How do you best offset chic, bright pieces (that happen to be designed by your husband)? Founder and CEO of the much-obsessed-over clean makeup line Ami Colé Diarrha N’Diaye-Mbaye keeps her beauty look simple but radiant—and spikes it with a statement-making splash of color for moments when she wants more drama.
The Harlem-born, New Jersey–based mom of a one-year-old balances product development with marketing meetings, speaking engagements, press interviews, and investor calls in a typical day, so she aims for ease and maximum impact with her style. Fawzeyni Couture, her husband’s fashion line, sets the tone with bold colors, exquisite patterns, and flattering shapes that honor their Senegalese roots.
For beauty, she focuses on ease, radiance, and the occasional strategic pop of color. “My approach to beauty has become more fine-tuned and centered around seeing myself,” says N’Diaye-Mbaye. “I want to glow from within, so my makeup enhances me, rather than altering my appearance. For me now, less is more.”
My Back-of-the-Cab Makeup Routine
Like many New Yorkers, N’Diaye-Mbaye is practiced at last-minute makeup. “Typically, I have only five minutes before a call or in the back of a cab to do my makeup, so it has to be quick and look effortlessly put-together and natural,” she says. “I start with my skin tint and my concealer under my eyes to really wake up my face.” The magic comes next in the form of definition and highlights: “I fill in my brows with our brow pencil in dark brown; it’s dark but not stark. For a dewy glow, I mix together my Light-Catching highlighter and Desert Date cream in Spice, then tap it in from my temples down to the apples of my cheeks. The combination gives me a perfect naturally flushed look—like I just got back from vacation.”
To finish, she swipes on her inky-black lifting mascara (the tapered wand makes for a beautifully even application) and dabs on her lip oil—it’s made with nourishing baobab oil, which deeply hydrates and leaves lips cushy and glossy—in Excellence.
My Strategy for Amping Up the Drama
“I love playing up my style for nighttime, whether with a more dramatic outfit, a hairstyle, or a pop of color on either my eyes or my lips,” she says. “A classic matte red lip is one of my favorite ways to do that.”
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N’Diaye-Mbaye changes her hair look often. “With the fall here, for me, it’s silk press season,” she says. “To maintain my silk press, I wrap my hair every night with a silk scarf. In the morning, I take my hair down, shape it, and add a bit of Crown Affair oil for added moisture and shine—the scent is intoxicating.”
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Skin Care Makes All the Difference
N’Diaye-Mbaye is devoted to experimenting with different skin and body essentials, but she has some favorites that are constants. “I alternate between cleansing or splashing my face with just cold water: Sometimes I want to give my skin a rush with just the cold water; sometimes I wash my face for 60 seconds with Klur Gentle Matter cleanser,” she says. “After cleansing, I smooth on the Supreme Seed clay mask and leave it on for about 15 minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water. It helps keep my skin clear and smells incredible—like chocolate. I follow that with an exfoliating serum and nourishing face oil.”
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“I love this nourishing body butter. It’s super hydrating and makes my skin so soft,” she says.
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