A few years ago I was at Coachella, buying overpriced, under-seasoned food from a vendor who was particularly kind. Par for the course, all of these events are dominated by Square payments that provide the oh-so-convenient option to tip your gracious server. Oftentimes, the transaction is so quick, you’re wondering if you should even tip at all.
But in this case, I wanted to tip her. Since there wasn’t a homemade, pun-emblazoned tip jar present (most of these events are cashless), I hovered my finger over the 15%, 20%, and even 25% options before she stopped me. She informed me that she actually didn’t receive any of the money from those tips — they just gave the vendor more money.
While I can’t prove this is the case everywhere, or even if she truly knew this as fact, it was enough for me to be wary. I mean, why is there the option to tip the person who is simply giving you merch at concerts? I don’t normally tip the cashier at the mall…
Nonetheless, you feel like an awful person for not tipping when you’re prompted. The cashier is standing right in front of you, watching you sweat. And the person behind you in line is probably judging you, too. You so badly want to select the “Other” option and punch in a quick, cheaper tip…but what would this total stranger think?
Our culture is so accustomed to tipping that I went to the nail salon to get my eyebrows waxed through ClassPass — a monthly subscription where I can book wellness classes of any sort. Since I 'd technically prepaid, I decided to leave my wallet behind. Big mistake.
The woman at the counter refused to let me leave the establishment until I tipped, even though I insisted that I didn’t have my wallet on me. I had to go home and come back, saturated in embarrassment. While tipping is a way that most servers and stylists make a good amount of cash, my $2 tip on my $10 eyebrow wax is not worth my public humiliation.
Believe me, I’m all for tipping your drivers and servers, but there are times when you wonder: how much is too much? And, when the Square is flipped my way, why are the tip options so outrageous?
Recently at a Brooklyn Mirage event, where two double-vodka sodas cost $100, I noticed that not only were the drinks criminally expensive, but the tipping options were designed to take advantage of drunk people.
When you’ve had a few drinks, it’s easier to just click buttons and spend money. You’re not thinking straight, and neither is your bank account. After a few espresso martinis, I believe I'm Oprah! I get a drink, you get a drink, you get a drink, and even you, person I just met, get. A. Drink!
But that doesn’t mean you need to tip an egregious amount each time you order a drink when you go to a show or the stadium — even if they’re trying to make you think you should.
It’s Called Tipflation.
Sam Dan Truong via Unsplash
Back in August, Forbes showed us the following facts: “A recent survey by Bankrate found that roughly 66% of Americans have a negative view of tipping. Around 30% of respondents think that tipping culture is “out of control,” with more companies encouraging customers to tip at their counters than ever before. Patrons find the pre-entered tip screens aggravating (32%) and think businesses should pay their employees more rather than rely on gratuity (41%).”
The digitized payment method can be tricky. Your tip options can exceed 30%, with no option to give a custom tip. 75% of remote food and beverage transactions are now accompanied by encouragements to tip.
Forbes says it’s partially due to the pandemic, where we started tipping more simply to show support for restaurants and their workers for staying open. However, when the pandemic ended and everywhere re-opened, that tipflation stayed.
With the rise of the Square digital payment method, we are forced to think about tipping for counter service. If you think back, before the pandemic, we were still a 15-20% tipping culture for those providing us a service. But now, it’s more than that.
Do we tip our bartenders 20% for every single drink? Do we tip the girl who hands us our coffee every time? What is the correct way to tip?
What Should We Be Tipping?
Blake Wisz via Unsplash
If you’re happy with the service, give them a tip! It’s still customary to tip your server and the person who did your hair or your nails — basically, anyone who provided you with some sort of service. But it gets trickier when you’re at an event with all digitized payment methods.
You don’t need to tip the people at stadiums every single time, or when you’re at a festival. If you do feel obligated to tip, give what you can. You don’t need to choose the options provided, just look for “Other” or use cash.
Again, tipping is a way of showing gratitude for the service provided. If you are extremely unhappy with your service, you don’t have to tip. Whatever you’re able to give will be appreciated.
We live in a world where most celebrities have multiple business endeavors going besides what made them famous. Well known socialites are no longer just party-goers in ballgowns, but have now taken on the term “influencer” and drape themselves in brand deals before being photographed.
