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'Talk about things important to people who look like me' | Makeup artist uses Instagram to promote Black businesses

Teenager Lauren Brown's family history has shaped her own brand of activism.

WASHINGTON — The Black Lives Matter movement has sparked activism in countless young people across the country. But not everyone is taking their fight to the front lines. One local makeup artist is following her family’s history of activism, but stepping out to support Black businesses in her own colorful way.

“I draw you in because I'm like, ‘hey, look at this eyeshadow,’ but then I’m like ‘well also, you know, support these causes,'" Lauren Brown said. "Welcome to my party. At my party, we're going to talk about things that are important to me, and for people who look like me.”

Brown’s 137,000 Instagram followers know her as Raggedy Royal. Her page is filled with her unique and colorful creations, but there’s a message in her makeup: support Black businesses.   

Brown just partnered with Black-owned lash line, Lashscoop, to launch her own collection and sold out within hours.

Brown is an 18-year-old rising Junior at Howard University, the daughter of former DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown and the granddaughter of the late Marshall Brown, who was a Civil Rights activist turned D.C. politician. 

She said lessons from home and school have shaped her own brand of activism and helped her make the most of her social media platform to elevate Black business. 

“Being in my family, being a Brown, and then also going to an HBCU really taught me to just unite with the people around you, support the people around you, and help in a way that you can," Brown said. "Always speak up for yourself and for others." 

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