Many brides go to great lengths to ensure that they look absolutely ravishing on what is surely one of the most exciting days of their lives. They make sure they find that one perfect dress, the perfect shoes and the perfect accessories. Of course, every bride wants to ensure that its about more than the dress and accessories, she wants to looks flawless; that is where the beauty expert comes in.
Bola Fadina of Blush Nigeria is a beauty expert and beauty industry innovator. Recognizing the void in high-end and cutting edge beauty boutiques in Lagos, Nigeria, she decided to set up her own beauty boutique. Not one to settle, she set her sights on something bigger: she decided to launch her own line of cosmetics, Blush Beauty for the confident and fun-loving woman.
Bola is a go-getter in every way. Meet her!
Please introduce yourself briefly. (Your name, occupation, passions, etc.)
My name is Bola Fadina and I am the CEO of Blush Beauty and Salon in Lagos, Nigeria. I am a huge fan of beauty products, particularly products derived from organic raw materials and essential oils. I also enjoy baking and cooking and have been known to throw a few fabulous dinners and tea parties.
You studied Business Administration and have had a wealth of experience in Investment Banking. Why did you decide to pursue a career in the beauty industry?
Despite my experience in the banking sector, I have a passion for products. I am always up for trying the latest beauty products/trends on the market. My main inspiration to enter the beauty industry is my Mother; I remember growing up, her dresser was full of products such as Clarins, Elizabeth Arden and Must de Cartier. My sisters and I spent hours playing with her products; she wasn't best pleased most of the time.
You lived in London for quite a while. Why did you decide to begin your beauty career in Nigeria?
Though I lived in London for a number of years, I actually travel to Nigeria very frequently, sometimes up to 5 times a year. I found that there was no store in Lagos that
retailed any new, cutting edge or the latest products. Yes there are many beauty
stores in Lagos but I couldn't find one that was exciting or current enough for
me. I wanted to have a beauty boutique similar to the cosmetics section in Saks, Henri Bendel or Bergdorf Goodman which Lagos did not have. I also want to be a trendsetter when it comes to the beauty industry in Nigeria.
As a beauty industry insider, what do you think of the Nigerian beauty industry?
Nigerian woman are some of the savviest in the world when it comes to beauty and fashion. There is an amazing interest in makeup artistry, hairdressing, spa and salon management. Many talented beauty professionals who gained their experienced in the UK and US such as Lola Maja, have setup academies to train students on areas such as threading, lash extensions, waxing, and micro-dermabrasion. Nigerians students are also keen and eager to learn and apply their new skills.
How far do you think the industry has gone and how much growth is needed?
The industry has certainly made great strides in the last 5 years with talented people such as Lola Maja, Banke Meshida Lawal and Nike Oshinowo passing on their skills in Nigeria. I also noticed that younger people are now keen to using natural and organic based products. Nigeria is so rich and vastly blessed with raw material and we are now realising the value to our homegrown beauty products and shying away from dangerous chemicals such as those used in skin bleaching.
What do you think are the perks and downsides of the Nigerian beauty industry?
I get to sample wonderful naturally made products and makeup including hair treatments made from jojoba, coconut oil, Shea butter with African fragrances such as frankincense and musk, [and] naturally made kohl used as eyeliner. The downside is still having to educate people about the dangers of bleaching creams to lighten their skin.
Let's talk about the Blush brand. You opened the Blush beauty boutique in Nigeria a few years ago. What motivated you to do that?
We had our first pop-up shop a few years ago. However, our store and salon formally opened early 2011 in Victoria Island, Lagos Nigeria.
How do you decide what products to stock in the Blush boutique?
We decided on products that customers ask for and also products that we know work well given our weather, which is often hot humid in the south and hot and dry as you go northwards towards the Sahara.
You also lauched the Blush range of cosmetics. When did the Blush products become available for purchase? What products are in the Blush line (eyeshadow, lipsticks, etc.)?
Blush Beauty makeup line became available in 2009 and we have a wonderful variety of products including, primers, foundations (powder, cream and liquids) lipsticks, lipglosses, eyeshadows, gel liners, blushers and brushes to name a few.
What was the inspiration behind the line of beauty products?
When the idea of the store came to me, I wanted to stock makeup lines. I approached numerous companies in the US including Iman but I was turned down or the franchise fees were just ridiculously high. So these setbacks inspired me to start my own makeup brand and Blush Beauty was born.
Where are the products made and who do you work with to produce them?
Products are made in North America.
How involved are you in the manufacture of the Blush range of cosmetics?
We have a wonderful manufacturer willing to listen to us on ideas, bringing out new products, colours and the level of vibrancy. As you know, Africans love colour and our skin tones allow us to use the most vibrant and pigmented colours.
What sets Blush apart from other cosmetics lines?
We have an amazing array of products, which are highly pigmented and are vibrant colours. Our makeup range is also suitable for [Nigerian] weather which can sometimes be harsh to the skin.
As a bridal magazine, we are always excited when we can get tips from experts. Please share some beauty tips for our brides.
Ensure you have a makeup trial before your wedding; a lot of Nigerian brides don’t do this. Try and have your makeup done by a professional.
Avoid doing your own makeup unless you are proficient at it as you have enough to worry about on your day.
What about make up tips?
Using a primer as a base for your makeup helps with the staying factor.
Buy your foundation at a professional makeup counter and ensure it matches your skintone.
Less is more unless you’re doing a Lady Gaga shoot.
Avoid sharing your makeup and clean your makeup brushes regularly.
Are there any smells or scents that you recommend for brides?
I have a perfume oil from Egypt, called Thousand Flower perfume. I'm not sure if it's truly made from a thousand flowers but you sure will smell like a million dollars on your wedding day.
Finally, please describe the ideal Blush woman.
The ideal Blush woman is one that radiates inner glow, exudes confidence and is fun loving.
Blush Beauty is definitely a beauty brand to look out for. We wish Bola much success in all her endeavors. Be sure to check out the official website and Facebook page for all the latest information and dare to Blush.
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