Beauty therapist and licensed businesswoman Kareen Lamme has produced a much-talked-about documentary that makes viewers’ jaws drop. With a reputation for using her clients as muses and transforming them into her idea of art, she was challenged to create an image that represented the power and beauty of black women.
“What defines me as a powerful and entrepreneurial woman in the makeup industry is my ability to create, my creativity and my artistry. I mean that in a broad sense, as an artist, singer, dancer and actress, and through my creativity, I can convey the message of strength, confidence and feminism, which I think is not always [at] the forefront for young people, especially girls,” said Lamme The Sunday Picker.
Inspired by the ‘Stand Up’ challenge circulating on TikTok, which featured the Cynthia Enviro single of the same name from the new biopic. Harriet, set out to attract a wider audience to her organic skincare and beauty brand Būtē Cosmetics, founded six years ago, and “kill two birds with one stone” by also adding a history lesson. Like the film, which chronicles the life and work of African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman, Lamme’s production, titled Powerful Black Women, chronicles the contribution of various names in Jamaican history, including Jamaica’s only heroine, Nanny of the Maroons, noted poet and activist Louise Bennett-Coverley, and the first female Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller.
The makeup artist shared that she didn’t expect the short video to create such a stir on social media, but she knew it would have a “relevant impact” on the message she was adding to what was already a popular trend.
She said: “The idea was, regardless of the awareness I was raising, I had to represent Brand Jamaica and educate outsiders about our culture. Music and sports have given us a lot of publicity, but how much of our history do people know in terms of what is attributed to our black women? It was the right time for me to do this.”
A self-confessed “history junkie”, Lamme realised, after listing the women in Jamaican history who were influential to her, that she needed to add other revolutionary moments in black history where women had contributed to unparalleled change. From Harriet Tubman and Rosa Parks; Suzanne Sanité Bélair, a Haitian revolutionary and lieutenant of South African singer Zensi Miriam Makeba, widely known as Mama Afrika, was featured prominently in the video.
“When you think about the song and how powerful it is, it was meant to incorporate other female icons. At first I was going to do looks for men, but based on the response and reaction of the viewers, not to mention the suggestions or requests… totaling more than 4,000 comments, I had to do a second part, and now I’m working on it. in a third party,” she said. “Compared to the male figures documented in our history, there aren’t many women, I’m not saying there aren’t, because every day another woman is making an impact, and they deserve to be remembered and highlighted.”
Female empowerment is a core value of Būtē Cosmetics. What is most impressive is that through the brand, Lamme, who has been practicing for over 10 years, writes her own story of success and change by being one of the few pioneers locally to manufacture an organic skincare line. of skin, beauty and cosmetics using materials grown in Jamaica, aloe vera and natural oils extracted from plants and minerals. With a background in chemistry, she buried her initial doubts, did the necessary research, and established a laboratory in Montego Bay, St. James, where she resides.
“People of color, especially women, are always looking for products that offer benefits for their skin. I know, my career as an artist motivated me to develop makeup that I could wear without the ill effects of wearing makeup on a daily basis, such as eczema, which had become a major burden on my skin. That’s why our tagline is ‘Makeup that thinks it’s skincare,’” she said.
“Being an illustrative artist has given me the edge in many areas that also involve color matching and custom matching a varying spectrum of skin tones when developing pigmented product formulations to answer all of my clients’ needs. The brand continues to grow and contribute to the up-and-coming beauty industry,” continued Lamme.