Post by Kay and Rose
While en route to a shoot for EX1 Cosmetics yesterday with ‘Our Girl Friday’ Rose Miyonga, she turned to me and said “I’ve never really worn foundation.”
She went on to say, “As a mixed race teenage girl growing up in white, rural England, there wasn’t really much on offer when I first wanted to wear make-up. It was pretty much Superdrug. There was nothing for my sisters and me in the beauty department.”
Sound familiar? This is echoed by so many women and we all wonder- when is this going to change?
When friends came to visit from London, they would bring gifts for my Mum in the form of shampoos and conditioners from Afro Hair/Beauty Supply Stores to help her manage our hair, so different from her straight, blonde bob.
Suffice it to say, it was not a good look, and once I realised that, I decided it was better to just go barefaced.
EX1 Cosmetics is part of the shifting landscape of skincare and beauty products emerging to provide quality cosmetics that a wider spectrum of women can enjoy. It specialises in foundations and concealers for brown and olive skintones
Around my teenage years, mostly driven by my own insecurities. I desperately wanted to cover my blemishes and it was then that I realised that the mainstream self selection cosmetics industry didn’t seem relevant to me.
EX1 is dedicated to women with yellow/golden undertones to their skin. Although premium lines existed for women with my skin tone, I wanted to create the first affordable line of cosmetics exclusively for women with olive skin, yet which has all the hallmarks of a luxury brand in terms of formula quality.
Our pigments. As a biochemist, I started looking carefully at olive skin tones, creating a unique blend of pigments designed to mimic the natural pigments found in olive complexions.
When I created the line I could have never imagined the products would be worn by some of the world’s most iconic celebrities or that we’d get such great press reviews. But the real highlight will always be the heartfelt messages we get from every day women who have previously struggled to find an affordable foundation that perfectly matches their skin tone. I was that woman, and getting such incredible feedback from the very people I created the products for makes it all worthwhile.
Post by Thandie.
Many, many women live and work in sunny climes. Which means that make up needs to be up to the temperature challenge. A stable base is obviously going to be more tricky when sun and sweat are jostling for position. I had that experience shooting in Nigeria on ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ in 2012 – my wonderful make up artist Sharon Martin warmed up my skin tone at the start of the shoot – but honestly, after one week in the heat of Calabar my skin had tanned to a good shade, and we pretty much abandoned foundation. It would not stay on my face!
Since then I’ve been curious about how women manage in the heat? It’s important to have the option of being able to even out our skin tone, maybe cover marks or blemishes – even in the heat. One of the advantages of the new wave of BB creams is that they promise moisturising, foundation and sun protection all in one. But that still doesn’t work when we want to be camera ready – we need more dense coverage.
I found myself in Ghana recently, out in the rural areas, and very much on camera with a crew trailing my every move. I didn’t want to be obviously ‘made-up’ but I did want a polished, natural appearance. In prepping for the trip I had to tackle the ‘what foundation?’ question.
Kay had suggested I try Double Wear Light, and ladies, IT IS THE STUFF I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR! For entire days on end my make up didn’t move. Whether I was under the direct sun and sweating, or in humidity; the foundation was lightweight and stable. The tones range from pale to dark skin, and offer a Sun Factor of 10. I wouldn’t wear it in lower temperatures because I think it would have a drying effect – but for great results in the sun, this is the stuff you want.
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