Style

6 Independent African Beauty Brands That Will Make You Feel Fabulous

In the first of our holiday gift guides we take a look at these independent African beauty products.

This is the first of our gift guides in the run-up to the holidays. Keep checking for more lists of great African products here. And for more ideas check out the Okayafrica Shop


A number of entrepreneurs are leading Africa’s burgeoning beauty industry from Kenya to Nigeria, Senegal to South Africa, and in many cities in between. Though the business is attracting larger, international players, like L’Oreal, there are plenty of newer brands looking to break the traditional beauty mold, and are doing a great job of it.

If you’re wondering how you can do it up for the holidays or what to get a friend or special someone as a gift, these 5 brands are independent African makers who are creating some amazing products.

1. True Moringa

Started by Kwami Williams and Emily Cunningham, a rocket science and an economics major, respectively, in collaboration with MIT’s D-Lab in Ghana, True Moringa works with small farming families to harvest seeds from Moringa Oleifera trees. The seed’s oil is then used to create cosmetic products for a variety of uses, such as this paraben and sulfate-free hair treatment oil, suitable for all hair types. Basically, it won’t look like you just doused yourself with a bottle of L.A. Looks.

Get True Moringa on Amazon here

More on the Okayafrica Shop

2. African Naturalistas

Nigerian entrepreneur Atilola Moronfolu's African Naturalistas Leave-In Conditioner is excellent for applying to a dry scalp after a long day at the beach, or you know, just because you like you hair silky smooth. With a combination of olive, jojoba, and coconut oils, aloe vera, and sulfate-free goodness, what could be better?

Buy African Naturalistas on Jumia here

More on the Okayafrica Shop

3. Elsaspro

For those who prefer a little color on their lips, Abuja, Nigeria’s Elsaspro, started by Amaka Okeke, has a selection of sticks suited for all skin types and colors. If you’re not into the 2016 fall goth-inspired lip trend, try Elsaspro’s Berry 03 Matte Lipstick, which is dark enough to feel like you tried, but still bright enough to go with all of your favorite clothes.

Get Elsaspro Lipstick from their website here

More on the Okayafrica Shop

 

4. Tiossan

Hailing from Dakar, the serial entrepreneur Magatte Wade, named one of “20 Youngest Power Women in Africa” by Forbes in 2013, has developed her own line of only-natural-ingredients skincare and lifestyle products, Tiossan. If you're suffering from poor sleeping habits, try the Beauty Sleep Pillow Mist with lavender and orange flower oils to calm you down. Need a nice gift? Tiossan’s Femme Parfum, with notes of ylang-ylang, rose, white musk, jasmine, and amber, among other considered scents, will surely be appreciated.

Get Tiossan Products at their website, here

More on the Okayafrica Shop

5. Liha

The U.K.-based, Nigerian cool-girl team Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan recently launched the 100-percent vegan line, Liha, and debuted their first few products, including the instant hit of raw Shea Butter, made from ethically sourced Ghanaian and Nigerian Shea tree nuts. Over the past few months, the brand has expanded into more than five countries and a number of stockists. Feeling a little gritty? Wipe off those dry, dead skin cells with Liha’s Ose Gidi African black soap, that also uses Shea butter, Moringa, as well as African Palmarosa.

Get Liha Products at their website, here

More on the Okayafrica Shop

6. Malée

Malée, named after founder Zeze Oriaikhi-Sao’s great grandmother, is a South African luxury body care line with products like the Conditioning Body Scrub that uses the scents of citrus, mint and patchouli to give the user the sensation of standing inside of a tropical forest. You’ll also find mango and shea seed oils, as well as salt and sugar crystals, to ensure the scrub does double duty.

Get Malée Products at their website, here

More on the Okayafrica Shop

Music
Image: Nabsolute Media

Reekado Banks Recalls The Carnage of The #EndSARS Protests In Single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

The Nigerian singer pays his respects to those lost during last year's #EndSARS protests.

Nigerian singer and songwriter Reekado Banks is back with a track that is as socially important as it is a banger. It seems fitting for the singer's first solo release of the year to be a tribute to his fellow countrypeople fighting for a country that they all wish to live in. The 27-year-old Afrobeats crooner has returned with endearing track 'Ozumba Mbadiwe', honoring the one-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protests that saw the Nigerian government authorize an onslaught of attacks on Nigerian citizens for their anti-government demonstrations.

The protests took the world by storm, additionally because the Nigerian government insists that none of the police brutality happened. In an attempt to gaslight the globe, Nigerian officials have come out to hoards to deny any and all accusations of unlawfully killing peaceful protesters. Banks mentions the absurd denials in the track, singing "October 20, 2020 something happened with the government, they think say we forget," in the second verse. Reekado's reflective lyrics blend smoothly and are supported by the upbeat, effortless Afrobeat rhythm.

In another reflective shoutout to his home, 'Ozumba Mbadiwe' is named after a popular expressway on Lagos Island that leads to the infamous Lekki Toll Gate where protesters were shot at, traumatized, and murdered. Although packed with conscious references, the P.Priime produced track is a perfect amalgamation of the talents that Reekado Banks has to offer; a wispy opening verse, a hook to kill, and an ethereal aura to mark this as a song as a hit. On "Ozumba Mbadiwe," all the elements align for Reekado's signature unsinkable sound to take flight.

Check out Reekado Bank's lyric video for his single 'Ozumba Mbadiwe'

Reekado Banks - Ozumba Mbadiwe (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Tems Is Just Doing Her Thang In New Music Video 'Crazy Tings'

The Nigerian songstress is hell bent on taking over your summer playlist and it's getting harder to resist.