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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

Film
Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage via Getty.

Michaela Coel Joins the 'Black Panther' Sequel Cast

The upcoming film, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, is shaping up.

The sequel to the Oscar-winning Black Panther is only due to debut in July of 2022, but the production is well on its way.

The latest news out of the camp is that Michaela Coel, of I May Destroy You and Chewing Gum fame, has officially joined the cast of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Her character details are still under wraps but according to Variety, Coel has already joined director Ryan Coogler at Atlanta's Pinewood Studios, where production started in late June.

Coel joins original cast members Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Winston Duke, Lupita Nyong'o, Florence Kasumba, and Angela Bassett all reprising their roles. Following the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, Marvel reportedly chose not to recast the role of T'Challa.

Read: How Michaela Coel's 'I May Destroy You' Makes Space For Black Creators

"It's clearly very emotional without Chad," Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige mentions. "But everyone is also very excited to bring the world of Wakanda back to the public and back to the fans. We're going to do it in a way that would make Chad proud."

Michaela Coel's highly-lauded 2020 series I May Destroy You — which she wrote, directed, produced and stared in — received four Emmy nominations.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is scheduled for wide release on July 8, 2022.

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