Wed 14th June 2017 – Entrepreneurial women excelling in the hair and beauty arena where celebrated by industry expert judges and guests at the awards, sponsored by Miss May Ldn Cakes and Tress Free plus wardrobe provided by Kashane Swaby and marketing handled by JoClarePR.

The awards launched to provide a platform for women who have launched beauty products and services from their kitchen tables or tablets, often while juggling other roles, yet have managed to grow innovative and successful brands.

This year, the awards focused on five categories:  Best Haircare Brand, Best Makeup Colour Cosmetics Brand, Best Skincare (Face and/or body brand), Best Online Innovation brand (comprising of online retailers stocking multi-brands, apps or Beauty Box companies) and the Best Beauty/Hair Blogger Award.

The founder, who was recently honoured with a British Empire Medal by HRH, Dr Clare Anyiam-Osigwe BEM said “These awards are set to provide a level playing field for all women, no matter their diverse knowledge, backgrounds and stage in their entrepreneurial journey with a stepping stone to boost brand credibility, increase revenue and attract the attention of retail buyers and international press”.

Exhibitors such as Collectiv Beauty and Smart Hair Clinic spoke to guests about their services and the ceremony opened with a poetry recital entitled ‘Dear Melanin Woman’ from Radio host Latoya Lovell.

The winners:

WINNER: Primal Beauty black soap – BEST HAIRCARE BRAND, presented by Trichologist, Salon Owner and Hair stylist to the stars; Latenda Kalimba.

Primal Beauty is the brainchild of Xsandy’s hair & cosmetics owner, Sandra Brown-Pinnock who created the brand in effort to encourage more people to adopt a natural approach to beauty.

Primal Beauty Black Soap Shampoo is an anti-breakage formula that cleanses without stripping the hair.  Fortified with natural ingredients that promote healthy hair, our Black Soap Shampoo provides a rich lather that brings moisture to your hair and scalp.

WINNER: Empress Me Cosmetics – Mineral Foundation – BEST MAKEUP BRAND, presented by Dr Clare Anyiam-Osigwe BEM.

34 year old, Jamaican Sierra Leonean Rashidah Prince is mum to 3 lovely children. A beauty assessor, makeup artist and beauty therapist, she left full time job to focus on my dream before Christmas.

Suffering with adult acne drove Rashida to start her own makeup line, Empress Me Cosmetics. Rashida started in her small kitchen mixing powdered food such as cocoa, beetroot to create different shades. Rashida has overcome financial adversity. Rashida’s daughter is her inspiration and she retorts that passion is vital to remain positive though down times and to never stop learning.

WINNER: Shea Butter Cottage Tiramisu Body Butter – BEST SKINCARE BRAND, presented by skin care expert, Antonia Burell.

A set of unfortunate circumstances led to mum, Akua Wood starting her own business.   She founded her toiletry brand Cioc-colatina (now known as Shea Butter Cottage) in November 2002 in response to her frustration in trying to find a natural range of toiletries to moisturise her skin, as well as to fulfil her need to work at home. She used her love of Shea butter and knowledge of using natural products in her native Africa to create her products which are made from ingredients bought direct from farmer co-operatives in Ghana.

WINNER: Slap App Makeup colour match App – BEST INNOVATION BRAND, presented by newly honoured MBE, Ann-Marie Imafidon, The co-founder of Stemmetes.

Jamila started Slapp to make all young women, no matter where they lived or what their race, feel like they were being catered to by the beauty industry. She grew increasingly frustrated with seeing a new launch, or hot product, that she couldn’t use. That’s why at Slapp we only celebrate brands, that celebrate everyone.

So far, the App has been featured in the Daily Mail and Elle magazine. Someone that Jamila looks up to is Naomi Campbell, as she uses her position to speak out for all women of colour.

Speaking on business, she said ”Be prepared to not have a life! Things won’t always go how you planned, but keep pushing on and you will get there eventually”

WINNER: Wonderlusting – Lynda D’Aboh – BEST BLOGGER BRAND, presented by Teenage blogging sensation and model, Arabella Daho.

Ridiculously curious and always seeking what’s new and innovative, Lynda is a self-professed geek about ingredients with a passion for natural and organic products. Her knowledge about how to use products comes from Africa and Asia. The first vegans and smoothie drinkers she knew were Indians and Rastas. Lynda believes that people of colour have pioneered holistic living and beauty yet that isn’t reflected in the blogosphere and so she wanted to change that.

Lynda’s most memorable success to date was: Hosting the first event in the UK showcasing natural and organic beauty for brown beauties at the leading green beauty store. It was the first time a blogger had been invited to host an event there.

Baroness Lawrence, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama, and Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Her advice to bloggers is: Just do you and keep your eye on *your* prize. Focus on being a resource for your readers rather than chasing likes.

Congratulations to the winners and visit to stay tuned for how to enter your brand or blog for 2018 ceremony.


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