by Emeline Nsingi Nkosi
A Cosmetic Scientist, Founder of Cherry Coco (a natural skincare company) and Black Beauty Communications ltd. Cheryl Jumbo, one of six children, was born in Glasgow to Nigerian parents. She recently announced the UK’s first ever beauty industry awards event for Black Beauty products aptly named the “Black Beauty and Fashion Awards”.
We spoke about her experience in the beauty industry, BBFA and what she plans on achieving …
“Black Beauty and Fashion Awards is a movement, I am set on advancing the industry.”
Today I am someone who loves business and empowering people; I think it’s important to leave a legacy. I find much satisfaction in supporting individuals in pursuing their dreams; I believe you can accomplish anything you commit yourself to!
My entry point to the beauty arena was most unexpected, around the age of 19, I had intended on purchasing a premium foundation from a company called fashion (there wasn’t much else available), whilst I was browsing I was approached by one of the beauty consultants. We started talking, she enquired about my skincare regime, my interests and asked me what I was doing for a living. I explained that I was studying to become a Sound Engineer. She scoffed lightly and said “no no no my darling, YOU belong in the world of beauty. I can see you now with your silver Hitachi case going to a business meeting”.
As a student of sound engineering, I was the only female in my class, which I didn’t mind much at all. I needed a part time job so I decided I’d explore a little, I sought employment with a cosmetics consultant agency to find out more about the world of beauty.
I had assumed it would be very superficial but being creative and technical I excelled. As I began to consult and sell cosmetic products to consumers, I yearned to understand why people were buying from me besides my selling technique. What was so good about these products? What made them so effective? Were they truly beneficial at all? I wanted to learn the science behind these amazing pots of promise.
Fortunately, around that time The London College of Fashion, had recently introduced to the UK a new BSc (Hons) Cosmetic Science, I secured a place and eventually, proudly graduated whilst maintaining employment throughout my studies.
Since then, I have gained a broad experience of the industry, working in various capacities from setting up a beauty business, working as an expat in Africa, providing skincare workshops, brand development, consulting, working in regulatory affairs at QVC UK, product design and formulation of skin care at E.C Dewitt and Manufacturing at Barry M Cosmetics.
In the UK, I have found myself working in places where I am the only black person in the entire organisation. This has presented some great advantages and in some cases disadvantages, I am keen to see more of us in this arena, our contribution is necessary in a multicultural society.
Sadly, BBFA was born from a feeling of social exclusion. Every single year, we have beauty industry awards that celebrate the great product offerings available from various brands across the UK and further afield. This is great until you realise that none of the products spot-lit with adulation cater to your needs. One particular year as my colleagues and I geared up to attend the latest installment of beauty awards, I pondered on this fact; I have contributed hugely to the UK economy via my hair and beauty needs and wants. I pondered on the fact that at age 19 my only choice of foundation was an expensive premium product, which as a student cost me a small fortune.
I decided that I would become the change that I wished to see. It was at that moment, 6 years ago, that I knew I would create the Black Beauty and Fashion Awards! It would be a celebration of diverse black beauty and culture. However, it would have been seen as too Afrocentric, and so I decided to wait until the right time, which is NOW!
Our event is divided into two halves, firstly, the public voting poll which lasts approximately 4 months from March 2017, followed by the corporate end which takes place later in November.
BBFA seeks to empower BMR* consumers’ voices to express their passion for the products they enjoy using or want to support, and exercise their unassailable right to inclusion. Black males are for the most part ignored in advertising of grooming products. Women of colour spend on average, six times more than their counterparts on hair and beauty products. It is about time to acknowledge this significant contribution to the economy.
Advancement is taking place within the industry concerning black beauty, hair and fashion and it must be acknowledged. There’s a great range of products available for BMR people, but a ‘disconnect’ exists between brands, retailers and consumers. Often people can’t find what they want, although it exists…somewhere.
BBFA seeks to promote, encourage and celebrate producers of high-quality BMR products and build bridges to prompt greater inclusion via mainstream channels. This is all towards bringing about the growth that our communities will also benefit from.
My dream is to see Black Beauty and Fashion Award-winning products made available to the public in mainstream stores across the UK
My vision is to celebrate the diverse beauty and see greater representation in mainstream media. To acknowledge the brands that have over the years, diligently catered to our ever-changing beauty needs. To support entrepreneurialism. In a multicultural society, I would like to see more BMR individuals as manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and being part of the supply chain of this industry. After all, we are the ones using the products! It would be great to have a hand in what’s being added to these products created to care for our unique beauty.
