Once heavily ridiculed for her dark complexion, Detroit mom of five Joy Mohammed is now the new inspiration for a Black-owned beauty brand.
The Lip Bar, a make-up brand launched by Black female entrepreneurs in 2012, looked to Mohammed, who is an avid supporter, to be the new face of their latest foundation shade, 6.04 Warm Red Ebony.
“I was completely overwhelmed to be asked — absolutely blown away,” she told Daily Mail.
“I couldn’t get over the fact I was tapped to represent a foundation shade that was unavailable when I was in need of make-up for senior photos and dance recitals, because my skin tone was so “undesirable” to the masses,” she added.
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The only thing which made the teasing and the midnight jokes worse was the fact that when it was time for some make up I had no options. The shadows lacked pigment. The foundations never inclusive. The world was against me. Then Dave Chappelle came out with the “Dahkness!!!” Rick James skit. It was a wrap for my self esteem. I wanted to be as invisible as I clearly was. And then came the @thelipbar. Where I’m included AND seen. It’s good to be recognized. Mom of 5. Law student. And model. You wish you was this dahk. You could neva. ????: @breannwhlgn
Mohammed said she struggled with the negative effects of colorism since being a child. She recalled being the darkest student in her classes and having her skin tone described as “blackety-black.”
The 31-year-old law student said, “I remember putting on make-up and trying to make it work [even though it was too light]. I looked horrible, just ghastly.”
Strolling through the drugstore aisles to find the right foundation shade became a daunting task for Mohammed. She said the darkest hue at the time was from Covergirl's Queen Latifah collection. It wasn’t until she stumbled across The Lip Bar, which also reigns from Detroit, that she felt comfortable in her skin.
“I was drawn to this brand not only because it was also Detroit-owned, black-owned, and women-owned, but because it worked so well and showed up on my skin so well,” she said.
The Lip Bar product developer Kori Fields invited Mohammad to their make-up studio as a model for their new shade. Overjoyed, Mohammed jumped at the opportunity to be the face for dark-skinned girls like her, bringing her 5-year-old daughter, Adaline, along for the priceless moment.
“I took Adaline because I wanted her to see that what we consider beauty diversity to be normal for her, and that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. I didn't want to tell her about it or show her pictures, I wanted her to see it,” Mohammed said.
Fields, who has become close friends with Mohammed, echoes the importance of The Lip Bar’s mission to fully represent the beauty of Black women and women of color.
“We want everyone to feel like they have a home with us,” she said. “Joy is one of our number one fans, we always reach out to her when we can because she's always excited and helpful. We have to support those who support us, she's always been great.”