90s makeup had a lot going for it – matte looks, unfussy hair, bold lips. But for anyone who didn’t have a Cher-from-Clueless-like complexion, the makeup selection at the time was sparse, to say the least. And, unfortunately, decades later the cosmetic industry is still seriously lacking when it comes to stellar makeup options for girls and women of colour.
Amy-Lei, a British makeup artist and founder of A’Lei Beauty, took note of these disparities. Having started out in the makeup world when she was just seventeen, Amy-Lei quickly realised that finding makeup shades that could really “pop” on dark skin was a hurdle — and something that kept women like herself from being able to have fun experimenting with new looks.
Realising that she couldn’t rely on anyone else to solve the problem (major cosmetic companies weren’t — and still aren’t — stepping up to the plate), Amy-Lei created A’Lei Beauty, a black-owned cosmetics company that specialises in products that work for darker complexions. Recently featured in Vogue, A’Lei Beauty products all receive Amy-Lei’s personal stamp of approval. (If they don’t, she promises not to sell it.)
Amy-Lei’s Top Picks
While lashes are still a best-selling product, Amy-Lei’s personal favourites from her line of cosmetics include the Bling LED Mirror (perfect for ultra-glam touchups) and, of course, this year’s must-have matte lipstick. A’Lei Beauty’s 90s Diva Inspired Matte Liquid Lipstick is a glam-squad game-changer and the staple behind Amy-Lei’s go-to looks.
Matte Liquid Lipsticks
Available in eight shades featuring names of 90s music icons (Brandy, Aaliyah, Lil Kim…), the matte lipstick is lightweight but with serious oomph. Deeply pigmented, just one swipe will transform your look. And because the lipstick is non-sticky, smudge-proof, (mask-proof), and waterproof, you can be confident that your colour won’t flake, crumble, or fade throughout the day.
But even the best 90s glam look can be updated, which is where the cult favourite Chameleon Beauty Blender comes in. Now a staple in every girl’s makeup arsenal, A’Lei Beauty’s Beauty Blender stands out from the crowd thanks to its latex-free material and its ability to be easily cleaned (which means you can keep your face clean and increase the life of your sponge, too).
Another fun 90s update? Palettes. And A’Lei Beauty knows how to do them right. From the incredibly bold (and fun) Her Neon Dream Palette to the slightly more subdued Streamer Heat Palette, every babe-certified look is easily at your fingertips. And thanks to A’Lei Beauty’s first-ever collaboration, Kamilah x A’Lei Beauty, you now have another iconic palette to choose from: Truthful Lust. A “beautiful curation of glitters, matte and shimmer shadows ranging from deep powerful reds to champagne night silvers”, Truthful Lust is the ultimate going-out (and staying out) toolkit. Primed to sell out quickly, the Kamilah x A’Lei Beauty collaboration has all of us beauty babes wondering, What’s next?
To find out more and shop the makeup collections online, visit: aleibeauty.com