Even in 2016, women with deeper skin tones find it incredibly difficult to find makeup that complements their beauty. The feelings of disappointment when we purchase, of say, an unflattering shade of lipstick is overwhelming because A. the shade makes us look either ashy or are not pigmented and B. we just spent a whole bunch of money on it.Fortunately for us, black beauty blogger Ofunne Amaka has created Cocoa Swatches, an app that showcases swatches of trending color cosmetics like eye shadow palettes, highlighters and lipstick on deep/dark skin. Now you don't have to spend hours in Sephora swatching lipstick and falling into a rabbit hole of expensive purchases *coughs*.When I first came across Cocoa Swatches on Twitter, I thought it was an amazing idea that someone would take the time to create such a valuable resource for people possessing the skin tones that are vastly underrepresented in the beauty industry, which coincidentally earns billions of dollars in revenue from black purchasing power. Delightfully intrigued, I decided to get in touch with the mastermind behind Cocoa Swatches to ask her 11 unconventional questions. These were her answers:
1. First thing in the morning, do you snooze the alarm or get up at once?
Snooze! One or two times. I am definitely not a morning person.
2. How would you describe what you do in a few sentences?
I’ve represent women who don’t see themselves in traditional beauty advertisements. Through Cocoa Swatches, I’ve created a resource for women of color to make informed beauty purchase decisions in a climate that often leaves them out of the conversation. Cocoa Swatches is a safe space for women with underrepresented complexions to air the grievances they face while trying to navigate the beauty industry. I am also a style blogger and a freelance copy writer and digital brand strategist.
3. What experience inspired you to start CocoaSwatches?
After a number of disappointing purchases, where I ultimately guessed completely wrong about how a product would look on me, I thought to myself, I wish there was a resource that allowed me to see swatches of the latest makeup products on darker complexions. I felt like there must be others who felt the same way, and that’s really when Cocoa Swatches was born.
4. Top 3 things you do before breakfast
Check Instagram, Drink grapefruit juice, Check my email
5. Best piece of advice you’ve ever received
Love yourself first. And don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do.
6. What do you love the most about your job?
The fact that I am able to reach and help so many people who share the same struggles that I know so well means everything.
7. Three beauty trends that fit the best on dark brown skin
I think a red lip is timeless and there are so many different reds, liquid to matte lipstick is a God Send, and highlighting or “strobing”
8. What’s your working style
I am someone who likes to work in quick intervals on multiple things at a time. I also prefer to work in the evenings and a cup of good coffee is essential to my day.
9. Describe your beauty/fashion style in 3 words
Minimal, Bold, Sexy
9. Heels or flats and why?
Heels! For a long time I felt subconscious about being tall, but as I’ve grown up, I’ve embraced it. Heels make you that much taller and make you feel like you can conquer anything.
10. Song you’re currently obsessed with
The entire Rihanna Anti Album
11. Mantra that you live by?
“There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. To me, that is the true essence of beauty” – Steve Maraboli
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