Welcome to Stylist’s Pretty Damn Good, a weekly series in which different women share the one product – across hair care, skincare, make-up, body and fragrance – that remains a forever staple in their beauty routines.
There are many great Black-owned beauty brands that are finally getting the recognition they deserve. One of which is The Afro Hair & Skin Co.
Founded by Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka, this afro beauty and wellness brand is committed to delivering organic and natural handmade products. Located along the English coast, Meier-Oruitemeka researched and developed her range over five years. She was determined to seek out fresh and locally-sourced ingredients that are grown, harvested and cold-pressed in the UK.
Every product is created to meet the needs of afro-textured hair and melanin-rich skin, though Meier-Oruitemeka adds that their quality ingredients make them suitable for everyone.
Within the ethical brand, you’ll find a hydrating hair butter, an exfoliating clay mask and a selection of nourishing oils. There’s even a gorgeous Face Mask Treatment Dish, £12, created by local artist and ceramicist Carla Wright, to bring the element of self-care into your masking session.
Of course, running your own business, sourcing sustainable ingredients and producing new formulas is far from easy work. So how does Meier-Oruitemeka bring self-care into her own day? Here, she tells us about the perfume that brings clarity to her day.
“I first found Maya Njie [founder of the eponymous brand] through Instagram. I was captured by the fact that her Swedish-Gambian family heritage and childhood memories inform the scents that she creates. A blend of two uniquely different worlds come together like magic to create the captivating and nostalgic backdrop to her brand. I was also drawn in by the Swedish/Scandi references as I have fond memories of living there in my late twenties.
“About a year ago, I ordered the Maya Njie Discovery Set, £20, through the brand’s website. That’s when I discovered its Tropica Eau de Parfum, £90. I fell in love with the whole collection but Tropica and Vanilj were by far my favourites. After raving about her scents at home and dropping some well-timed hints, my partner surprised me with a bottle of Tropica for my birthday last May.
“Using this perfume makes me happy. I feel good wearing it and love that it’s both light and playful but pinned down with a kind of earthy sensuality. The scent is really clean with subtle and well balanced notes of pineapple, coconut and sandalwood. It’s full bodied without being cloying or overpowering.
“I wear Tropica most days, it’s like a second skin. I usually spritz a little inside my coat or on my scarf before going outside, I love to bury my face deep in my scarf as it gets cold and take in the warm tropical aromas. I also dab a little bit on my wrists and behind the ears.
”Applying perfume is usually the final step in my fairly simple morning ritual. It allows me to shift mentally into a readiness for the day ahead. I inhale, savour, exhale and go. The way I see it is that a good perfume also works to connect me to my life-force by encouraging me to breathe in a little deeper. It helps me to express some of the deeper and more complex facets of my personhood, by communicating through a language only the subconscious understands.
“The simplicity of the square glass bottle with gently rounded corners is beautiful. The design is clean and minimal and fuses both a hint of old glamour with a clean Scandinavian vibe. It’s right up my street. I also love that you can send your bottle back for a refill once you’re done.”
Main image: Ibi Meier-Oruitemeka/brand