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Jacqueline’s Best Life is setting up a beauty business for women of colour

In these turbulent times it takes strength, foresight and determination to start a business. But that’s exactly what entrepreneur Jacqueline Kusamotu and business partner Abi Lawrence-Adesida did just as the pandemic was heading our way for the first time.

Candour Beauty is the UK’s first multi-brand beauty and personal care retailer for the Black skin market.

It has been created for Black women, and women of colour, to share skincare concerns, product reviews and recommendations of products effective for their skin type.

Says Jacqueline: “My frustration with being overlooked by the beauty industry led me to create Candour Beauty. It’s a multi-brand platform with a mission to provide Black women with a focused collection of products selected for their skin, hair and personal care needs.”

Based in North London, Candour Beauty works to address a real problem that Black women, and women of colour, come across when searching for beauty and personal care products: misunderstanding.

“I want to see all women win, but most importantly I want to see Black women winning,” she says.

Jacqueline says most skincare, beauty and aesthetic professionals are not trained to understand and address common Black skincare issues, and therefore when shopping, and searching for information, consumers often don’t get the right advice.

While researching for Candour Beauty, Jacqueline found that, according to the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), Britain’s Black community is worth an estimated £300bn, and yet the majority of the Black British population feel they are not adequately catered for.

‘Jacqueline has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so when she discovered an unbranded eyebrow pencil in a local beauty store, she bought a few and sold them to girls in school who ‘looked like her’

She encountered a number of road blocks when it came to sourcing data and understanding her market, so embarked upon the journey of creating The Black British Census, an initiative to give Black shoppers and communities in Britain a voice, and enable brands, such as Candour Beauty, to better understand the needs of an underrepresented customer base.

Jacqueline has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so when she discovered an unbranded eyebrow pencil in a local beauty store, she bought a few and sold them to girls in school who ‘looked like her’.

She has a degree in marketing and started her first business in 2009 with Fashion Mavericks, a London Fashion Week springboard event which provided a platform to young British and International designers to showcase their collections to press and buyers. It ran for five seasons and was featured in the likes of ELLE Brazil and VOGUE Italia.

After starting her family, she has two sons, and working in IT for the past 10 years, her fire for entrepreneurship and beauty has been sparked again with the launch of Candour Beauty.

Jacqueline says: “Hyperpigmentation is one of the biggest skincare concerns for Black women. Dark skin is very sensitive, and can manifest dark marks, as once the skin barrier is compromised for example by a pimple it is likely to develop a dark spot if ‘played with’.”

In terms of products she suggests adding exfoliates which contain ingredients such as lactic, glycolic or mandelic acid into a skincare routine. For skin glow and pigmentation, she suggests a brightening serum or product which contains Vitamin C, licorice root, niacinamide and brighters.

Brightening Serum: PALOMA SERUM BHA & AHA SERUM, 60m £19.99

“And if we don’t say it enough, sunscreen! It’s crucial not only to protect against cancers, but also to prevent any dark spots from worsening.”

Face & Body Sunscreen SPF 30, 89ml £19.95.

Jacqueline says: “Ultimately, it’s really important to know your skin; how it feels and reacts at different times of the month/year is quite key to getting the best out of your products. We all know our skin behaves differently in different weather, when on a monthly cycle, or when we eat certain foods etc. Knowing this will allow you to know when, how, or what to apply during these times to help reach your skin goals.”

Diane Cooke
Diane Cooke is a three times award-winning journalist who has worked for UK national/regional newspapers, magazines and websites.

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