Maybelline New York Explores New York Minutes in Short Films with Three Different Women

Barbie Ferreira, Princess Nokia and Hari Nef star in the branded content series

Maybelline New York has partnered with M2M, IMG’s premium fashion network, to kick off “New York Minute,” a branded content series set to launch alongside New York Fashion Week (which starts today!).

M2M hosts original programming, films and documentaries about fashion and the people in it. In essence, it serves as a platform for IMG’s network across the fashion industry.

Maybelline New York’s contribution to the platform features three different kinds of women: Curve model Barbie Ferreira, musician Princess Nokia (Destiny Frasqueri) and transgender actress and model Hari Nef.

Each stars in her own vignette, directed by Luke Gilford—and while there are moments of glamour, mostly what you get is something closer to earth. These slices of life refute Maybelline’s old-school “Maybe she’s born with it” tagline and tell you something new—that being somebody you like waking up to in the morning requires work, trial and error, frustration and small victories.

And of course, you get to see lots of different kinds of looks.

In Ferreira’s vignette, she takes on three dates in one day. For efficiency’s sake, she’s scheduled them all in the same restaurant, but still runs home to change before each. We experience the dates as though sitting across from her, and the feeling we get is to what degree dating involves playing a role that’s collaborative with the other person.

There are fun moments—like when she teaches a private equity guy how to properly use the word “lit”—and also uncomfortable ones, like when she discovers her skater date has a “scum of the earth” tattoo, and that his profession is … loving art?

Check, please.

In the second video, Princess Nokia preps for a world tour. “New York is my husband … and everybody else is my mistress,” she confides. We learn who empowers her (Mary J. Blige), see an intimate moment with her dad, and follow her from the studio, to tour planning, to a video shoot.

Lastly, Hari Nef walks us through a few auditions, a nice encapsulation of this project. Not only does she have to change how she looks; she has to change the way she feels on a pin-drop. It illustrates both the rigors of trying to make it as an actor, and the acting we must also do in life.

Each vignette sits somewhere between intimate portrait and commercial documentary. You see the women start their mornings, then lift away and go about their lives. You see how a glance or a different shade of lipstick can change not only their appearances, but how you perceive them.

“These women represent beauty, diversity and female empowerment in ways that could not be more culturally relevant today,” reads an accompanying press release. “This triptych of episodes successfully encapsulates the Maybelline world that is about young women making it happen in a New York Minute.”

Before this project, Maybelline New York worked with M2M on a separate series, “Beauty Alchemist.” Launched in September, it was a more straightforward exploration of different types of looks, with videos dedicated to “natural,” “street style” and “backstage beauty.” It also worked with the network on “Battle at Versailles,” M2M’s first original documentary.

If you’re into this project and want to see more, M2M is available online as well as on Apple TV, Amazon, Roku and Android TV.