My mission is to advance the beauty industry, impacting it positively. To celebrate the diversity of black hair and skin and our beautiful culture. To make BBFA a global entity as we expand our Industry award to the Continent and the Caribbean.
All winning products and brands have the right to carry the BBFA winners’ seal created to be displayed on company websites, marketing literature, and products, visible to consumers at the point of sale.
BBFA is the people’s choice award! We are here to elevate to empower the voice of consumers, to alleviate social exclusion and to carve out a space for our beauty products in mainstream outlets. We hope to see Black Beauty and Fashion Award-winning products available online and in high street stores.
Black Beauty Communications’ BBFA has amongst its aims, to be the go-to marketing and quality assessment vehicle to help both lesser-known and readily recognisable businesses gain greater brand awareness within Black and Multiracial client groups. In so doing, a more mutually beneficial exchange emerges, wherein BMR people, with a predicted £100 million 2016 hair and beauty spend, shall notice better representation in mainstream channels. This leads to greater opportunities in employment. Brand loyalty, improved market segmentation and CSR fulfillment are just some of the elements available to participating businesses at the other end of the exchange.
Yes, indeed they should be. So many elements of our culture are used and adopted in the mainstream, from our hairstyles and fashion to music and dance. I believe our ingenuity, success, creativity and innovation need to be acknowledged mainstream also. It’s a known fact that we tend to be products of our environment, witnessing achievements mainstream provides aspiration for peers and following generations.
To some extent yes. I believe that these organisations have missed a trick when it comes to black beauty and fashion. For decades black and multiracial individuals have engaged these brands frequently only to feel a sense of exclusion and being overlooked. Perhaps their lack of offering comes from a lack of understanding of our hair and authentic beauty.
The inaugural Black Beauty and Fashion Awards is a Red carpet affair. it will be a stupendous night of beauty and style on Friday 3rd November 2017. The venue of choice is the beautiful Porchester Hall; I adore its classic art deco design. Amongst others, in attendance will be manufacturers, retailers, entrepreneurs and industry professionals. The evening will include a fashion show, 3-course elegant dining experience, live entertainment, award ceremony, charity auction for Lupus and Alopecia UK and much more.
There will be various voting categories, such as Best shampoo, Best hair treatment, Best Foundation etc and we have a number of special awards including Beauty entrepreneur of the year, Fashion entrepreneur of the year, Best new business venture, Best new beauty tool/appliance as well as honour an amazing individual with a Lifetime Achievement award for their Contribution to the Beauty and Fashion industry.
Voting is easy. Simply visit www.bbfawards.com/voting-online. All voters are automatically entered into the BBFA cash prize draw and the opportunity to win some amazing goodies. Prize winners will be selected randomly and announced via our social media platforms later in the year.
[BMR* – Cherry’s own acronym , Black Multi-Racial]
“Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.” Maya Angelou
From always keeping red lipstick in my handbag and having a signature scent, to making regular manicure and facial appointments.
One of the most important lessons she has taught me, however, is that beauty can be personal therapy, that it’s about taking care of yourself inside and out. I’m not talking about booking yourself a spa treatment or having a shopping trip every time you are upset – although I am guilty of doing both of those things-I mean taking the time to stop and meditate on what you’re going through, and ‘beauty’, although it’s usually considered surface, can be a pretty useful medium for that.
So firstly I start by washing my face with Neutrogena Deep Clean Facial Cleanser and cold water – cooling down the heat of the day’s frustrations and washing away all negative emotions. The cold wash feels great on my skin and I feel lighter than before.
Then I massage a gentle cleanser into my skin, applying it in methodical circles – I use this time to walk through the day’s events in a logical fashion, to find solutions. I’m a scientist, so gentle cleansing is usually my “Data Analysis” time – in other words, I go through what my aims of the day were, whether I achieved those outcomes or whether I need to revise my steps for achieving my aims…
More often than not, when you’re under pressure you say or do things that you later regret or wish you had more time to do better.
For me, moisturising is two parts – I apply The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Overnight Serum-In-Oil followed by Vitamin E Night Cream also by The Body Shop.
