Ofunne Amaka is the founder of Cocoa Swatches which is an app that shows you how different makeup swatches appear on dark skin tones. Ofunne created the app when she saw a gap in the market for a platform where brown beauties could see whether the makeup product they were after would match their skin tone. She took time out to tell me how she created her beauty brand.
What made you decide to set up your own beauty business?
After a number of disappointing purchases, where I ultimately guessed completely wrong about how a product would look on me, I thought to myself, “I wish there was a resource that allowed me to see swatches of the latest makeup products on darker complexions.” It’s no secret that diversity in the media is still an issue. This unfortunate trend is especially pervasive in the beauty industry, which has a history of promoting an idea of beauty centred around whiteness. It was hard for me to accurately determine how a makeup product looked on me before I decided to purchase and I knew others had the same issue. I wanted to create a resource that would help alleviate this problem.
What is the concept behind Cocoa Swatches?
Cocoa Swatches is really a resource for beauty lovers to make informed purchasing decisions. It is the only brand dedicated to providing its community with access to the latest makeup swatches on various complexions.
A beauty app is so exciting but also very techy, how did you get yourself up to speed on creating an app?
Growing up in Silicon Valley, I have always been a little tech savvy and I started my career in tech communications. I am not a developer by any means but I was able to research and utilise resources I discovered to make the app happen.
How did you decide on the look and feel of the brand?
I knew I wanted to have a clean aesthetic and easy user experience and that was really the driving factor behind the look and feel. The way the photos are shot also reflect that. I like to shoot high quality photos with clean backgrounds to really focus on the products being shown.
What are your future plans for Cocoa Swatches?
The main focus for the near future is to work with brands to ensure Cocoa Swatches can provide its community with the best swatches. I also want to expand the Cocoa Swatches team so I can create original content with models of various complexions.
What are your favourite beauty products?
Liquid lipsticks are definitely my favourite beauty product. I have always loved a matte lip and liquid lipstick makes it look so good. Colourpop, Stila, Coloured Raine, Anastasia Beverly Hills, and Milani have some of my favourite formulas. I also can’t live without my eyeliner. I love L’Oreal’s Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner in Carbon Black.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business?
I would advise them to research and plan what they want to do before they start. There are a lot of players in the beauty industry right now so its best to know the market so you can plan appropriately.
You can follow Ofunne on Twitter.