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Emolyne Icons: Sade

Emolyne Icons: Sade
Our series on women who inspire Emolyne begins with the one and only Sade.

Our series on women who inspire Emolyne begins with the one and only Sade.

It’s been four decades since the release of the chanteuse’s debut album ‘Diamond Life’ and in that time, her eponymous band has sold over 50 million records filled with bitter sweet tales of love and loss. Her modern soul songs have been covered by everyone from Frank Ocean to Herbie Hancock. Drake has two tattoos of her likeness on his torso and last year, Rolling Stone ranked the her among its 200 greatest singers of all time. 

Born Helen Folasade Adu in Nigeria and growing up in the UK, Sade went on to study fashion at London’s Central Saint Martins and worked as a model and stylist before finding her true calling in the early 1980s with the funk band Pride. Uncompromising from the start, she’s consistently refused to bend to fame or fads and shuns the celebrity limelight. And yet hits such as ‘Sweetest Taboo’, ‘Smooth Operator’ and ‘Soldier of Love’ remain on everyone’s dinner party playlists. It’s just her dedication to authenticity that ensures her appeal has never waned.

But it’s not only her music that’s endured. Sade’s timeless style is essential to her legacy with designers from Karl Lagerfeld to Rachel Comey putting her on their perennial moodboards. Rather than flaunting her evident sexiness, Sade exudes a simple elegance. “I don’t like fashion, but I do like clothes,” she told Interview magazine in 1988. “I’ve always liked the idea of trying to be as individual as possible.” Her trademarks – gold hoop earrings, oversized shirts, high waisted jeans, sleek turtlenecks and ballet flats – make up the essential wardrobe staples of any self-respecting minimalist today. Meanwhile her more standout looks, such an hourglass cheongsam, bolero jacket or angular monochrome suit, feel effortlessly feminine. Unswerving in her pared back sensibilities, she cannot fail but show up looking chic. So much so that even the queen of flashy, Nicki Minaj, paid homage to Sade’s dress sense in a 2017 New York Times Magazine shoot. 

That brings us to her beauty game, which, like everything else about her, is consistently graceful. Think Sade, think the perfect red lip, groomed eyebrows and subtle black cats eye liner – all made even more irresistible by her rush of freckles. Sade’s long, luscious hair is usually slicked back hair into a low rope plait or pony tail. It’s a look that has inspired countless beauty tutorials on TikTok and is as ageless as the singer herself.

For our founder Emolyne Ramlov, Sade is the epitome of empowered beauty. “Growing up, Sade was always someone I admired for her flawless yet unfussy makeup looks,” she recalls. “I loved her blood red lip, saturated in deep pigment and impeccably lined. Sometimes she went high shine, other times matte and either way, she shone. This versatile, signature pout then set off her almond eyes, often flattered by pink and neutral eye shadow up to the brow line. Just iconic!” Like Sade, Ramlov moved from Africa to the UK, where she’s always walked her own path. “It’s unapologetic women like Sade who inspire me to follow my passions,” she adds.

It’s easy to use Emolyne’s makeup collection to recreate your own ode to Sade. Reach for the rich colour pay off of the Velvet Lip and Defining Lip in one of our 15 shades of red. Add a subtle swipe of the Eyeshade Crème in Lac Rose to lids and across cheek bones to create a natural glow. And finish up by giving sultry depths to your eyes with a flick of the Defining Lashline. This retractable pencil can also double up as a freckle-maker if you’re feeling like going all the way there. And why wouldn’t you? Because then, like Sade, you’ll possess a glamorous day-to-night look that truly never dates.

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