A passionate advocate for Black beauty, Christina Belleuve has created a platform that not only provides personalized beauty guides, but also addresses the unique challenges Black travelers face when exploring beauty and skincare in different countries. Belleuve, the creator of “Christina in Colour,” draws from her personal experience in Japan. Belleuve shares her journey and mission to empower Black travelers in their pursuit of beauty and self-care solutions around the world.
In this insightful conversation, Belleuve 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 Belleuve: 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 champion Black beauty. While working at L’Oreal, I realized the industry was not meeting the needs of Black consumers. I later earned a master’s degree in multicultural marketing and studied how the beauty industry reached Black women. After working with Procter & Gamble, I moved to Japan from 2018-2020 and gained a better understanding of the global challenges Black individuals face when searching for affordable beauty resources. My return to Canada was the birth of “Colored Christina,” which aims to help Black travelers find beauty solutions around the world.
TN: Can you share more about ‘Stay Beautiful in Every Country’ and its mission? How do you provide personalized beauty guides to travelers?
CB: “Stay Beautiful in Any Country” aims to provide personalized beauty guides for Black travelers. Inspired by beauty and travel guides, this book offers an all-in-one resource combining beauty, self-care, and culture-specific information for black travelers. The platform also provides one-on-one consultations that offer personalized beauty advice. Recommendations are based on extensive research, global brand knowledge, and my own experiences in the beauty industry and multicultural beauty marketing.
TN: “The Black Traveler’s Guide to Japanese Beauty” was your first beauty guide. What prompted you to create a guide specifically to 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 admiration for the country’s beauty culture. When faced with high shipping costs for beauty essentials, I realized there had to be more affordable and accessible ways to find quality local beauty products. I started attending trade shows [and] Compiling a list of recommended products and beauty destinations in Japan. The guide is not just a list of product recommendations. [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, especially for black travelers?
CB: Beauty and travel intersect as tools for empowerment and self-expression. Both offer opportunities for self-discovery and cultural discovery. They foster a stronger sense of self by teaching patience, resilience, and adaptability. Beauty serves as a gateway to understanding local cultures through beauty rituals, makeup trends and local ingredients. Travel experiences build resilience and cultural competence.
TN: What are the challenges black travelers may face when it comes to beauty and personal care in different countries? How does your work address these challenges?
CB: Black travelers often face unique beauty and self-care challenges. These include language barriers, navigating health regulations, finding suitable products, shipping delays, and adapting to local beauty standards. The emotional toll of isolation and culture shock can be challenging. “Christina in Colour” tackles these challenges by offering not only beauty advice 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 top tips or advice from your beauty guides that you believe TN readers should know when exploring beauty and skincare options in a foreign country?
CB: Key advice for Black travelers exploring beauty and skincare abroad includes being well prepared, familiar with the destination’s beauty scene, and being open to adventure. The guide provides a packaging matrix, simplifies research and encourages the adoption of new experiences.
TN: “Christina in Color” offers relocation coaching. How do you help Black travelers navigate the process of moving to new countries while emphasizing self-care and beauty?
CB: “Christina in Color” offers relocation coaching focused on “Staying Healthy” and “Staying Beautiful.” By addressing diet and lifestyle challenges, it provides strategies for maintaining physical and mental health during the relocation process. The platform also helps travelers find local beauty solutions that meet their unique needs.
TN: How do you bridge cultural differences and beauty practices to create guides that will resonate with different audiences?
CB: The content in the guides reflects lived experience and is tailored to a different audience. It bridges cultural differences and adapts beauty practices to meet individual needs. For example, it suggests alternatives when certain products are not readily available in a foreign country.
TN: Can you share a personal experience from your work that highlights the impact you had on their journey?
CB: One success story follows a young Black traveler who had reservations about moving to Japan. With the guidance and coaching of the guide, she gained self-confidence in caring for her hair and set out on her journey with a clear plan. These kinds of stories warm my heart, knowing that I make unfamiliar things feel like home for Black travelers.
TN: What’s on the horizon for “Christina in Colour” and “Stay Pretty in Any Country”? Are there any new projects or destinations you’re excited to explore in the future?
CB: The vision of “Colorful Christina” and “Stay Beautiful in Every Country” includes creating guides for more countries, including Canada and Germany. These guides will be expanded to include fashion, lifestyle advice and basic etiquette tips. The platform will also offer video content to enhance the travel experience.
This article has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.