And maybe being a public spectacle becomes so uninspiring that it inspires some of the most viral, successful brands we know today. While I surely don’t have the answers for what makes these celebrities tick, I do know that some of them know how to hone in their PR skills and outreach for the greater good.
Gwyneth Paltrow may have a borderline laughable take on many holistic health tips, where bone broth is her “lunch” of choice…but her wellness and lifestyle brand, Goop, has been preaching a healthier lifestyle since 2008. Clearly something is working.
In similar taste, you may loathe the Kar-Jenner clan, but you can’t deny their hustle for a check. These women dictate trends whether we want to admit it or not, and Kris Jenner molded them into a PR dream. Dominating brands like Kendall Jenner’s 818 Tequila, Kylie Jenner’s Khy and Kylie Cosmetics, Kim’s Skims and Skkn, Khloe Kardashian’s Good American denim, and Kourtney’s Poosh and Lemme, are all successful in their own right.
You have to give credit where credit is due. We celebrate all nepo babies and public figures alike whose brands actually aren’t just immediate grabs for our paychecks…but both set trends and are high quality.
Not every celeb brand is worth it, but you’ve gotta give it these girl bosses who are paving the way! Here are some of our picks:
Kate Hudson- Fabletics
Kate Hudson for Fabletics
Kate Hudson is by no means the founder of Fabletics…but when the brand opened with a celebrity line featuring the model and actress, it was such a success that she signed on and owns 20% of the company. There would be no Fabletics without the design and power of Kate Hudson, and she continues to be the face of the company.
When the brand expanded to menswear in 2020, they added Kevin Hart as both an investor and face. Again, an example of a brand that knows how to market to their audiences and is curated by celebrities who listen.
Kim Kardashian- Skims
Kim Kardashian for Skims
No brand has changed the way the world views shapewear like Skims. Sure, Spanx made shapewear accessible…but Skims made it trendy. It’s no longer embarrassing to wear shapewear, it’s cool and sexy and can be worn by itself.
With consistent, trend-setting drops and viral products like the Sculpting Bodysuit, Nipple Bra (yes, you read that right), and the Cotton Jersey T-Shirt that makes you justify $48 for a basic tee (and it’s worth it every time). Often imitated, but never duplicated, Skims will continue to set the bar high.
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen- The Row
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for WSJ
Ethan James Green for WSJ
Mary-Kate and Ashley are the faces of our childhood from Full House to Passport to Paris to New York Minute. They evolved from our on-screen sweethearts into trendsetting fashionistas. Founded in 2006, The Row offers ready-to-wear luxury items that are both timeless and versatile.
The idea was born from Ashley, who made it her mission to create the perfect tee. Thus, the Olsen twins created a seven piece collection that was immediately snatched up by Barney’s New York.
Since then, celebrities have sought after the capsule collection magic that the Olsen twins created…but The Row was the blueprint.
Rihanna- Fenty Beauty
Rihanna's Fenty Beauty
Fenty Beauty, LVMH
Before Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, most beauty brands did not carry more than 10 shades of foundation. That means that you had to fall within 10 skin shades, and there were barely any options for people of color, or else your makeup didn’t really match that well…enter Ri-Ri, who quite literally changes the game.
Fenty Beauty has expanded to 50 shades of foundation, but originally offered 40, in the most inclusive makeup brand on the market. Since then, other makeup brands have made an effort to include all skin tones in their shade ranges.
Her products are always going viral in the best way, and if it’s good enough for Rihanna, it’s good enough for me.
Hailey Bieber- rhode skin
Hailey Bieber for rhode
Supermodel Hailey Bieber is the queen of recommendations. She’s the one who launched Kosas into relevancy by pushing their Revealer Concealer as her favorite. When she launched skincare brand, rhode skin, it was over.
The Peptide Lip Treatments are viral for a reason: adding a glossy look to your lips without being sticky, and containing hydrating ingredients and yummy scents that made for your perfect chapstick or lip balm.
Since then, she’s expanded with a full skincare routine and tinted lip balms, with more certainly on the way. Her products are worth the splurge, and continue to have the It Factor that keep people coming back.
