It was anti-colonial nationalist Mahatma Gandhi who smartly opined; ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. This quote rings true for Glenda Kundishora, the founder of SHADEbygnk, an inclusive online makeup store, offering quality products for every complexion. Glenda was born and raised in Zimbabwe, but later moved to the UK when she was nine years old. Growing up, she watched her mother and aunties use makeup and lipsticks in a way that empowered and boosted their self confidence. She too fell in love with lipsticks and loved to wear them in college. But alas, the self expression she found in lipsticks was on a leash because she couldn’t find lip shades suited for her melanin-rich skin. It was then that Glenda realised this was a problem she wanted to solve, to enable the younger generation to find representation in the beauty industry and not be left out in beauty offerings.
In 2018, Glenda officially launched her cosmetics line SHADEbygnk with mineral rich lipsticks as the flagship product. Her mission was simple – to offer an inclusive cruelty-free, vegan and paraben free easy to apply lipsticks with various shades for all skin types. Her brand so far has been embraced by great success as she has made available, affordable and quality lipsticks with inclusive shades for dark skin.
I recently had a chat with the bold and trendsetter founder and we talked about the journey that led to the birth of her brand SHADEbygnk. Here’s what she told me:
“I have always been interested in business which led me to study BA Hons Business Management at the University. I currently work with the HR department as a Resource Manager for an NHS organization where I am developing my management skills. Growing up, I enjoyed wearing lipsticks, more so from seeing my mother and aunties use lipsticks. Red lipstick has always been my favourite. Although it previously held a lot of negative connotations, red to me is bold and powerful. However the variety has always been limited for women of colour. When I was growing up, TV adverts and billboards lacked diversity and inclusiveness for women of colour, not just in representation of the skin tone deemed beautiful and TV worthy but also in shades available. I remember one time going to get tested for makeup and women of colour were labelled with the same makeup shade. This was when I knew I wanted to start my own makeup range and lipsticks were my go to. Thus I launched my business with lipstick as my main product. SHADEbygnk is about inclusiveness and diversity ensuring people of colour are represented not just in products but also in the face of our brand.”
Ever since, SHADEbygnk has waxed strong, offering more product options with the recent launch of their eyelash range. Definitely a brand to watch, here are some of our favourite products and all you need to know about them:
- Liquid Matte Lipstick – Robyn: This creamy matte lipstick is infused with the natural fragrance of vanilla, coconut oil and Vitamin E to soothe the lip. The formula is long lasting, and retains moisture on the lips.
- Liquid Matte Lipstick -Viola: This lip shade is a bestseller! Viola is long-wearing, waterproof and smudge-resistant, infused with the natural fragrance of vanilla.
- Liquid Matte Lipstick – Queen: Queen is a perfect brown shade for melanin skin. Ideal for a simple but classy look. With only £9.99 this mineral-rich beauty is yours!
- Creamy Matte Bullet Lipstick: These matte lipsticks come in two variants; Try Me and Dare Me. Each one gives the lips a luxurious, rich color with just one stroke. It is specially unique because of its creamy rich formula with a no-shine matte finish and high pigment coverage.
- Lip Gloss: Lip glosses from SHADEbygnk are the perfect addition to your makeup purse. With its creamy-vinyl texture, it protects, hydrates and soothes lips for a perfect lacquered finish. In its different variants like Saucy, Bare, Boujee, Honeycomb and 1992 you’re sure to find the one that suits you!
- Eyelashes – Baddie full: This voluminous lashes gives you that insta baddie look! It is 100% real mink hair, cruelty-free and can be re-used about 25-30 times.
- Eyelashes – Dutchess: is the go-to lash for a dramatic look. It is 100% real mink hair, totally cruelty-free and can be used about 25-30 times if used and removed properly.
Glenda hopes in the near future to expand the current product range and create more products such as foundations, powders, eyeshadows. She also plans to continue to research and develop ingredients to create products best suited for all complexions and deliver these products to all parts of the world. In the meantime, she’d like to see more products suited for people of colour in the industry and more male-focused cruelty free products.