You can’t scroll through Pinterest or Instagram’s Explore page without seeing at least one Nigerian beauty blogger slaying in all of her melanated glory. Believe it or not, but there was once a time when darker skin and coarser hair were considered lesser than within the beauty industry. Even Nigerian hair had a reputation for being tough and unmanageable. While there are still hills to climb regarding those century-old beliefs (Nivea released a “natural fairness ” ad campaign in Africa… in October 2017), women of all skin tones defy those standards with every selfie.
“Nigerian girl beauty can be bold, natural, glowy, makeup-free… whatever she wants, she makes it happen,” Whitney Madueke, a blogger and model, says. “It is beauty that exists based on the diverse cultures in Nigeria and inspiration from elsewhere.”
Of course, a mean highlighter never hurts, either. Ahead, see what some of our favorite influencers are adding to their carts this summer.
Welcome to MyIdentity. The road to owning your identity is rarely easy. In this yearlong program, we will celebrate that journey and explore how the choices we make on the outside reflect what we’re feeling on the inside — and the important role fashion and beauty play in helping people find and express who they are.
New York, New York
“For me, makeup is about doing what you love… and I love a good glow! It’s summer all year ’round in Nigeria, so we are constantly glowing from that melanin richness. When you have a product that highlights your beauty, you fall head over heels for it. I like Becca’s Topaz, Opal, Chocolate Geode, and Champagne Pop. I rotate on them and mix, too.
“I also love the brand’s most recent ad campaign… the diversity is amazing! Seeing an ad campaign with different skin tones tells me that these were made for everyone, and inclusivity does help you feel beautiful.”
Becca, $38, available at Becca Cosmetics
“I heard about this brand online and fell in love with this foundation’s simplicity and natural touch. I wear shade C43 Chocolate… but you can’t even tell that I’m wearing foundation with it on. Plus, when your foundation shade matches and is perfectly blended, you feel beautiful.”
Innisfree, $12, available at Innisfree
“A bold lip, like Pure Color Envy in Wine Shot, helps me feel strong, stunning, and untouchable. I love how natural my makeup can look, and with just a few strokes, a bold lip takes my entire look up a notch.”
Estée Lauder, $28, available at Estée Lauder
“After beating your face, you need it your hard work to last. I love that this spray is scented and feels so refreshing. I end up using it before and after I do my makeup. Every time I use it, it gives me this amazing dewy skin that honestly looks like butter. And you can’t help but notice me when I’m glowing like the sun.”
Gerard Cosmetics, $22, available at Gerard Cosmetics
Photo: Via @thatigbochick.
“Espresso is my current favorite when it comes to contour. It’s pigmented and blends out easily — and the packing is also super cute.”
Fenty, $25, available at Fenty Beauty
“I love this because it’s really soft and does not budge once applied.”
MAC Cosmetics, $18, available at mac cosmetics
“Deep Golden has given some of my more high-end concealers a run for their money. It is pigmented, not drying, and blends out like a dream.”
ColourPop, $6, available at ColourPop
Los Angeles, California
Photo: Via @jackieaina.
“I’m loving the MAC X Patrick Star collab. His eyeshadow palette has been going everywhere with me this month.”
MAC Cosmetics X Patrick Star, $32, available at mac cosmetics
“Butter Me Up Goods moisturizer and whipped body creams are incredible and are always a conversation starter because they smell so, well, good!”
Butter Me Up Goods, $11, available at Butter Me Up Goods
“I cannot put the Beauty Bakerie Flour Powder down ever since it launched. I use the yellow shade. It’s so finely milled and buttery!”
Beauty Bakerie, $24, available at Beauty Bakerie
Photo: Via @beautyinlagos.
“I like to layer this over my lipstick because it gives a high shine, glossy finish and it never feels uncomfortable on my lips.”
FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA, $18, available at Sephora
“One of my favorite things to do is paint my nails — it’s how I relax. I like using this Nigerian brand. I love the fact that they have a wide variety of colors and they’re very easy to apply.”
Vane Beauty, $9.25, available at Vane Beauty
New York, New York
“Like most people, I learned about these products on YouTube. I haven’t put the concealer down for five years now.”
L.A. Girl, $4.99, available at Ulta Beauty
“But as for the foundation, I just started using it six months ago. I have sensitive skin, so I can’t use just any foundation or I’ll break out. This one is full coverage, light, and sits well.”
L.A. Girl, $7.19, available at Ulta Beauty
“I’m sure almost every Nigerian girl that loves makeup has this. It’s one of the best makeup baking powders, especially if you have oily skin. And it lasts really long in the summer.”
Laura Mercier, $38, available at Sephora
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