with lots of praise as well. Some Twitter users expressed that Adhara’s parents must be very proud of of their daughter while others pointed out that this is exactly the reason why we shouldn’t bully people who think and act differently than us.

For now, the future appears bright for this little genius. According to “Vogue México,” Adhara is currently developing a smart bracelet for children with developmental conditions that will monitor their emotions to anticipate and prevent issues. She is currently studying English in perpetration for entrance exams in the United States. The Latina hopes to one day attend University of Arizona to study astrophysics.