Kimberly Taylor Gindi is not only our Beauty Diary muse, but a celebrated designer who launched an eponymous clothing line and is now working on her fine jewelry collection, Blac Diamond. In this week’s Beauty Adventure, Kim tells us all about beauty in Brooklyn.
When I was growing up in Brooklyn, you never said you were from “Brooklyn.” You said “NYC.” It didn’t seem like there was a big difference. The truth is, though, I was a bridge-and-tunnel girl.
When I began attending NYU and interning for Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga and Teen Vogue, I still had a typical Brooklyn beauty routine. Every Friday, I got my blowout and French Manicure, and I didn’t leave home without my lip liner. It was a way to belong and fit in. Little did I know, these trends had never made it over the bridge.
In Brooklyn, for your sixteenth birthday, you would get makeup lessons and a bag filled with cosmetics, and share the same passion for plum lip liner with baby pink gloss.
One day, one of my best friends looked at my lip liner and just wiped it off of my face. In this dramatic gesture she made me realize that my beauty look made me an outcast in NYC. I never wear lip liner anymore, even if it’s the same color, not even when the person doing my make-up swears that it will completely blend in my lipstick – it just makes me paranoid.
Up until recently, I’ve done my best to try to fit with my beauty look. I went to Zurich last month and put very low-profile nail polish on, as European women generally a laid back style. When I got there, all of the girls had blue nails! I realized you can never ensure that your look will fit in, so you should just be yourself and do what you like.
I have a lot of respect for the women in Brooklyn. They really take care of their appearance, from regular mani-pedis to Keratin treatments. I don’t find it shallow – for me, it’s a sign that a woman respects herself and her appearance. Even the men in Brooklyn are very well groomed. I know men that are always in a suit and tie, and they really believe that “the way you carry yourself reflects on the world around you.”
From the day that my friend wiped off my lip liner at 18, the beauty world as I knew it shattered. It was only okay in Brooklyn. It was Brooklyn’s look, not New York’s, not America’s, not the world’s. I’ve been trying to get my mom to leave these BK trends in the past, but she doesn’t listen!
To that, I would still say to each their own. Be yourself, express your beauty, but make sure that, no matter what your look is, it’s done well!