Author: Oluwatoyin

Myah: Lipstick sophistication

In developing Dark Secrets Cosmetics lipstick for darker skin tones, this lipstick is the first
on my list. It is my very favourite. A personal story, it is the story of a mother who, having all
boys of her own, being given the gift of a precious, charming and bright granddaughter.

There are no adjectives to adequately describe Myah my granddaughter. Myah the lipstick however,
you can describe. The plum red of the lipstick is one of Myah’s favourite colours – and just like her,
is vivacious and fun with a slightly cheeky side! There is room for more than a hint of sophistication
though, as I have matched this colour perfectly with business wear and the pressures of my working day.
I have also found it to be a good choice when just out having fun, too.



Lipstick: Choosing our first range of colours

colour notes_toyin

As a young woman growing up in Kaduna, Nigeria it was always a struggle to find cosmetics that suited my skin tone and that blended well with my general look. I am a true ‘melanin’ woman, with quite dark skin. The foundation colours then available for darker skin toned women were either too light with a yellow tinge or too red, which made me look baked and unnatural! I found myself developing a technique where I would mix different off-the-shelf products together to achieve the effect I needed. I’m sure I wasn’t alone!

Happily the situation today is much improved as the world has gotten smaller, with fashion and style now truly international, but for me, blending my own colour had become part of my daily makeup routine, and so I decided to design my own range. Dark Secrets Cosmetics will be that range of products, starting with a range of lipsticks I have chosen carefully to suit any occasion, and not just for darker skin tones – anyone can wear them with confidence! I agonised over the names, I wanted them to mean something, if only to me! I drew inspiration from both my upbringing and environment and also my life today.


Our first lipstick range is:

Matte finish:

Turn heads with this stunning colour.

Vivacious, intense and fun, but with more than a hint of sophistication.

Deep Ocean
Resourceful, bold and empowered. The world is yours.

Black Nectar
You are that rare and exotic flower. For that unique occasion where confidence is key.

Natural 4
A shade of Africa, from the very road we travel.

Satin finish:

Scarlet Woman
You will certainly make an impression with this rich colour. Party time!

Exotic Wine
Set the mood, glance across the dinner table. Irresistable!

True Blue
Naughty by nature, with a hint of scandal. 

Wicked Lady
Tantalising and luscious. 

Charismatic with a timeless beauty.

Coco Earth
Rich, full colour. Wear anytime, anywhere.

Misty Red
Business or pleasure? Sophisticated and in control for any occasion.

Two shades, from the river of life.

Our first photoshoot

On a cold windy day back in November 2016, we descended on photographer
Dan Tidswell’s studio in Colchester, UK, to photograph our first lipstick range.
Aimed principally at women of colour of all ages, the images were to nod heavily towards
West African and specifically Yoruba culture, with a contemporary, pulse quickening mood.
It was such a good day, and we took the opportunity to shoot a ‘behind the scenes’ style video
too, deftly shot by Chris Reeve. More on that later.

Roger Whitelock took the photos, and the makeup artist was fellow Nigerian Joy Adenuga.
Joy also suggested the fantastic models Shumi, Alexsandrah and Suelen. They needed very
little in terms of art direction, so professional…thanks ladies!

YUGE thank you to everyone involved, it really was a great day!

Bless you all.