Ciara's two-decade career is a shining example of the power of manifestation. When the multihyphenate puts her mind to something, she makes it happen. She wanted to become a singer and landed her first record deal fresh out of high school. When she was ready to call the shots as a CEO, she launched her own enterprise, Beauty Marks Entertainment. Under the entity, she's been able to accomplish lifelong goals like creating opportunities for women, building a fashion house, and developing luxury fragrances.
Now, she's making another dream a reality with the release of her skincare brand, On a Mission (which she's dubbed OAM, for short). "It's a blessing to be here," Ciara says while sitting across the table from me, beaming with pride. "Knowing I dreamt of a day like this, and it's really happening, is pretty special."
To understand why the 36-year-old wanted to develop OAM, you have to take her skincare journey into account. During her early days as an on-the-rise singer in Atlanta, Ciara didn't pay much attention to her skin. "I used to always use body wash and body lotion on my face," she shares. "I put zero effort into how I was treating my skin."
It wasn't until she met makeup artist Yolonda Frederick-Thompson—who lovingly badgered her about the importance of products like eye cream—that she started taking skincare seriously. Since then, Ciara has been on a mission to discover what works best for her skin. "I decided it was time for me to level up how I'm loving on myself and level up my skincare routine," she says. "I wanted to think about long-term success for my skin."
Ciara says her skin evolution planted the seed for OAM, and she committed to building the brand nearly three years ago. She set out to create simple, clinical-level products that made skincare feel like self-care. Her first order of business? Assembling a team of powerful women to help her bring the vision to life. OAM's advisory board includes Frederick-Thompson, board-certified dermatologist Tiffany Libby, MD; CEO and former Sally Beauty executive JC Johnson; and cosmetic chemist Maha. "When you're talking about clinical-level skincare, you can't play with that," Ciara says. "I wanted to make sure my team was able to factor in everything you could think of as it relates to the skin."
Once she established the OAM team, product development kicked off. For Ciara, it was important to launch with a concise suite of products. "We talked about what you need to have that leveled-up skincare experience," she explains. "Sometimes, skincare can feel overwhelming. I wanted to create a routine that was simple for everyone."
In line with her mission to make things straightforward, each product has a number emblazoned on the back, indicating when you should use it in your routine. The Vitamin C Hydrating Cleanser ($28) should be used first, followed by the Vitamin C Brightening Pads ($28). The 20% Vitamin C Brightening Serum ($62) and Vitamin C Eye Revitalizer ($35) can be used in tandem or interchangeably as your third step. To finish things off, apply the Vitamin C Radiance Moisturizer ($43). The brand also recommends slathering on your favorite sunscreen after using the system. And in case you were wondering: Yes, OAM has an SPF in the works.
All the products are fragrance-free and infused with OAM's proprietary Tri-C Pro-Peptide Complex. The blend is comprised of three types of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, THD ascorbate, and sodium ascorbyl phosphate, to be exact). When used in skincare products, the antioxidant protects against free radical damage, even skin tone, and promotes collagen production. As Ciara puts it, "Vitamin C is game-changing."
Ciara revealed she started testing products while pregnant with her son, Win. So, ensuring the products were effective yet gentle was a priority. "I was a perfect candidate [for testing] because I was in one of the most delicate states a woman could be in," she says.
But, beyond trialing it on herself and her team, rigorous clinical testing was non-negotiable. "It's so important we create skincare for all skin types and tones," Ciara says. "We tested it on 96 women on the Fitzpatrick scale to ensure this is good for everyone." The data they compiled showed promising results, with four out of five users reporting that their skin looked more luminous after eight weeks.
Today marks the launch of OAM, and you can snag individual products and bundles directly on the brand's website. With her skincare brand officially out in the world, Ciara joins the ranks of a growing number of Black female entrepreneurs in skincare. "When you talk about the short list of women of color in this space, that's a very real thing," she says. "I'm excited to join that list and educate as many people as possible about how we should be taking care of our skin."
But, beyond the skincare knowledge she hopes to impart, there's another message she wants OAM supporters to take away. "Don't rush the process that's meant for you," she tells me. "I wanted many things I'm doing today to happen a long time ago. But that wasn't the right time. So, be patient and trust your process. Embrace the not-so-pretty moments in the journey. They're all worth it, and you will ultimately land where you're supposed to be."