Esi Eggleston Bracey on Skin Care Advances for Black and Brown Skin

With beauty credentials like helping revamp the iconic CoverGirl brand and shepherd companies like Suave and Dove, Esi Eggleston Bracey has already had a huge influence on your beauty and skincare routines (probably without you even knowing yourself. report it). As the Executive Vice President and COO for North America for Beauty and Personal Care of multinational consumer goods company Unilever, she is the literal definition of a beauty boss, with previous (and equally powerful) passages at Coty and Procter & Gamble. Not to mention that she is also the co-founder of MELÉ Skincare and that she is proud to be a champion of black and brunette women in the field of beauty: a role that she started over thirty years ago. when it entered brand management and marketing.

She keeps her mission to support black women in beauty as a member of the selection committee of the Future Stylists Fund of TRESemmé this year. For the second year in a row, the legendary hair brand is offering ten black hairstylists the chance to receive $ 10,000 to help offset the high cost of cosmetology school tuition, as well as mentorship and opportunities. “It is important to me that we are truly representative in our representation and our work in the beauty industry, and this is not possible without bringing diverse talents into the industry, increasing representation both in front and in behind the camera and the styling chair and do what we can, use our influence to achieve equity for black women, ”Eggleston Bracy told TZR.

While TRESemmé isn’t the only brand doing this crucial work, it is one of the most influential and is now a leader in the continuing (and vital) evolution of brand demands to earn the trust of consumers. “People today want products to go beyond simple work,” says Eggleston Bracey. “People want to be valued for being more than consumers, before trusting this brand. In fact, people want brands to go beyond their own needs and focus on ‘us’.

Here Eggleston Bracey explains why supporting black hairstylists is good for the beauty industry, her personal beauty and well-being. routine, which keeps her hoping for beauty right now, and more.

What does your day-to-day look like as you balance your leadership role at Unilever with your position as co-founder of MELĒ Skincare?

Our mission at Unilever is to be the beauty and personal care company that has the most positive impact on people, communities and the planet. We call it positive beauty and we focus on that at the company and brand level. It drives our day-to-day work and has been part of our branding strategies from the start.

I’m proud of our work on MELĒ which is designed to give melanin rich skin the attention it deserves by providing more fairness in skin care because so many products don’t think of melanin. I balance my time between my portfolio of beauty brands like TRESemmé, Dove, Vaseline and Shea Moisture, as well as MELĒ. I’m excited to be able to bring my decades of industry experience to addressing inequalities and making a positive impact.

Courtesy of MELĒ Skincare

Why is scientific knowledge about black and brunette women’s skin crucial to the beauty industry, the products it offers, and how it has evolved?

The demographic changes in the United States are unequivocal, and in many places and age groups black and brown communities are in the majority. At Unilever, we believe in a shift from a “consumer-centric” – or caring primarily about how people consume products and services – to a “people-centric”, or caring about the person in the world. as a whole, our humanity, our lives, our communities, our planet. This includes understanding the personalized needs of melanin-rich skin and textured hair, and how women of color want to appear in the world.

What triumphs and accomplishments have you both seen and achieved over the past year that have made you more optimistic about the future of beauty?

Unilever is deeply committed to ending beauty discrimination and standing up for inclusion. We are making tangible progress every day, and Dove’s work to eliminate race-based hair discrimination is a clear example. Dove co-founded the CROWN Coalition (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) in 2019 in support of the CROWN Act. Thanks to our efforts, the CROWN Act (or legislation based on it) has been passed in 14 states, making it illegal to deny children access to school or anyone else because of their hair style. textured like braid, locs, bantu knots etc.

I am proud of this progress and was grateful to have been present for his signings in California and Colorado. But we still have work to do to get the CROWN law passed nationwide. You can support this by signing the CROWN Act petition on thecrownact.com. We have over 325,000 signatures and are striving to get 500,000 this year to move our efforts forward.

Presley Ann / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

What do you think are the implications for black hairdressers if they are better supported financially, as well as by mentoring?

We know that black women are under-represented and receive fewer tools, resources and support to advance their professional ambitions. The Future Stylists Fund is just one way TRESemmé can provide a long-term solution that specifically and intentionally supports black women by not only helping offset costs for cosmetology schools that may prevent them from continuing their career. ambitions, but also providing them with experiences and exposure that lead to career advancement and networking opportunities, especially putting them in touch with other black women in the industry.

While the monetary reward helps these women overcome socio-economic barriers, the mentorship enables them to foster long-term relationships and meaningful career growth. This past September, we brought our inaugural class of aspiring stylists to New York Fashion Week to take a behind-the-scenes look at how hairdressing works in the fashion industry, and to receive master classes and valuable business advice from the from our hairdressers TRESemmé, Lacy Redway and Nai. ‘vasha.

Tell me about your personal beauty routine, the products you love, and how you’ve been approaching personal care lately.

I practice Japanese hydrotherapy, which involves starting your day by drinking a liter of room temperature water before you eat anything. I love the foam and care of Dove Body Washes. I use a range depending on my mood, but my last favorite is the Care & Protect Antibacterial version. It’s so nourishing and I love that it’s antibacterial. I also focus on caring for my scalp with oil and deep conditioning my hair. I love Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner and I like replacing it with TRESemmé Pro Pure Curl Define Sulfate Free Shampoo and Conditioner.

For me, taking care of yourself is about saving my energy and taking time out for physical and mental recovery and reflection. I like to practice breathing, inhaling and exhaling deeply, if only for two minutes between meetings. I recently took an amazing two weeks vacation where I completely took a break from work and spent time with close friends. I did yoga every other day, snorkeled, enjoyed snorkeling, and went on amazing hikes. The theme was retreat, liberation, restoration and renewal. It is my self-care.

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