This post is so exciting for me because I had the chance to sit down and chat about beauty with one of the most intelligent and beautiful woman I’ve ever met, Emma Dabiri! Every time the Brazilian saying “Beleza com Conteúdo” comes to mind Emma is the first person I think about. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little bit scared to interview Emma but she is super sweet, kind and very down to earth. After a few sips of coffee at The Lord Mayor’s Lounge in The Shelbourne Hotel. We talked about hair, make-up, Madonna & red tutus! But one does not simply talk about one or two subjects with Emma Dabiri, so I had to split this post in two parts and this one is mostly about beauty. Tag: Emma Dabiri Tag: Emma Dabiri


You are always so outspoken, and you seem to have a lot of confidence. Take me to the time when you decided on ”the look” the moment you thought ”Yes, that’s how I want to look like”

Well, I don’t think that was a defining moment where I thought “this is the look” but I’ve always loved make-up. I had children’s make-up but I wasn’t allowed to wear (actual) makeup until I was fourteen. I wore a lot of make-up and lot of foundation, that didn’t really match my skin tone! And I’ve always loved the 1950’s look, the black, thick winged eye-liner and it was the 90’s as well so I wore a wine/red lip liner and a pink lipstick. I don’t think it looked great. But then over the years I just sort of refined my look.

My mother sold vintage clothes and I think I’ve always liked the 1950’s a lot.Even though I haven’t always dressed 50’s (style) the red lip and the black eye liner have always been my favorites! But now I’m trying to keep away from the red lipstick. I was wearing it almost everyday for years! tag:Emma Dabiri

And what do you think is beautiful in you? Something that you look at and makes you go: Yes! I like this!

I would say my hair! And I think that is quite important because growing up I absolutely hated my hair. I just wanted to have straight blonde hair and my hair is the exact opposite of straight blonde hair. I spent years wearing weaves and relaxing it. Then I realized that black people are the only people in the world that have afro hair and we should celebrate the fact that we have the type of hair that nobody else has. And I can have straight and blond if I want to! Is a very versatile hair, people often think that we can’t do much with it. The creativity that exist in black (afro) hair styling is very broad and you can do anything with it! 

What do you find beautiful in others?

I don’t think that is one size fits all. I think this generic kind of look is increasing while not everybody supposed to look the same so I often like people that are “unusual” and are kind of quirk. And I like lips, I love people with big lips! Tag: Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri

Tag: Emma Dabiri

What is your favourite beauty product?

 I have been using a lot of AESOP products, is an Australian brand that have just arrived in the UK. I love the aesthetic of their store, I think there is about five of them in London and every store is completely different from one another, they have a beautiful interior design and their products are very natural. And in terms of make-up Mac’s Ruby Roo is my favourite! Tag: Emma Dabiri

Emma Dabiri

Tag: Emma Dabiri

You have five minutes to get out of the house, which make-up product would you reach for?

It would be my eyebrow brush & powder. I use a Mac eye shadow called “brun”. I had really naturally thick brows but I started plucking them when I was fourteen and I kept on doing it until my early twenties. By then the damage was already done. It just wouldn’t grow back! I haven’t touch them in about ten years, but I still have gaps. Tag: Emma Dabiri


Who was your style/beauty icon when you were growing up?

Oh, when I was a really little girl it was Madonna, like early Madonna! She was in a film called “Who’s that girl” and in the film she got an outfit that she wears quite a lot. It was like a red tutu paired with a black leather jacket very punk/ bad girl kind of look. And when I was about seven years old, my godmother had a red net tutu made for me and mother got me a little biker jacket. I was walking around like a mini Madonna! Edit: Emma’s opinion on Madonna now 

So, you were allowed to be creative and express yourself the way you wanted? 

I think is because my mom sold vintage clothes, she was quite like, a bohemian person. I could wear anything I wanted to but it wasn’t always easy, first of all I was black growing up here and wearing God knows what! I definitely stood out so a lot of people didn’t like the way I dressed but… Tag: Emma Dabiri


Whos-that-girl Emma

And when it comes to clothes, do you have a particular brand that you like?  

Most of my clothes are from vintage shops, I really prefer buying unique pieces from old shops. I have a very eclectic style, I’m doing a tv show later today and they asked me not to wear any patterns, just something simple and plain. But, tomorrow I could be wearing neon pink! In terms of clothes I don’t have a particular style, I wear anything! Although I have to say, my style has changed since I had my son. I used to like really bright colors, I still like them but, I’m wearing a lot more creams & camel colors lately. Tag: Emma Dabiri

How did motherhood affected your beauty routine and the way you look after yourself? 

So, I breastfed for three years and during this time I didn’t really wore make-up and I had big, shapeless dresses on most of the time, usually stained with milk! It wasn’t glamorous. Tag: Emma Dabiri

But at the end of that phase I really felt like I just wanted to Glam my self up! So by the time my son was two and a half, I finally had some time to do my make-up while having him around. He really loves my make-up bag and my brushes!▪

Don’t forget to head over to Amazon and check Emma’s book ‘Don’t Touch My Hairand follow her on Instagram. You are in for some serious self discovery (it was for me!) a lot of  great information and food for thought.

Emma on  BBC Newsnight  / i-D / BBC – The sweet makers 


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