I hate to admit it, but it’s getting embarrassing. It = my financial state.
I’m still young, even according to Leonardo DiCaprio standards, and I’ve been using that as an excuse to prioritize fun and keep putting off saving. However, with the cost of living crisis, rising inflation rates, and my minor shopping addiction, I’m starting to get more than a little stressed out when I look at my bank account.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in major credit debt — though many Americans are, and we should eradicate the stigma and shame around debt — but I also don’t have much saved in the bank. I pay my rent, I splurge on fun, and when it comes to planning a vacation I can tuck away some cash, but after that vacation passes, I’m always pretty skint.
My only comfort has been that most people I know are in the same boat. As of November, 62% of adults said they are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent LendingClub report. Even people making over six figures report that their spending habits often surpass their saving habits. But is there any other way?
One of my New Year's Resolutions was to save up an emergency fund. All the TikTok financial gurus tell me that it's imperative to have a cushion in case anything goes awry. Usually, this cushion should be about 3-6 months of liquid cash saved in a high-yield savings account. And since I believe everything I hear on TikTok, I have made it my mission to reach this milestone.
And, diligently like the Capricorn-cusp I am, I made a list, checked it twice, and broke down how much I would need to save per paycheck to reach this goal. Then, I automated the payments to be taken out of my bank account automatically so I could set and forget it. Surprisingly … it felt good. I began to wonder, what else could I do to level up my finances. Would they also imbue me with the satisfaction of planning for my future like an actual adult?
Naturally, I turned back to TikTok. As everyone is in the New Year’s spirit, I found myself inundated with the idea of a financial reset. I love a reset video — from the pantry cleanouts to Sunday clean-ups — so I was intrigued.
Basically, a financial reset helps you get a big-picture view of where your finances are. It’s a chance to look at where you are, rip off the bandaid, and be honest about how much money you have, how much you made, and how much you spent. Then, it encourages you to get organized.In the spirit of getting my life together like an adult, I’m partaking in this trend to relearn the basics and put into practice all the techniques I always thought I’d use someday. Someday is today. And this is how I’m doing it.
how to do a 2024 money reset so you can hit your goals 🏼 you can download the income/expense tracker template shown in this video in my link in bio! (over 500 happy customers and counting 💗) and let me know what your (finance) goals are for 2024 below! #moneygoals #2024goals #newyearsresolution #resolutionunlocked #personalfinance #finance101 #money #career #goalsetting
Review and reflect:
Ever get a jumpscare notification telling you your account is overdrawn? Manifesting no more of those in our futures. The first step to avoiding negative surprises is understanding and tracking where your money goes. If you feel like it literally just disappears from your bank account, try a tracking app that categorizes your spending. You can also use a manual budget template to really hammer home each and every purchase. Look at all your accounts. Then reflect on your spending. Does it match with your goals? Does it align with your values? How many purchases did you forget or regret? These will help you with the next step.
Set clear goals
This might be counterintuitive, but your goal doesn’t always have to be some vague “spend less” and “cook more at home.” Look at your lifestyle, then think about your dream lifestyle. Meet yourself in the middle. How can you use money to level up your life now — from going to the spa to eating healthier? What sacrifices can you make to funnel your money into things you don’t care about? Personally, I value eating out at restaurants, but I’m willing to give up a cocktail with dinner to save a couple of dollars while I’m there. Align your goals to your life so you won’t feel like you’re cheating on them. Now it’s time to set yourself up for success in reaching your goals.
2024 money reset 🏼 taking the week to get organized and review my cashflow! i’ve been spending december trying to organize everything (aside from my budget obv) into a notion planner and it’s not done yet but im obsessed with how it’s coming out #2024reset #newyearsresolution #personalfinanceforwomen
When you went through your bank statements, how long did it take? How many bank accounts, credit cards, and apps do you have? I have more than my fair share and they used to be a mess. So a key step for me is organizing all my income and spending into one place. I use apps to link my financial institutions so I can see where my money is going. You can also consolidate bank accounts into one that does it all. You want to make it easy for yourself — don’t let inconvenient banking stand in the way of your goals.
