Happy Black History Month.
Although we should be celebrating Black excellence all year round, it’s nice to dedicate 4 weeks straight, out of the year, to amplify Black history. It’s also great to remind ourselves and our non-Black counterparts of all the things that make us equally as powerful and valued as them. Beauty has always played a part in me connecting to my Blackness, even the intricacies and annoyances that come with it. Every nook and cranny of my features, from my melanin, to my big hooded eyelids or the shape of my duo-coloured lips remind me that I am a fruit of my heritage, which is both so beautiful and so powerful.
Growing up, my relationship with make-up has evolved from cautiously trialling a simple black eyeliner, progressing to the mishaps of the ashy-mousse-foundation-gate, all the way to the ‘soft-glam’ babe I consider myself to be now. In fact, I’m probably not alone in saying this but getting to my ‘glow-up’ phase required a lot of years worth of experimentation and growth.
My friends and family tell me that they went through very similar woes.
My mother loved her blue eyeliner and terracotta lipstick, my older sister was a sucker for an accent lower lid darkliner and my little sister, well… actually, let’s talk about that. Considering she and her peers should all be well within that awkward make-up phase, it appears that, for some reason, Gen Z has collectively managed to skip that step. They all seem to have gone from nappies to full contour and I don’t quite understand how?
As much as I envy how these 18 year olds don’t have to deal with ashy foundations, ghost lips (because nudes for Black women were once a myth) and overly pink blushers… me personally, I would probably not have it any different. It’s important for us to experiment and go through a trial and error phase in order to figure out exactly what makes us comfortable. It’s a rite of passage, it’s part of the process.
I think that my Black sistahs suffered particularly hard when it came to make-up, because, quite frankly, the products at the shops weren’t it. They simply weren’t made for us, nor were they marketed with us in mind, nevermind being accessible to us. The last few years has brought a revolution and it’s never been a more exciting time for beauty than to have brands that are for us, by us.
Brands like Emolyne, creating products that have all complexions at the forefront of product innovation. Nevertheless, there were some trends that were big when we were growing up that have made swift comebacks and some that never left. Like the heavy lip liners often sported by the likes of Lauryn Hill and the matching your eyeshadow colour to your clothes, insert here: Baby Phat crops, apple bottom jeans or the classic JUICY sweatpants. Not to mention that go-to sultry dark nude/mahogany lipstick. 90s babies, I see you!
I love how make-up has the power to foster nostalgic and happy thoughts. I also love to play with colour and like to try with new things every once in a while.
As for my friends, I have some that live for the full glam life, while others often opt-in for a more natural no-make-up, make-up look. Whatever your style is, the important thing is to recognise that you are beautiful and wonderfully made, and make-up just enhances all the things that make you, you. However, we can all agree that make-up is very fun, and drip is important! It brings a level of confidence that sometimes needs to be evoked through a bit more than just words of affirmation.
For my mother, sisters and me, we love a good nude lip usually, but I’ve been trying to encourage us all to go more brave and bold. In this face-covering climate, we are all looking for something that is mask-friendly, soft and hydrating, non-transferable, long lasting and pigmented enough to complement our melanin.
Packaging also counts. Something that will look cute in my clutch, is not an essential but a nice slice of luxury I would be willing to invest in. This is where the Nude Semi-Matte Lipsticks come in. Velvety finish, scented, which makes them oh so pleasant to have under masks, these lipsticks truly have it all. They are named after African cities and embody the power that comes with being part of the diaspora and African heritage. It honestly makes just applying lipstick into a whole sensory experience. It glides on smoothly without the pulling and tugging which make the application process so gratifying. It has a slightly glossy finish, that is the hydration part, and it brings extra dimension to your lips. I usually go for a matte finish lipstick, but they can be quite drying. The semi-matte is a great compromise. Brilliant selection of nudes for all skin tones. Note how I said ALL skin tones! This is because Emolyne has a diverse and inclusive range.
I’m also a sucker for a strong red lipstick. Red lipsticks come in many different shades and undertones, and it’s all about preference as opposed to what suits what, to whom.
Emolyne has an incredible offering of red lipsticks, which really bring out the sexiest yet most classy look out of a woman. I love the idea of being able to switch up a sultry nude for the day and turn into the night with a sexy red, in the middle you have this beautiful crimson/copper-like shade which I’m sporting in the image called Cameroon, which can effortlessly transform from day-to-night.
If you asked me for my favourites, I don’t have one.
They do say variety is the spice of life, and the experimental in me is hoping that my ‘glow-up’ phase will never end, because surely, it can always get better! Before I go, let me leave you with this, be conscious about where you spend your money. It’s our duty to allow and support the value of the Black pound and Black businesses have so much to offer, don’t let a good thing pass you by. Happy Black History Month!
Special thanks to Shei, our guest blogger this week, as well as her mother Maria and her sister Anais who feature above.
They are wearing our Metamorphosis Velvet Semi-Matte Lipsticks in Cameroon, Luxor and Cairo respectively.