Across the Pond: Fatou N'diaye
I met Fatou N'diaye from BlackBeautyBag at The Woman in the Jungle Show last year when we were both speaking on a panel about the politics of hair. I was struck by how stylish she was and also what amazing hair she had. She talked about the natural movement in Paris and her experience in going natural. The first thing I did when I got home was check out her blog and my reaction was 'damm' that is awesome too. Her great style has not gone unnoticed by others and last week she was announced as the new face of KOOKAI. I managed to catch up with her to talk about blogging, beauty and being natural. How long have you been blogging and why did you decide to set up your blog? I've been blogging since July 2007. I started doing this because before I attended a beauty forum for black women. I was hosting a beauty topic, and the success of it for three consecutive years, my sister and one of my best friends told me it would be nice if I have my own space where I could show my vision of Black beauty through photos and articles as a visible intimate agenda by all black women in search of discovery and beauty tips.
Is there a blogging community in France? Yes there is one and it is growing, which is great. I think it will take the nobility of our beauty. The problem in France is that cosmetic brands have just adapted to market the diverse beauty. We live in a country that still thinks that to be beautiful you have to be a tall blonde and thin.
Unlike countries such as England or the United States, we do not yet see many black women in advertising and fashion beauty and when they have natural hair it is even rare. This is why blogs are very useful because there's a real passion and strong messages to change attitudes. It is our role through our blogs to address what is lacking in from these brands and work with them to change it.
How long have you been natural? I've been natural since eight years!
Is there a natural hair movement in France? Yes, for many years also. Now there are a lot of events that are created around the natural hair in France. Black women love their natural hair now, they feel comfortable with them and they want to celebrate them.
Tell us about your favourite hair brands? I love Les Secrets de Loly, this is a very famous french brand for natural hair. I call Loly the " French Lisa Price". She makes homemade products that she sells in her shop in Paris. I'm also a huge fan of Shea Moisture brand.
Are they easy to find in France? Yes, for Loly products you can buy them at her store or on her e-shop. For Shea Moisture, now we have a few e-shops that sell their brands.
Describe your skincare routine? My first beauty routine in the morning is to drink a glass of lemon juice to remove all the accumulated toxins during sleep. Then I brush my teeth and wash my face with clean water with a cleaning gel and I apply after my Bioderma micellar water. Micellar water is my life (lol)! It makes my skin bright and beautiful. And evening, more micellar water whether I am made up or not, I clean the face with.
During the day the skin accumulates dirt caused by pollution, stress and sweating. If you want to keep your skin beautiful then you must take care at a young age, especially by moisturising and cleansing. At night I never sleep without my serum applied Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair. This product is magic. It leaves my skin is very smooth and when I wake up and illuminated. I am a fan.
Which makeup products do you use? I use Black Up concealer, I love M.A.C lipsticks. I love subtle makeup, so for me it's an eyeliner, a black mascara for my eyelashes, I use L'Oréal Volume Mascara and a red lipstick. I love RIRI WOO lipstick.
Whose beauty style do you admire and why? I have been a huge fan of Diana Ross since I was a teenager. She was not called a beauty by the media or the entertainment, but she had such charisma that was captivating. Her fashion sense was splendid. She is and she will be my fashion inspiration and beauty for ever.