Photography via iStock/Delmaine Donson

This Week’s Need-to-Know Beauty News

A bill banning hair discrimination in the State of New York, a makeup-free round at Miss England 2019, a major recall from Neutrogena, and more news you need

Hair Discrimination Is Now Illegal in the State of New York

New York has followed in the progressive footsteps of California, becoming the country’s second state to pass legislation making hair discrimination illegal. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill this week, effectively strengthening existing civil rights laws to ban race-based discrimination against natural hairstyles. “For much of our nation’s history, people of colour—particularly women—have been marginalized and discriminated against simply because of their hair style or texture,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By signing this bill into law, we are taking an important step toward correcting that history and ensuring people of colour are protected from all forms of discrimination.” The bill amends section 292 of the Human Rights Law and section 11 of the Dignity for All Students Act to extend the definition of race to cover “traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to hair texture and protective hairstyles.” California became the first state to pass legislation against hair discrimination, signing the CROWN (Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair) Act—which has been championed by Dove—into law earlier this month.

Miss England Pageant Has Introduces Makeup-Free Round

While beauty pageants that pit women against one another, judged primarily on physical attractiveness, may not be the epicentre of progressivism, there is some movement in the right direction. UK-based beauty competition Miss England announced this week the addition of a makeup-free round in the 2019 edition of the pageant, a move conceived of by founder Angie Beasley. “Recently we have been shocked to see Miss England contestants as young as 19 undergoing lip filler treatments and even Botox, and so many entering with full faces of thick makeup covering their natural beauty,” Beasley told the Telegraph. “We tell the girls they don’t need fillers, fake eyelashes and tattooed brows to enter our contest, but it just shows what a damaging effect edited social media images can have on young women’s self-esteem and mental health.” One contestant, Bhasha Mukherjee took to Instagram to share her thoughts on the move, plus a makeup-free photo. “Makeup is a means of enhancement but how often do the lines get blurred between enhancement and concealment,” Mukherjee wrote. “It’s just easier to blend into the crowd than own your flaws forgetting that it’s these that make you you. So here I am owning my flaws. My imperfect skin. My short sparse eye lashes and brows. No filter. No enhancement. No Photoshop.”

Photography courtesy of Neutrogena

Neutrogena Recalls Light Therapy Masks

Neutrogena has issued a recall for their blue and red light-emitting Light Therapy Mask and Activator, which was targeted to acne sufferers as a means to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation. “Our decision to recall this product is being made out of an abundance of caution,” the brand said in a statement. “For a small subset of the population with certain underlying eye conditions, as well as for users taking medications which could enhance ocular photosensitivity, there is a theoretical risk of eye injury.” The mask, first released in late 2016, was a popular seller—one of the more affordably priced options in the category of at-home light masks—and was awarded in Allure Magazine’s 2017 Best of Beauty list under Best Skin Care Devices.

Nars Celebrates 20 Years of Orgasm—And Plans a Fall Fragrance Launch

Nars fans will be pleased with the latest bit of news from the brand: the cosmetics company has announced that it will be expanding into the fragrance department, reports Business of Fashion, with a launch planned for early fall. The scent will be a first for the storied makeup brand, which was founded in 1994. It’s a move other makeup brands have made in recent years, including Bobbi Brown with Beach and Charlotte Tilbury with Scent of a Dream. No details have been divulged yet on what the scent will smell like, but founder and creative director François Nars does own a private island in Bora Bora, so a good guess might be something akin to their Tahitian Monoï Oil. The brand is also celebrating 20 years of their now-iconic Orgasm line. “Looking back, I think the combination of its audacious name and its universally flattering shade made it so popular,” Nars has said of the line. “Even grandmothers like Orgasm.”