Yes we are keeping our skin healthy with the Vitamin E, but when my brain sees anything with the word “vitamin” on it my mind feels instantly healthier! While adding the night cream I remind myself to feel the peace that as I sleep, my skin benefits from being moisturised, my weariness will melt away and I’ll wake up refreshed and ready to take on another day anew.
Make-up is also a great medium for stress relief. The idea is not to cake on as much make-up as possible until you feel better, but the hope is that the routine will calm you down and re-centre you. I start with a clean face – remember, wash away all the negativity first, start with a clean slate.
Follow it by moisturising, and adding a little primer, and then start to apply make-up, taking time to apply each layer. I usually spend the most time on my eyes – they are the windows to your soul and most often than not, they reveal the most emotion.
So apply the whole works – three-toned eye shadow, eyeliner, and mascara (maybe waterproof if it’s a particularly rough day!).
Then a beautiful shade of lipstick so that you have no choice but to smile. And even if you still don’t feel better after you’ve applied my last layer of mascara, you look better; and that gives you the little boost of confidence your feelings need to catch up. It works every time!
Some women re-centre themselves by doing an intense one-on-one session with a punching bag, some a quiet yoga flow, some journal the day’s events and some put on “pump it up” playlist, the choices are endless – but what is important is taking time to be alone with your thoughts and feelings, so that you can recharge and re-set.
“The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship of your life.” – Diane Von Furstenburg
It’s a discipline that I think we can all benefit from learning, and once you start with your heart, your mind will process all that nurturing.
See Rutendo’s other post for ThandieKay, ‘Hope’.
Make up artist Tina Roesler Kerwin founder of AbOvo skincare has spent years making up famous faces. She says she realised that beautiful make-up is only as good as the canvas.
The better the skin, the better the make-up.
I had the enormous good fortune of working with Tina on my last film (directed by Nash Edgerton with Charlize Theron and Joel Edgerton). Shooting in freezing Chicago and reliant on indoor heating, my skin quickly became dry and sensitive. Tina’s skincare was the perfect aid – I became a diehard fan of her, and her line.
Abovo’s Enriched Eye and Delicate Day creams feed the complexion with natural goodness. The idea is simple: a cocktail of natural and organic ingredients to protect, treat, nourish and renew. The key to the products is Emu Oil.
After stumbling on the unique benefits of Emu Oil, Tina discovered a powerhouse of skincare benefits: anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial (great for spot-prone skin) and the tiny molecules cleverly carry other ingredients deeper into the skin (most oils sit on TOP of the skin, Emu oil penetrates deeper).
The formulations are clean and pure – no petrochemicals, no artificial colours or ingredients and no water added -which removes the need for a preservative, in particular parabens.
The considerations of this product don’t stop there; there’s a firm commitment to the environment which makes the packaging recyclable and all printed materials are produced via renewable power and using non-toxic inks.
And if that wasn’t enough, a portion of profits go to American Forests which is all about protecting and restoring our trees.
It’s no surprise that our skin, the largest organ of the body, reflects our wellness or lack thereof. This tender yet powerful coating is a wonder of complexity. And yet we expect it to do its job AND look good!
By caring for our skin, we directly affect the health of our organs, and vice versa. A good diet, well functioning digestive system, hydration and gentle cleansing – all these create a balance that can glow from our skin.
Obviously, hormones and environmental factors are more difficult to control. Which is why a little help from fantastic skincare brand Murad goes a long way. I love the Acne Body Wash so much, that I now don’t mind standing in line at Sephora with ACNE BODY WASH in my basket!
I’ve tried other less expensive products, and in general the levels of salicylic acid are such that they dry out my skin and cause more problems.
The wonder of the Murad Body Wash is that it’s gentle and effective.
I use a little on my back every day and it stabilises skin rejuvenation, gently removing dead skin or build up of sweat, leaving my skin feeling and looking great.
I notice a big change when I don’t use it – I quickly develop pimples.
The Clarifying Body Spray works well for more serious conditions – staying on the skin for longer periods of time. The Clarifying Wipes are fantastic for the gym or in places where you’re likely to sweat.
Wonderful facialist Rene Anderson at Lulur Day Spa in West Hollywood once told me that leaving sweat to dry on the skin is a big cause of breakouts. These wipes are a secret weapon.
