As a passionate advocate for Black beauty, Christina Bellevue has created a platform that not only provides personalized beauty guides but also addresses the unique challenges faced by Black travelers when exploring beauty and skincare in different countries. The creator of “Christina in Color,” Bellevue draws from her personal experience in Japan. Bellevue shares her journey and mission to empower Black travelers in their pursuit of beauty and self-care solutions worldwide.
In this enlightening conversation, Bellevue reveals insights, success stories, and future plans for her growing brand.
Travel Noire: What inspired you to become a global advocate for Black beauty?
Christina Bellevue: Growing up as a Black woman in a predominantly Caucasian, French-Canadian town, I witnessed the challenges of finding beauty products that matched my skin tone. This inspired me to advocate for Black beauty. While working at L’Oreal, I noticed the industry was not meeting the needs of Black consumers. I later pursued a master’s degree in multicultural marketing, studying how the beauty industry reached out to Black women. After working with Procter & Gamble, I moved to Japan from 2018-2020, further understanding the global challenges Black individuals face when seeking suitable beauty resources. My return to Canada marked the birth of “Christina in Color,” aimed at helping Black travelers find beauty solutions worldwide.
TN: Can you share more about ‘Stay Pretty in Any Country’ and its mission? How do you provide personalized beauty guides for travelers?
CB: “Stay Pretty in Any Country” aims to provide personalized beauty guides for Black travelers. Drawing inspiration from beauty and travel guides, it offers an all-in-one resource that combines beauty, self-care, and culture-specific insights for Black travelers. Additionally, the platform provides one-on-one consultations, offering customized beauty advice. The recommendations are based on extensive research, global brand knowledge, and my own experiences in the beauty industry and multicultural beauty marketing.
TN: “A Black Traveler’s Guide to Japanese Beauty” was your first beauty guide. What motivated you to create a guide specifically for Japan, and what unique insights can Black travelers gain from it?
CB: My journey in Japan inspired the creation of this guide. I extended my stay in Japan because of my fascination with the country’s beauty culture. Faced with high shipping costs for essential beauty products, I realized there had to be more affordable and accessible ways to find quality, local beauty products. I began attending trade shows [and] compiling lists of recommended products and beauty destinations in Japan. The guide is not only a product recommendation list. [It] also provides insights into the Japanese beauty scene, local beauty standards, and shopping tips for Black travelers.
TN: How do you see the intersection of beauty and travel, particularly for Black travelers?
CB: Beauty and travel intersect as tools for empowerment and self-expression. Both offer opportunities for self-discovery and cultural exploration. They teach patience, resilience, and adaptability, fostering a stronger sense of self. Beauty serves as a gateway to understanding local cultures through beauty rituals, makeup trends, and native ingredients. Travel experiences build resilience and cultural competence.
TN: What are some of the challenges Black travelers may face when it comes to beauty and self-care in different countries? How does your work address these challenges?
CB: Black travelers often encounter unique challenges concerning beauty and self-care. These include language barriers, navigating health regulations, sourcing suitable products, delays in shipments, and adjusting to local beauty standards. The emotional toll of isolation and culture shock can be challenging. “Christina in Color” addresses these challenges by offering not only beauty recommendations but also health and well-being tips. It emphasizes the importance of community by providing resources to connect Black travelers with the local Black diaspora.
TN: What are some key tips or recommendations from your beauty guides that you believe TN readers should know when exploring beauty and skincare options in a foreign country?
CB: Key recommendations for Black travelers exploring beauty and skincare abroad include being well-prepared, familiarizing oneself with the destination’s beauty scene, and being open to adventure. The guide offers a packing matrix, simplifies research, and encourages embracing new experiences.
TN: “Christina in Color” offers relocation coaching. How do you help Black travelers navigate the process of relocating to new countries while emphasizing self-care and beauty?
CB: “Christina in Color” offers relocation coaching that focuses on “Stay Healthy” and “Stay Pretty.” It provides strategies for maintaining physical and mental health during the relocation process, addressing challenges related to diet and lifestyle. The platform also helps travelers find local beauty solutions that cater to their unique needs.
TN: How do you bridge cultural differences and beauty practices to create guides that resonate with a diverse audience of travelers?
CB: The content in the guides reflects lived experiences and is tailored for a diverse audience. It bridges cultural differences and adapts beauty practices to meet individual needs. For example, it suggests alternatives when specific products are not readily available in a foreign country.
TN: Can you share a personal experience from your work that highlights the impact you’ve had on their journeys?
CB: One success story involves a young Black traveler who had reservations about moving to Japan. With guidance from the guide and coaching, she gained confidence in maintaining her hair and embarked on her journey with a clear plan. Such stories warm my heart, knowing I’ve made the unfamiliar feel like home for Black travelers.
TN: What’s on the horizon for “Christina in Color” and “Stay Pretty in Any Country?” Are there new projects or destinations you’re excited to explore in the future?
CB: The vision for “Christina in Color” and “Stay Pretty in Any Country” involves creating guides for more countries, including Canada and Germany. These guides will expand to include fashion, lifestyle recommendations, and essential etiquette tips. The platform will also introduce video content to enhance the travel experience.
This article has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.