6 Insanely Skilled African Beauty Bloggers Share Their Best Makeup Secrets

Updated 08/22/17

Beauty bloggers have lit up the industry with their impeccable skills. Their ability to influence the masses with their dominant digital presence is inspiring, to say the least. These women are a force on the internet, and we love learning from them. Every beauty-obsessed woman is in search of new ways to kill her next hair and makeup look, which makes watching YouTube videos so worthwhile. Many self-made beauty bloggers have built a dedicated fan base on their own while juggling full-time jobs, school, and other responsibilities.

It goes without saying that their beauty skills are something else, but their hustle is next-level.

There can never be enough representation in the beauty world for women of color, which is why I’m always screenshotting stunning looks and sharing videos of diverse beauty bloggers I love. I reached out to the dopest African beauty bloggers in the game to hear how they made it. You’re going to want to take notes on the products they keep in rotation and their game-changing makeup secrets. Read on, and prepare to be inspired by their success stories.

Aysha Good

BYRDIE: What inspired you to create your blog?

AYSHA GOOD: I want to connect with women everywhere and have a platform to share my story. I feel like beauty is something that unites everyone, and it’s a stepping stone for women to open up and share our stories.

BYRDIE: What are the products you can’t live without?

AG: KeraCare Defining Custard ($11) and Twist and Define Cream ($13) for my hair. Sephora No.1 Always Red ($14), which is the bold red lip I wear in almost all my pictures. The Nyx Soft Matte Lip Cream in London and Cannes ($6 each) are also my go-to lipsticks.

BYRDIE: Is there a makeup secret you swear by?

AG: I use all my blushes as eye shadows. Repurposing my blush products gives me a wide range of options to pick from when I want to create a fun eye shadow look.

BYRDIE: What have been some roadblocks in your career?

AG: Finding new ways to be more creative has definitely been a huge roadblock for me. It’s like, okay, so I take pictures and post them on Instagram, but what can I do to elevate my creativity and make this more interesting for myself and my audience so I can to grow within my craft? I don’t want to just take pictures—I want to evolve, grow, and become more creative.

BYRDIE: Any advice for aspiring beauty bloggers?

AG: Stay true to yourself and your content. Don’t compare yourself to others or post things because others do so. Do everything on your own terms and how you feel fits best for you. When you’re being true to yourself, you’ll attract the right audience.

Ronke Raji

BYRDIE: What inspired you to create your blog?

RONKE RAJI: All I’ve wanted to do is motivate and inspire women to become their best selves. I want women to feel like wearing makeup doesn’t define them. It’s important for women to constantly remind ourselves that we’re able to accomplish anything—I want to be that constant reminder.

BYRDIE: What are the products you can’t live without?

RR: Black Radiance Baked Bronzer in Rose Gold ($5) because who doesn’t love a good highlighter? The price point of this highlighter is a steal. I can’t go anywhere without it. Even on days when I’m not wearing makeup, I like to dab a bit on the high planes of my face to give my skin an extra glow. I love Pond’s Dry Skin Cream ($5) because I’ve never used a moisturizer that made my skin glow with and without makeup. It’s my holy-grail moisturizer, and I use it every morning and night. I also love Urban Skin RX Even Tone Cleansing Bar ($28).

I use this cleansing bar every day because skincare is so important to me. It’s easy to transport, and my skin always feels so pampered when I pair it with my moisturizer. I’m obsessed with MAC Lip Pencil in Nightmoth ($18), and I feel like I use this with all my lipsticks. I love the purple hue, and it’s the perfect color for a cool ombré look. Lastly, everyone needs a Juvia’s Place palette. My all-time favorite is Juvia’s Place Nubian 2 Palette ($28). The pigmentation is insane, and I use it for blush, eye shadow, and sometimes even lip liner.

This palette is just perfect.

BYRDIE: Is there a makeup secret you swear by?

RR: Recently, I’ve started using translucent powder to set my whole face of makeup. I’ve noticed it makes my foundation stay on longer. This trick along with a spritz of setting spray will keep the summer heat from ruining your makeup.

BYRDIE: What have been some roadblocks in your career?

RR: The beauty community has become a bit more saturated than it was before, so it can be hard to find your place. It can also be challenging to figure out what to do and what not to do, especially because there’s no general guideline. Overall, I’ve found that roadblocks can be moved, and I’ve decided to push forward despite them.

BYRDIE: Any advice for aspiring beauty bloggers?

RR: Being passionate is the most important piece of advice I can give. Passion drives everything—it makes you keep going even when doors are shut and people don’t believe in you. Also, it doesn’t matter who believes in you in the long run. What matters is that you believe in yourself and go after your dreams as hard as you can. Trust me, it’s worth it.

Chizi Duru

BYRDIE: What inspired you to create your blog?

CHIZI DURU: As a new natural back in 2011, I was obsessed with watching YouTube videos of women showcasing their natural hair journeys. After some time, I noticed there weren’t many vloggers with my hair type, and as I searched and searched for a closer representation of myself, I was disappointed at the lack of diversity. So I decided I would document my journey as a way to contribute to the natural hair community and broaden the spectrum of hair types showcased on YouTube.

BYRDIE: What are the products you can’t live without?

CD: I love Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar ($12) because it’s so multifunctional and inexpensive. I mix it with water and use it as a rinse for my hair, a toner for my skin, and a way to combat stubborn pimples. I also love Lakewood Organic Aloe Vera Juice ($8). I combine it with water and spritz it on my hair to seal my cuticles and as a light toner for my skin. I consider water an essential part of my beauty routine because it’s everything. I need conditioner or else my hair will get so dry without it.

Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray ($32) is such an essential with the number of events I have to attend. It keeps my makeup looking fresh throughout the day.

BYRDIE: Is there a makeup secret you swear by?

CD: Powder before foundation for big events. You’ll never get oily, I promise.

BYRDIE: What have been some roadblocks in your career?

CD: Being a college student and running a Youtube channel was super challenging. I was tempted many times to give up on YouTube and focus on school. But nothing good comes easy, and I’m so glad I stuck it out because it’s really paying off now.

BYRDIE: Any advice for aspiring beauty bloggers? 

CD: Pick a niche, and stay consistent.

Noble Bokilo

BYRDIE: What inspired you to create your beauty blog? 

NOBLE BOKILO: My love of art. I’ve always been into art, so I went from painting on canvas to painting on my face. I also noticed a lack of diversity in the beauty community. I didn’t see a lot of women with my skin tone or my features in this industry, so I wanted to create more representation.

BYRDIE: What are the products you can’t live without? 

NB: Danessa Myrick Foundation ($18) packs a lot of pigment and works well with my undertones. Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Lolita ($20) is my all-time favorite pinky nude. It’s hard to find great nudes for my skin tone, but this one is the truth, and I’m already on my third tube. Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum ($80) is the best I’ve tried so far. The vitamin C helps brighten my skin and diminish my hyperpigmentation. I’m always wearing sunscreen because you must protect your skin. And I’m a lover of rose hip oil because it’s super moisturizing and also helps brighten my skin.

BYRDIE: Is there a makeup secret you swear by? 

NB: If you fill in your brows and feel like they look too harsh, swipe some of your face powder on top of them. It brings the color down a bit and looks way more natural.

BYRDIE: What have been some roadblocks in your career? 

NB: Finding the balance between my 9-to-5 corporate job and trying to build a name for myself in the beauty community is a constant struggle.

BYRDIE: Any advice for aspiring beauty bloggers? 

NB: I’m still evolving, but my advice is to be yourself. People will see through you if you are pretending to be someone else. Do what you love; there’s no need to copy what everyone else is doing.

Uwani Aliyu

BYRDIE: What inspired you to create your blog?

UWANI ALIYU: It all came about from my love for art. As a child, I always loved to paint and draw. Growing up, I began to love makeup, hair, and different expressions of beauty. I decided to create my blog to share my passion and opinions with the world.

BYRDIE: What are the products you can't live without? 

UA: MAC Prep and Prime Fix Plus ($25) is the fixer for me. I use this before and after I finish my makeup. I love the way it sets my makeup and reduces the powdery look. I’m a girl with oily skin, so Becca Becca Ever-Matte Poreless Perfecting Primer ($15) is my holy grail. It controls my skin’s shine and helps my makeup last longer than usual. Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil ($58) is one of my favorite serums in the world. This serum doesn’t clog my pores or make my skin look extra shiny. It leaves my skin feeling moisturized and helps reduce the appearance of pores.

My Beautyblender ($20) always comes in handy when I want a flawless look. And I never run out of ECOCO Eco Styler Gel.

BYRDIE: Is there a makeup secret you swear by?

UA: Ever since I discovered applying powder before foundation, I stopped needing to touch up my makeup when I’m out.

BYRDIE: What have been some roadblocks in your career?

UA: Balancing school and blogging was not easy for me. This caused a lot of setbacks with my content-creation process. I advise student bloggers is to plan well and maximize your time.

BYRDIE: Any advice for aspiring beauty bloggers? 

UA: Be completely yourself. If you give your wholehearted opinion, you will be appreciated. Be as consistent as possible, and most importantly, engage with your audience.

Erica Moore

BYRDIE: What inspired you to create your blog?

ERICA MOORE: I created The Glamorous Gleam as an outlet to share my musings as I navigated the beauty world. I was newly obsessed with makeup and building my collection, so I wanted to share my thoughts on my purchases with others to help them out. I was also just learning how to apply makeup and wanted to share tips and beauty secrets I learned along the way.

BYRDIE: What are the products you can’t live without?

EM: I always keep a huge jar of coconut oil ($6) around because you can use it for practically everything: removing makeup, deep conditioning your hair, moisturizing, cleaning your teeth, and cooking. Red lipstick instantly glams up my look and boosts my confidence when I’m not feeling like myself. I’m very into jet-black eyeliner to create my signature winged cat eye. I have to have brow gel because if my eyebrows are not on point, then my entire look is off. I’m also never without clippers to keep my haircut fresh.

BYRDIE: Is there a makeup secret you swear by?

EM: I mix a radiance primer with my foundation to give my skin a natural glow. I find that mixing primer with foundation controls oil in your T-zone area better than when you apply them both separately.

BYRDIE: What have been some roadblocks in your career?

EM: My number one roadblock is lack of time. I’m still working a full-time job, and I’m also a mom. Sometimes there’s just not enough hours in a day to get everything done. Using a planner along with my iCal to keep up with deadlines and events helps with my productivity. Another roadblock would be burnout. Sometimes I have so many new products covering my desk and messages in my inbox that I feel overwhelmed. Then I won’t feel motivated to photograph products, prepare a blog post, or start new projects.

To get over this, I take a breather and give myself a few days to recoup. I come back refreshed and get right back to business. There’s nothing wrong with taking a break when you’re burned out. Otherwise, you won’t produce your best work.

BYRDIE: Any advice to aspiring beauty bloggers?

EM: Be yourself. In the saturated beauty blogosphere, being yourself is what makes you stand out. Also, who you were yesterday should be your only competition. Focus on how you can improve yourself daily, and don’t worry too much about what others are doing.

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