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6 female-led African beauty brands to follow and try right now

Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

Suki Suki Naturals®

Instagram: sukisukinaturals

Founded by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)- born Linda Gieskes-Mwamba in 2012, Suki (meaning “hair” in the DRC, “happiness” in Hindi, and “to be fond of” in Japanese) stands by its core values: true quality, uniquely natural and authentically African. It creates natural products with harm-free ingredients that nurture, soothe and heal your skin and hair. Linda and her team are passionate about undiscovered African ingredients, which they add to their unique formulas to give you true goodness. The products’ overall quality and results speak for themselves as their popularity has soared.

Chick Cosmetics

Instagram: @chick.cosmetics_

Since its launch in 2018, this brand has taken a stance by doing beauty differently, using sustainable practices and cruelty-free ingredients. “I’ve always wanted to explore makeup and help advance women’s views on beauty,” says its founder and CEO, Nomfundo Njibe. “We develop each of our products with passion and love.”

Lulu & Marula

Instagram: @luluandmarula

Jesslynn Shepherd launched this brand organically in 2013 after experimenting with skincare formulations in her kitchen in response to a lack of natural skincare products in South Africa. She’d been struggling with hormonal breakouts and was aware of the importance of preventing premature ageing, but she hadn’t been able to find a product that worked for her skin. From there, Lulu & Marula blossomed. You’re looking at a simple skincare range, so you don’t have to choose from a hundred different products. The brand considers its customers, who may be aware they have a problem with their skin but don’t know how to remedy it. It educates customers on caring for their skin as a ritual to be enjoyed, not a chore.


Instagram: @swiitchbeauty

Rabia Ghoor, who recently won The Forbes Woman Africa Young Achievers award, founded Swiitch Beauty in her bedroom when she was 14. Today, it’s one of the most popular cosmetics brands in South Africa. It creates affordable local products without compromising on quality. The hype online, specifically on its Instagram profile, shows this innovative brand is loved.

Constance Beauty


Constance Bhebhe founded this brand (formerly Connie Transform) in 2016. Having grown tired of not finding lipstick that complemented her skin tone, she decided to create shades for women of colour like herself. The small project soon evolved into a fully vegan, cruelty-free range of liquid-matte lipsticks, cosmetics and skincare.

Malée Natural Science

Instagram: @maleeonline

Its slogan is “beauty with a purpose”, and it instils the belief that personal success starts with self-care, that luxury shouldn’t come at a cost to the environment, and that brands should give back to local communities to help build a better world. “My heritage is at the heart of Maleé,” says the founder of this luxury fragrance, bath and body care range, Zeze Oriaikhi- Sao. She named it after her great-grandmother, Malée (pronounced mah-lay, a term of endearment used for gracious, learned women in Bini, a tribal language spoken in Nigeria).

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