AJ Odudu, Tayce and Leomie Anderson talk skincare routines

AJ Odudu, Tayce and Leomie Anderson talk skincare routines
AJ Odudu, Tayce and Leomie Anderson talk skincare routines

Ruth Ossai

When Tayce walked into The Werk Room for RuPauls’ Drag Race UK season two, there was a transparent supply of inspiration behind her iconic entrance look: Naomi Campbell. ‘Growing up, I’d watch reruns of vogue exhibits,’ the Welsh drag queen tells Cosmopolitan UK. ‘I keep in mind being seven and seeing Naomi, who’s superb.‘I used to be all the time impressed by highly effective Black ladies once I was youthful: Iman and Grace Jones – fierce Black ladies who give fierce Black magnificence charisma. That’s what impressed my appears. I keep in mind watching Beyoncé carry out on stage, Ciara, Janet Jackson – that was Black magnificence to me, child.’ And, as Tayce talks on the set of her Cosmopolitan October digital cowl shoot, her look is nothing in need of fierce; sporting lengthy waves, pencil-thin eyebrows and 90s brown lip liner.Sitting round a desk in Kentish Town, London, she’s joined by fellow Cosmopolitan October digital cowl stars, AJ Odudu and Leomie Anderson, and magnificence journalist Vanese Maddix to talk all issues Black magnificence in celebration of Beauty Month on Cosmo – and the warehouse-like studio is stuffed with laughter.

The youthful yearsLike many, Leomie’s earliest reminiscence of magnificence was down to at least one key determine: her mom. ‘She’d all the time put on this one explicit shade of lipstick and I virtually thought that was her pure lip color,’ she says. ‘To me, that was Black magnificence – naturalness with slightly pop of color.’ But for the mannequin, watching her mum’s routine went far past the pigments inside that lipstick tube.‘It wasn’t that she was making an attempt to cowl something, she was placing it on as if it was a part of her persona,’ Leomie remembers. ‘My mum was the primary individual to point out me that nevertheless you’re feeling or no matter you need to exude, it wants to come back from inside first. It wasn’t a make-up factor – however ooh, she was by no means working out of that purple lipstick.’

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For AJ, rising up in Lancashire within the ‘90s meant her expertise with magnificence wasn’t significantly simple. ‘My mum by no means wore make-up, and I grew up in Blackburn so there have been no Black magazines; no Black folks [laughs]! There was no Black something. But once I did get into magnificence, it was by sure magazines,’ she says.Tayce additionally related with Black magnificence by the media however discovered her inspiration on TV, motion pictures and vogue runways. ‘I keep in mind watching Grace Jones in an outdated film referred to as Vamp – her identify was Katrina – and I used to like the entire fabulous outfits,’ she says. ‘Also, Whitney Houston in Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella was one in every of my greatest inspirations. That used to get me out of the home each single day.’Now, all three haven’t solely established themselves as key figures of their respective careers however have discovered consolation of their magnificence rituals alongside the best way.

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A celebration of identityWhether you select to get up early to get pleasure from a prolonged magnificence routine or allocate simply 5 minutes to it earlier than dashing out of the home (or do nothing in any respect), our strategy to magnificence is a crucial device in celebrating our private identities.For AJ, that’s by being versatile. ‘In the previous, I’ve felt like I’ve needed to have one signature look as a way to stay recognisable – publications have mistaken me for different Black feminine presenters who I look nothing like. Whereas now, my philosophy has fully modified. I play with my appears with vibrant make-up and totally different hairstyles, be it braids, straight hair, Afro, twists. I’m embracing me much more and I’m assured to be much more playful and experimental with my hairstyles and my magnificence appears, and simply assured that folks will get to know me in the event that they so want.’