Make a bill calendar. This can be as simple as writing “payday” and “bill” on your phone calendar, or as complex as scheduling all your payment dates, investment transfers, and paychecks. Whatever works for you, as long as you can see it. Then, make sure all your bills are automated so your credit score doesn’t get dinged for a missed payment. You can even use this time to negotiate some of your bills — we could all probably be paying less for the internet that always freezes on Zoom calls.
Reallocate extra money
Now that you’re resolved to spend more in alignment, where is the extra money going? The cash you would’ve spent on fast fashion or subpar food delivery is suddenly free to go anywhere. You can spend it on something you value more, or you can tuck it away. When you’re paying off debt, for example, every penny helps. The same is true for investing and saving. Mine is going into an Emergency Fund. Yours could go towards your dream house or a future Sofia Richie-inspired wedding (even if you don’t have a partner yet). Dealer’s choice. It’s your life, and it’s your money. There are no wrong options.
Keep it up
Now you have an organized system, keep checking it. Not all the time, you don’t want to be the person opening up their banking app at the club, but enough to feel confident about your progress.
Oh, how far we’ve come! Recently, it was revealed that — finally! — women CEOs at Fortune 500 companies outnumber male CEOs named John. A dubious milestone, but it's something to celebrate.
Though women have come pretty far in society, the progress we've made is far from enough. From the pay gap to daily microaggressions, it’s still obvious that women are treated as lesser than in society. This is especially clear when you look at how few female-founded businesses there are.
According to Rolling Stone, it’s crucial to support female-owned businesses. They report: “While it is true that the different experiences and backgrounds that women and men have undoubtedly affect business approaches, this is actually a good thing. A business with diverse perspectives is an innovative business that can actually push the boundaries of industries.” Like with any other social justice cause, uplifting marginalized folks is good for everyone involved. We all benefit from the increased, diverse worldviews brought about by representation.
The article continues: “Having a gender-diverse business yields better consumer insight, and in turn, a more profitable business. Back in 2015, McKinsey & Company found businesses that were more gender-diverse were likely to outperform approximately 15 percent above the industry median. Years later in 2020, they found that the percentage had increased to 25 percent.”
Therefore, even if we aren’t focused on all the social and political reasons to uplift female entrepreneurs, it’s better for everyone’s bottom line if we do.
Yet, despite this oft-proven reality, archaic stereotypes and oppressive systems stand in the way of progress in every sector. An article in Business News Daily outlines some of the obstacles women face as entrepreneurs. The number one hurdle they face? Social expectations.
The article advises that in order to beat this imposter syndrome, female founders should stick to their guns rather than trying to conform. “Women may feel as though they need to adopt a stereotypically "male" attitude toward business: competitive, aggressive, and sometimes harsh. But successful female CEOs believe that remaining true to yourself and finding your own voice are the keys to rising above preconceived expectations.”
But often, women are told their lack of professional advancement is their fault. You’re too shy. You’re not assertive enough. You need to ask for what you want. Otherwise, how do you expect to get it?
However, despite this refrain, it’s actually not their own fault. This scapegoating convinces ambitious women that if their careers are stifled, it’s their fault. This causes imposter syndrome, lack of representation, and real industry consequences.
According to BND, “Raising capital is even more difficult for women-owned businesses. A 2014 Babson College report found that less than 3% of companies with venture capital funding had female CEOs … venture capitalists tend to invest in startups run by people of their own ‘tribe.’”
Other things that get in the way of women climbing the ladder to success include: struggling to be taken seriously, owning their accomplishments, building a support network, balancing business and family life, and coping with the fear of failure.
These are real, tangible barriers that most female entrepreneurs face. The women who have succeeded should be celebrated — and this month is the perfect one to do so. Luckily for us, we can vote with our dollars, supporting the businesses we love so that there can be more like-minded companies out there in the world.
Here are some of my favorite female-owned brands to support in the pursuit of equality:
Taunt Dedtergent by DedCool
DedCool was founded by Carina Chaz in 2016 inspired by her passion for fragrance, masculine scents, and clean ingredients. The Gen-Z fragrance and lifestyle brand puts the fun in functional. DedCool is on a mission to reimagine scent by breaking down luxury fragrances and translating functional scents throughout our everyday life from our clothes, bathrooms, bedrooms to even our cars. Their offerings include room/linen sprays, car fresheners, and their signature laundry detergents.
