Ready Regimen: Amina
As a cosmetic scientist with years of experience in the industry, Amina has worked within product and lab development, marketing, quality control, and legislation. With over 9 years of experience, she has had the opportunity to work with skin & hair care, makeup, and lifestyle brands, such as RIMMEL London, SLEEK Makeup, and Odylique.
4 years ago, she created and developed lila'lli, a range of multi-functional colour cosmetics that combines everyday core essentials with bold colours and high quality formulations. Follow Amina on Instagram.
Kate Lee: How did your experiences in the cosmetics industry shape your desire to create your makeup line, lila'lli?
Amina Ajayi: I've always had the desire to start up my own brand ever since studying BSc Cosmetic Science. The idea to start lila'lli - a multifunctional makeup brand - came from when I was freelancing for a makeup brand in Nigeria. It was there that I realised there was a gap in the market for such products.
KL: Your products are multi-functional. There are some products out there that claim to be both a lip and cheek tint, for example. Can you talk about how your products differ from others on the market that make them more multi-functional than others?
AA: lila'lli as a multifunctional make up brand really means using a few products to transition you from day to night; and using one product for multiple uses. For example; our pigment infusions are really pigmented pressed powders that have been formulated to be used as desired. They were formulated to be used as blushes, highlighters/bronzers, eyeshadows and as a lip stain when combined with a clear gloss.
KL: Any plans to reach out to retailers in the US?
AA: For now, No. We are still a small independent brand with limited capabilities. Hopefully in the future when the brand grows, our products can have greater reach as well.
KL: How does your cosmetic science background factor into your skincare routine?
AA: Fortunately because of my background I understand ingredients and formulations probably a little bit better than the average consumer. I'm able to read in between the marketing jargon (which there is a lot of) and concentrate more on the formula itself. I'm into more independent brands because I know they spend most of their money on R&D and consumer testing than the big brands where 80% of what consumers are paying for is marketing.
KL: What is your Holy Grail skincare product?
AA: A very hard one, but if I had to pick, it'd be my SPF (which should be a holy grail for everyone). My preferred SPF is the Alpha H Protection Plus Daily SPF 50+.
KL: You're also a beauty consultant. What's involved in your day-to-day in consultancy? Do you mainly work with brands or individual clients?
AA: I mainly work with brands; more on the development, marketing, and technical aspect of launching a product. I also work with individuals on curating a specific range of skincare products based on their skin type, problem, and need. This is an on-going relationship between myself and my clients over a long period of time until we get to a place where were both happy with the condition that their skin is at.
KL: Your blog and Instagram both do a great job detailing your skincare journey. With social media saturated with skincare diaries and beauty tips, what do you think is important about chronicling our personal skincare and beauty experiences online?
AA: I think one of the most important things is the keyword - Personal. Influencers are marketing tactics for brands and one of their key methods of getting their products into consumers hands. I always tell people that skin is different and what works for one person might not necessarily work for you. Study your skin, understand your skin type and need; speak to a professional with a relevant background if you have to.
KL: Is there anything you'd like to see in the skincare and beauty industry that hasn't yet been created?
AA: There are a few things that I believe are still needed within the skincare and beauty industry; especially for women of colour. Trying to find a SPF that does not leave a whitecast for women of colour is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There are some; but it'll take about 50 tries before one sticks.