Murad was founded by Dr. Howard Murad, a renowned dermatologist whose philosophies regarding skin involve inside-out, holistic wellness. He treats thousands of people in his LA office every year, which is what inspires the skincare range, his research, books, and lifestyle programs.
Posted by Kay
I’m British with Sierra Leonean and Nigerian heritage. I was actually born in Sierra Leone and moved to London when I was 10. Now I live in very north London!
Clients (women in the vast majority) want their skin to feel healthy and look good at the age they are at. It’s not about looking as young as possible, but rather looking their best and radiant for their current life stage. They also want to achieve this without breaking the bank or being bamboozled with high claims and facts.
Simple effective skincare that works is what I hear time and time again.
Alongside that, I know there is a rising interest in skincare with organic credentials for various reasons. Sometimes it’s new mums wanting to use organic products to match that of baby, it could be someone who’s been ill and feel they need to use products they perceive as kinder to the skin. Or even sensitive skin types who are trying to avoid products with preservatives or laden with actives.
When I do Skin and Lifestyle Consultations (which will start up again in April) I realise that a lot of women are also very busy and don’t have time for extensive multiple steps in their skincare routine. I am constantly being asked to simplify routines and steps so that great results can be achieved in little time.
My experience tells me we need to change our approach and attitude to skincare as opposed to what we need more of in the first instance. There are so many options out there and it’s easy to take a slap dash or even a desperate approach and try everything without paying enough attention to what really works.
It’s important people take the time to learn their skin type and be aware of how it changes through the seasons and life events so they can respond accordingly. I find people spend a lot of time reading blogs now and sometimes are swayed into purchasing (sometimes very expensive) products that work for bloggers and influencers but then don’t deliver for them.
By spending time knowing your own skin, you can then learn which ingredients work best for you. That way it is easier for you to pick and choose through different brands and create your own personal and effective skincare arsenal. I always advise clients to be loyal to the ingredient and not the brand!
Again, by understanding different properties of oils, it becomes easier to choose the right ones depending on skin type.
Experience also tells me that facial massage is something people leave out of the skincare routines. We’re all so busy that we cut it out in favour of getting to bed as quickly as possible. But a 5 minute massage morning and evening as we cleanse can do wonders for toning and clarifying the skin by getting rid of toxins. It will also help products and any oils work more effectively. One thing I always say if if your skin is looking lacklustre, facial massage in the evening with a good oil will get it looking much better by morning.
Gosh, it was a few things that all seemed to come together at once. I’ve been making and giving away skincare especially facial oils and balms for friends, family and clients for as long as I can remember. Also when clients would ask to buy the facial oils I used in treatment and I wouldn’t be able to sell to them as I wasn’t set up with insurance and all the other legalities that surround selling cosmetics.
With the encouragement of a friend who wanted me to make products for her to retail, I decided to explore setting up a skincare line that mirrored the things I hold important and fused with a lot of feedback I’d had from clients. Especially the feedback that organic skincare can be expensive at one end of the scale, but on the other end it can lack in presentation or luxe feel. I was (and still am!) convinced that by careful consideration of ingredients and stripping back to only what’s necessary and effective then it would be possible to marry organic and luxe without damage to purse.
I have always used a lot botanical oils in my skincare, so working with oils is what I know and love so in the end it was a natural progression. 3107 London also fits in quite well with the juggling act I already have as a mum and facialist.
Naturally I love oils in my skincare. My favourite oils are Apricot Kernel Oil as the skin recognises it easily, absorbs easily and high in Vitamin A. It’s my go to oil, not only for me but also for clients. Sea Buckthorn Oil – apart from the glorious orange hue due to high levels of carotene as well as essential fatty acids, it helps the skin with radiance and great for dry weather battered skin. In days gone by it was used on horses to make their hair and skin shiny! Black Cumin Oil as it helps to balance my sometimes oily skin and it’s minerals – zinc, calcium, magnesium contribute to skin recovery and healing if its suffered any trauma. I find a drop of rosewood and lavender essential oils in a base carrier oil is sometimes the perfect tonic to skin that’s in a state of flux. The former will repair and regenerate, the latter soothes and calms.
Apart from oils, I love hyaluronic acid for helping skin retain high levels of moisture. Salicylic acid for helping with exfoliation, keeping pores clean and free from spot causing bacteria.