DedCool’s hero product is the viral favorite Dedtergent ($35) — a new take on a classic staple. Your clothes will smell good, feel good, and look good with a wash from this eco-friendly, non-toxic, biodegradable alternative naturally sourced from plant materials. Not to mention the addictive, perfume-inspired scents.
Brighter not Lighter Set by EADEM
EADEM is a clean beauty brand centered around women of color and their beauty needs for bare-skin confidence. Co-founders Marie Kouadio Amouzame and Alice Lin Glover started the brand to cater to BIPOC skin. Their products make space for skincare designed for people of color. EADEM is redefining beauty standards and challenging the industry to push beyond tokenism.
Together with an industry-leading dermatologist, the EADEM team is pioneering Smart Melanin Beauty: combining science-backed ingredients and heritage botanicals to effectively and gently care for skin of color. Their hero product is the Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum, a game changer for dark spots on pigmented skin.
After a successful 15-year career as a Creative Director in NYC, where she worked at hip hop, basketball, and beauty magazines, Melissa Medvedich decided it was time to change course and follow her ultimate dream: skincare. Having grown up in a Chinese household there was an inherent emphasis placed on caring for your skin, and Melissa had always been mesmerized watching my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother carefully apply their creams. This led to her obsession with "plant magic” and she enrolled herself at the renowned New York Institute of Aromatic Studies and became totally immersed in understanding the therapeutic actions of the ingredients and how they interact with skin. Melissa received her aromatherapy certification, but didn’t stop there - she later returned to school to continue her studies in botanical beauty formulations.
Enter Supernal: a marriage of Melissa's love for high-quality botanical skincare and design. The brand launched with just one SKU, the cult-favorite Cosmic Glow Oil, and has since expanded with additional SKUs in the skincare category. The addictive face oils are a highlight — but also, don't miss out on the beautifully crafted Gua Sha tools!
You probably heard of Tower 28 on TikTok — especially if you're a Hailey Bieber stan. From their SOS Hypochlorous Acid Spray to their glossy Lip Jelly, Tower 28 is an internet favorite. But the brand isn't just another passing trend.
Tower 28 is a clean brand of playful beauty products designed for sensitive skin and made for all! Founder Amy Liu's emphasis on inclusivity, accessibility, and efficacy is changing the face of the growing non-toxic beauty industry. Tower 28 offers products inclusive of all skin tones, skin types, budgets, and beauty philosophies. Tower 28 is the first beauty brand that’s 100 percent clean, vegan, and free of every known skin irritant. Everything is rigorously dermatologist and allergy tested (formulas adhere strictly to the National Eczema Association’s ingredient guidelines) — plus, it’s all made in the USA.
Soft Services is the first targeted body care company dedicated to addressing common skin concerns. Founded by Annie Kreighbaum and Rebecca Zhou — two e-commerce vets — this brand is everything you want on your bathroom shelf: beautifully packaged and actually effective.
Their products have gone viral for their insane results. Targeting skincare concerns with medical grade ingredients, they proffer solutions for KP, acne, and dry skin. Somehow, they've made the unglamorous world of body care seem cool enough for Gen Z. We wouldn't expect any less from former Glossier vets.
Michelle Ranavat leverages her expertise in the pharmaceutical industry and her background in engineering to create a line of beautiful skin and hair treatments that honor her South Asian heritage. Michelle fuses her science background with a passion for artisanal tradition, and this care can be seen at every touchpoint of clinically proven products. Distinguished Ayurvedic and adaptogenic cutting-edge actives such as Saffron, Ashwagandha, Turmeric, Manjistha, Amla, and Bakuchi are hand selected for real results.
The brand proudly donates 1% of proceeds to Desai Foundation, a non-profit organization in India that empowers women and children through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in India and the U.S. It's hero products range from its Saffron Serum to its Shampoo and Conditioner. RANAVAT is beloved by industry insiders and celebs alike -- fans include Mindy Kaling, Hailey Bieber, Meena Harris, and Freida Pinto.