Thrilled to bring you this Beauty Minute with the beautiful Marie Kouadio Amouzame, who is the co-founder and CEO of the newly launcehd and already cult beauty line EADEM. Read on for her straight forward and French influenced routine.
What is your morning beauty routine?
Mornings are pretty chaotic at our house, so I’ve become a master at multitasking! Our daughters wake up bright and early at 6:30am. We play a little, read together, have breakfast, and I prepare everyone’s lunch before sending our eldest to school.
Once the kids are prepped for the day, I have some time alone before I start working. I usually make myself a cup of tea and read my emails at the same time. I shower while listening to some music and then do my skincare routine. I love using Terra Tory’s Fresh Avocado soap in the shower – it’s such a special product and is handmade with love. Then I moisturize my body with Lipikar by La Roche-Posay.
My facial routine starts with a splash with water, or I use an oil based cleanser. As I get older, my skin tends to become drier, so I have learned that I don’t have to cleanse every single morning. With my face still damp, I apply 3 drops of our Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum. It has really transformed my skin, and the texture is just perfect.
As a French woman, I like a thick, non-greasy moisturizer. My favorite is SkinCeuticals Triple Lipid. I try to keep my routine pretty minimal, so I follow that with SPF. I have been loving the innisfree for years. Then I apply one of my new favorite products right now, the Ami Colé Skin-Enhancing Tint to camouflage my dark circles.
For my lips I do this French trick of using homeoplasmine – I always have a tube in my bag! It is the best lip conditioner… although it wasn’t made for that ;)
At this point I am usually late, so I untie my hair and put it in a high ponytail. I then spritz my favorite perfume by Frederic Malle.
What products do you use throughout the day and why?
I actually don’t use any products throughout the day, unless I am going to be in the sun. In those cases, I reapply my sunscreen.
What is your evening beauty routine?
I try to do my evening routine at least 2 hours before going to bed, after showering. This way the actives actually have time to sit on my skin, versus my pillow.
I use a shea butter that comes from Lakota, the small village where my mother was born in Côte D’Ivoire, on my entire body.
My hair routine usually takes the longest. I dampen my hair and apply the Prose curl cream from the root to ends. Then I use the Black Magic Oil by Textured Press on my scalp, give my head a massage (it smells SO GOOD!), and apply the remaining product on the rest of my hair. The founder Ebony is a genius and the best educator out there when it comes to our afro hair. I then do a few flat twists and I am ready for the night.
What is your definition of beauty?
My skin journey started really young. My mother, who’s Ivorian and Senegalese, would slather my skin with shea butter that my grandma used to make. Growing up, it was forbidden to leave the house without applying lotion or shea butter on your entire body. But my real interest in skincare happened much later. After I tried my first serum at 23, I became addicted to the ritual: the moment (okay, hours) I could take for myself in the bathroom and the effect it had on my skin. This first serum (which was gel – instead of cream-like) instantly made my “ashy” skin feel hydrated. I didn’t know it then, but I was experiencing my first truly hydrated vs merely moisturized moment.
I started EADEM for the aunties in my family. I watched them test a lot of skincare products, maybe too many, trying to fight adult acne and the scarring and hyperpigmentation that happened as a result. Some of them would take the subway to Château Rouge (the predominantly Black neighborhood in Paris) and find small, hidden shops where they could buy dodgy, imported products with questionable ingredients (like hydroquinone, which is banned in Europe), marketed to Black women. They even tried skin bleaching products, which damaged their beautiful complexions. Intuitively I understood that they needed products that only their community could make, and that realization really planted the seed for EADEM.
The women in my family taught me that beauty is never about perfection or complying with Western beauty standards. Our beauty lies within our multifaceted identities and dual cultures.
It’s in the wax fabrics we’d select from the Marché d’Adjamé in Abidjan and pair with jeans and a French designer scarf; or the way my favorite aunty would start dancing to Meyway (a huge pop star at the time), then pull you by the arm to join her on the improvised dance floor in her tiny Parisian kitchen. The smiles, the beautiful faces, everyone’s joy in that exact moment — that to me is beauty.
When do you feel most beautiful?
I feel the most beautiful when I am on holiday, usually in a small town in Europe. And I just go from the beach to the ocean and walk back home with the scents of the Mediterranean and the breeze.
Tell us a bit about EADEM and the holes you saw in the beauty industry that you wanted to fill.
Women of color have historically been an afterthought in beauty, and we are looking to change that with EADEM by making skincare specifically designed for our melanin-rich skin. A few years ago, I went to a department store in Paris to purchase a foundation for myself after seeing ads for it all over the city featuring a famous Black actress. When I made my way up to the counter and asked the salesperson for my shade, he told me “Oh sorry no! We don’t have that shade here.” This was truly one of the most humiliating moments, and from that moment I realized there is so much more that needs to be done for women of color in beauty.
By introducing what we call Smart Melanin Beauty, we are creating skincare uniquely formulated for our skin by working with highly-qualified professionals who understand skin of color. Our mission is to help women like us feel good in their own skin through safe, clean and clinically-proven products, as well as through our editorial platform that celebrates the beauty in our multitudes.