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Tayce agrees that there’s pleasure in switching issues up. ‘[I like] wanting outdoors my consolation zone, and discovering new indie and Black-owned companies,’ she says. ‘It’s making an attempt various things but in addition having a great time with it. If you don’t get pleasure from a glance or a course of, you don’t need to do it to maintain up with anybody else’s requirements. Do issues that you just need to see within the mirror, to not impress these round you.’Unlocking a core reminiscence, Tayce remembers, ‘My first expertise with the world of magnificence was in all probability going to Woolworths or any type of grocery store with my household once I was a child. I keep in mind all the time standing and gawking in any respect the make-up within the magnificence aisles, making an attempt and swatching the whole lot. Luckily, I had supportive mother and father who didn’t care if I performed with make-up, which is such a privilege that I’ll by no means take with no consideration. I performed with my mum’s and my nan’s – it made me really feel so inventive. There are so many issues you are able to do. It’s artwork.’Leomie provides: ‘Learning learn how to do my make-up was virtually a celebration inside itself. When I first began modelling, I assumed Black folks do not put on make-up as a result of the very first thing make-up artists used to say once I sat of their chair was: “Oh, you do not want make-up”.

Ruth Ossai

‘At the time, I took it as a praise. But everyone else was wanting all beat and finished and I’d be like, “so why do I appear like this greasy brown blob?”. As I received older I realised it’s truly an absence of schooling on learn how to do my pores and skin tone, an absence of product and only a lack of effort to study.‘I assumed, “I don’t need to appear like a ghost anymore”. Learning learn how to do my very own make-up was liberating and made me benefit from the business as a result of I truly felt stunning. Once I began working with Black make-up artists and having them on set, that made me really feel extra comfy to discover what I even appreciated in magnificence.’ The golden guidelines of skincareAfter gigs, performances and capturing, Tayce depends on a radical skincare routine to take away traces of make-up and restore her pores and skin barrier: ‘Double cleanse, tone, exfoliate, sheet masks, serums and SPF,’ stressing the significance of the latter for mornings. Of course, SPF is a skincare should, no matter pores and skin tone, however on account of an absence of schooling surrounding melanomas on deep pores and skin, many grew up with the idea that solar safety wasn’t important.

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And if there’s one other factor all three are agency believers of, it’s moisturising. ‘I all the time appreciated the rituals of moisturising from a really younger age,’ says AJ. ‘At the time, it didn’t appear to be an enormous deal however to this present day, it’s a apply I do as quickly as I step out of the bathe and earlier than I’m going to mattress. That was self-care to me. We have been all moisturising [here today] earlier than the cameras have been rolling!’‘Nobody right here is un-moisturised, let me inform you that without spending a dime,’ jokes Leomie, as Tayce provides, ‘No ashiness allowed!’ The therapeutic rituals of haircareBlack hair has lengthy been politicised. A current survey from Dove discovered one in 4 Black adults have been despatched dwelling from work or confronted disciplinary motion as a result of they wore their hair in a pure or protecting type. Now, creator and activist Emma Dabiri and activist Zina Alfa are campaigning for the UK Equality Act to explicitly defend afro and textured hair towards discrimination (you’ll be able to signal the petition right here).Each of our cowl stars has labored in direction of a more healthy, loving relationship with their hair in maturity, however they are saying it’s a journey. On wash days, a youthful Leomie would inform her grandma she was working away. ‘I hated it,’ she says. ‘It damage and took a very long time. ‘Now, my hair is totally pure, and I get it handled frequently each two weeks. I’m very on high of the well being of my pure hair. However, it’s laborious to steadiness it as a result of work doesn’t all the time take one of the best care of it.’

Ruth Ossai

Of course, between all their on-camera work commitments, our stars’ hair will get put by lots. Which is why AJ discovered pleasure in giving her hair a break throughout lockdown. ‘[During that time], I’d have my hair in pigtails and reverted to little outdated me,’ she says. ‘When I used to be youthful, my mum could not do my hair, so we had a stretching comb,’ she remembers.‘She would sit me in-between her legs and I’d be like, “Mum, it hurts!” – and in any case that, it could simply go into two little pigtails. The second I’d step out in that chilly, wet Blackburn climate, it could simply shrink, and I’d assume, “the two-hour torture for this? I hate my hair!”‘That being mentioned, I want I may return and love my hair and not be so influenced by everybody else telling me that it was “tough, tough, too this and too that”. I want I may return and say: “it is completely improbable, thanks very a lot”’.

