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Quick Q+A with: Charlene Laville

BUSINESSWOMAN: Charlene Laville

COSMETICS FOR woman of colour has always been a cause for contention. Luckily we are beginning to see a plethora of black-owned make-up brands starting their own legacy, and NIZZ cosmetics is one of them.

Created as a result of the lack of quality hall and vegetarian friendly products, founder Charlene created the brand that she formulates, manufactures and packages herself.

Following the release of her debut brand, and celebrity fans including Holly Willoughby and Little Mix, we spoke to Charlene to find out a little bit more about her budding empire.
How did you come up with the formula for the lipsticks?

NIZZ Lipsticks currently has two textures, Lustre and Velvet Matte, and the principle objective for the brand was to amalgamate natural ingredients with a luxury, high end aesthetic.

Before discovering which beneficial natural ingredients I wanted to include in the product, I started with what I didn't want, from parabens, silicones and other harmful chemicals. After that, I experimented in the lab, and it was really just trial and error until I hit what I thought the perfect formula. Now I have vegetarian and halal friendly lipsticks with a potent pigment that can add colour to lips in just one swipe.

What are the ingredients? 

I use a lot of organic ingredients, including Shea butter, Coconut oil, Candelilla wax, Lanolin, Peach kernel oil, Almond oil and Grape seed oil.

How did you come up with the names of the shades? 

The names of the shades are inspired by what I see and experience, be it nature, traveling, sound or music. For example, I wanted to create a vivid blue hue that wasn’t jarring but complementary to most skin. After various testing, I decided sapphire blue would be the most alluring and energetic hue and came up with the name Virgo Blue because Virgo’s birthstone is sapphire blue.

The name Moroccan Nude was inspired by the aromatic, rich spices I saw during my walk through Morocco’s maze-like medinas and Purple Haze was inspired by an experience I had when by chance I happened to see the sun setting in a countryside in England and saw the sky slowly turn into a gorgeous, purple haze before turning to dusk. I wanted to encapsulate the most enigmatic colour of the night into a bold hue that will make people stand out from the crowd!

What is your favourite shade? 

Nude Creme is the ideal nude lipstick for my skin tone for the day when I’m running errands. It’s a great classic, subtle hue, which can pull a casual look together. On the off chance that I am attending an event I do jump at the chance to wear Pink Flamingo as my inner alter ego gets the opportunity to sparkle.
How did you grow your business without investment?

Strict cash administration is the way to achievement a successful start-up on a shoestring budget. You have to be extremely strict with how you spend your cash by keeping track off ALL expenditures. You have to be aware of exactly which ingredients/materials you require and how you will utilise those assets and raw materials to ensure a return on investment.
How important it was for you to create a vegetarian and halal friendly range and why?
There is an immense gap in the market for halal luxury beauty products that are additionally morally well disposed and trend-centred. As a Muslim lady myself, it was central to have cosmetic products which mirrored not only an Islamic lifestyle but a lifestyle of health and well-being and ensuring nothing but nourishing ingredients that are beneficial to the skin is in the products. Originating from a nursing background made me more aware of how important it is to look after the wellbeing of the body and I felt it crucial to include all components of health and wellbeing where conceivable.
Where you would like to take your brand over the next five years? 

5 years from now I envision NIZZ as a lifestyle brand. I hope to have a strong retail presence and distribution strategy within the luxury beauty market. The plan is to venture into other cosmetic products and skin care and to develop signature natural and halal products to meet the demands of billions of woman world-wide.

NIZZ Cosmetics lipsticks are available to purchase at Boots for £16.

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