Q & A with Magatte Wade

Post by Thandie

MagatteI was fortunate enough to discover Magatte through her gorgeous line of beauty products; Tiossan. The line is born out of her philosophy that by nourishing skin and soul, 'beauty', is 'setting change in motion'. I saw her TedX Talk on line and was excited by the depth and power of her vision for women, and the world. Especially as that vision was already evidenced by her own entrepreneurial success (Forbes Magazine named her one of '20 Youngest Power Women in Africa').

Magatte believes that Beauty "awakens our soul to act" - something we believe here at ThandieKay. When we tap into our positive energy we radiate beauty, and Tiossan's purpose is to help that happen through the use of inspiring scents and ethical workmanship (workwomanship!).

Born in Dakar, Magatte has also lived in Paris and San Francisco. The Tiossan line reflects that migration with Senegalese recipes, French perfumes and Californian green chemistry. Magatte was determined to build a brand that reflects modern Africa - and that's exactly what I recognized when I heard Magatte speak, and luxuriated in the Tiossan products. It's the Africa I know and recognize from my work and travel through that magnificent continent. Sophistication, intuition, depth, passion, a lust for life and a deep connection to the earth - all these things are modern Africa, and Magatte's desire to communicate that is in everything she does.


1. What is your earliest make-up memory?

We were not allowed to wear make up until age 18. I grew up getting compliments without any makeup on, so makeup was not something that I was looking forward to trying on. But the first time, I experimented with it, was with mascara, on my first date in San Francisco, Magatte Podiumwith the first true love of my life. I wanted to feel sophisticated and ensnare. I very much speak with my eyes. And mascara makes me feel seductive and powerful.

2. I feel most beautiful when…

My husband rests his head on my lap

3. When you were a child, what was your Mother’s beauty routine?

My mother is probably one of the most sensual women I know. She would shower at least twice a day, to start her day, and later in the evening, when she was done with work, had finished preparing dinner and before my father came home. She then always looked as if she was going on the most magnificent date with him.

Her ritual was as follows: first, she would shower or bathe. Then she would do her hair, then apply her make up (I remember it to always be impeccable), dress and end her beauty ritual by applying eau de parfum. The perfumes she wore were Poison de Dior, Samsara de Guerlain and Opium d’Yves Saint Laurent. On anyone else those scents would give me a headache, but not on her. I loved smelling those on her.

4. Is make-up a chore or a delight?

Neither. It is just not something I think of putting on. So I rarely put any on. Just for photo shoots or TV appearances and the few moments I need to feel sexy and feminine but don’t for whatever reason.

5. Did your father refer to your Mother’s beauty, and how?

He referred to it in so many ways, but not verbally. It was a look of appreciation, a smile, a touch… all very subtle and elegant, but oh so telling, even for the child I was.

6. What’s been your worst beauty mishap?

Not sure if it is a beauty or wardrobe mishap, but I will never forget this day, as I was walking to lunch with a male customer. I love wearing thigh high tights. And that day, because I was wearing a rather close to the body pencil skirt, I had decided to do without a garter belt to avoid visible lines and instead wear tights with adhesive. As we were crossing the street, and in the middle of the intersection, the adhesive on the tight of my left leg for some reason decided to “give”. Before I could do anything, the whole thing had already rolled down to my ankle. And my customer to ask “what’s this plastic bag around your ankle?.” I laugh about it now, but that was probably one of the most embarrassing moments of my life.

7. If you could give one beauty gift what would it be? Magatte-3-e1396014850426

Confidence, as in being confident with who you are, at all levels. I find confident people to be so beautiful.

8. Where’s the craziest place you’ve done your make-up?

Bumpy traffic, running late to a meeting

9. What would you like to see more of in the beauty industry?

Authenticity and meaning

10. When was the last time your mascara ran, and why?

My husband and I were visiting the Grand Canyon area one year. While driving down the hill behind another car that was going rather slow, we started smelling the smell of brakes. At that point, my husband who was rather annoyed was saying things like “Is this guy driving standing on the brakes or what?!?” He was making all types of comments and mean jokes at the car in front of us, with its slow speed, brake lights on and the funky smell. But imagine our surprise when we started seeing smokes of overheating coming out of under the hood of our rental car. My husband first reaction was “What the heck?!?” At that particular moment, I do not know what got into me, but I just started laughing hysterically. So much that my ribs were hurting, my jaw was hurting, and my eyes were crying, with my mascara running down. First my husband was very mad, but he quickly joined in the laughter. I mean, what a good lesson of humility. Instead of checking our heat gauge when the smell started (my first reaction now), we automatically assumed it was the other car. Just thinking of this, I am laughing. HAHAHAAAAAA!

Watch Magatte’s Tedx Talk from 2011 here 

See feature on Magatte and Tiossan in the NY Times here

Find out more about Tiossan tiossan_scrub_femme_2-e1395850069685  sss

Follow Magatte on twitter 

Follow Tiossan on twitter 


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