Ruth Ossai

The way forward for Black magnificenceIt’s 8 September 2017, and regardless of the rain pounding the pavements of Knightsbridge, London, a big group of individuals determinedly queue, wrapping round Harvey Nichols division retailer. The motive? Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty had simply dropped within the UK and, naturally, all of us needed a chunk of the pie Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer (FYI, Leomie says the shade Chocolate ‘deserves extra hype’).The profitable model grew to become recognized for launching straight to market with 40 shades of basis, a rarity on the time. Within days, photos of empty cabinets went viral and curiously (however maybe unsurprisingly for a lot of), it was all the time the deepest tones that fully bought out, highlighting an enormous lack of basis shades for darker pores and skin tones elsewhere.

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‘You see shade ranges now and they’re drastically larger than they have been,’ says Tayce. ‘Some could possibly be higher, and some are usually not sufficient in any respect, however these are issues that should not have been a problem within the first place and that’s the downside actually.’ Now, we’ve got 30-shade concealer ranges, bronzers that don’t look muddy and ‘nude’ lipsticks that aren’t simply varied shades of pink. But for Black magnificence particularly, there’s nonetheless a protracted option to go.When requested about what they’d wish to see from the wonder business, AJ is fast to reply: ‘Personally, I’d like to see higher worth factors. I take into consideration how everybody else can get their basis shades for £5 however [Black consumers] are paying probably the most.’In reality, The Black Pound Report 2022 by Backlight discovered that multi-ethnic shoppers spend 25% extra on well being and magnificence merchandise than some other shopper. ‘I really feel so privileged now I’m on this place the place I can go into a store and purchase my shades at no matter worth level they’re, however not each Black woman within the UK can do this,’ says AJ.The Black Pound Report additionally discovered that when purchasing IRL, 22% of multi-ethnic clients want to go to specialist retailers to seek out their well being and magnificence merchandise – a determine that rises to 30% for Black ladies. Leomie provides, ‘We all the time need to order on-line. I need to have the ability to see merchandise within the flesh and strive them on. We have the vary, now it must be accessible.’

Ruth Ossai

Tayce says, ‘I’d additionally like to see extra issues that might encourage youthful queer youngsters, like extra queer-owned manufacturers and extra trans-owned manufacturers.’ While she has just a few favourites, the queer, Black-owned house continues to be very small and Tayce is eager to interrupt into it: ‘I’d love to begin my very own make-up model with eyeshadows, lip glosses, blinding highlighters and extra.’ AJ feels hopeful about the way forward for Black magnificence. ‘It would not need to be inflexible and binary as a result of everybody actually deserves to be seen and really feel stunning and to have the ability to specific themselves in whichever method they select.‘For the subsequent era of Black folks, I hope that they recognise their sauce and their magnificence from the youngest age. I hope they see it ASAP. It’s actually superb that, on the age of 34, I lastly really feel assured. All the issues I didn’t like about my powerful, coarse, afro hair; I now love.‘But it’s taken me so a few years and I believe it’s such a disgrace. I actually hope my nieces, nephews, cousins, and all Black folks within the diaspora know that their pores and skin, their hair, their the whole lot is exclusive to them and is gorgeous due to that.’ We can all agree with that.Photographer: Ruth Ginika Ossai (@ruthossaistudio), Executive Editor: Jess Edwards (@jessmessedwards88), Digital Design Editor: Jaime Lee (@jaimesclee), Stylist: Cheryl Konteh (@cheryl_konteh), Talent Director: Lottie Lumsden (@lottielumsden), Talent Editor: Olivia Blair (@olivia__blair), Video: Alex Hering (@alexhering), Tyra Chuck (@simply.archived) and Jodie Smith (@cassjodes), Photo Directors: Rachael Clark (@hearstphotodirector) and Emily Murphy (@emilybaho), Beauty Editor: Hanna Ibraheem (@hannaibraheem), Interview: Vanese Maddix (@itsvanesem)AJ Odudu (@ajodudu) Makeup: Thembi Mkandla (@thembithems)Hair: Carl Campbell (@hairbycarlcampbell)Nails: Emma Welsh (@emmanailz)Tayce (@itstayce)Make-up: Thembi Mkandla (@thembithems)Hair: Darcie Harvey (@darcieharveyhair)Leomie Anderson (@leomieanderson)Hair: Marvin Francis (@marvinzworld_)Makeup: Esther Edeme (@paintedbyesther)Nails: Emma Welsh (@emmanailz)

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/beauty-hair/celebrity-hair-makeup/a41586955/aj-odudu-tayce-leomie-anderson-beauty-interview/

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