Heroes & highlights of 2016

The awesome women and events we’ll remember forever…

News

HERO
We fell in love with Chimamanda even more

If being a bestselling author and proud feminist wasn’t enough, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ended up on Bey’s Lemonade and on the shopfronts of Boots stores everywhere. The Americanah novelist became No7’s Ready postergirl, quoting: “It’s about what I like. What makes me want to smile when I look in the mirror. What makes me feel slightly better on a dull day. What makes me comfortable.” Queen.


HIGHLIGHT
L’Oreal made foundations for everyone

2016 might just go down as the year diversity got the recognition it deserved. Beauty companies have been super slow on the uptake but L’Oreal did something pretty cool with their True Match foundation launch to make their claim for inclusivity. Their #YoursTruly campaign included Clara Amfo, Fro Ginny, Beauty by JJ, plus their first ever man, Gary aka The Plastic Boy. Long may it continue.

HIGHLIGHT
Shout out to Superdrug’s #ShadesOfBeauty

It finally happened, guys. A high street giant came on board to the needs of black beauty and got serious with their shades and strands. ORS, Cake Cosmetics, Vatika – these are just some of the names sitting happily on our local Superdrug shelves and online store. Result!

HERO
The world woke up to the amazingness of Michelle Obama

She gave us Carpool Karaoke and one of the most memorable speeches of recent years, which left thousands everywhere declaring “When they go low, we go high”. Yes, 2016 was the year of Michelle Obama. A First Lady in every sense of the word, we hope to see her back in the White House one day, as President herself.

HERO(ES)
A big up to inspiring black-owned brands MDM Flow, Liha Beauty, Melita Candles

… these are just some of the exciting entrepreneurial women we’ve had the pleasure of meeting this year. Their core message? Working to serve people like them and doing it on their own terms. We salute you! It’s not just happening in beauty – in fashion Leomie Anderson got tough on women having the right to say no with her range of tees for Lapp the Brand, whilst in publishing food sensation Lope Ariyo is cooking up a storm.

‍Florence Adepoju and her range of colour-cool lipsticks in MDM Flow

HIGHLIGHT
When hashtags changed the world

It’s a shame in this day and age we have such a thing as #BlackLivesMatter but with all the political turmoil swirling around, this hashtag became a rallying call for change. #OscarsSoWhite did the same for the film industry, and shone a light on the inequality in Hollywood so often gone unnoticed by the bigwigs in control. Here’s to more activism wherever and whoever you are.

‍The astonishing image shared worldwide of a Baton Rouge protester making a stand after the death of Alton Sterling   

HIGHLIGHT 
Spell Beauty got bigger and better

Now with a year under its belt, our sister site Spell Beauty really took off with the launch of new amazing brands. On top of stellar names including Sensationnel and FemeBun, the online boutique became the home of global brands such as Andre Walker Hair (Oprah’s hairstylist), Mixed Chicks and It’s A Nail. There are always incredible deals to be had, too! We can’t wait to see what happens in 2017…

‍Andre Walker with Lesley from Fresh Lengths at the UK launch of his haircare range                    
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